Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thoughts on Kierkegaard, Faith, and Morality

As we conclude our study of Kierkegaard, I’ve listed some loosely connected thoughts inspired from our reading and discussion. In considering Colin's post, I noticed an attentiveness for the implications of an idea upon the world, one that I did not share. His concern, though I disagree with it, seems grounded in the ethical; he is concerned with worldly consequence above all else. This is in line with how I envision myself thinking, yet in studying Kierkegaard, I question both whether I am ethical and what that should mean.

Our study of Fear and Trembling has helped me realize that I might have faith; faith in the existence of truth. While, as a philosophy major, I hope to "get beyond" this faith, such that I might find something a little more in line with understanding, faith is what I have now. In writing this, I find it genuinely hard to describe my thoughts on truth. Perhaps, as Hegel might suggest, it is because they themselves are untrue. Yet, as I have said, I toy with faith in truth, and it will take more than a Hegel to rid me of that. I believe that truth is ideal, even should it have problematic personal or social impact. This belief could be derived from practical morality, however, in the belief that the truth eventually becomes necessary and/or known. If it is more than simply practical ethics, it seems my belief in truth to be something close to faith.

While my belief in truth seemed to me close to faith, this to is not a particularly satisfying answer. Instead, we must recognize a basic element of the ethical (an moral system) – it has a basis. It seems to me what we call the ethical is a morality based on value for life (more specifically that of human beings). Is this base reasoned or defensible? It certainly seems practical, if not necessary. This is close to Sartre’s existential humanism. But can there be such an arbitrarily chosen basis for the universal (ethical)?

I have yet to find a basis for a universal that I find satisfying. All moral systems I’ve examined seem to boil down to a choice. Ultimately, I have been unable to view these choices as determined or morally loaded in themselves. While I can accept this, I think it provides a weaker basis for morality than most are comfortable with and shows faith to be less unique than Kierkegaard might suggest.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.