G.W. Hegal

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Georg Wilhelm Freidrich Hegal During this semester in Modern Philosophy we studied Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegal. Hegal was born in 1770 in Stuttgart, Germany. He spent the years of 1788-1793 as a theology student where he formed friendships with poet Freidrich Holderlin and F.D.E. Schelling. After graduation Hegal worked as a tutor for families in Bern and Frankfurt, where he wrote early works on religious themes. In 1802 Hegal published his first philosophical work The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy.

He went on to publish 6 more works before his death from cholera in 1831.

Hegal's philosophy regarding Christianity and World Spirit was very significant to me. I found a philosopher whose views parallel my own.

Hegal did not believe in Christianity. He felt that although there are good aspects and elements of truth top Christianity, it was created to merely make people feel better about themselves.

I have always thought that the moral values taught in Christianity (the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes) were valid however the rest of the teaching I have always doubted. When I would explain these doubts to a priest or sister in school I was told to "have faith". Hegal did not believe in faith, and I have always found the concept irrational also.

You may wonder what Hegal's view on God really is. His view comes very close to a believe I have always held. Hegal believes in something called World Spirit. This means he believes that the mind of God is actual only via the minds of his creations (human beings) which serve as it's vehicle.

Hegal says that humanity is in actuality the self-consciousness and self-actualization of God or the World Spirit. I have always felt that we are all connected in some way and that we are all part of God however I never really believed in a being outside of that which dwells in us; in our souls.

Hegal's philosophy fits in with my idea. Hegal also believes in absolute knowledge which means he feels there is a limit to the knowledge we can acquire on earth, and it is possible to find all the answers to our questions in time. Hegal believes that the World Spirit will eventually find the answers to all questions through evolution and at that point we will realize our true nature.

I chose Hegal because although I have had my beliefs for a long time, I have never found a religion or a philosophy that agrees with my views. It was nice to see that I am not the only person who believes this way.