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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What is the cause within us of a cheerful readiness for action?  Such is the question which has greatly occupied the attention of men.  The most ancient answer and one which we still hear is: God is the cause; in this way He gives us to understand that He approves of our actions.  When in former ages people consulted the oracles they did so that they might return home strengthened by this cheerful readiness; and everyone answered the doubts which came to him if alternative actions suggested themselves by saying: "I shall do whatever brings about that feeling.  " They did not decide in other words for what was most reasonable but upon some plan the concept of which imbued the soul with courage and hope.  A cheerful outlook was placed in the scales as an argument and proved to be heavier than reasonableness; for the state of mind was interpreted in a superstitious manner as the action of a god who promises success; and who by this argument lets his reason speak as the highest reasonableness.  Now let the consequences of such a prejudice be considered when shrewd men thirsting for power availed themselves of it and still do so!  "Bring about the right state of mind"!  In this way you can do without all arguments and overcome every objection!  

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