What Can You Say About Nietzsche’s “God is Dead” phrase?

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God is dead? Well this was the phrase Nietzsche used, however it is has been grossly misinterpreted. Although we do infact know for sure that he orated this phrase, the statement goes far beyond the surface of the words ” God is dead.” Nietzsche was a master of aphorisms, a general truth expressed in a clever way, this statement was nothing more than that, an aphorism. As an existensialist he believe that we create meaning for our own lives, and that we had simply lost the need for God to exist to have meaning in our lives.

The phrase “god is dead” first appears in The Gay Science, one of Nietzsche’s earlier works, and was made popular a later book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The actual phrase reads as follows. “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” The phrase is directed towards Atheists and morals that thy held at the time, and uses a semi-Socratic method of asking them how they choose there morals if not through Christianity.

The plain and simple fact about the statement “God is dead” is silly and is just a poor choice of words on Nietzche’s part. It is nothing more than an aphorism that implies in order to have meaning in our lives we don’t need to believe God exists.

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