Let’s take a break from My Desteni Year, shall we?
I would to post something about a recent Desteni clip that I viewed yesterday. It was a pretty cool textual snippet of Friedrich Nietzsche’s, “Die fröhliche Wissenschaft,” (The Gay Science) which contains the famous expression, “God Is Dead.” Let’s look at the bit the clip referred to. It’s pretty interesting. The one who speaks is “The Madman.”
“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 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 too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
My take is this: “God” has died because in this postmodern era there no longer exist any metaphysical, moral force, purpose or meaning behind the concept of an All-Powerful Being. The 20th Century has pretty much laid waste to the metaphysical reality of any “God” that can impress us as much as the ancient Greeks or the Hebrews. This was readily apparent even in Nietzsche’s day, when he obliterated the Western Platonic model of Metaphysics with his slender volume of prose and poetry. Sure, the superstitious and religious “believe.” That’s what makes them superstitious and religious. But the more perceptive of these people have to wonder why things in the world have gotten so bad, and why evil seems to flourish so openly.
Of course, human suffering has many starting points, according to religious and philosophical viewpoints. And in the West, we only have to open the Book of Genesis where God is the originator of human suffering when He banishes Adam and Eve from heaven for “disobeying” a direct order. God is also the originator of the “scattering” of human beings when He confuses the tongues of the united humanity in order to impede their knowledge in the story of the “Tower of Babel.” Obviously, in this day, no one with common sense says “yes, there existed a Tower of Babel and the Garden of Eden.” These are myths created by religion – that is, by the mind of human beings in an effort to explain the universe and the human’s place within it.
In the Book of Job, suffering is simply visited upon our hero because of an accusation from one of God’s celestial assistant – take a bow, Satan – who seemingly bears a grudge against the Man from Uz, and repeatedly demands that God send calamity after calamity to Job to “test Job’s faith.” So, here is a clever use in justifying suffering: as a test sent by God to purify a being. (There is evidence that the biblical Job is based upon an older figure, Tabu-utul-Bel, in the Babylonian poem of praise to the god Marduk (!) called the Ludlul Bêl Nimeqi (ironically, “Let Me Praise the Lord of Wisdom,”) written c. 1700 BCE. The poem begins with these lines:
I cried unto god, but he showed not his face.”
In the midst of Job’s unceasing injustice, the question is formed this way:
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of the soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure. For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” [Job 3:20-21, 24-26]
At the end of the Book of Job, God appears to the Man from UZ as a whirlwind and pretty much pulls rank as Creator of the Universe and admonishes Job for bitching about his undeserved suffering and peppers him with nonsensical questions as, “Will you condemn me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his? … Then I will acknowledge to you that your own right hand can give you the victory.” [40:8-9,14] Whathefuckever, dude. I just want to know wtf?
God tells Job that he cannot hope to understand the ways of his God. So don’t try. But, come on, according to the story Job was singled out for punishment on a whim or a grudge by Satan and God simply went along with it. There was no purpose or reason behind what befell Job. Seemmingly God punishes Job for the hell of it, and then gets pissed when Job asks why, as if God childishly was covering up the embarrassment of acting ungodly. Celestial entertainment, or a display of unaccountable power? You decide!
Actually, there was no “God” and there was no “Job.” It was all a myth. A fairy-tale. A religious story to justify the evil that only men’s minds are programmed to do to each other. Suffering cannot be justified. Therefore God is dead. Because there has never existed in this world a simple, common sense, religious explanation on why suffering exists. Oh, the religious will tell you that suffering exists because God loves us and if we can’t get pie on earth then by golly, we’ll get Pie In The Sky When We Die. But I said a “common sense” religious explanation, didn’t I? Therefore Religion is dead. They were both only pathetic creations of the mind, anyway.
God does exist in another way, however. Money. This version of God may be a whole lot harder to kill.