Is there any figure in all Western history much more ironic than Friedrich Nietzsche, he who proclaimed the death of God? In mock tragic voice, his Madman even pretended to mourn it:
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 globe has however owned has bled to death below 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 also fantastic for us? Will have to we ourselves not grow to be gods merely to seem worthy of it?
The Death of Man
Grant him credit for recognizing — as hardly any atheist does currently — that God matters. But be not fooled. Nietzsche’s Madman was fine with this deicide, for he went on to say, “There has under no circumstances been a higher deed and whoever is born immediately after us – for the sake of this deed he will belong to a greater history than all history hitherto.”
All his horror more than the death of God was mere dramatic irony. Nietzsche wanted God dead. It produced space for his Übermensch, his ethic of the “will to energy,” his sneering dismissal of the Christian “slave ethic.” But his intentional irony was absolutely nothing compared to the unintended type that flowed out of his philosophy more than the years: In killing God, we have killed ourselves.
I’ve written it just before: Humanity is dead, and we are its murderers. With the death of God we’ve lost our selves we’ve lost humanness itself. We do not know who or what we are.
The Descent of Man
Certainly, if there is any perform in Western literature much more ironic than Nietzsche’s, it is Darwin’s The Descent of Man. He meant “descent” in its genealogical sense: We are the descendants of some ape or ape-like creature. But the word also implies the downfall, the drooping, the lowering and in Darwin, man was lowered from the nobility of God’s image to the ignominy of undifferentiated animal. I do not imply the embarrassment of obtaining apes as our grandparents I’m speaking about our becoming (in Darwin’s terms) 1 with all of nature, with out distinction or distinction.
When I was a youngster I was taught evolution’s “progress” from single-celled creatures to tiny proto-plants and animals, on up to the vertebrates, the mammals, the primates, and lastly the highest of all, humans. That is all myth, on a Darwinian accounting. Evolution knows absolutely nothing of progress. If it “knew” something at all, it would be that achievement implies absolutely nothing much more than obtaining offspring that have offspring. Some offspring do that far better than other folks, but the new Darwinian synthesis explains that all as the purposeless outcome of mere mindless opportunity. Which is actually exactly where we came from, on this viewpoint.
If you nonetheless want to use “higher” for particular evolved species, just try to remember how they got that way: Their ancestors’ offspring had much more offspring. They conquered a niche. For humans, that niche may perhaps be defined as the tool- and language-utilizing domain exactly where cooperation and invention serve to preserve offspring to have much more offspring. On Darwinian terms, although, our niche is no greater than that of the 1 animal whose numbers (and biomass) far outweigh all other folks: termites.
The Death of Dignity
But are not we greater, much more dignified for getting the self-conscious, pondering, arranging, intentional beings we are? 1 could consider so, provided that just about every individual knows this is so, primarily based on the most direct proof of all: our personal continuous expertise. Today’s atheists, having said that, intellectually descended (in each senses of the term) from Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx, have wiped all that away.
No cost will is an illusion, say Coyne and Harris. Daniel Dennett permits for it only the sense that one thing is cost-free but it is not you or I producing cost-free possibilities, it is just opportunity, which from time to time escapes the shackles of physical determinism.
Atheist philosophers Alex Rosenborg, Paul and Patricia Churchland, and other folks deny human consciousness. Rosenberg denies rationality, even human believed. Thomas Nagel agrees atheism ought to lead to the similar conclusions, so he hopes someday we’ll locate a far better answer than that (as extended as it is not God).
All of them (except the ever optimistic Nagel) deny that humanness is what humanness appears to be. It has no substance, only illusion. So neglect about human uniqueness signifying any type of superiority more than the rest of nature. We’re only much more confused by the delusions that deceive us.
God is dead, stated Nietzsche. His Übermensch translates to “super-man” and in a sense he believed this new superman would soar, virtually like the fictional man we know of from Krypton. In reality his philosophy ended up chaining us challenging to the ground as an alternative. And now we see the fruit of it as we reside out this death.
Living in the Death
Of course we nonetheless want to soar. We know — not from philosophy or theology, but from our personal undeniable self-awareness and expertise — that we’re meant for one thing higher. However continually we’re barraged with the Darwinian, Nietzschean message that we’re not meant for something at all.
Is it any wonder we’re confused? Is it any wonder we no longer even know man from lady? Is it any surprise we’re much more focused on sex and pleasure than objective and which means — not to mention procreation? As for marriage and family members, how can 1 who does not know who or what he is commit a lifetime to one more individual whose which means and identity is as inscrutable as his personal? Why would such a confused couple want kids? Why would a lady hesitate to kill the youngster in her womb, when even her personal location in the globe is so significantly in doubt?
Why do scientists seek to edit human genes? Why do transhumanists speak of “singularity”? Is it mainly because we want to invent a new übermensch? In a way, yes but that is only mainly because we do not know who we are, as we currently are, and we location so small worth on what we do.
Flailing for Which means
Why are so several turning into social justice warriors? To make which means exactly where otherwise there is none. Why has an MSNBC anchorwoman proclaimed her life “pointless” if international warming is not averted? Since it is pointless anyway, and the imminent collapse of every thing (in her thoughts) only brings that reality to the fore. What explains the new intersectionality movement? The 1 who does not know who she is as a human can at least hope to locate identity as a disabled atheist lesbian Hispanic daughter of immigrant parents.
I have no beef with her for that, except when this identity surmounts her identity as a human getting living amongst other human beings, and when it dims her understanding that we’re all human beings. But once more, why would it be any surprise if this occurs? We no longer know what it is to be human. Exactly where there is ignorance, there is flailing intersectionality is specifically that sort of flailing.
Or Acquiring Life Once more
So right here we are. Nietzsche sang the death of God, unaware it was the death of humanity. Darwin lectured on the descent of man, ignorant of how far it would imply we would descend. Meanwhile all our social movements are in reality movements of rebellion against this descent and death, desperate attempts to locate and re-define our location in the globe. For we know we do have a location, and it is not merely as one more species of animal.
We know it mainly because it is accurate. But then 1 desires to know, how is it accurate? To that query, only the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam can give an answer it is identified in Genesis, exactly where we find out we are certainly diverse: we’re specially designed in God’s image. And only Christianity can show how God came amongst us to prove our worth beyond all error and to remedy our personal blunders.
Christianity is recognized above all for preaching a resurrected Savior. Christ is alive, and provides life out of death to these who trust in him. However there is one more death he alone can remedy, this similar death of humanity I’ve been lamenting. Devoid of him the flailing for which means and identity will continue. In Christ, having said that, getting human tends to make sense. In him, humanness has accurate worth. In him it is actual. In him, humanness can reside once more.
Care to know how? I’ve got a recommendation for you — explaining all the above, and significantly much more.
Image Credit(s): Wikimedia Commons.