It is a bright sunny morning with the students rushing to go to their classrooms. Inside the Philosophy classroom of Mrs. Beckham, college students are starting to stack their books out of their bags and on to their table. Mrs. Beckham arrives and without saying anything, writes on the board in big bold letters “God is Dead. ” Everybody fell silent and remembered the research task assigned to them two weeks ago. Mrs. Beckham: (sits down on her chair) God is Dead. Of course, Catholics and believers consider God to be dead as He no longer exists on Earth.
Several stories have their own representations of how God died a long time ago through crucifixion. All of us have seen that. Do you think God is dead? A student raises his hand from the back of the room… Mrs. Beckham: (points towards the said direction) Any thoughts worthy of the class’s attention, Ms. Fuller? Andrea Fuller: I believe the phrase written on the board is from a well-known German philosopher who introduced great ideas into the 19th century (Baird 2006). He is well known for several works and is referred to as Friedrich Nietzsche. Mrs. Beckham: Indeed, you are right, Andrea.
This gives insights with regard to the background of the quote and from whom this is taken from. I wanted to hear your thoughts regarding the death of God from your personal point of view and another one in consideration of how it is perceived by Nietzsche. Another student is acknowledged by Mrs. Beckham, one sitting right in front of her… George Riley: For me, God remains to exist even in our fast-paced time. He has proven himself to be present in the different corners of the globe as exemplified by the establishment of churches in each of the smallest unit of territory that could be distinguished for a country.
Likewise, technology and science made its corresponding contribution that enables the churches to be more accessible to the people. This serves as a constant reminder and incessantly strengthens the belief of the people that God remains to exist today. As for what Nietzsche stated, God is dead and the people are the murderers. It is a statement that really has the tendency to provoke reactions from people (Zizek 2006). There is indeed a time wherein people have made several commentaries and this statement even enjoyed comparable attention during the time when it is sensationalized through different mediums (Zizek 2006).
To a certain extent, it can be seen that the reaction earned from the people considers the topic of whether God is alive or dead to be a concern for a significant number of people. Mrs. Beckham: That is quite an interesting thought. But I still believe that God today has died. There are more things that are not seen than simply the establishment of churches and the access to such. Andrea Fuller: (reads from her book and scans the pages) Indeed, in the few last quotes from Nietzsche, Kaufmann (1974) cites the statement that “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?
” (97). God has died a long time ago within the hearts of people. In the heart of each and every person is where God exists. Not physically for His biological death occurred a long time ago. In spirit, it is where God could remain in the hearts of the people but with the sins and crimes that are committed, God slowly died and vanished. It is all attributed to the thoughts and deeds of the people through time. Michael Dutton: So can we refer to Nietzsche as a member of the movement that is directed towards bringing about an antichrist movement?
Seemingly, the arguments are leading towards the fact that Nietzsche proposed that God no longer exists, He is no longer alive, and that the people are left on their own. Anne Morris: As it is seen that this statement could easily provoke a sense of uncertainty and doubts with regard to the existence of God. In fact, in Europe, the impact of such is considered by many to have brought about a wider set of horizon for the people especially with the nonexistence of a Supreme Being that oversees everything (O’Flaherty & Doniger 1995).
I quote O’Flaherty & Doniger (1995) in this book that states “for the demythologized, Nietzsche was right and Plato was wrong; when the gods died, they left behind an empty myth, a play in search of characters, a Hamlet without Hamlet” (160). With the death of God, there is seen to be an uncertainty of some sort. The important element that exists in a particular portrait, for example the subject, is missing and that the background is the only one left. That is what I understand from what is given in the previous statement.
God has died a long time ago with the confusion and ignorance of people about the things that keep Him alive. Nietzsche has only emphasized this but there is a space left which could say that he may be simply describing the picture he is seeing. John Grahm: Indeed, we could consider that impact that it has over the European society where during the time when Nietzsche launched the idea, Skirbekk and Gilje (2001) proposed that “the belief in the Christian God has become unworthy of belief” (354).
This represents that the statements of Nietzsche has led to the destruction, in part, of the belief that is bestowed upon the existence of Christ. Nietzsche, in making this assertion, can not be condemned as an anti-Christ per se. This is because of the fact that the context upon which the statement is made also deserves attention. He is trying to propose another thought and this is seen to be more important. Mrs. Beckham: What is this thought, then? John Grahm: That God continued to exist even after his physical death placed upon Him by people.
Where we are not contented with this, we have even let him die in spirit and in thoughts. We have lost the meaning and the belief of having a God. It is the people who are to blame and this requires reclamation of our beliefs. However, this is not happening right now and Nietzsche only wanted to provoke the emotions of people and catch their attention. Mrs. Beckham: (stands up and starts to erase the phrase in the blackboard) We had a pretty much good discussion and debate that shared the ideas and research that you have done for this assignment.
We have seen both the importance of critically assessing the arguments of other people and making a response thereto based on the facts we have gathered from different sources. Just the same as Nietzsche has provoked the thoughts of others in his statement, you also made your own share and provoked other people to take part in this discussion; something that is definitely helpful for us. As for me, God remain to be alive. Despite his death, there are still people, I believe, who would continuously give Him honor and carry his life within them. It is all up to us whether we would let God die in our hearts or not.
Baird, R. M. (2006) “Friedrich Nietzsche” Microsoft® Student 2007 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation [1 November 2008]. Kaufmann, W. A. (1974) Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, 4th Ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. O’Flagerty, W. & Doniger, W. (1995) Other Peoples’ Myths: The Cave of Echoes. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Skirbekk, G. & Gilje, N. (2001) History of Western Thought: From Ancient Greece to the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge. Zizek, S. (2006) The Parallax View. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.