Kierkegaard's Mindless Masses vs Nietzsche's Simple Sheep


(SeanO) #1

So, @Dave_Kenny has gotten me interested in Kierkegaard.

I did some studying and realized that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard both have a category for the group of people that choose to simply do what the surrounding culture does. However, the solution they propose and the problem they present are different - the solution radically so.


problem: people do not form their own worldviews or question the ‘why’ behind their actions - they are blind slaves to the currents of culture - they are the mindless masses

solution: to become truly human by embracing God’s ‘why’ behind humanity and relating to God through Christ. This act may result in looking outwardly like one of the mindless masses, but inwardly the man is utterly transformed and his decisions conform to God’s will rather than culture.


problem: people blindly follow religious and secular authorities like sheep

solution: to become a class of ruling elite who, by power, dominate the masses - to join the ‘elite’ class who recognizess the foolishness of following gods or authorities

I welcome any thoughts - I am sure I oversimplified both of these very intelligent men’s views.

But I found it quite intriguing how they both recognized that the mass of men do not embrace true humanity.

However, the solution Kierkegaard found in Christ brought humility and resulted in a far more peaceful and humble relation to other people - even those among the mindless masses.


(Dave Kenny) #2

Hi @SeanO

I am almost giddy over here that someone struck up a Kierkegaard thread. I do not want to weigh in too early here… I want to let others have a run!

I will sprinkle in a third name however… perhaps you can find a witty alliterative expression to capture him as well… Karl Marx

Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche are often grouped together as critics of Hegelian philosophy… all three had something very specific to say about the phenomenon of ‘the masses’.

Looking forward to an expanded discussion