Who was Nietzsche?
Nietszche was a German philosopher of the enlightenment period. Nietzsche is often misunderstood as pessimistic and anti-religion. It is Nietzsche’s concept of the death of God that seems to cause the most controversy.
What did Nietzsche mean when he said ‘God is Dead’?
Nietzsche made this radical statement in his book ‘The Gay Science’. He explores the concept of God through ‘the madman’ who asks ‘Where is God?’ the answer, of course, was that God is dead, and we have killed him.
When Nietzsche stated that ‘God is dead’ he did not mean that God was once alive and that we have literally killed him. God is not personified. What he meant was that the concept of God had died a death due to the process of secularisation. Society was moving away from revolving around the Parish and the importance of God in people’s lives was diminishing.
Nietzsche and Nihilism
If God is dead, does that mean that we no longer have moral values? And if we no longer have moral values, does that mean that we descend into nihilism? The problem is that without ethical values of Christianity, what morality do we have?
The answer, for Nietzsche, is to replace the slave morality of Christianity with the master morality of mankind. When we strive to become the ‘Ubermensch’ of Nietzsche’s philosophy, we no longer ascertain to the moral values of God or indeed anyone else.
What doe you think about Nietzsche’s philosophy? Is God dead? Are we all striving to become the Ubermensch?
Click here for further reading on Nietzsche: Death of God.