however, and quite separate from the fact that

however, and quite separate from the fact that this hypothesis about the
origin of the value judgment “good” is historically untenable, it suffers from an
inherent psychological contradiction. The utility of the unegoistic action is supposed
to be the origin of the praise it receives, and this origin has allegedly been forgotten:
but how is this forgetting even possible? Could the usefulness of such actions at some
time or other perhaps just have stopped? The case is the opposite: this utility has
rather been an everyday experience throughout the ages, and thus something that has
always been constantly re-emphasized. Hence, instead of disappearing out of
consciousness, instead of becoming something forgettable, it must have pressed itself
into the consciousness with ever-increasing clarity.
How much more sensible is the contrasting theory (which is not therefore closer to the
truth), for example, the one which is advocated by Herbert Spencer: he proposes that
the idea “good” is essentially the same as the idea “useful” or “functional,” so that in
judgments about “good” and “bad” human beings sum up and endorse the experiences
they have not forgotten and cannot forget concerning the useful-functional and the
harmful-useless. According to this theory, good is something which has always
proved useful, so that it may assert its validity as “valuable in the highest degree” or
as “valuable in itself.” This path to an explanation is, as mentioned, also false, but at
least the account itself is sensible and psychologically tenable.


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