I. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are two very well-known philosophers, with strong views on how to be an individual. Although both philosophers had religious up bringing’s their views on religion and how to be an individual could not be more different. Both philosophers found great fault in religion but their methods of confronting this issue are polar opposite. Through the rejection of religion Nietzsche poses a better conception of the self, while Kierkegaard states that only through religion will one find them self.
II. Nietzsche purposes in order to be an authentic individual ones morals and values must come from within you, and not from some higher institution, in this case God. To Nietzsche you can never really be an individual if you believe in religion. Nietzsche finds that finding your morals in religion leads to what he calls the “herd mentality”. Nietzsche states “By means of morality, individuals are led to be functions of the herd and to attribute value to themselves merely as functions” (EBW 138). By getting our morals from religion we follow a preset standard of what is right and wrong, when those standards should really come from within us and not the ideas of others. In doing so one becomes a superman, someone who has the will power to reject traditional values and trust what they know to be true inside them. III. Contrary to Nietzsche’s belief Kierkegaard believes that to be an individual one must find their self through religion. Kierkegaard says “To become a Christian in Christendom means either to become what one is (the inwardness of reflection or to become inward through reflection)” (EDS 87). One must make the conscious decision to believe in religion, and make a leap of faith. God created us so therefore God is a part of us. In order to ever really know ourselves we must first know God. Such devotion allows one’s self-identity to remain firm and without this external pillar of faith man would be in despair with no basis for the construction of self-identity. Although Kierkegaard strongly believes in this he does not mean religion now in days, but rather religion of the Old Testament, that is not clouded with propaganda of religion, but focuses on one’s relationship and faith in God. IV. Instead of living your life for religion Nietzsche says one must live their life for themselves. The self is created through our experiences and our actions. In order to be a complete self we must accept everything we have done and be willing “to live it once more and countless times more. And there will be nothing new