In his masterpiece ‘The Gay Science’, Nietzsche wrote that “God is dead, God remains dead and we have killed him.” This particular dictum, unfortunately, gets perceived with minimal limitations and is often criticised by religious doctrines as descaration of God and a sacrilegious statement on grounds that it undermines the values of Christian morality.
The prevailing notions of morality and their underlying foundations are merely a disguise to acquire power. These noble ideas exist, mainly, to preserve the status quo i.e. strengthening elites to control people for self-centred reasons whether it be to achieve personal fulfillment, and political gains or materialize one’s utopian vision.
Poor and oppressed is indoctrinated, many a time, with religious promises that he would find serenity and peace in accepting his state of being and therefore, must stay content with the bare minimum he has received. However, in reality, poverty is a condition that originates from socio-economic injustices and financial inequalities rather than being a divine punishment as is perceived so often.
Man, however, yearns for meaning. He seeks purpose for his existence. This is the prime reason why many hang on to religion – to assure themselves of the greater meaning in their otherwise insignificant beings. That is also the reason, majority turns to God when tragedies strike their lives. Religious doctrines provide them not only with the satisfaction that they should not struggle against the tide because everything is preplanned, but also that they would meet a better fate in the afterlife. So they acquire a sense of tranquillity, oblivious of its intellectual cost.
Nietzsche argues that belief in God halts the development of excellence in oppressed human beings because it keeps them in an ecstacy of divine conformity.
This dictum by Nietszche primarily focuses on human actions and what those actions mean. It is like the worried whispers of eulogy. So his proactive statement meant that humans have to take responsibility for their despair and destitution, all their weaknesses, all of their exploitations and for all the injustices and catastrophes – only human beings are responsible for their miseries and we should refrain from limiting the concept of morality around the Almighty and cease to hold God responsible for every good and evil. The concept of a divine entity is merely a psychological fabrication that coincides with human existence.
The human race must be existentialist rather than being fanatical about life and its events. We must focus primarily on improvising ourselves, developing our own values, setting goals, and achieving personal excellence rather than staying in an absurd but serene state of life, attributing every calamity on a supernatural entity as a coping mechanism or an escape plan.
The writer is a student of Law at PULC. He is also the Study Circles Incharge at PSC-PU.