kiekegaard seems to be the only philosopher that believes that the system cannot be fully understood
meaning, every known philosopher in history has declared that they found "the key" to existence- the ultimate truth- the ultimate system
kiekegaard regards himself simply a "supplementary clerk who neither writes the system nor binds himself to the system"
in the preface:
The poet or orator can do nothing that the hero does; he can only admire, love, and delight in him. Yet he, too, is happy—no less than that one is, for the hero is, so to speak, his better nature, with which he is enamored—yet happy that the other is not himself, that his love can be admiration. He is recollection's genius (p. 15).
meaning we are idealists - in that we are in love with ideas (perfect ideas - the hero) and not actual people.
this follows in how we view ourself and how we perceive others
that is how we are always striving for perfection
but how we can still be okay with ourselves is because jesus died for us and we don't have to be absolutely perfect (to be our ideal, the hero, flawless) to "win" life
"He is a man committed by a volitive act to perform some deed or adhere to some ethical code. The Knight of Faith is a man who is also brave, but in a different way. He adheres by faith to some impossible (absurd) telos [end, goal]."
"Resignation, a volitive act of brave resolve, was the force behind Isaac's sacrifice. The act of faith was Abraham's full expectation that God would return Isaac to him intact."
The single individual is higher than the universal (also the ethical)
it is "wrong" to say that all humans are higher than exterior reality
(exterior reality can never be fully accurately perceived and be verified as absolute truth - example the philosophy of science - even science, man's truth, is erroneous)
yet, in christianity and in our souls, beyond conscience (which can become dulled), we know that our belief inside us is the most important thing to us -
it dictates what truth outside of ourselves that we choose to embrace, therefore self-truth is the higher truth
we want to be sure that it is right
note: in ourselves - we see the ultimate truth - the absolute truth - the key to the meaning of life - not life for all, but for ourselves - for if our goal was that the meaning of life for all mankind was known, then that is what we want for ourselves (to know what is meant for all mankind, thus me) everything comes down to what is inside of us
evidently we embrace most exterior (universal) truths because they make sense to us - meaning we want achieve our own truth, and if exterior truths present themselves to us (and make sense to us), we will add them as true in ourself. ultimately, we don't add something because, for example: the universally embraced truth that "murder is wrong," we don't embrace because, it is according to the laws of the universe - evident in whatever (societal belief, etc), but because we feel in ourselves that yes, murder is wrong- meaning the possibility for murder to be wrong and not right is logical to us, based on the things we know, and the conscious built into us.
We embrace truths into ourselves when
> A source we fully believe tells it to us
> (most of the time) Our conscious agreed with it
> Our feelings move us
> We make logical conclusions of what we see, based on what we know
> Our upbringings justify it
note: I am not saying that absolute is ever fully known. it is not. It is impossible until we die and what we believed in is either affirmed, different, or we cease to think.
the single individual is higher than the universal because ultimately the most important thing to each individual is himself (what he embraces as true in his own mind) to each man, himself
when each man claims himself, there is noone left
so the individual is more important than the universal, for it is in his mind that truth is made fully apparent, and therefore truly adhered.
truth has weight (NOT that it is made valid) when the individual embraces and adheres to it
truth is nothing to us outside ourselves. meaning if we do not know a truth it does not mean anything to us.
i feel like i am endlessly cycling through the chicken - egg argument
just as the single individual is answerable to truth (God), so he is higher than the universal
can faith be level with God as ethical is the "law" (the OT) and cold?
our duty is to God, who laid down the ethical
if he tells us to do otherwise than the ethical, we obey for he as the author is the higher authority
the giver of the law may suspend the law
"Abraham's act is different. By his act he transgressed the ethical altogether and had a higher telos outside it, in relation to which he suspended it.... It is not to save a nation, not to uphold the idea of a state that Abraham does it; it is not to appease the angry gods.... Therefore, while the tragic hero is great because of his moral virtue, Abraham is great because of a purely personal virtue (p. 59)."
"This reminds one of the old dilemma as to whether something is wrong because it is wrong absolutely, or because God declares it wrong. If the former be true, then the moral law would appear to be higher than God, since it would be more fundamental. If the latter, one might posit that the moral law is not intrinsically right, but only provisionally so, that God might have decreed it otherwise. To my thinking, the only solution is that God's nature (from whence comes the law) is grounded in his being, so that this dilemma is non-existent. In other words, the dilemma presumes a chronology or evolution in deity. But questions of time are meaningless."
K: The paradox of faith, then, is this: that the single individual is higher than the universal, that the single individual...determines his relation to the universal by his relation to the absolute, not his relation to the absolute by his relation to the universal.
"Faith is the highest passion in a person"