The Origin of Christian

Nietzsche is often accused of committing the genetic fallacy when he uses speculation about the origin of Christian moral beliefs as part of his cri- tique of what he called slave morality. In your opinion, does Nietzsche commit a genetic fallacy in the following passage? Why or why not? Can the origin of a moral belief ever show that that moral belief is false or unjustified or indefensible? Why or why not?

Let us articulate this new demand: we need a critique of moral values, the value of these values themselves must first be called into question—and for that there is needed a knowledge of the conditions and circumstances in which they grew, un- der which they evolved and changed, . . . a knowledge of a kind that has never yet existed or even been desired. One has taken the value of these “values” as given, as factual, as beyond all question; one has hitherto never doubted or hesitated in the slightest degree in supposing “the good man” to be of greater value than “the evil man,” of greater value in the sense of furthering the advancement and prosperity of man in general (the future of man included). But what if the reverse were true? What if a symptom of regression were inherent in the “good,” likewise a danger, a seduction, a poison, a narcotic, through which the present was possibly living at the expense of the future? Perhaps more comfortably, less dangerously, but at the same time in a meaner style, more basely?—So that precisely morality would be to blame if the highest power and splendor actually possible to the type man was never in fact attained? So that precisely morality was the danger of dangers?3

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