Civilization without God

Peter-KreeftWhen Nietzsche, back in the 19th Century, said, “God is dead,” he didn’t mean simply that God is a myth and a superstition and never did live.  He meant that this superstition, this thing that never was literally alive, was the energy of Western Civilization.  Nietzsche, like the saints, understood that there is no Western Civilization without God.  Although he believed that we created Him in our image, rather than that he created us in His image, he realized that the image and the model go together.  

When there’s a mirror on the wall in a room, and you walk out of that room, due to the finite speed of light, though you can’t see it, your image remains in the mirror for a split second after you leave the room.  Well, if we’re made in God’s image, and God is dead, it may take a split second, or a century, for man, His image, to die.  But man cannot live without God.  An image cannot live without its model.  If God leaves, man leaves.  Nietzsche knew that.  Half of him rejoiced in it; half of him was agonized over it, but he called for the new man, the man without religion and without morality.  We’re seeing it gradually happen.  

–Peter Kreeft

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