Man VS. God(Man)
In the modern era, one of the primary issues that has plagued our society is the idea of ethics versus faith. Simplistically put, shall man live for himself or for a higher being? Man is bestowed with a free will which presents the dilemma of choosing either current selfish happiness or an in depth spiritual purpose. One could dispute that there is an easily acquired middle ground; that man can strive to better his condition, along with society's, and obtain salvation through an absolute devotion to faith. However, the works of Smith, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Dostoevsky prove that argument to be ridiculous. There is no "in between" stance; only one or the other.
Though Smith and Marx differ greatly in their socioeconomic theories, they are similar in the fact that they are both concerned with our economic society. The two revolutionaries recognize the impact society has on the application of morality.
What is good and ethical is a result of the institutions which man creates. Both Marx and Smith were fixated with the thought of improving society through people earning goods. The differentiation, however, is in that Smith realizes the internal human need for happiness, while Marx emphasizes the ideas of social equality and a strict institution to satisfy basic societal needs.
Contrary to Smith and Marx, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky are singularly concerned with internal happiness, as a result of profound faith in God and accepting him as truth. In response to the contradiction between faith and ethics, Kierkegaard urges man to venture beyond ethics and perform religious duty. His example, Abraham(the knight of faith), communicates man's ability to attain the highest echelon of faith by completely abandoning oneself in trust and belief in God. Such devotion is often misconstrued by the establishment of institutional...