Kierkegaard on the qualification of untruth

“There is one view in life that holds that wherever the multitude is, there too, is the truth—that truth itself needs to have the multitude on its side. There is another view of life that holds that wherever the multitude is, there is untruth, so that even if every individual, silently and separately, possessed the truth, nonetheless, if they assembled in a multitude (in such a way that the multitude had any sort of decisive, electoral, noisy, audible significance), then untruth would immediately be present.”

Søren Kierkegaard

Source: The Quotable Kierkegaard edited by Gordon Marino, p.143. Appropriated from Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks, Bruce H. Kirmmse, General Editor. Vols.1-6. Princeton University Press, 2007-12.

I’m not so sure I really need to say anything more about this particular quote of Kierkegaard’s––just that I find it very relevant to the current political atmosphere here in the US. Why is it that people will too often forgo their own deepest values and beliefs in order to go along with the crowd? This has been a far too common occurrence throughout human history. Do I need to recall WWII Germany to press this point? Or, should I simply recall last night’s national news?

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