Monday, 19 March 2012 07:45

Soren Kierkegaard: Men of Ideas

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Soren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a Swedish writer later dubbed philosopher. He wrote a series of books that seem to have philosophical discourses in them. He made the characters in his fictional books talk about the subjects that normally exercise the minds of philosophers, such as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics etc and that would seem to make him a philosopher. He did not take direct responsibility for his philosophical views but, instead, made them seem like the views of his fictional characters.

In so far that he is a serious philosopher it is his views on religion that is of interest to us. He looked at the concept of God as is accepted by Christians and concluded that pure reason cannot accept that God.

If one is rational one must conclude that in this world there is no father figure protecting human beings. Adolf Hitler decided that he enjoyed killing people and went ahead and did so, and God did not stop him. Hitler was instrumental in killing over fifty million persons. It took other human beings, those who did not want to be killed by the little corporal, to organize and stop him.

There is no god protecting people, unless you believe that God created people and abandoned them to their fate; in which case, he is not worthy of worship.

Earthquakes, volcanoes, plagues of diseases kill people, as they kill animals. A couple of years ago tsunami  killed over two hundred thousand human beings in East Asia., Where was that God that Christians talk so much about to protect those people? He was nowhere because God is our made up idea, our projection of who we wished existed to protect us.

Having concluded that from a rational perspective God cannot possibly exist, Kierkegaard proceeded to say that it were better if God existed.

He reviewed the utility of god. God means life after death and apparently he wanted to live after his physical body dies. God means immortality and apparently he wanted to be immortal. God satisfies his wishes so he wants to bet that God exists. What has he got to loose? If one bets that there is god and it turns out that there is no god, one lost nothing, but if God exists one gained everything, for then one would have gambled well by believing in him and obeying him so that, hopefully, god receives one into his heaven.

Thus, Kierkegaard advocates making what he calls leap of faith. Reason cannot justify belief in God, so have blind faith that God exists.

This is cowardice if ever there is one.

To live without god is dreadful (The concept of Dread) therefore believe in God to give your life pseudo meaning and purpose.

There is really not much else there is to say about Kierkegaard. Oh, he filled the world with literature but I have pretty much summarized his thesis. Have blind faith; make a leap of faith in a God you cannot prove exists.

REFERENCE

Soren Kierkegaard.  Philosophical Fragments. (1844)

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176