October 15 in freethought history…

nietzscheOctober 15, 1844 – German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is born in the village of Röcken, Saxony. Nietzsche was the author of the dubious adages “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” and “God is dead.” Elaborating on the latter, Nietzsche wrote: “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” Nietzsche died in 1900, aged 55.

October 15, 1908 – Economist John Kenneth Galbraith is born in Ontario, Canada. Galbraith’s spent his adult life in the United States, where his influence extended to the social and political: he was a speechwriter and advisor to JFK and other prominent liberal politicians, and he served as Ambassador to India. He received numerous awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he was named Humanist of the Year in 1985 by the American Humanist Association. “I have managed most of my life to exclude religious speculation from my mode of thought. I’ve found that, on the whole, it adds very little to economics.” Galbraith died in 2006, aged 97.

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