Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing by Søren Kierkegaard

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Themes

Goodness

Kierkegaard's sermon insists that goodness is inherent in all people, and that all life paths point towards Good (though some routes are a lot more complicated than others). Kierkegaard is so insistent that all people contain inherent good that he doesn't believe that anyone can truly be bad; he refers to these people instead as "double-minded," which means they are torn between their inherent goodness and the temptations of earthly pleasures. Kierkegaard doesn't necessarily believe that the inherent Good is easy to find, though. He believes that many people push away this goodness actively, and that many others are misled.

Earthly Existence Compared to Eternity

Kierkegaard sees that sometimes people might point themselves toward things that are not good because they are mistaken, or because they are ambivalent and simply desire earthly pleasures instead. For this second group, he invokes the age-old reminders that riches, social standing, and pleasurable moments and memories can't be taken with someone when they die. He urges that people recognize the...

(The entire section is 358 words.)