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Nietzsche’s Coming God

Or the Redemption of the Divine

By Abir Taha

Review: Gwendolyn Taunton

Abir Taha, NietzscheAuthor Abir Taha takes on one of the thorniest and most difficult aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy – the religious dimension of his work concerning Nietzsche’s attitude towards Christianity, Judaism and Hellenic Paganism. The end result of this is a fascinating exegesis of Nietzsche’s writing that challenges popular notions of his philosophy on a number of levels. Hurling down the gauntlet, Abir Taha claims that the ultimate goal of the “Death of God” is not one of atheism or nihilism, but rather the transformative act Nietzsche refers to as the “Reevaluation of All Values”. It is from this event that the Lebensphilosophie and the Ubermensch are created.

Beginning with the first chapter, the author asserts that instead of being strictly atheist, Nietzsche held a pantheistic vision, and that it is for this reason that his ideas come into conflict with the Christian Tradition. According to Taha, the old God has to ‘die’ so the values of society can be reshaped. Nietzsche is described as bringing the Judeo-Christian Tradition into contrast with the Traditions of Rome and archaic Greece to create a cultural rift betwixt the Middle Eastern Traditions and those of Indo-Europe.

Taha however, claims that instead of being ‘Anti-Christian’ Nietzsche found the actions of Christ exemplary; Christ – he believes, was a true Christian. According to Taha it is the work of Christians who came after Christ that appear decadent to him, and as a “grotesque distortion of Christ’s original vision and message.” Taha states that Nietzsche believed Paul to be a key figure in transforming Christianity into a “ritualistic, superstitious and transcendental dogma”. Nietzsche’s attack on Christianity stems from its adoption of sentiments which Christ himself would reject – in this way it is claimed that modern Christianity,is in fact “Anti-Christian”. This gradual decline from its original values led to its “victory over homo vulgaris” (the common man) instead of becoming a Tradition for the ‘Master Morality’. In this way modern liberal Christianity turns against the strong, inverting the value of strength and directing its appeal to enslave the others through dispersion of ressentiment strategies. The “Death of God”, therefore becomes a nihilistic act of murder in the Parable of the Madman because the “Death of God” is not Nietzsche’s true aim; rather it is that a new God is to be born.

Nietzsche’s philosophy also leads to repudiation of the liberal and social views connected to this event, which arise not only from “slave morality’ but also ideas evolved from the Enlightenment and the French Revolution that are its consequence. Taha says that;

Nietzsche’s philosophy is thus a pagan, neo-classical and neo-aristocratic revolt against the Humanist Tradition of the West, that is, against Judeo-Christianity, rationalism, socialism and liberalism.[1 ]

In their political heritage, Nietzsche sees socialism and liberalism as the descendants of the “slave morality” which has been promulgated throughout the West – these are the “idols” his “hammer” intends to irrecoverably shatter, with Nietzsche describing the “liberals” as the “feebler descendants” of “communists and socialists.”[2] As such they are expressions of the mediocrity in human nature to which Nietzsche is opposed. To him, they represented the leveling of humanity which paved the way for the creation of a “pseudo-aristocracy” based on wealth and not the higher values established in Nietzsche’s work. Instead, Nietzsche describes his own belief in “Freedom” which is contrasted to those of the liberals, who he instead believes, actively hamper true freedom.

Nothing is more systematically nefarious to freedom than liberal institutions. One knows well what they lead to: they weaken the will to power, they turn the leveling of the heights and the base depths into a moral system render the petty, cowardly and pleasurable – in turn, the Herd animal always triumphs. [3]

All these negative socio-political instances arise from the subtle but persuasive influence of Judeo-Christianity according to Taha’s interpretation. Thus to overcome them, the “Death of God” becomes necessary to achieve the “Reevaluation of All Values”. The “Death of God”, however, for it to be a positive and not a nihilistic act, requires that the void be filled. An alternative is required to avoid social collapse into existential nihilism. To prevent this, Nietzsche posits the Ubermensch and a New God. The Ubermensch is created to herald the coming of a “radically aristocratic, anti-democratic age.” Taha asks;

What is left to know is what kind of aristocracy Nietzsche was writing about, and how the new lords of the earth will be different from the predecessors. [4]

Taha also claims that “Nietzsche was pagan, not atheist” and that for understanding Nietzsche’s philosophy, this difference is highly significant. This creates in Nietzsche’s work, according to Taha, a contrast between “the actual rule of nihilism caused by the victory of the values of the slave (the Christian) over the values of the free and strong spirit (the pagan).

Nietzsche’s God is to reverse this with a religious “transvaluation” via the “Death of God” – it is thus, not a ‘death’ but the ‘birth of a new god’. This will lead to a new socio-cultural impact restoring reverence for the past and for tradition, coupled with a contempt for “modern” egalitarian ideas of “progress”.[5]

The “Death of God” and the “Reevaluation of All Values”, in Taha’s words becomes,

[…] “active nihilism” as a destructive but liberating philosophy “beyond good and evil”, [and] Nietzsche proceeds to preach a “transvaluation of value”, what he calls “immoralism”, that is, a return to the master morality, to the aristocratic values and notions of “good and bad” which were prevalent among the ancient Romans and Greeks, a strong proud and noble species of man”. [6]

This places it directly within a sphere of thought in Germany which was prevalent in Nietzsche’s era, known as ‘Germanic Philhellenism’ .[7] It is therefore calling for a revival of Roman & Hellenic ideas to generate a rival socio-cultural movement against that of the Judeo-Christian Tradition.

The new aristocracy that will be born from this cultural revolution is one which is “based on innate genius and not a traditional aristocracy based on hereditary, titles or possessions”, according to Taha’s interpretation. Nietzsche writes in this sense, and not a racial one, for a “race of men that does not exist yet, for the ‘masters of the earth’. [8] This new and rising caste is then contrasted by Taha with that of egalitarian mediocrity, and what Nietzsche refers to as “bovine nationalism”. This neo-aristocratic movement, which Taha correctly identifies as “aristocratic radicalism” paves the way for the Ubermensch. It is this and not an artificial hierarchy of wealth, but a natural one of intelligence, wisdom and character that lies as the root of the neo-aristocracy. In Taha’s words;

A characteristic feature of Nietzsche’s “aristocratic radicalism” is therefore his call for the creation of a new “nobility”, a community of higher men who represent the “bridge” leading to the Superman, a nobility which would replace the outdated traditional aristocracy, based on hereditary, as well as the “money aristocracy”.[9]

Taha also rightly identifies the qualifying features that Nietzsche describes for his aristocracy as being inborn, but instead of being hereditary, it becomes meritocratic as a matter of necessity to prevent stagnation and corruption. She is also quick to point out that this caste has nothing to do with racial qualities, but instead is an order of rank within a nation or a race. This new caste of course, will inevitably flex its muscles, creating what Nietzsche refers to as “Great Politics” which shall replace the petty antics of contemporary politicians. This is also Nietzsche’s “Mind War”, and it is this new caste that wages intellectual and cultural war against the bourgeoisie to enforce the “Reevaluation of All Values”. Nietzsche declares that this Higher Type must challenge the socio-cultural order, because it is their very refusal to do so which enables lower men to rule:

The most unpardonable thing about you: you have the power and you will not rule.[10]

Following the creation of the new order and the “Death of God”, the “New God” is born, as is referenced in the title of the book. This line of thinking – the creation of a New God – is the defining point that separates Taha’s theories on Nietzsche’s work from other authors who have explored elements of aristocratic radicalism and Nietzsche’s philosophy of religion. Taha says;

To Nietzsche, Gods too die – and are reborn – like men, for otherwise what would there be to create if Gods existed? The will to power is essentially a will to self-overcoming, the will to create and recreate – Gods. Therefore God shall be reborn in a new form, in conformity with the Nietzschean (Dionysian) principle of eternal recurrence and eternal creation.[11]

Nietzsche therefore becomes, not just the advocate of a new caste to replace the current political paradigm, but also the prophet of a new religion, as was evident in Thus Spake Zarathustra where Zarathustra clearly occupies a prophetic role. This aspect of Nietzsche’s writing is even more apparent in his descriptions of the Hellenic deities Apollo and Dionysus. [12] Apollo, in Nietzsche’s later writing, disappears into the figure of Dionysus, and both operate in a symbiotic role in Nietzsche’s books. Taha identifies Dionysus as the coming God specified by Nietzsche, and this is a core premise of her theory. It is the pagan Dionysus, the symbol of life incarnate, that Taha identifies as the God with which Nietzsche intends to replace Christianity – which if true, places Nietzsche firmly in the field of Pagan/Heathen Traditions. She asserts that despite the popular notion that Nietzsche was an atheist, this is not strictly so;

Nietzsche was thus an “atheist” precisely because he believed in the divine, that is the real God. His atheism was not an end in itself, as is the case for the modern positivists and other skeptics and pessimists. The Death of God is itself a spiritual event, a creator of new Gods and new tables which affirm life; it is thus a death which heralds a spiritual rebirth in a deeply Dionysian sense.[13]

All in all, although this book is not very long, it is packed with extremely valuable information, and each statement is carefully planned. The book covers not only Nietzsche’s perspective on religion, it also highlights the fact that this idea is deeply entwined with his political philosophy, to the point that the two are mutually dependent on each other to enact the final “Reevaluation of all Values”, which then undermines the entirety of Western culture, paving the way for the Ubermensch and “Grand Politics” to occur.

To her credit, Abir Taha successfully wrangles the most complex elements of Nietzsche’s philosophy in a manner that is both concise and easy to grasp, even for those who are not familiar with these concepts. Nietzsche’s Coming God is recommended for anyone who wants to gain a deeper insight into Nietzsche’s work and reveal the intricate strands which compose his religious and political philosophy. It would good to see this theory expanded in the future to include Nietzsche’s ideas relating to the Laws of Manu and his interest in Hinduism, which is the only facet lacking from this otherwise intriguing work.

[1 ] Taha, A., Nietzsche’s Coming God or the Redemption of the Divine (UK: Arktos Media Ltd., 2013), 5.
[2 ] Ibid., 37.
[3 ] Ibid., 39.
[4 ] Ibid., 41.
[5 ] Ibid., 61.
[6] Ibid., 63.
[7 ] Taunton G., Nietzsche’s Olympian Synthesis in ed. Deva., K., Aristokratia Vol. II (US: Manticore Press, 2013).
[8 ] Taha, A., Nietzsche’s Coming God or the Redemption of the Divine, 65.
[9 ] Ibid., 70.
[10] Ibid., 77.
[11] Ibid., 83.
[12 ] Taunton, G. The Black Sun: Dionysus in the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and Greek Myth in ed. Taunton, G., in Kratos: The Hellenic Tradition (Australia: Numen Books, 2013).
[13] Taha, A., Nietzsche’s Coming God or the Redemption of the Divine, 102.

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