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Ran: The Death of God

The theme of the death of God has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with humans and what happens to them on earth. It is not a religious assertion, but a declaration of a mood—the mood of modernity, which we also find in other lines from other writings, including William Butler Yeats’ “Things fall apart” or Karl Marx’s “All that is solid melts into air“. It heralds the coming of nihilism. Fernando Pessoa said that we are slaves to the gods whether or not they exist. This is how Nietzsche’s “God is dead” ought to be received: not as a question of belief about the reality of the deity, but as an articulation of the human condition in modernity. This is not the time to debate about Aquinas’ theological proofs. God, whether or not you believe in him, is an issue we have to deal with. But the philosophical dimension of this issue is essentially un-theological and anthropocentric—it is predominantly a human issue. Insofar as the idea of God is a projection of human wishes, as the writings of Ludwig Feuerbach tell us, our relation to God (or to the idea of a God or gods) mirrors the state of human reality. Hence, the philosophy of the “death of God” is also an exercise in self-consciousness.

[Read the rest in Interlineal.]

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