Without the dream one would have had no occasion to divide the world right in two.Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
I put a link to a tool song, both because I love the song and because some of the lyrics come in line with how I feel about this aphorism. The belief in the unseen world (God, Heaven, Satan and all metaphysics that go with it) or at least how we’ve chosen to interpret and pass on generation after generation is one of the greatest tragedies of humanity. In the distant past gods were modeled after humans, often with exaggerated characteristics both good and bad. One need only study Greek mythology, Roman mythology (which steals much from Greece) or any number of other pre-abrahamic religions to see this pattern. There was also very little focus on what happened after you were gone. The rewards and punishments were things that happened then and there, in the physical world. A look at how the Greeks treated Hades, was a place for souls simply to reside, not a hell for torment and punishment
As is the hypothesis of the embodied soul existing. hence the development of all superstition, and also, probably, the belief in God.Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
Christianity and Islam posit something completely different, and in my mind (and Nietzsche would most likely agree) that our rewards for how we act here are rewarded elsewhere. Here we find hints at where Nietzsche would go with these hypothesis, that true nihilism is rooted not in the disbelief in God, but in the belief of rewards after death, which diminishes the value of this world. I have to wonder at those that choose to actively kill themselves in pursuit of invisible rewards from an invisible patron to achieve goals that, if that god existed, the patron could achieve itself easily. And how easily this metaphysical sickness has passed through the various era’s of humanity to create a form of belief that is a complete inversion of how gods were percieved in ancient times.
I leave you with this thought. The newer, abrahamic religions “describe” a god that has no real characteristics. Can someone give me a solid definition of what “omni-benevolent” or “omniscient” really mean? They are none definitions. One could describe the personality, the spirit of the older gods like Zeus or Athena. One could attach characteristics, that while exaggerated, would still make sense in this physical world. One extrapolated from what one had experienced. Christianity and Islam go the other direction and posit a God that is incomprehensible, unknowable and unproven. And not only that, they raise the value of a supposed second world that we cannot actually experience without letting go of this world completely. So not only have they created something from nothing, they have raised it above the proveable, that which can be experienced, percieved and translated into terms that humans can understand.
And thus you have the first stirrings of Nihilism, when humans embraced sight unseen a world of souls instead of a world of experience. No amount of argument can convince the converted that their belief has perverted every moment of their life, turning it into a game where one takes ones own prejudice and say that god supports it. It denies every argument with the pathetic concept of faith, all to preserve what exactly? what actual god with the characteristics given by Islam and Christianity would care if we destroyed his supposed enemies? If he wanted them destroyed, it would do so itself.