In Book 1 of Nietzsche’s “Geneaology of Morals” he offers the noble / priest / herd classes as the origin of our concepts of good, morality, etc... but surely only as a metaphor, yes?
Surely Nietzsche would admit humans have ALWAYS exhibited ('goodness' / 'evil'), no?
Is your question about the absolute "origin" of morality?
I think Fred would say that it originates with values that are life and growth enhancing.
Masters (aka nobility) have existed from the beginning of socialization and civilization, as have slaves.
I want to say that "good" and "bad" began long before human civilization (and perhaps even socialization).
Would Nietzsche agree?
No, I don't think he would agree.
Nietzsche instead considers that the judgment “good” originated not in the recipient of altruism, but in the aristocratic, the powerful. They judged themselves and their actions as good, in contrast to the plebeian. Out of this “pathos of distance,” they arrogated the right to create values for their own profit, and to name these values. Utility is inapplicable to them. They inhabited a volcanic effervescence, not that tepid temperature where one deals with practical expediency. [cf. GM, First Essay, 2]
The idea that the notions of good and bad originated among ruling classes was broached earlier in Human, All Too Human, 45. There goodness is associated with the power to requite with gratitude or vengeance, while those who are powerless to requite are bad. The requiting sentiment is held in common among men called good, while the bad are a subjugated mass who share no such bond.
The ancient terms for “good” mean aristocratic, noble, privileged, as contrasted with the common, vulgar or low. In particular, the German word for “bad,” schlecht, is similar to schlicht (plain) and schlechtweg (simply). Thus the term originally referred to a plain, common man, without impugning any culpability. This insight had not been realized sooner by moral historians, due to their democratic prejudice in questions of origin. [GM, First Essay, 4]
These philological claims are amply supported in the case of the ancient Greeks, who consistently contrasted the heroic esthloi (“noble, truthful”) and the lowly kakoi (“ weak, worthless”).
Modern philology corroborates Nietzsche’s claim that “bad” was not originally a moral valuation implying culpability, but more of an aesthetic valuation of worthlessness....Thus the most ancient notion of “bad” seems to involve an aesthetic judgment of disgust or disdain.
he most primitive punishment is a biological reaction, where we feel anger at the one who has caused us harm (or harmed a loved one), and we feel an urge to attack and harm what angers us. Animals with this reaction have a survival advantage, for they tend to destroy or chase away what harms them. This most primitive retaliation is not moderated by any idea of equivalent price, as it occurs even among brutes.This is evidenced in ancient law codes, where unintentional crimes were still punished, as were those committed by animals.
Like water animals becoming land animals, men found that their older instincts were worthless, and acted clumsily in the new world. [GM, 2nd Essay, 16] Before, he had lived in his body, acting on animal instinct. Now, he must use his mind to negotiate life in society, forcing him to live in his hitherto meager consciousness. The old instincts remained, but could not be satisfied often or openly.
Punishment and other defenses of society “against the old instincts of freedom” forced the “wild, free, prowling” instincts to turn back against man himself. “Enmity, cruelty, delight in persecution, in attacking, change, destruction, were turned against their own possessors. This is the origin of “bad conscience.”
The imposition of categories of good and evil transforms our understanding love and hate, making them carry moral burdens that are alien to them. More generally, he holds: “There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena.” [BGE, 108]