The Ethical Issue of Sacrifice example

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The Ethical Issue of Sacrifice

The following paper is a discussion and an evaluation of the problem of sacrifice. This issue will be addressed from the philosophical, moral, ethical, and psychological perspectives using the reading materials of Jacques Derrida, Soren Kierkegaard, Yi Chong-jun, and Jean Dupuy. With the support of the three philosophical texts ‘”The Gift of Death”, “Fear and Trembling”, and “On the Rationality of Sacrifice” the plot and theme of the novel “Your Paradise” by Yi Chong-jun will be discussed regarding the problem of sacrifice and its meaning for a life of a human individual and for the existence of humanity. A thesis of the provided here essay can be stated beforehand as following: “Your Paradise” contains a theme of sacrifice as one of its most important and powerful elements because the main character in this novel provides a perfect example of the sacrifice attempted in order to help others which, with the help of the supplementary reading, can be understood as an act of philosophical faith and spiritual salvation.

Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling” and its discussion-evaluation by Jacques Derrida in “The Gift of Death” contains a lot of insightful comments and philosophical meditations regarding the problem of sacrifice and its meaning for the human faith and individual existence. First of all Kierkegaard tells what a teleological suspension of the ethical means, how this process creates faith and borders singular individual from a community by contrasting absolute individual responsibility (duty) to responsibility in general. In “Fear and Trembling” Abraham is driven by God to sacrifice what he loves most in order to satisfy God and prove to him his unconditional faith and complete obedience. Abraham acts from within the inner core of his individuality. Being as Kierkegaard calls him “a knight of faith” Abraham makes an act of teleological suspension of the ethical. Abraham acts according to his absolute responsibility before the absolute (God) and in this action faith is born because Abraham opposes his individuality to the world’s community and their ethics, morale, rules or traditions (“Fear and Trembling”, 68). By becoming directly involved with the divine matters and obeying God Abraham individually becomes involved in an act of absolute duty that means for him more in every aspect and from each perspective.

Kierkegaard’s “sacrifice” is a sacrifice for the sake of human faith and it is a sacrifice due to which God’s divine nature is manifested. As Derrida says the absolute responsibility or individual duty are made because of God and towards him. God is “wholly other” because he is hidden, secret, unapproachable and yet he makes individual into what he is. Paradox of responsibility is a contrast opposition of the general ethics of the external universal reality and singular individual absolute duty to God (“The Gift of Death”, 62). One demands a sacrifice of another like Abraham is demanded to sacrifice his son for the most divine purpose. Abraham as a “knight of faith” agrees for a sacrifice of the person he loves most for …

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