The Death of God and the Death of Persons
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The shared symmetry of “the death of God” and “the death of persons” is examined in this chapter. As coming into the presence of persons is structurally analogous to coming into the presence of God, so the “death” of persons as the loss of the sense of the inherent worth of persons—of all persons or of certain groups of persons—is structurally analogous to the loss of a consciousness of God, “the death of God” in one of its primary meanings. In this chapter how moral practice in observance of moral duty can survive the death of persons is explored and how, similarly, religious practice based on convention can survive the death of God. But as such a form of morality would not be sustained by an awareness of the inherent worth of persons so such a form of religion would not be grounded in an experience of God’s presence.