So far as the materialistic atomism is concerned, it belongs with the most effectively refuted things we have, and perhaps nowadays in Europe no scholar remains so unscholarly that he still ascribes a serious meaning to it other than for convenient hand-and-household use (that is, as an abbreviated way of expressing oneself) - thanks primarily to that Pole Boscovich, who, together with the Pole Copernicus, has so far been the greatest and most victorious opponent of appearances. For while Copernicus convinced us to believe, contrary to all our senses, that the earth did not stand still, Boscovich taught us to renounce the belief in the final thing which made the earth "stand firm,"the belief in "stuff," in "material," in what was left of the earth, in atomic particles. It was the greatest triumph over the senses which has ever been achieved on earth so far.11 But we must go even further and also declare war, a relentless war to the bitter end, against the "atomistic need," which still carries on a dangerous afterlife in places where no one suspects, like that celebrated "metaphysical need."- We must at the start also get rid of that other and more disastrous atomism, which Christianity has taught best and longest, the atomism of the soul. With this phrase let me be permitted to designate the belief which assumes that the soul is something indestructible, eternal, indivisible - like a monad, like an atomon . We should rid scientific knowledge of this belief! Just between us, it is not at all necessary to get rid of "the soul" itself and to renounce one of the oldest and most venerable hypotheses, as habitually happens with the clumsiness of the naturalists, who hardly touch upon "the soul" without losing it. But the way to new versions and refinements of the hypothesis of the soul stands open: and ideas like "mortal soul"' and "soul as the multiplicity of the subject" and "soul as the social structure of drives and affects" from now on want to have civil rights in scientific knowledge. While the new psychologist is preparing an end to superstition, which so far has flourished with an almost tropical lushness in the way the soul has been imagined, at the same time he has naturally pushed himself, as it were, into a new desert and a new mistrust - it may be the case that the older psychologists had a more comfortable and happier time -; finally, however, he knows that in that very process he himself is condemned also to invent , and - who knows?- perhaps to discover .

11. . . . Boscovich : Roger Boscovich (1711-1787), a Jesuit philosopher and an important scientific thinker, denied material substance to atoms. His ethnic identity is contested. Copernicus: Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Polish monk and astronomer, offered a scientific theory for a sun-centred solar system.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part I - Aphorism # 12

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