Nietzsche – The Genealogy of Morals

Nietzsche pokes fun at Kant. Where and why? Nietzsche also praises Kant. For what?
Nietzsche pokes fun at Kant for his explanations of the origins of good and evil on pg. 16-17. Nietzsche praises Kant for his categorical imperative.
What does Nietzsche mean when he says that he “learned early on to separate theological prejudice from moral prejudice and ceased to look for evil behind the world” (17)?
He was able to separate true morality from the Christian “morality” and this allowed him to explore “under what conditions did man devise these value judgments good and evil? and what value do they themselves possess” (17).
How does Nietzsche describe his method?
Nietzsche’s method and views on morality are similar to those of Dr. Paul Ree in The Origin of the Moral Sensations. In particular, “the twofold prehistory of good and evil (namely, in the sphere of the noble and in that of the slaves)”, “the value and origin of the morality of asceticism”, “the ‘morality of mores'”, “on the origin of justice…punishment” (18).
What instincts does Nietzsche mistrust, and why? In what senses might being “good” be bad for us?
“Pity, self-abnegation, self-sacrifice”: Society/human nature do not value these “instincts”–have been developed by Christianity.
How should we read according to Nietzsche? Do we read this way?
The aphoristic form is not taken seriously enough. One has to not only read, but decipher as well. Reading in this style should be performed as an “art”. We do not currently read this way because, according to Nietzsche, many people still disagree with him because they are unable to truly “read” his work.
What view of goodness put forward by English psychologists is Nietzsche concerned to refute? How does he refute it? ( To answer this latter: What does the refutation have to do with the rejection of utility? With the origins of language? With the psychological absurdity of the doctrine?)
They look at the inner workings of man to determine its faults, assuming that these faults are not innate in every being. He refutes this by acknowledging and praising the “English psychologists” for “a little vulgarity, a little gloominess, a little anti-Christianity, a little itching and need for spice” (24).
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What insight about the origins of the words for good and bad does Nietzsche draw from etymology?
Originally, the word “good” was used to describe qualities of the noble and of the nobility. “Bad” did not have as negatively a connotation originally, it was simply used to describe the other that was not “good.” The meanings changed after the implementation of Christianity and the shift in power from the “good” to the “bad.”
What genealogy of “truth” does Nietzsche offer, and how does he mix 19th century racism into his account?
Truth also originally was reserved for the “noble”, and it degenerated to designate nobility of the soul.
How does Nietzsche characterize the “priestly” mode in contradistinction to the “knightly-aristocratic”? What does it mean that in the priestly mode humans first become interesting animals?
The priestly mode is dangerous for humanity–more things are condemned and outlawed. The priestly mode is condescending and this mode shows mankind to have more “wholesome” virtues as compared to animals.
What is the slave revolt in morality? Who wages it? How do we know that it has been successful?
The inversion of the true meanings of “good” and “bad”–the Jews and the Christians wage it. We know it has been successful because we accept and many people believe this inversion.
What is Nietzsche’s “Christology”? His account of the church, including in his own development?
Jesus exemplified the slave revolt in morality, promoting a seductive and destructive way of thinking and acting. The church shouldn’t be necessary today, and it alienates rather than seduces at this point in time.
What is ressentiment? How does it differ from the noble mode of valuation?
“Resentment”, the need to direct one’s view outward instead of inward. This differs from the noble mode of valuation because the noble mode seeks its opposite only so as to affirm itself more gratefully and triumphantly–its negative concept is only a subsequently-invented pale.
What is the difference between the bad and the evil?
“Bad” is of noble origin and “evil” comes from unsatisfied hatred.
What have we lost along with our fear of man?
Our love for the European man–“the sight of man now makes us weary” (44).
What is the point of the example of lambs and birds of prey?
The example shows an analogy for the Romans and the Christians. The “lamb” views the “eagle” as evil, but the eagle’s behavior is just nature. This view is also just from the lamb’s point-of-view, not the entirety of nature.
What lessons do we learn in the “dark workshop”? How is the workshop like Plato’s Cave?
We learn how formerly bad qualities are transformed into “virtues.”
What is the point of the long passages from Aquinas and Tertullian?
“The blessed in the kingdom of heaven will see the punishments of the damned, in order that their bliss be
more delightful for them.”(Aquinas) They show how we take pleasure in the suffering of others, and how it is sanctioned by Christianity through the disguise of “Hell.”
How does Nietzsche classify various historical events (the Vatican, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the French Revolution, and Napoleon) in terms of the contrast between Rome and Judea?
Rome: Strong and “noble”
Judea: “Ressentiment par excellence”

Vatican: Judea
Renaissance: Rome
Reformation: Judea
French Revolution: Judea
Napoleon: Rome

Have noble values been totally eclipsed in our own time? If not, what do they look like when they appear? Must we will and promote them, as Nietzsche suggests?
They have not been totally eclipsed. For example, while we promote a “Christian” way of life in the US, we are still an extremely pro-military society, which is a “noble” value. We MUST will and promote these noble values.
Why does Nietzsche suggest that ethics is a medical problem? A question of ordering rank among values?
“Every table of values, every ‘thou shalt’ known to histology or ethnology, requires first a physiological investigation and interpretation, rather than a psychological one” (55).
Why do we need forgetfulness? Why is repression good for us?
A “tabula rasa” of the consciousness is indicative of robust health (physically and mentally).
What is the origin of conscience? What does Nietzsche mean by “mnemotechnics”?
Consciousness is result of habit and routine. By “mnemotechnics” Nietzsche means that the memories which remain are ones that do not hurt the carrier.
What genealogy of “guilt” does Nietzsche offer?
Guilt comes originally from the debt in the debtor-creditor relationship.
What does Nietzsche mean by the pleasure of cruelty?
We enjoy cruel spectacles, even more so when we are the perpetrators.
How does Nietzsche discuss suffering?
We try to make suffering as painful as possible, and those with lower status enjoy making others suffer more than someone with a higher status.
How does Nietzsche extend the story of the debtor/creditor relationship?
The relationship extends to the community–if the debtor does not pay their debt, not only will they be subject to suffering from the creditor, but they will be shunned by their community.
Do more powerful communities punish offenders more severely?
No–they have the ability to subdue individuals more easily and prevent rebellion. Weaker communities tend to punish more severely. Eg., the French Revolution.
Why can’t we look for justice in reactive feelings?
This causes more severe punishment/more pleasure in doling out punishment, as the one who enacts the punishment involves their personal feelings or attitudes in the situation.
Why does Nietzsche suggest that the origins of a thing and its utility ought to be separated?
They are often not the same thing. Eg., punishment–origin was to change behavior, currently utilized to produce cruelty. “The eye being made for seeing, the hand being made for grasping” (77).
What is the purpose of the list of punishment’s meaning? What is punishment designed to do that it fails at miserably?
Punishment is supposed to awaken a feeling of guilt in the guilty person’s conscious, which it fails at.
What is Nietzsche’s hypothesis about the bad conscience?
It is in place because of the restrictions on man–just like if a marine animal was placed on land and expected to live fully, in the same manner.
What is “internalization”? To what end does Nietzsche deploy the image of an animal rubbing itself raw against the bars of its own cage? What contemporary examples of this can you devise?
We enjoy cruel acts, but since Christianity “rejects” cruelty, we turn it inwards on ourselves. Law=cage=Christianity. Christian “virtues”, self-mutilation, aesthetic practices, etc.
Whence comes the delight felt by the self-denier?
When they make themselves suffer in order to feel the pleasure of making someone suffer.
How does Nietzsche explain the origins of Gods? Of the Christian God? How do the Christian God and the Greek Gods differ? What actually happened beneath the myth of the Christian God’s self-sacrifice? What problem will atheism solve?
The origin of Gods comes from fear. Greek gods retain the “noble” qualities of the people who conceived them, while the Christian God is “accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on earth” (90).
What does Nietzsche mean that the animal nature of man is mortified? How is this mortification exacerbated by civilization? By Christianity?
“You will already have guessed what really went on with all this and under all this: that will to self-torment, that repressed cruelty of animal man pushed inward and forced back into himself, imprisoned in the “state” to make him tame, who invented bad conscience in order to lacerate himself, after the more natural discharge of this will to inflict pain had been blocked—this man of bad conscience seized upon religious assumptions to drive his self-torment to its most horrifying hardship and ferocity. Guilt towards God: this idea becomes his instrument of torture. In “God” he seizes on the ultimate contrast he is capable of discovering to his real and indissoluble animal instincts. He interprets these animal instincts themselves as a crime against God (as enmity, rebellion, revolt against the “master,” the “father,” the original ancestor and beginning of the world). He grows tense with the contradiction of “God” and “devil.” He hurls from himself every “No” which he says to himself, to nature, naturalness, the factual reality [Tatsächlichkeit] of his being as a “Yes,” as something existing, as living, as real, as God, as the blessedness of God, as God the Judge, as God the Hangman, as something beyond him, as eternity, as perpetual torment, as hell, as punishment and guilt beyond measure.”
ESSAY: Use Nietzsche to explain the differences between the Ancient codes of morality, like Aristotle’s, and the Modern codes of morality, like either Kant’s or
Mill’s.
ESSAY: Can Christianity be defended from Nietzsche? If so, how?