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Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844 - 1900)

picture of Friedrich Nietzsche

"To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities - I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not - that one endures."
(The Will to Power, p 481)

"You want, if possible - and there is no more insane "if possible" - to abolish suffering. And we? It really seems that we would rather have it higher and worse than ever. Well-being as you understand it - that is no goal, that seems to us an end, a state that soon makes man ridiculous and contemptible - that makes his destruction desirable. The discipline of suffering, of great suffering - do you not know that only this discipline has created all enhancements of man so far?"
(Beyond Good and Evil, p 225 )

"I do not point to the evil and pain of existence with the finger of reproach, but rather entertain the hope that life may one day become more evil and more full of suffering than it has ever been."
Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844-1900 )

The Conquest of Pain has long been a war on two fronts: the technological and the ideological. The search for the ideal surgical anaesthetic, pain-killer or antidepressant is technically challenging. Perhaps only gene therapy, germ-line genetic medicine and the impending reproductive revolution of "designer babies" will eradicate the sinister legacy of our evolutionary past for good. But arguably the greatest obstacles to the abolition of suffering in the world are not technical but ideological. Philosophers sympathetic to Fredrich Nietzsche and his acolytes have found the prospect of a cruelty-free world not just chimerical but abhorrent.


Utopian Surgery
Refs and Further Reading
Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics