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Soren Kierkegaard
1813 - 1855

Danish religious philosopher and critic of rationalism (Hegel et al), sometimes regarded as the founder of existentialist philosophy


Click here for an essay by Soren Kierkegaard
The established order continues, but our reflection and passionlessness finds its satisfaction in ambiguity. No person wishes to destroy the power of the king, but if little by little it can be reduced to nothing but a fiction, then everyone would cheer the king. No person wishes to pull down the pre-eminent, but if at the same time pre-eminence could be demonstrated to be a fiction, then everyone would be happy. No person wishes to abandon Christian terminology, but they can secretly change it so that it doesn't require decision or action. And so they are unrepentant, since they have not pulled down anything. People do not desire any more to have a strong king than they do a hero-liberator than they do religious authority, for they innocently wish the established order to continue, but in a reflective way they more or less know that the established order no longer continues.

1846 - from The Present Age
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.