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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Previous Section   25. PRIVATE AND OECUMENICAL MORALITY   Next Section

PRIVATE AND OECUMENICAL MORALITY.  Since the belief has ceased that a God directs in general the fate of the world and, in spite of all apparent crookedness in the path of humanity, leads it on gloriously, men themselves must set themselves oecumenical aims embracing the whole earth.  The older morality, especially that of Kant, required from the individual actions which were desired from all men, that was a delightfully naive thing, as if each one knew off hand what course of action was beneficial to the whole of humanity, and consequently which actions in general were desirable; it is a theory like that of free trade, taking for granted that the general harmony must result of itself according to innate laws of amelioration.  Perhaps a future contemplation of the needs of humanity will show that it is by no means desirable that all men should act alike; in the interest of oecumenical aims it might rather be that for whole sections of mankind, special, and perhaps under certain circumstances even evil, tasks would have to be set.  In any case, if mankind is not to destroy itself by such a conscious universal rule, there must previou3ly be found, as a scientific standard for oecumenical aims, knowledge of the conditions of culture superior to what has hitherto been attained.  Herein lies the enormous task of the great minds of the next century.  
 

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