Soren Kierkegaard, the father of Existentialism, developed ideas that spanned the entire breadth of modern philosophy. He was a Danish philosopher in the 1800’s and his attitudes regarding human suffering and why it exists can be compared to the religion of Christianity. According to Kierkegaard, human Suffering is one of the most important parts of human life. In every human life a lot of suffering occurs and as a result human beings resort to love to deal with these sufferings. Soren Kierkegaard believes that the true love of god is the essence of religious faith. However, although love is used to deal with human suffering, it can also create and increase suffering causing the situation to be more complex and painful (Moeinikorbekand, 2011).
Most of Kierkegaard’s work involved Christian ethics however he was against conventional Christianity. He believed that truth is subjective and not objective. He believed that morality and religious beliefs could not be founded on reason and that faith was irrational and could not be proved (Gaarder, 1994). Christianity drills into the heads of its adherent’s, that God is ‘real’. In Christianity God’s existence is extremely important. The Bible begins with the statement,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
This basic tenant that humanity and the earth are the work of God directly confirms that if one exist so must the other. Christians use this fact as proof of God’s existence. Kierkegaard however feels differently. He takes a faith based approach to existentialism. According to Kierkegaard by trying to prove God’s existence one loses religious passion. Therefore unlike Christianity it does not matter whether something is ‘true’ but whether it is true to the individual.
Kierkegaard talks about the importance of taking a fully committed approach to religious questions. He criticises Christianity and feels that there is a lack of religious commitment. He believes that believing that Christianity is ‘true’ is not enough and that in order to have Christian faith one must follow the Christian way of life. He said, “If I am capable of grasping God objectively; I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe” (Raeper. Et al, 1991). Kierkegaard recommends the ‘Leap of Faith’. Kierkegaard’s Leap of Faith represents becoming a committed Christian by making a leap of faith. Human existence means having the freedom to choose who you are and thus living a life of commitment. The leap of faith is the act of having faith in something without empirical evidence (Raeper. Et al, 1991).
Thinking can turn toward itself in order to think about itself and here scepticism can emerge. But this thinking about it never accomplishes anything” (Reilly, 2013).