Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Knight of Faith

The position of the knight of faith is particularly odd. One acting as a knight of faith has a direct relation to God on the one hand, and alienation from all his peers on the other. To be a knight of faith, one has to act in obedience to God while acting contrary to the ethical. So while the knight of faith obeys God’s command and does right in that way, he acts against the universal, which appears wrong to all other people making him an outcast. The relation the knight of faith has with God is singular and cannot be communicated to any other humans. What a lonely state that would be. While the knight of faith gets to have a real communication with God and fulfill God’s will, which presumably is a position all of the knight’s peers desire to have, he has to pay the price of alienation. The knight of faith appears to have no choice in the matter either. If God picks an individual out and asks them to do something against the ethical, that individual is probably going to be compelled to obey God’s will. God is supposed to be all powerful so he must be able to find better ways to test people than by putting them in a position in which they have to alienate themselves from all other individuals in order to do right by him. It appears as though the knight is cornered by God and ends up losing all his friends. Is this God some sort of bully? If the individual in question does not want to live in exile for the rest of his days, then he can disobey God’s orders, but there’s no telling what waits for him upon his passing away. It seems obvious to me that if God exists, in the way that Christianity tells us he does, then you simply must obey his commands. In other words, one has an absolute duty to God. If God created everything, then he created morals and the like as well, so his word overrules all else. These days it is rare someone is reached out to by God the way Abraham was. If someone solved word hunger and said “God told me to” everyone would be happy. If someone did something bad, like Abraham almost was forced to, and said “God told me to” the people would rise up against them and call them mad. The relation the knight of faith has with God is only between the two of them and not relatable to anything else. In this way, the knight of faith has no choice but to follow God as he has no way to prove he is not real.


  1. I like how you pointed out clearly both sides of the Knight of Faith situation. Although clearly alienation is bound to occur, you mention that while the Knight of Faith has direct communication with God and this is the coveted position of the Knight's peers. Why then, should they bully him and alienate him no matter what happens? If they all desire this sort of relationship with God so much then why should they shun him? I know the typical response would be to declare a man crazy who attempts to murder his son in the name of God, but I am curious as to the responses of those who are more deeply religious.

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  3. Well, in Abraham's situation (as well as other true Knights of faith), isn't an absolute relation to the absolute via teleological suspension of the ethical all that is ever needed? In other words, since the knight of faith has his or her telos in the absolute realm and not in the ethical realm, does he or she really need to be surrounded by peers or friends? Isn't the loneliness that would be felt by us overcome by this direct relationship with God?


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