- Hi Willy, I think our thread on SK s account of the ethical has just about run its course and is drawing to a close. I agree with most of what you say in yourMessage 1 of 14 , Oct 20, 2004View SourceHi Willy,
I think our thread on SK's account of the ethical has just about run its course and is drawing to a close.
I agree with most of what you say in your last post - our interpretations of SK on the ethical are very close. I'll just make three brief points.
First, I'm a bit wary of an account of the loving relationship between two individuals that makes the relation "man-God-man" rather than the direct man-man. I think that two individuals existing in the ethical sphere can establish a direct relationship, without the need for an intermediary. Of course, it all depends on how the man-God-man relation is actually constituted in practice.
Second, I think you make a very good point when you say that "get the self to self relation in order, and the self to world/other relation will order itself". If SK himself makes this point (does he?), then the charge of solipsism would lose a lot of its force.
Third, I don't think your last quote (CUP, Hong p. 341) answers my complaint that SK needlessly claims that we cannot have ethical knowledge of others or of features of the world. In the quote, SK seems to be saying that for an individual, his own ethical well-being is more important than anything else, and should take up all of his attention. As I have said previously, I think SK only holds this view because he thinks that God can look after the rest of the world. But I think SK is wrong here. Of course we have an ethical duty to attend to our own ethical well-being, but we also have a duty to do what we can to reduce the terrible suffering in the world, and make the world a better place, if we can. Further we are able to judge when people around us need help, and when we need to seek to change the course of local or national events in some small way.
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- Three brief answers to your three brief points, then I will agree that we have reached a good place to let this particular subject rest. First point: As I seeMessage 2 of 14 , Oct 21, 2004View SourceThree brief answers to your three brief points, then I will agree that
we have reached a good place to let this particular subject rest.
First point: As I see it, Kierkegaard thinks of the God-relation as
the self to self relation, where that relation rests in transparency,
not to itself, but supported by the power that posited it. He sees
that rest as resting in the power of God. hence the God-relation. I
see that rest as the necessary self-understanding that allows one's
grasp of oneself to acquire the flexibility of a dynamic relation to
itself, as opposed to the frozen static relation of identity. The
ground in which it rests is the fact of being. All of that is a
gesture to what I understand. So, I think of that between not as a
between but as a common ground of self-understanding, more like a
place we can find ourselves in, together.
Second point: To continue the theme of the first point, here is a
quote from his Purity of Heart. SK talks about one's eternal
responsibility before God, but I can read that from my non religious
point of view as the ethical as the expression of an order in which
the expression of disorder has been negated. I know, my words are
loose, but the thrust is there. I see his quote as fulfilling your
"The talk will not go into this further. It will only ask you again
and again, do you now live so that you are conscious of being an
individual and thereby that you are conscious of your eternal
responsibility before God? Do you live in such a way that this
consciousness is able to secure the time and quiet and liberty of
action to penetrate every relation of your life? This does not demand
that you withdraw from life, from an honorable calling, from a happy
domestic life. On the contrary, it is precisely that consciousness
which will sustain and clarify and illuminate what you are to do in
the relations of life." PH, Steere, p. 197)
Third point: To continue the theme of the first two points, and, as I
see it, the three points are really one point; the being that finds a
common ground of being with other beings, instead of separate beings
making their own ground, is the one that sees the world as "us" and
not as "me." As I see it, SK is saying to break that "me" and find the
"us." The "us" is the universal, and the ethical. The complication for
SK is to separate the Christian view of that universal from views such
as mine. I see his invention of the categories of religiousness, A &
B, as that attempt.
Ok, enough blather. I have thoroughly enjoyed our discussion and am
more than willing to begin another thread. Do you have a preference as
to the subject of the next thread? I'll leave that up to you as you
seem to have more questions of SK than I. Which of his books have you
- Hi Willy, I have read Fear and Trembling and The Sickness unto Death, and I am currently reading Concluding Unscientific Postscript. I don t think I llMessage 3 of 14 , Oct 23, 2004View SourceHi Willy,
I have read Fear and Trembling and The Sickness unto Death, and I am currently reading Concluding Unscientific Postscript.
I don't think I'll initiate any new discussion until I complete CUP, but there are some themes in the latter half of CUP which perplex me and are not very conducive to my way of thinking, so I may send out a posting on them at some point.
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