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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

On Nietzsche’s Theistic Hopes

Nietzsche said, “God is dead,” but he was not an atheist. Hegel, a deeply pious man, had used the “God is dead” phrase to describe a situation in which consciousness senses that there is no hope and feels profoundly unhappy. For Nietzsche too, the death of god is unrelated to the god of religions, though he does not accept the Hegelian notion that unhappiness is humankind’s fate.

According to Nietzsche, the idea of “God’s eye view” is dead. There is no single view of the world, there is no single truth, and there is no divine plan for mankind. A privileged perspective from philosophy, religion, and metaphysics is no longer available. He attacks the idea of morality that is valid for everyone everywhere. He insists on a multiplicity of perspectives, noting that values are relative to a time, a place, and a set of circumstances and customs.

Humanity has to construct its own destiny by creating its own values. People will define who they are and what they can be. Thus Nietzsche’s idea that “God is dead” does not deny theism; it gives rise to new theistic hopes of creative values made by humans themselves.

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