Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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Pity in so far as it actually causes suffering—and this must be our only point of view here-is a weakness like every other lessening of oneself due to a harmful effect.  It increases the amount of suffering in the world and although here and there a certain amount of suffering may be indirectly reduced or removed altogether as a consequence of pity we must not use these occasional and on the whole insignificant consequence to justify the nature of pity which is harmful.  Supposing that it was dominant for one day - it would bring humanity to utter ruin.  In itself the nature of pity is no better than that of any other drive; it is only where it is called for and praised—and this happens when people do not understand what is injurious in it but find in it a sort of joy—that a good conscience becomes attached to it; it is only then that we willingly yield to it and do not hesitate to apply it.  In other circumstances where it is understood to be dangerous it is looked upon as a weakness; or as in the case of the Greeks as an unhealthy emotion that regularly occurs, the danger of which might be removed by regular conscious discharges.  If a man were to undertake the experiment of deliberately seeking all opportunities in life for the exercise of pity and were then to fill his soul with all the misery that he met he would inevitably become melancholy and ill.  If however one wishes to serve humanity in the sense of a Physician he would have to avoid such feeling as otherwise it would paralyse him at critical moments, undermine the foundations of his knowledge and unnerve his helpful and subtle hand.  

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