Sunday, May 10, 2009

69 Soren Kierkegaard

If Kierkegaard would have had access to SL, he definitely would have had at least six or seven alt avatars, all in constant debate with eachother. For that was his method: writing under a lot of pseudonyms.

The reason for this was that he didnt wanted to build a system, like e.g. Hegel did and an other reason was that his drive to write was pure subjective. You could say that he was a talented Danish writer who wanted to criticize the establishment and share tons of questions he had in a Socratic way with a large audience.

Here we leave the path of logic, epistemology and scientific method. Philosophy is now a discussion on fundamental and existential questions and within the context of this discourse we should refrain from linguistic or semantic analysis and take language intuitive.

Kierkegaard's works can not be understood as showing a kind of philosophical system. On the contrary, it is a collection of publications closely related with Kierkegaard as a person and his struggle with being a real christian.

What was bothering him? In the first place his idea of how you can be a christian, and his observation that the Institute Church had nothing to do with a personal faith. So it has nothing to offer for our personal redemption.

Secondly there was Hegel and his the highly rational and abstract philosophy. If you would follow the big scheme of dialectics we finally would get access to the Absolute, even the mind of God, which for Hegel was equivalent to the logical structure of the universe.

These two things were no answer to Kierkegaards personal troubles regarding his christian belief. In his writings the Institute Church and Hegel, the institutionalized abstraction, became important targets for his pen.

Hegel reduced the individual to one who is just a part of the dialectic process, But any particular conceptual scheme represents not an actuality but a possibility. Whether the individual realizes this possibility, and so endowes it with existence, depends upon the individual and not upon the concepts.

It is not some dialectic process but the individual who constitutes himself as the individual he is through his choice of one mode of existence rather than another. Choice it the core of all human existence.

The essence of Kierkegaard's concept of choice is that it is criterionless. If criteria determine what I choose, it is not I who makes the choice; hence the choice must be undetermined.

Thus, logical principles, or relations between concepts, can in no sense determine a person's intellectual position; for it is his choices that determine the authority such principles have for him.

Kierkegaard makes a distinction in two ways of life, which he calls the aesthetic and ethical ways. The aesthetic point of view is that of a sophiticated and romantic hedonism. "See him in his season of pleasure: did he not crave for one pleasure after another, variaty his watchword?" But in the end this constant search for novelty to escape boredom leads to the threshold of despair.

For the man in the ethical stage " the chief thing is, not whether one can count on one's fingers how many duties one has, but that a man has once felt the intensity of duty in such a way that the consciousness of it is for him the assurance of the eternal validity of his being"

In his book Either/Or he presents us with these viewpoints and suggests that to get from one stage to the other is a matter of choice, but here is gets in trouble with his personal views and his concept of criterionless choice, for he suggests that the ethical viewpoint on existence eventually is the better choice.

A third stage would be the religious stage, which, as it is called, can only be reached by a leap to faith. General and universal rules cannot aid him here; it is as an individual that he has to choose.

This process is driven by the experience of despair and dread. The experience of each forces the individual to realize that he confronts a void and that he , in fact, is responsible for his own sick and sinful condition. This emptiness can not be filled just by aethetic pleasure of ethical rule-following. The individual has to choose.

Although there is little existentialism in the real historical sense of the word in Kierkegaard's thoughts, what is a stricking resemblance is that for Kierkegaard the personal choice, the criterionless choice, is what constitutes the individual's life.

To quote Kierkegaard himself: "What I really miss is a clear idea in my mind about what I must do, not about what I must know...the point is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die".

If he is regarded as the 'father of existentialism" then it is because he was the first philosopher who made individual truth and individual choice the core of existence.

The Discussion

[13:22] Herman Bergson: So far on Kierkegaard..
[13:22] Herman Bergson: Maybe the first one who introduced subjectivism
[13:23] hope63 Shepherd: he missed a point: what is a clear idea of his mind of what i must do is conditioned by what he knows..
[13:23] arabella Ella: Herman I disagree with your description of Kierkegaard's choice as criterionless, it is not based on logical arguments but on a sense of duty which leads us to avoid an empty life and which gives meaning to our life via the leap of faith
[13:24] hope63 Shepherd: hello all of you.. hello herman..
[13:24] Osrum Sands: Arabella are U disagreeing with what Herman said about soron or what Soron said ?
[13:24] Herman Bergson: Well Arabella in his EIther / Or he seems to be very clear about that, but it is very well possible that what you said you can read somewhere else...
[13:24] Alarice Beaumont: hi hope
[13:24] Herman Bergson: He never was consistent
[13:25] arabella Ella: I am disagreeing with herman's use of the term criterionless
[13:25] Osrum Sands: ok
[13:25] Wyeth Bailey: my apologies, crashy today
[13:25] Herman Bergson: It is Kierkegaard y how introduced it..
[13:25] Laila Schuman: i am getting the impression that around this time the concept of "god is dead" was being born... and was floating freely in intellectual circles.... or sort of freely... is Kjirkegaard behind that or is it something that sort of coalessed out of a variety of sources... (i realize that darwin et. al. were changing things too)
[13:26] Herman Bergson: well..and it depends on what we have read..:-)
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Kierkegaard was pretty isolated...only visited Berling four times where Hegelianism still ruled..
[13:27] arabella Ella: yes herman but i think kierkegaard was valuable because he realised that the normally held 'proofs' of God's existence could be argued against and that the only way to belief was via a leap of faith which is something quite a few people adopt
[13:27] Herman Bergson: I think his ideas are a very personal matter to him
[13:28] Osrum Sands: I would agree with you there Arabella
[13:28] Herman Bergson: That is get to faith was a step without any rational was a deed of passion
[13:28] Wyeth Bailey: well it is key isnt it the idea that you can simultaneously doubt and believe, more so than jus doubting god, it bridges to existentialism
[13:29] Herman Bergson: I dont think doubting God was Kierkegaards issue
[13:29] Herman Bergson: It was more the justification of true christianity
[13:29] Wyeth Bailey: I agree herman
[13:29] Herman Bergson: a personal christianity
[13:29] arabella Ella: i personally think it is the case that we all come to a stage in our lives where we have to take a decision to believe or not and most of us choose to either take Kierkegaard's leap or faith or not ... Kierkegaard claimed that those who don't live an empty life
[13:30] Osrum Sands: now there is a whole new world "TRUE" christianity
[13:30] Herman Bergson: Yes and feel despair...
[13:30] Osrum Sands: world of discussion I mean
[13:31] Osrum Sands: Dawkins would disagreee
[13:31] Herman Bergson: Well Kierkegaard had a very personal interpretation of his being a christian....
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I think the truth of it rests in his emphasis on the individual
[13:31] Osrum Sands: as one should
[13:31] Herman Bergson: But mainly it was based on his conflict with the institution in Danmark
[13:32] Osrum Sands: once more as one should / have conflict with the institution that is
[13:32] Tiara Calvert: I would love to know what his personal argument would be for coming to invest his leap of faith in christianity as opposed to any other religion. If coming to a choice was meant to him to be the result of no outer influence.
[13:32] Herman Bergson: The interesting thing is that Kierkegaard's work became more known about 1930 only.
[13:32] Cailleach Shan: Was the Danish interpretation of Christianity particularly authoritarion?
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Good question Tiara.....
[13:33] Herman Bergson: The thing is...Kierkegaard knew only two things...christianity or non christianity..which was secular philosophy to him
[13:34] Herman Bergson: He never widened his horizon ....further than Danmark..for if he had thought of Buddhism or islam...
[13:35] Herman Bergson: Kierkegaard was a Danish writer...rather isolated
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: sorry i have to relog.. cannot really write...:-(
[13:35] arabella Ella: but herman we must be fair, even up until not long ago most christians were so sheltered they too had no clue about the value of other religions
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: sheltered is a nice way to describe it:)
[13:35] arabella Ella: and there was no mass communication or travel in kierkegaard's day
[13:36] Mickorod Renard: some religions are more attractive than others depending on your approach
[13:36] Herman Bergson: yes hope..I was thinking about it too
[13:36] Osrum Sands: I would suggest the Europeian thought in general disregarded the rest of the world !
[13:36] Herman Bergson: isnt it more that there is one religion: christianity...and some other points of view?
[13:37] Wyeth Bailey: to me they keystone of the contribution on leap to faith is not from where to where or why, but the idea that doubt and faith coexist
[13:37] hope63 Shepherd: not really os.. not in the commercial terms:) all the colonies were there..
[13:37] Osrum Sands: ok hope
[13:37] Mickorod Renard: doubt is part of faith
[13:37] Osrum Sands: thats trad
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: Surely his isolationism must be considered in the validity of his contribution.
[13:37] Cailleach Shan: He was a Lutheran wasn't he. That surely went against the most acceptable form of Christianity... Catholicism.
[13:37] Herman Bergson: Yes Wyeth...and that the leap to faith is not rationally explainable
[13:37] Wyeth Bailey: alsmot quantum in essence, and moves the locus of control from some absolute external truth to the mind of the individual
[13:37] arabella Ella: herman up until not long ago christians were made to believe that any other religion was the work of Satan ... and i agree Osrum about Europeans being imperialistic in their thoughts and ideas
[13:38] Herman Bergson: Never heard it was Satan's work Arabella...but good to know..:-)
[13:38] Samuel Okelly: " the leap to faith is not rationally explainable" would kierkegaard have agreed with this do you think herman?
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: I think Ara is right about the Satanic implication
[13:39] Herman Bergson: yes definitely....he would even say it is a paradox..
[13:39] arabella Ella: well when i was a child, and this is quite shocking, even freemasons in my country were considered Satanic
[13:39] Herman Bergson: He refers to Abraham.....who had the instruction to kill his own ethical conflict but it was God himself who ordered it...
[13:40] Osrum Sands: Still are in many parts of the free world - Masons that is
[13:40] Herman Bergson: Abraham had to make that leap...and say:Ok I do it
[13:40] Herman Bergson: that is the paradox
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: hmmm
[13:41] Mickorod Renard: yes i see where ur goin herman
[13:41] Cailleach Shan: That's a good description of 'Blind Faith' Herman
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: not so much a paradox if you study history and religion..
[13:41] arabella Ella: i see it more as a strongly intuitive faith, the belief that one thing is the right thing to do in spite of everything else, a feeling we all get at times
[13:41] Samuel Okelly: so teh leap to faith is an acceptance of a spefic understanding and not of a more general theistic interpretation then?
[13:41] Herman Bergson: It is a personal thing Samuel...
[13:42] Mickorod Renard: to some the whole christianity thing becomes so clear when understood
[13:42] Herman Bergson: That is interesting inKierkegaard.....his emphasis on individuality and personal truth
[13:42] Mickorod Renard: maybe he just chose to understand christianity
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: Yet the personal decision for the leap of faith is without evidence and depends on communnal knowledge.
[13:43] Herman Bergson: Oh yes...all his life it was his problem Mickorod
[13:43] Mickorod Renard: what,,,doubt?
[13:43] hope63 Shepherd: individuality and personal truth- lead to personal responsibility for your actions?
[13:43] arabella Ella: i think his emphasis on individuality is very valid as it goes against treating humans as sheep who will blindly obey ayone's command as long as they are in power
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: The problem comes when my 'individual truth' stamps on the toes of your 'individual truth'
[13:44] Osrum Sands: hot one there Arabella
[13:44] Stanley Aviatik: Agreed Cailleach
[13:44] Herman Bergson: The sheep thing was the Church of Danmark to him
[13:44] Herman Bergson: and yes Cailleach ...that is the real issue...
[13:44] arabella Ella: well just to put my cards on the table ... perhaps that is why i am arguing as I am ... there was a stage in my life when i decided to take the Kierkegaardian leap of faith
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: yes Ara an anitauthoritarina attitude
[13:45] Osrum Sands: surly if one was sufficently confident of your individual position there would be no need to step on any ones toes
[13:45] Stanley Aviatik: tells us more Arabella
[13:45] Herman Bergson: but as I said...dont come here with epistemological arguments doesnt apply to the way Kierkegaard thought
[13:45] arabella Ella: what would you like to know Stan?
[13:45] Stanley Aviatik: More about it - here or by IM
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: here:)
[13:46] arabella Ella: ok here it goes ... i did not find the theological arguments for the existence of God persuasive and i therefore decided to take a leap of faith ... ergo, I believe in God
[13:46] Herman Bergson: Arabella....this is a personal step...and Kierkegaard shows here that logical arguments dont apply.
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: Someone who has taken the 'leap of faith' can only offer consequences of their decision and not evidence.
[13:46] Mickorod Renard: I am a bit lost cos i was late and havnt done my homework
[13:47] Cailleach Shan: Isn't that the basis for most wars? If I have the 'truth' and you don't then I must fight you.
[13:47] Herman Bergson: The correct expression is leap TO faith
[13:47] Samuel Okelly: " Kierkegaard shows here that logical arguments dont apply." just for him personaly or for everyone?
[13:47] Herman Bergson: I think for everyone Samuel
[13:47] Stanley Aviatik: Exactly - faith against faith - all based on nothing more than nothing
[13:48] Mickorod Renard: I am a christian..and I am not against anyone else
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: weéll
[13:48] Herman Bergson: Dont forget that for Kierkegaard it also was a matter of passion and emotion
[13:48] You decline Absynthe Niteclub Dancefloor, Smelton Hollow (121, 14, 701) from A group member named Gemma Cleanslate.
[13:48] Stanley Aviatik: I speak of collectives and their collective destruction
[13:48] Mickorod Renard: but my leap of faith was out of the blue and against my beliefs
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: we should be careful to give the èpure logical arguments the halo of truth:)$
[13:49] arabella Ella: so herman do you think my leap of faith involves any rational arguments as i dont think it does
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: That is an individual statement MIck, what about your group?
[13:49] Mickorod Renard: christians?
[13:49] Herman Bergson: In terms of Kierkegaard there cant be a rational argumentation for the leap to faith..likehe showed in Abraham's case....
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: as far as not against anyone
[13:50] Osrum Sands: surly by definition a leap of faith can not have any rational argument behind it
[13:50] Osrum Sands: and thats the point
[13:50] arabella Ella: i am a christian too although i have nothing against other religions as i believe most of them are vehicles of faith towards the one and only God
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes Os
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: But your God then Ar?
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Ara
[13:50] Herman Bergson: I think we should get the situation clear here....
[13:50] Cailleach Shan: Yes please Herman!!
[13:50] arabella Ella: what do you mean Ari?
[13:50] Herman Bergson: What we discuss is philosophy....not belief...
[13:51] Stanley Aviatik: A very strange god who seems to endorse so many opposing war mongering groups
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: the one and only God?
[13:51] arabella Ella: God is not only my God
[13:51] Cailleach Shan: Shout louder Herman!
[13:51] arabella Ella: God is one
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: hmmmm
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: aa.. i think this is concering questions where ratinal arguments come to an end and non-rational arguments.. because "tnbinbkable" have their right to be a question..
[13:51] Mickorod Renard: My God too Ara
[13:51] Herman Bergson: So I dont think it is relevant to discuss or evaluate personal choices regarding a leap to faith here.
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: sounds universal
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: yes!!!
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: again
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:51] Ze Novikov: lol
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: stick with thhe general
[13:51] Cailleach Shan: THANKS HERMAN!!1
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: and the professoor
[13:52] Qwark Allen: :-D
[13:52] Ze Novikov: lol
[13:52] arabella Ella: herman my point was that i wanted to get my personal agenda out in the open why should i hide it if i took a leap of faith?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: ty herman
[13:52] Herman Bergson: If we would discuss belief it will be in an epistemological context
[13:53] Tiara Calvert: Personally I would suggest Abraham had a far greater argument for his leap then anyone I can say I have ever personally known, he apparently believed he heard the voice of god directing him to an act. Not something I can say most I know who have taken a leap can offer as a criteria, for lack of a better word for their choice.
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: but the philosopher her was quite particular with his leap to fatirh as christian
[13:53] Mickorod Renard: but was this not questioned in Kierkegaard's case?
[13:53] Herman Bergson: Yet in relation to the ideas of Kierkegaard I can understand that some of you recognize something fundamental in his ideas
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: meaning lets get busy fonding pout what we can know,.. and ignore what we cannot know herman?
[13:53] Osrum Sands: I must read more on this Kierkegaard man
[13:53] Herman Bergson: No Hope....
[13:53] Mickorod Renard: yehh me too
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: sorry.. how we can know:)
[13:54] Herman Bergson: to discuss belief is a discussion in realtion to the concept of knowledge...
[13:54] Cailleach Shan: Please elaborate on that Herman
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: but we do philo about what is it we know
[13:54] Herman Bergson: And in fact you find an answer in is a criterionless choice to get to faith
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: and we havnt really come to grips with that yet
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: and let's not forget.. belief is happening in our brain:)
[13:55] Osrum Sands: and all philosophy is built on untestable propositions !
[13:55] Samuel Okelly: well given the intricate amount of detail observed at all levels of the known universe…, and given the logical acceptance of the cause and effect principle…, I see a strong “logical” argument to be made for the origin of our universe being a result of a higher, non-carbon based intelligent life form.. this we can not “know” from empirical date but it remains far from “illogical” surely?
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: yeh
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: ah
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: another notice
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: ;-))
[13:55] Osrum Sands: good point Sam
[13:55] Herman Bergson: That is a whole different discussion Samuel..
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: my my
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: I am off as usual :-) bye!!
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: carbon.. that's it..
[13:56] Mickorod Renard: surely we have to stay open minded to all possibilities
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Gemma
[13:56] Cailleach Shan: cu Gem
[13:56] Herman Bergson: and when we have it I would discusss the epistemological implications and the premises of your statement
[13:56] Mickorod Renard: bye gem
[13:56] Stanley Aviatik: bye G
[13:57] Samuel Okelly: how so herman, if you say that he proved the leap to fath was without reason?
[13:57] hope63 Shepherd: +quantum leap has no logical explanation.. but we work with it and it works so far..
[13:57] Herman Bergson: He did not proof anything Samuel
[13:57] Ze Novikov: ' have to go.... bb everyone
[13:57] arabella Ella: bye Ze
[13:57] Ze Novikov is Offline
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: bye ze
[13:58] Stanley Aviatik: Goodnight Ze
[13:58] Herman Bergson: you see...Kierkegaard touches on many personal issues..
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: but he offers no evidence
[13:58] Herman Bergson: He has no consistent theory on these matters
[13:59] Herman Bergson: but I hope you may try and read some of his work...
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: i will do herman
[13:59] Herman Bergson: I thank you for this good debate...
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: i am sorry i didnt do the homework
[13:59] Samuel Okelly: then i am misunderstanding what you meant by this herman [13:46] herman Bergson:.... Kierkegaard shows here that logical arguments dont apply."
[13:59] Stanley Aviatik: Thank you so much Herman, as ever
[13:59] Tiara Calvert: Thank you have a great evening/day everyone:)
[14:00] Stanley Aviatik: See you all Thursday
[14:00] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks, Prof
[14:00] Mickorod Renard: bye stan tiara
Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-05-14 06:22:10

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