tree as it ought to be."
Ethics: or the "philosophy of desirability."--"Things _ought_ to be
otherwise," "things _ought_ to become different": dissatisfaction
would thus seem the heart of ethics.
One could find a way out of it, first, by selecting only those states
in which one is free from emotion; secondly, by grasping the insolence
and stupidity of the attitude of mind: for to desire that something
should be otherwise than it is, means to desire that _everything_
should be different--it involves a damaging criticism of the whole.
_But life itself consists in such desiring!_
To ascertain _what exists, how it exists_ seems an ever so much higher
and more serious matter than every "thus should it be," because the
latter, as a piece of human criticism and arrogance, appears to be
condemned as ludicrous from the start. It expresses a need which would
fain have the organisation of the world correspond with our human
well-being, and which directs the will as much as possible towards the
accomplishment of that relationship.
On the other hand, this desire, "thus it ought to be," has only called
forth that other desire, "_what exists?_" The desire of knowing what
exists, is already a consequence of the question, "how? is it possible?
Why precisely so?" Our wonder at the disagreement between our desires
and the course of the world has led to our learning to know the
course of the world. Perhaps the matter stands differently: maybe the
expression, "thus it ought to be," is merely the utterance of our
desire to overcome the world----
To-day when every attempt at determining how man should be--is
received with some irony, when we adhere to the notion that in spite
of all one only _becomes_ what one _is_(in spite of all--that is to
say, education, instruction, environment, accident, and disaster),
in the matter of morality we have learnt, in a very peculiar way,
how to _reverse_ the relation of cause and effect. Nothing perhaps
distinguishes us more than this from the ancient believers in morality.
We no longer say, for instance, "Vice is the cause of a man's
physical ruin," and we no longer say, "A man prospers with virtue
because it brings a long life and happiness." Our minds to-day are
much more inclined to the belief that vice and virtue are not causes
but only _effects._ A man becomes a respectable member of society
because he _was_ a respectable man from the start--that is to say,
because he was born in possession of good instincts and prosperous
propensities.... Should a man enter the world poor, and the son of
parents who are neither economical
To do this he appeals both to the animal world and to human society, with its subdivisions, religion, art, morality, politics, etc.Page 7
He was conscious of the mildness, the refinements, the intellectual joys of the civilised state; he despised obtuseness, even in the form of virtue, and the lack of delicacy even in ascetics and monks.Page 54
The self-deception of the masses on this point, in every democracy for instance, is of the greatest possible value: all that makes men smaller and more amenable is pursued under the title "progress.Page 65
It is therefore _not_ a national religion, _not_ determined by race: it appeals to the disinherited everywhere; it consists of a foundation of resentment against all that is successful and dominant: it is in need of a symbol which represents the damnation of everything successful and dominant.Page 88
The development of _Caritas.Page 90
We enjoy things in a different way; we suffer in a different way: our instinctive activity is the comparison of an enormous variety of things.Page 92
" A life of this sort lacks a purpose: it _strives after_ nothing;--a form of the "Epicurean gods"--there is no longer any reason to aim at anything,--not even at having children:--everything has been done.Page 105
"Self-preservation": the Darwinian prospect of a reconciliation of the altruistic.Page 111
_My desire_ is to show the absolute homogeneity of all phenomena, and to ascribe to moral differentiations but the value of _perspective_; to show that all that which is praised as moral is essentially the same as that which is immoral, and was only made possible, according to the law of all moral development--that is to say, by means of immoral artifices and with a view to immoral ends--just as all that which has been decried as immoral is, from the standpoint of economics, both superior and essential; and how development leading to a greater abundance of life necessarily Involves _progress_ in the realm _of immorality_.Page 129
to be considered at all, were never such donkeys of virtue: their inmost instinct, that which determined their quantum of power, did not find its reckoning thus: whereas with your minimum amount of power nothing can seem more full of wisdom to you than virtue.Page 149
When the Socialist, with righteous indignation, cries for "justice," "rights," "equal rights," it only shows that he is oppressed by his inadequate culture, and is unable to understand why he suffers: he also finds pleasure in crying;--if he were more at ease he would take jolly good care not to cry in that way: in that case he would seek his pleasure elsewhere.Page 165
Even in Plato's predecessors, moral interpretations play a most important rÃ´le (Anaximander declares that all things are made to perish as a punishment for their departure from pure being; Heraclitus thinks that the regularity of phenomena is a proof of the morally correct character of.Page 170
_Thesis_: The appearance of moralists belongs to periods when morality is declining.Page 176
The highest rationalism is a state of cool clearness, which is very far from being able to bring about that feeling of power which every kind of _exaltation_ involves.Page 181
What is the meaning of the "will to truth," for instance in the Goncourts? and in the _naturalists_?--A criticism of "objectivity.Page 188
What still remained to be done was left to persecution, to passion, and the uncertainty of the persecuted--hatred waxed great, and the first impulse began to die away and to leave the field entirely to science.