Essay on Soren Kierkegaard's Fear And Trembling

Essay on Soren Kierkegaard's Fear And Trembling

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How does the individual assure himself that he is justified? In Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, Abraham, found in a paradox between two ethical duties, is confronted with this question. He has ethical duties to be faithful to God and also to his son, Isaac. He believes that God demands him to sacrifice Isaac. But, Abraham, firmly adhering to his faith, submitted to what he believed was the will of God. By using his perspective and that of his alternative guise, Johannes de Silentio, Kierkegaard concentrates on the story of Abraham in such a way that his audience must choose between two extremes. Either Abraham is insane or he is justified in saying he will kill Isaac.
Is Abraham's decision to sacrifice Isaac faith or murder? According to Kierkegaard, an action is "to be judged by the outcome (Kierkegaard, 91)." One has to know the whole story before choosing a side to support. In Abraham's story, Isaac is not sacrificed. God appears to Abraham and tells him that he can sacrifice an animal instead of his son. In continuation, Kierkegaard shows that a hero, whom has become a skándalon to his generation and is aware that he is in the middle of an incomprehensible paradox, will cry out defiantly to his contemporaries, "The future will show I was right (Kierkegaard, 91)." According to Kierkegaard, those who talk and think like him live secure in their existence. They have a solid position because they understand that everything can only be judged by the end result. These people can be seen as sure prospects in a well-ordered state. "Their lifework is to judge the great, to judge them according to the outcome (Kierkegaard, 91)."
Surely a man who possesses a little erectior ingenii is justified in his actions (...


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... he is not justified by anything universal, but precisely by being a single individual and having faith, over ethics, in God.
In conclusion, Abraham is shown to be justified; he is not a murderer. In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard wrote that "the future will show I was right (Kierkegaard, 91)." Well, Abraham was proven to be right by the result. He does not kill Isaac; he is not insane. Trying to see the whole picture, one can see that Abraham's story is a consolation. It is not about Abraham. Rather, it is about God and forgetting about Abraham so one can see God. Remember, Kierkegaard shows that faith is above the universal. This is the idea that the reader can ponder. Still, people are always allowed to have their own opinions. However, Kierkegaard tries to show that nobody can judge another until the result can be seen. The end does justify the means.

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