What Nietzsche Taught

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Popular medicines and popular morals are closely related, and should not be considered and valued, as is still customary, in so different a way: both are most dangerous and make-believe sciences. 19

All those superior men, who felt themselves irresistibly urged on to throw off the yoke of some morality or other, had no other resource—if they were not really mad—than to feign madness, or actually to become insane.[Pg 97] And this holds good for innovators in every department of life, and not only in religion and politics. 21

Every one who has hitherto overthrown a law of established morality has always at first been considered as a wicked man: but when it was afterwards found impossible to re-establish the law, and people gradually became accustomed to the change, the epithet was changed by slow degrees. History deals almost exclusively with these wicked men, who later on came to be recognised as good men. 28

A man who is under the influence of the morality of custom comes to despise causes first of all, secondly consequences, and thirdly reality, and weaves all his higher feelings (reverence, sublimity, pride, gratitude, love) into an imaginary world: the so-called higher world. And even to-day we can see the consequences of this: wherever, and in whatever fashion, man's feelings are raised, that imaginary world is in evidence. 40

The history of the moral feelings is entirely different from the history of moral conceptions. The first-mentioned are powerful before the action, and the latter especially after it, in view of the necessity for making one's self clear in regard to them. 41

Trusting in our feelings simply means obeying our grandfather and grandmother more than the gods within ourselves: our reason and experience. 41

The same impulse, under the impression of the blame cast upon it by custom, develops into the painful feeling of cowardice, or else the pleasurable feeling of humility, in case a morality, like that of Christianity, has taken it to its heart and called it good. 43

The origin becomes of less significance in proportion as we acquire insight into it; whilst things nearest to[Pg 98] ourselves, around and within us, gradually begin to manifest their wealth of colours, beauties, enigmas, and diversity of meaning, of which earlier humanity never dreamed. 52

Only when man shall have acquired a knowledge of all things will he be able to know himself. For things are but the boundaries of man. 53

To whatever height mankind may have developed—and perhaps in the end it will not be so high as when they began!—there is as little prospect of their attaining to a higher order as there is for the ant and the earwig to enter into kinship with God and eternity at the end of their career on earth. What is to come will drag behind it that which has passed: why should any little star, or even any little species on that star, form an exception to that eternal drama? Away with such sentimentalities! 54

Those earnest, able, and just men of profound feelings, who are still Christians at heart, owe it to themselves to make one attempt to live for a certain space of time without Christianity! They owe it to their faith that they should thus for once take up their abode "in the wilderness"—if for no other reason than that of being able to pronounce on the question as to whether Christianity is needful. 63

Christianity has the instinct of a hunter for finding out all those who may by hook or by crook be driven to despair—only a very small number of men can be brought to this despair. Christianity lies in wait for such as those, and pursues them. 65

The "demon" Eros becomes an object of greater interest to mankind than all the angels and saints put together, thanks to the mysterious Mumbo-Jumboism of the Church in all things erotic: it is due to the Church that[Pg 99] love stories, even in our own time, have become the one common interest which appeals to all classes of people—with an exaggeration which would be incomprehensible to antiquity, and which will not fail to provoke roars of laughter in coming generations. 78

It is only those who never—or always—attend church that underestimate the dishonesty with which this subject is still dealt in Protestant pulpits; in what a clumsy fashion the preacher takes advantage of his security from interruption; how the Bible is pinched and squeezed; and how the people are made acquainted with every form of the art of false reading.85

Christianity wants blindness and frenzy and an eternal swan-song above the waves under which reason has been drowned!... 90

What if God were not exactly truth, and if this were proved? And if he were instead of vanity, the desire for power, the ambitious, the fear, and the enraptured and terrified folly of mankind?... 93

One Becomes Moral—but not because one is moral! Submission to morals may be due to slavishness or vanity, egoism or resignation, dismal fanaticism or thoughtlessness. It may, again, be an act of despair, such as submission to the authority of a ruler; but there is nothing moral about it per se. 97

Morals are constantly undergoing changes and transformations, occasioned by successful crimes. 97

I deny morality in the same way as I deny alchemy, i.e., I deny its hypotheses; but I do not deny that there have been alchemists who believed in these hypotheses and based their actions upon them. I also deny immorality—not that innumerable people feel immoral, but that there is any true reason why they should feel so,[Pg 100] should not, of course, deny—unless I were a fool—that many actions which are called immoral should be avoided and resisted; and in the same way that many which are called moral should be performed and encouraged; but I hold that in both cases these actions should be performed from motives other than those which have prevailed up to the present time. We must learn anew in order that at last, perhaps very late in the day, we may be able to do something more: feel anew. 100

It is a prejudice to think that morality is more favourable to the development of the reason than immorality. It is erroneous to suppose that the unconscious aim in the development of every conscious being (namely, animal, man, humanity, etc.) is its "great happiness"; on the contrary, there is a particular and incomparable happiness to be attained at every stage of our development, one that is neither high nor low, but quite an individual happiness. Evolution does not make happiness its goal; it aims merely at evolution, and nothing else. It is only if humanity had a universally recognised goal that we could propose to do this or that: for the time being there is no such goal. It follows that the pretensions of morality should not be brought into any relationship with mankind: this would be merely childish and irrational. It is quite another thing to recommend a goal to mankind: this goal would then be something that would depend upon our own will and pleasure. Provided that mankind in general agreed to adopt such a goal, it could then impose a moral law upon itself, a law which would, at all events, be imposed by their own free will. 105

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