Smerdyakov, at present, is arguing with his foster father as Alyosha arrives. He asserts that it is permissible for a man to renounce his faith in God in order to save his life. To prove that man cannot function by faith alone, he says that no man has enough faith to tell a mountain to move to the sea. He thinks, therefore, that this is reason enough to realize that man may deny God to save his life and later ask for repentance. Curiously, throughout the argument, he seems particularly eager to please and impress Ivan.After Karamazov tires of the argument, he sends the servants away, but the conversation manages to return to the subject of religion. In answer to their father's queries, Ivan insists that there is no God. Further, he says, there is no immortality. Alyosha, of course, maintains that God does exist and that through Him man can gain immortality. Karamazov changes the subject. He talks now of women
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