In Fyodor Dostoevsky

In Fyodor Dostoevsky - James Francis Philosophy Schlesinger...

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James Francis Philosophy Schlesinger 11-09-09 In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s parable “The Grand Inquisitor,” Jesus descends from heaven into the town of Seville Spain during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. The parable tells the story of a Roman Catholic Cardinal named only as “The Grand Inquisitor,” he arrests Jesus and sentences him to death. Dostoevsky tells the parable as a monologue by “The Grand Inquisitor.” The question posed to us philosophical thinkers is this, who was right? Jesus or The Grand Inquisitor? In this paper I will be examining some of the core tenets of freedom, and how it affects morality, love, happiness, and faith. Freedom Jesus’ and the Grand Inquisitor’s views on freedom are diametrically opposed to each other. Jesus believes that their must be freedom on Earth for people to be happy. Whereas, the Grand Inquisitor believes that the people who belong to the church need rules and guidelines to follow. He believes in the age old adage that people are in fact lemmings and they need something to follow in order to be happy. Freedom! The Inquisitor accuses Jesus of allowing freedom to thrive on earth. He says that Jesus could have taken away the freedom of men and point their mortal souls in the direction of all that is good, righteous, and just. Permanently steering away from all that is evil, unrighteous, and unjust. Instead of taking away the freedom of man he increased it, giving them the freedom to choose their life’s direction.
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We see the views of the Grand Inquisitor in a famous piece of utopian writing when we look at the book by Aldous Huxley entitled Brave New World . In Brave New World the entire world has come together to create a peaceful and stable state, this state is styled “The World State.” The Ideals that we see in the world state, for example, no freedom are carried out by the world leaders to the extreme. Children are born with predetermined physical and intellectual capabilities, the children are taught all they need to know while they sleep, no one is allowed to view creative works of art. Freedom, at least to you and I, means being able to do what you want when you want to do it. In a society like the world state the only way to ensure peace among the entire world is to severely limit personal freedom. The reasoning behind this is the fact that with freedom comes the ability to feel negative emotions, emotions like hate, anger and sadness. Therefore the only logical outcome of severely limiting freedom would be the ability to dictate what emotions people are feeling. So, in a society like “The World State” someone could, in effect, create a person who only feels positive emotion, emotions such as happiness and joy. A key tenet in the quest for creating this ideal society is to end desirous behavior all together. With desire, the ability to feel negative emotions is also present. People often believe that the root of all evil is money, but, according to people in Aldous Huxley’s book if you trace this claim back
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In Fyodor Dostoevsky - James Francis Philosophy Schlesinger...

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