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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

some Kierkegaard

There is a view of life which conceives that where the crowd is, there also is the truth, and that in truth itself there is need of having the crowd on its side. There is another view of life which conceives that wherever there is a crowd there is untruth, so that (to consider for a moment the extreme case), even if every individual, each for himself in private, were to be in possession of the truth, yet in case they were all to get together in a crowd–a crowd to which any sort of decisive significance is attributed, a voting, noisy, audible crowd–untruth would at once be in evidence.

If one who lives in the midst of Christendom goes up to the house of God, the house of the true God, with the true conception of God in his knowledge, and prays , but prays in a false spirit; and one who lives in an idolatrous community prays with the entire passion of the infinite, although his eyes rest upon the image of an idol: where is the most truth? The one prays in truth to God though he worships an idol; the other prays falsely to the true God, and hence worships in fact an idol.

The objective accent falls on WHAT is said, the subjective accent on HOW it is said.
Aesthetically the contradiction that truth becomes untruth in this or that person’s mouth, is best construed comically: In the ethico-religious sphere, accent is again on the “how”. But this is not to be understood as referring to demeanor, expression, or the like; rather it refers to the relationship sustained by the existing individual, in his own existence, to the content of his utterance.
from selections in Kaufmann's Existentialism.

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