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PHI 105 Week 3 Assignment - Letter to a European Philosopher

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Letter to a European Philosopher 1
Letter to a European Philosopher
Josh Gorban

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Letter to a European Philosopher 2
To: Soren Kierkegaard
Dear Sir,
I am writing this letter to express my thoughts and opinions regarding your work. I
would first like to thank you for all that you have offered to the science of
philosophy. I have learned a great deal through studying your work.
I understand that you have a strong belief in God. You have written that belief in
God and putting Him before any other commitment in your life is of the utmost
importance because this is the only way to escape dread and despair (Moore &
Bruder, 2008, p. 168). I disagree with this concept because I do not believe that
dread and despair are the direct result of not having faith in God. It is important to
love God and to have faith in his love in return, but I believe that a God-fearing
person can still live with sadness and hopelessness. My faith in God is important
during troubled times in my life, but I think that having God as my only friend and
comforter would breed isolation, which would ultimately lead to sorrow and
misery. You walked away from your engagement to Ms. Regine Olsen because
you proclaimed God as your first love (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p. 168). Do you
not think that you deserve the love, happiness, and prosperity that God wishes for
all His children? The loss of the woman you love may be the cause of the despair
you so vividly speak of.
Life can be filled with suffering, fear, and dread if allowed. Dread, being the worst
to you, is resistible in my opinion (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p. 167). With wisdom
and positive thoughts, we can turn dread into rational thought, which can help
bring us out of the darkness. God gives us the will to save ourselves from despair.
When I am depressed or feel lost, I try to rationalize my feelings and make the
conscious decision to heal myself.
You define three types of life: 1) aesthetic, 2) ethical, and 3) religious. You
describe the religious type of life to be at a “higher and more difficult plane”
(Moore & Bruder, 2008, p. 168) than aesthetic and ethical. Once again, you relate
the religious aspect of life to agony and despair as well as salvation. While I
understand the significance that making important choices plays in a human’s life,
I see all aspects of life requiring such choices. I find life to be a difficult and a
daily challenge, but I thank God daily for the life He has given me and gladly face
every daily challenge with courage.
Sir, I am more than certain of your great intelligence; however, I find your
introspect to be much too extreme for my understanding and attribute this to either

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Letter to a European Philosopher 3
a psychological condition or a lifetime of negative experiences that created
negative perceptions of life; possibly both.
Again, I would like to thank you for helping to raise my awareness of ideas and
experiences different from my own. I only hope that you do not misunderstand my
thoughts and arguments and can possibly use them to raise your awareness of ideas
other than your own. I would like to think that I gave you a bit of insight into the
joyful and hopeful aspects of life.
Respectfully,
Josh Gorban
References
Moore, B. N., Bruder, K. (2008). Philosophy: The Power of Ideas (5th ed.). New
York. McGraw-Hill.

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