This was Nietzsche’s description of Nihilism, thus his Nihilism was descriptive, and his atheism militant in nature for he sought not only to deny the existence of God but to equally kill him if he was a being that could be killed and this is nihilism at its extreme. The modern world unfortunately is caught in this whirlwind, and somehow Nietzsche’s prophecy seems to be coming true.
When the madman had finished addressing his listeners he fell silent and so did his listeners. He had broken the lantern on the ground and said “I have come too early,” he then said again; “my time has not come yet. The tremendous event is still on its way, still travelling-it has not yet reached the ears of men.
Lightening and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time, deeds require time even after they are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the distant stars-and still they had done it themselves.” It seems that this prophecy has actually dawn on us, we are the appointed time for its fulfillment. For Nietzsche the death of God is a new dawn and a search for other values since God for him could no longer be the foundation or goal and sanction of human conduct. It is this nihilism that has beset the modern world.
THE MODERN WORLD AND THE DEATH OF GOD
In the parable of the madman which more aptly describes Nietzsche’s Nihilism, we see that Nietsche is much concerned about relating the fact that God is dead in the hearts and minds of his own generation of modern men, killed by an indifference that was directly related to a pronounced cultural shift away from faith and towards rationalism and science.
This same God , before becoming dead in men’s hearts and minds, had provided the foundation of a Christian-moral s,defining and uniting approach to life as a shared cultural set of beliefs that had defined a social and cultural outlook within which people had lived their lives. A look at the modern world bares the damage the corrosive waves of nihilism has left on it. How morality has been watered down and nudity celebrated, how objective truths are sacrificed on the altar of relativism, thus there seems to be no clear cut difference between white and black but it all borders from which angle one sees it.
Caution is indeed thrown to the wind, everyone does whatever he feels like with the hashtag –it’s my life and it’s a free world. A free world indeed free of common sense and reasoning. Today we hear about the LGBT movement which stands for-lesbianism, gay, bisexuals and transgender. This group tries to turn biology on its head, because it seems they find it hard differentiating biology and sociological conditioning, how something so unnatural is termed natural. Even the animal world paints a vivid picture that nature has borderlines.
This is part of the nihilism, for since men have supposedly killed God in their lives and hearts anything goes since there is no more standard to measure the rightness or wrongness of any action. When a civilization becomes its own standard without going through the pages of history to see the previous civilizations before it, then it is headed for doom. The recent endorsement by Netflix-an international movie platform of a movie that portrays Jesus Christ as a homosexual and his apostles as alcoholics, and his mother Mary as a tramp, points to the cesspool of decadence that has enveloped the world. This paints a clear picture of a world that wants to kill God.
In a world where fraud is celebrated, nudity is the order of the day, applauded and termed fashion, where freedom in all its forms is abused, where freedom wants to go without responsibility, where like Nietzsche opined that churches have become sepulchers, the graveyard of a dead God what does one expect but a living hunch of hell.
We are in a world that from all indications points to the fact that it doesn’t want God. A world that its unceasing malady proves that had God being mortal he would have long died, killed by mere men. Every day shows that God is already ‘dead’ in the hearts of men, evident in the actions that deluge each day.
Do we deny the extreme nihilism in the world today? No! it is audible to the deaf. Does this mean that Nietzsche’s nihilism has won the day? No! Some things happen and the question we should ask is the “why” question not the “what question” Nietzsche’s position is a picture of a man battling with the disorder at a point in his life, which was however poorly managed, for his poem in his late teens titled “to the unknown God ” rightly points so.
Nietzsche’s case is that of a man who calls life meaningless because he felt miserable. So Nietzsche’s postulation of nihilism cannot just be said to be nonsentimental, for he at a point in his life saw Christian morality as something which tended to be harmfully repressive. Thus for him, the recognition that God is dead to his own generation of men and women ought to come as a pearl of joyous wisdom allowing individuals to lead less guilt-ridden lives in a world that was no longer seen as inherently sinful. So the case of Nietzsche is that of a man that calls a musical composition bad because he doesn’t like it. But before I’m accused of attacking the person of Nietzsche rather than his argument.
I will like to say that, nihilism is in the world, not so much for the death of God, but for the fear of taking responsibility. The modern man wants to eat his cake and have it. That’s why nihilism thrives. Nihilism is not the absence of God but actually man turning a blind eye to a standard from which to measure himself but making himself the measure of all things. Nietzsche’s nihilism, however, will not have the final say in the modern world. For once as Augustine opines, there was creation out of nothing, creation ex nihilo.
Man may deny it and call it a mere belief, but until man finds another source from which he came, since it is obvious he didn’t fall from the sky, it could only mean that he is an effect of a cause or that something brought him into existence. In this case it follows that every other thing the modern world creates in the name of values doesn’t come from nothing but it is rather an abuse of what is already, for there can be a second creation out of nothing; man can give form but not a substance.
So Nietzsche’s atheism won’t last for this place belongs to another. The world, therefore, suffers not so much from lack of knowledge but from its abuse. For knowledge though it power, it could be a power for good or evil. Knowledge is not at fault here but the will, that is the freedom that births this knowledge into action. God seems dead in the hearts of men because the modern man has abused freedom and wouldn’t face the consequences. God is not dead, rather it is man who lost his anchor and is caught up in the turbulence of the sea.
OTHER PHILOSOPHICAL SERIES
- PHILOSOPHICAL SERIES-Heidegger’s Ontological Structure of Being
- Philosophical series-Immortality of the Soul (2)
- Philosphical Series-The Urgency Of The Anthropological Question (1)
- The Urgency Of The Anthropological Question (4)