Jun 1, 2008

'The bad Infinite' vs. 'the good Infinite'

The principal objection, the total objection to the natural sciences, can formally be expressed simply and definitely like this: It is unthinkable that it could occur to a human being who has reached a conclusion about himself as a spirit in relation to eternity, to choose physical science (with its empirical material) as a field for his efforts.

....That a physicist has a consciousness goes without saying, he has a consciousness within the circumscribed scope of his talent, perhaps he has amazing acumen, a gift of combination, almost a conjuror's knack for idea-associations, and so on. But at the very maximum it amounts to this: such an eminent talent, this absolutely uniquely gifted man is able to explain Nature, but does not understand his own self! He does not become transparent to himself in regard to his spiritual destiny, to the ethical guidance of his talent, etc.

But this state of affairs is nothing but scepticism, as is easily seen (for scepticism is this: that an unknown quantity, some 'X', can explain everything. But when everything is explained through an 'X' which is not explained, then in toto nothing is explained, nothing at all. If this is not scepticism, then it is superstition.)

— Soren Kierkegaard

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