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May 09, 2023
  1. This paper assignment will have to do with the interpretation of Nietzsche’s philosophy. The topic will be what Nietzsche means when he claims that, “God is dead”. Some may interpret that Nietzsche believed that God is dead or gone, but that is not what he meant. Instead, he is trying to indicate that there is an increase in atheism, a decline in religion, and a reduction in moral authority which will ultimately lead the world into disruption but at the same time, it is also a great opportunity. This allows us to build a new ‘table of values,’ one that will reflect this world and this life’s new-found devotion. In declaring God’s demise, Nietzsche doesn’t intend to be taken truly. In his view, God never existed in any case, so his ‘death’ is more about humankind than eternality. Nietzsche infers that we as people have discovered God’s presence is both faulty and unfortunate. He in this way states as opposed to sets up the shakiness of faith in God, even as he clarifies its nuisance.

    As Nietzsche becomes older, he gives his take on atheism and what he believed it meant. He didn’t imply that there had been a God who had died, rather than our concept of one had. With the help of philosophy and science and having an understanding of what it is, that is what truly killed God. Human beings killed him by their desire to understand what the world is. This all happened because people had started to think. The people praised science as some had found it to be beautiful and gave pride to their life, “…he called it the most beautiful ornament and the greatest pride of our life and a noble occupation in times of happiness as well as unhappiness…” (TGS 128).

    Now, If one were to get rid of God, not only is he gone, but so is morality, reason, and meaning is gone. First, if God is dead, then life has no meaning. Just as if there was no Nietzsche, there would be no works. When God does not exist, morality is illusionary, and moral judgment is pure perception, no more than a personal taste. Second, when one loses morality, all beings would become an entirely different species of beings. Finally, The death of God reveals the inferiority of reason. When it comes to human origins, the only game in the community of the atheist is unguided evolutionary processes. Because evolution selects for survival, it would be well adapted to survive the intellectual faculties resulting from such processes. Yet, as Nietzsche argues, there is no essential connection between survival and truth. He points to everything we know.

    To get the true meaning of what is meant by “God is dead”, one must read section 125 in The Gay Science. “…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?” (TGS 125). Nietzsche’s incredulity, articulated in the form of a madman, was aimed at the ignorance of people at the loss of moral ground. With God’s ‘death,’ Nietzsche believed that the basis of morality in the Western world had been broken. For thousands of years, the Western world relied on God’s rule. It gave the order to society and meaning to life. Society would pass into an age of nihilism without it, Nietzsche argues.

    Although by default Nietzsche may have been considered a nihilist, he was critical of it and cautioned that it would be dangerous to accept nihilism. Nihilism is the rejection of all religious and moral principles and the belief that life is meaningless. He gave us a way out, of course, because Nietzsche saw this coming. The formation as individuals of our values. The formation of those who experience it of a meaning of life. The individual archetype that can do this has a title that has also entered our common consciousness. This will become the Übermensch, or in other words, superhuman. Through their will alone, the Übermensch will establish meaning in life and know that they are ultimately responsible for their choice. However, Nietzsche saw this as a distant goal for man and one that many people could not accomplish.

    Contrary to Übermensch, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, speaks of the Last Man which is the result of a decline of Western culture which helps to create the most contemplable man. In the text, Zarathustra is giving a speech to the crowd, explaining what is the Last Man. “Alas, the time is coming when man will no longer give birth to a star. Alas, the time of the most despicable man is coming, he is no longer able to despise himself. Behold, I show you the last man” (TPN 129). The Last Man is the individual who specializes in consumption rather than creation. He claims to have ‘discovered happiness’ while satisfying base pleasures as he lives in the most technologically advanced and culturally comfortable periods of human history. But the Last Man’s self-infatuation masks an underlying bitterness and a desire for revenge. At some point, the Last Man knows he’s hollow and lonely given his pleasures and comforts. With no ambition and no real ambitions to achieve, he has nothing that he can use to explain the suffering and sacrifice needed to overcome himself and make himself something good. He loses value in his secure place, and because of it, he is depressed. This suffering does not make him idle, on the contrary, it drives him to look for the world’s victims. He cannot bear seeing those who prosper and represent higher values, and therefore in the name of equality, he innocently advocates the total de-individualization of each man. The fantasy world of the Last Man is one in which an oppressive ruling class achieves total equality, not from within, but from within, through the ‘malevolent eye’ of jealousy and mockery. After Zarathustra explains to the crowd what this Last Man is, the crowd starts to have fun with him and begins to mock him, “Give us the last man, O Zarathustra…Turn us into these last man! Then we shall make you a gift of the Overman!” (TPN 130). This makes Zarathustra realize that man is not capable to understand the importance of his words. “And now they look at me and laugh: as they laugh they even hate me. There is ice in their laughter.” (TPN 131). Nietzsche cautioned that the last man’s world might be too sterile and dissolute to support the creation of healthy human life or friendly people. The last man is only possible by creating an uncaring individual or ethnic group that is unable to dream, unwilling to take chances, and merely making their living and keeping themselves dry. The last man’s world is directly opposed to Nietzsche’s philosophy of the will to power, according to Nietzsche, the main driving force and purpose behind human nature, as well as any other life in the universe. The last man, predicted by Nietzsche, would be one answer to the nihilism problem. But the full implications of God’s death had yet to unfold, “The event itself is far too great, too distant, too remote, from the multitude’s capacity for comprehension even for the tidings of it to be thought of as having arrived yet.” (TGS 343).

    There is then a natural explanation of Nietzsche’s belief in God. God is a mental manufacturer created to relieve pain, ease suffering, and be a friend in the face of suffering. Yet, Nietzsche states, to address these problems, we don’t need to believe in God. Instead of trying to escape misery by accepting some otherworldly being, Nietzsche argues that we should use suffering to better ourselves. Real and meaningful life turns to individual greatness, and that greatness takes sacrifice to be achieved. Positivity and happiness are never given single-handedly in this world.

    With God being taken out, Nietzsche believed that dismantling this structure would place many people at risk of despair and lack of purpose. What could be life’s meaning without God? Yet, we should disregard belief in God, for Nietzsche, and concentrate on developing our values, setting our own goals, and achieving personal achievement. One can view this as an “anchor”, as a result of getting rid of God. “Must we not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” (TGS 125). If one were to have no self-anchor, they will end up being an anchor for other people and they will become a “prisoner”. Although some believed that Nietzsche’s claim, that “God is dead”, was heading in one direction, Nietzsche was offering different routes as to what he truly claimed. Rather, he attempts to point out that there is a rise in atheism, a decline in faith, and a decrease in moral authority that will inevitably lead the world into chaos, but at the same time, it is also a great opportunity.

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