Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.


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Previous Section   44. GRADES OF MORALS   Next Section

Grades of Morals.  Morality is primarily a means of preserving the community and saving it from destruction.  Next it is a means of maintaining the community on a certain plane and in a certain degree of benevolence.  Its motives are fear and hope, and these in a more coarse, rough, and powerful form, the more the propensity towards the perverse, one sided, and personal still persists.  The most terrible means of intimidation must be brought into play so long as milder forms have no effect and that twofold species of preservation cannot be attained.  (The strongest intimidation, by the way, is the invention of a hereafter with a hell everlasting.)  For this purpose we must have racks and torturers of the soul.  Further grades of morality, and accordingly means to the end referred to, are the commandments of a God (as in the Mosaic law).  Still further and higher are the commandments of an absolute sense of duty with a "Thou shalt"— all rather roughly hewn yet broad steps, because on the finer, narrower steps men cannot yet set their feet.  Then comes a morality of inclination, of taste, finally of insight — which is beyond all the illusory motives of morality, but has convinced itself that humanity for long periods could be allowed no other.  

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