Causal Relations and Abraham’s Dilemma: a Qur’anic Perspective

Sophia 61 (2):309-318 (2022)


Abraham’s Dilemma is the conjunction of three jointly inconsistent propositions: God’s commands are never morally wrong, God has commanded Abraham to kill his innocent son, and killing innocent people is morally wrong. Drawing on an overlooked point from the Qur’an regarding the content of the command as well as a conceptual analysis of intentional action, this paper proposes a novel solution to the dilemma by discarding proposition in a new way. Current approaches to rejecting proposition tend to appeal to epistemic failure on the side of Abraham. In my approach, which draws on the so-called accordion effect in intentional action, God’s command is interpreted in such a way that God has not commanded Abraham to kill his son nor has Abraham tried to do so, although the challenging and difficult nature of the test and thus Abraham’s status as the ‘father of faith’ are retained.

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Alireza Kazemi
Sharif University of Technology (Alumnus)

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