Is God Dead?

“God is dead. God remains dead” is one of the most memorable quotes from a German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche that often misunderstood by the society up to this day. Contextually, Nietzsche was trying to point out that mankind had consequently ‘killed’ God with the development of science and rationality ever since the age of enlightenment. But is it true?

The Relevance of God and Religion in Today’s Life

To answer this question, we have to review the role of God and religions in our life. For centuries, God is considered as the most powerful being that rule over the universe and omnipresence. Mankind might not be able to see or understand God’s will comprehensively, but one thing for sure is that God exist and always watching us, trying to put things in its places as well as the balance of the universe. This later constructed the goal of every being which is to please the Almighty by obeying his commands and become a good person according to each of our religions. Every religion has their own God(s) and holy scriptures that set as the foundation for their set of believes. Some had lived and survived up until this day, but many had already went down forgotten by history with the fall of their civilizations.

Though God and religion at first served as the base of every moral, ethic, and civilization of the world, there are people that condemn the idea of its existence and purposes. These groups of people rose along with the development of science and technology, especially in the Renaissance era that specifically countered the Dark Ages in Europe which was when the Catholic Church possessed the control all over the continent under the will of God. This domination of religious body over state and people created several problems that make people question the existence of God and religions. Philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza even tried to reconstruct the idea of God and reject religions as the way to reach God, while Immanuel Kant tried to reconcile religion with rationalism in his writings.

The rise of rationality along with materialism in modern era did not exactly killed God, but rather reinvent it into something else.

Later in the 19th century rise one of the most prominent philosophy of the world today, the existentialism, with the writings from Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard introduced the concept of absurdity of life that could only be consoled by the ‘Leap of Faith’, in which a decision to believe solely to the religions and the will of God. But existentialism was later developed to question and even reject the idea of God, by philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, and Friedrich Nietzsche. But does this mean that God has truly died?

In my point of view, God is not dead nor will it ever be. The rise of rationality along with materialism in modern era did not exactly killed God, but rather reinvent it into something else. The Supreme Being is now alive within the world’s economic and politics that uncontrollable but have the power the control the fate of mankind. Rich people and politicians have become the prophet that speak for the needs of the New Gods, which is to become someone as powerful as we can. As we can see today, most of the people worship the New Gods without even realizing it and I have to point out that it is not wrong to do so because everyone has their own believes and it would only be wrong when one tries to challenge and eradicate the others. After all, life is the sum of our choices; some people might be able to face the absurdity of the world, while some might not have the strength to face it all alone. The most important thing is to stay alive and be true to what we believe, that is one from many definitions of religion that I could say; to have faith.

Curious to read more? For our Indonesian readers, check out Alteria.Lab ‘s medium here for an Indonesian version of this piece, and even more pieces that dive into the philosophical questions surrounding faith and life.


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