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Nietzsche and religion
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Junior Member
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I'm doing a paper on the existance of God. I'm somewhat of a Nietzschean and would like to lead with a quote that says something consistant w/ his beliefs.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 04-23-02Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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From Gay Science,"God is dead and we killed him"



The golden fruit bears the sweetest taste.

"Your parents are frightened, your educators are frightened,
the governments and religions are frightened of your becoming
a total individual, because they all want you to remain
safely within the prison of environmental and cultural
influences." Krishnamurti


 
Posts: 3788 | Location: California then Vermont | Registered: 09-13-01Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is incorrect to put quotes around "God is dead and we killed him" and attribute it to Friedrich Nietzsche. I opined on this at
Previous post of "Nietzsche got a bad rap"
But, I know everyone does it. Every chance I get I try to set the record straight.

Friedrich Nietzsche:
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/a127486.html
http://webpages.ainet.com/gosner/quotationsarch/quotations1/author/Nietzsche.htm
http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/nietzsche.htm

God is a thought who makes crooked all that is straight.

Is man one of God's blunders? Or is God one of man's blunders?

Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it is even becoming mob.

By turning our gazes away from the world, inward to something called the individual rather than outward to creation, Milbank charges, modernity brought not enlightenment, but the darkness named by Nietzsche. “What is the modern?" D. Stephen Long paraphrased the German philosopher: “God is dead, and we killed him. No up or down, left or right. We’re just here on a little blue ball floating in space—beyond good and evil."
http://www.killingthebuddha.com/dogma/gods_own2.htm

In today's day in age, the masses have forgotten the True God, instead they
worship materialism, self, or nature. Nietzche said that "God is dead and
we killed Him," in reference to God no longer being the center of the
Western consciousness.
~found on the Internet

the following is found at
http://atheism.about.com/library/weekly/aa042600a.htm
Killing God
Have you heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly, "I seek God! I seek God!" As many of those who do not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter...
Whither is God," he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. All of us are murderers.... God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him...
~Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science (1882), section 126

The first thing to be clear about here is what should be an obvious fact: Nietzsche did not say "God is dead." Just like Shakespeare did not say "To be, or not to be," but instead merely put them in the mouth of Hamlet, a character he created.
Yes, Nietzsche certainly wrote the words "God is dead," but he also just as certainly put them in the mouth of a character - a madman, no less. Readers must always be careful about distinguishing between what an author thinks and what characters are made to say.
Unfortunately, many people aren't so careful, and thus it has become part of popular culture to think that Nietzsche said "God is dead." It has even become the butt of jokes, with some people imagining themselves clever by putting into the mouth of their god the words "Nietzsche is dead."
But what does Nietzsche's madman really mean? He can't merely mean to say that there are atheists in the world - that's nothing new. He can't mean to say that God has literally died because that wouldn't make any sense. If God were really dead, then God must have been alive at one point - but if the God of orthodox European Christianity were alive then it would be eternal and could never die.
So apparently, this madman can't be talking about the literal God believed in by so many theists. Instead, he's talking about what this god represented for European culture, the shared cultural belief in God which had once been its defining and uniting characteristic.

Europe Without God
1887, in the second edition of The Gay Science, Nietzsche added Book Five to the original, which begins with Section 343 and the statement: "The greatest recent eventóthat God is dead, that the belief in the Christian God has become unbelievable..."
As translator and eminent Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann points out: "This clause is clearly offered as an explanation of 'God is dead.'" In The Antichrist (1888), Nietzsche is more specific:
The Christian conception of God... is one of the most corrupt conceptions of God arrived at on earth..." And, when he was already close to insanity, he called himself "the Anti-Christ.
We may now pause here and think. Nietzsche obviously means that the Christian notion of God is dead, that this notion has become unbelievable. At the time of Nietzsche's writing in the latter half of the nineteenth century, this shared belief was waning. Science, art, and politics were all moving beyond the religiosity of the past.
Why had most intellectuals and writers in Europe abandoned traditional Christianity by the end of the nineteenth century? Was it a result of industrial and scientific progress? Was it Charles Darwin and his insightful writing on evolution? As A.N. Wilson writes in his book *God's Funeral, the sources of this skepticism and disbelief were many and varied.
Where God had once stood alone - at the center of knowledge, meaning and life - a cacophony of voices was now being heard and God was being pushed aside. For many, particularly those who might be counted among the cultural and intellectual elite, God was gone entirely.
And far from replacing God, that cacophony of voices merely created a void. They did not unite and they did not offer the same certainty and solace that God once managed to provide. This created not simply a crisis of faith, but also a crisis of culture. As science and philosophy and politics treated God as irrelevant, humanity once again became the measure of all things - but no one seemed prepared to accept the value of that sort of standard.
Of course, it is perhaps better that God die rather than hang around unwanted like some Deus Emeritus - a doddering figure who has outlived its usefulness but refuses to accept a changed reality. Some residual authority might cling to it for a time, but its status as a supernatural has-been would be unalterable. No, it is better to put it out of its - and our - misery and get rid of it before it becomes too pathetic.
 
Posts: 17415 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 06-07-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If I may amend my first message. I really appreciate all of the help on this. I'm not looking for a quote specifically from Nietzsche, but rather one that reflects his idea of the (without offending anyone) "the weak following without question". There actually was a quote that is on the tip of my tongue that says just that. Maybe from Plato...(the different levels of knowledge) I'm spit-balling here...any help would be appreciated. thanks again.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 04-23-02Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow! How embarrassing. Looking back on it, with a title like
quote:
Nietzsche and religion

I can't for the life of me remember how on earth I got the impression you were looking for anything by Nietzsche.
Actually I think I was just trying to shed light on the "God is dead quote"

Try this webpage.

One and all, religions have their original prophets, their sacred books, their traditions of ages gone. One and all require us to accept without question what other people long dead have said or written; to obey without question the commands of those behind us.... No matter what the belief, if it had modestly said, "This is our best thought, go on, think farther!" then we could have smoothly outgrown our early errors and long since have developed a religion such as would have kept pace with an advancing world. But we were made to believe and not allowed to think. We were told to obey, rather than to experiment and investigate.
-- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, His Religion and Hers (1923) pp. 188-90, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, ed., Women Without Superstition, p. 341

SHAKEN CREEDS:
The Virgin Birth Doctrine
By Jocelyn Rhys - Published 1922
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/6868/sh0000b.html
 
Posts: 17415 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 06-07-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.~Isaac Asimov


There are a variety of quotes here that you can choose from:

http://www.ffrf.org/nontracts/quotes.html
http://www.freedomsnest.com/cgi-bin/q.cgi?subject=religion
http://css.peak.org/newsletter/1997/aug97/asimov.html
 
Posts: 18839 | Location: CT | Registered: 08-30-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just looking at the Nietzsche quotes on this site and came across this thread. Just wanted to correct TN on his reading of Nietzsche.

Nietzsche's charge that 'God is dead' represents the death of God in ethics - God is no longer relevant to us. It is as final as it sounds and not simply the blatherings of a madman, for the 'madman' is the Ubermensch.

The Ubermensch must see the world beyond good and evil; to love the world ("There is always some madness in love. But there is always some reason in madness." ~Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra) and to look upon it as Zarathustra looks down from a transcendent position. The Ubermensch has overcome the death of God in determining our ethical - we are left to find meaning without God. Whilst simply quoting "God is dead" may be a little too strong, it does not misrepresent Nietzsche's intention - whilst God may not be dead, for our purposes he might as well be.

"James is very hateable"
~Someone who hates James
 
Posts: 2083 | Registered: 10-08-02Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Ubermensch has overcome the death of God in determining our ethical commitments - we are left to find meaning without God. Whilst simply quoting "God is dead" may be a little too strong, it does not misrepresent Nietzsche's intention - whilst God may not be dead, for our purposes he might as well be.

Just for further reference, Schopenhauer is your man if you ever want a quote to follow on Nietzsche's ideas on man's overcoming God.

The problem with 'Nietzsche and religion' is that we shouldn't restrict ourselves simply to Nietzsche's atheism, as he still maintained the importance of religion through Dionysian festivals - religious experience is especially important in his final answer to nihilism (see the third part of Thus Spake Zarathustra, especially the passage entitled 'Before Sunrise').

"James is very hateable"
~Someone who hates James
 
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