Nietzche and Christianity

John Henry johnh at
Sun Feb 11 17:52:04 MST 2001

A couple of thoughts on the Nietzche thread:

1) Nietzche was an atheist yet his most famous quote is "God is dead". For
God to be dead, wouldn't S/He have had to be alive some point? If so, and
Nietzche believes in His (or Her) death, would that not be incompatible
with atheism?

I suppose that one could define atheism as meaning that there is
*currently* no God but my understanding of atheism has always been a total
denial of God's existence.

2) The quote that started the thread was something about Christianity being
a fine religion for slaves. While I suppose one could argue that this is
true, the fact is that the vast majority of Christians, historically and
today have not been slaves. Christianity has true believers across all
class lines.

3) Christianity, as a religion, did very little to stop slavery. At least
until the 19th century when English Christians (specifically Quakers)
embarked on a crusade which took slavery from being a rather unremarkable
commonplace in most of the world to being generally viewed as vile and
virtually ending it worldwide. Their story is really pretty remarkable in
eradicating something that had been culturally ingrained in virtually all
societies since time immemorial

3) Christianity is not the only religion which turned a blind eye to
slavery. Judaism supported it (see the Old Testament). Islamic traders
invented the African slave trade 500 before the first European came to
Africa and probably exported 30 million African slaves to the east over the
1000 years ending in 1900. (Another 30 million never lived long enough to
be exported) This is in addition to the 9mm or so exported to South America
and 1mm to North America.

Buhdism, Confucianism, etc. Virtually all religions have either turned a
blind eye or affirmatively approved of slavery in the past.

This is certainly not an attempt to justify slavery or religion's attitude
to it. Freedom must always be our ultimate political goal and slavery is
freedom's antithesis. I simply wanted to shed a little light here.


John R Henry CPP

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