Talk:God is dead
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- 1 Edition Issue
- 2 Evolution
- 3 Two points
- 4 The Gay Science
- 5 Theothanatology
- 6 Bumper sticker
- 7 Is it really that misunderstood?
- 8 Removed para
- 9 Change of tone/interpretation
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Deletion of "The Reflecting God" in Music
- 12 Introduction
- 13 Nietzsche's Voice section
- 14 Date?
- 15 Article is narrow
- 16 Immortale Dei
- 17 Popular culture
- 18 Painted on a wall?
- 19 About the movement
- 20 Warning or ideal
- 21 Wrong "see also" section
- 22 What about Nietzsche?
- 23 This article needs re-factoring or re-writing
- 24 Gott Ist Tot
- 25 Yes, the article really needs an overhaul...
- 26 Article should be completely overhauled
- 27 Misunderstandings of the death of God
“Yet his shadow still looms” is not in the March 1974 Vintage Books Edition of “The Gay Science,” Kaufman translation. Is there an editorial war going on that is not generally recognized?
Within the article evolution is addressed but I find that farther clarity is still to be achieved. Namely, it would be more adequate to say "...human transformation, that is, as Nietzsche advocated, an increasing measure to cultivate human qualities that continually strive for mastery and refinement in all matters." Thus it fits a decorum that does not mislead the reader into a supposition that Nietzsche is connected to Darwin, as the link (evolution) indicates, whom of course Nietzsche harshly criticized in his works, showing that his idea is not related to Darwin's.
- For the mean time, until a reply has been obtained, I will change the article in accordance with my statement above.
How about the idea of "death of God" in Hegel's philosophy? I think it is worth mentioning. Should it be included in this article, or should a new one be created? -- mz 20:50, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
- If you can find a way to fit it in, go for it. --DanielCD 14:48, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Excellent article, it is among the highest quality of writing and explanation I have read. --ShaunMacPherson 08:39, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
1. Isn't it time we start translating the title as The Joyous Science? "Gay" has become so irretrivably linked with "homosexual" that the original translation of the title, as correct as it was in Nietzsche's time, is now very misleading to many people.
2. Shouldn't the more literalistic meaning of "God is dead" from Prof. Altizer of Emory University in the 1960s be included in the article also. He did mean that "God is dead" in the sense that Jesus was entirely God and the entirety of God; thusly, when He died at the Crucifixion, God was dead and has been ever since (something quite separate from the Nietzschean meaning, but used nonetheless and probably close to the popular, otherwise erroneous, understanding, not to mention the illustrated magazine cover). Rlquall 02:24, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
- In response to your first question, I think that we should follow suit with book publishers to avoid confusion. My copy is entiled The Gay Science. Are there any copies that are entitled differently?
- The title 'Joyful Science' is beginning to crop up in new editions: http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521406102 Pf.
- That's a link to 'On the Genealogy of Morality' which makes a reference to the 'Joyful Science'. Cambridge University Press still publish the book as 'The Gay Science'. AstroMark 22:36, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
The Gay Science
My parenthetical translation from the German title to the English, i.e., The Gay Science was for those who don't read German. The subsequent change to The Merry Science because of concern for the current meaning of the word "gay," only confuses readers, as the English version of the title as "The Gay Science" appears above in the first paragraph. soverman 02:31 2 Feb 2006 (UTC)
- I think most people that go to the book go to it because of Nietzsche, not the title. I don't think it causes as much concern as people may think. "The Joyful Knowledge" would work too. Perhaps "Joyful Science"? Thing is, poetry in the past (at least in English) has been called "the gay science", and Nietzsche himself refered to it in Italian as La Gaya Scienza. His meaning is (I believe) a reference to poetry, as he liked to think of his work. I think "Gay" title is fine here; however, it might not hurt to have a paragraph on it at the book's main article. --DanielCD 02:18, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
- Then again, I may just be so familiar with the book that I'm blinded to how people new to it are seeing it. --DanielCD 15:24, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
This page should probably be split into two, the original one focusing on the phrase "God is Dead" and the second on Death of God Theology. The Death of God theology presented here is a bit haphazard. Danielsilliman 08:28, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
- Yea, it's kind of growing organically, which is not so good. Every now and then articles like this need a firm whipping into shape. Perhaps I'll put it on my list. --DanielCD 02:20, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
- "God is dead – Nietzsche; Nietzsche is dead – God" is a popular line on t-shirts and bumper stickers.
This needs a qualification about how stupid this is, otherwise its spreading the same propaganda that the stickers are and is POV. Please don't put it back in until an agreement is made. --DanielCD 18:07, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
- Stupid or not, that slogan is a part of the common conciousness... a mention has to be made. Possibly a more NPOV comment is needed, but the common misinterpretation of the quote is discussed in the main article. I would say further belabouring of the point is superfluous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmackaerospace (talk • contribs)
- Well, it's good that it's there. Then we don't need to mention it again in the quotes section. --DanielCD 19:55, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
- The version I read 20 years ago went "God is dead" Nietzsche "Nietzsche is dead" God "The dead don´t talk" Django (220.127.116.11 18:56, 28 September 2007 (UTC))
- Shows the gall of people who think they can speak for God. --DanielCD 19:21, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Seroiusly, a section for popular culture might be useful for the theological movement section. I can think of the Tom Paxton song "Talking Death of God" (1966). I suspect that the "American Pie" "The three men I admired the most, the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, they caught the last train for the coast" could refer to God as well as to the Big Bopper.Pustelnik (talk) 20:27, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Is it really that misunderstood?
- Could you elaborate on that question a bit? --DanielCD 03:23, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I think what he is saying is, does anyone actually misunderstand the phrase to mean God has physically died? I would doubt it. I think people understand that it means Religion is dead. Thus calling it a misunderstood phrase seems strange to me.--Hibernian 08:21, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I do know someone who originally thought the quote was literal and physical in meaning. I quickly corrected him of course. However, even without this misconception the quote still is very much misunderstood. Most people believe that it is an exaltation by Nietzsche (which is covered in the article) or a defiant cry against God and Christianity. All the majority of the public know about Nietzsche (if anything) is this quote and that he was an aetheist (debatable but publicly understood). This easily leads to the idea that he is being literal or defiant. Additionally, most believe it is a quote, that he said it. Rather than the truth of it being in the mouth of one of his characters. --SteveMG 01:42 CST, 21 April, 2006
- It is put into the mouth of both Zarathustra and a 'madman' in GS 125, but Nietzsche also says it in his 'own voice' in GS 108 and GS 343, the latter passage ending
Indeed, we philosophers and "free spirits" feel, when we hear the news that "the old god is dead," as if a new dawn shone on us; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, premonitions, expectation. At long last the horizon appears free to us again, even if it should not be bright; at long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an "open sea".
- This is not a lament by any stretch of the imagination, and I'll change the article to reflect that sometime in the next few days when I have time to do it properly. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 14:10, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I must object -- it certainly is a lament. Just because Nietzsche is describing it in glowing terms doesn't mean he endorses it. He is being ironic or sarcastic. He has a low opinion of philosophers and various philosophies. He thinks they are full of error, right? So if the old god is dead, and now philosophers can feel free to go out and do their business again, that sounds like a good thing...but he is actually warning against it, saying that they are free to spread old errors. He is decrying it. He is lamenting it. Because never before has there been such an open sea -- a time when the old beliefs were withering and no new beliefs (of similar kind) were rising up to take their place. Indeed, he is generally upset that modern philosophers don't even feel the need to refute the past beliefs any more. Don't confuse his glowing terms, his apparent enthusiasm, for an endorsement -- his warnings have to be interpreted based on his overall views. Just my two cents as an avid Nietzsche reader. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 07:06, 25 April 2013 (UTC) Chesspride
God is dead. confusion. From the perspective of a believer (that God is alive), I can see how the statement is understood in a different way. However from the perspective of a non-beleiver (the madman), I can only think the madman is refering to the belief in God(faith?). I think the proposition that (the belief) in God is dead is separate from the proposition that without belief in God there is no basis for christian/religous morality(values). Its seems the two propositions have been morphed or treated as one in the first sentence- I am not sure if that has been done to avoid making a blunt statement, which in any case would only be an interpretation. Neitzsche (via the madman) the belief in God is dead. Awless (talk) 23:49, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I've removed from the Death of God Movement (Theology) section the following
Some have speculated that God has long-since committed suicide, mostly out of boredom and a profound sense of ennui originating in the fact that he/she/it supposedly 'controls' or 'directs' everything and everyone everywhere, thus he/she/it probably ran out of 'things to do' long ago and just left the universe at it stood at the moment of death. Some believe that this view is quite comical, while others find it highly blasphemous and offensive.
Change of tone/interpretation
I've made some significant changes to this article. 
I've tried to address three distortions which I think the earlier version had:
- That Nietzsche put the phrase in the mouth of a madman, implying he did not himself belive that god is dead,
- That Nietzsche 'lamented' the death of god,
- That Nietzsche wanted to base morality on some 'natural' ethical standard.
This has resulted in a significant change to the tone of the article, so I'd appreciate feedback from other people interested in the subject. Cheers, --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 23:14, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I am not editing the page -- but I think that some of these "distortions" as you call them are in fact correct observations. Specifically, Nietzsche *did* lament the apparent non-existence or "death" of God. He was the son of a religious father and had a religious upbringing, but he lived in a world of increasingly accurate scientific explanation (mechanism) that was crowding out religion from daily discourse and he certainly lamented that fact. His early writings are full of examples where he laments the growing "mechanical explanations" for the world...as he feared that they would be accompanied by nihilism.
IMHO his greatest achievement is to re-evaluate philosophical "truths" by putting other priorities in place and analyzing the outcome. For example, his questioning of why "truth" is the highest virtue -- he inverts this and puts "life" at the top of the pyramid, making room for non-true things that are necessary for life. This is his way of making room for God, for making room for religious belief in a scientific world. So yes, he certainly laments the death of God -- his work is designed to make room for God (or other non-true things). An OVERMAN is someone who (on occasion) can willingly choose to believe non-true things (i.e. like philosophy).
Nietzsche has a low opinion of philosophers -- so he would consider nearly every "philosophy" to be NON-true. That is why Zarathustra says early on "This is my way -- what is your way" (to paraphrase). He is putting the lie to the philosphies (or philosophers) who say their way is THE way. One of the contributors mentions a snippet where Nietzsche remarks that, because the old god is dead, philosophers like himself can now go out freely and do their work. This is not a good thing (in his mind) -- they are now free to recreate the old errors and spread their disease again! Thus, it is not an exhaltation...it is a lament! Many of Nietzsche's statements have the exact opposite meaning to their face value.
I think it is very telling that the madman spreads the notion that "God is dead" -- only a madman would recognize it, only a madman would care, and only a madman would see that the choice of believing in something non-true still might exist. So, Nietzsche definitely laments the population's lack of belief in God...but primarily because they have stumbled into non-belief, rather than carefully chosen it as overmen would do.
- Nietzsche does not proclaim that God is dead. The death of God is not news. At least among the people who would read Nietzsche. I.e. European intellectuals. What Nietzsche did was recognizing the consequences of a dead God. Nietzsche argued that God had to be replaced with something else. Nietzsche does not lament the lack of God, but rather acknowledges it. When man entered the modernism, she went from mythos to logos. A Christian is likely to lament the loss of innocence (which relates to the mythos). A non-religious person is less likely to. The non-religious is more likely to welcome a world where myths are replaced by knowledge/science ("loss of innocence"). I think it is safe to assume Nietzsche belonged to the latter.
- Some of the wording could be better IMHO. I don't see any major issues though. I liked the older material better (but perhaps that's because I wrote most of it!). That was back in August 2004 though, so it was probably due for a tune up. --DanielCD 23:25, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I removed some trivia examples. I really think it's not good to try and list every mention of the phrase known to man. IMHO it severely detracts from the article's focus. It's not just this article, it seems to haunt a lot of articles (Uroboros is another). I'm sure there is a guideline somewhere about what trivia is important to understanding the concept and what is just littering the article. If I can find it, I'll try to post it here so we can keep better tabs on what trivia improves the article and what doesn't. --DanielCD 20:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
- I agree. There's a section of the MoS, Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles, is that what you're thinking of? Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 01:08, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
- Thank you Squiddy. --DanielCD 14:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't have the source on hand, but I read in (I believe) An End to Suffering by Pankaj Mishra that Nietzsche referred to himself as the Buddha of Europe. I believe that if we can track down the source, this tidbit would fit in nicely with the third paragraph of the Explanation section. me llamo Andrés (tock) 05:17, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Deletion of "The Reflecting God" in Music
I deleted the Marilyn Manson song fact from trivia. The song listed does not say God is Deader than dead, nor do any songs by Marilyn Manson say such. This is a common misunderstanding of lyrics from another song by Marilyn Manson which says: "Rock is deader than dead." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 19:35, 27 March 2007 (UTC).
Why does the introduction have the German titles to Nietzsche's books? Should it not have the English titles as this is the English Wikipedia? Or at least have the English titles in brackets after the German titles. AstroMark 11:29, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Nietzsche's Voice section
The first paragraph of this section is a mess. It appears to contain a very long and cumbersome indirect quotation, which I believe could be better expressed as a direct quotation. 126.96.36.199 23:20, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
"The Gay Science" was written in 1882. However, in Longfellow's 1864 poem "Christmas Bells" he says,
"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:"
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!"
"The Wrong shall fail,"
"The Right prevail,"
"With peace on earth, good-will to men!"
'Dieu est mort ! le ciel est vide…
Pleurez ! enfants, vous n’avez plus de père !'
(God is dead! Heaven is empty...
Weep, children you no longer have a father!)
Article is narrow
Other people have said "God is dead", besides Nitchze and some of them meant it literally. This article does not address ANY of that and just assumes the one source. Problem --Blue Tie (talk) 04:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I was looking up what might have been some of the historical Christian responses to Nietzsche's utterance and I found this 1885 encyclical called Immortale Dei. The document emphasizes the importance of Church-State relations and condemns Masonic ideology. Interestingly enough, it was written only three years after the Gay Science book and appears to oppose the various currents of nihilism, immanentism and radical skepticism of that era. ADM (talk) 22:14, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
A funny phrase I first saw in a gentlemen's room in some Russian university:
"God is dead. Nietzsche" - "Nietzsche is dead. God" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 19:36, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I remember a single panel comic in Mad Magazine back in the seventies that showed a brick wall painted with: "God is Dead - Fred", followed by "Fred is dead - God"
- The "Fred is Dead - God" line was also (originally?) used as a visual (graffiti) joke in The Benny Hill Show.
Painted on a wall?
I first heard about "God is dead" as a quote, in reference to a graffiti painted on a wall that gained widespread attention (some long time ago). I can't remember when, where, or by whom... which brought me to this article to discover its origin. A Google search finds much more recent accounts, such as a New York Times headline in 1966, and in video games panted on walls, but I'm looking for the early dissident who painted it prominently on some wall that sparked issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Agvulpine (talk • contribs) 14:20, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
About the movement
I noticed there wasn't anything said about what happened to the Death of God movement. How about adapting the reaction section of the Is God Dead? article so we'd have some idea of the movement's current status? Alphapeta (talk) 17:28, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Warning or ideal
Please clarify, the article doesn't seem to do so on it's own. Is nihilism a warning that nihilism will occur after God dies and something needs to take it's place, or is nihilism the "religious" belief system itself. The article seems to switch between the two definitions. At first it seems to say that it's a warning and the word describes the void of religious belief to follow, then later it seems to express that nihilism is a belief system all its own. --Cflare (talk) 17:09, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Wrong "see also" section
I see in the "See also" section many references to christian and atheism topics. This is wrong. "God is dead" is an immiscibly philosophical term and it is not related in any way with religion or religious believes. "God" is a metaphor and cannot be used literal, as indicated by the "see also" section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 02:45, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
- I think I understand where you're coming from, but at the same time I think a reasonable view of the topic would include theological treatments of the "God is dead" idea. Nietzsche talks about religious concepts quite a bit; theologians talk about secular philosophical concepts quite a bit. I think it's a stretch to call one god 'literal' and the other 'metaphorical'! groupuscule (talk) 05:22, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
What about Nietzsche?
This article attributes the idea to Nietzsche and quotes him. But it doesn't actually discuss what it meant to him. Rather, it discusses what it meant to others. This really needs to be filled in with Nietzsche's philosphy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 08:08, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
What Nietzsche himself was saying is not clear to me, but how we have reacted to his declaration is a very worthwhile part of the article. By declaring God to be dead, Nietzsche seems to be gaining for himself a philosophical foundation to act boldly and decisively. When we leave unworkable concepts of God in the dust bin, we are empowered. That's just my own uneducated guess.LFlagg (talk) 03:06, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
"Unworkable concept of God" I think this is where you miss the point of the whole quote. Don't misunderstand I'm an atheist myself I believe religion/doctrine is bag of bones, silly putty, white hot iron ready for the hammer. Which is fortunate because if every Christian followed everything the the skeptics annotated bible we would see round the clock stoning of obnoxious teens and very drab fashion on the account that you can't wear two different piece of fabric and thats after they went mad over all the contradictions.
It also means that the various forms of Golden Rules goes out the window when strife, greed, narcissism, malcontent and fear takes hold, the common good would dictate to try to restore the prisoner dilemma but if you can't value faith in man maybe at least a divine command and eternal hellfire would hammer in some prudence in lieu of logic and compassion. But people(amorphous blob that is humanity) have this knack to turn bones into grotesque standards, putty to semtex, iron to swords and convince themselves that it was given by the gods as its unsheathe it from their gullet.
This isn't a defense of proper Theology, the right denomination or what have you, for me the "Problem of Religion" question is futile because it just creates cardboard cut outs thats ineffective to convince anyone(although I heard that best way to piss off foundries is with a degree in religious studies).
The depressing lesson to be learned, depressing but valuable is that nothing is transcended even when we have cast of tradition and form doctrines, ideologies, ideals any label with a purpose. We can still be fooled by that mirage of the pain free promised land, Xanadu, Pearly gates, not in the sky but here on earth, the transformed society, enlightened citizens, free proletarians, free market, pure race. Its so much easier to fight for ideals then it is to live up to them, purposes of the goals are burnt down to save it.
- "Capitalism is dead, and we killed it"
- "Communism is dead, and we killed it"
- "The Nation is dead, and we killed it"
- "Skepticism is dead, and we killed it"
- "Science and reason is dead, and we killed it"( yes such obscenity can and has happened )
This is also where Nihilism comes in, because people are people, you can get Malala's in Pakistan and Neo-Nazis in prosperous Sweden, most people just want to live their lives if they can find it. There is no one common moral doctrine, norms, or philosophy that ensures the common good, humans fucks up and manages to do the opposite even for the ones they are fighting for by deed or attitude.
The only thing you can do is embrace the decent people, be pragmatic about how and where the Golden Rule is dictated because the mis-mash of different people with their grievances and can't be explained away or swept over by any arbitrary principles and philosophies.
Only his hypothetical ubermensch could guide the world to certain progress(I'm probably misrepresenting him here) and those are only found in comics book. The thing he promoted was a way to make the world less hurt, by speaking out against transcended ideas, nations and religion.
There are other Dogmas then just religious ones that needs to be questioned.
This article needs re-factoring or re-writing
The first section focuses almost exclusively on Nietzsche, but the body of the article barely mentions him.
I suggest putting a paragraph about Nietzsche somewhere in the body and creating a small opening section that summarizes the topic.
Whatever the result is, it should flow smoothly and be coherent as a whole, rather than disjointed as it currently is.
- Yep. The article is pretty pathetic in its present state (two years after the above comment).--18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:58, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Gott Ist Tot
Actually, "God died" is »Gott ist gestorben«. Also, both in English and German, God and Gott are capitalized.
Yes, the article really needs an overhaul...
... but someone just undid my "stub" edit to the article. If you look at it, it's a stub - please read the amount of information relating to the quote and to its creator. there's pretty much one paragraph. The other is a different section about the Death of God Theology.
We're trying to improve it, but pretending it has more content than it really does is kind of self-defeating here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Article should be completely overhauled
"Death of God theology" has its own article and is really only tangentially related to what Nietzsche originally discussed. So why is the body of the article focused on that, rather than on Nietzsche's own ideas (which aren't about the "literal" death of God or even about atheism, per se). I came here to see a concise explanation of Nietzsche's ideas that I could link someone to who doesn't understand that it's not about God's literal death. The article should be primarily about Nietzsche's philosophy and what he actually intended with that phrase, not offshoots. Beggarsbanquet (talk) 08:14, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
- Agreed. I would support removing the theology material. This article should focus on Nietzsche's usage of the phrase and scholarly interpretations of Nietzsche's usage. — goethean 14:52, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
- I've reverted back to a version from May 2012, and then removed much of the theology material, with a link to the main theology article. — goethean 15:02, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Misunderstandings of the death of God
This section is full of errors and misrepresentation of quotes and the only valid information is already written in other sections. For this reason I delete completely this section. To give you an example of gross misuse of quotes, consider the following passage: "Religious people start going against their beliefs and start coinciding with the beliefs of mainstream society. “[Moral thinking] is debased and poisoned by the influence of society’s weakest and most ignoble elements, the herd”.(Welshon p 16)" It implies that Welshon's understanding of Nietzsche is that the non-religious mainstream society is society’s weakest and most ignoble elements, the herd. But of course Welshon is not that ignorant. In Nietzschean philosophy religious people are society’s weakest. On the same page Welshon says: "Thus begins his lifelong war with morality and Christianity." If you read this section carefully all quotes are accompanied by writer's explanation, which alters their original meaning and are in conflict with Nietzsche's main interpreters like Heidegger or Deleuze. -- Bear 11:26:41 AM, 12 May 2016 (UTC)