The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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at the boyish age of thirteen the problem of the
origin of Evil already haunted me: at an age "when games and God divide
one's heart," I devoted to that problem my first childish attempt
at the literary game, my first philosophic essay--and as regards my
infantile solution of the problem, well, I gave quite properly the
honour to God, and made him the _father_ of evil. Did my own "_â
priori_" demand that precise solution from me? that new, immoral, or
at least "amoral" "_â priori_" and that "categorical imperative" which
was its voice (but oh! how hostile to the Kantian article, and how
pregnant with problems!), to which since then I have given more and
more attention, and indeed what is more than attention. Fortunately
I soon learned to separate theological from moral prejudices, and
I gave up looking for a _supernatural_ origin of evil. A certain
amount of historical and philological education, to say nothing of
an innate faculty of psychological discrimination _par excellence_
succeeded in transforming almost immediately my original problem into
the following one:--Under what conditions did Man invent for himself
those judgments of values, "Good" and "Evil"? _And what intrinsic value
do they possess in themselves?_ Have they up to the present hindered
or advanced human well-being? Are they a symptom of the distress,
impoverishment, and degeneration of Human Life? Or, conversely, is
it in them that is manifested the fulness, the strength, and the
will of Life, its courage, its self-confidence, its future? On this
point I found and hazarded in my mind the most diverse answers, I
established distinctions in periods, peoples, and castes, I became a
specialist in my problem, and from my answers grew new questions, new
investigations, new conjectures, new probabilities; until at last I had
a land of my own and a soil of my own, a whole secret world growing and
flowering, like hidden gardens of whose existence no one could have an
inkling--oh, how happy are we, we finders of knowledge, provided that
we know how to keep silent sufficiently long.


4.

My first impulse to publish some of my hypotheses concerning the origin
of morality I owe to a clear, well-written, and even precocious little
book, in which a perverse and vicious kind of moral philosophy (your
real English kind) was definitely presented to me for the first time;
and this attracted me--with that magnetic attraction, inherent in that
which is diametrically opposed and antithetical to one's own ideas.
The title of the book was _The Origin of the Moral Emotions_; its
author, Dr. Paul Rée; the year of its appearance, 1877. I may

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Text Comparison with The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

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"To become like God," "to be absorbed into the Divine Being"--these were for centuries the most ingenuous and most convincing desiderata (but that which convinces is not necessarily true on that account: it is _nothing more nor less than convincing.
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Man becomes deeper, more mistrustful, more "immoral," stronger, more self-confident--and therefore "_more natural_"; that is "progress.
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This was the most fatal form of insanity that has ever yet existed on earth:--when these little lying abortions of bigotry begin laying claim to the words "God," "last judgment," "truth," "love," "wisdom," "Holy Spirit," and thereby distinguishing themselves from the rest of the world; when such men begin to transvalue values to suit themselves, as though they were the sense, the salt, the standard, and the measure of all things; then all that one should do is this: build lunatic asylums for their incarceration.
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whole process of spiritual healing must be remodelled on a physiological basis: the "sting of conscience" as such is an obstacle in the way of recovery--as soon as possible the attempt must be made to counterbalance everything by means of new actions, so that there may be an escape from the morbidness of _self-torture.
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We observe that every care is taken to paralyse reflection and criticism in this department--look at Kant's attitude! not to speak of those who believe that it is immoral even to prosecute "research" in these matters.
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Man is an indifferent egoist: even the cleverest regards his habits as more important than his advantage.
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This valuation gets translated, according to the particular culture of these classes, into a moral or religious principle (the pre-eminence of religious or moral precepts is always a sign of low culture): it tries to justify itself in spheres whence, as far as it is concerned, the notion "value" hails.
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In the _other case_: that is to say, when _extreme clearsightedness_ is present, the genius of the _actor_ is needful as well as tremendous discipline in self-control, if victory is to be achieved.
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With this absurd doctrine of the identity of these things it succeeded _in charming_ the world: ancient philosophy could not rid itself of this doctrine.
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I have named those who were unconsciously my workers and precursors.
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