Monday, March 13, 2006

On Nieztsche--"God is dead."

Friedrich Nieztsche wrote, in the 1960’s, that “God is dead.” I recall that everybody was horrified that he would say such a thing. I was one of those who thought Nieztsche was awful, even though at that time, I was into believing that you couldn’t know for sure if God is real—hypocrite that I was.

A few days ago, I was preparing to give a talk about the importance of “Growth through Study” for a Walk to Emmaus. I decided to show the effects on my li fe of things I have studied and read, at different times in my life. So I looked up Nieztsche, and I was amazed, lo, these forty years later, at what I found.

Contrary to what I, and everybody else I knew, thought at the time, Nieztsche was not literally claiming that God is dead. He personally did not believe it. What he meant was that people in Western culture had become so self-sufficient that they no longer depended upon God for anything. He was saying that life for such people was going to be very difficult, lonely, and pointless. He was lamenting the state of the human soul.

I wish I had paid better attention back then.

No comments:

Post a Comment