Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Is God Dead? (First Installment)

“God Is Dead”, probably the most famous statement of Friedrich Nietzsche. It was first stated in the section “The Madman” from the book, The Gay Science, written by Nietzsche published in 1882.
“‘Where has God gone?’ he cried. ‘I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God's decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?’ - Nietzsche, The Gay Science (section 125 “The Madman”).
At first, I was not sure what to think about this section because it did not sound happy or proud, but instead it almost felt like a lament, like the author is sad that “God is dead”. This confused me because he seemed to really hate God (in this case the God of the Christians, Jehovah God), so would he not be joyful and feel accomplished that “God is dead… and we have killed him”. The more I read it, the more it became less and less regretful and sad, but instead became more and more mockful and sarcastic with rhetorical questions such as “What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun?” and “What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?” and “What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?”
I understand what he is saying, we’ve “killed” God mentally, taking Him out of our everyday life and completely denying His existence. Many people believe that Nietzsche was right, that God is in fact dead because there are many people in the world that no longer acknowledge Him. We’ve kicked Him out of our homes, our schools, and are hell bent on kicking him out of our country. But can you really kill God? If so, how would we kill Him?
I personally think in order to kill God; you have to completely erase Him from your home, culture, and country. Which, I do not think any culture or country has done. Sure, we’ve kicked Him out of our schools and homes, but have we really killed Him? We constantly talk about Him, debate whether He’s real or not, and when bad things happen we blame Him. So how can He be dead, when it is us who are keeping Him alive? Nietzsche made a decent point saying “God is dead”, but I think that he was wrong. You cannot kill God. It’s impossible, whether you believe in Him or not. It’s like saying you killed Santa Claus, you cannot. You cannot kill something that someone believes exists, whether you believe it or not. As long as there is at least one person who believes, then God will always be alive.
To put it into better perspective, it’s almost like the movie “Rise of the Guardians”. When no one believed in Pitch, he could no longer affect anyone and somewhat, in a sense died. I do not think we will ever get to a point in time when we can “kill God” because to make all of humanity, or even an entire country stop believing in God, is impossible. People die all over the world for the belief in God and as one dies, more rise up. It’s a never ending cycle.
I personally believe in God. To be more specific, I believe in Jehovah God. The reason I say that it’s a never ending cycle because if it could end, then God would have lied. If God lied, then He is NOT God. I say this because of Matthew 24:22 “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” This is talking about the time when the Anti-Christ will reign for 7 years. Yes, I know it sounds “crazy” to those that don’t believe, but both sides (Atheists and Christians) believe “crazy” things.

What I do not understand about this, is why Nietzsche felt the need to declare that “God is dead… and we killed Him.” The fact that Nietzsche felt the need to say that we have “killed” God, shows an almost hatred for God. Why feel the need to declare it, unless there was some form of dislike or anger towards God, otherwise he would not feel the need to be so vehemently vocal against God and those who believe in Him. “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


 In my opinion, Nietzsche was not an Atheist, but instead a Misotheistic. It seems like every day there are more and more people that hate Jehovah God. They hate that God tells them no, when they want a yes. In other words, God established boundaries or laws that we should not cross or break, and that totally provokes people. People hate to be told they cannot do something, so they in turn hate God and those who follow Him. If I am just being dramatic or oversensitive, then why doesn’t Nietzsche attack other religions. Why does he only attack Christianity? He even says that other religions have a right to despise Christianity. “If Islam despises Christianity, it has a thousandfold right to do so: Islam at least assumes that it is dealing with men” ~ Nietzsche (The AntiChrist, Chapter 59). This statement confused me the most because Islam has more rules, regulations, and intolerance than Christianity, which seems to me to be his problem with Christianity. In my opinion, Nietzsche sounds bitter. It’s almost as if he is trying to totally separate himself from the God he grew up with as much as possible. He is trying to kill something that is deep within him that he does not want to conform to, even though he knows it’s right. He seems to want to eradicate and demolish the rules and regulations he had as a child. This is not atheism, this is pay back, this is a slap to the face, this is hatred. He sounds like someone who hates God because he does not want to conform to His laws and commands, but instead wants to live life to the beat of his own drum. To me this is childlike and rebellious.
I do not believe there are any true Atheists, just simply many people who are Misotheistic. So, in conclusion, God is not dead and we did not kill him. We CANNOT kill God. We CANNOT say He is dead. We can only deny His existence and live life as if He was never here.
You may call me what you want and tell me I am a horrible person, but I will go to bed with a clear conscience because I do not think there is a God, I KNOW there is a God. And He is NOT dead.

(1378 words)
Installments I commented on:


  1. I totally agree that there is no real way for humans to kill God. The idea of God seems to have emerged in every culture we know of. There will always be people who believe in God, even if that number is dwindling. As long as humans retain this idea (whether they agree or disagree) that there is a God, then God is not dead. Also, if there is one all-powerful being that designed the universe and created life, I highly doubt that humans would be able to destroy it. If you believe in the Christian God and adhere to Biblical teachings, Acts 17:24-25 says, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things."

    1. "there is no real way for humans to kill God" - there may be no way for humans to kill God once for all, but there's definitely a way for humans to lose a sense of GOd's vital presence and relevance in their lives and so to kill the IDEA of God, or the feeling for gods. THAT's what Nietzsche meant by the death of God, and in HIS time and place he was already seeing it. In modern-day Europel, particularly Scandinavia, God does seem to be dead as a doornail.

  2. "I do not believe there are any true Atheists, just simply many people who are Misotheistic." - I can assure you that there are true atheists, people who genuinely disbelieve in the existence of a transcendent, supernatural creator being.

    I wasn't previously familiar with the term "misotheistic," but I have heard the charge leveled at atheists that they "hate god." That makes no literal sense, but I suppose I do understand how some godless folk might consider the idea of god worthy of scorn if it impels others to acts of intolerance, hatred, or passivity (because they subscribe to a divine plan for salvation, and thus don't feel the urgency of addressing our very human problems in our own terms). What they really hate, then, is not God, but human indifference to the fate of the earth and its inhabitants. Put more affirmatively, they LOVE the idea of humanity accepting responsibility for its own salvation.

  3. I like your post, it's highly organized and your ideas are presented very clearly. However, I've gotta go with Dr. Oliver on the matter of the existence of "true atheists", at least in part. I personally don't believe in any kind of divine power in the universe, but I don't harbor any kind of resentment towards the idea of a God. I'm equally quick to jump on people who ridicule others' religious beliefs without provocation as I am to criticize someone for trying to impose their personal beliefs as truth upon another. However, I do agree that there are a number of people in the world who legitimately seek to undermine religious groups out of malicious intent rather than some kind of idealism.

  4. I agree with your stances Arieanne, but I'm inclined to agree with Dr. Oliver on the fact that true atheists do exist. However, I would stipulate that nearly no true atheist follows the implications of God's nonexistence to their natural conclusion (and thank God for that!). If there is no God, then the ultimate purpose of human existence is the purely material idea of perpetuating the human species with optimal genes. If this is the goal of life, then why show mercy, love, or forgiveness when none aid in passing on one's genes? Why "waste" resources on the elderly, or on children born with deformities? If God does not exist, then ruthlessness is moral. Now most true atheists would respond "Well of course we would not condone such actions!" If I myself were an atheist, I certainly would not either. However, in light of the mission to contribute to our species' evolution, that would only be weakness. If there is no God, then Nietzsche, for his cutthroat teachings, should be dubbed a saint by the church of atheism.

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    2. I'm more inclined to believe that these emotional attachments we make that end up weakening our resolve are more of a resource for maintaining societal bonds and bringing humanity together to survive and grow further than it could as a collection of disconnected individuals. Tens of thousands of years ago when humanity was in its nascency, these emotional states probably would not have existed. Maybe a little bit for the sake of preserving a sizable group, as there is strength in numbers, but they wouldn't have realistically had much need for mercy or forgiveness. Once human beings formed language and were able to communicate with one another, however, no doubt they began to lean more towards negotiation and compromise rather than brutal conflict. Maybe they even began to understand the other tribes' points of view, and decided killing them outright with little provocation wasn't fair or just. Of course, then they developed highly civilized societies which needed law and order to function properly. These emotional concepts would be important tools for preserving relative fairness and equality amongst the populace, and the well being of the society as a whole. Ruthlessness is not moral as you put it because human beings require these moral values to maintain an advanced civilization, which in turn helps contribute to completing the goal of life by making life so much easier. This is why our minds are so advanced: we have highly developed rational skills, we can solve problems, we can make tools, we can do just about anything else to raise our standard of living and help spread the human race. But our minds have an equally sizable emotional side as well, one that helps us make sure this higher standard of living isn't wasted because we're all killing one another off as quickly as we're growing, and to make sure we can hold society together and in a sense make the whole human race into one single entity furthering the goal of life.

  5. I also agree with you and Dr. Oliver. True atheists do exist, not everyone simply seeks to hate God. But, the main point you were proposing over the death of God in our society was very cool and good to read. I agree that God is not and will not ever be dead, even if we all cease to believe. He is still alive in books and in history. We cannot ignore the past of our civilizations and therefore, we cannot eliminate Him, so great essay!

  6. I think then notion of whether or not a god is alive depends on those who believe in them is interesting and is very prevalent in various forms of media, you named one yourself by citing the film Rise of the Guardians. However, while incredibly hard, I do think that killing a god through the act of disbelief and forcing the idea out is possible, though very hard to actually achieve, close to impossible but not quite. I do agree with you that the Christian God is not dead. While modern society might be evolving, the role of religion and God evolves with it and I don't think we will ever see this "death" of God in our country and society at the least. With this being said, while certainly there are those out there that ascribe by the belief of hatred towards God or gods, I must agree with the others that have commented in saying that true atheists do exist and I can say this from a personal stance, having friends who are atheist with at least one of them being a religion studies major who certainly respects and reveres the idea of god but simply doesn't believe. The Christian God will never truly die on the whole but that in no way means hat He isn't dead for some.

  7. Its funny that you talked about this in your first installment because he was going to take a good portion of my second installment. I totally agree with your views on this. I would suggest looking into Bertrand Russell's views. #godsnotdead