Nietszche Is Dead

Nietzsche, looking at his 18th century Europe, concludes that the belief in the old Christian God has become unbelievable. Its first shadow just began to cast itself over Europe. For those with strong and subtle eyes, the sun seems to have set and some profound and ancient truth has been turned into doubt. So they can finally stop and think away from Christian ideas. For those ingrained in the “darkness of their faith”, it is now evening. Our world is overcome by darkness. The multitude is yet to understand what it means for the ancient god to be dead. The whole European morality must now collapse because it has been built upon that faith. Then he asks a simple and yet very important question: why is it that no one seems to fear or worry about the initial consequences of this event? Well, he answered, it is because we are released from the burden that this belief has inflicted on us for centuries.
All those who always wanted to engage in unlimited thinking feel, when they hear the old god is dead, as if a new dawn has risen upon earth. Their hearts are overflowed with gratitude and expectation. At long last the horizon appears free to them, and their ships can venture out again to face any danger. Finally, all the daring of the lover of knowledge is now permitted again (Nietzsche, the Gay Science #343).
There are many ways Nietzsche’s daring idea can be addressed. We can spend an eternity responding to how God seems to be dead, or we can prove that He is the most alive of all things. In our society of today, God does simply sound for many a hypothesis. In our public schools, where our youth are in dire need of direction, we cannot offer God as the answer to our quests. Our government separates church from state. Therefore, it is ‘crazy’ for a politician to express his beliefs in the public arena and get elected. Many Christians think they are “too cool” to pray in public, or tell their friends about Jesus. If Nietzsche were alive today, he would say that God is deader that He was in the 18th century. When we observe these phenomena, many Christians of little faith could admit that God is dead.
However, God is dead for the wishful thinkers who wanted Him dead, but for those who believe he continues to make a quotidian difference in their lives. Young men and women around the world continue to hear the voice of voice telling to take their cross and follow Him. Ask them why they want to give all worldly things to consecrate themselves to God. Many families continue to pray together. Many families would not make a serious decision before consulting the living God. Would you be so kind to ask them what difference doing that makes in their lives. Christians are being killed in Nigeria and in many countries in the Middle East because they are Christians. Yet, they continue to go to Church knowing that they might be killed. Ask them how them alive God is. Many scientists continue to be puzzled by how a single cell develops to become multi cells. All respectable scientists admit that the universe could not have been so well arranged had there not been a hand behind it. How do I know it is God’s hands behind these scientific mysteries? Well, it is something or someone. Whoever it is I call him/it God. How do you call it/him?! Could He have set up everything on a roll and then die or go back to his bliss? Well, talk to those people dying with an incurable sickness in the hospital who prays to God. Ask him/her how he/she feels after he prayed. God is more alive than He was 200 years ago because our world needs Him more than it did then. If you fail to see the living God acting in everything there is, ask Him for the eye to see Him. Come back please and tell me what you discover.
Having posited that God is dead, Nietzsche was left with no foundation upon which he can build a morality. He came up with his own way of answering the big questions of life such as why we are here; where we are going. How we are supposed to live life so as to expect a good end. He maintains that in a universe where there is no God to direct the course of action in the universe, the finite experiences of human existence must necessarily repeat themselves, hence the term “Eternal Recurrence”
This is the logic that the theory of eternal recurrence follows: 1. if there is no god, there is no creation or beginning, and, therefore, time is infinite; 2. the number of things and arrangements of things is finite; therefore, 3. events must repeat themselves, infinitely – hence, eternal recurrence.
He is not kidding when he says that God is dead. He does attempt to replace God through this proposal. That is an alternative to our teleological view of the universe guided by God. He says, what if some day or night a demon were to steal you after your loneliest loneliness and say to you:”this life as you now live and have lived it, you will have to live it once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain, joy, thought, sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence.” Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or would you simply say that well you are god, so I must obey your commands. He then asserts, “This thought can change us for the best or it can crush us as a grain of sand under a military boot” (Nietzsche, the Gay Science #341).
I must say that I have nothing against Nietzsche in trying to propose something capable of improving society as a whole. I welcome his proposal on this ground. Nevertheless, this is nothing different from what Christianity, against which Nietzsche has a tooth, is asking. Does the judgment day not give us the opportunity to think about our life just as Nietzsche’s problem asks us? He is saying in the paragraph above that knowing that we will have to live our life in the same way we are living it now might compel us to think about every choice we make in life. He believes that this knowledge might be the greatest weight that we might have to bear or it can bring the best out of us. Is that not akin to saying that we will give an account for everything we do on the judgment day? Of course, this is not easy to accept especially when we know we must answer for each and every action of ours.
Nietzsche hated Christianity because he believed that it refrains people t from being themselves. It hampers them from engaging in unlimited thinking. It gives them a framework within they may think and they cannot travel beyond that. That would be a very legitimate criticism has it been true. Why did Nietzsche, who broke that barrier set by Christianity, not propose anything that stands beyond and above Christianity? Why is atheism still unable to compete with Christianity in term of their cash value? Nietzsche and his idea are dead; Christianity is still going its way.

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