In essay two of Nietzsche’s ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’, ‘Guilt’, ‘bad conscience’ and related

700 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
In essay two of Nietzsche’s ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’, ‘Guilt’, ‘bad conscience’ and related matters, Nietzsche seeks to explore the origins and constructs of guilt and in doing so, presents us with an account where the concept of guilt has been misconstrued by the evolution of society. This very shift in our understanding of guilt has subsequently led to, what Nietzsche claims to be, “bad conscience”. To understand this evolution of guilt and the entity of “bad conscience” it is necessary to closely analyze Nietzsche’s account and in doing so, delve deeper into the mechanics of Nietzsche’s understanding of our morality. ADD FIRST PART! Nietzsche identifies the etymological properties of the word guilt, noting the similarities…show more content…
Nietzsche believes that this value system of suffering, which was at the heart of ancient civilization, did not go against life but celebrated the vitality of it, Nietzsche claims that guilt today has been misconstrued as a result of the slave morality. The internalization process that man underwent through the ‘slave revolt in morality’ created depth and inner reflection that led to what Nietzsche calls “bad conscience”. This notion of bad conscience was ultimately caused by the forced turning of our violent instincts to punish others inward. This ‘turning’ resulted in frustration as man lacked the capability to express himself, in result of this, we created an inner life and conscience that sought to remove these instincts. Bad conscience is therefore something that goes against life, that sickens humanity, it does not allow for an expression of man’s vitality for life. Instead, bad conscience defines a new set of values for humanity that insist suffering to be something that destroys life. The concept of guilt now takes on a different meaning; it represents an internal punishment. Nietzsche’s account of the original meaning of guilt seems to reflect a Hobbesian approach to the way humanity works. Hobbes believes that society works under the terms of a social contract just as Nietzsche does, however whilst these accounts may share the same views on

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