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Fig 5.12 – Dialectic Paradox

Text: Pages 248 and 249

Kierkegaard believed that the more one tried to understand, the less was understood. The more logical one tried to be, the less one comprehended. The more one tried to know God, the less was known. Trying to understand Jesus created a dialectic paradox. Jesus is both God and man who lived 2,000 years ago but still exists. He was a natural being but has supernatural power to transform the physical world through his miracles. The dialectic paradox is that God exists because it cannot be proven objectively.

Kierkegaard was inspired by Gerthold Lessing (1729–1781), the skeptical eighteenth-century philosopher who symbolized the struggle of faith as a “broad ugly ditch” between an individual and faith. Understanding the difficulty of “making the leap” Lessing claimed his legs were too old to try. For Kierkegaard, without a leap of faith there could be no true joy, no true faith, and no true freedom.

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