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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To whatever degree of progress Europe may have attained in other respects where religious affairs are concerned it has not yet reached the liberal naiveté of the ancient Brahmins which proves that in India four thousand years ago people meditated more profoundly and passed down to their descendants more pleasure in thinking than is the case in our own days.  For those Brahmins believed in the first place that the priests were more powerful than the gods and in the second place that it was observances which constituted the power of the priests: as a result of which their poets were never tired of glorifying those observances (prayers, ceremonies, sacrifices, hymns, verses) as the real source of all benefits.  Although a certain amount of superstition and poetry is mingled therein these propositions are true!  A step further and the gods were cast aside—which Europe likewise will have to do before very long!  One more step further and priests and intermediaries could also be dispensed with—and then Buddha the teacher of the religion of self-redemption appeared.  How far Europe is still removed from this degree of culture!  When at length all the customs and observances upon which rests the power of gods priests and saviours shall have been destroyed when as a consequence morality in the old sense will be dead then there will come.  indeed, what will come then?  Yet let us refrain from mere speculation; let us rather make certain that Europe will surpass what was achieved in India amidst this people of thinkers thousands of years ago as a commandment of reason!  Scattered among the different nations of Europe there are now from ten to twenty million people who no longer "believe in God"—is it too much to ask that they should give each other a sign?  As soon as they recognise each other in this way they will also make themselves known to each other; and they will immediately become a power in Europe and happily a power among the nations!  Among the classes!  Between rich and poor!  Between those who command and those who obey!  Between the most restless and the most peaceful peace loving people!  
 

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