Given Nietzsche’s personal commitment to truthfulness and hisargument that its absence amounts to cowardice, it is no surprise tofind him, third, attacking the alleged mendaciousness and intellectualcorruption of traditional religio-moral consciousness as one of thevery worst things about it. The dishonesty of the moralistic“slave revolt” is a constant theme (GM I, 14; seealso Janaway 2007: 102–4, and GM I, 10, 13; II, 11;III, 26; TI V, 5; VI, 7; A 15, 24, 26–7, 36,38, 42, 44, 47, 48–53, 55–6), and it elicits some ofNietzsche’s most extreme and indignant rhetoric:
The most extensive development of this Nietzschean critique ofmorality appears in his late work On the Genealogy ofMorality, which consists of three treatises, each devoted to thepsychological examination of a central moral idea. In the FirstTreatise, Nietzsche takes up the idea that moral consciousnessconsists fundamentally in altruistic concern for others. He begins byobserving a striking fact, namely, that this widespread conception ofwhat morality is all about—while entirely commonsensical tous—is not the essence of any possible morality, but a historicalinnovation.
Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals ..
Finally, it is worth noting that even when Nietzsche raises doubtsabout this commitment to truthfulness, his very questions are clearlymotivated by the central importance of that value. TheGenealogy’s Third Treatise famously closes with theworry that the unconditional will to truth is a form of asceticism(GM III, 24). As Nietzsche observes, relentless truthfulnesscan be corrosive for cherished values that make our lives seem worthliving: one cross-examination of the norm of “truth at anyprice” concludes with the exclamation,