Chapter 22 – Faith or Friendship

In Chapter 22, Sean returns to The Good Place to promote Michael due to the success of his experiment.  The neighborhood is to be dismantled and the humans will be dissected and studied.  Michael, with Sean observing, then tells them that they are really in The Bad Place.  They all act surprised.  While being told this, Michel makes a reference to Søren Kierkegaard.  The humans then return to Eleanor’s house where they debate what to do.

Chidi, Tahani, and Jason all agree that Michael has betrayed them.  They are discussing two options.  One option is to escape and go to The Medium Place.  The second option is to tell Sean that this is not the second reboot.  The idea is to negotiate a deal where they reveal Michael’s lie about this being only the second reboot in exchange for less torture.  Eleanor disagrees and says they should trust Michael.  Her reason is Michael’s reference to Kierkegaard.

Kierkegaard said that we need to make a leap of faith, but Chidi points out it is better translated as a leap into faith.  Eleanor takes this as a clue.  That they need to have faith in Michael and that he has not betrayed them.  But, is it really a leap of faith to trust Michael?  Faith picks up where evidence and reason fail.  Eleanor has a justification for her trust in Michael.

Eleanor cites Michael’s reference to Kierkegaard as one of her reasons.  Additionally, she discusses how Michael at the end of Chapter 21 comes over just to talk with Eleanor.  Eleanor points out how they talked as friends.  Michael came over just to hang out.  Beyond that, there is the issue of friendship in general.  You trust your friends.  This is not blind trust.  Rather, it is based on previous experiences.  Eleanor and Michael are friends.  Based on previous experiences, such as Michael’s behavior the night before, leads Eleanor to believe she can trust Michael.  This is not a leap of faith or a leap into faith.  It isn’t about Eleanor taking a chance with no reason.  She has reasons for her trust in Michael.  The lesson here is more about friendship rather than faith.