Philosophy / Kierkegaards Stages Of Life
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Autor: anton 01 November 2010
Words: 684 | Pages: 3
Kierkegaards believed that each individual goes through three stages in their life. The first stage he called The Aesthetic Stage, according to Kierkegaard we are all born into this stage, although this stage can occur at anytime in a person's life. A person, in the aesthetic stage is extremely carefree, basically only thinking of themselves and how they can get the most pleasure out of their life, they have little regard for others, rules, structure, and how their actions may affect anyone else in their life. The goal in their life it basically, eat, drink and be merry, no matter what the cost. The people just want to gain as much pleasure out of their life without causing themself pain. During this stage the person's life has no real sense of direction. But the aesthetic stage may also be found at the end of a person's life, maybe after they have already gone through the ethical stage, and the religious stage. If a person suddenly finds out they only have a very short time to live, they may take on the aesthetic stage of living life for the very moment, and primarily concerned with how much pleasure they can fit into the time that they have left.
The Ethical Stage. During this stage a person "would have the attitude of moral self-sufficiency. Take firm stands on moral questions"(361). A person in this stage has become bored with the aesthetic stage of their life, or maybe has realized their life is not going anywhere and they are now ready to accept some direction and take responsibility for their actions. During the ethical stage a person realizes that there are some limits on life and how far you can go in order to gain pleasure. This person is ready to realize that they need to think about their future and not take as many risks or live life moment to moment. For some this may be a very difficult step to take, as they now take on serious responsibilities in their life. This stage could very easily occur when a person is leaving school and taking their first serious job. All of a sudden they have to learn that their actions and opinions can affect others. After a few years of living the ethical life a person may finally be ready to enter the final stage.
The Religious Stage. Out of all the stages Kierkegaard explains, this one is probably the hardest and maybe even scariest stage for a person to enter, and that is why Kierkegarrds refers to this stage as "a leap of faith" (362). At the religious stage a person is now truly ready to admit that not every situation is in their control, but is in the control of someone much more powerful than us, God, and has to trust God to take care of situations in their life. This is not easy to do, but once you place a situation in God's hands you have to be ready to accept the outcome, and not question the results. Also when a person enters this stage they may be trying to make amends for all the past actions they have done in their life. Just like the aesthetic stage, a person who finds out they only have a short time to live may enter the religious stage, as they are now faced with their own immortality and want to make sure they leave this world happy with themselves and the people close to them.
Every person to some degree, goes through all three stages in their lifetime, and may even go through some of the stages more than once. It is possible for people with addictions to go through the aesthetic and religious stage several times in their life. It is not until a person realizes that the religious stage is the healthiest one for them that they may truly be able to finally overcome the addiction and life fully.
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