Sunday, January 24, 2016

595: The first existentialist... Kierkegaard

If Kierkegaard (1813 -1855) would have had access to SL, he definitely would have had at least six or seven alt avatars, 
all in constant debate with each other, for that was his method: writing under a lot of pseudonyms.

The reason for this was that he didn’t 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.
Denmark had recently and very rapidly been transformed from a feudal society into a capitalist society. 
Universal elementary education, large-scale migration from rural areas into cities, and greatly increased social mobility meant 
that the social structure changed from a rigidly hierarchical one to a relatively “horizontal” one.  It is the world of the beginning Industrial Revolution.
That is the world Kierkegaard lived in. His 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.
That is not really a philosophical problem. Let theologians deal with it. Yet Kierkegaard is known as the “father of existentialism”.
An other puzzling aspect is, that existentialism usually is related with atheism by default. So how should we understand this.
Kierkegaard himself never used the term existentialism, but yet what made him the first man of that kind of philosophy?
Philosophically it was probably his fundamental disagreement with the philosophy of Hegel (1770 - 1831), which was popular in those days, especially in the People’s Church of Denmark.
Hegel reduced the individual to one who is just a part of the dialectic process of thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis.
According to Kierkegaard 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.
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.
Thank you…..any questions or remarks? Feel free…the floor is yours.

The discussion

[13:15] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine) claps
[13:16] Max Chatnoir: But if you are using criteria to guide your choices, don't you also choose the criteria?
[13:16] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Thank you, you portrayed Kierkegaard as a renewer
[13:16] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): I guess it is the main point in life, to figure out the things which are really important for oneself in life
[13:16] herman Bergson: Only in the 1940s his work was translated  in german...
[13:17] herman Bergson: Good point Max.....
[13:17] Max Chatnoir: It was in English by the late 50's wasn't it?
[13:17] herman Bergson: But suppose that the criteria are formulated by science?
[13:17] herman Bergson: yes
[13:18] herman Bergson: or criteria offered by a Church...
[[13:18] Max Chatnoir: Science isn't generally prescriptive.
[13:18] herman Bergson: They think that this last one was his main concern...
[13:19] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): hi bejita
[13:19] herman Bergson: Hi bejiita :-)
[13:19] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Bejiita
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: puh finally got home
[13:19] CB Axel: Hi, Bejiita.
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Bejiita
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: been on a sport event with a friend
[13:19] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): oh nice
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: it was
[13:19] Max Chatnoir: I guess you'd have to decide if you wanted to adhere to the tenets of a particular church.
[13:19] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Hope you had fun
[13:19] herman Bergson: Kierkegaard was one of the first who made this difference between the individual and "the crowd"
[13:20] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Hi Violet
[13:20] CB Axel: Hi, Violet.
[13:20] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): hello violet
[13:20] herman Bergson: Hi Violet
[13:20] Violet (ataraxia.azemus): Hi Chantal ,CB, Hermine, Herman, all :)
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello Violet
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: hi
[13:20] herman Bergson: K. chose for the individual and against conformism and stereotypes
[13:21] CB Axel: Why would anyone choose to follow the teaching over a church as opposed to science except out of fear of a god?
[[13:21] Max Chatnoir: I used to meet with a group of people that I really liked and admired.  They were Bahai, and they were doing informational discussions for inquirers.  I thought they really had their heads on straight, but they did have a central prophet figure that you had to agree was an agent of God or something like that.  I couldn't go there.
[13:22] herman Bergson: Well the thing is you first believe in a god, then  you start to fear his punishment and then you obey according to criteria of a church :-)
[13:22] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ;-)
[13:23] herman Bergson: YEs Bahai is a religion....
[13:23] herman Bergson: In essence Kierkgaard was a theologian....
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: think I’ve heard about it
[13:23] Max Chatnoir: Yes, a friend earlier today was talking about his visits to India and the religious wars there between somebody and somebody else.  It just seems always to end in destruction.
[13:24] herman Bergson: but with an individualistic interpretation of how to be a believer
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes...religion has been and still is a cause of war
[13:25] Max Chatnoir: Yes, sorry, I didn't mean to get sidetracked there.
[13:25] herman Bergson: or a means to wage war for other reasons
[13:25] Max Chatnoir: But Kierkegaard was kind of a theologian.
[13:25] herman Bergson: A 100% one :-)
[13:25] herman Bergson: His main concern was how to be a good christian...
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did he get problems with Rome?
[13:26] CB Axel: So Kierkegaard did not believe in one god, or did he believe in God but didn't think we really knew what God wanted us to do?
[13:26] herman Bergson: That they call him the first existentialist thinker....well....not my idea :-)
[13:26] CB Axel: I mean, if you believe in one God, then that one God must have one set of rules for us.
[13:26] Max Chatnoir: So he was developing the criteria that he thought were at least consonant with that tradition.
[13:26] CB Axel: Or does God have a multiple personality disorder?
[13:27] herman Bergson: Well...his main point was that you can not believe based on reason...
[13:27] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): He has more possibilities;-)
[13:28] herman Bergson: there had to be this leap of faith that jumps past reason...
[13:28] Max Chatnoir: Once you abandon reason, you are on shaky ground.
[13:28] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): sorry :( I have an urgent matter to take care off. Enjoy everyone, thank you Herman
[13:28] CB Axel: Bye, Chantal.
[13:28] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): bye chantal
[13:28] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Waves
[13:28] herman Bergson: Don't ask me too much about is not my chapter :-)
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: bye chantal
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): truste Chantal 
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Chantal
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: hmm indeed one who believe in god dont believe in reason but in magic
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: something like that
[13:29] herman Bergson: the only thing I see in Kierkegaard is that he puts the individual in the centre of his existence...creating and defining himself by his choices
[13:29] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): magic is forbidden when u believe in god;-)
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: but gud is supernatural stuff = magic = non existent
[13:30] Max Chatnoir: Reason may be imperfect, but if we walk away from it, we are abandoning what makes us human.
[13:30] herman Bergson: and as such it was an original approach of life in those days
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: gos
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: god
[13:30] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): depends on what u think what magic is;-)
[13:30] CB Axel: I can see why people would reasonably choose God. If they don't know anything else.
[13:30] herman Bergson: I agree Max :-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: magic is things that cant be explained bu laws of physics and chemistry or is breaking those said laws which is 100 % impossible to do
[13:31] herman Bergson: The better education the less work for a god I would say :-)
[13:31] CB Axel: °͜°
[13:31] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): magic is the power of thinking. always was, but wrong translations made it to what peeps think now.
[13:32] CB Axel: But Bejiita, back then people didn't know as much as we know now.
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: well that could be 1 possible magic
[13:32] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): and also the will of peeps to see more in it as it is
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: indeed, at that time it was understandable
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: the issue is today in 2015 people still believe in this instead of the scientific knowledge we have today
[13:33] CB Axel: I agree, Bejiita. That's the sad thing.
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: and the result is war and death
[13:33] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): there must be a balance between science and believing and knowing things. science is not the answer to everything
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: 3rd world war is raging at moment
[13:33] CB Axel: Is it?
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: IS Boko Haram, Syria
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: well almost at least
[13:34] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): no its not the answer;-)
[13:34] CB Axel: I fell asleep and must have missed it.
[13:34] herman Bergson: If science has no answer we just have to say: I know that I don't know......likek Socrates said :-)
[13:34] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): we forgot our roots and that we are only a opart of nature
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:34] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): and not the leader of the world
[13:35] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): and we all have no answers. only some hints
[13:35] herman Bergson: To some extend Daruma....
[13:35] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ;-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: We are today well aware of the fact that we are part of nature and the ecosystem, I would say
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yep
[13:36] herman Bergson: that we behave unnatural or against nature is another problem
[13:36] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): yo
[13:36] herman Bergson: not the topic of today ^_*
[13:36] herman Bergson: I guess we are done with Kierkegaard :-))
[13:36] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): tztztz^^
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:37] herman Bergson: So…..thank you all again...:-)
[13:37] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): thank u herman!
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:37] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] Violet (ataraxia.azemus): Thanks, Herman, all... Be well :)
[13:37] CB Axel: Thank you, and I'm sorry I was late.
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cu next time
[13:37] herman Bergson: But feel free to continue the conversation :-)
[13:38] Max Chatnoir: Thank you, Herman.
[13:38] Max Chatnoir: Hi, CB.
[13:38] CB Axel: Like I said, I fell asleep.
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I have to go to sleep now, goodnight all
[13:38] herman Bergson: when CB?
[13:38] CB Axel: I completely missed the start of World War III
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: bye beertje
[13:38] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ww3 wasn’t interesting
[13:38] CB Axel: I fell asleep about 1 1/2 hours before class.
[13:38] CB Axel: I didn't think I'd sleep long. I was just "resting my eyes."
[13:39] herman Bergson smiles
[13:39] Max Chatnoir: Bible says "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" but Kierkegaard was trying to do that.
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes...I still don't understand why a god you choose always has to install fear upon you....why not joy and happiness?
[13:40] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): buddha gives joy
[13:41] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): and the minions
[13:41] herman Bergson: no god = no fear = joy and happines :-))
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:41] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): lol
[13:41] Max Chatnoir: Oh, that was the name of one of his books, wasn't it?  Fear and Trembling?
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: as i say SCIENCE ROCKS!
[13:41] herman Bergson: buddha isnt a god....originally not even a religion...just a philosophy of life
[13:41] Max Chatnoir: What Bejiita said.  :-)
[13:41] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): in my world a god is a philosophy.
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: this video proves science make you happy
[13:42] Bejiita Imako:
[13:42] Bejiita Imako:
[13:42] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): also the bible is a book of creating your life better
[13:42] herman Bergson: ahh :-)
[13:42] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): well, the original bible...
[13:42] herman Bergson: I'll check it out Daruma :-))
[13:42] Max Chatnoir: Speaking of video, have you seen the video of the jaguar jumping on the crocodile?
[13:42] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): ja ok;-) so Thursday again;-)
[13:43] CB Axel: I'd like to read a reliable translation of the books that make up the Bible and the texts that got edited out of it.
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes Daruma :-)
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:43] herman Bergson: No Max...what was the outcome?
[13:43] Max Chatnoir: Yes, I will hope, as always, to see you Thursday.
[13:43] Max Chatnoir: The jaguar won.
[13:43] CB Axel: OK. I'll see you all on Thursday, and I'll try not to be late.
[13:43] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine) waves wild
[13:43] herman Bergson: \o/
[13:43] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): have a silent night
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: bye CB
[13:43] Max Chatnoir: bit the crocodile on the neck and hauled it off.
[[13:43] herman Bergson: amazing!
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:44] Bejiita Imako:
[13:44] Hermine Daruma Boa (hermine): bye bye
[13:44] herman Bergson: Bye Daruma

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