Question: Explain higher immediacy by contrasting it with the ethical and the aesthetic. Higher immediacy or religious faith is the most important achievement made by person because only faith offers an individual to have a chance to become a'true self'. Self is what is done throughout life which God judges for infinity. Consequently, humans have a huge responsibility because those decided choices in life constitute the eternal salvation or damnation. Withthe religious faith, the ethical and aesthetic are needed to form it, that is why they can not be the same. 'Faith itself cannot be mediated into the universal, for it would thereby be destroyed.' (p.
69) To arrive in the position of religious faith, the ethical must first be accepted, and a commitment must be made to choose the ethical and step away from the aesthetic. The ethical, the universal, is what decides what is good and what is evil. These traits are not decided upon by society, however. They are dependent of God and God decides what is good and evil and His definition would outrank any human definition, so humans are constantly in sin. There has to be a recognition of a duty to a higher being, not to just social norms. For example, in the case of Abraham, his actions could have been very irrational and wrong if there was no belief in the religious faith.
It is something that must be decided on by the individual, to believe that Abraham was legitimate in obeying God or not. That is was what must be decided as a matter of religious faith. Abraham's 'ethical relation is reduced to a relative position contrast with the absolute relation to God.' (p. 69). If Abraham's actions were ethically analyzed, it would seem he hated Isaac because he killed him. But since faith is not in the ethical, 'by its paradoxical opposition to his love for God, made his act a sacrifice.' (p 71).
Then you have the aesthetic, which is the lowest immediacy because there is no order and order is needed for a structured life. The aesthetic is not away to live because there is no conscience, or moral sense, where you have that in the ethical and the religious. Living in the moment is bad, selfish and egotistic. In the aesthetic, one is always striving to transform the boring into something interesting for one's own selfish reasons...
In higher immediacy, you already have the sense of completeness and are not striving for self-satisfaction. The aesthetic avoids commitment and responsibility, whereas in the religious, you have the defining commitment and you a recommitted to it for life. The part of aesthetics needed in the religious stage in the imagination aspect and the infinite possibilities involved in the religious stage. This aesthetic stage fails to acknowledge one's social debt and communal existence in the world. Whereas in the religious, the you are always looking to God, and doing all you can to be the best you can and you pay more attention to the social debts.