While trying to avoid the stereotype of a young, angsty atheist, I have been on a Nietzsche kick in the past few weeks. The newfound interest in this fascinating, if depressing, philosopher was sparked when we began studying him again in one of my philosophy courses. It is too bad that Nietzsche lived such a pitiful (irony intended, for those who have read Nietzsche) life, because he will be remembered with negative connotations than for his brilliant, if at points wrong, thoughts.
One of my favorite pieces of his, which I have not read in years, is the famous parable, “The Madman.” This brilliant little piece out of The Gay Science is as follows:
Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: “I seek God! I seek God!”—As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?—Thus they yelled and laughed. Continue reading