A Change in Thought

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In Nietzsche’s book, The Gay Science, he declares that god is dead at the beginning of section 3 in aphorism 108. The meaning of this statement, in the context of providing a solid possible interpretation of Nietzsche’s argument, is that god, not as a being, but as an idea is dead. To provide a conception of god as an idea, I believe it to mean an idea of morality, living life a certain way according to rules, justifying existence through a higher being, or seeing nature as a guided aspect of life. With this in mind, after analyzing aphorisms 108, 109, 111, 115, and 125, I believe Nietzsche’s argument to be that god is dead as a result of a change in thinking, for example the evolution of logic. However, I believe Nietzsche thinks people are very afraid of this change and it fact halted from full realization of god being gone. In aphorism number 108 Nietzsche presents the argument that god is dead. The passage inspires contemplation on the state of the world as a result of god being gone. The absence of god, of course, means no guiding principles, no understanding of why or how we live. The frightful shadow Nietzsche describes in the passage is all that is left of god. It is frightful because even though the idea of god is dead, people still go backwards into that way of thinking. The people showing the shadow in a cave means that people do this out of desperation. They seek shelter and safety from the great unknown, which is life without god. Saying that people may do this for millenniums yet, I think Nietzsche implies that it will be a long time before people are completely adjusted to the new way of life, however, it is possible that the duration could be shorter. I believe this is a reference to the philosopher knowing the wa... ... middle of paper ... ...ing life without god in the reality of ungoverned nature. The significance of the mad man’s actions in smashing the lamp and saying it is too early is only to say that the people cannot move on yet. God is dead and they are still living in his shadow. It is only the mad man that recognizes this because he is the philosopher; the man of logic that acknowledges that god is dead. He has the power to show the people the new way of life, hence him holding the lamp, but he realizes he cannot because the people are afraid and still live in god’s shadow. In conclusion Nietzsche states that god is dead. This has occurred because of the evolution in logic. However, instead of being the widespread change that Nietzsche desires, it is mired in people’s fear of the unknown. They are stuck in the shadow of god, despite the evolution of logic, for an uncertain amount of time.
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