March 22, 2013

Kierkegaard On "Man"

Below is an excerpt from, "The Soul of Kierkegaard: Selections from His Journals." Edited by Alexander Dru. Dover Publications, Inc: Mineola, New York. 2003. Pg. 249-50.
   All those who have been exceptional, who have lived sparsely scattered through time, have each of them delivered their judgment on "man." According to the report of one: man is an animal; according to another: he is a hypocrite; according to another: he is a liar etc.
   Perhaps I shall not hit it off least happily when I say: man is a twaddler---and that with the help of speech.
   With the help of speech every man participates in the highest---but to participate in the highest with the help of speech, by talking nonsense about it, is just as ironical as to participate in a royal banquet, as a spectator from the gallery.
   Were I a pagan I would say: an ironical deity gave mankind the gift of speech in order to have the amusement of watching that self-deception.
   From a Christian point of view of course it is out of love that God gave man the gift of speech, and thereby made it possible for every one really to grasp the highest---oh, with what sorrow must God look upon the result.