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Death Is A Certainty Of Every Human Life

Better Essays
Katie Liu
Professor Evans
Existentialism
09 March 2017
Self-Reliant Salvation Death is a certainty of every human life. Brought on by old age and sickness, death is a major fear throughout the lifetime of many people. In the modern day, death is often seen as the penultimate end to existence. However, Soren Kierkegaard, in Sickness Unto Death, claims that there is everlasting life after death. Thus, rather than fearing death itself, one should fear the state of Despair. Kierkegaard defines this Despair as an imbalance within the human self or identity that prevents the individual from reaching everlasting life. This state of Despair is a universal, defining component of what it means to be a human. Although seemingly hopeless, the state
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Thus, the Despair that stems from this conflict is also continual, existing along with and parallel to the individual. For a more concrete example of how Despair manifests itself, one can turn to Kierkegaard’s other writings. For instance, in “Either,” the aesthete lives almost purely in the finite world, absorbed with the fleeting amusements in life. On the other hand, the ethical in “Or” lives in an infinite world of moral principle. At the same time, neither the aesthete nor the ethical judge are fully immersed in their respective worlds, because they are human. Thus, they are a relationship between the infinite and the finite. Both individuals have elements of each aspect in their lives, no matter how imbalanced. If “there is not a single human being who does not despair a little,” there is also not a single human being who only despairs (52). However, these individuals still falsely relate the content of the self, or their identity, to either just the finite or just the infinite, and therefore they fail to be truly self-conscious and remain in a stage of false relation. To be human is to be in despair, and to be in despair is to be human. They are two interconnected, inseparable identities. Humans are inherently self-conscious and reflective beings, but to be completely conscious of self, one has to understand the condition of self. The human, as a relation
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