Philosophy What Did Kierkegaard Mean Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

How is it possible, then, that we can come to know anything?

Methodological doubt is best represented in the first of the Meditations, "What can be called into doubt."

In this meditation, the meditator is forced to think about everything that he has believed throughout the course of his life. He must then make a conscious decision to do away with all of these lies and begin again so that the basis of his knowledge is free of any lies.

4. What is the difference between atheism and agnosticism?

Atheism means that there is a denial of theism (i.e., the existence of God) while agnosticism means that there is a question concerning the existence of God, a heaven, or any type of spiritual being. An atheist would believe that God does not exist and therefore does not have any control over his or her life while an agnostic would believe that God could -- possibly -- exist, but believes that if God did exist, He (or She) could not reveal his or her true self to humans. There are some agnostics who do, in fact, try to find proof that there is a God, yet they may not attempt to create any kind of moral beliefs consecrated in the belief that there is, for certain, a God.

For a long time, agnostics were viewed as people who didn't believe in God (i.e., atheists), but just wanted to call themselves a different name; but, this, of course, is not true. Agnosticism is described by some as the "don't know" position concerning God's existence, and that it is a compromise between theism and atheism, a 'flapping around' in the middle."

However, there are many that don't agree with this and, rather, see the 'I don't know' idea as being similar to a statement being that one's theory of the universe is not known.

Agnosticism, therefore, is, for many, an appeal to principle, an intellectual struggle, not an unwillingness to engage in any kind of struggle.

When asked the question of whether or not a God exists, a theist may say 'yes' and an 'atheist 'no,' but 'don't know' would not be an answer to the question.

'Don't know' certainly would be a sort of response, but not a real answer. What agnosticism is, rather, is the admission that one does not have an answer to the question of whether God exists or not.

An atheist, on the other hand, is a person who rejects the entire concept of God. The word "atheist" itself comes from the Greek work theos, which means 'god' or 'gods.' The word theology refers to the study of God and when a negative prefix is joined to theos, the derivative form becomes atheist and just means 'without God'.

There is quite a difference between 'weak' and 'strong' agnosticism.

Weak agnosticism may be a stance that more people are familiar with, as it is just a mere admission that one does not know the answer to the question of whether God exists or not. Weak agnosticism, therefore, can be seen as simply a personal belief; it's not trying to make a comment on what others believe.

Strong agnosticism is quite a bit more interesting as it says something more along the lines of "we cannot know whether or not God exists."

In the case of 'weak' or 'strong' agnostics, it should be noted that the degree has nothing to do with the mental capabilities of a person, nor does it have anything to do with the moral character of the person; it is, rather, an "indication of the logical relationship between the two ideas."

Works Cited

Allison, Henry E. Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. Yale University Press; Rev Exp edition, 2004.

Descartes, Rene., Cottingham, John., Ameriks, Karl. & Clarke, Desmond M. Descartes:

Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies. Cambridge University Press; Revised edition, 1996.

Kierkegaard, Soren. Fear and Trembling (Penguin Classics). Penguin Classics, 1986.

Le Poidevin, Robin. Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions).

Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 8.

London Oratory. "Kant's Transcendental Idealism." Accessed on 11 Dec 2010:

http://www.london-

oratory.org/philosophy/philosophies/epistemology/trancendental/body_trancende ntal.html

Martin, Gottfried. Kant's Metaphysics and Theory of Science. Manchester University

Press; First edition, 1955.

McCormick, Matt. "Kant, Immanuel: Metaphysics." IEP. California State University,

Sacramento, 2005. Accessed on 10 Dec 2010: http://www.iep.utm.edu/kantmeta/

Mills, David. & Sagan, Dorian. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism. Ulysses Press, 2006.

Oregon State. "The Method of Doubt." Accessed on 10 Dec 2010:

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/method-of-doubt.html

Strathern, Paul. Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes). Ivan R. Dee,

2001.

Strathern, Paul. Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes). Ivan R. Dee, 2001, p. 45.

Soren Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling. (Penguin Classics). Penguin Classics, 1986, p. 83.

Strathern, Paul. Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes). Ivan R. Dee, 2001, p. 45.

Ibid., p. 45.

Strathern, Paul. Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes). Ivan R. Dee, 2001, p. 46.

Soren Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling. (Penguin Classics). Penguin Classics, 1986, p. 82.

Allison, Henry E. Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. Yale University Press; Rev Exp edition, 2004. p. 3-4.

Ibid., p. 4.

Allison, Henry E. Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. Yale University Press; Rev Exp edition, 2004. p. 4.

Ibid., p. 4.

London Oratory. "Kant's Transcendental Idealism." Accessed on 11 Dec 2010: http://www.london-oratory.org/philosophy/philosophies/epistemology/trancendental/body_trancendental.html

Ibid.

Martin, Gottfried. Kant's Metaphysics and Theory of Science. Manchester University Press; First edition, 1955, p. 57.

Ibid., p. 57.

Ibid., p. 57.

McCormick, Matt. "Kant, Immanuel: Metaphysics." IEP. California State University, Sacramento, 2005. Accessed on 10 Dec 2010: http://www.iep.utm.edu/kantmeta/

Ibid.

Ibid.

Oregon State. "The Method of Doubt." Accessed on 10 Dec 2010: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/method-of-doubt.html

Ibid.

Ibid.

Descartes, Rene., Cottingham, John., Ameriks, Karl. & Clarke, Desmond M. Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy). Cambridge University Press; Revised edition, 1996, p. 12.

Le Poidevin, Robin. Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions). Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 2.

Ibid., p. 8

Ibid., p.4.

Ibid., p.4.

Ibid., p. 8.

Mills, David. & Sagan, Dorian. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism. Ulysses Press, 2006, p. 25.

Le Poidevin, Robin. Agnosticism: A Very…

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