So Abraham gathered wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac, and he took the fire and the knife in his hand; and the two of them went to the mountain. Isaac said to Abraham, "My father." And he replied, "What is it, my son?" And he said, "Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "God will provide, my son."
When they came to the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar and arranged the wood. Then he bound Isaac and placed him on the altar. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Then the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham! Stop! Stop!" But Abraham's dagger had already dug into his son. And so the Lord swoop down from heaven and knocked Abraham to the ground with the force of a gale.
As Abraham lay in the dust the Lord berated him: "Why?! Why in heaven's name were you trying to kill your son, your only son, whom you love?!" And Abraham replied, "But my Lord, you asked me to! It was your will and I was fulfilling it."
And the Lord roared, "You desert idiot! I wasn't after your loyalty; I was testing whether you had the brains to distinguish between what's crazy and what's not! Woe to you for you have failed miserably. Any father who actually went out to kill his own child just because some higher-up told him to ought to be locked up for life! And anyone who employs the Nuremberg Defense is nothing but a groveling, irresponsible, unthinking, pass-the-buck moron! You're a sick man, Abraham. Very, very sick in the head, indeed.
And Abraham is supposed to be the father of the three "great" monotheisms?
Novelist Salman Rushdie contrasts the Abraham story with one he grew up as child, that of the Muslim emperor Barbur (1483 - 1530 CE) and his son Hamuyan. It is said that when Hamuyan fell gravely ill, Barbur prayed and cried to Allah to take him instead of his son. Soon thereafter Barbur fell ill and as his condition worsened his son recovered. Barbur eventually died. His son lived.
A father's sacrifice that his son may live is worlds apart from the Genesis myth of a father who will without question take his son's life. To say that the Abraham story is perverse is an understatement. It boggles the mind to find an ethicist who will give a thumbs up to (attempted) filicide. On the other hand, Barbur's ultimate self-giving is what any parent in his right mind would do. It is something we "know" is good and right.
Anyone who still says the bible is a perfect book of morals is as unthinking and ethically blind as Abraham.