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Re: The Moment

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  • Jim Stuart
    Dear Willy, I agree that our views have been moving closer together in our most recent posts as we understand the other more clearly. In your latest post, you
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 9, 2006
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      Dear Willy,

      I agree that our views have been moving closer together in our most recent
      posts as we understand the other more clearly.

      In your latest post, you conclude with a text which summarises our agreement
      and our disagreement which you suggest we can both agree on as a conclusion
      to our recent conversation. This is what you say:

      >> I would suggest that in terms of PF, where SK is speaking to the beyond
      Socrates in a structural way, where the God-man, or incarnation is the
      necessary ground of that structure, that we say that your view is correct,
      but that when we get to CUP, where the task is one of becoming a Christian,
      that the moment in time may be memorable to the point of beginning the
      process from the esthetic to Religiousness A.

      If you will accept this agreement, I will accept your take on PF. Our
      difference will remain where it began, the meaning of the Moment in time;
      You relegate it to the A to B movement while I see it extending to the
      transition from the esthetic to the ethical. <<

      I think that what you write here does accurately summarise our current
      position on PF, CUP and "the moment". I am pleased to read that you are now
      more positive about my interpretation of PF.

      For my part, you have convinced me that I need to re-read CUP in the near
      future. I will be particularly keen to see how Climacus uses his expression
      "the moment" in this book, and whether he also uses it for the earlier (or
      lower) transitions and spheres - the transition from the aesthetic sphere to
      the ethical sphere, the transition from the ethical sphere to the sphere of
      religiousness A, and in connection with the ethical and religiousness A
      individuals when they live within their particular spheres of existence.

      There is some hint in what you write above of a "negotiated peace agreement"
      between ourselves in which we both make compromises in order to conclude the
      peace negotiations successfully.

      I don't think that this is the sort of thing Kierkegaard would approve of.
      For Kierkegaard what is important is that an individual is in agreement with
      himself, that he is honest with himself with regard to what he believes, and
      that he doesn't compromise with himself.

      I think our prolonged conversation of the last few weeks has been worthwhile
      as we have gained a deeper understanding of the other's point of view and we
      have engaged more thoroughly with Kierkegaard's texts.

      Yours,

      Jim Stuart
    • Will Brown
      JS, Ok, I will let your words be the last word on this subject until you raise it again, except to say that I don t see it as a compromise when both sides win;
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 9, 2006
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        JS, Ok, I will let your words be the last word on this subject until
        you raise it again, except to say that I don't see it as a compromise
        when both sides win; you get PF as the big picture and I get CUP as an
        impingement of the big picture upon the individual. ----willy

        --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Stuart" <jimstuart@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Dear Willy,
        >
        > I agree that our views have been moving closer together in our most
        recent
        > posts as we understand the other more clearly.
        >
        > In your latest post, you conclude with a text which summarises our
        agreement
        > and our disagreement which you suggest we can both agree on as a
        conclusion
        > to our recent conversation. This is what you say:
        >
        > >> I would suggest that in terms of PF, where SK is speaking to the
        beyond
        > Socrates in a structural way, where the God-man, or incarnation is the
        > necessary ground of that structure, that we say that your view is
        correct,
        > but that when we get to CUP, where the task is one of becoming a
        Christian,
        > that the moment in time may be memorable to the point of beginning the
        > process from the esthetic to Religiousness A.
        >
        > If you will accept this agreement, I will accept your take on PF. Our
        > difference will remain where it began, the meaning of the Moment in
        time;
        > You relegate it to the A to B movement while I see it extending to the
        > transition from the esthetic to the ethical. <<
        >
        > I think that what you write here does accurately summarise our current
        > position on PF, CUP and "the moment". I am pleased to read that you
        are now
        > more positive about my interpretation of PF.
        >
        > For my part, you have convinced me that I need to re-read CUP in the
        near
        > future. I will be particularly keen to see how Climacus uses his
        expression
        > "the moment" in this book, and whether he also uses it for the
        earlier (or
        > lower) transitions and spheres - the transition from the aesthetic
        sphere to
        > the ethical sphere, the transition from the ethical sphere to the
        sphere of
        > religiousness A, and in connection with the ethical and religiousness A
        > individuals when they live within their particular spheres of existence.
        >
        > There is some hint in what you write above of a "negotiated peace
        agreement"
        > between ourselves in which we both make compromises in order to
        conclude the
        > peace negotiations successfully.
        >
        > I don't think that this is the sort of thing Kierkegaard would
        approve of.
        > For Kierkegaard what is important is that an individual is in
        agreement with
        > himself, that he is honest with himself with regard to what he
        believes, and
        > that he doesn't compromise with himself.
        >
        > I think our prolonged conversation of the last few weeks has been
        worthwhile
        > as we have gained a deeper understanding of the other's point of
        view and we
        > have engaged more thoroughly with Kierkegaard's texts.
        >
        > Yours,
        >
        > Jim Stuart
        >
      • Don Anderson
        Will, You said: ... how does this revelation differ from those who claim to be Christians that are the Christians that represent Christendom, the religious of
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 11, 2006
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          Will,

          You said:
          ... how does this revelation differ from those who claim to be Christians
          that are the
          Christians that represent Christendom, the religious of the esthetic
          sphere? Do they first become Socratic pagans then find their God again?

          my response:
          I am really supprised that JW didn't respond to this gross missconception.
          SK did not believe or assume that those people who were a part of
          Christendom were Christian. They were considered by SK ( andall of his
          Pseudonymns as far as I know)to be pre-socratic pagans. They believed they
          were Christians, the state assured them they were Christians, and the church
          followed suit, but SK saw that they wrere pagan. SK's work was to cajole as
          many as possible into seeing this so they would have a chance to choose
          whether they would be Christian or not. They were not even Socratic, but
          Hegelians which for pre-socratic, or if you wish less-than-Socratic, a
          profaning of the Socratic. Some were in the Aesthetic area but many were in
          the pre-socratic ethical mode (first ethics turned sideways) having tried to
          go beyond Socratese and ending with a mess, a jumble of silly tripe. Few, if
          any were in the Religious A mode (first ethics upright) no where near the
          Religious B mode and its second ethics. Is it different now? I don't think
          so.

          So the answer to your question, "Do they first become Socratic pagans then
          find their God again?" is "NO!" Many, perhaps most, Church people have no
          clue about God, they worship the idols of pagan society. According to SK
          they have to discover that they have been misslead for whatever reason and
          they must see that the Hegelian (Absolute Idealism) is without ethics and
          find the ethical road.

          Don
        • Jim Stuart
          Dear Don, ... Christians that are the Christians that represent Christendom, the religious of the esthetic sphere? Do they first become Socratic pagans then
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 12, 2006
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            Dear Don,

            In your post to Will, you write:

            >> You said: ... how does this revelation differ from those who claim to be
            Christians that are the Christians that represent Christendom, the
            religious of the esthetic sphere? Do they first become Socratic pagans then
            find their God again?

            my response: I am really supprised that JW didn't respond to this gross
            missconception. SK did not believe or assume that those people who were a
            part of Christendom were Christian. They were considered by SK ( and all of
            his Pseudonymns as far as I know) to be pre-socratic pagans. <<

            I think I did respond to Will by making the point you made - albeit more
            briefly. I wrote in my reply to Will (post #2709):

            >> In both PF and CUP, Climacus is implicitly attacking Hegelism by claiming
            that it is inferior to the Socratic, and, further, that true Christianity is
            beyond the Socratic. His aim is to communicate to the aesthetic "Christians"
            of Christendom that they haven't in fact even got as far as the pagan
            Socrates, so they have a long way to travel (in the inward direction) to
            become true Christians. In other words they must first get as far as
            Socrates and then go beyond him. They don't have to become "Socratic
            pagans", but they do need to turn inward and become existing human beings,
            in the way Socrates did. <<

            I implied that the middle class, educated folk of Danish Christendom were
            not really Christians by putting the word in quotation marks to indicate
            this. I had assumed that Will was aware that Kierkegaard and his pseudonyms
            did not think these people were Christians as we wrote about "those who
            claim to be Christians". I took it that this phase of Will's implied that he
            didn't think they were Christians either.

            Yours,

            Jim Stuart
          • Don Anderson
            Jim, Sorry, I guess your reply got kind of buried in a long post. Long posts are hard for me what with my eye problems. Don ... From:
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 14, 2006
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              Jim,
              Sorry, I guess your reply got kind of buried in a long post. Long posts are
              hard for me what with my eye problems.
              Don

              -----Original Message-----
              From: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jim Stuart
              Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2006 1:31 AM
              To: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [Kierkegaardian] Re: The Moment [1st Response]


              Dear Don,

              In your post to Will, you write:

              >> You said: ... how does this revelation differ from those who claim to be
              Christians that are the Christians that represent Christendom, the
              religious of the esthetic sphere? Do they first become Socratic pagans then
              find their God again?

              my response: I am really supprised that JW didn't respond to this gross
              missconception. SK did not believe or assume that those people who were a
              part of Christendom were Christian. They were considered by SK ( and all of
              his Pseudonymns as far as I know) to be pre-socratic pagans. <<

              I think I did respond to Will by making the point you made - albeit more
              briefly. I wrote in my reply to Will (post #2709):

              >> In both PF and CUP, Climacus is implicitly attacking Hegelism by claiming
              that it is inferior to the Socratic, and, further, that true Christianity is
              beyond the Socratic. His aim is to communicate to the aesthetic "Christians"
              of Christendom that they haven't in fact even got as far as the pagan
              Socrates, so they have a long way to travel (in the inward direction) to
              become true Christians. In other words they must first get as far as
              Socrates and then go beyond him. They don't have to become "Socratic
              pagans", but they do need to turn inward and become existing human beings,
              in the way Socrates did. <<

              I implied that the middle class, educated folk of Danish Christendom were
              not really Christians by putting the word in quotation marks to indicate
              this. I had assumed that Will was aware that Kierkegaard and his pseudonyms
              did not think these people were Christians as we wrote about "those who
              claim to be Christians". I took it that this phase of Will's implied that he
              didn't think they were Christians either.

              Yours,

              Jim Stuart





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            • Don Anderson
              Dear Jim R and Jim S and all, I have been in the hospital for a few days so I didn’t get to read your posts on F&T until today. It was an interesting
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 21, 2006
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                Dear Jim R and Jim S and all,
                I have been in the hospital for a few days so I didn’t get to read your
                posts on F&T until today. It was an interesting discussion and I see several
                areas that I find myself in disagreement. Let me start with the area of
                communications, as this is the one that I fear causes many of the other
                differences to appear.

                This problem is not recognizing the difference between objective knowing and
                existential knowing. Objective knowing takes place in the mind and it is
                ideal and not real, it is universal, it is pre-possibility (or logical). On
                the other hand, according to K existential knowing (subjective knowing) is
                real, it is particular, it is actual.

                Communication always takes place in the former, the objective realm, not the
                latter, the existential realm, except for “communication” (a relation) with
                God. This relation with God is a relation without words, language, concepts.
                This is another one of K’s paradoxes. God does not teach, he does not
                communicate; he relates. He relates not in the mind but in life, in
                existence. Somewhere, perhaps in CUP, Climacus or K says that the thought
                experiment fails. God does not teach he enables. If you don’t get what I am
                saying in this paragraph you will never get K or his view of Christianity.
                It is radical as far as the pagan (this may well include Christendom) world
                is concerned and especially as far as the modern enlightened pagan world is
                concerned.

                Jim W., you have given a lot of food for thought in your four major points
                about F&T. There are a couple that I have a problem with. Let me first say
                that I am always amazed at how carefully you try to understand and as a
                result you get more of what Christianity is about than do other pagans
                around here. But your pagan stance shows very clearly when you try to talk
                about such things as faith and other things religious. A case in point is
                what you say about “The Isolation and Terror of Faith.” K does not talk
                about the isolation and terror of faith, rather he talks about the isolation
                and terror of the human condition as the result of Sin. The human condition,
                without God, is one of stark isolation and terror. Thus K talks about two
                types of faith. Although he does not make this explicit Sartre does. Sartre
                calls one good faith and the other bad faith. I’ll use Sartre’s terms to
                refer to K’s concepts. Bad faith is faith that pretends not to know our
                situation of passing over an abyss of nothingness and seeks to find some
                finite meaning that protects one from the abyss. The various forms of the
                esthetic stage are all forms of bad faith. Among these are those who depend
                on the mind, what they know, as if it will save them. Included in all of
                this are all who depend on human universal ethics to save them and the
                world. Bad faith is the situation of all who depend on the finite for
                meaning.

                So I don’t think you can say, “the person of faith is isolated from his
                fellow human beings because he cannot speak of his faith.” Faith is not what
                isolates but rather the kind of faith, good or bad. Bad faith isolates, good
                faith brings one together both with God and fellow human beings. “The person
                of (good) faith” does not “cut himself off from others and exists in
                isolation and solitude.” The isolation and solitude is already there, the
                person of faith just stops pretending not to know and decides to face it
                squarely on the way to a right relationship to God and others. You do not
                get it, that’s why you find it unappealing. Or to put it another way you
                have an approximate understanding (better than most) but not the experience.
                Anyone should find your rendition unappealing.

                I will also add that I think you are wrong to equate infinite resignation
                with the deeds of the tragic hero. The tragic hero is simply living in the
                area of finite ethics that have come into conflict and he must choose which
                other he will be most loyal to (his highest telos). Will he be loyal to
                family or to country or something else he might consider higher but whatever
                or whomever one chooses to give ones highest loyalty does not go higher than
                the finite. Infinite resignation is a giving up of all things finite as ones
                absolute telos including both of the things the tragic hero chooses between.
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