The believer feels superior to the unbeliever. I will believe in Christian humility when I see the how the believer humbles himself before the unbeliever

Nietzche, cited in Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche & Kafka (p82). By William Hubben.

Nietzsche does not strike me as a humble man, so presumably his type is not, either. But I'm guessing this "true humility" is psychologically possible, if not consistently so. Is humility always despicable for his type, perhaps outside Christianity?


Nietzsche sees Christianity itself as a sort of mob action to suppress excellence and freedom, and he sees the way it acts as entirely based on nonexistent virtues that are actually self-deceptions.

The virtue of humility is not despicable because of what it is, it is despicable because it really is never what it claims to be. It is really a move in a competition to be a 'better person' than others, to more thoroughly support the common good over one's individual good because his sense of his own value is reflected in common social interests, rather than in natural ones.

Someone with an honest awareness of his value, even if that value is low, is not humble, he is honest, and adapts to reality. He does not consider his humility a virtue.

Someone like Gandhi, who adopts a lowly lifestyle out of compassion for others, and uses it to manipulate those with an equally false worldview into admitting they are lying to themselves, is not humble, he is fair, brave, and shrewd. Those are virtues, but those virtues are not humility.

The obvious fraud is given away by the fact that this 'common good' is only so common. This ideology of loving others instead makes its supposed adherents the ones most likely to go to war with them, to create ways to indirectly dominate them, or to force them into a mold of the dominant culture's choosing.

No one is actually humble. So whether there could be non-despicable humility of some sort doesn't matter.

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  • i probably think that one can be over suspicious, of other people especially. e.g. what would it mean to fake humility to be better than another, if this isn't deliberate? but i more or less get the reply, thanks – user25714 Jun 23 '17 at 19:19
  • i think we can adopt attitudes just to see how they work, would you disagree? whether or not we can consistently display them without self contradiction – user25714 Jun 23 '17 at 19:38
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    He is talking about 'Christian humility' -- humility as perceived as a virtue, adopted because it is favored by your society, rather than just a personal habit or attitude. So for the relevance of the quote, adopting a habit of deference personally, outside of a culture that holds it as a value, would not mean the same thing at all. People do it because of their temperament, or for some functional reason, for instance, because it helps them maintain their anger -- and that is not the same thing. He would probably insist on a different name for it though -- he does a lot of that. – user9166 Jun 23 '17 at 20:23
  • good comment, thanks. i'm not sure if i'm lazy or just thick ;) – user25714 Jun 23 '17 at 21:45
  • Didn't mean that... Don't take my tone too seriously, it is hard to be terse without seeming curt. In comments, I always sound like what I am saying should seem obvious. But we are discussing Neitzsche, who worked hard never to say anything obvious (omitting everything you think is already clear makes things 'presto', one of his criteria for 'modern' philosophy.) – user9166 Jun 25 '17 at 2:31

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