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06-05-08 Paper 2 - 1 2588 Prof Peters Philosophy of Human...

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1 2588 Prof. Peters Philosophy of Human Nature 8 May 2006 Earnestness and Mood Death is an inevitable incident that occurs once in everyone’s life. It cannot be avoided and is usually uncertain when it will happen. Death is like an alarm that goes off in the mind used as a reminder that life is precious. When something is lost, true feelings about the object or person are displayed. According to Kierkegaard, death is a hiding or resting place where one goes to sleep in the darkness of the night. These mitigated notions of death serve as Kierkegaard’s endorsement of earnestness, or seriousness, and rejection of mood, or avoidance of reality. He believes that people should hold everything as if it will not last forever because this will make every cherished moment better than avoiding the truth. Augustine’s Confessions and Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich are two works to which Kierkegaard would apply his ideas about the passing away of friends regarding both earnestness and mood. Kierkegaard believes that death is a serious thing that should not be taken lightly. Once death occurs, everything ends and any mishaps cannot be fixed in the afterlife. He thinks that things should be taken for their true value and that life should be treated with awareness because death can be a sneaky phenomenon at times. Kierkegaard embraces earnestness as his view of death because he sees it as being stern and severe. “Death, however, has this power; it does not dabble with the decision as if there were still a little left over; it does not chase after the decision as the living person does – it carries it out in
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2 earnest” (“At a Graveside” 78). The seriousness of death is based on the fact that nothing lasts forever and acknowledging this reality makes it easier in the future to deal with such tragic events that can lead to a loss of life.
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