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by jptxs (Curate)
on Jul 20, 2000 at 06:28 UTC ( [id://23324]=user: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Because someone asked:

So, what does Nietzsche mean by "God is Dead"? Is it a call to atheism? Sorta. Is it a declaration? No.

It is simply an observation of the times. In Nietzsche's Europe there are many forces at work. Political, scientific, philosophical and even technological forces are all pointing to the inevitable goal, says Nietzsche, that faith in the bogey man like God of old is becoming impractical. As with all Nietzschian observations, this comes with a question and a profession. He asks you, me, everyone what they will do when they have no more standing to believe in God. And, even more so, what will you do when you realize it is your own doing that this standing is gone. He of course then professes he himself will be an atheist. Of course, he never suggests that he himself is a good example to follow. Nietzsche is the Merlin to Zarathustra's Arthur. "The one god comes to wipe away the many. No more spirits of wood and brook and rock. It is now the time for men and things." says Merlin in Excalibur, ironically a fitting statement for how Nietzsche would describe his own thoughts in relation to the coming of post-modernity. He is only showing the way, asking you the question: Do you know that God is dead?

some relevant passages:

The madman.-- Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!" --As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated? --Thus they yelled and laughed.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him--you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? IS not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. 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 of 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 to great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us--for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars--and yet they have done it themselves."

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

--GS, p. 181.

The meaning of our cheerfulness.-- The greatest recent event--that "God is dead," that the belief in the Christian God has become unbelievable--is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe. For the few at least, whose eyes--the suspicion in whose eyes is strong and subtle enough for this spectacle, some sun seems to have set and some ancient and profound trust has been turned into doubt; to them our old world must appear daily more like evening, more mistrustful, stranger, "older." But in the main one may say: The event itself is far too great, too distant, too remote from the multitude's capacity for comprehension even for the tidings of it to be thought of as having arrived yet. Much less one may suppose that many people know as yet what this event really means--and how much collapse now that this faith has been undermined because it was built upon this faith, propped up by it, grown into it; for example, the whole of our European morality. This long plenitude and sequence of breakdown, destruction, ruin, and cataclysm that is now impending--who could guess enough of it today to be compelled to play the teacher and advance proclaimer of this monstrous logic of terror, the prophet of a gloom and an eclipse of the sun whose like has probably never yet occurred on earth?

Even we born guessers of riddles who are, as it were, waiting on the mountains, posted between today and tomorrow, stretched in the contradiction between today and tomorrow, we firstlings and premature births of the coming century, to whom the shadows that must soon envelop Europe really should have appeared by now--why is it that even we look forward to the approaching gloom without any real sense of involvement and above all without any worry and fear for ourselves? Are we perhaps still too much under the impression of the initial consequences of this event--and these initial consequences, the consequences for ourselves, are quite the opposite of what one might perhaps expect: They are not at all sad and gloomy but rather like a new and scarcely describable kind of light, happiness, relief, exhilaration, encouragement, dawn.

Indeed, we philosophers and "free spirits" feel, when we hear the news that "the old god is dead," as if a new dawn shone on us; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, premonitions, expectation. At long last the horizon appears free to us again, even if it should not be bright; at long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an "open sea."--

--GS, p. 279.

Who the hell am I?

Well, I'm a father (see above), husband, philosopher and, oh yeah, engineer of sorts. My entrance into the world of computing was a side-step at best. My degree is in Philosophy. I learned a bit about computation (not a typo) and set theory studying the philosophy of mind - trying to figure out what human thought and intelligence is and how it functions. That led to AI, of course, and the use of computer studies and math thoeries to try and explain some of what is being seen. That wasn't my first computer experience, though. The two notable experiences I had before that were with a Tandy when I was 10 and in High School with Liesure Suit Larry. The Tandy I had when I was a kid was mostly for gaming (if you can call it that). It also had a cartridge for BASIC, though, and I once used this to create my own set of logic puzzles and even a pong like game at the height. My mom picked me up a Atari 2600, though, and that put an end to that : ) In High School, there was always rumours of a porno game lurking somewhere deep in the system. A couple of friends and I stayed very late one day in the lab with some of the instructors books and finally found the copy of LSL. Of course, it was the very first version and it, well, sucked. Oh well, the computer route went sour again.

It wasn't until senior year of college when, afetr realizing that I was sick of the philosophy gig and would not actually be going to grad school as I had planned, I needed something to do for a living. I answered an ad for a tech support rep and, through sheer enthusiasm, got the job. It was basically a flip-book job. You tell me the problem, I find the tab with that keyword. No tab - off to second level you go. One night out in the city with a friend of mine who had just started doing some web-development stuff I was complaining about the tediousness of my job and he suggested I could do what he was doing. I scoffed saying I just didn't have the right background. He proceeded to take a post card and reproduce code on the back of the post-card to represent what it would be if it were a web page. I was astounded at how easy it really was. From that moment on I was off and running. I got myself a home computer, an ISP (AOL!!! LOL) and started hacking away. After the first few months in AOL hell, the place I worked, who had an ISP division gave all employees free access through their service. That's when I really got to start playing with stuff because that access included shell access. That's when I found Unix! Word. Soon after that I got a job as a webmaster at a non-profit, where i discoved Perl - though my first exposure was through MSA!!! I worked there until my wife was about to have a baby. I left to get a high paying job and am now on my second Software company acting as a 'sales-engineer' - which basically means after your sick of hearing a sales rep BS about software I come in and give you the real-deal on how it works, performs and impacts your current environment and operations. It's a cool job and it gives me a lot of freedom. If you can present, it's ideal. You don't need to lie - you're not on comission, and there are no production boxen to sweat over.


I'm starting to think about moving into a Perl-related job. After picking it back up for a project, I'm falling in love all over again - actually, I never fell all that much in love with Perl4, but I did like it a lot : )

links i like:


Version: 3.1
GP/IT>CS d--(++) s++:+ a C+++$ ULS++ P+++>$ L++>$ E--- W+++ N+(--) o? K?
w---() !O M+++ !V PS+++() PE+(--) Y+ PGP t+ !5 X R+ tv+(--) b++ DI++ D----
G e++ h* r+++ z**

Version: 0.01
P++>+++@$c--P6-R+>+++M >++O--MA++E
PU--BD C++D+S+++$X+>++WP+MO PP-n?CO
PO!o G A-OL!Ee---Ev+>++Eon
uL+uB+uS+uH+uo+w-> m++

Decode the perl geek code here

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