Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Death of God?

One of the misconceptions to clear up right away is that the “Death of God” is not synonymous with “God does not exist.” While Nietzsche was certainly an atheist, the thrust of his phrase lies elsewhere. The next sentence in the aphorism: (#125, The Gay Science) “And we have killed him.”

Once upon a time it was possible to inquire with a good conscience into various and sundry matters for the greater glory of God. One inquired and knew that the answer would be God or maybe a doctrine of one’s church. One inquired and investigated as means of worshiping God. A little later, investigation of Nature and her laws was also to the greater glory of God. The essential point, as difficult as may be to imagine, is that it was possible to inquire into Scripture, for example, and without any defensiveness see God’s authorship. What happened?

It became less and less honest to accept God as the inevitable result of honest inquiry. God was banished from the natural realm as an unnecessary hypothesis. Then God was found to be an unnecessary hypothesis for philology, morality, and the other human sciences. Belief in God conflicted with honesty. If one sides with honesty then one becomes an agnostic or an atheist. Otherwise one retreats behind faith. God died when He lost the power to explain anything. God is dead and Christians still worship Him.

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