Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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credit to them! but they again made things square--they
invented printing.) But we, who are neither Jesuits, nor democrats,
nor even sufficiently Germans, we GOOD EUROPEANS, and free, VERY free
spirits--we have it still, all the distress of spirit and all the
tension of its bow! And perhaps also the arrow, the duty, and, who
knows? THE GOAL TO AIM AT....

Sils Maria Upper Engadine, JUNE, 1885.


1. The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous
enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have
hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not
laid before us! What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is
already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is
it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn
impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions
ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really
is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the
question as to the origin of this Will--until at last we came to an
absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired
about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT
RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the
value of truth presented itself before us--or was it we who presented
ourselves before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which
the Sphinx? It would seem to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of
interrogation. And could it be believed that it at last seems to us as
if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first
to discern it, get a sight of it, and RISK RAISING it? For there is risk
in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk.

2. "HOW COULD anything originate out of its opposite? For example, truth
out of error? or the Will to Truth out of the will to deception? or the
generous deed out of selfishness? or the pure sun-bright vision of the
wise man out of covetousness? Such genesis is impossible; whoever dreams
of it is a fool, nay, worse than a fool; things of the highest
value must have a different origin, an origin of THEIR own--in this
transitory, seductive, illusory, paltry world, in this turmoil of
delusion and cupidity, they cannot have their source. But rather in
the lap of Being, in the intransitory, in the concealed God, in the
'Thing-in-itself--THERE must be

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Text Comparison with Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

Page 5
If once he hardly dared to ask "why so apart? so alone? renouncing all I loved? renouncing respect itself? why this coldness, this suspicion, this hate for one's very virtues?"--now he dares, and asks it loudly, already hearing the answer, "you had to become master over yourself, master of your own good qualities.
Page 7
=--Philosophical problems, in almost all their aspects, present themselves in the same interrogative formula now that they did two thousand years ago: how can a thing develop out of its antithesis? for example, the reasonable from the non-reasonable, the animate from the inanimate, the logical from the illogical, altruism from egoism, disinterestedness from greed, truth from error? The metaphysical philosophy formerly steered itself clear of this difficulty to such extent as to repudiate the evolution of one thing from another and to assign a miraculous origin to what it deemed highest and best, due to the very nature and being of the "thing-in-itself.
Page 12
The absolute distinctness of all dream-images, due to implicit faith in their substantial reality, recalls the conditions in which earlier mankind were placed, for whom hallucinations had extraordinary vividness, entire communities and even entire nations laboring simultaneously under them.
Page 13
The position of the head induces unaccustomed action.
Page 14
As the brain inquires: whence these impressions of light and color? it posits as the inducing causes of such lights and colors, those shapes and figures.
Page 23
=--It is supposed to be a recommendation for philosophy to say of it that it provides the people with a substitute for religion.
Page 25
So also: an opinion gives happiness, therefore it is the true one, its effect is good, therefore it is itself good and true.
Page 28
34 =For Tranquility.
Page 32
This dictum, grown hard and cutting beneath the hammer-blow of historical knowledge, can some day, perhaps, in some future or other, serve as the axe that will be laid to the root of the "metaphysical necessities" of men--whether more to the blessing than to the banning of universal well being who can say?--but in any event a dictum fraught with the most momentous consequences, fruitful and fearful at once, and confronting the world in the two faced way characteristic of all great facts.
Page 41
But things we cannot accomplish ourselves, we are apt to criticise unfairly.
Page 51
Indeed we all suffer from such disparagement of our own personalities, which are at present made to deteriorate from neglect.
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The same effect is felt also at mutual sufferings, in a common danger, in stormy weather.
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="--We do not blame nature when she sends a thunder storm and makes us wet: why then do we term the man who inflicts injury immoral? Because in the latter case we assume a voluntary, ruling, free will, and in the former necessity.
Page 61
The tragedy of it all is that, although one cannot believe these dogmas of religion and metaphysics if one adopts in heart and head the potent methods of truth, one has yet become, through human evolution, so tender, susceptible, sensitive, as to stand in need of the most effective means of rest and consolation.
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exists between religion and true science neither relationship nor friendship, not even enmity: they dwell in different spheres.
Page 65
It must have been the dart of a god beneath whose invisible influence a human being suddenly collapses.
Page 67
The lower classes in China tie cords around the picture of their god in order to defy his departing favor, when he has left them in the lurch, and tear the picture to pieces, drag it through the streets into dung heaps and gutters, crying: "You dog of a spirit, we housed you in a beautiful temple, we gilded you prettily, we fed you well, we brought you offerings, and yet how ungrateful you are!" Similar displays of resentment have been made against pictures of the mother of god and pictures of saints in Catholic countries during the present century when such pictures would not do their duty during times of pestilence and drought.
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the religious feeling.
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A false conclusion lies at the bottom of all this.
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It was to their interest that this contest should always be kept up in some fashion because by means of this contest, as already stated, their empty lives gained distraction.