Friedrich Nietzsche—“God is dead”—what did he mean; and have we been mislead?

Answer: yes.  This one statement has mislead many. This is an example of taking one statment without reading the context, or as in this case, what he was writing about and what he wrote next. In other words, taking the statement out of context, which is prevalent today. See below.  Richard Duke

“The meaning of the phrase is often misunderstood — many have interpereted that Nietzsche believed in a literal death or end of God. Instead, the line points to the western world’s reliance on religion as a moral compass and source of meaning. As he explains in The Gay Science (Section 125, The Madman):

“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’s works express a fear that the decline of religion, the rise of atheism, and the absence of a higher moral authority would plunge the world into chaos. The western world had depended on the rule of God for thousands of years — it gave order to society and meaning to life. Without it, Nietzsche writes, society will move into an age of nihilism. Although Nietzsche may have been considered a nihilist by definition, he was critical of it and warned that accepting nihilism would be dangerous.”



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