‘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, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann
One of my favourite philosophical verses, it accurately describes the world that has now arisen within the West. God is dead, but not in the literal sense; instead, God as a model for moral principles has become outdated, extinct even. How can we strive to advance whilst still confined by moral rules created thousands of years ago? These concepts that were so important at an earlier stage of our evolution, no longer seem necessary in a world as vivid and as complex as our own. This concept of a ‘God’ is simply a mirror of those who believe in him, as we often imprint our own thoughts and opinions upon the God, whereas vice-versa was the norm at the time of his inception in our mind. There is also an idea that god is dead in a far more literal sense, as in science having killed the God that we so revere. Human beings feel the need to believe; it is hardwired into our biological makeup; those things we do not understand, they have been attributed to the supernatural, and to our Gods, for millenia. A world that has no God is a terrifying place, but it is also a place of happiness, of self-worship and understanding.
I feel, that any ‘God’, in the Christian sense, must be either changed, or eradicated, for your society and evolution to begin anew. Those who believe in a deity have every right to, and I feel that worship has it’s place in our society, but it also causes a vast amount of troubles for the modern world; the issue in Gaza, Islamic Extremists, the Westboro Baptist Church etc. These are all by products of a choice to believe in God as a figure of hatred, as a tool for us humans to utilise to justify our actions. When we utilise a God, do we not become equal to, if not more powerful, than said deity? God is dead, and we have killed him. He no longer holds sway over us as a race, nor does he evoke any form of terror. Those who believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent God, often fear not believing in a God, and this prompts them to believe. What a strange paradox; but one of the many created in a world where someone can chastise another for murder, but still eat meat from the flesh of a murdered being.
Nietzsche felt that the removal of God from our society would improve our current state of existence; he utilises the metaphor of an open sea, Exhilerating, but also deeply terrifying. How interesting that he deems a world without this God would be so much better, so much stronger, then the world we live in right now. After I read this passage, I felt at once terrified, but also excited for a future in which this may become a reality.