Essay on Soren Kierkegaard's Fear And Trembling

Essay on Soren Kierkegaard's Fear And Trembling

Length: 958 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 (...

... middle of paper ...

... 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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Faith in Kierkegaard's Breaking the Waves Essay

- Faith in Kierkegaard's Breaking the Waves In Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, he discusses the "Three Movements to Faith." For Kierkegaard, faith of any kind involves a paradox. This paradox, as well as Kierkegaard's suggested path to faith, is illustrated by the main characters of Breaking the Waves, Bess and Jan. Kierkegaard explains there are steps one can take towards faith; however, they are so difficult he believes only one person, the "Knight of Faith," has completed the movements....   [tags: Kierkegaard Breaking the Waves Essays]

Good Essays
633 words (1.8 pages)

A Call to the Task: The Attunement of Fear and Trembling Essays

- In the “Attunement” of Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, the author produces four beautiful variations on God’s temptation of Abraham in Genesis 22. In each, Abraham fails at his test in some way; even though in each he offers his son, he misses the full movements of philosophy and faith that the true Abraham completed. Each is closed by a brief image of a child being weaned, presumably a metaphor of the past story. Characteristically of Kierkegaard’s non-prescriptive style, we are told that these stories are the way in which a certain man has tried to understand Abraham; we are invited, but not forced, into contemplation of these various stories....   [tags: Literary Review]

Good Essays
1727 words (4.9 pages)

The Chicken or the Egg Essay

- Most have heard the classical paradox of the chicken and the egg. Which came first, the chicken or the egg. The same question can apply to the individual and society. Which comes first. To answer the question, a concept of the individual must be established and the origins of society must be explored. Only then can one compare and contrast their roles in relation to the other. Two revolutionary thinkers, Soren Kierkegaard and Bertolt Brecht, will give their arguments of opposition to try to determine whether the power between society and the individual is pulled in one particular direction than the other....   [tags: Soren Kierkegaard, Bertolt Brecht]

Good Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein Essay

- Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein The connections between Ludwig Wittgenstein and Soren Kierkegaard as philosophers are not at all immediately obvious. On the surface, Wittgenstein deals with matters concerning the incorrect use of philosophical language and Kierkegaard focuses almost exclusively on answering the question 'how to become a Christian'. But this account belies deeper structural similarities between these men's important works. Thus, this paper suggests that their methods, rather than exclusively content, contain a strong parallel on which a natural and hopefully fruitful examination of their work can be based....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
2160 words (6.2 pages)

The, Faith, And Community Essay

- Kiergard, Faith, and Community What is faith. What is Christian Community. How does the work of 19th-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard play into these packed topics . Even though many see Kierkegaard as a critic of Christianity his piece “fear and trembling” provides us with deep insight as to what the calling of faith is for the individual. As for community, Kierkegaard does not directly speak to the topic and its relationship to faith. For some, community means Sunday morning services, for others it can be a deeper calling to live in close relation with those who share a Christian identity....   [tags: Jesus, Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard]

Good Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Kierkegaard's Fear And Trembling

- Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling What is a human person. How do human beings relate to God. Who am I. Why do I exist. I. Soeren Kierkegaard, a famous theologian of the 19th Century, wrote Fear and Trembling in 1843 in response to Hegelianism. Kierkegaard takes on the pseudonymous role of Jonannes de Silentio and speaks on modern peoples' attitudes toward doubt and faith. He believes humans are creatures entrenched in reason and doubt but not in the same sense as Descartes, a French mathematician, scientist and philosopher....   [tags: Soeren Kierkegaard]

Good Essays
1641 words (4.7 pages)

Faith in Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard Essay

- Kierkegaard believes that true faith can only be attained through a double movement of giving up rationality or logic, while at the same time believing one can understand logically. In “Fear and Trembling” Kierkegaard relates true faith to the Knight of infinite resignation and the Knight of faith; in this paper, I will examine this claim and show why Kierkegaard’s analogy is an excellent metaphor for the double movement which is required in one’s quest to attain faith and why. Kierkegaard’s position on faith is represented with the Knight of infinite resignation and the Knight of faith....   [tags: Faith Literary Analysis]

Good Essays
2216 words (6.3 pages)

Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard Essay

- The Moment and Inwardness I. Introduction In The Concept of Anxiety, S�ren Kierkegaard deals with human anxiety about the possibility posed by freedom as it relates to sinfulness and spiritual progress. This paper will show that Kierkegaard?s concept of the moment and his prescription for inwardness, both in the context of spirituality, are connected. Importantly, inwardness depends on the moment and the possibility of transition that does not take place in time, transition that seems sudden if spotted from a temporal perspective....   [tags: Philosophy Soren Kierkegaard]

Good Essays
1753 words (5 pages)

Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard Essay

-   In the book Fear and Trembling the constant use of “I”, “me”, “my”, and “you” is the way that Nothomb tries to convey to the reader how the Japanese actually go against their claim of being a collective society. Nothomb reveals, through tone, the hypocrisy of the Japanese via characterization in order to illustrate that individualism is present in every society. There are three key Japanese characters that Amélie encounters that help prove (find a better word) this point. Fubuki • SELFISH-LIKE TONE In the collective society of Japan there is a certain stigma about women like Fubuki that set them apart....   [tags: notromb, individualism, society]

Free Essays
524 words (1.5 pages)

Kierkegaards View on Faith Essay

- Kierkegaards View on Faith Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher in the mid 1800s. He is known to be the father of existentialism and was at least 70 years ahead of his time. Kierkegaard set out to attack Kant’s rational ethics and make attacks on the Christianity of our day. He poses the question, how do we understand faith. He states that faith equals the absurd. In “Fear and Trembling”, he uses the story of Abraham and his son Isaac to show an example of faith as the absurd. The story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac signifies a break in the theory that ethics and religion go hand in hand....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Good Essays
1037 words (3 pages)