Sunday, June 20, 2010
GOD IS DEAD
How can I be a member of a blog and I rarely ever write posts? Nawa for me o
“God is dead.” Those words were uttered by Friedrich Nietzsche [exceptional fellow] sometime in the 19th century. Apparently, Friedrich was convinced he had stumbled upon an epiphany no one could deny. As far as he was concerned, the spread of science and enlightenment in Europe guaranteed God’s days were numbered. He believed this so much that he set out to devise a means of maintaining moral order in the absence of God. LOL.
Fast forward many many years to the present. Mr Nietzsche is dead and God apparently isn’t. Yes, there has been a clear decline in belief in God over the past century, but with Europe harboring believers in the healthy double digit percentage range and Africa in a conflagration for God; it's hard to make the case that God is in anyway desperate for some sort of life support.
On the one hand, I can see why the man thought the way he did. With the emergence of Darwin’s theories on evolution, advancements in astronomy and science in general, he was convinced that the truth will set us free. He probably believed that the natural consequence of such developments is an insurmountable burden on faith. I suspect he imagined that, in his time, one would need an unattainable size of faith to believe in tales of a talking snake convincing a grown woman [fashioned after a rib] to fail a test of obedience set by a God who drowns his own people in genocidal numbers. A God who, by the way, didn’t equip man with “the knowledge of good and evil” before going ahead to test man’s tendency to choose evil over good. A test posed as a onetime true/false exam, in the form of a fruit, and punishable by the death of all generations. What a fool Nietzsche was for having so much faith in common sense.
On the other hand; the guy underestimated God’s self preservation instincts, overstated man's capacity for radical ideological change and was just plain silly to put an expiration date on an idea. The sad irony is, for all his obsession with Darwin's work on evolutionary biology, and his own study of God morphing over time and across cultures, the man didn't count on God evolving to samba to the tune of the alleged death knell sounded by science. A dance that has grown in sophistication as God's followers edit, evermore rapidly, what they believe of him to suit their taste.
That one is a metaphor. This one, a translation error. Ignore that bit, that's just a reflection of their abhorrent cultural practices. No, that's just mans imperfection/prejudice sneaking into the word you can ignore it. Yup, It's the age of the personalized God. God 2.0. They may call themselves Christians/Muslims or Mormons, but within each group every individual worships a different customized version of God. This is very easy to verify, challenge any critical part of their books and the fevered editing takes off in every direction.
Maybe this unconscious breakup of the one God into a pantheon is indeed symptomatic of his demise. It is just possible that he is edited into oblivion, bit by bit, one fantastic tale after another. Perhaps that's what Friedrich foresaw? Chances are, he just got the obituary date wrong. Oh, how fulfilled he would be if he could witness this all too subtle slow death of God at the hands of God's own worshipers. Patricide of a divine variety. If he was a sadist, the pace might excite him.
Anyways, on to my question. As a believer, if you had the chance to speak with that clueless heretic, what would you tell Nietzsche is the basis of your faith?
PS: Please. This is about "belief in God" dying. It is not about God dying. It's a metaphor. That's how the phrase "God is dead" was originally used, and that's what this post is about. I didn't think I needed to spell it out, but judging from the number of comments I've received pointing out that "logical flaw," I should have included this PS from the start. I am however, amused to see that religious folks make the "belief is not equal to existence" connection easily.