Nietzsche Vs. Kierkegaard

Essay by caytinnUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

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Existentialism is based on the idea of individual existence, subjectivity, and the individual's freedom of/and choice. The task of existential thought is to locate or create meaning given the ambiguity of human existence. Existential themes are not limited to a particular time period. We often still explore them in connection with philosophy of race, questions concerning war, violence and justice, societal values and our education system. These themes can be linked to all aspects of human race.

Orderly reasoning and acting systematically is avoided at all costs in Existentialism thought. Both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche are noted most for their random ways of exploring and expressing their ideas. They both used many different literary styles to express their thoughts.

Kierkegaard, who was a Danish philosopher disagreed with the thoughts of traditional ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates and Plato. He disagreed with the thought of the highest ethical goods as being universal as many other philosophers do.

He viewed an individualistic approach to the ultimate good. Kierkegaard said individuals have their own specific destiny. Each individual has his or her own freedom to choose their will to God. He believes institutions transform individuals into anonymous, herds of mindless conformists. He warns that we must be ready for the repercussions from our own decisions. We have to be ready for the consequences at hand. There is both risk and responsibility attached to our use of freedom of choice. Even when matters seem miniscule and unimportant, what a person chooses is always ultimately important. The way one goes about making a decision is just as important as what one ultimately decides.

He has been widely associated with his phrase a "leap of faith." He regards religious faith as not irrational or mystical but he feels it is suprarational. The suprarational focuses on factors...