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5 pages/≈1375 words
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MLA
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Religion & Theology
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Essay
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English (U.S.)
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Søren Kierkegaard's Conception of Faith (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

The paper looks at the concept of faith as described by Søren Kierkegaard.

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Content:

Author: Course Title: Instructor: Date: Søren Kierkegaard’s Conception of Faith For many years, theologians and philosophers have been debating the existence of God and the legitimacy of faith in a bid to justify religion through logic. Soren Kierkegaard is one of the philosophers of the Christian concept of God who researched extensively on the Christian concept. It seems that he was not an apologist, and even if he was one, his apologies must have been unconventional not only acknowledged the unbelievers’ claim that Christianity is irrational and improvable, but also accepted these claims. According to Anderson, Kierkegaard seems to suggest that religion is not something we can make sense of in the conventional sense. This appears quite literally irrational with the main problem being that people have a tendency to change religion into a set of doctrines and rules. This means that people try to intellectualize something that is simply beyond that scope. Indeed Faith encompasses a sphere of its own and this means that any misunderstanding of Christianity “may at once be recognized by its transforming it into a doctrine…” (Anderson 51). Kierkegaard aptly disregarded any fusion of logic with existence by asserting that existence cannot be described logically or objectively. According to him, the logical uncertainty of Christianity and an individual’s relation to it represents the highest truth for an existing person. This means that truth is subjectivity and faith does neither arise from scholarly deliberation, not does it come directly. Instead, within this objectivity one is bound to lose that personal, infinite and impassioned interestedness, which is essentially the condition of faith. Philosophers have always been trying to determine to objective truth concerning the nature, though Kierkegaard seems to refute anything that is unjustifiable. This is probably because he had no interest in things that were universal. Rather, he believed that subjective things where far more important and intriguing. In fact, he centered his whole philosophy on action in such a way that he disregarded any form of objectivity. His main argument is that people use objectivity as a means to escape belief, decisions and actions. According to him, it is prudent that “every trace of an objective issue should be eliminated…” (Anderson 39). Kierkegaard believes that individuals need to take responsibility for their faith and acknowledges the fact believing in something is a choice. He clarifies that choice is the crux of human existence. He says, "The most tremendous thing which has been granted to man is: the choice, freedom." (Anderson 41). Due to his persistence on choices, Kierkegaard seems to be an individualist; given that choices are personal hence they cannot be objective. According to him, the most important things are those that happen inside the individual. Therefore, the choice is made cannot be understood or even comprehended by outside sources. When an individual makes a choice on how he wants to live, the choice applies only to him alone. In Fear and Trembling, he elaborates the ethical, aesthetic, and religious ‘spheres of existence’ that people may chose to live in. They religious sphere appears to be the most difficult since it requires one to give up everything, including the universal good, and the ethical standards for him to live a life of devotion to God (Sarkissian 2). Most people seem to perceive religion and ethics as two inextricably intertwined concepts and hence that which is considered ethical arises from religious perspectives such as religious sermons or texts. However, Kierkegaard believes that living for ethics and de

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