Decadent valuesIn § 1, Nietzsche expressed his dissatisfaction with modernity. He disliked the contemporary "lazy peace," "cowardly compromise," "tolerance" and "resignation." This related to Schopenhauer's claim that knowledge of the inner nature of the world and life results in "... perfect resignation, which is the innermost spirit of Christianity ... ."
Nietzsche introduced his concept of will to power in § 2. He defined the concepts of good, bad and happiness in relation to the will to power. "What is good? — All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is bad? — All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? — The feeling that power increases — that a resistance is overcome." Nietzsche's words were provocative and shocking in passages such as: "The weak and ill–constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy. And one shall help them to do so. What is more harmful than any vice? — Active sympathy for the ill–constituted and weak — Christianity ... ."The Antichrist, § 2 This is an example of Nietzsche's reaction against Schopenhauer, who had based all morality on compassion. Nietzsche, on the contrary, praised "... virtue free of moralic acid."
Nietzsche went on to say that mankind, out of fear, has bred a weak, sick type of human. He blamed Christianity for demonizing strong, higher humans. Pascal, he claimed, was an intellectually strong man who was depraved by Christianity's teaching of original sin.
Mankind, according to Nietzsche, is corrupt and its highest values are depraved. He asserted that "... all the values in which mankind at present summarizes its highest desiderata are decadence values."The Antichrist, § 6 Mankind is depraved because it has lost its instincts and prefers what is harmful to it. "I consider life itself instinct for growth, for durability, for accumulation of forces, for power: where the will to power is lacking there is decline." Depravity results because "... nihilistic'' values dominate under the holiest names."