Perhaps one of Nietzsche’s most famous statements is his proclamation of the death of god:
“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?”
As you might tell, it doesn’t sound very much like a celebratory statement. Although Nietzsche was concerned on ending all the values that have been compiled for millennia from all kinds of civilizations and that are rooted within society, he did believe it to be necessary and possible.
He calls this process of transcending our existing values as a Revaluation of All Values. Proposing that a revaluation of values that runs deeply enough can eventually lead the entire human race into a new pattern of life beyond the human, a figure which he calls the Übermensch or Overman.
By proclaiming the death of god, Nietzsche looked upon a historical event where god, who played a central role in most people’s lives for many centuries has now become one of many facets of some people’s lives. There are still believers and churches, but god no longer defines the role of our world, it is for this reason that god is dead.
Nietzsche states Christianity to be fundamentally rooted in a “slave morality” and he criticises the masses, for this suicide of reason, this worm-like reason.
The slave morality resents the virtues of the powerful. However, Nietzsche perceives evil as something powerful and dangerous, it is felt to contain a certain awesome quality, a subtlety and strength that block any incipient contempt. According to the slave morality then, “evil” inspires fear; but according to the “master morality”, it is “good” that wants to inspire fear.
The sacrifice of all freedom, pride and self confidence in the spirit leads to enslavement. The master morality does not intend to oppress others, but rather create new values and ways of life. A slave morality sees virtue from refraining to exercise one’s power and sees evil in doing so.
He argues that Christianity is derived from subservience, obedience and being a member of a flock. It is a way of hating life and wanting to escape life into a heavenly and eternal afterlife.
However, the less our reality is dumbed down, sweetened up and veiled over, the closer to the “truth” we are.
For as long as there have been people, there have been a very large number of people who obey compared to relatively few who command. Considering that humanity has been a breeding ground for the cultivation of obedience, the average person has a need to obey, a “thou shalt”.
A herd instinct of obedience, taken to extremes, will signify that in the end, there will be nobody with independence or the ability to command. A high, independent spiritedness, a will to stand alone, even an excellent faculty of reason, will be perceived as a threat. Everything that raises the individual over the herd and frightens the neighbour will henceforth be called evil.
Thus, Nietzsche sees Christianity as something inferior to man, something to grow out of, away from and above. It is the deterioration of the human race. To twist every instinct of the highest type of man into uncertainty, self-destruction and invert the whole love of the earth into hatred against the earthly. The most disastrous form of arrogance, who have given way to a herd animal, a mediocre breed.
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Greatest Philosophers In History | Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche’s main concepts on living life revolve around self-overcoming, amor fati, perspectivism, human nobility, the will to power, the eternal recurrence, and the overman.