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Nietzsche - Thus spake Zarathustra - When I came unto men, I found them resting on an old infatuation



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A description of the experience

Thus spake Zarathustra - Nietzsche

When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for men.
An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spake of  ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ere retiring to rest.
This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet knoweth what is good and bad – unless it be the creating one!
It is he, however, who createth man’s goal, and giveth to the earth its meaning and its future; he only effecteth it that aught is good or bad.
And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old infatuation had sat, I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their saints, their poets, and their Saviours.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche– On the Genealogy of Morals

The value of these ‘values’ is accepted as a given, as fact, as beyond all question.
Previously, no one has expressed even the remotest doubt or shown the slightest hesitation in assuming the ‘good’ man to be of greater worth than the ‘evil’ man, of greater worth in the sense of his usefulness in promoting the progress of human existence – including the future of man.
And if the opposite were the case?
What if there existed a symptom of regression in the good man, likewise a danger, a temptation, a poison, a narcotic, by means of which the present were living at the expense of the future?  Perhaps more comfortably and less dangerously, but also in less grand style, in a humbler manner?  So that none other than morality itself would be the culprit, if the highest power and splendour of the human type, in itself a possibility, were never to be reached?
So that morality would constitute the danger of dangers

The source of the experience

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm

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