A few more scattered points.
- The title and the central premise of the movie make it pretty clear that the screenwriters don’t know what “God is dead” means in philosophical terms. In fairness, many atheists don’t get it either. When Nietzsche said “God is dead,” he didn’t mean that Jehovah WAS alive but has keeled over, nor was he saying something as simple as “God doesn’t exist.” He was issuing a much greater challenge than that, and in many ways, it’s a greater challenge for secular progressives than for traditional believers.
Nietzsche’s point was, “Here in the Western world, all our customs, all our traditions and all our notions of morality are based on Christianity, a creed that fewer and fewer people (hardly ANY in academia or the ruling classes) believe in. The WHOLE basis for our moral code has collapsed, but here we are carrying on as if nothing has changed! EVERYTHING has changed, you fools!”
For Nietzsche, “God is Dead” is not something to say blithely. It may be an exhilirating realization for some, but it should also be a TERRIFYING realization.
2) Even philosophy and social science professors I didn’t like were never looking for an excuse to give me a bad grade just because of my opinions. If a professor gave me a bad grade on a paper, it was generally because I hadn’t addressed the main points I was supposed to be covering, because my paper didn’t show proper understanding of the concepts we’d been studying, or because I didn’t back up my arguments sufficiently. If I DID show understanding of Marx, Lenin and Nietzsche, I got good grades even from commie atheist instructors.
In short, even if you believe in God (as I do), you SHOULD be able to write an essay showing that you understand what Nietzsche was getting at. And if you can’t, you DESERVE to fail a course in modern philosophy.
- I was never planning to see this movie anyway, largely because most Christian movies I HAVE seen are sloppy, crude, amateuristic, one-dimensional, badly written, hammily acted and a drag to watch. In art, I’m afraid, good intentions really don’t count for much. I’d LOVE to see good Christian movies, but I’m still waiting.