Monday, March 2, 2009


Kierkegaard writes, “The paradox of faith has lost the intermediate factor, i.e. the universal.”(62) The universal is something we are all part of, this why when one, like Abraham, acts out of faith, they are not able to make themselves intelligible to anyone. Due to the fact that they are no longer able to communicate through the “universal” by reason/understanding/ethics, the language that one speaks when in relation to the universal, i.e. others, one is able to understand because there is a standard which presides over everyone; but when one is superior to the universal, thus being in a state by oneself, in a direct relationship to God, one is seen as “mad”. Mad, because the rules which the universal corresponds to are being broken, and cannot be understood except by those in direct relations to God, even then nothing is comprehensible. And cannot be explained, the paradox of faith is like it takes out language or at least as what we know language to be.

Love is not lost when one is superior to the universal; like Nick points out, when one loves thy neighbor one is fulfilling a duty to the ethical, insofar as contributing to this revolving eternal sphere where God is an abstract being with no distinct picture. It is when one loves God above all things, to the point where it may seem like they hate everyone else (family, friends, etc.), where love becomes absolute love because it is love directed directly towards God.

1 comment:

  1. This paradox of faith where Abraham is very interesting to me when I look at it through the idea of love as Kierkegaard put it. Abraham has transcended the universal to a point where his love for G-d brings him to an act to G-d that can only be explained by the rest of us as hating everything but G-d. However, for the act to hold the meaning it does Abraham must in fact love Isaac as much as a father ought to love his son. Without the love for Isaac the act he commits wont bring about the suspension of the ethical because then the act can not be the act of love for G-d that holds the ethical as temptation.