Script:Soren Kierkegaard was a 19th-century Danish philosopher who is widely considered to be the pioneer of the existentialist movement. Kierkegaard primarily focused on concepts like despair, anxiety, and freedom, however, he is one of the only existentialist philosophers to connect its ideas with Christianity. Kierkegaard saw faith and God not as a matter of gathering evidence-based observations but rather as a subjective matter, something that must be experienced to understand. To Kierkegaard, religious faith shouldn’t be proving or disproving that God exists, since the certainty of knowing are components of the objective view of truth which in itself contradicts religious faith. In his book Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard begins writing about ‘Knights of Faith’, who simply believe that God exists and place their entire existence in that belief, even against all the reasons to doubt it. The key word there is ‘belief’ as what separates a Knight of Faith from a religious fanatic is that a zealot would claim to know God exists as if it was an objective truth, an attitude Kierkegaard believes proves a lack of genuine faith. He writes “We do not judge you for doubting, for doubt is a crafty passion” and suggests that doubt does not undermine faith, but is integral to its power as a subjective matter. Throughout his life, Kierkegaard continuously criticized the Church of Denmark, which was controlled by the state, as he believed the state was using Christianity as a means for control and power by forcing it on the masses. He found this offensive and contradictory to Christianity’s doctrine, which to Kierkegaard was the importance of the individual. In one of his writings called The Moment, he even goes as far to say that this abuse of power “reduces Christianity to a mere fashionable tradition adhered to by unbelieving “believers”, a “herd mentality” of the population, so to speak”.The anxiety or dizziness of freedom is something that can be seen more than ever today, as anxiety rates are higher than ever. We have an incredible amount of information constantly at our fingertips, which can easily become overwhelming. We’re given life-changing choices like choosing high school classes that can determine our future professions from such a young age, it’s honestly no surprise that anxiety has become rampant. Kierkegaard’s work tells us that anxiety (or dread or angst) stems from freedom,One of Kierkegaard darker concepts is his work on angst, also referred to as dread or anxiety. In his analysis of angst in his book The Concept of Anxiety, he writes “to exist is to be in a state of dread” making it clear that Kierkegaard saw this angst as a basic part of life. He explains the reason for this as humans having a desire for what we fear and a fear for what we desire. In the same book Kierkegaard uses the example of a man standing at the edge of a cliff who experiences a focused fear of falling, but at the same time, feels an impulse to throw himself off the cliff. That experience is dread because of the freedom we have to choose to either jump or not. The mere fact that one has the freedom to do something, as extreme as killing themselves, triggers immense feelings of dread which Kierkegaard dubs the “dizziness of freedom.” As he explored the subject of despair in his book The Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard writes that there is a dark side to our desires. On one level of despair, people unhappy with themselves may desire to be someone else. But on the lowest level of despair, one desires their own despair and destruction.Kierkegaard’s writings on despair can be applied to people suffering from addictions. To quote his description of the lowest level of despair from The Sickness Unto Death “He finds himself in despair, understands he is in despair, seeks some way to alleviate it, and yet no help is forthcoming. The self-becomes hardened against any form of help and even if God in heaven and all the angels offered him aid, he would not want it.” From an outside perspective, understanding how addictions develop is often difficult, however, Kierkegaard’s lowest level of despair shows a striking similarity to how people with addictions may feel. One of the primary causes of addiction are external problems or unhappiness, and the person turns to unhealthy behaviours as a way to alleviate painful feelings. If their unhappiness or problems are not resolved, they will continue to abuse the unhealthy behaviour eventually resulting in an addiction, and at that point, treatment becomes much more difficult and is often resisted. Kierkegaard continues by writing that people in this lowest level not only are aware of it but they revel in their despair, which can also be linked to people who are aware of their addiction but refuse to get help or support. One concept present throughout a lot of Kierkegaard’s work was the idea of subjective truth. While objective truth can be seen in science or mathematics, some things in life must be experienced firsthand before they can appear as a truth, a term he calls subjective truths. Kierkegaard believed that most of life’s important truths were subjective rather than objective, a product of individual experience rather than practical observation. In (his book with an incredibly long title) Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, he uses death as an example of comparing both forms of truth. From an objective perspective, we as human know that all human die, therefore we will eventually die too. To understand mortality as a subjective truth we have to experience how death runs through every moment of our lives, a much more personally challenging way to view death than simply accepting it as an objective truth.By combining Kierkegaard’s work on Christian existentialism with his studies on subjectivity, one can apply the information to many societal conflicts. Most notably, the relentless disputes between secular scientific beliefs and their religious counterpart. As Kierkegaard’s work tells us, the dispute is rooted in differences in people’s personal perception on which truth, either objective or subjective, matters to them. When debating an issue as divisive as the existence of god it’s near impossible to change the minds of people on either side because it’s an issue rooted in experience. This becomes even more complicated when people begin trying to prove God’s existence or claim to know God’s existence as a fact, though that objective view of truth is not what religious faith is about. Kierkegaard would likely criticize many of the Christians who constantly engage in arguments proving the existence of God, responding to them by saying doubt is an integral part of Christianity as one must provide the entire weight of their existence in believing that God exists. Kierkegaard’s analysis of Christian existentialism is quite sensible, however, and if both sides adapt his ideologies this long-standing dispute could finally be resolved.