God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, the murderers of all murderers, console ourselves?
– Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘The Gay Science’ (1882)
Nietzsche remains a point of reference for all those who wish to mount a challenge either to philosophy, or to religion, or to any ‘system’ that requires the restriction of the individual’s vital impetus towards self-creation.
Ecstatic self-creation is understood as a ‘will-to-power’ that brings meaning out of nature rather than against it. For Nietzsche, religion (and Christianity, in particular) requires an opposition to the vitality of nature, in pursuit of an ‘afterlife’ of the mind (theology) or of the resurrected body (salvation) that never comes. Nietzsche sees this ‘salvationist’ ethos at work in both philosophy and science, which do not replace religion but simply shift its ‘deities.’
The ‘superman’ is the ‘meaning-of-the-earth’ insofar as the superman affirms their own vitality to bring nature into a greater condition of art.
The will-to-power is Nietzsche’s answer to the nihilism that he feared would follow the dissolution of religion.