That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
I remember the very first day my philosophy professor said Nietzsche’s most iconic phrase “God is dead”. Most of our class of 500 students gasped in disbelief — no one ever outright says something like that.
I even remember some students walking out because of how offended they were. I didn’t gasp or leave, I sat there willing to listen.
We are all entitled to our beliefs in life. At the same token, we should know why we believe in something and not be opposed hearing differing perspectives about life. And these Friedrich Nietzsche quotes prove he wasn’t afraid to say what he believed in. Ever.
Philosophy is the study of questioning existence and values. It is not the practice of deeming one way of answering a question as superior.
I personally don’t agree with all of Nietzsche’s philosophies on life, Christianity, or death, but I couldn’t help but wonder why Nietzsche thought God was dead. I wanted to understand his perspective.
What really perplexed about Nietzsche was that he believed we the people killed God. Nietzsche viewed God as dead because as society made scientific advancements, the importance of Christianity and its teachings declined, resulting in the “death of God”.
Then he questioned the meaningfulness of life if there was no God. He felt that if God was dead, life no longer had meaning.
Believe it or not, Nietzsche was the son of a pastor. He did not grow up believing that life and religion were meaningless. It was when the philosopher matured, that he began to see Christianity as pointless. To Nietzsche, religion crushed individuality. It robbed life of its freedoms.
Nietzsche believed in existentialism. He wanted others to question the meaning of life as well, in hopes it would start a reformation. Nietzsche wanted us to fight against the values we were conditioned to have, to be able to begin a new life that allowed us the freedom to create our own path.
If you’re interested in learning more about his beliefs on life, check out these thought-provoking Friedrich Nietzsche quotes below.
1. Nietzsche’s philosophy on existentialism.
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives; who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves?”
2. Philosophers are thinkers.
“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”
4. There is not a single correct way to do things and to be.
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
5. Strength is built from the struggle.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
6. It’s the shattered trust that hurts, not the lie.
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
7. Anything that heightens the will to power is good.
“What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man.”
8. You must change and evolve to survive.
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
9. Must God or humans be a mistake to make sense of existence?
“Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man?”
10. You need friendship in friendship.
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
11. Embracing individuality is worth the price.
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
12. Facts are subjective.
“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
13. Awareness awakes you to the harsh realities of life.
“In the consciousness of the truth he has perceived, man now sees everywhere only the awfulness or the absurdity of existence and loathing seizes him.”
14. Jesus Christ was the only true Christian.
“In truth,there was only one christian and he died on the cross.”
15. Interpretation is a matter of manipulation of context, not truth.
“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”
16. Your character is mainly determined by what you have not done.
“Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had.”
17. Truth uncovers illusions.
“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
18. Of all the animals in the animal kingdom, humans are the most savage.
“Man is the cruelest animal.”
19. Forgetfulness makes every time feel like the first.
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
20. Toxic environments create toxic people.
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
21. Art is the appreciation of beauty.
“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
22. We all just want to unleash our inner child.
“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.”
23. Have a purpose or will to power.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
24. The shadow of your feeling are revealed through your thoughts.
“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler.”
25. Love supersedes good or evil.
“That which is done out of love is always beyond good and evil.”
26. What is essential is merely a concept.
“Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation.”
27. Praising similar thought promotes corruption through groupthink.
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
28. Humbleness brings happiness.
“He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted.”
29. Your demons or quirks are what make you special.
“Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you.”
30. There is a process and pace for accomplishments to actualize.
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”
31. Faith is the hope for what’s not seen.
“Faith: not wanting to know what the truth is.”
32. Only those on your level can truly grasp where you are.
“The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
33. Fear keeps us alive but does not allow us to live.
“Fear is the mother of morality.”
34. We love life because we love to love.
“We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.”
35. There’s beauty in depth.
“There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.”
36. You are either on a quest for knowledge or belief in life.
“There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”
37. Lack of rational does not disprove existence.
“The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.”
38. His thoughts on femininity were … unique.
“Stupidity in a woman is unfeminine.”
39. Live for what you think.
“I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think.”
40. You are one of a kind.
“At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.”
41. Nothing’s better than dedicating your life to your purpose.
“I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.”
42. Once you are awake there’s no going back.
“And once you are awake, you shall remain awake eternally. ”
43. There’s more than one truth.
“There are various eyes. Even the Sphinx has eyes: and as a result there are various truths, and as a result there is no truth.”
44. Be you.
“Become who you are!”
45. The climb is motivated by the ambition of your ego.
“Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’.”
46. You are not your work or what you do.
“I am one thing, my writings are another.”
47. Liberation is comfort in one’s self.
“What is the seal of liberation? Not to be ashamed in front of oneself.”
48. Live life to the fullest.
49. Love and friendship are based on connection, not physical attraction.
“Love is blind. Friendship closes its eyes.”
50. Live and let go.
“Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.”