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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The passions become evil and malicious if they are regarded with evil and malicious eyes.  It is in this way that Christianity has succeeded in transforming Eros and Aphrodite—great powers capable of idealisation—into hellish monsters and phantoms by means of the pangs of conscience which have been associated with sexual impulse in the minds of believers.  Is it not a dreadful thing to transform necessary and frequently occurring sensations into a source of inner misery and thus to make inner misery necessary and frequent in every human being!  Furthermore this misery remains secret with the result that it is all the more deeply rooted: for it is not all men who have the courage which Shakespeare shows in his sonnets of making public their Christian gloom on this point.  Must a feeling then always be called evil if we are forced to struggle against it or restrain it even banish entirely from our minds?  Is it not the habit of vulgar minds always to call an enemy evil!  And must we call Eros an enemy?  Sexual feelings—like the feelings of pity and worship—possess the particular characteristic that in their case one being pleases another by the pleasure it enjoys—and it is but rarely that we meet with such a benevolent arrangement in nature.  And yet we slander and corrupt this by our bad conscience!  We connect the procreation of man with a bad conscience!  Yet the outcome of this demonization of Eros is a mere farce: the "demon" Eros becomes an object of greater interest to mankind than all the angels and saints put together thanks to the mysterious treatment of the Church in all things erotic: it is thanks to the Church that love stories even in our own time have become the one common interest which appeals to all classes of people—with an exaggeration which would be incomprehensible to antiquity and which will not fail to provoke roars of laughter for generations to come.  All our poetising and thinking from the highest to the lowest is characterised—more than characterised—by the exaggerated importance bestowed upon the love story.  Posterity may perhaps on this account come to the conclusion that the entire legacy of Christian culture is tainted with narrow-minded crazy ideas.  
 

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