Nietzsche On Religion

What? Is man Merely a Mistake of God’s? Or, God Merely a Mistake of Man’s

The existence of God is a hotly contested topic. Whereas, religious believers hold dearly to their doctrines, some scholars such as Nietzsche dispute God’s existence. The paper reviews Nietzsche’s analysis of religion leading to the conclusion that God is merely a mistake of man’s.

The substance, constituents or components of God remains fundamentally beyond knowledge. As a result, the essence of God is far beyond the understanding of humanity. Besides, assumptions about God are related to humanity’s narrow knowledge regarding the frame of being, which remains ridiculous, according to Nietzsche. Although the analysis by the author is debatable, it is evident that he did not know who/ what God is. At a personal level, it also remains difficult to understand God. Furthermore, no individual can claim to have total knowledge about God. Thus, in this regard, Nietzsche rightly observes that God is a creation that is beyond the knowledge of humanity, whose existence is questionable. The author cites the existence of infinite galaxies that comprise millions of stars across the universe as some of the attributes that are beyond human conceptualisation. Owing to the difficult surrounding the understanding of the universe itself, any attempt to comprehend the creator of such an overwhelming creation is an uphill task.


Based on the views of Nietzsche, even the physical part of the universe is not clearly understood. On the contrary, human perceptions based on time, space, causality and substance which are the basis of human knowledge only serve to inform the formation of sensations. In essence, what people think they know is unknowable, thus based on mere representations of objects. 

Questions relating to God, a superior power, who is thoughtful, conscious, and a moral being in charge of the universe are ideations borne out of pure perception. Nietzsche further observes that the distinctive vantage position occupied by human beings and the components of God, such as ubiquity, majestic, or compassionless and systematic, God’s existence is well beyond the scope of what is knowable by human beings.

Nietzsche appears intent on attacking the basis of knowledge about God. The author does not expressly indicate that God does not exist, rather, he argues that the complexities involved in knowing such a being cloud any attempt to understand it. The position is affirmed by the idea that Nietzsche believes that since it is difficult to understand the operations and physical attributes of the universe, then comprehending the creator of such an entity is beyond human understanding or imagination.

In his overall assessment of Christianity, Nietzsche perceives it as an antiquity. The author questions the plausibility of believing a Jew who died several years ago claiming to be God. For Nietzsche, evidence to confirm the crucifixion is lacking. The author alleges that the story of Jesus is a pre-historical trajectory that has been projected into the present times. However, Nietzsche is bewildered that people believe the story yet it rests on pretensions.

The attacks by Nietzsche also target the manner in which God recreated. In the author’s views, God begot children with a perpetual woman. Besides, the author perceives God as a sage who advises people to ignore the orderlies of the world such as courts and laws, but to bid their time waiting for the end of the time.

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The rise of secularism and capitalism are some of justifications that Nietzsche would be proud of as since they seem to align with the view that God is non-existent. Based on Nietzsche’s dictum, people would no longer rely on mystery and myth to understand the world. The emergence and dominance of capitalism serves as a clear demonstration that, indeed, other plausible ideas about the organisation of the world existed. Gray also noted that the author was not focused only on the Christian God but also other transcendental beings. Taken this way, Nietzsche was wrong since the emergence of the options of organisation present clear attempts by humanity to search for a better understanding of transcendence, which the author disputes.   

The author utilises sarcasm to great effect. For instance, using the camel and spirit relationship, Nietzsche underscores the improbable existence of transcendental power. In essence, portraying the spirit to be kneeling down in prayer is an attempt to invoke the illusions involved in the existence of God. In addition, the author does not see the logic in believers climbing mountains to tempt God. To a certain degree, Nietzsche has a valid point. If god exists, and he is omnipresent, there is no point begging him to do certain things. In addition, it is unnecessary to frequent selected places to meet him.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is also a matter of contention for Nietzsche. In his account of the lion, parallels can be drawn to coming of Jesus to the world to die for mankind. It appears that Nietzsche is not convinced that a superior being should be reduced to an ordinary individual to go through temptations before dying for human kind. Critics of the Christian faith would gladly agree with the author on the analogy. If God is as powerful as presented in Christian discourses, he has the power to pardon human beings without having to take Jesus through the lengthy process leading to his death and resurrection.  However, believers in the faith would counter the proposition by indicating that the process was justified so that humanity can connect with God. Nevertheless, it is difficult to convince non-believers given the attribute of immense power enjoyed by God. In other words, a powerful God as that of Christians does not need such a process to achieve his goals.

Understanding God’s decisions as pertains to the creation of the world, the sending of Jesus and other engagements do not help students or learners who are interested in knowing him. Based on the analysis, it appears plausible to conclude that God is merely a mistake of man’s. In other words, man’s attempts to understand the creation and functioning of the world have led him into believing in the existence of a God who he does not understand, and has no capacity to comprehend.

Oct 12, 2020 in Research
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