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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Can anyone seriously dislike pious people who are simply holding fast to their beliefs?  On the contrary do we not regard them with silent respect and pleasure whilst deeply regretting at the same time that these excellent people do not share our own feelings?  Yet whence arises that sudden profound and unreasonable dislike for the man who having at one time possessed freedom of spirit finally becomes a "believer"?  In thinking of him we feel that we have witnessed some distasteful spectacle which we must quickly forget.  Should we not turn our backs upon even the most respected persons if we had the least suspicion that this might be the case?  Not simply from a moral point of view but out of sudden disgust and horror!  Why do we feel so strongly on this point?  Perhaps we can infer that fundamentally we are not quite certain of ourselves?  Or that early in life we build round ourselves barriers of the most pointed contempt in order that when old age makes us weak and forgetful we will not feel inclined to climb out over our own contempt?  This suspicion is quite frankly mistaken and whoever forms it knows nothing of what motivates and determines the free spirit: how little to him does the changing of an opinion seem contemptible per se!  On the contrary how highly he prizes the capacity to change an opinion as a rare and valuable distinction especially if he can retain it far into old age!  And his pride (not his pusillanimity) even reaches so high as to be able to pluck the fruits of the spernere se sperni and the spernere se ipsum: without his being troubled by the fear experienced by the vain and complacent!  Furthermore the theory of the innocence of all opinions appears to him to be as certain as the theory of the innocence of all actions: how could he act as judge and hangman before the apostate of spiritual freedom!  On the contrary the sight of such a person would disgust him as much as the sight of a nauseating illness disgusts the physician: the same physical repulsion caused by everything bloated mollified and suppurating which momentarily overcomes reason and will to help.  Hence our goodwill is overcome by the idea of the monstrous dishonesty which must have gained the upper hand in this apostate: by the concept of a general corruption which is eating its way down to the very bone.  
 

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