Is Nietzsche's "God is dead" misunderstood?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 11:12 am
@Fido,
Fido;160832 wrote:
Of killing of God... When your father, dead and in Heaven has the distant and powerful qualities of a god without the ability to actually be killed, then killing with philosophy is the next best thing...It was Nietzsche trying to get out of his own particular trick bag, and so was his general attack upon morality... These are the sorts of things children do in order to put themselves apart from their families and be recognized as having distinct identities...Individualism is immorality, and nietzsche never found a better method than the one all children use, of denying family, denying God, denying morality, denying sin... He just never grew out of it, but was trapped in puberty forever...He is like a bug trapped in amber, thanks to his volumes.


That is what Nietzsche meant? That's harder to understand than is killing God.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 02:57 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160847 wrote:
That is what Nietzsche meant? That's harder to understand than is killing God.

He was prone to talking about psychology... That is what he revealed about himself...In my opinion... But look on the bright side...Every year at least a hundred thousand little Nietzsche's are born, or perhaps made so just by the circumstances of their births... There is certainly enough to fill many universities and prisons...
 
Ergo phil
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 11:56 am
@franciscus,
When Nietzsche proclaimed that "God is dead" it was a wish not a statement because who has killed Him?

The Christians still believe in God. The Jews still believe in God. The Muslims still believe in God. And, believe-or-not, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Who Is Now Known As Prince now believes in God!

God is not dead.

The best that Man can do is keep God contained. :brickwall:
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 01:24 pm
@franciscus,
Most people keep God in their church... They don't have a relationship with God, but a hostage to their prejudices... What they want they make God want...If there were a God, why would God not object? Well; God exists through people, as a moral form and if people would only examine whether Good results from their form of God, or evil before following the crowd, God could be good, or at least harmless... It is the power the form gives to people who seek power by any means over others that make God so hateful to some...It is the fact that God stands for Justice to some, that he hears the cry of the poor that makes God obnoxious to others... When distressed I say Oh God... I would be surprised at any obvious help...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 01:55 pm
@franciscus,
franciscus;30652 wrote:

Do you believe, like Dawkins, in God without God (liberal humanism is morally indistinguishable from Christianity hence can be described as "God without God"). Or do you believe in creating new values, challenging all conventions, proposing radical new moralities - like Nietzsche.


Nietzsche talked quite a bit about new values, but how different was his ideal from Aristotle's magnanimous man? While the death of God does seem to provide a certain opening, the world we live in and human nature has a certain structure that makes the question of values anything but wide-open. I say this because I don't think new values can be invented. It seems as likely to me as the invention of a new color. The "trans-valuation of all values" is an absurdity. This is not deny that Nietzsche was sometimes a genius. I prefer the Nietzsche who wrote Beyond Good and Evil. The Birth of Tragedy is also good.

I feel that sophisticated and reasonable conceptions of God have existed for centuries. I reject crude conceptions of God and fanatics in general. ,but also the allergy to all things mythological, theological, or speculative. God is one of the more fascinating themes we humans can speak of.
 
qualia
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 09:19 pm
@Ergo phil,
Ergo wrote:
When Nietzsche proclaimed that "God is dead" it was a wish not a statement because who has killed Him? The Christians still believe in God. The Jews still believe in God. The Muslims still believe in God. And, believe-or-not, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Who Is Now Known As Prince now believes in God! God is not dead.


I think this kind of assertion is a little misunderstanding, not only of Nietzsche's differing conceptions of god throughout is oeurve (the logos, logocentricism, absolutes, grammar, I, a fixed and essential kurnel to self, some god as conjured up by religion etc) but also as conceived in The Gay Science itself. Let's go back:

"Have you not heard the madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place and cried incessantly, 'I seek God!, I seek God!' ... Why, did he get lost? Said one. Did he lose his way like a child? Said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? Or emigrated?... The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his glances. "'Whither is God'? He cried. 'I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. All of us are his murderers...the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke and went out. 'I came too early,' he said them; 'my time has not come yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering -it has not yet reached the ears of man."

The death of god, and this could be anything from fixed absolutes, to say, god as conceived by religious folk, or grammatarians with their language, or believers in some fixed Cartesian super substance called mind - hasn't yet happened. It's something that is 'still on its way'. It's an ever becoming. An ever growing critique and suspicion. And has that not happened with the advent of twentieth century continental philosophy, from structuralism to existentialism, to critical theory and deconstruction?

Since Kant, Nietzsche realised that the Occidental race has been driving towards an ever more fundamental form of anthropocentrism. If Kant's categories are onto something, that we view our existence and the existence of all things through our all too human categories, then where does the buck stop?

Nietzsche brought forward the suspicion of the primacy of language in which there is no world outside of language. Humans impose arbitrary categories and signs of meaning and most often believe in them if only to avoid being confronted with bewildering chaos, confussion and meaninglessness.

Perhaps l
anguage does not even reflect reality. Certainly, there is no intimate link between a word and thing, and even if in some limited cases this were the case, Nietzsche understood that the system of language necessitates moving beyond the instance and into the realm of categories, types, universals, abstractions, lexicon words, the Logos itself. All signs pointing to no-thing out there and so for Nietzsche, we could no longer guarantee ever knowing for sure about any reality outside of the sign.

Okay, Nietzsche was an atheist, but what does that even mean? To 'believe in god' and yet, at the very same time, to 'not believe in god's existence' is not a contradiction. So what's going on here? As Nietzsche wrote, I am afraid we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar."
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 09:21 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;163940 wrote:
Nietzsche talked quite a bit about new values, but how different was his ideal from Aristotle's magnanimous man? While the death of God does seem to provide a certain opening, the world we live in and human nature has a certain structure that makes the question of values anything but wide-open. I say this because I don't think new values can be invented. It seems as likely to me as the invention of a new color. The "trans-valuation of all values" is an absurdity. This is not deny that Nietzsche was sometimes a genius. I prefer the Nietzsche who wrote Beyond Good and Evil. The Birth of Tragedy is also good.

I feel that sophisticated and reasonable conceptions of God have existed for centuries. I reject crude conceptions of God and fanatics in general. ,but also the allergy to all things mythological, theological, or speculative. God is one of the more fascinating themes we humans can speak of.

There has never been one reasonable or sophisticated conception of God... There is no true conception of God... God is an infinite; and even if God is only a moral form, God is still an infinite since we cannot hold God in our hands as though an object... There is no verification, no classification...There cannot be a classification of one, and without God as an object, no logic, or reason can be applied to him
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 10:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106998 wrote:
Yes, I agree that he was indeed quite spiritual. Spengler called him a socialist, meaning by that someone who concerned themselves with the ethics of others. Nietzsche can be described also a moralist, one who questioned the value of pity.

I see him as a conflicted spirit, moody and ironic. He tossed off genius with one hand and absurdity with another. He could be lazy, unfair, indulgent. But at his best he is an extension of critical philosophy, questioning the will-to-truth itself.

His Superman reminds me of Christ the Lion, and I refer to Michelangelo's Last Judgment. Christ who came as a lamb and returns as a lion. I reverence Christianity as a body of sublime myth. Hence my contempt for the shallowness of pop-atheism.

Wink


I feel Nietzsche's entire conceptualization of God was a misinterpretation. He was reacting violently to what I might call pop-theism, and I feel the Kierkegaards and Nietzsches were inevitable considering what religion was transforming into at that time. I think exposing the fraud of a religion that Christianity was starting to become will be the existentialists lasing contribution.

All that said, I think people are mostly dead on with him. I think he trully, and maybe rightly so, believed that God was in fact dead from most people's worlds.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 11:16 pm
@qualia,
qualia;164063 wrote:

Perhaps l
anguage does not even reflect reality.

The strange thing is that this thought can only exist within language. That the idea of a world outside language is an abstraction within language. I'm not denying experiences that aren't lingual, but these are language as soon as I think them, or not?

I love Nietzsche's metaphor of the truth as an army of metaphors.

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:19 AM ----------

MMP2506;164083 wrote:
He was reacting violently to what I might call pop-theism, and I feel the Kierkegaards and Nietzsches were inevitable considering what religion was transforming into at that time.


Good point. And I must admit that he could quite subtle sometimes. I think there are many Nietzsches. Smile

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:20 AM ----------

Fido;164066 wrote:
There is no true conception of God...


That, my friend, sounds like a conception of God, something like negative theology....

Smile

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:22 AM ----------

Fido;164066 wrote:
. God is an infinite; and even if God is only a moral form, God is still an infinite since we cannot hold God in our hands as though an object... There is no verification, no classification...There cannot be a classification of one, and without God as an object, no logic, or reason can be applied to him


I like your ideas on God, Fido. Like I said, negative theology! :detective:
Quote:

In negative theology, it is accepted that the Divine is ineffable, an abstract experience that can only be recognized or remembered-that is, human beings cannot describe in words the essence of the perfect good that is unique to the individual, nor can they define the Divine, in its immense complexity, related to the entire field of reality, and therefore all descriptions if attempted will be ultimately false and conceptualization should be avoided; in effect, it eludes definition by definition:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 01:46 am
@qualia,
qualia;164063 wrote:

Perhaps l
anguage does not even reflect reality. Certainly, there is no intimate link between a word and thing."


Perhaps indeed. And perhaps elephants fly. I don't know what you mean by an "intimate link" but yes, it is true that language is a set of conventions ("nomos" as the Greeks said) and not the result of cause and effect (phusis). But that does not mean that the term, "elephant" does not "reflect" the thing, elephant. (Whatever that may mean). As we keep reminding one another (alas! with little effect) not only is the map not the terrain, it is not even supposed to be the terrain. As Wittgenstein was always pointing out, people have the queerest ideas about language.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 04:30 am
@Reconstructo,
Quote:

Reconstructo;164112 wrote:
The strange thing is that this thought can only exist within language. That the idea of a world outside language is an abstraction within language. I'm not denying experiences that aren't lingual, but these are language as soon as I think them, or not?

I love Nietzsche's metaphor of the truth as an army of metaphors.

Concepts, and forms are a sort of metaphore... Before we can conceive of any phenomena we must have two of it...This was easy for primitives who conceived of everything spiritually, and with a multitude of Gods... If we say One God, we have robbed ourselves of a class containing like elements that can be considered as idea... There is no concept with a single element, though the Monad comes close... We say existence, but existence is like God, an attempt to classify a single thing that is without class...A concept is science because until a thing can be conceived of no rational comparison can take place between the form and the object... With infinites, which are either not objects or all objects, or objects without end, there can be no rational examination in light of the idea...
---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:19 AM ----------



Quote:

Good point. And I must admit that he could quite subtle sometimes. I think there are many Nietzsches. Smile

I think Nietzsche reacted most violently to the support the church gave to the humane treatement of humanity...It is inevitable with a human God like Jesus suffering a human condition should support the human need for justice...Look at what he said about Paul...He hated the fact that he supported, though lukwarmly, the equality of man, like the church...What he says about the officer in church is telling: Who do they exclude... Do I have that right, as if the idea was to refuse humanity???... Christianity as he knew it was never meant to exclude as our classes and morals do; but this conflicted with his reactionary view of social good as carried by a relative few who were willing to disregard all human feeling even for themselves and push on... He hated democracy... Well; he never knew democracy...
---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:20 AM ----------



Quote:

That, my friend, sounds like a conception of God, something like negative theology....

Smile

No conception at all...With concepts, like number, there is a direct coruspondence between the concept and the thing conceived... You can check the one against the other, the object against the form, and the form against the object...With God there is no such thing to check...It is totally subjective.
---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:22 AM ----------



Quote:
I like your ideas on God, Fido. Like I said, negative theology! :detective:

Not ideas at all; and not negative theology, not theology...It is simple stuff, obvious, in fact.... We have many moral forms which are all meaning and no being... God is a certain meaning to all people, but there is no matter that can be classed as God, that can be examined in detail and about which we can speak rationally, nothing that is... Physical concepts are true concepts... Moral forms are just forms, all meaning, and no being....
 
qualia
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 05:25 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo wrote:
The strange thing is that this thought can only exist within language. That the idea of a world outside language is an abstraction within language. I'm not denying experiences that aren't lingual, but these are language as soon as I think them, or not?

Ay, you're right, Reconstructo. I imagine to a large extent language precedes much of our understanding of the world, not all understanding, but I guess a fair amount. As you have rightly pointed out, the whole idea of a world outside language is just another game within language, trapped within the symbolic order in which the 'world' becomes inconceivable outside this system of differences.


Kennethamy wrote:
As we keep reminding one another (alas! with little effect) not only is the map not the terrain, it is not even supposed to be the terrain.

Indeed, you're right, Kennethamy, using Korzbski's metaphor, the map is not the terrain, but now the question arises, plunged into the symbolic order, to what extent does the map precede the territory, engenders the territory such as it is?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:09 am
@qualia,
qualia;164188 wrote:
Ay, you're right, Reconstructo. I imagine to a large extent language precedes much of our understanding of the world, not all understanding, but I guess a fair amount. As you have rightly pointed out, the whole idea of a world outside language is just another game within language, trapped within the symbolic order in which the 'world' becomes inconceivable outside this system of differences.



Indeed, you're right, Kennethamy, using Korzbski's metaphor, the map is not the terrain, but now the question arises, plunged into the symbolic order, to what extent does the map precede the territory, engenders the territory such as it is?


It doesn't, unless it is a fantasy map. And to complain about there not being an "intimate relation" between words and things, is just like complaining that the map is not identical with the territory,
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:21 am
@Fido,
Fido;164177 wrote:
Not ideas at all; and not negative theology, not theology...It is simple stuff, obvious, in fact.... We have many moral forms which are all meaning and no being... God is a certain meaning to all people, but there is no matter that can be classed as God, that can be examined in detail and about which we can speak rationally, nothing that is... Physical concepts are true concepts... Moral forms are just forms, all meaning, and no being....


To reduce being to only what is physical is some tricky business. I see where you are coming from, but that word choice does leave us with some distressing consequences.

If moral forms have no being, how can they exist in any form?
 
qualia
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
It doesn't, unless it is a fantasy map.

The understanding of language as some kind of nomenclature is an extreme form of naive realism, and pretty much incoherent. Accordingly, signs like 'history', 'philosophy', 'mind', 'culture', 'society', 'information', 'masculine', 'good', the complete range of lexical words, belong to some fantasy map, because in no such manner has the map preceded the territory. But I imagine, on reflection, you're not asserting that at all, right? The question remains unanswered, to what extent does the map precede the territory, engenders the territory such as it is?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:14 am
@qualia,
qualia;164211 wrote:
The understanding of language as some kind of nomenclature is an extreme form of naive realism, and pretty much incoherent. Accordingly, signs like 'history', 'philosophy', 'mind', 'culture', 'society', 'information', 'masculine', 'good', the complete range of lexical words, belong to some fantasy map, because in no such manner has the map preceded the territory. But I imagine, on reflection, you're not asserting that at all, right? The question remains unanswered, to what extent does the map precede the territory, engenders the territory such as it is?


I really would not know, since I do not understand what it is you suggest I am not asserting "on reflection". There were masculine men, and good people before we invented the word if that is what you are denying. And even had we not invented the terms, there they were, anyway. You seem not merely to think that language is important (which it is) but you seem to ascribe to it magical powers. Creation out of nothing.
 
qualia
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:32 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
There were masculine men, and good people before we invented the word if that is what you are denying. And even had we not invented the terms, there they were, anyway.

So accordingly, there were crystalline spheres, humours, effulvia of electricity, phlogiston, caloric, vital force, ether, circular inertia, spontaneous generation, books, feminine, masculine, positive, passive, foreign, gain, buildings, mind, state, nation, idiot, in existence before we coined these words?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:52 am
@qualia,
qualia;164226 wrote:
So accordingly, there were crystalline spheres, humours, effulvia of electricity, phlogiston, caloric, vital force, ether, circular inertia, spontaneous generation, books, feminine, masculine, positive, passive, foreign, gain, buildings, mind, state, nation, idiot, in existence before we coined these words?


Certainly not phlogiston or vital force, etc. Why would you think so? There has never been phlogiston. Why should there be simply because the term was coined? Wherever could you have gotten such an idea?
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 08:41 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;164200 wrote:
To reduce being to only what is physical is some tricky business. I see where you are coming from, but that word choice does leave us with some distressing consequences.

If moral forms have no being, how can they exist in any form?

They do not exist as objects, but we do build social forms out of our moral forms, our sense of this meaningful quality in life... If they exist in any sense it is as an extention of our lives which are all meaning to us, for with life goes all meaning... What we find meaningful, whether justice, or liberty or love or God is meaningful because of its effect upon our lives... We perceive that we cannot live without some quality, and it has meaning...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 09:43 am
@Fido,
Fido;164247 wrote:


They do not exist as objects


Translation. They (whatever they are) do not exist. But I don't think you mean that social forms do not exist. Clearly, they do.
 
 

 
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