Nietzsches Declaration: God is Dead - Essay Example

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One of the elements, which is central to Nietzsche’s (2001, p.120) philosophy is illustrated in his famous declaration that, “God is Dead!” This affirms a complete rejection of metaphysical and religious truths as grounds for reality…
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Nietzsches Declaration: God is Dead
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Download file to see previous pages In this essay, I will explore the philosophical implications of Nietzsche’s said declaration. For, it is in this regard that Nietzsche’s philosophy is not to be identified with nihilism. Rather, I will show that his declaration, i.e. that “God is dead”, could be viewed as a positive opportunity to revaluate our morals. In doing so, I shall discuss the central ideas of some of Nietzsche’s major works, all of which are, in my contention, necessary, for a proper analysis of the said declaration. One common factor in all of Nietzsche’s works is his contention that the spiritual dimension is illusory. Thus, for Nietzsche, the existence of God is nothing but an imaginary cause. In his view, it is nothing but a mere projection of one’s psychological desire for security in life. This is expressed in one of Nietzsche’s work, The Anti-Christ. He (Nietzsche, 1968, p.137) wrote, “In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point. Nothing but imaginary causes… an imaginary psychology…” Yet what does this say about the death of God? The said declaration presupposes a denial of universal morality as the basis for human conduct. Nietzsche believed that once the existence of God is unveiled as an illusion, then it follows that God could no longer be implemented as the foundation for human ethical conduct. This leads to the assertion that morality will be founded on the subjective will of the individual self. Thus, Nietzsche affirmed the individual self as the basis of all norms. Will to Power Based on this argument, we are led to the question: “How can the individual achieve its highest level of affirmation in a world without a Divine providence?” The answer to this query is found in the Nietzsche’s theory of the “Will to Power”. In a book entitled, Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy, Samuel Stumpf (1999, p.394) defines Nietzsche’s will to power as ”the drive to dominate the environment. This drive, so central is the Will to Power. This Will to Power is more than simply the will to survive. It is, rather, an inner drive to express a vigorous affirmation of all a person’s powers.” Given this, the will to power can be characterized as the inner propensity to dominate and assert superiority over one’s life. Furthermore, it allows individuals to reach their highest potentials through a person’s willingness of overcoming barriers and constraints. In this manner, individuals increase in power and vitality, not because of a supernatural being but because of oneself. However, Nietzsche cautioned us that if one decides to practice a certain code of ethics, the will to power gradually declines. By this, the individual weakens and suffers. To explicate further, Nietzsche accused Christianity for advocating virtues that undermine and destabilize one’s will to life, i.e. the will to power. Herein, Nietzsche offers us a critique of Christianity. Two-Fold History of Good and Evil: Master vs. Slave Morality Before Nietzsche presents his criticisms on the teachings of Christianity, he explains how and why Christianity became the dominant religion in human society. His explanation is found in his doctrine of the two-fold history of good and evil. This doctrine reveals that there were two types of moralities, which were practiced during ancient Greece. These are Master morality or Aristocratic morality and Slave Morality. To Nietzsche, Master morality is one that is built on the will to power. He says: “What is good? – All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is bad? – All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? – ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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