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“On the Genealogy of Morals” by Nietzsche

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The essay On the Genealogy of Morals by Nietzsche made me wonder what is good and what is bad, why and when one is considered “good” or “bad”. I have always believed that good is something that is useful for society and bad is something that harms social interests. However, the author of On the Genealogy of Morals discusses these issues more deeply. According to the book, Nietzsche decides to figure out the roots of these concepts. For this purpose, he regarded several philosophical theories. In his work, he condemned the people who, in his opinion, did not pay much attention to these concepts. In my mind, the author cannot understand what they were guided by. Nietzsche hopes that they just want to find out the truth.

Nietzsche divided the text into several parts. Thereby, he made it easier for understanding. The author started from the real meaning of the word “good”. According to many philosophers’ thoughts, it is something useful and unselfish. However, the author has put a simple question “for whom?!” Probably, this is for aristocratic people, who have been always regarding their actions as good because of their position in society. Nietzsche argued that the elite class had a right to give the names for different things, again basing on their status. Therefore, it turned out that the elite comes under the notion of good, and the common people - under the notion of bad. Such understanding has revolted the author.

Further, Nietzsche cited another example. According to it, the concepts of good and bad have been developed by the people’s experience. The given theory seemed to the author more logical, but not ideal because it has mixed together such notions as “moral’, “good’, and “unselfish”. Then, Nietzsche asked “what does it mean “good” and “bad” in the different languages?” Again he has found the connection between “good” aristocrats and “bad” common people. The author believes that such understanding can damage morale in general. Actually, the word “bad” originates from Latin and means people with dark hair. The word “good”, on the other hand, means people with blond hair (Nietzsche n.pag.). In ancient times, these two concepts characterized such human traits as bravery and strength. Then, the author smoothly passed to the spiritual elite. They have caused the most negative author’s emotions. As I have understood, the author is sure that priests aggravated the situation even more. Their radical care of the society was disgustingly awful. They divided people on “pure” and “impure”. In the author’s view, they have poisoned and infected the society.

However, everything has changed with the revolutionary moral values of Jews. Unfortunate became good, while weak, ugly, impotent, and limited became pious. Nobility was regarded as something wicked and godless. Jews raised moral revolution of society and it was inevitable. If it was not done by Jews, it would have been done by other oppressed people. Moreover, the author emphasizes that it was grown out of "trunk of hatred”. He mentioned the Holy Cross and the donation for others. It was a victory over the ideals of the elite. The common people have won, and the author assured that only dispossessed people had an incentive to develop.

After reading the essay On the Genealogy of Morals I have changed my views a little bit. I have got some new knowledge which has influenced my general understanding of good and bad. Of course, I cannot agree with all the ideas presented in the text. However, such disputed issues will always have different opinions. I should give credit to the author, who used a lot of good and important arguments in defending his point of view.

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