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God is dead

– Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)

Actually, Nietzsche never issued this famous proclamation in his own voice but rather put the words in the mouth of a character he called the madman and later in the mouth of another character, Zarathustra.

Nevertheless, Nietzsche endorsed the words. “God is dead” is often mistaken as a statement of atheism. It is not, though Nietzsche himself was an atheist. “Dead” is metaphorical in this context, meaning belief in the God of Christianity is worn out, past its prime, and on the decline. God is lost as the center of life and the source of values. Nietzsche’s madman noted that himself came too soon. No doubt Nietzsche, too, thought he was ahead of his time in heralding this news.