In general Kierkegaard is simply astonished by Abraham. Fear and Trembling. Kierkegaard’s ideas on the meaning of life are conveyed in his writings of Fear and Trembling. He hoped to problematize what he felt were overly simplistic and uncritical interpretations of Christianity. {Xenophobia, racial/religious/cultural superiority, revenge, etc.} Either/Or (1843) | Fear and Trembling (1843). To assume responsibility and provide while pursuing something extraordinary? Clare Carlisle’s superb new biography of Kierkegaard works a similar trick, surveying the life in dramatic terms, clarifying the ideas while setting them in the context of her subject’s complicated character. Knight of faith relies on the self alone, cannot make self understood to others. And also in both men, Kierkegaard notes that the spiritual — infinite — element is missing absolutely from their lives. So Kierkegaard has sort of an existential block with faith. A benevolent God, of course, vanquishes death anxiety. While I am intrigued by the character of Jesus, I do not qualify as a Christian, do not participate in the faith and its attendant rituals. Both are too specific. He has ethical duties to be faithful to God and also to his son, Isaac. The dialectic of faith is the finest and most remarkable of all; it possesses an elevation, of which indeed I can form a conception, but nothing more. To this end passion is necessary. Yet this voice in a bush tells him to take a knife and go kill his son and here we find him running off to the mount to do in his child. Passion unto something further. The knight of faith is quite different and more advanced that the knight of infinite resignation. But nothing more specific is on Abraham’s mind. Unconsciously, as a species, since time immemorial, we do so, with stars in our eyes. There is no basis for either case. Look if you like, but you will have to leap. But Abraham stumps him. the upper class}. Kierkegaard’s life was rather ordinary however, it is fair to say his work is quite remarkable. Fall 2017 He makes the movement of faith every instant. This contradiction is the source of Abraham’s dread and Kierkegaard’s astonishment. The name comes from its meaning, moving from a dimension of reason to a spiritual one of faith. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke. I actually set that final stanza to a tune in my head and sang it aloud when I was sure no one else could hear. From this, however, it does not follow that the ethical is to be abolished, but it acquires an entirely different expression, the paradoxical expression – that, for example, love to God may cause the knight of faith to give his love to his neighbor the opposite expression to that which, ethically speaking, is required by duty.”. p. 52-54 and more: the love story analogy. At haphazard moments throughout, life must be more than it ever is or will be, else we despair. Yet this latter is seriously called into question by Abraham’s apparent willingness to kill Isaac. The problem for a reader like me is that Kierkegaard’s struggles are inseparable from his Christianity. Leap of Faith You can still go after your dreams (at your own pace), without taking such extreme measures as Kierkegaard suggested. We must go beyond, else we despair. What is Kant’s Transcendental Idealism? Comments and notes by Bob Corbett February 2002. Abraham, he repels Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard’s logic seems to follow that aestheticism provides the first and easiest escape from such tedium; an ethical existence of duty-bound and *material* purposefulness then makes for an even higher calling from such boredom, a life forged that must be fought for and continuously developed. Alternatively, one could call this triumphant though abstract notion — true love {as neither Don or Faust ever found, as many within this life never do}. Pleasure disappoints, not possibility.…Our age is thus melancholy enough to realize there is something called responsibility and that it has some significance. Because we have left the universal and rational and we have exposed ourselves to the tremendous dangers of being deceived and of self-deception – that is, we have entered a world of complete and absolute radical subjectivity and we have given up the objective certainties of reason. His “Christmas Oratorio,” For the Time Being (1942), also wrestles with the problem of faith in a world of uncertainty, offering only the existentialist solution that one way or another, a person must choose and a person must act. be quite a different experience at age 26 than it was at 19, and I expect it Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard transferred his hard-earned severity to his children. {Perhaps not.} In robust literary critiques of the legends Don Juan and Faust, Kierkegaard draws a distinction between the aesthetic seducer in the former, and the ‘ethical’, or committed seducer in the latter; Don Juan seduces 1,003 women, craving the cunning, passionate game that the work requires, right up until the moment of actual attainment when he backs off, no longer interested — while Faust seduces one woman, who while still a daemoniac, at least appears capable of believing in a life of sincere love beyond the games of lusting and desire that the role of “seducer” affords… and also makes a deal with the devil. He was aged and had no son. In our sacrificing, we go beyond. This silence, however, is the subjective paradox again since: In the ethical the individual is in absolute relation to the universal. is: “…God will provide Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” This answer is INSIDE the paradox and thus These comments and note are quite different from what I do most of the time. Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher in the mid 1800s. Because Abraham enters a plane of faith beyond universal ethics, he is unable to justify his actions to others. The essence of Kierkegaard’s view is that the situation must be perceived as: suggests a fear of the individual going crazy in subjectivity. Abraham cannot speak for to really speak is to enter into the universal. The leap of faith is, essentially, a decision to believe in something that you know you may be wrong about in the end; it is an existential choice, at the cost of everything, that there is something like this worth believing in, worth sacrificing anything and everything for, even and especially your own life. in that moment the knife gleamed he believed--that God would not demand No, we need to find faith in the things that may progress us, in the very ideals and righteousness and Truth that Kierkegaard felt fell by the waysides of history, in place of power and expediency from those tasked with shaping it {i.e. And one would not hesitate to dismiss a nursemaid lacking in this qualification even if she possessed all other desirable virtues. A true-blue belief in a higher power, if one can reach it, does afford its boons {which must not be part of the rationale for the leap, lest your faith be undermined, in fact, rationality must play no part at all… another paradox}.

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