In 1882, a German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, made himself famous by using a madman in his book, The Gay Science, to let the world know that the death of God has come.
Whither is God the madman in the marketplace cried.
I will tell you. We have killed himyou and I. All of us
are his murderers. . . 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.
These words had given birth to Nietzsche as the brilliant but wild writer, an immoralist and nihilist, an elitist and nationalist, a despiser of women and Jews. 
Indeed, back then, to say that God is dead was like saying that values are not absolute, and so the teachings of the church about the divine creator are all nonsense. This was also seen as an announcement of the end of the era of theology.
With this statement, Nietzsche implied that man simply invented God to give his life meaning, purpose, and a moral center, and that God is a mere fiction.
Naturally, the believers would endlessly question these ideas which are absolutely absurd for them. 

However, it might make more sense to ask, So what if God were dead
Imagine theres no Nietzsche
God is dead.  Yes, Nietzsche said it.  Later, the media and the academe popularized the idea. 
That Nietzsche has conquered America is something difficult to deny (Ratner-Rosenhagen 2006).  The media and the academe delivered the news to the people until so much hype is created that the statement has become a part of the consciousness of those who heard it. 

If in the past, the professors had instructed students in the serious contemplation
of the good life, they now taught young minds that reason cannot establish values, and the belief that it can is the stupidest and most pernicious illusion.
Outside the academe, Nietzsche was also among the favorite topics in media, be it in newspapers, magazines, films, advertisements, plays, novels or even in popular music. 

It must be remembered that Nietzsches three-word pronouncement became controversial again over 80 years after the publication of The Gay Science when Time Magazine came up with an issue on April 8, 1966 reiterating the so-called death of God. The famous magazine relived Nietzsches statement because of what the American people have been experiencing that time assassinations, violence, sex, drugs, etc.
In a Methodist student magazine called Motive, an obituary for God was published. It said 
ATLANTA, Ga., Nov. 9--God, creator of the universe,
principal deity of the worlds Jews, ultimate reality of Christians,
and most eminent of all divinities, died late yesterday during
major surgery undertaken to correct a massive diminishing influence. 

The magazine cited secularization, science, urbanization as the causes of Gods death.   

Adding to the hype was the popular band called the Beatles, with which John Lennon became more popular when he said, Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I neednt argue about that, Im fight and will be proved right. Were more popular than Jesus Christ right now.

The 1971 hit song Imagine by Lennon was then a remarkable attempt to proliferate the God-is-dead idea that Nietzsche started over a hundred years prior to Beatles popularity.   The song obviously implied a godless future
Imagine theres no heaven,
Its easy if you try.
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
living for today...
Imagine theres no countries
It isnt hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too.

What if God were Dead

At first, the Nietzschean idea might sound very atheistic that it loses its values.  However, a closer examination of the God-is-dead premise brings us to the so-called Nietzschean virtues  drive, self-discipline, ambition which can enhance life.
Human persons without a god to rely on could have more opportunities to develop their creativity.  Instead of believing that their purpose and fate have already been decided upon even before they were born, they would have to be convinced that they make their own future, and that their existence precedes essence, as what Jean-Paul Sartre, a famous existentialist, has said.

Also, to have no god means to have the freedom to make decisions without following absolute standards on morality.

Bernard Williams, a British philosopher, saw nothing unusual about this idea.  In fact, he reiterated that its usual to suspend the normal rules for exceptional people. 

Well, of course, opposition is always present.  For Philippa Foot, an analytical philosopher, Nietzsches ideas are defective for it implies that there can be no justice at all --- that respect can no longer be guaranteed among human persons, if there were no standard rules on morality and goodness.  


Nietzches statement is more of a challenge, than an atheistic remark.  It challenges the mans capacity to step back and make some reflections on the kind of life they choose to live, instead of simply asking accepting the kind of life a god has designed for them. 

Whether God is dead or alive should be of little importance.  With or without God, man should respect each others freedom and recognize their own limitations.  After all, even if God died, He will remain immortal among those people whose lives he had touched. 


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