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Kierkegaard And Christianity Essay

1658 words - 7 pages

Soren Kierkegaard is said to be one of the "founding fathers" of existentialism. His style of writing, his tone and vocabulary tie him closely to another forerunner of existentialist thought: Fyodor Dostoevsky (although either of them would probably deny this vehemently). However, in the course of his writings, Kierkegaard takes quite a liberal and (dare I say it?) individualistic stand on the side of Christianity. In the passages I have read of Kierkegaard ("That Individual" and "Truth is Subjectivity"), he puts forward two basic themes which seem to be his "driving force" behind each piece respectively. It is behind these themes that Kierkegaard makes his forceful drive to discover the "eternal truth" and the paths which lead us there.Kierkegaard wastes no time in setting the tone for the first selection, "That Individual". Right away he starts his discussion on the "crowd", which he states early on is (in its very concept) the untruth. In a crowd, the vociferation and frenzy of that crowd often drowns out the truth, even if each member of that crowd has individually obtained the truth . Kierkegaard makes the statement that "only one attains the goal", in that we all are capable of obtaining said goal (in this case the eternal truth) if we each seek after the goal as individuals. In crowds, he says, it is sure that no one is working, living, striving for the highest aim, but only for one or another earthly aim. Only as individuals (with God as our helper) can we obtain that which is the absolute, eternal truth. In these beginning paragraphs, Kierkegaard has already set his theme for this passage: that only as individuals with the help of God can one achieve the goal, or "eternal truth", that is Christianity.As we delve deeper into the passage, we almost discover a politico-religious message hits us shortly after he forms his original premise. Kierkegaard states that the crowd being the untruth, none has more disregard for what it is to be a man than those people who see fit to lead this flock of falsehood. In elaboration, Kierkegaard goes on to state that even Christ, who taught the incognizant masses about human compassion and salvation through the Lord's ways, deliberately chose not to have any crowd affiliation of any type. He only existed as the Truth, remaining unflinched by the populace, even to his own crucifixion. The only way Kierkegaard sees that one could address the crowd like a politician and remain a competent seeker of truth is to address the masses not with the intent of teaching them something but with the aim to enlighten one of those in the crowd to individually seek out the truth for himself. After all that is the only way to the eternal truth, and the truth itself is in its most eminent degree "the most 'impolitic' thing that can be imagined".As we continue on our journey of truth Kierkegaard reiterates his theme like an award-winning opera, this time with more emphasis than the first. In this he does once again state that...

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