God is Dead

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In his book, The Gay Science, Friedrich Nietzsche famously states that God is dead. Passages 108 (New battles), 125 (The madman), 153 (Homo poeta) and 343 (How to understand our cheerfulness) all deal with a particular aspect of this assertion. Passage 108 states that God is dead but that it may be a long time before we acknowledge this. Passage 125 reiterates that God is dead and then goes on to say that we have killed him. Passage 153 shows homo poeta taking culpable responsibility for the death of God. Passage 343 deals with the aftermath of the death of God and questions what will change. Through critical analysis and examination of these four passages, while extending upon in-class discussion, a more complete understanding of this quote is possible. Passage 108, ‘New battles’, states ‘God is dead; but given the way people are, there may still for millennia be caves in which they show his shadow.’ In this passage, Nietzsche is saying that God is no longer a transcendent thing; that the definition of God has changed within the minds of man into a physical God. Thus, God has become present within the Universe. Although this does not explain how God has died, this is an important argument that lays the foundation for the argument given by the ‘madman’ in passage 125. Despite God’s death, however, Nietzsche says God’s followers, will continue to preach gods existence, perhaps for a very long time. The concept of God becoming immanent, rather than transcendent, was discussed in some detail in class. In his article ‘Immanence and Transcendence’, Philip Leon defines an immanent God as ‘within… the Universe’ and defines a transcendent God as ‘supra machinam… Whatever happens, it is the same; it has no beginning and no end; it... ... middle of paper ... ...free thought to a degree that has never before been available to us. This will bring about a new age of enlightenment, so to speak. He concludes by saying ‘the sea, our sea, lies open again; maybe there has never been such an open sea.’ Works Cited Horace. Satires, Epistles, Ars Poetica. London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1945. Leon, Philip. "Immanence and Transcendence ." Philosophy. 8. no. 29 (1993). Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. St. Anselm. Proslogium and Monologium. The Catholic Primer, http://www.catholicprimer.org/home/theologians/anselm (accessed November 20, 2011). The Pew Research Center. "Among Wealthy Nations ... U.S. Stands Alone In Its Embrace Of Religion." The Pew Global Attitudes Project. . www.pewglobal.org/files/pdf/167.pdf (accessed November 21, 2011).

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