God is Dead?

If Christians make the assertion that their faith is longer about morality – does this mean they think God is dead?

The death of God is a way of saying that humans are no longer able to believe in any such cosmic order since they themselves no longer recognize it. The death of God will lead, Nietzsche says, not only to the rejection of a belief of cosmic or physical order but also to a rejection of absolute values themselves — to the rejection of belief in an objective and universal moral law, binding upon all individuals” (God is Dead – Wikipedia)

I have been thinking about this for some time since I have heard some Christians murmur in this regards…that faith is not about morality (or Christians may not be morally better than surrounding conditions)…and according to their statements of faith I don’t blame them.

Statements of faith for most denominations do not address moral concerns so much as they address ‘belongong to this faith’ concerns. The statements are usually a what’s what of beliefs one must hold about God or other things in order to claim the faith…almost a type of confession. But with regards to morality – it may not neccessarily be addressed.

Think about it, within many Christian streams ‘faith’ is all that matters. Jesus fulfilled all that matters and even his teachings were to prove to us how impossible being ‘good/perfect’ is. Services are built around the showing of this ‘faith’ – via prayer, worship, preaching, communion, or even alter calls. All this elaborate ‘show’ to ‘show’ you have faith – which is why church is essential in many a Christian’s mind to prove you are a Christian. None of that is neccesarily about morality (maybe giving) but about showing your depth of spirituality.

Nihilism is what Nietzsche believed would occur with this generation due to a lack of moral grounding…and religion is helping this along. What say you faith – what of works? Many believe you don’t need works to be a Christian – but faith alone. Faith, in and of itself, without an anchor to ground to is a cover for nihilism.

Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. He hints that nihilism can become a false belief, when it leads individuals to discard any hope of meaning in the world and thus to invent some compensatory alternate measure of significance” (Nihilism – Wikipedia)

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9 thoughts on “God is Dead?

  1. If the answer to that question is “God can’t die,” then I’m going to wonder how Jesus was able to die if he was God.

    **None of that is neccesarily about morality (maybe giving) but about showing your depth of spirituality.**

    In essence, it’s the opposite of what they claim to follow, for it’s all about selfishness. It’s about their spirituality, not the other who needs help.

  2. Nietzsche is one of the most misunderstood philosophers out there and i really like him in many ways.. but his God is Dead statement is one of the most misunderstood. the reasoning goes: if God can’t die, and you can kill it, then it ain’t God. remember our conversation on idolatry? 😉

    but Nietzsche did fall away from faith in his later years and he was also writing in response to philosophies such as Locke, Hobbes, and esp. Kant and his catagorical imperiative.

    i’m not a Christian that would state that faith is it. nor is works. but both! and there are universal laws… but how they come out is contextually influenced and based. and how best to act upon these is an ethical problem depending on where you put your focus… either on one of the three parts of ethics: agent (person) action or outcome.

  3. “If the answer to that question is “God can’t die,” then I’m going to wonder how Jesus was able to die if he was God” (OSS)

    Obvious flaw in the arguement Jesus was God. The position anyone of any faith holds is ‘God cannot die’…this is rather a given about the nature of God. Quite the conundrum for Trinity holders.

    “In essence, it’s the opposite of what they claim to follow, for it’s all about selfishness. It’s about their spirituality, not the other who needs help” (OSS)

    Nietzsche believed Christianity was a form of nihilism. He thought because they focused solely on the ‘thereafter’ and not much concern for ‘here and now’ – there focus was nihilistic. They didn’t care about this world nor their actions towards it per se. He was getting something that is somewhat true of the focus of Christianity.

    “if God can’t die, and you can kill it, then it ain’t God. remember our conversation on idolatry?: (Luke)

    True, logically sound thinking. Nietzsche also used that term to pretty much announce the death of religion at the hands of science (or that’s what he saw happening). Good points he made – and he was right…religion is waning, churches closing, and society becoming quite ‘nihilistic’. He was warning us about removing the foundational ethics that everyone should live by and how this can force people to create their own ‘meaning to life’.

    “either on one of the three parts of ethics: agent (person) action or outcome.” (Luke)

    So this is:

    Mental (us – psychologically): how do we view/think about a moral idea?

    Movement (action): What do we do with the moral idea?

    Moral Product (outcome): What happens after our movement in this area of morality? Does it work?

    I like the fact God has called us to use our ‘minds’ in the process of worshipping Him. It means we really need to think about what our whole moral process – from start (with our thinking) to finish (with our outcomes). We constantly need to re-evaluate that to make sure our means are matching our ends.

  4. Obvious flaw in the arguement Jesus was God. The position anyone of any faith holds is ‘God cannot die’…this is rather a given about the nature of God. Quite the conundrum for Trinity holders. (SVS)

    Not really a conundrum at all, not that I care one way or the other about the Trinity. But God doesn’t die, when Jesus dies on the cross. Jesus physical body comes to an end, but Jesus doesn’t die.

    A person cannot definitely say that when Jesus died on the cross, Jesus was totally gone, totally dead. No spirit, no soul, no body, no existence at all. Like he never existed at all. Physically dies – yes, but does the rest of his being die?

    But, I know this thread has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I just felt like commenting on it.

  5. “Does it work?”

    perfectly… but many don’t focus on all events. you have virtue, deontological, and teleological ethics. there isn’t a holistic ethics unless you go situational ethics, which is what Nitz (shorthand for philosopher at hand) was leaning in response to Kant’s catagorical imperatives and the “God of the Gaps” idea. we’re having a conversation much like this on my blog on the post “where does evolution leave God?”

  6. “But God doesn’t die, when Jesus dies on the cross. Jesus physical body comes to an end, but Jesus doesn’t die.” (Just1)

    The old soul and physical death thing – I see. Well, since Jesus’ soul is God – does God have 2 souls? I am game to admit that maybe not even the human soul dies (if this is the case you are making?). Nonetheless – how can 2 seperate personalities share the same soul? Quite the quandry?

    The other arguement would be if Jesus was totally human like us – how can that claim be made with any honesty – this person had a God-soul? He had total assurance of a hereafter by state of that position – whereas – we don’t…we face death and for all we know it’s ‘dust to dust’. So by human standards alone – Jesus’ death was a death (if he was 100% human that is…that is yet to ever be made as the case).

  7. **But God doesn’t die, when Jesus dies on the cross. Jesus physical body comes to an end, but Jesus doesn’t die.**

    I can see what you’re saying here, but a lot of Christians don’t treat this in the way you’re describing. The idea is that God loved you so much that He died for you in the form of Jesus. And if those same Christians will say that God can’t die in response to this question, I’m wondering how they reconcile the two?

  8. but a lot of Christians don’t treat this in the way you’re describing. OSS

    True, but most Christians don’t ever consider the question in the first place. I think for the most part, that the majority of Christians are not concerned with theological conundrums.

    But then even if they do ask the question. Standard answer is this. God, being all powerful, can do whatever He wants. If He wants to kill himself on a cross and raise himself up, then He can do it.

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