The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
II: Criticism of Morality

§258   My attempt to understand moral judgments as symptoms and sign languages which betray the processes of physiological prosperity or failure, likewise the consciousness of the conditions for preservation and growth — a mode of interpretations of the same worth as astrology, prejudices prompted by the instincts (of races,communities, of the various stages of life, as youth or decay, etc.).

Applied to the specific Christian-European morality: Our moral judgments are signs of decline, of disbelief in life, a preparation for pessimism.

My chief proposition: there are no moral phenomena, there is only a moral interpretation of these phenomena. This interpretation itself is of extra-moral origin.

What does it mean that our interpretation has projected a contradiction into existence? Of decisive importance: behind all other valuations these moral evaluations stand in command. Supposing they were abolished, according to what would we measure then? And then of what value would be knowledge, etc?

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