=Five stages of denaturalizing values=

  1. Israel's Yahweh "...was the expression of their consciousness of power, of their delight in themselves, their hopes of themselves."The Antichrist, § 25 Because he was their God, they considered him to be the God of justice. The Jews affirmed themselves, realized their own power, and had a good conscience. Even after internal anarchy and Assyrian invasions weakened Israel, it retained its worship of God as a king who is both soldier and judge.
  2. Concept of God is falsified. Yahweh became a demanding god of justice who is "... no longer at one with Israel or an expression of national self-confidence...."
  3. Concept of morality is falsified. Morality is no longer an expression of life and growth. Instead, morality opposes life by presenting well–being as a dangerous temptation. Priestly agitators "... interpret all good fortune as a reward, all misfortune as punishment for disobedience of God, for 'sin,'... ."
  4. History of Israel is falsified. The great epoch becomes an epoch of decay. The Exile is an "... eternal punishment for the great epoch — an epoch in which the priest was as yet nothing."The Antichrist, § 26 The past is translated into religious terms. It was a record of guilt, punishment, piety, and reward in relation to Yahweh. A moral world order is established which assigns value to actions that obey the will of God (and which claims that this general will, i.e. the right way of life for everyone, is eternal and unchanging). Priests teach that "... the ruling power of the will of God, expressed as punishment and reward according to the degree of obedience, is demonstrated in the destiny of a nation, of an individual... ."
  5. God's will is revealed in the holy scripture. The sacred book formulates the will of God and specifies what is to be given to the priests. Priests become parasites. "... [A]ll things of life are so ordered that the priest is everywhere indispensable; at all the natural events of life, at birth, marriage, sickness, death. Not to speak of 'sacrifice' (meal–times)... ." Natural values become utterly valueless. The priest sanctifies and bestows all value. Disobedience of God (the priest) is 'sin.' Subjection to God (the priest) is redemption. Priests use 'sin' to gain and hold power.