God’s Murderers

A couple weeks ago I wrote a paper on Nietzsche’s Madman and his pronouncement of the death of God. While researching I came across this passage by Bernard Martin, which is certainly not what Nietzsche meant by “God is dead” but is interesting nonetheless.

It is necessary to kill God! … One can, in all good conscience, kill God, for the true God does not himself be killed. He is beyond all deicidal tendencies. And yet, it is necessary to kill one’s God! 

It is necessary to kill the God that we have learned! God is not learned. And if I have learned something about God, I can be certain that this is not truly he. The instruction that I received about God in my childhood was perhaps necessary. But today the God learned in my childhood no longer has any meaning. I am no longer young, and I need another God, the true God! Thus I must kill the God learned, even if it means that I can no longer proceed!

It is necessary to kill the God that I devise! The God that I dream up is never God. The thoughts that I am able to come up with concerning him never begin to express his majesty. My understanding can be extremely cultivated, yet the God that I imagine is always inevitable other than what he truly is. So I must kill the God that I have imagined and conceived, or I will risk remaining in a sterile and permanent thought. This God that I have imagined must die.

It is necessary to kill the God of my faith! Throughout my life I have been devoted to God with all my soul. In spite of appearances, I am still devoted to him with all my soul. But what must die is the God of my faith. My faith cannot reach God, and my theology, no matter how orthodox, will never be able to be a durable and absolute theology. And if I claim it because one day I make it on my own, then I am condemned to no longer understand what it is about. God is not dependent on my faith. He is, that’s all. I must acquiesce in killing the God of my faith!   

From If God Does Not Die (pg 19-20) as qtd. in “The Graveyard Theology” by Vernon C. Grounds in Is God “Dead”? (pg 32).Speaking of Nietzsche, I was at Barnes & Nobles and ran across Benjamin Wiker’s 10 Books That Screwed Up the World. Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil was in there, along with Marx, Darwin, Freud, etc. It’s basically fundamentalist anti-intellectualism masquerading as serious scholarship. I almost laughed out loud when Wiker said Nietzsche’s madness & then death was a result of his profound atheism and not, say, of syphilis-induced dementia. 

The Future of Religion

My Barnes & Noble order came yesterday; I’m about halfway through The Future of Religion already. A few choice quotes…

Gianno Vattimo:

“The existential analytic… makes us aware that knowledge is always interpretation and nothing but this. Things appear to us in the world only because we are in their midst and always already oriented toward seeking a specific meaning for them. In other words, we possess a preunderstanding that makes us interested subjects rather than neutral screens for an objective overview.””…postmodern nihilism constitutes the actual truth of Christianity.”

“…the redemptive meaning of the Christian message makes its impact precisely by dissolving the claims of objectivity…”

“…no experience of truth can exist without some kind of participation in a community… truth comes about as the ongoing construction of communities that coincide in a ‘fusion of horizons’… truth does not consist in the correspondence between propositions and things. Even when we speak of correspondence, we have in mind propositions verfied in the context of paradigms, the truth of which consists above all in their being shared by a community.”

Richard Rorty:

“…the quest for truth and knowledge is no more and no less than the quest for intersubjective agreement. The epistemic arena is a public space, a space from which religion can and should retreat.”

Santiago Zabala:

“…truth does not occur at the level of facts but only at that of propositions.””To surpass metaphysics means, according to Rorty and Vattimo, to stop inquiring into what is real and what is not; it means recognizing that something is better understood the more one is able to say about it. Problems are resolved with irony, privately exercised vis-á-vis one’s own predecessors rather than vis-á-vis their relation to truth.”

“The space left open by metaphysics must not be filled up by new philosophies claiming to exhibit some foundation external to the ‘conversation.'”