Soren Kierkegaard lived an interesting, agonizing life who was all too familiar with sacrifice. He had to make a choice as to whether or not he would be married. He loved a girl named Regine Olsen, but was afraid that he would be too gloomy and religious for her. In the end, he sacrificed his happiness for not only what he thought would make Regine happier, but also, he put his religion above himself. Because of this difficult personal decision, he wrote a book called Either/Or. In the book, he raises an intriguing thought about decision making: One has to choose a life of pleasure and chase after beauty or a life based on conventional moral rules. One choice leads a life of happiness but perhaps illogical at times. The other choice might be more tragic but rational. A great example of this conundrum that was used is from the Old Testament of the Bible. Abraham was told by God to kill his only son. Now of course Abraham would never want to do that because he loved his son. That would be a gravely unfortunate sacrifice, let alone a morally wrong choice. Abraham knew that, but because of his intense faith in God, he ties up Isaac and goes in for the kill. Right as he was about to cut him an angel stops Abraham. The moral of the story is that God wants us to trust Him and obey Him. If we do, God will meet our needs; or in this case, you will not have to kill your only son. Abraham is seen as admirable because of this illogical faith. He was willing to ignore ethics for his religion. As the book A Little History of Philosophy states, “There is no higher card in the pack, and so human ethics are no longer relevant. Yet the person who abandons ethics in favor of faith makes an agonizing decision, risking everything, not knowing what will happen; not knowing for sure that the message is truly from God.”
Doing that calls for some illogical moves when looking at it from a logical or ethical perspective. Kierkegaard never married, showing that throughout his life he kept choosing religion over his own happiness. Abraham had a better outcome: he obeyed God and did not have to actually sacrifice his son.