About God – 6

June 19, 2010


Kindly read the first post in this series: https://rajeevne.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/about-god-1/

Hegel’s God

Hegel took basics from Kant, but introduced a new term – Relations. He uses this term for explaining every aspect of ethics and philosophy. His basic propositions  were:

  • Every idea is a group of relations. An idea without relations is empty.
  • Of all relations, the contrast or opposition is the most important (e.g. good and evil).
  • Every idea and situation breeds its opposite, and they unite to form a higher and more complex Whole. This synthesis is taking place in every mind perpetually. As a result, nothing is permanent, but in a flux. Hegel took the idea of opposites in positivity – Struggle leads to Growth, Stress leads to Character, Pain leads to Reconstruction and so forth.

See full size image    See full size image    See full size image

  • The truth is a combination of opposites.
  • The task of Philosophy is to discover Unity in Diversity, the task of Ethics is to unify character and conduct, the task of Politics is to unify citizens, the task of religion is to feel and achieve the Absolute that consists of opposites, through unifying.
  • Matter and Mind, Subject and Object, Good and Evil are One and God is the system of relations in which all things move, have their being and their significance.
  • In man, the Absolute rises to self-consciousness and becomes Absolute Idea (that I am part of the Absolute and in harmony with all things).
  • Man’s goal is not Happiness, but achievement, Hegel said, because in his opinion, the periods of Happiness in History did not bring about mankind’s progress and periods of struggle did.

 

Ironically, critics of his time labeled his theory as ‘..a monument to German stupidity…’, a take on Empedocles and Aristotle’s ‘Golden Mean’ and ‘Knowledge of opposites is One’. Further he was called ‘Official Philosopher’ of the state when he denounced his radical followers like Carl Marx, supported the state and chose to live as a ‘Happy Man’, instead of choosing ‘Struggle’.

However, we should read him without bias. His hypotheses about God and Religion did rule Germany during his time and bred Leftist and Rightist Hegelians who carried his basic teachings further although in a radically different fashion.

Picture credit:

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/

Further Reading:

http://www.thur.de/philo/hegel/hegel.htm

Story of philosophy by Will Durant.

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3 Responses to “About God – 6”


  1. I liked Hegel’s line of reasoning.

    • rajeevelkunchwar Says:

      Take your pick. Must have taken a lot of heart to read these.


      • The articles are rather informative, but this line of reasoning really appealed to me. Its good that you’ve made available a primer on each of the thinkers here on your blog.


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