Knight of Faith vs. Overman
For my final research paper, I have chosen to compare and contrast Friedrich Nietzsche’s overman with Soren Kierkegaard’s knight of faith As if a coroner were standing over a body, holding a cold hand in one and looking at his chain watch in the other, I hear Nietzsche say:
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? – Nietzsche, the Gay Science, Section 125 As if conversing with Nietzsche I hear the response of Kierkegaard to be, God will never die, only faith in Him can, and has died, in you Nietzsche. To which Kierkegaard would add, but that’s only my perspective. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche each have views that respond to the issue of faith and the life lived by the individual. Kierkegaard’s view is called the knight of faith and Nietzsche’s called overman. The knight of faith is an individual who has placed complete faith in himself and in God. Kierkegaard argues that the knight of faith is the paradox, is the individual, absolutely nothing but the individual, without connections or pretensions. The knight of faith is the individual who is able to gracefully embrace life. Most people live dejectedly in worldly sorrow and joy; they are the ones who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They make the movements upward, and fall down again; and this too is no mean pastime, nor ungraceful to behold. But whenever they fall down they are not able at once to assume the posture, they vacillate...
Bibliography: The Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Kierkegaard and Fear and Trembling 1.1 (2003).
Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life. Translated, with an introduction, by Peter Preuss. Box 55573, Indianapolis, Indiana 46205: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1980.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Translated and edited, with commentary, by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1974.
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