Kierkegaard's Analysis of Radical Evil (Continuum Studies in by David Roberts

By David Roberts

For hundreds of thousands of years philosophers and theologians have grappled with the matter of evil. typically, evil has been noticeable as a weak spot of varieties: the evil individual is both ignorant (does now not comprehend the incorrect being done), or weak-willed (is incapable of doing the ideal thing). yet within the so much frightening acts of evil (the Holocaust, ethnic detoxing, terrorism, serial homicide, etc.), the perpetrators are resolute, planned, and good conscious of the soreness they're inflicting. There hasn't ever been a greater time to re-open this such a lot tough of questions, and to inquire no matter if any important assets exist inside of our highbrow legacy. David Roberts has performed simply this. In taking over the matter of evil because it is uniquely present in the paintings of the Danish thinker, Soren Kierkegaard, Roberts has exposed a framework that finally permits the thought of radical evil to be adequately articulated. His ebook lines the resources of Kierkegaard's belief from its historical past within the paintings of Kant and Schelling, and painstakingly information the matrix of concerns that advanced into Kierkegaard's personal answer. Kierkegaard's mental realizing of evil is that it arises out of melancholy - a melancholy that could develop into so vehement and ferocious that it lashes out at life itself. ranging from this reputation, and drawing on Kierkegaard's view of the self, Roberts indicates how the despairing self can turn into reinforced and intensified via a unsleeping and unfastened selection opposed to the great. this kind of radical evil is neither ignorant nor vulnerable.

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Kierkegaard views this abstract state of knowledge as a spiritless form of rebellion against the Good. Spiritlessness is not the conscious and earnest movement against the Good we will come to see as radical evil, but is a weak evasion and lack of earnestness toward one's existence, and one's relationship with the Good. Spiritlessness' conscious belief is that it is on the side of the Good, and assures itself that when enough knowledge has been gained, it will certainly act accordingly. As usual, these assurances are evasions.

It is the task of freedom to pick up this basis (for the spirit of evil provides a basis for the spirit of love) and be transformed through a self-positing which allows the good to be manifested through one's selfhood. In other words, we must awaken to the possibility of good and evil, and allow the good to arise out of this propensity to evil. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Immanuel Kant. Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Immanuel Kant: Philosophical Writings. Ed. Ernst Behler, pp.

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. ' (Kant, 1986, p. 114 [my emphasis]). Kant, 1986, p. 115. Kant, 1986, p. 116 (my emphasis). Kant, 1986, p. 116 (my emphasis). Kant, 1986, p. 117. Kant, 1986, p. 117. Kant, 1986, p. 120. Kant, 1986, p. 120. John R. Silber. 'The Ethical Significance of Kant's Religion'. Introduction to Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, pp. Ixxix—cxxxiv. New York: Harper, 1960, p. xciv. Silber, p. civ. Immanuel Kant. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone.

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