Sunday, September 6, 2009

Absolut Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard divides existence into three spheres. In the Aesthetic sphere, individuals have particular experiences that are unique to them. The second is the Universal sphere, which defines what people know as moral behavior. This sphere is not based on particular experiences, but entails popularized views of ethical behavior. The Absolute sphere is the highest of all. Like the aesthetic realm, it is both particular and private. It entails religion and the relationship between people with God or “the Absolute.” Abraham is told to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to demonstrate Abraham’s devotion to God. Kierkegaard dissuades Christians from accepting this story without giving it a second thought. The readers completely ignore the violation of ethics when Abraham accepts that he must murder his son in order to demonstrate that he is a true follower of God. Kierkegaard’s criticism of Abraham’s concern with the “religious realm” above the “ethical realm” remains an issue for many today. People uphold their religion as something that rules above all other aspects of life. At first thought, this is understandable, because people are taught in religion that the deity is the Absolute who will determine their destiny to enter heaven or hell. However, in some extreme cases, the devotion to religion disregards the universal idea of morality, and can cause great harm to others.

An example of an unethical religious act is the Islamic Fundamentalists' quest for martyrdom. This extremist group believes that they will enter paradise by performing acts of terror such as suicide bombings. This is their version of martyrdom, that by dying for Allah they will be regarded as saints of Islam, even at the expense of other innocent lives. This is a modern example of how religion conflicts with ethics in an disturbing way. Christian-based hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan are also contrary to ethics for the sake of God. The group adapts its racist, ignorant views to the Bible, in order to particularize itself with Christianity. It seems that faith in any religion may potentially cause people to have distorted views of morality in general. Such "pious" people want to please whomever they worship, and are willing to do anything necessary to prove themselves as devout followers. However, faith alone could not possibly justify the “dutiful” actions in which religious extremists participate. Faith implies a sense of uncertainty because it is merely someone’s hope that there is some heavenly Being that grants life after death. If faith is by no means factual, then why would one disregard any moral code to prove themselves to a divinity that which he cannot prove exists? Even if that Divinity does exist, why would it be worth worshipping it if it expects us to harm others or our surroundings? Those that do believe this are radicals, because most religions live by ethics that are similar to those that are accpeted in the secular world . It is very important for those who do find faith in a god to worship in conjunction with the secular moral standards that are universally practiced.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's interesting where you mention that "Faith implies a sense of uncertainty" in your blog. This point to me exemplifies the problematic aspect of a direct connection to the absolute. Even as it transcends the universal and thus goes over the heads of humanity as a whole, it is not a certain thing, and there is no way to extrinsically prove it, even to the person to which it happened. One of the most important things about the universal realm is relating it to all people, it being a certain thing. A fleeting, uncertain, maybe self-imagined connection to something that defies our five senses and understanding of the world around us is so illogical, I find it difficult to understand why so many people desperately search for and cling to it.


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