Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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"MAN ALWAYS ACTS RIGHTLY”.  We do not complain of nature as immoral because it sends a thunderstorm and makes us wet, why do we call those who injure us immoral?  Because in the latter case we take for granted a free will functioning voluntarily; in the former we see necessity.  But this distinction is an error.  Thus we do not call even intentional injury immoral in all circumstances; for instance, we kill a fly unhesitatingly and intentionally, only because it’s buzzing annoys us; we punish a criminal intentionally and hurt him in order to protect ourselves and society.  In the first case it is the individual who, in order to preserve himself, or even to protect himself from worry, does intentional injury; in the second case it is the State.  All morals allow intentional injury in the case of necessity, that is, when it is a matter of self preservation!  But these two points of view suffice to explain all evil actions committed by men against men, we are desirous of obtaining pleasure or avoiding pain; in any case it is always a question of self preservation.  Socrates and Plato are right: whatever man does he always does well, that is, he does that which seems to him good (useful) according to the degree of his intellect, the particular standard of his reasonableness.  
 

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