Tuesday Obituary: God

Tuesday Obituary: God
Frederich Nietzsche: Philosopher, cultural critic, and hippophile. Image via Studio Ghibli (It's allowed)

by Sahar Tavakoli

The Slay Science: God is dead, murdered in a double homicide that also took the life of Purpose, on an unspecified day in 1881. Born before time, God died at an immeasurable age, presumably everywhere at the same time. As of writing, no noise has been heard of the grave-diggers, and no Divine Smell has been registered.

As far as accomplishments go, God is pretty difficult to beat. Both omnipotent and omniscient, God created the heavens and the earth and authored several best selling books. He* was also a DJ. On one notable occasion, God took the form of man. The fleshy God was a superstar; walking on water, cursing fig trees, transmuting liquids, and restoring our good graces with His Father. As the third installment of the triune…the Holy Ghost…I haven’t the foggiest. My family is Muslim, we kind of stopped at the first iteration. I think the appropriate word here is ‘consubstantial’.

While he was a Creator through and through, God was not above a do-over. Like Sea Monkeys from a package of dust, man born forth from the clay soon got kind of gross. They seemed to flourish in their own filth, they let it gather about them, they fed upon their own decay. Maybe it had been a mistake to bring them to life in the first place, and so they were flushed away. The second round was no better, fucking like it was going out of fashion. This time God would send a different kind of rain, one of fire and sulfur.

He had experienced attempts on His life in the past. In 589BH, then Governor of Judaea, Pontius Pilate would order the crucifixion of God-as-man. Another millennium and change would pass before French intelligentsia developed a method by which to decapitate His remaining Godheads.

It took these self-titled Philosophes a long century to undo the work that God had done in a week, but the final results were phenomenological. Out with superstition and appeals to unconditional authority, in with reason and experience! Who needs categorical imperatives when you have confidence in your own intellectual maturity? I mean, you’d have to be some kind of madman to doubt that this new approach to existence would be anything other than spiritually fulfilling.

The God who’d served as explicans for all things has had His throne usurped by a charlatan who goes by the name of Facts-and-Logic, a flim-flam man who decidedly does not care about our feelings. Like all good regicides of yore, the chain of being has broken. What few had expected to find was that we'd all been pretty weak links, our strength was the strength of community. The aim might have been to decouple social development from transcendent authority, but wither society in a collection of individuals? Now, with all orientation lost, and universal morality completely AWOL, what we’re left with is Nothing.

God is survived by a will to power, and by Caitrin Donovan, who suggested the subject of this week’s obituary. God’s shadow will be on display in several unnamed caves for thousands of years.

*Some sources say She. Here I work with analyst categories set out by Nietzsche which, come to think of it, seems like a pretty terrible way to approach anything.

For a demonstration of the denaturalising power of referring to God in the feminine, see: Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14, no. 3 (October 1, 1988): 575–99.

For the argument that God’s gender identity can only be revealed through really good sex, see: Ariana Grande - God Is a Woman (Official Video), 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHLHSlExFis.

Sahar Tavakoli writes The Stopgap’s late news (10 letters).