Belief and Faith

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Kierkegaard's conception of faith was not congruent with the mainstream view held by most religious people. Kierkegaard has been known as the "Christian Socrates" because of the way he challenged traditional beliefs like Socrates did. Kierkegaard's faith is one of an individualistic re-choosing of faith in the impossible. Kierkegaard thought that many Christians held an inauthentic faith that relied on doctrine and obedience. He wanted to get away from that and maintained that the movement of faith is up to each individual and his or her personal relationship with the impossible. He believed that what many people called "faith" was actually "hope" because with hope, there is a probability for something to be true, whereas true faith is believing in something even though one knows it is impossible and there is no reason for one to believe in it. Hope does not have any relevance in the realm of impossibility, only faith does. There is an abandonment of reason when one chooses to have authentic faith. Kierkegaard maintained that faith was higher than reason. This means that reason has its limits and faith begins where those limits of reason are found. This choice of faith is not a one-time thing, according to Kierkegaard. One must make the movements of faith over and over again and constantly re-choose to abandon reason and believe in the impossible. This re-choosing is cyclical and no developmental progress is made, one just re-chooses the exact same thing over and over again. The mainstream Christian view would see faith as being higher than reason as well; however, it probably does not include a constant re-choosing of faith that gets one nowhere, but only to where one started. Kierkegaard held that the leap of faith had to be done over and over again because to believe the impossible simply requires this never-ending re-choosing. The ideas of "fellowship" and community are also key aspects to the traditional Christian view. Church brings people together and...
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