A Brief Exegesis on Nietzsche’s ‘God is Dead’

Filed under:Brief arguments — posted by Schizostroller on September 13, 2019 @ 8:58 am


When Nietzsche writes ‘God is dead’. It is not the same sentence structure and therefore a different semantic meaning to the phrase ‘There is no God”.

Historical background for a Nietszchean exegesis:

Around that time in the burdening Wessenschaft relation between anthropology and archaeology, a theory emerged that the earliest god’s were old chieftans or Kings (Ur-Kings) when earlu differences in wealth emerged, with emerging longer periods of settlement that would be returned to, even amongst still semi-nomadic groups. These burial mounds would be then be worshipped and stories told of this King for generations after any lived memory of the King survived. Later temples would be built around these burial mounds and the dead God-King would emerge, leading to hereditary living God-Kings (eg later (but now ancient) Egypt).
This temple would also be the place that as agrarian techniques developed so would the storage of grain, this storage would soon last more than two years. The ‘clerical’ priests would be in charge of distribution and a religious ‘economy’ related to writing, maths, status and labour emerged. Thus, for example, famines were still related to religious beliefs, where the strength of the economy and thus religious faith was related to how long a drought, famine, or plague of locusts the stores could survive. Thus today in modern anthropological psychological dynamics and their relation to the economy, scapegoating is still related ot this ‘hangover’ (best described by Azazel as scapegoat in Leviticus 16 and it’s relation as a relation to the community’s fears).

So with regards such economic, social and religious organisation, this is still a relation to the phrase ‘God is dead’.
(This is related with regards to violence in Nietzsche and Freud’s mythology with regards the killing of the father by the Band of Brother’s. In these mythologies this God-King in this buriial mound was orginally killed and then mourned, as explained in Totem and Taboo. Anthropologically and archeologically the Band of Brothers theory has been put in doubt, but the burial mound theory not so much. Which leaves room for a relation to a more utility based theory of emergence, although still not to divest oneself of the entirety of any violence/ death wish theory (such as Bowlby, although there are other evidence based aspects of Bowlby etc etc)).

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace