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Nietsche and Evolution Essay

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Nietsche and Evolution


"It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all."
-Melville

In 1859 Charles Darwin offered a theory that seemed to disprove the longstanding explanation of the Origin of existence. Darwin's theory of evolution proposes a convincing argument that the universe was not created for a purpose, with intention, by a conscious God, but rather, was a phenomenon of random change. Fredrick Nietzsche articulated the gravity of the effect of Darwin's theory on society. He said that when Darwin published the theory of evolution people stopped believing in God. Nietzsche wrote that when people stopped believing in God, God died. According to Nietzsche people read the theory of evolution as a direct contradiction to the notion of the Mind: a Consciousness behind creation. Nietzsche's assertion pivots on the assumption that God's existence depends solely on human belief. Nietzsche assumes that belief is the greatest power that humans possess, but that this belief could not stand strong against the theory of evolution. So the theory of evolution destroyed the greatest power possessed by humans and in doing so destroyed God and destroyed the notion that there was Something that sparked the origin of species. But Darwin's theory did not stop the study of teleology: people continued the search for the Origin of existence. Even after The Publication in 1859 people still have a powerful need for knowledge, and a yearning faith that It is out there, that there is Meaning. This need fuels humanity's search for God. Darwin may have killed the human belief in a conscious, purposeful God, but he did not kill the human belief in an Origin. The search for the Spark that started existence conti...


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... 1859, but only in a very specific God. In 1859 Darwin created a space for people to find new faith. Darwin did not kill the human ability to have faith in a God, but rather, opened the field of possibilities.

Nietzsche's argument of 'The Death of God' did not take this opening of possibilities into consideration. Though people might not believe in a certain type of God they continue to search for something. Nietzsche writes with a very narrow definition of God: the conscious, purposeful, mindful Creator of existence. Maybe this God died in 1859, but it did not leave western society Godless. In all of recorded human history people have been searching. There has never been a time when people have given up The Search for Meaning. This Search is what makes God a living reality. Humans are always yearning to find Meaning. Only when this yearning stops will God die.


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