Author Topic: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit  (Read 9588 times)

Offline puff6962

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The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« on: April 19, 2007, 12:19:08 AM »
If God is omnipotent, then He faced the same dilemma as Desmond.  Abraham was only being Abraham.  God, by knowing His servant as well as all future events, could anticipate the course of Abraham's thoughts and decisions. 

The only question for an omniscient being is whether to continue to exist.  However, perhaps God chose to blind Himself to His knowledge and therefore "changes the puzzle."  God exercised the requirement for a being exercising free will....unpredictability.

Desmond in this episode appropriately titled Catch-22 faces a similar problem.  He is given a carrot and asked to make a sacrifice.  But, Desmond chooses the option of "having it both ways" when the outcomes may be mutually exclusive.  Desmond emulates God (not Abraham) in relinquishing his knowledge of the future and, again, altering a reality.

In the end, for Desmond to fit the metaphor, he must blind himself to his knowledge and have faith that the reality his mind has forecast will be rescinded.


Offline puff6962

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007, 12:32:50 AM »
Abraham's story is often misunderstood.  Isaac was a grown man at the time of Abraham's sacrifice.  He willingly cohorted with his father's wishes by trust. 

I believe that this trust will grow, as well, between Charlie and Desmond and THEN the metaphor will fit.  Both Desmond and Charlie will accept their fates.  Desmond will finally discuss with Charlie the event of his death and Charlie (as Isaac) will choose to leave it unaltered.

Faith is hope with a track record.  What is lacking from either Desmond or Charlie is a broader faith in the island. 

Anyway, I've included the wiki summary of Abraham's sacrifice:

Some time after the birth of Isaac, Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son up as a sacrifice in the land of Moriah. The patriarch traveled three days until he came to the mount that God showed him. He commanded the servant to remain while he and Isaac proceeded alone to the mountain, Isaac carrying the wood upon which he would be sacrificed. Along the way, Isaac repeatedly asked Abraham where the animal for the burnt offering was. Abraham then replied that God would provide one. Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, he was prevented by an angel, and given on that spot a ram which he sacrificed in place of his son. Thus it is said, "On the mountain the Lord provides." (Genesis 22) As a reward for his obedience he received another promise of a numerous seed and abundant prosperity (22). After this event, Abraham did not return to Hebron, Sarah's encampment, but instead went to Beersheba, Keturah's encampment, and it is to Beersheba that Abraham's servant brought Rebekah, Isaac's patrilineal parallel cousin who became his wife.

The near sacrifice of Isaac is one of the most challenging, and perhaps ethically troublesome, parts of the Bible. According to Josephus, Isaac was 25 years old at the time of the sacrifice or Akedah, while the Talmudic sages teach that Isaac was 37. In either case, Isaac was a fully grown man, old enough to prevent the elderly Abraham (who was 125 or 137 years old) from tying him up had he wanted to resist. Early Christian bishops taught that this story foreshadowed Jesus' carrying his cross to the place of sacrifice, willing to do as his father willed.


Offline ozman776

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 12:39:55 AM »
What confused me most was that if desmond did infact let charlie take the arrow was he supposed to get to the parachutist earlier than he infact did and was able to save her???
cause that just makes no sense in the fact that everyone would have been hanging around deciding what to do with the body when in fact all they did was just get up and continue??? hence saving time and getting on with there search quicker!
I didnt get dez's response when he finally found the parachutist as " im sorry penny" like he took too long to get to her when in fact he got there quicker, by saving that worthless hobbit!!


Offline kkehoe5

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 12:44:10 AM »
In his vision Hurley says do something, And Des says I am sorry I can't...Like he had to let him die!

Offline versed4every1

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 12:46:37 AM »
If God is omnipotent, then He faced the same dilemma as Desmond.  Abraham was only being Abraham.  God, by knowing His servant as well as all future events, could anticipate the course of Abraham's thoughts and decisions. 

The only question for an omniscient being is whether to continue to exist.  However, perhaps God chose to blind Himself to His knowledge and therefore "changes the puzzle."  God exercised the requirement for a being exercising free will....unpredictability.

Desmond in this episode appropriately titled Catch-22 faces a similar problem.  He is given a carrot and asked to make a sacrifice.  But, Desmond chooses the option of "having it both ways" when the outcomes may be mutually exclusive.  Desmond emulates God (not Abraham) in relinquishing his knowledge of the future and, again, altering a reality.

In the end, for Desmond to fit the metaphor, he must blind himself to his knowledge and have faith that the reality his mind has forecast will be rescinded.



God's test of Abraham was a test of freewill.  He had a choice to make, either obey his Lord and sacrifice his son, or disobey and save him.  Desmond had the same choice.  He could either obey his vision in order to preserve the "puzzle" and sacrifice Charlie, or he could disobey it and save him - which he believed would change the outcome.  Each case is a "Catch 22" situation.

You are right in that the metaphor was not complete - Abraham saw going to obey God and sacrifice his son no matter what, but when Desmond decided to save Charlie, he disobeyed his vision.

Desmond already made a sacrifice of his own for a greater calling - by throwing Penny's ring in the river and returning to the island. 


Offline puff6962

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 12:47:03 AM »
Ya, I believe that Desmond saw the ultimate outcome of this chain of events to be a reuniting with Penny.  However, by saving Charlie he has chosen a different thread.  The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, puts it better than I ever could:

Mountain Interval1916Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Desmond and crew may have been meant to find the parachutist DEAD!  We were shown no images of what would occur when the group found the person.  If parachutist found dead because group was carrying back dead Charlie>>>>>reunite with Penny versus found parachutist alive/Charlie alive>>>>>>how can Desmond reunite with Penny?

A real Ardil-22 for Desmond.

Offline xrayeck

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 12:48:16 AM »
If Desmond had let his vision be realized and allowed Charlie to die, would the parachutist have been Penny as he believed?

If Charlie accepts his fate as Isaac did, will he be spared as Isaac was?

Offline puff6962

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 12:51:03 AM »
Both excellent questions.  I believe that Charlie will eventually do something dangerous because he doesn't want anybody else killed.  This will lift the death sentence by Charlie's act of Faith and contrition.

Offline kkehoe5

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 12:56:36 AM »
Eeewwww a religous thread, I'm staying away from this topic.

Offline Maxor127

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 01:09:41 AM »
That confused me too.  How does Charlie dying help Desmond find the parachute.  I thought maybe the parachute was stuck high up in a tree near the trap and that triggering the trap would cause a chain reaction to release the parachute high up in the trees.  Instead, the parachute isn't even in the area.  Penny magically turning into some other chick just because Charlie didn't die just doesn't make sense.  I hope there's a better explanation.  This was still a really good episode.  I actually thought for a second Charlie would die.  What more shocking way than to have Desmond go through with it.  Or I was expecting for Charlie to die anyways right after from a freak accident.  It made me like Charlie a lot more.  I really don't think he's going to die.  I think it will end up being either Sun or Desmond.

Offline puff6962

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2007, 01:18:01 AM »
Maybe the Abraham metaphor fits if we consider the following....

The thing most desired by Desmond was Penny.  He thought that by allowing Charlie to die that he would have what he most wanted.  Therefore, by allowing Charlie to live, Desmond is by proxy giving up what is most precious to him.

Offline xrayeck

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2007, 06:58:02 AM »
Eeewwww a religous thread, I'm staying away from this topic.
Boy, are you watching the wrong show!

Offline eelpie62

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2007, 09:01:29 AM »
Maybe the Abraham metaphor fits if we consider the following....

The thing most desired by Desmond was Penny.  He thought that by allowing Charlie to die that he would have what he most wanted.  Therefore, by allowing Charlie to live, Desmond is by proxy giving up what is most precious to him.

Bingo.
Same choice, different sacrifice.

Offline MaxsDad

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2007, 09:47:41 AM »
As lostsoul12 pointed out in another thread, Charlie is seen with an arrow in his throat in one vision and another vision Charlie is seen holding the Parachute with Jin and Hurley!  I dont think Charlie is suppose to die, he is to be protected.

Offline JBRam

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Re: The Abraham Metaphor Doesn't Fit
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2007, 10:54:06 AM »
I'd like to point out something:

Desmond says that if ANYTHING changes in his vision, the outcome will be different. Maybe when Charlie DOES get stuck by the arrow, it is Penny who fell from the sky. As it is, Des allowed Charlie to live, and in fact saved Charlie, thus altering a key part of the vision. Therefore, instead of getting Penny, Des gets some random Brazilian chick.