Saturday, April 24, 2010

Old Atheists and New

"The only really effective antidote to the dreariness of reading the New Atheists, it seems to me, is rereading Nietzsche," says Orthodox Christian theologian David Bentley Hart, quoted by Rod Dreher — They don't make atheists like Nietzsche anymore.

I'm not so sure. Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the only book I ever put down midway not because it was boring, but because I felt it was evil. And, if I remember correctly, that was before Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy's heretical magnum opus, The Kingdom of God Is Within You, the first step leading me back to the my baptismal faith. Now that I am approaching the age at which Confucius "had no delusions" I may be ready to give the give the German philosopher a reread.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

One of the interesting things about Also Sprach Zarathustra is that it presents atheism as a religious revelation. Zarathustra is a prophet of the message that God is dead and we have killed him. And this message is presented as a sweet consolation to some.

I remember reading somewhere that in the German Army during WWI, all soldiers were issued two books -- a copy of the New Testament in Luther's translation and a copy of Also Sprach Zarathustra.

4:06 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

That's quite a pairing. Here's an article about someone who "once claimed to have carried Schopenhauer’s five-volume collected works in his knapsack throughout the Great War, and yet we know that he couldn’t even spell the philosopher’s name correctly" -- Hitler Reading.

5:25 PM  

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