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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If, as is the case among the Indians, we regard the objective of all intellectual activity to be knowledge of human suffering and if for generation after generation this dreadful resolution is steadily adhered to, pity then acquires in the eyes of such men of hereditary pessimism a new value as a preserver of life, something that helps to make existence endurable although it may seem worthy of being rejected with horror and disgust.  Pity becomes an antidote to suicide, a sentiment which brings pleasure with it and enables us to taste superiority in small doses.  It gives some diversion to our minds, makes our hearts full, banishes fear and lethargy and incites us to speak, to complain or to act: it is a relative happiness when compared with the misery of the knowledge that confines us to a bleak space, bewilders us and takes away our breath.  Happiness however, no matter of what nature it may be gives us air and light and freedom of movement.  
 

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