Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love: Divine Commands and Moral by C. Stephen Evans

By C. Stephen Evans

C. Stephen Evans explains and defends Kierkegaard's account of ethical tasks as rooted in God's instructions, the elemental command being `You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. The paintings might be of curiosity not just to these attracted to Kierkegaard, but in addition to these drawn to the relation among ethics and faith, specifically questions about even if morality can or should have a spiritual starting place. in addition to delivering a entire studying of Kierkegaard as a moral philosopher, Evans places him into dialog with modern ethical theorists. Kierkegaard's divine command concept is proven to be an account that safeguards human flourishing, in addition to holding the correct family members among faith and nation in a plu

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GOD AND MORAL OBLIGATION 21 approve of and admire Abraham's act and sees this religious duty as in some sense higher than his human social obligations and therefore as overriding them, then on this revised concept of the ethical, Abraham's act would qualify as ethical. The view embodied in the book then would seem to be a form of a divine command theory of ethics. This is in fact how Fear and Trembling has often been read, even though this contradicts the book's own semantic usage, according to which religious duties transcend ‘the ethical’.

Some will conclude from this evident fact that it is misguided to expect Kierkegaard to answer any traditional philosophical questions. Those who advance such a view would claim that Kierkegaard's mission did not consist in helping us to understand better the nature of the ethical life or the religious life in any positive way. They do not see Kierkegaard as attempting to help us gain clarity about the nature of the human self, or any such thing. Rather, they see Kierkegaard's writings as designed solely to continually call into question all the answers we give to such questions; to ironically and humorously pull apart the ‘systems’ we humans build.

46 The irony in this statement is that among Kierkegaard's ‘lovers’ today there are many who still wish to think of him solely as ironist, and use this misunderstanding so as to make it possible to evade his religious claims, or else understand the religious life itself in such a way that it does not make any claims on our intellect. Nor is this balanced perspective on the negative absent from the authorship proper. The emphasis in Concluding Unscientific Postscript is certainly on negativity; the polemical targets are the builders of systems who have forgotten what it means to exist as an individual human being.

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