Who was Nietzsche?
The most popular German philosopher of the enlightenment period was Nietzsche. God is dead was his most famous and controversial statement. Nietzsche is often misunderstood as pessimistic and anti-religion, yet he is one of the most famous philosophers of all time.
Nietzsche God is dead: 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 (humankind) 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. With a decline is morality and theism, where is the room for God now?
Nietzsche God is Dead 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?