Nietzsche's Critique of Judeo-Christian Values

2628 Words Nov 25th, 2013 11 Pages
Nietzsche’s critique of Judeo-Christian values

As perhaps one of the most important pieces of work written by Nietzsche, “On the Genealogy of Morality” contains some of his most complex and provocative thoughts on the nature of morality and its origins. It is evident throughout his essays that Nietzsche has a profound discontent with modern society and its values, a discontent that Nietzsche attempts to explain through a thorough critique of the modern values that have stemmed from the rise of Judeo-Christianity values that have shaped today’s civilization. In his analysis of concepts such as morality and guilt, he explores the history of the deformation of the once noble and animalistic human society that succumbed to its death
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Essentially, their intelligence became their weapon against the nobles. Nietzsche expresses this when he states “priests make the worst enemies…because they are the most powerless. Out of this powerlessness, their hate swells into something huge and uncanny to a most intellectual and poisonous level” (17). Among all of the priestly caste, however, Nietzsche identifies the Jews to be the most hateful, and characterizes them as being the most “entrenched with priestly vengefulness” (17). The desire of the clerical caste to effect their revenge on the nobles in the form of a revaluation of the their moral code was the embodiment of their ressentiment turning itself from thought and into action. Nietzsche expresses this when he states “The beginning of the slaves’ revolt in morality occurs when ressentiment itself turns creative and gives birth to values: the ressentiment of those beings who, denied the proper response of action, compensate for it only with imaginary revenge” (20). Nietzsche associates the slave revolt in morality with the priestly castes, namely the Jews’, dedicated and deliberate desire to implement their revenge through the creation and revaluation of morals, stating “with regard to the huge and incalculably disastrous initiative taken by the Jews with this most fundamental of all declarations of war…the slaves revolt in morality begins with the Jews: a revolt which has two thousand years of history behind it” (17).
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