A Response to Nietzche, Part 2
“‘Dead are all Gods: now we want the Overhuman to live’—may this be at the Great Midday our ultimate will’” - Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1.22.3
“Once you said ‘God’ when one looked upon distant seas; but now I have taught you to say: Overhuman. …Could you create a God?—Then do not speak to me of any Gods! But you could surely create the Overhuman. Perhaps not you yourselves, my brothers! But into father and forefathers of the Overhuman you could re-create yourselves: and may this be your finest creating!” - Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 2.2
Nietzche’s Zarathustra has a motto for his disciples: “Dead are all Gods. Now we want the Overhuman to live!” With the God of the Bible “dead,” man can now get on with the programme of creating the Overhuman. This is to be man’s obsession and central focus. Nothing matters but creating the next being in the evolutionary process. The Overhuman is that which comes after humans. Just as man surpassed the ape, so the Overhuman will surpass man. Man has no value in himself. His only usefulness is in producing the Overhuman. Perhaps we ourselves cannot create the Overhuman, but we can re-create ourselves in such a way that we become the forefathers of the Overhuman.
Nietzche’s got this all wrong. First of all, man is distinct from the animals, having been specially created by God. Man is not evolved from apes.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” - Genesis 1:26
Second, man is not to be superseded by any creature. There is no Overhuman to come. Man has definitely messed things up and is not living to his potential, but this is due to his sinful independent nature (sin), his rebellion against God.
Third, God the Son, the Lord Jesus Messiah, became a man, the Son of Man, not an Overhuman, to restore man to his rightful place in God’s creation, so that man may fulfil his original calling as God’s viceroy over the earth. God’s plan is not to replace man with the Overhuman but to ransom and restore man by his grace.
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” - 1 Timothy 2:5-6
This makes us very special indeed. The future will see man, not the Overhuman, ruling over planet earth as God’s viceroy. The Overhuman, as envisaged by Nietzche’s Zarathustra, will never arrive. Jesus, the God-man, has already been granted authority over the universe. There is no place in God's great universe for the Overhuman.
“And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” - Matthew 28:18
- Jeff Coleman