Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kirkegaard's Ducks

The Danish philosopher Soren Kirkegaard wrote a story of a little town of ducks. Every Sunday the ducks waddle out of their houses and waddle down Main Street to their church. They waddle into the sanctuary and sit in their proper pews. The duck choir waddles in and takes it place, then the duck minister comes forward and opens the duck Bible (Ducks, like all other creatures on earth, seem to have their own special version of the Scriptures.) He reads to them: “Ducks! God has given you wings! With wings you can fly! With wings you can mount up and soar like eagles.” Well the ducks start going nuts and quacking “AMEN!” and “PREACH! PREACH!” 

The Duck pastor continues “No walls can confine you! No fences can hold you! You have wings. God has given you wings and you can fly like birds!” All ducks are beside themselves and are in a frenzy. After the service, the told the duck pastor how this was the best sermon ever… And then they all waddled home.


Sabio Lantz said...

We raised ducks. You're not makin' fun of ducks by equating them to dumb humans, are you? (smile)

I wanted to name my son "Soren" after Kirkegaard but my wife thought it too weird. I love the story of how Soren broke up with his girlfriend -- is that apocryphal -- ah, heck, it has mythic truth even if it is !
Fun post. AMEN

Al said...


Sabio,you'll have to tell the story about the breakup. Or maybe I'll just have to research it!

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Al
Here is a link where the story resides.

This story came up in my "Christian Ethics" course when I was at Wheaton College. It was made clear in that course that the Bible offers no clear Meta-ethical system. In this story we see the deontological vs. consequentialist theories -- though I don't think these two are mutually exclusive.

In Tibetan Buddhism this may be called skilled means -- a way of accomplishing a higher goal with apparently lesser methods.

It is the perennial question, "Is lying always wrong."

Anonymous said...

I love parables - and this is a good one. I like how it mimics current Christian ideas about what happens in the church with the inspirational ideas they are hearing - like by hearing it they are not hearing it all.