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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Those unfortunate occurrences which take place at times in the community such as sudden storms bad harvests or plagues lead members of the community to suspect that offences against custom have been committed or that new customs must be invented to appease a new demonic power and caprice.  Suspicion and reasoning of this kind however evade an inquiry into the real and natural causes and take the demoniac cause for granted.  This is one source of the hereditary perversion of the human intellect; and the other one follows in its train for proceeding on the same principle people paid much less attention to the real and natural consequences of an action than to the supernatural consequences (the so-called punishments and mercies of the Divinity).  It is commanded for instance that certain ablutions are to be taken at certain times: and the washing is made not for the sake of cleanliness but because the command has been made.  We are not taught to avoid the real consequences of dirt but merely the supposed displeasure of the gods when an ablution has been neglected.  Under the pressure of superstitious fear people began to suspect that these ablutions were of much greater importance than they seemed; they ascribed inner and supplementary meanings to them gradually lost their sense of and pleasure in reality and finally reality is considered as valuable only to the extent that it is a symbol.  Hence a man who is under the influence of the morality of custom comes to despise causes first of all secondly consequences and thirdly reality and weaves all his higher feelings (reverence sublimity pride gratitude love) into an imaginary world: the so-called higher world.  And even today we can see the consequences of this: wherever and in whatever fashion man's feelings are exalted that imaginary world is in evidence.  It is sad to have to say it; but for the time being all higher sentiments must be looked upon with suspicion by the man of science to so great an extent are they intermingled with illusion and extravagance.  Not that they need necessarily be suspected per se and forever; but there is no doubt that of all the gradual purifications which await humanity the purification of the higher feelings will be one of the slowest.  
 

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