Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is God Dead? A New York Times Article

According to Sean Kelly, writing in today's New York Times, Nietzsche's view of the death of God can have many meanings. One, he says, " is that the social role that the Judeo-Christian God plays in our culture is radically different from the one he has traditionally played in prior epochs of the West."

The following description of this current and different social situation resonates with the way I see myself and other secular Jews in our society:’s religious believers feel strong social pressure to admit that someone who doesn’t share their religious belief might nevertheless be living a life worthy of their admiration. That is not to say that every religious believer accepts this constraint. But to the extent that they do not, then society now rightly condemns them as dangerous religious fanatics rather than sanctioning them as scions of the Church or mosque. God is dead, therefore, in a very particular sense. He no longer plays his traditional social role of organizing us around a commitment to a single right way to live.
I think that the global view of plural "right" ways doesn't always include those who are religiously unobservant or unbelieving, but it can be extended that far. And this is important to me.

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