Freedom over Fate: How the Underground Man is Not Free

By Damien Knight

I shall start with a quote from The Underground man himself. “Ha! Ha! Ha! But after all, if you like, in reality, there is such thing as choice.” (Dostoevsky, p.24), In the readings a major theme was free will and morals. Is the good life a free life or are we controlled by fate? To what limits are these freedoms?

In Fear and Trembling freedom is limited by morals or by faith. For Abraham he is both free and bound. He must, due to duty, serve God even if God orders his son’s death. Still this faith left him free. Free of ethics we become bound by faith. “A tragic hero can become a human being by his own strength, but not the knight of faith. When a person sets out on the tragic hero’s admittedly hard path, there are many who can lend him advice; but he who walks the narrow path of faith no one can advise, no one understands.” (K. p.95) This states how even Abraham who seeks freedom from ethics through the duty of faith is not free from being alone. Freedom is fickle.

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