Here is an excerpt:
1. Nietzsche on Why People Believe in God
What is Nietzsche’s justification for claiming that God is a fiction? The answer lies in the function of the idea of God.
According to Nietzsche, the idea of God was created to help people handle widespread and seemingly senseless suffering. The ancient Israelites, who brought forward the Judeo-Christian God, lived in horrible conditions: for many generations, they were enslaved, beaten, and killed. Under such immense duress, it’s perfectly reasonable for them to find some reason to explain suffering and hope that those responsible for suffering will be punished.
The idea of God plays that role. The idea of God emerges to provide light in a dark world. From antiquity to today most people turn to God when awful tragedies happen – for example, when loved ones are gunned down by active shooters, trapped in cities bombarded by hurricanes, or diagnosed with cancer. For many, belief in God provides strength to endure such misery. Belief in God also provides hope that when our loved ones pass away we can live with them again for eternity. Belief in God ensures that no loss is inconsolable, no injustice unrequited, and that we can finally have everlasting peace, no matter the misery gone through to get there.
For Nietzsche, then, there is a natural explanation for belief in God. God is a psychological fabrication created to soothe distress, ease trauma, and provide companionship in the face of suffering.
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