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    countybear's Avatar
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    What Does This Mean?

    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 world has yet owned has bled to death under 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 too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
    —Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125
    What is Friedrick Nietzshe saying here? What meaning do you draw from it?

    Discuss...

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
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    The lack of a common moral system divides man, in the short run scientific, academic, cults of celebrity and other such fiefdoms with their own holy leaders would be the result in the loss of a unifying God, subsequent divisions ultimately resulting in a complete breakdown of order.

  3. #3
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is online now Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    "We" have taken God out of the picture, "we" refuse to do anything about it and "we" will suffer for it.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


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    my head hurts.

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  6. #6
    Rhino's Avatar
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    Religion is older than recorded history. When mankind was still in its infancy, having recently discovered fire, I'm sure he'd look up into the heavens at night and wonder what those little bright dots were in the sky. Not knowing, he'd make a supposition. Maybe that it's the campfires of other people or beings. Thus began religion.

    No matter what your beliefs are today, it's hard to argue that the original purpose of religion was to explain the unknown. To make the seemingly-unknowable known. Not sure why the sun crosses the sky? Helios. What happens when you die? Hades.

    As the 20th century was dawning on man, Nietzsche spoke those words. Mankind had learned much; we learned those spots in the sky were other stars, like our sun. We learned the earth and other planets orbit the sun. How gravity effects the universe. There was even a new theory out that everything in the universe was moving away from a central point, and that could mean everything was created from a central point or explosion- not necessarily from an invisible man in the sky.

    Man's god. The Christian god. Was put into question.

    So for many, the notion of god had died. We killed him by learning. By studying. By exploring. And once mankind as a whole accepts that there is no god- at least not in the traditional sense most think of him- what will do to hone our morality, or even spirituality, if you believe in such a thing.

    At least, that's what I take away from it.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    It means to me that the writer has no faith or lost what faith he ever had. The only thing that Nietzshe ever said that I can see much value in is "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." I do, however, like "That which does not kill me better start running" much better.

    Call me closed minded but that whole writing is so foreign to my way of thinking that it might as well be written in Cyrillic.
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  9. #9
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    Was he blind, deaf and dumb? God is not dead. Nobody killed him. Just take a look around. Take a look at what we do for each other. Remember Japan? Remember the tornadoes? Did people not step up and care for each other? Do people not donate time, money, resources, organs to people in need?

    If God is dead, where did this spirit of compassion come from? Kindness is one thing, loving-kindness comes from beyond our own “greatness.” Could this person not see the goodness of a believing people, even back then? Was he blind? Did he choose not to see the goodness in people? I agree that there is much evil in the world but certainly there is also good, if we choose to see and believe what we see.

    And before he thinks that science and mankind is so smart and we have no need of God, remember when we thought the world was flat? Remember when we didn’t know about ocean currents? Remember when we were still discovering the water cycle? The Bible told us these things hundreds, sometimes thousands of years before we “discovered” these facts. When did we become so smart?

    And remember the evil in the world? Even though we have great compassion for our neighbor, we still have a long way to go. Just recently there’s examples of just how evil man can be (children kept in cages and starved comes to mind). Some of us need a comfort that just can’t come from our neighbors. Some of us need to be told how to love our children, because obviously we don‘t know. Some of us need to hear that we are loved. That there is hope beyond what we are living. We need God. And there certainly isn’t a man, alive or dead, that has been able to kill Him yet; not anything written, now or hundreds of years ago, that has been able to convince us that God is dead.

    We have been able to accomplish great things. We’ve come a long way in science, spirit and compassion but we still have many faults to overcome. To think that we could do away with the very thing that has helped us overcome ourselves is laughable.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady View Post
    . Just take a look around. Take a look at what we do for each other. Remember Japan? Remember the tornadoes? Did people not step up and care for each other? Do people not donate time, money, resources, organs to people in need?

    .
    I do that. No God makes me. Which is just as well, being the atheist that I am.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



    I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!

    It's not until you look at an Ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day, that you realise just how often they burst into flames for no reason!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady View Post
    If God is dead, where did this spirit of compassion come from?



    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady View Post
    And before he thinks that science and mankind is so smart and we have no need of God, remember when we thought the world was flat?
    "When"? Some people still do. And I'll give you one guess as to whether or not they believe in a god.

    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady View Post
    And remember the evil in the world?
    "Evil" is a subjective term. Sure there are things that are evil that most of soceity agrees on, but what about things that were "evil" in the past, but are now acceptable? Or things that are "evil" in some parts of the world but not in others?

    If there is a god that defines what is evil, he sure is fickle about it.


    Is there evil in this picture? Or good?



    Is it evil to make this woman wear a veil, or is it evil if she took it off?

    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady View Post
    To think that we could do away with the very thing that has helped us overcome ourselves is laughable.
    Throughout history, people that had major breakthroughs in science have had to battle the religious. The biggest, most recent example of this would be the teaching of "intelligent design" in schools over evolution.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  12. #12
    countybear's Avatar
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    Nietzche was the son of a Lutheran pastor. he once wrote a letter to "the unknown God", saying "I want to know you... and to serve you." Afterward, he abandoned his faith and delved into existential philosophical pursuits, strongly criticizing much of the teaching of the Church of his time. In the "Anti-Christ", he wrote that "Christianity is the religion of pity..." Nietzsche also was highly critical of the concept of eternal judgment.

    As a philosopher and literary scholar, he was perhaps without equal in his time. His works are filled with biting rhetoric and sophistocated allusions. In "The Gay Science", it was the Madman who proclaimed these words, "God is dead!... We have killed him!..." G.E. Morgan commented that Neitzsche was naturalist and atheist; saying that Neitzsche was referring only to the human concept of God, as it was communicated through the value systems of man, and that indeed it is the belief in God which Neitzsche refers to the demise of in "The Gay Science", rather than the being of God himself. In so saying, Neitzsche was in effect saying that modernism left no room in the life of man for the belief in God. While highly critical of Darwinism, Neitzsche's criticism of organized religion, particularly Christianity, was the bedrock of his nihilistic viewpoints. Nietzsche was most intrigued by human morality, from its origins through his era, and into the future of man.

    Neitzsche himself went mad. Mostly due to the effects of advanced syphillis. By 1888, he was almost completely dependent on the care of his family. It is perhaps most interesting that his fame peaked long after his own time, when post-modern philosophers, sociologists, and behaviorists were exposed to his works and expounded on concepts that he had developed.

    Neitzsche believed that "God's death" wasn't wholly a bad thing. In fact, he claimed that the perishing of man's belief in God led to the freedom to focus upon man's own condition and his surroundings, without being fettered by traditional belief systems and concerns for the supernatural. Post-modern criticism of Neitzsche's position is that the destruction of religious beliefs leads to erosion of the principles taught by Christianity; those being piety, faith, hope, love (as an unconditional pure commitment to others, not as eroticism or physical act), and perhaps as core of all, charity. That if, indeed, "God", and man's adherence to the principles set forth in Judeo-Christianity are indeed "dead", then only man's own selfish, hedonistic, and carnal pursuits prevail against the conscience of a positive supernatural faith system.

    Where was I going with all of this? Let me replace yet one reference in the opening quote:

    The law is dead. The law remains dead. And we have killed it. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest that the world has yet owned has bled to death under 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 too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
    Now, with this twist, discuss...

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

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  13. #13
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    [quote=Rhino;586457]



    "When"? Some people still do. And I'll give you one guess as to whether or not they believe in a god.
    Really?! This really surprises me. Wow.


    "Evil" is a subjective term. Sure there are things that are evil that most of soceity agrees on, but what about things that were "evil" in the past, but are now acceptable? Or things that are "evil" in some parts of the world but not in others?

    If there is a god that defines what is evil, he sure is fickle about it.
    The part of the quote I was responding to when I had the evil vs good thoughts in mind was when he said, "God is dead. We killed him." And if I understood him right, we should become our own gods? How can God be dead when there is good in the world? And if we become our own gods, how will we decide what is evil and what is good? Did I misunderstand his point?

    Is there evil in this picture? Or good?
    Is it evil to make this woman wear a veil, or is it evil if she took it off?
    These are examples of what I would say if we became our own gods, we would have a hard time with these ideas...deciding good or evil.
    Throughout history, people that had major breakthroughs in science have had to battle the religious.
    Exactly. I agree that major breakthroughs have been hindered by people's misunderstanding of the Bible, mostly based on fear. I still believe though, that mankind has thought of himself as being smarter than he really was. I think it's an ongoing thing with science and even in our own individual lives.

    Thanks for pointing out those examples. I hadn't thought of those.
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  14. #14
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    I wonder if, on August 25, 1900, Nietzshe thought, "Holy Crap! I though YOU were dead!"
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

    Winston Churchill

  15. #15
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    The law is dead. The law remains dead. And we have killed it. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest that the world has yet owned has bled to death under 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 too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
    Reading it about the same way.

  16. #16
    countybear's Avatar
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    If indeed Neitzsche was a true atheist as we are taught -- and I believe he was, especially given his later works which involved direct references to "God" being man's own contrivance -- then Neitzsche's reference to "God" being dead was allegorical. It isn't actually "God" the Madman in "The Gay Science" was referring to in fact, but man's faith in such a being. Cannot law also be so "killed"? Law is man's own contrivance, and can it not certainly be "killed" by a collective decline in the belief in it and by man's wholesale rejection of its concepts? Doesn't all government in essence function by the will of the governed, especially in a representative or democratic form?

    The modernists of the 19th century in Europe, grown from the reformationists who preceeded them, didn't awaken in one fell swoop and "kill" faith in God. They began to equivocate on theories of conventional belief systems, eroding away the foundational adherence of the treatises, and communicating the ego-centric allure of humanism by touting their philosophy as a better way. Rationally, Neitzsche was saying that man "killed" God by developing into a higher state of humanist enlightenment, leaving no room for what he considered an archaic faith practice. What is also interesting to note, is that Neitzsche also believed that such an erosion of faith inextricably would lead to a state where moral conduct was also an archaic concept.

    Applied to the reference "law" in place of "God", do we not see in our own time a general erosion in adherence to the rule of law? Are we not witnessing an ever-so-gradual turn from conventional wisdom regarding the protection of our societal norms and standards of conduct? Are we indeed not experiencing right here, right now, the slow and painful death throes of our own precepts of justice in America? Are victims not repetitively silenced, while the perpetrators of even the most heinous and vile acts are lauded and and celebrated as champions? Are we not in this country, taking persons who openly admit to, and even proudly publish accounts of their immoral criminal conduct, and exhalting them into positions of leadership by collective approbation? Are those leaders, once in positions of greater influence, not seemingly chipping away at the foundations of justice as concept and practice?

    Is the collective belief in law and order, and the intrinsic value of strict adherence to even the concept of justice, effectively dying? Are we killing it?

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  17. #17
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    I like pie.
    "Fear not the night. Fear that which walks the night. And *I* am that which walks the night. But only evil need fear me …and gentle souls sleep safe in their beds…because I walk the night".- Dave Grossman

  18. #18
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is online now Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    In a manner of speaking... (sorry for the movie quotes)



    A person is smart, people are stupid. The people will continue to expect everything while giving nothing. (or as little as possible) "We" as in people, are not killing the law. At least not in the common term. What we are killing is common sense.
    The law will continue to exist but people don't want a clue as to what, when or how. They only want what they can be given with the least amount of contribution. As such the law will continue to evolve ever so slightly to benefit the powerful, the power hungry and their desire for control. The people will ever so gladly give it up too no matter what.
    Example....The people elected a person to the The Office of President that said in reference to the Constitution...
    “But I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the Colonial culture nascent at that time. “I think we can say that the Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the Framers had that same blind spot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory, to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”

    Obama did not elaborate on the “fundamental flaw” that persists.
    http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/o...0/27/id/326165

    Quoted, misquoted, out of context....whatever. It didn't stop the people. The people didn't bat an eyelash. Most didn't even know it was said. I didn't. This mentality exists everywhere and it starts in each of our own individual communities. It will continue and become worse. The politicians and lawmakers won't do a damn thing about it either. If they do they will be out of a job.
    Every cop on this board is a somewhat of a study of human behavior. Not necessarily in a "I have a degree" sense but in a common, deal with people every day, kind of sense. You know that people will do the simplest of behaviors over and over again and try and get other people to do the same. Why? Because it's easy. Anything above that get's harder in degrees. It's like a disease. A conversation I once had with my grandfather was about hard work and how it pays off. I said that hard work was not easy. He laughed and said that if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. He couldn't have been more right. People don't give a shit about the law because it is easier to not give a shit. Let someone else worry about it. Hold on folks. The ride only gets worse from here. It's inevitable.

    That being said..... Imagine what you will "know" tomorrow.

    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  19. #19
    berserk is offline The reason they do psych evals
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    Regarding Nietzsche's quote, I would take it as describing a culture distancing itself from the previous generation's moral concepts and struggling to establish its own. But I say that with the understanding that I'm taking the quote as it appears here, devoid of context. Maybe I'll read the book sometime, but it's gonna have to wait in a very long line.

    Regarding the "law is dead" quote, I don't buy it. The law is, and always has been, a method of imposing the will of the state (or its predecessors) on the people. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, or else I hope I'd be in a different line of work. But good or bad, it's very much alive.

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    berserk is offline The reason they do psych evals
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady View Post
    The part of the quote I was responding to when I had the evil vs good thoughts in mind was when he said, "God is dead. We killed him." And if I understood him right, we should become our own gods? How can God be dead when there is good in the world?
    I think the "God" Nietzsche was referring to is metaphorical. At least in this specific quote. In any event, we haven't necessarily established that "God" and "good" are synonymous. That may be a belief that you hold deeply, but there are others who disagree.

    These are examples of what I would say if we became our own gods, we would have a hard time with these ideas...deciding good or evil.
    I don't have a hard time answering those questions at all. It seems plainly obvious to me where the good and evil are in those pictures. But my answer may be different from yours, and from the next person's. And many people who disagree with each other will be basing their ideas of good and evil on what they each believe God wants them to do.

    Good and evil are both subjective concepts, and hotly contested. Even when we agree on what they are, they are both found in all sorts of people and situations. Good and evil are hardly suggestive of the existence or nonexistence of a literal God, although they might be the same as the metaphorical God that I think Nietzsche was referring to.

 

 
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