Today’s Question

If “God is dead,” the madman in Nietzsche’s The Joyful Wisdom (1882) asks this question:

Do we not now wander through an endless nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker?

[Source: Nietzsche quoted in From Socrates to Sartre (p. 324) by T.Z. Lavine, 1984]

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to Today’s Question

  1. scaryreasoner says:

    Supposing it’s true that, if god is dead, we now “wander through an endless nothingness, etc.” and all manner of unpleasantness follows.

    What of it?

    Are you making an argument, or just whining?

    Appeal to consequences does not an argument make.

  2. santitafarella says:

    scary reasoner:

    I’m not making an argument, nor whining.

    I’m raising a difficult question.

    As an agnostic I think that the problem of meaning making (in the absence of some sort of MIND preceding MATTER) is problematic at best.

    It is Camus facing the ABSURD.

    I admit that it opens up the realm of freedom, but it also leaves those of us who cannot bring ourselves to a leap of hope (or faith) that “everything works out for the best in the end” in a serious difficulty.

    I’m just trying to grapple honestly with the problem.

    I’m not trying to taunt non-theists. I am, afterall, essentially one of them.

    But what do we tell our children?


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