Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kierkegaard on the difficulty of human free will...

"Truly, there often is something sad and depressing about someone wanting to communicate something in his lifetime, and seeing at the very last that he has communicated nothing at all--but that the person concerned stubbornly continues in his view.  But, on the other hand, there is something great in the fact that the other one and every individual is a world to himself and has his 'holy of holies' where no alien hand can force itself in."

(from Kierkegaard's Journals)


Anonymous said...

beautiful extract, it entails so much that many percieve so subjectively..awesome pick, looking forward to seeing some more on your blog.

pitcher12k said...

This is not what I was hoping it was about, so I was confused at first.

After reading it again, I am still confused.

The first part makes sense to me. But the second part seems to be talking about human pride, in a way. The idea that 'every individual is a world to himself and has his 'holy of holies' where no alien hand can force itself in' seems to me, to be built on pride. If we view ourselves as an entire world...if we see ourselves as the world, it feels selfish to me.

I feel like I am misinterpreting this :/

Geoff said...

Well, I don't know if you are misinterpreting or not, but essentially SK takes very seriously the freedom of the individual. For him, sins like pride don't make sense unless the person can actually make a free choice that is independent of all coercion, including God. So, clearly, he would oppose a strict 'Calvinist' reading of Scripture.

Instead, he recognizes the inherent danger and worry that some will have regarding freedom; namely, that people can continue to live in a way that is contrary to the truth. But, he thinks that is the price we have to pay if we are really given freedom... freedom means there is always the chance that we can go terribly astray... but he believes its worth the risk.


pitcher12k said...

Huh...that is a very good point about pride. I haven't thought about it like that before.
I think freedom is something to consider, but it usually overwhelms me when I try to think about it :/ both people in the quote are using their freedom, but the first is using it in a poor way, even though he may see it as right. The second is simply an observation on what it means to be free?