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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Evan Lester - Section H1 - Group 4 - Final Report(3/3)

Epic Philosophy Battles of History (3/3)

   Kierkegaard       vs.        Nietzsche

            Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher born in 1813 and died in 1855. He held the belief that God exists. Also, he is famous for his story of Abraham going to kill his son when God told him to do so. However, before killing his son, God confronted Abraham not to do it. This was a way to show Abraham’s faith in God, and it also shows that people must do as God tells them to do even if it sounds weird.
            Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher that lived from 1844 to 1900. His most famous words were “God is dead.” This idea was on the basis that he believed that the belief in God was unreasonable. He continued to think what life would be like if there was not God. Did he believe that there would be morality? Would there be rules that people should follow if God did not exist? You must continue to read to find out………..

We now transition to the important scene where a robbery is in progress. We are witnessing a man named Woody holding a woman named Jessie at gun point at Buzz’s gas station when all of a sudden two people walk in as the robbery is in progress.

(Begin Scene)

Woody: Give me all your money! Now!

Jessie: Why would you want to hurt me?!

Woody: Because I have……………

(Enter Nietzsche)

Nietzsche: Because God is dead! There is no one to tell anyone what to do and what not to do!  You are free to do as you wish!

Jessie: Are you crazy?!

(Enter Kierkegaard)

Kierkegaard: Yeah, Nietzsche is very crazy! He thinks God is dead! That is horrible to say. Why would you say something like that when God is alive and prosperous!

Nietzsche: Because the belief in God is absolutely absurd! Why would anyone think that there is a god? He is not visible to us! So what point is there to believe?

Kierkegaard: Well, that is the point. You have to have faith even if it is a leap into the darkness. You have to believe in Him even if there is not a clear way of knowing if He exists or not.

Nietzsche: But I know there is no “God” you speak of! Woody continue your robbery! You must rely only on what you think is best for your life. There are no more limits to what you can and cannot do! God is dead! Did you remember that?

Woody: Of course I remembered what you said! Jessie give me your money!

Jessie: Kierkegaard help!

Kierkegaard: Woody, please listen to me. I know that believing in God may be hard to see at first, but you have to put faith in God. Would you like to have either a life of pleasure by chasing after beauty or one based on conventional methods?

Woody: Uh…. Let me think….

Kierkegaard: Trust me, I know that having faith in God is a risk but trust me it is the right risk to take. Whenever God calls on you to do something, you must do it, even if it seems a little odd. Also, with God in your life, the morality of life and the decisions between right and wrong will be clearer.

Nietzsche: Of course these aspects of life would be clearer if God was alive! But he is not! Without him, people can make their own lives by being who they want to be. If Woody wants to be a robber, then let him be a robber. If he wants to be a circus clown, let him be a circus clown. God is not here to tell him what to do anymore!

Kierkegaard: Woody, you do not want to be a circus clown do you?

Woody: Uh, no of course not.

Kierkegaard: Do you want to have some direction in life? Do you want to make the most out of life rather than choosing a life that is based on what you think life is about?

Woody: Yeah, that would be nice. I honestly do not know what to do with my life. I need some help! I mean look at me! I am holding a water gun at this woman’s head! And you call this holding someone at gunpoint!

Kierkegaard: Then, please follow me. I will teach you about God and the aspects of good versus evil. We will get you set on the righteous path under God, and you will finally have some morality in your life.

(Kierkegaard and Woody leave and go to church)

Nietzsche: Not again! Why does Kierkegaard always take the fun out of everything?!

Jessie: You are a crazy man Nietzsche!

Nietzsche: Not you too Jessie!

Jessie: I am going with them. You need to think about what you have said to us all and see if that still sounds appealing to you.

(Jessie leaves and follows Kierkegaard and Woody)

Nietzsche: Well, I guess I am alone once again……. I guess it is time to enjoy a nice Coke and to discover more philosophical ideas.

(End Scene)

This is an example of how Kierkegaard and Nietzsche would discuss the topic of relying on God or not. Kierkegaard could not believe that someone would not trust in God, but Nietzsche was all about God being dead. If God did not exist, then there would not be anything to hold a person back. People could live as they please. In my opinion, I cannot see myself without God being there for me. God helps set a basis of morality and a way to decide whether things are good or evil. I do not necessarily agree on the statement, “If people do not believe in God, then people can live as they please. They can be who they want to be without any limits.” There are people that do not believe in God and are great people. However, I am going to have to pick a winner on this one………. The winner is…….. (Drumroll please!)


Søren Kierkegaard

P.S. – I have really enjoyed doing the blog posts for my final report after doing my presentation for the midterm report! This has been a very good way to learn more about the different viewpoints several philosophers have on the aspects of life. I hope you have enjoyed the Epic Philosophy Battles of History!

Word Count: 1,061 Words

Total Word Count for Final Report: 3,549 Words


  1. Your "epic battles" are very clever & entertaining, Evan! But, "people must do as God tells them to do even if it sounds weird"-?! That's the kind of thinking that gets innocent airline passengers and marathon runners killed and maimed. The willingness of parents to murder their own children at the behest of an inner voice kills trust, even when the killer's hand is stayed by another inner voice. "If God did not exist, then there would not be anything to hold a person back." Really?! Think about this a little more. Why aren't atheists, agnostics, humanists, naturalists, et al running around MURDERING PEOPLE? Guess they've acquired a sense of morality and self-restraint from some other source.

  2. P.S. Check out Julia Sweeney's experience of trying the No-God glasses for a few moments and discovering that the sky doesn't fall, after all, and she doesn't suddenly feel like running around MURDERING PEOPLE... it's funnier "live," but the transcript also conveys her thinking (and mine): http://www.american-buddha.com/lit.letgoofgodsweeney.5.htm