Nietzsche ponderingThe perspectives of Nietzsche

Values and Morals

Nevertheless. -- however credit and debit balances may stand: at its present state as a specific individual science the awakening of moral observation has become necessary, and mankind can no longer be spared the cruel sight of the moral dissecting table and its knives and forceps... the older philosophy... has, with paltry evasions, always avoided investigation of the origin and history of the moral sensations. With what consequences is now very clearly apparent, since it has been demonstrated in many instances how the errors of the greatest philosophers usually have their point of departure in a false explanation of certain human actions and sensations; ...a false ethics is erected, religion and mythological monsters are then in turn called to buttress it, and the shadow of these dismal spirits in the end falls even across physics and the entire perception of the world.

from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.37, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

Morality makes stupid.-- Custom represents the experiences of men of earlier times as to what they supposed useful and harmful - but the sense for custom (morality) applies, not to these experiences as such, but to the age, the sanctity, the indiscussability of the custom. And so this feeling is a hindrance to the acquisition of new experiences and the correction of customs: that is to say, morality is a hindrance to the development of new and better customs: it makes stupid.

from Nietzsche's Daybreak,s. 19, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

Whoever has overthrown an existing law of custom has always first been accounted a bad man: but when, as did happen, the law could not afterwards be reinstated and this fact was accepted, the predicate gradually changed; - history treats almost exclusively of these bad men who subsequently became good men!

from Nietzsche's Daybreak,s. 20, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

What is new, however, is always evil, being that which wants to conquer and overthrow the old boundary markers and the old pieties; and only what is old is good. The good men are in all ages those who dig the old thoughts, digging deep and getting them to bear fruit - the farmers of the spirit. But eventually all land is depleted, and the ploughshare of evil must come again and again.

from Nietzsche's The Gay Science, s. 4, Walter Kaufmann transl.

Suspicious.-- To admit a belief merely because it is a custom - but that means to be dishonest, cowardly, lazy! - And so could dishonesty, cowardice and laziness be the preconditions for morality?

from Nietzsche's Daybreak,s. 101, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

... hitherto we have been permitted to seek beauty only in the morally good - a fact which sufficiently accounts for our having found so little of it and having had to seek about for imaginary beauties without backbone! - As surely as the wicked enjoy a hundred kinds of happiness of which the virtuous have no inkling, so too they possess a hundred kinds of beauty; and many of them have not yet been discovered.

from Nietzsche's Daybreak, s. 468, R.J. Hollingdale transl

It is, indeed, a fact that, in the midst of society and sociability every evil inclination has to place itself under such great restraint, don so many masks, lay itself so often on the procrustean bed of virtue, that one could well speak of a martyrdom of the evil man. In solitude all this falls away. He who is evil is at his most evil in solitude: which is where he is at his best - and thus to the eye of him who sees everywhere only a spectacle also at his most beautiful.

from Nietzsche's Daybreak, s. 499, R.J. Hollingdale transl

Where the good begins.-- Where the poor power of the eye can no longer see the evil impulse as such because it has become too subtle, man posits the realm of goodness; and the feeling that we have now entered the realm of goodness excites all those impulses which had been threatened and limited by the evil impulses, like the feeling of security, of comfort, of benevolence. Hence, the duller the eye, the more extensive the good. Hence the eternal cheerfulness of the common people and of children. Hence the gloominess and grief - akin to a bad conscience - of the great thinkers.

from Nietzsche's The Gay Science, s. 53, Walter Kaufmann transl.