Nietzsche’s dead “God”

In the current of the Enlightenment, I think Nietzsche’s announcement that “God is dead” was close, but I don’t think “God” was yet dead. Just wounded. The work of killing has continued. And in my view, the “Enlightened” – materialists, rationalists, nihilists, skeptics, atheists – don’t deserve much credit at all for the ongoing killing. Instead, it is the “God” promoters who are managing to suck every last breath and drop of blood from the wounded “God.”

The Enlightenment had wounded the unreal, idealized, and idolized “God.” These are the “God”s defined by institutionalized religions organizing fearfully under the God banner, lusting for power to fortify their insecure egos as they sought more power over masses.

As power-lust will do, it propels these institutions to cling more tightly to their belief in definition. These institutional behaviors are reflections of individual behaviors: Each one of us, upon realizing we have not defined the world properly as it is, first clings even more tightly and grasps for control more desperately, before reality wrests our delusions from us. When we persist in our narrowness and do not surrender, we go insane. So have religious institutions, because so is their “God.”

To pretend we can define the undefinable is, well, nothing short of ill-logic, is it? Insane.

The Enlightenment suggested that many of the irrational claims and beliefs of religions were insane. Religion argues back that rationality is transcended by faith. Perhaps. But some religions also recognize that faith and reason, when both are authentic, do not conflict. These beliefs systems leave happily the dynamic equilibrium between faith and reason each informing the other. It does not have to be one or the other. But that takes a dose of humility that power institutions cannot abide. (Nor can most individual egos.)

Authentic faith demands assent from the intellect without conflict. It does not demand proof from the intellect, but it does demand assent from the intellect. When that required assent is diminished, suppressed, oppressed, ignored, or killed, faith is not authentic any longer. What “God” would demand faith be insane?

Yet, that is what many institutions still demand. These institutions are dying the same slow death as their idolized “God.” So Nietzsche’s announcement wasn’t wrong; his grammatical tense or voice was just a little too advanced. God was not dead then; God had just been wounded, and began to die.

That “God” continues to be put to death by “His” adherents. This is not to say that ALL of the beliefs and practices of these institutions is insane. but some surely are. And the longer and more vehemently these institutions cling to their insanities, the more quickly they will die, thank God (the God without quotes).

Neil D. 2023-02-18
[origins ~2022-05-02]

For a plainly written, related reflection with no pretense to intellectualism, see’s “Spirituality vs Religion: 11 Differences (With Pros + Cons List)

Published by Neil Durso

Just another mid-lifer sharing the journey...

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