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Re: [Kierkegaardians] Christian Repetition and Atheistic Ethicism

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  • Bill Deubel
    Jim R., How can we be conscious of willing one thing if we are once removed by conscioiusness? I think what you picture is a well ordered container, like a
    Message 1 of 39 , Dec 31, 2006
      Jim R., How can we be "conscious" of willing one thing if we are once removed by
      conscioiusness? I think what you picture is a well ordered container, like a vending
      machine, were the moments of operation are neatly ordered. This is very Kantian, as
      you probably recognize.

      Consciousness plays a role in willing the good, but not in the way you think. Faith is not
      just believing one can't will any other way, a Kantian fiction, but in getting something
      more according to Kierkegaard. But the smuggness of being satisfied with one's good
      thoughts is Kant's fiction. To get a better understanding of your own limitations, if not your own smuggness, in reading SK, you might want to consult Hannay. It is a bit tortured reading in this part of his book, Kierkegaard, but he believes that what more we
      are to gain from willing the Good is the gratification of an Epicurean. This I think differs
      with your own modest, and unassuming sexual expectations, but more similiar with
      the sensual interests of the ancient Greeks. I believe there is a connection between Kierkegaad and the persuasions of these Greeks, just as there was for Hegel despite their
      similiar interest in promoting a better understanding of Christianity. Bill

      James Rovira <jamesrovira@...> wrote:
      I'd say her characterization of repetition is a good one but her
      characterization of the ethical is mistaken, at least to the extent it is
      drawn from or thought to be consistent with the thought of Kierkegaard. The
      Kierkegaardian ethical draws a great deal from Kant (Ronald Green has done a
      good bit of work in the area of Kierkegaard and Kant), and Kant believed
      that the notion of a God was necessary for the rational consistency of
      ethical absolutes. Also, the ethical as complete self-denial isn't quite
      Kierkegaardian either -- "love your neighbor as you love yourself." Our
      obligation to others only makes sense if it is reciprocal--what we owe to
      others is what others owe to us, but we are simply conscious of the fact
      that it is -our- responsibility to fulfill our responsibility whether others
      fulfill theirs or not. I think Carlisle's description of the ethical
      borrows from Kierkegaard without attempting to be faithful to his thought.

      Jim R

      On 12/31/06, jimstuart46 wrote:
      > In her book "Movements and Positions" Clare Carlisle characterizes
      > Kierkegaard's idea of repetition as follows:
      > "The movement of repetition expresses both sides of Christian faith –
      > the movements of God (creation, incarnation, grace) and the
      > movements of the individual (rebirth, passionate commitment,
      > receiving God's love). These `two sides' of faith might be called
      > its objective and subjective aspects – although this opposition is
      > loaded with philosophical and theological controversy – but their
      > being brought together through the category of repetition gives some
      > indication of the way in which they are inseparable, for becoming a
      > Christian means bringing into being a reciprocal relationship
      > between man and God. It is not so much that "a Christian" is
      > something one becomes, as that becoming is itself the medium, the
      > element of Christianity. To live constantly in relation to God is to
      > know that one's existence is not one's own but belongs to God, that
      > one possesses nothing and can claim nothing – for understanding and
      > affirming this is the condition for receiving a self, a life, and a
      > world as a gift from God. This gift is received but never held: it
      > is lost as soon as it is gained, so that it can be given again. In
      > this way the individual's relationship to God can be repeatedly
      > actualized, repeatedly renewed, and can thus endure through time.
      > Gift and loss, receiving and giving away, constitute the basic
      > differential element of Christian repetition." (pp. 77-8)
      > The atheist who decisively chooses the ethical life can be
      > characterized as follows:
      > "It is not so much that "an ethical individual" is something one
      > becomes, as that becoming is itself the medium, the element of the
      > ethical sphere of existence. To live constantly in relation to the
      > absolute ethical requirement is to know that one's existence is not
      > one's own but belongs to the universe, to those one attempts to
      > love, that one possesses nothing and can claim nothing – further one
      > expects nothing in return. The ethical individual can say with Saint
      > Paul "I die daily". The atheist who chooses the ethical life is
      > strong and clear-sighted enough to avoid self-deception,
      > particularly the self-deception of believing in a fairy-tale God.
      > No, the atheist ethical individual expects no reward, no "eternal
      > happiness", nor any gift from the non-personal universe. He expects
      > his life to end in depression and despair, as he realizes he cannot
      > live up to the demands of the absolute ethical requirement. His only
      > consolation is a clear intellectual conscience: he has not succumbed
      > to the temptation of subjective madness, the temptation of deluding
      > oneself that a perfect person exists who created the world and with
      > whom one can have a personal relationship.
      > Jim Stuart

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    • James Rovira
      If you want to know what I ve read from SK, Bill, I ve uploaded an unedited bibliography of my reading by and about Kierkegaard. It s in the Files section
      Message 39 of 39 , Jan 6, 2007
        If you want to know what I've read from SK, Bill, I've uploaded an unedited
        bibliography of my reading by and about Kierkegaard. It's in the "Files"
        section of this group's page at Yahoo. There may be a couple non-SK sources
        mixed in and it's not completely alphabetized, and there may be some
        duplication, but for the most part what I've read by and about K is on that
        list. I may be missing some sources too.

        But what you're essentially saying is that you trust what Hannay says
        without having read much of Kierkegaard yourself, so feel you are competent
        to judge what others say about Kierkegaard based upon your own lack of

        You know, people who get published in peer review journals do disagree with
        Hannay sometimes.

        At any rate, as usual when you can't support what you're saying from your
        own reading, you turn to attacking me. Now I'm willing to accept statements
        like the following:

        "As usual your own understanding of Religiousness B lacks any connection
        to what Kierkegaard writes."

        If you could support them from your own reading of, say, Concluding
        Unscientific Postscript. Or, for that matter, if you were reading my own
        posts or the posts of others very carefully at all.

        One example:

        Jim S did not say my posts were irresponsible. I said -one- of his replies
        to me was irresponsible. You are misremembering something I said to Jim S,
        and then getting it backwards, thinking it was something Jim S said to me.
        He felt in the post complaining about me that I wasn't acknowledging what he
        saw as an inherent contradiction in my words. So far as I can tell, though,
        we've cleared that up.

        I agree that Kierkegaard's emphasis is on the "how" is important, yes. As I
        agree that "what is a self?" is probably the central issue in Kierkegaard.
        It's way off to say I'm "ignoring" it -- as I've said repeatedly, I'm not
        obligated to talk about any one subject in every discussion of every subject
        on this forum.

        I have never said anything about shame. Again, you're making that up and
        attributing it to me. And, as usual, I asked you to support your claims
        about my statements from quotations from my posts and, as usual, you ignore
        the request -- because, of course, you can't meet it.

        If you want to respond to me, again, why don't you quote Kierkegaard?
        Better yet, perhaps you should quit writing about him so much and try
        reading him more?

        Jim R

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