On the genealogy of morals second essay

Only something which never ceases to cause pain stays in the memory"—that is a leading principle of the most ancient and unfortunately the most recent psychology on earth.

On the genealogy of morals second essay

If back then there was some criticism of the act, such criticism came from prudence: without question we must seek the essential effect of punishment above all in an increase of prudence, in a extension of memory, in a will to go to work from now on more carefully, mistrustfully, and secretly, with the awareness that we are in many things too weak, in a kind of improved ability to judge ourselves. We Germans do certainly not regard ourselves as an especially cruel and hard-hearted nation, still less as an especially casual and happy-go-lucky one; but one has only to look at our old penal ordinances in order to realise what a lot of trouble it takes in the world to evolve a "nation of thinkers" I mean: the European nation which exhibits at this very day the maximum of reliability, seriousness, bad taste, and positiveness, which has on the strength of these qualities a right to train every kind of European mandarin. Nowadays, when suffering is always trotted out as the first argument against existence, as its most sinister query, it is well to remember the times when men judged on converse principles because they could not dispense with the infliction of suffering, and saw therein a magic of the first order, a veritable bait of seduction to life. The compensation thus consist of a permission for and right to cruelty. Genealogy of Morals Summary Having dismissed punishment as the origin of bad conscience, Nietzsche offers his own hypothesis: bad conscience came about with the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to permanent settlements. His conscience? Punishment is supposed to have the value of exciting in the guilty the consciousness of guilt; in punishment is sought the proper instrumentum of that psychic reaction which becomes known as a "bad conscience," "remorse. All of existence, Nietzsche asserts, is a struggle between different wills for the feeling of power. It was in just this spirit and no other, that at a later date the moral philosophers of Greece conceived the eyes of God as still looking down on the moral struggle, the heroism, and the self-torture of the virtuous; the Heracles of duty was on a stage, and was conscious of the fact; virtue without witnesses was something quite unthinkable for this nation of actors. Justice in this initial phase is the goodwill among people of about equal power to come to terms with each other, to come to an understanding again by means of a settlement, and with regard to the less powerful, to compel them to agree among themselves to a settlement.

Where did this primitive, deeply rooted, and perhaps by now ineradicable idea derive its power, the idea of an equivalence between punishment and pain? As the tribe became increasingly powerful, there was an increasing debt that had to be paid to these revered ancestors.

Essay on nietzsche

How do the previous genealogists of morality deal with this problem? Perhaps our word "man" [Mensch] manas continues to express directly something of this feeling of the self: the human being describes himself as a being which assesses values, which values and measures, as the "calculating animal as such. But have a look at our old penal code in order to understand how much trouble it took on this earth to breed a "People of Thinkers" by that I mean the peoples of Europe, among whom today we still find a maximum of trust, seriousness, tastelessness, and practicality, and who with these characteristics have a right to breed all sorts of European mandarins. All this is excessively interesting, but at the same time tainted with a black, gloomy, enervating melancholy, so that a forcible veto must be invoked against looking too long into these abysses. This allows him to know what promises he can make and keep. Next, Nietzsche traces the development of the bad conscience beginning with the sense of indebtedness early tribe members must have felt toward the founders of the tribe. I have intentionally shelved up to the present the actual moralisation of these ideas their being pushed back into the conscience, or more precisely the interweaving of the bad conscience with the idea of God , and at the end of the last paragraph used language to the effect that this moralisation did not exist, and that consequently these ideas had necessarily come to an end, by reason of what had happened to their hypothesis, the credence in our "creditor," in God. Indeed, it seems to me already to have attained mastery over all of physiology and the understanding of life, to their detriment, as is obvious, because it has conjured away from them their fundamental concept—that of real activity. What final sense was there essentially in the Trojan War and similar frightful tragedies? There can be no doubt: first of all against the "debtor," in whom from this point on bad conscience, firmly set in him, eating into him and spreading out like a polyp, grows wide and deep, until finally, with the impossibility of discharging the debt, people think up the idea of the impossibility of removing the penance, the idea that the debt cannot be paid off "eternal punishment". On his way to becoming an "angel" not to use a harsher word here , man developed an upset stomach and a furry tongue which made him not only fight against the joy and innocence of the animal but even lose his taste for life, so that now and then he stands there, holds his nose, and with Pope Innocent III disapproves of himself and makes a catalogue of his nastiness "conceived in filth, disgustingly nourished in his mother's body, developed out of evil material stuff, stinking horribly, discharging spit, urine, and excrement". Thus, as a matter of fact, at all times the aggressive human being—the stronger, braver, more noble man—has always had on his side a better conscience as well as a more independent eye.

In Beyond Good and Evil, p. I used the word "State"; my meaning is self-evident, namely, a herd of blonde beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and masters, which with all its war-like organisation and all its organising power pounces with its terrible claws on a population, in numbers possibly tremendously superior, but as yet formless, as yet nomad.

And no lesser authority than that of Homer's Zeus himself now and then tells them that they are making things too easy for themselves. How much blood and cruelty is the foundation of all "good things"!

We have not yet found a civilization at such a low level that something of this relationship is not already perceptible. The arrival of the Christian God as the foremost figure of godliness is a reflection of the maximum sense of guilt.

nietzsche bad conscience

What, do you think, was the mood with which Homer makes his gods look down upon the fates of men? The person who can make and keep promises is the sovereign individual. Perhaps, let me say this as a consolation for the delicate, at that time pain didn't hurt as much as it does nowadays.

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Nietzsche: Genealogy of Morals: Second Essay