Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 52

action now best illustrates
the present idea of morality, as utility for the mass? To make a
whole _personality_ out of ourselves, and in all that we do to keep
that personality's _highest good_ in view, carries us further than
those sympathetic emotions and actions for the benefit of others. We
all still suffer, certainly, from the too small consideration of the
personal in us; it is badly developed,--let us admit it; rather has
our mind been forcibly drawn away from it and offered as a sacrifice
to the State, to science, or to those who stand in need of help, as if
it were the bad part which must be sacrificed. We are still willing to
work for our fellow-men, but only so far as we find our own greatest
advantage in this work, no more and no less. It is only a question of
what we understand as _our advantage;_ the unripe, undeveloped, crude
individual will understand it in the crudest way.


CUSTOM AND MORALITY.--To be moral, correct, and virtuous is to be
obedient to an old-established law and custom. Whether we submit
with difficulty or willingly is immaterial, enough that we do so. He
is called "good" who, as if naturally, after long precedent, easily
and willingly, therefore, does what is right, according to whatever
this may be (as, for instance, taking revenge, if to take revenge be
considered as right, as amongst the ancient Greeks). He is called
good because he is good "for something"; but as goodwill, pity,
consideration, moderation, and such like, have come, with the change
in manners, to be looked upon as "good for something," as useful, the
good-natured and helpful have, later on, come to be distinguished
specially as "good." (In the beginning other and more important kinds
of usefulness stood in the foreground.) To be evil is to be "not
moral" (immoral), to be immoral is to be in opposition to tradition,
however sensible or stupid it may be; injury to the community (the
"neighbour" being understood thereby) has, however, been looked upon
by the social laws of all different ages as being eminently the actual
"immorality," so that now at the word "evil" we immediately think of
voluntary injury to one's neighbour. The fundamental antithesis which
has taught man the distinction between moral and immoral, between good
and evil, is not the "egoistic" and "un-egoistic," but the being bound
to the tradition, law, and solution thereof. How the tradition has
_arisen_ is immaterial, at all events without regard to good and evil
or any immanent categorical imperative, but above all for the purpose
of preserving a _community,_

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