Kierkegaard's Foul Choice
Jesus Christ's Golden Rule and Kant's Categorical Imperative are flawed in design. These systems roughly say "Treat others how you'd want rational people to treat you", however if you systematise the treatment of others into conditional logic, such as "If the person is fat, disrespect them. Otherwise, respect them" you can from this very simply justify the killing fields of Cambodia- as such theological understandings of following the word of God, Kierkegaard's "Or"... following the ethical life is undermined, and what you have left is the requirement of religious faith! In the Book of Job, Job's friends try to justify Job's diseases and sickness as a sign from God for him being evil- but such theological understandings of God don't follow. As they say, God acts in mysterious ways, requiring faith, and unto this faith Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac is one of the original leaders of great faithfulness. Thus, we can discard the Categorical Imperative as it is a theological approach to God- a theological approach that breaks down under scripture. Jesus' Golden Rule doesn't quite break down, as Mathew 7:12 states "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.". This applies it in a universal approach, but this universality of treatment itself also suffers issues, as how would one define universal treatment? Kicking a perfectly able man, is quite different from kicking a child- and the context too will never be perfectly equal and perfectly universal just by the very nature of the world.
It is simple to say Religious Faith is difficult, it discards universal morality as demonstrated in Abraham's Sacrifice, and it discards reasoning about God. The ethical man deriving his ethics from scripture- but even in this it suffers. Consider Pascal's Wager, that fallacious terrible wager, it embeds assumptions about God, his goodness and the domain of the metaphysical, but inside of it there is no way to prove that version of the metaphysical is true- what makes it more true than the Norse Gods? The Hindu Gods? The countably infinite number of various metaphysical entities, domains and results? It is from this, you have no grounds to your stake, yet you must make it- lest you take Kierkegaard's "Either". His Aesthetic approach to life, that dark, twisted and malign view of the world.
Under the Aesthetic is all views of the world material- slave morality, master morality, Übermenschen outlooks, Hedonism- even the irrational and emotion-driven artistic approaches of Clockwork Orange's Alex. When the ethics are discarded, all that remains is power, and power sets justice. When the ethics are discarded this justice can be of a particular opinion good, bad or neutral- but you have no grounds to assert this if you draw your ethics from scripture. Let us now address an alternative to scripture for our ethics. Darwin's approach is that universal morality descends from some element in our biology. Stealing and murder are generally condemned across all nations as antisocial behaviours, but then doesn't this serve the hedonistic approach of a group? Hedonism being the minimisation of pains, and the maximisation of pleasures. Yes, it seems that our universal morality this way is just an extension of aesthetics as applied to groups. This goes so far as to Nietzsche's genealogy of morals... the Slave and Master- all aesthetic, though I would argue morality goes back much further than the Slave and Masters he points at with the Romans and Christians.
The Aesthetic! Or the Religious Zealot! And no grounds to make either choice. If you refuse, we know plenty well you are an Aesthetic man, a hedonistic man who is uncomfortable with the knowledge of how ethics and morality are as Stirner would call it "Phantasms of the mind". Indeed, you are an ego unto itself and you must act on a choice, a choice that is entirely irrational no matter how you would split it. And those crushed by this realisation, those fence-sitters pulled back to their proper sphere, they would flirt with Nihilism, Absurdism, Existentialism- all these refusals of embracing the aesthetic or embracing the faith. Their crushing realisation that they feel from the sickly ambrosia of Internet, leaves a waxing spirit.
As much as I believe in the existence of one God, the Christian God- I do not deny I lack absolute unthinking faith. Though my aesthetic faith of Jesus, perhaps I'll be granted paradise- the aesthetics of my life being something I mold day by day in accordance to my shifting tastes, as I adopt and discard values that suit me better. Let us not forget Original Sin presents us knowledge from which to divorce our heartstrings from The Lord- what a foul choice you have to make, I do not envy your position dear reader, above a sea of fog...