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  1. #11
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Edit. Was Kierkegaard the guy that farted at the dinner table and shot himself?
    What is wrong with some of you people? It is the Philosophy folder, not the fluff zone or the graveyard. It's really rude to fluff up someone's serious thread like this. jmo. The OP is new here, what the heck is he going to think about this place now?

  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    If I understand what he says correctly, I'm guilty of the same errors as Aristotle and Hegel. I very much do think in terms of necessity... in fact it's my only drive. Faith has never even seriously crossed my mind. It was so alien that there wasn't even a struggle... it just never came up for me.

    My greatest fear is indeed being subject to someone's arbitrary whims without hope of escape, and thus having nothing to be reassured of, nothing to be sure of, and thus having nothing to hold onto against the flow of chaos and meaninglessness, which is all that would remain without any sort of absolute rule. Life would be nothing more than attempting to adapt endlessly to something that doesn't even have a coherent pattern. That would be horrible to me. It certainly isn't a beautiful place.

    I don't remember who said this, but it summarizes my feelings quite well as an explaination of why such a world would bother me:

    "The threat of sudden destruction, of unpredictable retaliation for unnamed offenses, is a much more potent means of enslavement than explicit dictatorial laws. It demands more than mere obedience; it leaves men no policy save one: to please the authorities; to please-blindly, uncritically, without standards or principles; to please-in any issue, matter or circumstance, for fear of an unknowable, unprovable vengeance."

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    If I understand what he says correctly, I'm guilty of the same errors as Aristotle and Hegel. I very much do think in terms of necessity... in fact it's my only drive. Faith has never even seriously crossed my mind. It was so alien that there wasn't even a struggle... it just never came up for me.

    My greatest fear is indeed being subject to someone's arbitrary whims without hope of escape, and thus having nothing to be reassured of, nothing to be sure of, and thus having nothing to hold onto against the flow of chaos and meaninglessness, which is all that would remain without any sort of absolute rule. Life would be nothing more than attempting to adapt endlessly to something that doesn't even have a coherent pattern. That would be horrible to me. It certainly isn't a beautiful place.
    Shestov was one who greatly emphasized life's more enigmatic qualities, and that no theory could ever fully explain it. It's even been said that his philosophical approach was more problem-generating than problem solving.

  4. #14
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I have to admit that I honestly don't want there to be a God. I don't know whether he exists or not, I only know that I don't want him to. I don't want there to be a God who can do whatever he wants, while I can do nothing I want, and have my will constrained by his. There is nothing more terrifying than to be trapped forever under someone else's will, where you are subject to them, and they are subject to nothing but themselves, even if they are good and perfect. It means that in a sense, I am nothing. And I certainly don't want to be nothing... if anything, I want to be everything, and every possible variation on it.

    In other words, I do not wish to be subject to God, because I want what he has. Infinity, purpose. I do not wish to be some finite thing that only exists because he willed it to be so. I want to be more than that. I am simply dissatisfied with being nothing more than he wishes me to be.

    I think I understand why Lucifer fell. I don't know if his choice was right or wrong, especially if there is no standard but God. But I understand his feelings, regardless. And I can't fault him for feeling them, because in the same situation, I would feel the same. The only question, then, is would I act on them? What else should I do other than act on them? Experience them forever? Whether I suffered via acting against his will, or acting for it, I would still suffer because of my dissatisfaction.

    It would seem the only other choice, then, is to somehow become the sort of being who can be satisfied with being nothing more than it is, and satisfied with being nothing more than an instrument of another's will. I do not know how one would go about this, whether it would even be desirable, or whether that would even matter.

    If his idea is what we have truly done... then our tragic flaw is ambition and desire, on one level or another. Does that mean desiring nothing is ideal? Should we break our own spirits, as a master does to a slave? It certainly seems like an inconsiderate thing to request of human beings... to master ourselves.

    Does that make sense? It probably doesn't, since I tried to deal with it outside of reason as much as possible.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I think I understand why Lucifer fell. I don't know if his choice was right or wrong, especially if there is no standard but God. But I understand his feelings, regardless. And I can't fault him for feeling them, because in the same situation, I would feel the same.
    Yes, I would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven.

  6. #16
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    What is wrong with some of you people? It is the Philosophy folder, not the fluff zone or the graveyard. It's really rude to fluff up someone's serious thread like this. jmo. The OP is new here, what the heck is he going to think about this place now?
    Firstly, my apologies to Peguy - my little fluff was of course meant light-heartedly. I think the OP is tolerant enough to take a little jest at Kierkegaards expense.

    How can we have a civilized debate about existentialism without the inclusion of Nietzsche?

    Like Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky, he rejects metaphysical elements of Christian thinking - but takes his beliefs to there logical conclusion: the complete rejection on the Christian way of life. Nietzsche relised that this yearning to revert back to a Christian Golden Age (which Kierkegaard seems to gravitate towards) was itself fundamentally problematic.

    Without the inclusion of Nietzsche the debate IMO is two dimentional.

    Nietzsche himself regarded Kierkegaard as a "problem" for psychology, but had probably read and had an affinity with Dostoevsky.

    It would be a pleasure to hear your opinions on this.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    How can we have a civilized debate about existentialism without the inclusion of Nietzsche?
    Shestov wrote much about Nietzsche as well. He wrote at least two books, comparing Nietzsche to both Tolstoy and Dostovesky. Nietzsche was the great influence on his thinking untill discovering Kierkegaard later on in life.


    Nietzsche relised that this yearning to revert back to a Christian Golden Age (which Kierkegaard seems to gravitate towards) was itself fundamentally problematic.
    Kierkegaard actually rejected any notion of reverting back to a golden age. Truth be told, this notion actually appears very little within Christian commentaries on the modern age. Rather the general theme tends to be of a creative rediscovery of the Christian tradition.

    Without the inclusion of Nietzsche the debate IMO is two dimentional.
    No it isn't, because Nietzsche isn't even a topic in this thread. Shestov is comparing the perspectives of Dostovesky and Kierkegaard. So even in regards to Existentialism, it's referring to Theistic Existentialism.


    Nietzsche himself regarded Kierkegaard as a "problem" for psychology, but had probably read and had an affinity with Dostoevsky.
    Nietzsche did read some Dostovesky, but there's no evidence he ever read Kierkegaard.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Does that make sense? It probably doesn't, since I tried to deal with it outside of reason as much as possible.
    No it makes perfect sense, and is exactly the kind of attitude that Kierkegaard, Dostovesky, and Shestov deals with in considerable detail. They put forth the notion that the main reason men do not believe in God is not because of lack of evidence, but rather because the notion of God insults their sense of pride.

    Kierkegaard termed this as despair to will to be oneself. As he stated:

    "With the help of this infinite form, the self in despair wants to be master of itself or to create itself, to make his self into the self he wants to be, to determine what he will have or not have in his concrete self."

    So from the theistic Existentialist perspective; the whole perspective you presented is complete folly. Rather than seek true freedom with God, you seek a false sense of freedom in seeking to exalt yourself.

  9. #19
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So from the theistic Existentialist perspective; the whole perspective you presented is complete folly. Rather than seek true freedom with God, you seek a false sense of freedom in seeking to exalt yourself.
    You can call it folly if you wish. I can change my thoughts, but I can't change my feelings about the idea of a God.

    True freedom? False freedom? What freedom? You may well be correct that there is no freedom to be gained by seeking to exalt oneself. But there cannot be a true freedom if I am a created being. At best, it means that I can be happy and have anything my limited mind can imagine. But it truly means that I will always be aware that I am nothing more than a manifestion of someone else's will. Even if I am loved, it means I have no existence in my own right.

    From my perspective, if this is true, then I have not been presented with the option of any kind of freedom other than an illusory kind. Exalting myself would have no effect because I was nothing more than a created being, and following God would be allowing him to love me and feel free, but the problem would still be that it would require me to follow... I could not be free and lead, and thus real choice is out of my grasp.

    The only choice offered if this is true, is futile rebellion, or willing servitude. Freedom doesn't exist as anything but an illusion and unawareness. Horrifying.

    I only wonder if we would be putting our poor computers through the same thing if we ever bring them to a certain point of awareness?

  10. #20
    Senior Member batumi's Avatar
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    If you return and let me know. I will discuss this with you.
    Thanks for posting!!

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