Warning. This became much longer post that I originally thought.
KILL....FOR THE LORD.
I suppose that is one way to describe "The knight of faith." It does (in a way) point out one important part of the definition for Knight of faith. Generally speaking human beings do not like to or want to kill other humans, it is simply something that goes against our nature if it is not a "kill or be killed" situation and even then not everyone is cabable of it. So we take a situation where the common human is facing a difficult dilemma, where they must struggle with their consciousness, the expectations of society and multitude of matters. For the Knight of faith only one thing matters: "Is this something my faith demands me to do?"
If the answer is "God says kill the unbeliever" then you do it. End of discussion.
Another scenario might be when a beggar asks for help and the Knight of faith (Afterwards shortened to Kof) for help then the Kof would simply consider what does his faith suggest he should do? If his faith demands that he should give his coat off his back then he does so even if the result means that he will suffer some discomfort in the cold winter.
In fact, the Kof makes an interesting parallel to Übermensch and particularly to Ayn Rand's "Real man." Let's discuss Real man: Ayn Rand said that Edward Hickman was a model example her philosophies and his comment "What is good for me is right" was the best way to sum up her philosophy. If Kof lives only for his/her faith then the Real man lives only for him/herself. Both are completely free from the demands of society and do not need to care of what others think about them as they only have one thing that matters to themselves, one code that they live by. Hickman (whom Rand based the hero of her first novel on) only cared for himself and what would make him
happy. In his case it was money and rather than work to get that money (which presumably would not have been happy-fun-time for him) he simply kidnapped, murdered, and cut-up a twelve year old girl and exhanged her corpse for ransom. (He had to masquarade the corpse a bit to make her look alive.)
The average person would not have made those choises because they would have considered it to be a horribly evil and discusting thing to do.But Hickman the "Real Man," as Rand said had "no organ for understanding ... the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people." Which is certainly one way to describe the rotten, cowardly rat he was.
Kof on the other hand does what they do for their faith. They completely believe that what they do is right because their faith says so. Kierkegaard used Abraham as an example. Abraham was told by God to kill his son. Naturally Abraham does not wish to lose his son but since he has received a command from God he obeys that command, and here is the important bit: Abraham also believes that even if he kills his son, he will not die.
Because that would be a bad thing. And God cannot order him to do something that is bad.
Therefore he follows this horrible command in complete faith that it is the correct and good thing to do. Which it is, because "secret test of character," but the important thing here is that yes, a Kof may do things that others and even Kof himself might think as bad things. They merely believe that they are justified by their blind faith.
In fact, I think we can replace God and faith with any ideology here. (Kierkegaard himself used a story of unrequited love as one example of Kof.) What matters is not what the Kof believes in, the important thing is that the Kof is willing to do anything for that cause and sincerely believes that the results will be good. (for a given value of good.) People have been willing to give themselves and their lives for kings, religions and political ideas. I do not know how many of those reached the blind faith that Kierkegaard set as the limit but I'm certain that many came close.
Actually now that I read the article on the matter Kof as described by Kierkegaard is a fascinating idea. Also,dangerous. Blind, unquestioning faith leads to crusades and suicide bombers and holocaust.
I also realised that Kof is in a way even more freedom than Nietzschean Übermensch or the Randian Real man do. The Real man lives for himself and his egoism. Therefore the Real man can "fail." Don't go to school because "that won't make [you] happy?" Have fun working at MacDonalds and see how happy that
makes you. "Fuck laws, I do what I want!" So you'd rather go to jail and see how that works out? But the Kof only cares about doing what their faith demands. Grab a gun and go fight in the war or face a firing sguad? Well if your faith clearly says that killing people is a no-no then you have no choice in this matter. Even if that results in being executed as a contentious objector it still means that you followed your faith as obediently as you could. Certainly I assume that the Kof would have been happier living to die of old age than be executed as a traitor simply for following his faith but neither case means a failure on his part. And that in my mind is one of the most fascinating things in a Knight of faith.
(I do have to warn that I came across this subject today so I may have misunderstood some things. But this really is fascinating and I literally spent hours reading and pondering this subject.)