In Beyond Good and Evil, Neitzsche scribed a warning: "He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."

In fighting evil, there is a grave peril that you may be called upon to do terrible things.  It changes you.

But this works both ways


Joseph W. said...

That is an interesting way of putting it. Thinking about analogous situations, I recall this one:

"In November 1864, Davis presented to the Confederate Congress a plan to employ forty thousand slaves in noncombatant military service to be followed by their emancipation. While this proposal was being considered, he dispatched Duncan F. Kenner of Louisiana to Europe on a secret mission with instructions to offer European governments a promise of emancipation of the slaves in exchange for recognition..."

douglas said...

I have my issues with Nietzsche's line- it's not so much that we risk letting the abyss into our selves, as 'the abyss' is already a part of us- which we control- but which we can lose control of- and it is that which we guard against. If one thinks the problem is without, then the battle is already lost, I fear.