In the history of atheism, there are four original thinkers who stand at the source of this river.
Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Nietzsche are a sort of Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They are far from being the smartest of atheists, but they are the originals who spoke against Christianity and, in fact, religion. They are kind of a Mount Rushmore of the founding fathers of atheism.
At the end of this post, I’ll share a few books that are general studies of these individuals (and others).
Nietzsche also said, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?”
God is dead, but his memory, his shadow will live on for a time. For secular Europe, Nietzsche was spot on.
Of course, not only was God dead, but much of Europe would die in World War II, as a madman named Adolph Hitler found Nietzsche to be the legitimizing intellectual for his Third Reich. Hitler saw himself carrying out the Nietzschean program of supermen in a super race, where might makes right and the one with the most “will to power” will ruthlessly use that power and rule.
Woman was the second mistake of God. “Woman, at bottom, is a serpent, Heva” every priest knows that; “from woman comes every evil in the world…”
Nietzsche slowly became insane, probably due to syphilis and the brain damage it did to him.
“God is dead,” said Nietzsche. Someone has replied, “Nietzsche is dead,” said God. The man may be dead, but his anti-life, anti-Christ, anti-human philosophy lives on. It is the philosophy of a madman, but it is actually an eminently logical position if God is dead.
I’ll say that again. Nietzsche is NOT an aberration. Nietzsche is not some crazy misfire. Nietzsche is actually a very legitimate, logical conclusion of atheist philosophy.
Ideas are powerful. Ideas have consequences. Beautiful ideas have consequences and so do evil ideas. Nietzsche is an example of evil ideas made real in the world. And Nietzsche is one more reason why I am not an atheist.
P.S. Here are two books by Ravi Zacharias that navigate the issues of atheism. Then a longer one, Intellectuals, by Paul Johnson. There is also a new one (Atheism on Trial) by an outstanding author, which I just ordered.