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An Expression of a Critique of the Root of Morality

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The source of what is morally good is believed by many to lead to the root of humankind's morality. When writing The Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche states that "good" is not what is good for the whole of the people and that what is good is the "will to power" and what is bad is everything that arises from powerlessness and weakness. The alternative would declare that the basis of utility is the human desire for happiness and this therefore builds an understanding for utilitarianism and the benefit it could have for all human beings. Some would say that within human nature, the roots of such is unknown, lies the want for community and desire to be in unity with one another. This is a vague and very narrow claim because of the apparent difference in moral values amongst differing cultures, some of which are unknown to many of the human population.

Humankind has become corrupt because it has lost its human instincts and prefers what is destructive to it. Corruption, to Nietzsche, results because, "...nihilistic values dominate under the holiest names." Nietzsche presents the idea of slave morality as part of Christianity, which is born from hatred. This is so because modern humans, who have inherited the responsibility of slave morality, prefer safety and comfort to victory and possibility for the attainment of growth. Nietzsche explains that the slave morality of Christianity focuses all its attention on the evil and "sinful" nature of others and on life after death on the reception of heaven, which distracts people from the enjoyment of the present and the opportunity to improve their own well being. Nietzsche's On The Genealogy of Morals is not just a critique of Christian values, but also an analysis of the will to power as the basic modality of living creatures and a diagnosis of nihilism that is the will to nothingness, which to Nietzsche seems pervasive. Nietzsche makes the point that we as living beings must do something different with what we have become: It is better to will nothingness to not will at all. Bad conscience is formed from these conceptions formed from developments like Christianity. Nietzsche identifies bad conscience as our tendency to see ourselves as sinners and locates its origins in the want and need that came with the development of society to inhibit our natural animal instincts for aggression and cruelty and to turn them inward upon ourselves. Nietzsche states that, a form of social organization, for example the "state", is forced by "some pack of blond beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and lords." It is able to do so even if those who are subject to their power are greatly superior in numbers because these subjects are "still formless, still roaming about", while the conquerors and lords are characterized by an "instinctive creating of forms, impressing of forms" (17). Under such conditions the destructive instincts of human beings, who by nature are nomadic hunters, find themselves constricted and therefore turned inward. Instead of roaming in the wilderness, man now turns himself into "an adventure, a place of torture" and is life denying. Bad conscience is therefore instinct for freedom or his or her "will to power" that is "driven back, suppressed, imprisoned within" (17).

Being open minded instead of accepting the regulations of moral relativism supports the well being of others more so then the actions many take when joining "the herd" or one of the many herds that do not productively engage the human capacity. Being open minded about the differences amongst people is a way of accepting the fact that some people, or whatever number of people, will not agree and tolerate the actions you make based off of your moral standing. People think that we have to respect the rights and interests of others as well as our own and by doing so we are assuming that people are in fact capable of being motivated



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