Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard
exclaims that “dread is… the most egoistic thing” (Kierkegaard,
105). He provides this insight on human
subjectivity and freedom to evaluate the realities of man. As revealed in the
Genesis creation story Kierkegaard explains human freedom leaves the individual
responsible for their own conscious actions. As Adam felt guilty after eating
the forbidden fruit, all humans will feel such a way when doing wrong as a
precondition founded in this original sin. Kierkegaard explains that freedom of
this kind, for example where God allows Adam to have a choice, leaves man left
to his own devices. This subsequently causes the individual to be mindful and
make their choices for action with self-interest. Dread pertains then to the feelings
one has about their personal experience of the reality of existence.
Kierkegaard never separates the individual from his emotional states. Conclusively, as individuals are concerned
with their own freedom and responsibility for a said freedom they may be
considered egocentric or self-seeking. As Kierkegaard calls dread
“egoistic”, he means that the idea of dread is based on the free and
conscious choices one makes about their life. Thus, this
life is egoistic because self-interest is the main objective of all action.
Every conscious action the individual makes is then governed by the anxiety of
responsibility for existence. The human condition centered on the freedom of
choice involves apprehension in action which may be exciting but it also involves
a negative anxiety one wishes to eliminate.
examines that dread is the individual experience related to the subjectivity of
existence. Therefore, for any individual to be subjectively involved in their
own reasoning and beliefs, they must be self-inflicted in action or egoistic.
Then, the only way to harbour dread is to partake in matters that pertain to a
crowd credence. To remove the egoistic part one must partake in actions
ultimately objective to group involvement. One may eliminate the feeling of
dread by no longer being self- inflicted but comprehensive in society’s general