God and Nietzsche: Who is dead?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Atheist related
Nietzsche (1844-1900) rejected God and all values based on God. His famous statement: ‘Once the sin against God was the greatest sin, but God died....’ (Thus spake Zarathustra, p 125, quoted by N Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker books, 1999, p 539).
His idea that God was supposed to be dead, made him conclude that all God-based values and absolutes would then also be dead. He therefore rejected all Judeo-Christian values. He is regarded as the champion of atheism and had a great influence on their leaders. The historian Paul Johnson in his book ‘Modern Times’ referred to Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini as the three devils of the 20th century, all influenced by Nietzsche’s philosophy. Hitler personally presented a copy of Nietzsche’s book to Benito Mussolini. He also influenced writers like Bernard Shaw, D H Lawrence and W B Yeats. Sigmund Freud, the occultist father of psychoanalysis, one of the influential psychiatrists of modern times, was also influenced by him (R Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism, Baker Books, 2004, p 25 - 31).
Man has a free will to choose to accept and love God or to reject him. But the choice comes with consequences and bares fruit. If an individual or nation accepts God and his values, there is a turn towards the values of the Bible and order and sufficiency result. But if the Almighty is rejected, then many other gods are waiting to take over. Malcolm Muggeridge said: ‘If God is ‘dead’, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure’. The following quotation from Zacharias’ book describes it very neatly: ’In Nietzschean terms, the cause is atheism, and the result is violence and hedonism. They are as logically connected as the chronological connection between Hitler’s announcement of his intent in Mein Kampf and the hell ushered in by the Third Reich. The deep tragedy of the hour is that this is neither recognized nor studied by those who proclaim atheism as a benefit to and a victory for the human spirit’ (ibid, p 33). Sartre found atheism ‘cruel’, Camus ‘dreadful’ and Nietzsche ‘maddening’ (Geisler, p 282).
Nietzsche predicted that because he and other atheists proposed the ‘God is dead fallacy’, that without the worship of the God of the Bible, the 20th century would become the bloodiest century in history (the atheists were mainly responsible for it). We have the consequences of atheism in tyrants, dictators and others written in blood and misery (Clive Foss, The Tyrants, 2500 years of absolute power and corruption, Quercus, 2006). We can also gauge the effects of his rejection of God by him spending the last eleven years of his life insane.
Conclusion: The question of who is dead, God or Nietzsche is easily answered: Nietzsche is dead. God is alive and the choice for or against Him must still be made by every human being living on the earth, with the unavoidable results.
Related articles: God and the Old Testament, Atheists as Bible students, Which Bible Translation?