Since fresh examples and proofs could always be found of the alleged relation between guilt and punishment: if you behave in such and such a way, it will go badly with you. Now, as it generally does go badly, the allegation was constantly confirmed; and thus popular morality, a pseudo- science on a level with popular medicine, continually gained ground.
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It appears to [Nietzsche] that the modern age has produced for imitation three types of man ... First, Rousseau's man, the Titan who raises himself ... and in his need calls upon holy nature. Then Goethe's man ... a spectator of the world ... [Third] Schopenhauer's man ... voluntarily takes upon himself the pain of telling the truth.
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What has here happened is that the instinct of cruelty, which has turned inwards, has become self-torture, and all man's animal instincts have been reinterpreted as guilt towards God. Every Nay man utters to his nature, to his real being, he flings out as a Yea, an affirmation of reality applied to God's sanctity
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Under the dominion of the priests our earth became the ascetic planet; a squalid den careering through space, peopled by discontented and arrogant creatures, who were disgusted with life, abhorred their globe as a vale of tears, and who in their envy and hatred of beauty and joy did themselves as much harm as possible.
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What [Nietzsche] calls slave morality is to him purely spite-morality; and this spite-morality gave new names to all ideals. Thus impotence, which offers no reprisal, became goodness; craven baseness became humility; submission to him who was feared became obedience; inability to assert one's self became reluctance to assert one's self, became forgiveness, love of one's enemies. Misery became a distinction
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[Nietzsche inveighs] against every sort of historical optimism; but he energetically repudiates the ordinary pessimism, which is the result of degenerate or enfeebled instincts of decadence. He preaches with youthful enthusiasm the triumph of a tragic culture, introduced by an intrepid rising generation, in which the spirit of ancient Greece might be born again. He rejects the pessimism of Schopenhauer, for he already abhors all renunciation; but he seeks a pessimism of healthiness, one derived from strength, from exuberant power, and he believes he has found it in the Greeks.
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History, in [Nietzsche's] view, belongs to him who is fighting a great fight, and who needs examples, teachers and comforters, but cannot find them among his contemporaries. Without history the mountain chain of great men's great moments, which runs through millennia, could not stand clearly and vividly before me.
But what of the voice and judgment of conscience? The difficulty is that we have a conscience behind our conscience, an intellectual one behind the moral. ... We can see quite well that our opinions of what is noble and good, our moral valuations, are powerful levers where action is concerned; but we must begin by refining these opinions and independently creating for ourselves new tables of values.
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The historian is looked upon as objective when he measures the past by the popular opinions of his own time, as subjective when he does not take these opinions for models. That man is thought best fitted to depict a period of the past, who is not in the least affected by that period. But only he who has a share in building up the future can grasp what the past has been, and only when transformed into a work of art can history arouse or even sustain instincts.
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Forgetfulness, the unhistorical, is ... the atmosphere, in which alone life can come into being. In order to understand it, let us imagine a youth who is seized with a passion for a woman, or a man who is swayed by a passion for his work. In both cases what lies behind them has ceased to exist and yet this state (the most unhistorical that can be imagined) is that in which every action, every great deed is conceived and accomplished.
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