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The Ring of the Nibelung
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[238F-LER: p. 142-144]

[P. 142] “If there is a God, why the world, why nature? If there is a perfect being such as God is conceived to be, why should there be an imperfect one? (…) Imperfection may need perfection, but how can perfection need imperfection? The meaning of imperfection lies in perfection; the imperfect strives to become perfect … . (…) [P. 143] It has often been said that the world is inexplicable without a God; but the exact opposite is true; if there is a God, the existence of a world becomes inexplicable; for then the world is utterly superfluous. (…) But the question why is there anything at all, is absurd. (…) Nothing follows from a God; everything beside Him is superfluous, futile, meaningless; why then should I try to derive the world from God as its ground? But the reverse is also true. If there is a world, if this world is a truth and its truth guarantees its existence, then God is a dream, a being imagined by man and existing only in his imagination. But which of these inferences shall we adopt as ours? The latter, for the world, or nature, is an immediate, sensuous, indubitable certainty. To infer the necessity and reality of an object from its existence is assuredly far more reasonable than to infer the existence of a being [P. 144] from His necessity; for such necessity, a necessity that is not grounded in existence, can only be a subjective, imaginary necessity.” [238F-LER: p. 142-144]

 

[239F-LER: p. 144]

“At the first stage God is essentially an expression of emotion, of wonderment, a poetic name for everything in nature that makes a particular impression on man; … he does not distinguish God from nature and natural phenomena, for at this stage man knows nothing of nature and its workings. There are no miracles, in our strict sense of something apart from the lawful or usual course of nature, because everything seems miraculous to man. … this view of the world … is the oldest and simplest, the most natural to childlike, uncivilized man … .” [239F-LER: p. 144]

 

[240F-LER: p. 145-146]

[P. 145] “Although God was originally nothing other than the essence of nature or the world abstracted from its sensuous content, in monotheism, He is conceived of as differentiated from the world. The poetic naivete and patriarchal coziness of polytheism are lost, [P. 146] and reflection steps in. Radically distinguished from nature, God becomes a despot, ruling over the world, over nature. (…) Later in this same stage, man, because he differentiates between nature and God, comes to distinguish between their modus operandi. Special actions of God are distinguished from natural happenings and called miracles.” [240F-LER: p. 145-146]

 

[241F-LER: p. 154]

“ … indeed, the spirit as conceived of by the theists cannot be explained by nature; for this spirit is a very late product, a product of human imagination and abstraction, which, accordingly can no more be derived directly from nature than a lieutenant, a professor, a cabinet minister, can be directly explained on the basis of nature, though man as such can. (…) … are we to suppose that the head as a physical organ, that is, the skull and the brain, originated in nature, but that the mind within the head, that is, the activity of the brain, owes its origin to a product of our thought and

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