Essay
#3

Soren
Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, His father realized he was intelligent at
a young age and pushed him to further his studies. He went on to the University
of Copenhagen in Germany where he pursued to become a Lutheran Minister.
Although he received a PhD, his mother and father passed away within four years
of each other therefore he decided ministry was not for him at the moment. As
covered in class, Kierkegaard proposed to his wife Regine Olsen that same year,
sadly the marriage only lasted a year before he broke it off to begin his
voyage to Berlin to begin his studies.

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His
hometown slowly became an industrial center. Kierkegaard was not a fan of this
and wanted the Danish people to remain traditional, not materialistic. The
personal issues he was dealing with seemed to shape his philosophical ideas.
His ideas on the nature of existence aligned closely with the issues of faith. Kierkegaard
rejected traditional approaches of philosophy in relation to faith, reason and
existence. He claimed that in order to become your true self you must go through
the three stages of development. The three stages were: doubt, uncertainty and
faith. Kierkegaard makes a distinction many philosophers don’t not make, he distinguishes
uncertainty from doubt. Uncertainty is described by him as an element of faith
or at least it is something that faith presupposes. Uncertainty is compatible
with faith because it is a part of the human condition. But neither faith nor
doubt are identical to uncertainty.

In
relation to consciousness, Kierkegaard introduces the either/or element. He states
that there is a connection between consciousness, reflection and relation. It’s
not that one is more important than the other but argues that they are all
independents if you are conscious then they can relate. While avoiding the
actual term, Kierkegaard, he says that conscious beings possess the space for
memory. Without memory consciousness is meaningless. Which transitions to the
idea of reality vs ideality. In consciousness lies doubt and makes us aware.
How we interpret a situation comes from us. Since we have indirect contact with
reality, it leads us to endless possibilities

The
selves are born out of our freedom and consciousness. The three types of selves
are the Aesthetic self (least appreciated), the Ethical self, and the religious
self.  The aesthetic is the field in
charges of sensory pleasures and experiences. It is a self that is dominated by
the quest of pleasure or power. He implements various ways that one can avoid
boredom or routine by increasing aesthetic. One thing that I found interesting
when I read it is when Kierkegaard claimed that we the anticipation of certain
events typically are more exciting than the events itself. For example, he uses
the mail as an example; making the claim that if we allow our mail to
accumulate over a few days before opening it, it draws out anticipation. It can
also range in anticipation. The most important part in this section because it
strongly relates to my generation of humans is the idea that you become what
others think of you. The aesthetic isn’t aware that their desires derive from others
wants and needs

 

What
is ethics. This relates to the way a person “supposed” to act according to the
social norms. Ethics and aesthetics are not always in opposition but when they
are ethics must take precedence. Kierkegaard claims that an ethical life is one
that is built from consistence. Even so, a person of ethics can still live a
life of pleasure. As an ethical life choice his primary example is marriage.
Claiming that excitement and passion fade but one must adapt and learn that
there are other enjoyments aside from excitement.

The
third stage, the religious stage, is the most important to existence. He
questioned how one can life a pure religious life surrounded by false
believers. Kierkegaard put emphasis on having a personal relationship with god
and disregarding “the church”. He believes such a palace creates distractions. Kierkegaard
breaks down the eternal ruler of each stage: passion (aesthetic), social norms
(ethical) and God (religious). Essentially, you do not obtain freedom from true
faith. You cannot believe in God but you can have faith in him. In order to
have faith, one must have uncertainty. Therefore this allows the belief in God because
it lies above reason, proof and logic.

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