The famous phrase "God is dead" was told by the 19th-century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, originally in his book The gaya science. Nietzsche was a great atheist and, above all, Nihilist, the thinker who gave rise to the Super-man, not as an individual of superhuman strength or special superpowers, but as a man who would have overcome the psychological contingencies of his time and, so So much, he would be able to see beyond what any man has seen. A man that we do not know if he is close, if he has already arrived or if, on the contrary, we are moving away more and more from him, but that Nietzsche predicted for the future of humanity, in case he was not a man surpassed to everyone else, as he considered himself.
The phrase is not originally from Nietzsche, a passionate bibliophile will have found it first in both The phenomenology of the spirit, of Hegel, as in The Brothers Karamazov , by Dostoevsky. However, it is in Nietzsche where the phrase became important, because before him the expression implied chaos, disaster or the decay of human culture, but in Nietzsche, as he loved to do, the phrase is transmuted, it charges a new significance, a different flavor, important enough to be attributed to him, and not to his predecessors.
But what did Nietzsche mean? If God has died, does not it mean he was alive at some point? And who killed him? And how, in the case of an omnipotent being? And if he was an atheist, was not it a contradiction to say that a being had died in which he, from the beginning, did not believe? What, then, is the hidden meaning behind the phrase? What did the author mean to us about such convoluted aphorisms? Today in Supercurious , we propose to answer to be questions, and we encourage you also to consult this compilation of Nietzsche's Phrases.
What did Nietzsche mean by the expression "God is dead"?
« God is dead. God is still dead. And we have killed him. How could we be comforted, the murderers of all murderers? The holiest and the most powerful that the world has possessed has been bled under our knives: who will cleanse this blood from us? What water will cleanse us? What expiatory rite, what sacred games should we invent? Is not the greatness of this fact too great for us? Should we appear worthy of it? "Wrote the German in The gaya science (1882). Now, what do you mean by this?
Nietzsche was, although originally a believing family, deeply atheist. The young German owed himself almost all his philosophical training, as self-taught, and within his atheism there was no room, of course, for the existence of God. Otherwise it would have been an oxymoron, if not a stupidity. Then, why did he decree, not once but several times, the death of God? And what does he mean when he says "We have killed him"?
Well, the great readers of Nietzsche seem to agree that it is a metaphor, which is not strange for someone who wrote philosophy from a literary technique, and who used any rhetorical resource that he had on hand to dress his texts, rich in ideas. as in literary beauty. Now, what did this metaphor mean? There are two main aspects: the first indicates that God, the god that humans have created themselves, in their image and likeness, has died at the hands of their creators for the loss of faith, for the decline of true belief and genuine in God, and that, therefore, are its own creators, men, who have given it the final thrust.
On the other hand, there is a second aspect in which students of German are usually more confident, and this says that God is dead, because he is no longer the main giver of moral values of men, but now individuals seek their moral and ethical standards elsewhere, which means a clear decline of the Christian religion and, at least for Nietzsche, the death of God: the very incapacity of God to act as the origin of the moral code of human beings and that, therefore, human beings themselves are no longer capable of in any cosmic order.
Of course these two aspects are not irreconcilable with each other, however there are those who maintain one thing without maintaining that for that reason the other is necessarily given. But the fact is that "God is dead" does not mean, for Nietzsche, the literal agony of the supreme savior, but the decline of faith and Christian moral values , less and less present in those who profess it, and with the decline of faith the decline of the very idea of God and, therefore, his death at the hands of us, men.
We end here our approach to the interpretation of the phrase "God is dead". Before we say goodbye, we encourage you to leave us a comment commenting on your impressions. With what interpretation are you in agreement? What does it mean to you that God is dead? Share it with us We will read you with interest.