Kierkegaard

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SkeletonRock
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Kierkegaard

Postby SkeletonRock » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:37 pm

Have you read any Kierkegaard?

What did you think of it?

Where should someone new to Kierkegaard start?

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Hyacinth Thrash
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby Hyacinth Thrash » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:16 pm

1) Almost all of my graduate degree revolved around his stuff.

2) It was way more important to me at 26 than it is at 36.

3) What are you looking for from it? Interesting ideas? Philosophical rigor? Party anecdotes?
#9 in your program, #1 in your heart.

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SkeletonRock
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby SkeletonRock » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:46 pm

3.) Maybe some Philosophical ideas. Not too sure. Maybe this seems lame, but I've read several of his quotes and I found them very intriguing/poignant/interesting. So I thought maybe I'd give him a try. Most of my reading revolves around fiction, and I've been trying to step outside of that some. I just read the true story of Shakelton and his voyage to the Antarctic. That's probably still considered fiction, but it's true so it's still diverging from the norm for me.

paulhewson
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby paulhewson » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:44 pm

I think of Kierkegaard as the last step before becoming an atheist or agnostic. A Christian trying to hold onto their belief by submitting to the unreasonableness of it all and claiming to like it.

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brothermatt
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby brothermatt » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:37 am

paulhewson wrote:I think of Kierkegaard as the last step before becoming an atheist or agnostic. A Christian trying to hold onto their belief by submitting to the unreasonableness of it all and claiming to like it.


he's a gateway nihilist?

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Hyacinth Thrash
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby Hyacinth Thrash » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:04 am

SkeletonRock wrote:3.) Maybe some Philosophical ideas. Not too sure. Maybe this seems lame, but I've read several of his quotes and I found them very intriguing/poignant/interesting. So I thought maybe I'd give him a try. Most of my reading revolves around fiction, and I've been trying to step outside of that some. I just read the true story of Shakelton and his voyage to the Antarctic. That's probably still considered fiction, but it's true so it's still diverging from the norm for me.

If you like fiction you might get into his book Repetition. It's essentially a novel about a young man who has fallen in love with a girl and is working out whether or not someone can live in an eternally recurring present of aesthetic bliss, love, religion, etc. Kierkegaard's deal tends to be to slam on the classics that favored recollection (a la Socrates, whereby an infinite prior knowledge is remembered via a midwife questioning a thinker, what we call the Socratic Method in shorthand) and his recent contemporaries who favored progress (a la Hegel, whereby the philosopher presumes to stand outside of and above history in order to trace its march and reveal its future consummation, what we call the Dialectical Method by shorthand), opting instead for embracing the finite moment of existence (which is how he gets saddled with the tag Existentialism by shorthand). The problem is, of course, that each finite moment is perpetually shed off the back of time, so how can something like love have any meaning in this only-present world? He comes up with this idea of repetition as a way to do it, but I leave it to you whether or not he gets there. It's all complicated by the fact that he writes under a series of pseudonyms, each approaching his central philosophical ideas from slightly different sets of presuppositions. The guy who writes Repetition is Constantin Constantius, and you can decide if that's a joke about whether or not the constant-constant man can live in repetition.

It's pretty entertaining on its own as a novel and the ideas are meaty. If you buy the Princeton edition it comes with Fear and Trembling which is one of his greatest hits and deals with a lot of the same ideas in Repetition but in the context of religious faith. Repetition will also measure your tolerance for his writing style, which swings pretty wildly from playful to severe and is, above all, wordy.

But now that hockey's back I don't know that we need to keep questioning existence.
#9 in your program, #1 in your heart.

paulhewson
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby paulhewson » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:01 pm

brothermatt wrote:
paulhewson wrote:I think of Kierkegaard as the last step before becoming an atheist or agnostic. A Christian trying to hold onto their belief by submitting to the unreasonableness of it all and claiming to like it.


he's a gateway nihilist?


That's not really how I meant it. At least for me it was trying to find a reason still believe through existentialism even though I could see my faith crumbling under the weight of reason. It was a way to avoid problems with the creation story, violence in the Hebrew bible and eternal damnation of my friends souls for not believing the right things about the supernatural. One could take a leap of faith and not care about justifying it by reason.

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mprovojr
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby mprovojr » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:19 pm

Paul, have you (or any other .orgers) read McLaren's "A New Kind of Christianity"?

I'm not sure how I feel about it in general.. thought-provoking to say the least. But that book was the first decent interpretation of how to interpret the bible and makes interesting postulations about how to make sense of the creation account, the tribal vengeful God of the OT, etc. I can't tell if it's wishful thinking, just making up a useful scenario that allows him to hold the bible in one hand but explain away the difficult, ugly parts... or if it's an insightful perspective that sheds a lot of light on how we're mis-interpreting so much due to failing to see how humanity is evolving—including our understanding of and interaction with religion and God.

Anyway.. it's worth reading, IMO.
I'm surprised this place still exists.

paulhewson
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Re: Kierkegaard

Postby paulhewson » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:35 pm

I have not read that book. I did not hear about until after I had left Christianity. Someone did loan it to me but I had lost the will read anything on religious topics at the time so I had to return it after it sat by my bed for a couple of months.


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