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The Absurdity of UFOs: A Philosophical Underpinning

Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:01
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The “great” philosopher Søren Kierkegaard [1813-1855] was nuts; slightly schizophrenic as I see it.
A new book about him Kierkegaard: Exposition and Critique by Daphne Hampson [Oxford University Press] is reviewed by Peter E. Gordon (the Amabel Professor of History at Harvard) appears in the November 10th, 2016 issue of The New York Review of Books: Kierkegaard’s Rebellion [Page 21 ff.].
The review lists many of Kierkegaard’s works, published under his proffered pseudonyms; e.g., Vigilius Haufniensis, Johannes de Silentio,Anti-Climacus, and Hilarius Bookbinder.
(Like internet avatars, such attributions by people bespeak a schizoid personality, no matter how cute or witty one thinks their usage to be. See various categories of pseudo-inspired mental malfunctions in the Psychiatric Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Hinsie/Campbell, Page 597 ff.)
What trips up Kierkegaard for me is his antipathy, as Professor Gordon writes, of Hegel’s philosophical plea(s) for reason, as the necessary arbiter of human ethics and morality.
The example cited in the review by Professor Gordon is Kierkegaard’s defense of Abraham in his (Kierkegaard’s) Fear and Trembling: A Dialectical Lyric, thought by Professor Gordon to be Kierkegaard’s “most famous work.”  [Page 22, NYRB]
Kierkegaard extols Abraham’s willingness to kill his son Isaac at the command of God: the “Akedah” of the Hebrew Bible (your Old Testament).
The magnificent Renaissance painter Caravaggio’s work The Sacrifice of Isaac [1602] pictures the alleged Biblical event:
Kierkegaard writes that Abraham is obeying a command that supersedes reason; the acceptance of a divine calling that, for most of us, shows the barbarism of God and Abraham’s willingness to go along with that barbarism, noted by Professor Gordon in a listing of others who took and take issue with Kierkegaard’s obtuse reasoning.
(For me, Abraham hearing God asking him to sacrifice Isaac is a classic example of hallucinatory schizophrenia, with which Kierkegaard would identify, himself afflicted likewise.)
Now, what does this have to do with UFOs, you ask….
Those who see (or saw) flying saucers/UFOs, and especially those who had encounters with “beings” that debarked from them and sometimes interacted with those “witnesses,” had a delusion not unlike that of Hebrew/Islamic Patriarch Abraham.
Abraham’s delusion was of a significant kind whereas UFO witnesses’ delusions are of a lesser kind, pretty much, but still delusional in essence.
The sine qua non of such delusions is their absurdity. They appear to be ludicrous on the face of it, and they are. They come from addled minds.
Surely such madness seems rare, but it isn’t. There is a proficient core of such absurdities in everyday life (something I deal with at another blog).
Even UFO sightings, with many attendant witnesses or more than one, can be explained psychiatrically by variations in the folie à …categories.
Kierkegaard’s philosophy is housed (based) in his personal mental malfeasances, as one can see by reading about his life and struggles with everyday commitments and exigencies, just like those of the common man or woman who thinks they see a UFO or have contact with flying saucer beings.
(And don’t get me started again with purported UFO abductees/experiencers.)
RR – The UFO Iconoclast(s)


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  • Fokofpoes

    From what I have seen, most (if not all) great philosophers (and before you “scientists” get all uppity, remember what your work derives from) were somewhat lunatic, schizophrenic or otherwise “insane” and certainly not normal, not homogenous.

    Though, the article is an interesting reversal of the apparent support. Dedicated skeptic, so to say?

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