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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Numerous moral precepts carelessly drawn from a singular unique event quickly became incomprehensible; the underlying intention was as difficult to deduce as was the nature of the punishment which was to follow the breaking of the rule.  Doubts were even held regarding the performance of the ceremonial; but as people speculated about such matters the object of their investigations increased in importance and this led to the most absurd part of an observance being developed into a holy of holies.  Let us not think too little of the energy wasted by man in this regard throughout thousands of years and least of all of the effects of such speculation upon observances!  Here we find ourselves on the wide training—ground of the intellect—not only do religions develop and continue to increase within its boundaries: but here also is the venerable though dreadful primeval world of science; here first grew the poet the thinker the physician the lawgiver.  The dread of the incomprehensible which in an ambiguous fashion demanded ceremonies from us gradually assumed the charm of the intricate and where man could not explain he learnt to create.  
 

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