Chapter 5: The Future Is Open
Putting these two together is a tremendous insight. God is dead - that has been said by many atheists in different ways, that is not new. What is new is the other part: and from now on man is free.
God’s death becomes the freedom of man. God’s life becomes the death of man. The choice is very clear. If you choose God, then you have chosen to be a robot, a machine who is destined to do something and there is no way to change.
The murderer will be a murderer.
The thief will be a thief.
The sinner will be a sinner.
The saint will be a saint.
And I am amazed that all over the world, our magistrates, judges, all the courts - from the smallest court to the Supreme Court of any nation - are filled with religious people. They all believe in God, and still they punish the sinners. Can you see the contradiction?
If God determines everybody’s life - before you are born your life is written already, what you are going to be, what is going to be your whole flavor of character - if this is true, then no sinner should be punished. That is against religion. He was simply fulfilling a destiny that God has given him.
If you want to punish, punish God!
Then no saint should be praised, because whatever he is doing, he is in the same boat as the sinner. There is no difference. He is not holier than the sinner. Both are mechanical robots. One is manufactured to be a saint, another is manufactured to be a sinner. Neither the sinner is to be condemned, nor the saint is to be praised.
But strange things go on happening. People go on believing in God, and yet they go on insisting that whatever you do, you are responsible for it.
But responsibility needs freedom. Without freedom it is not possible for me to be responsible for my acts.
A puppet is not responsible for the dance, because the strings are in the hands of the puppeteer who is hiding behind the curtain. He is responsible. He can make the puppet dance, he can make the puppet fight, he can make the puppet sit cross-legged in meditation. But the puppet is not responsible for good or bad. If there is God, then there is no good, no bad.
These are simple implications.
God creates man, and God creates his destiny.
Nietzsche is a madman, but once in a while mad people have tremendous insights. Your sane people have no insight at all. This is something of supreme value when he says God is dead and, from now on, man is free. But freedom means responsibility.
So don’t unnecessarily waste your time writing letters to me. I can see your present moment.