Mortal souls.  So far as the promotion of knowledge is concerned, mankind's most useful achievement is perhaps the abandonment of its belief in an immortal soul. Now mankind can wait, now it no longer needs to rush precipitately forward or gulp down ideas only half-tasted, as it formerly had to do. For in the past the salvation of the 'eternal soul' depended on knowledge acquired during a brief lifetime, men had to come to a decision overnight  'knowledge' possessed a frightful importance. We have reconquered our courage for error, for experimentation, for accepting provisionally  none of it is so very important! and it is for precisely this reason that individuals and generations can now fix their eyes on tasks of a vastness that would to earlier ages have seemed madness and a trifling with Heaven and Hell. We may experiment with ourselves! Yes, mankind now has a right to do that! The greatest sacrifices have not yet been offered to knowledge  indeed, merely to have an inkling of such ideas as nowadays determine our actions would in earlier times have been blasphemy and the loss of one's eternal salvation.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Daybreak
Book V - Aphorism # 501

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