Wednesday, February 25, 2009

suspension of the ethical

As we keep reading we find Abraham is in even more of an impossible, amazing, completely baffling, state. When looking at Abrahams relation to the ethical Kierkegaard chooses to point to a few tragic heroes to show why Abraham is not a tragic hero. A tragic hero does what he/she does because it is believed to be what is the ethical, while sad and hard to do it is still the ethical. Thus for the tragic hero it is a battle between the ethical that brings great sorrow or temptation. With Abraham we have a completely different problem; the ethical is the temptation and this battles with the suspension of the ethical to do what Abraham does. Thus when Abraham kills his son would either be a murderer or have become superior to the universal. He would have overstepped the ethical and become greater in this act that the universal. This is why he is different than the tragic hero, because one can understand and feel for the tragic hero but to say that you feel sorrow for Abraham after he kills his righteous son unethically would make little sense. And yet Abraham must suspend the ethical to do what G-d asked.

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