The Word of Nietzsche

concerning the death of God means the Christian god. But it is no less certain, and it is to be considered in advance, that the terms "God" and "Christian god" in Nietzsche's thinking are used to designate the supra sensory world in general. God is the name for the realm of Ideas and ideals. This realm of the suprasensory has been considered since Plato, or more strictly speaking, since the late Greek and Christian interpretation of Platonic philosophy, to be the true and genuinely real world. In contrast to it the sensory world is only the world down here, the changeable, and therefore the merely apparent, unreal world. The world down here is the vale of tears in contrast to the mountain of everlasting bliss in the beyond. It as still happens in Kant, we name the sensory world the physical in the broader sense, then the suprasensory world is the metaphysical world.

The pronouncement "God is dead" means: The suprasensory world is without effective power. It bestows no life. Metaphysics, i.e., for Nietzsche Western philosophy understood as Platonism, is at an end. Nietzsche understands his own philosophy as the countermovement to metaphysics, and that means for him a movement in opposition to Platonism.

Nevertheless, as a mere countermovement it necessarily remains, as does everything "anti," held fast in the essence of that over against which it moves. Nietzsche's countermovement against metaphysics is, as the mere turning upside down of metaphysics, an inextricable entanglement in metaphysics, in such a way, indeed, that metaphysics is cut off from its essence and, as metaphysics, is never able to think its own essence. Therefore, what actually happens in metaphysics and as metaphysics itself remains hidden by metaphysics and for metaphysics.

If God as the suprasensory ground and goal of all reality is dead, if the suprasensory world of the Ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory and above all its vitalizing and upbuilding power, then nothing more remains to which man can cling and by which he can orient himself. That is why in the passage just cited there stands this question: "Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing?" The pronouncement "God is dead" contains the confirmation that this Nothing is spreading out. "Nothing" means here: absence of a suprasensory, obligatory

Martin Heidegger (GA 5) The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays