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   68. MORALITY AND CONSEQUENCES   Next Section

MORALITY AND CONSEQUENCES.  It is not only the spectators of a deed who frequently judge of its morality or immorality according to its consequences, but the doer of the deed himself does so.  For the motives and intentions are seldom sufficiently clear and simple, and sometimes memory itself seems clouded by the consequences of the deed, so that one ascribes the deed to false motives or looks upon unessential motives as essential.  Success often gives an 7 action the whole honest glamour of a good conscience; failure casts the shadow of remorse over the most estimable deed.  Hence arises the well known practice of the politician, who thinks, "Only grant me success, with that I bring all honest souls over to my side and make myself honest in my own eyes”.  In the same way success must replace a better argument.  Many educated people still believe that the triumph of Christianity over Greek philosophy is a "proof of the greater truthfulness of the former, although in this case it is only the coarser and more powerful that has triumphed over the more spiritual and delicate.  Which possesses the greater truth may be seen from the fact that the awakening sciences have agreed with Epicurus' philosophy on point after point, but on point after point have rejected Christianity.  
 

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