Early Life Born in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 5, 1813 His father was devoutly religious and melancholic. Regine Olsen Broke the engagement with his fiancée in fear of different philosophic interests. Kierkegaard was a freelance writer who wrote against Hegelian philosophy and the state church in Denmark. Kierkegaard was infuriated by Hegel’s philosophy Like Pantheism/Idealism But really, to see everything as one big ego of the one and only world reason ‘Objective Truths’ Kierkegaard said that these truths are totally irrelevant to the personal life of the individual. It is more important to find the kind of truths that are meaningful to the individual’s life or “The Truth for Me.” The broad description of human nature/beings is unimportant. It is only man’s “own existence” that is important He created his own philosophy of individualism called Existentialism There is a deep significance of each person. To draw your entire existence into a philosophical reflection as unique individuals. He believed that he was living in an age utterly devoid of passion and commitment. He was incensed by the vapidness of the established Danish Lutheran Church To Kierkegaard, Christianity was overwhelming and irrational and was an either/or. Either Jesus rose on Easter Day… Fully following Jesusway aEither Christian really died for our of life sake… Either you believe that Christianity is true… or not… Being ‘rather’ or ‘to some extent’ religious or not… or not… Unlike the “objective truths” or “reasoned truth” of Hegelianism that were irrelevant to the personal life of the individual, Truth is “Subjective” and that the really important truths are personal. “The task is precisely to be objective toward oneself and subjective toward all others.” - Kierkegaard Ex: Is Christianity true? For a person who “understands himself in life,” this is a question of life and death. Not discussed but approached with the greatest passion and sincerity. Ex: If you fall into the ocean… You do not have a Mr. Hild discussion whether or not you will drown. Neither do you ponder whether there are sharks, Communists, or Nutter Butters in the water… It is a question of life or death. Questions whether Christianity is true or God exists can only be approached through faith. Anything we can know through reason or knowledge are unimportant. To prove God’s existence, you can content yourself with proofs but suffer loss of faith and religious passion. Buddha and Kierkegaard said that Man’s ‘own existence’ is its starting point and was the only important thing. Existence is the process of realizing the aspiration of who we are. The “Aesthetic” The “Ethical” The “Religious” • Life based on pure sensory pleasures, intellectual or physical. • Live in the for the moment. • The World of Senses. • Life based in moral codes and the infinite, the eternal. • The highest stage of personal commitment and subjectivity. • One here understands that suffering is inherent to the religious experience Lives in the world of the senses. Everything is either fun or boring. An aesthetic can experience angst, or a sense of dread and a feeling of emptiness. This angst is almost positive. One is in an “existential situation” and can now leap to a higher stage. But either happens or doesn’t “Either/Or” It is your own choice. Yes No Nutter Butters = Drinking or Doing Drugs Characterized by seriousness and consistency of moral choices. Like Kant’s Ethics of Duty It is not that your opinion is right or wrong, what matters is that you have an opinion. The highest stage of personal commitment and subjectivity. To Kierkegaard, this stage was Christianity, “The only path to redemption.” To choose faith rather than pleasure of reason.