Do you agree with the Grand Inquisitor? (Dostoyevsky's parable)

Asked by: jimmyl76
  • I have to agree

    People are stupid, weak, and fragile.
    In a perfect world
    people should lead by example, but over time people forget, and just get lazy.
    Look at today. We have such a vast library of inspirations historically.
    From Joseph, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, to Plato, Avicenna, etc etc.
    and given the freedom of learning all of them, the first instinct is to criticize, and to bring their philosophies down.
    Its not a criticism to challenge said ideas, but to justify the denial, and giving up of "how hard it is".
    In no way would an anarchy of idea work, with masses when most people look for social proof, rather than listening to their own small hero inside them.
    Bystander effects are an example of this.

  • Ivan Karamazov's Mistake.

    t is has become commonplace to regard Ivan Karamazov’s “Legend of the Grand Inquisitor” as a prescient parable glorifying human freedom and defending it against the kind of totalitarian threats it would face in the twentieth century. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s angry atheist delivers an uncanny prophecy of the omnicompetent, freedom-denying state that would arise in his own native Russia. But concerning the liberty that is the only cure for state-sponsored oppression, Ivan is terribly wrong. The Christ of the Grand Inquisitor advocates an idea of freedom that Dostoevsky considered an abomination. It is linked to Ivan’s critique of God for allowing innocent suffering. For Dostoevsky, the problem of evil and the question of human liberty are profoundly joined: our answer to one quandary determines our answer to the other. Freedom and suffering are interstitial realities, as the Grand Inquisitor understands, even if he understands them wrongly.

    To possess true freedom and personhood through love is, in Dostoevsky’s view, to suffer rightly. It is to accept responsibility, not only for one’s own sin, but also for the sins of others. All theodicies fail if they do not recognize that only the embrace of innocent suffering can answer the infliction of innocent suffering. One who is willing to suffer for Christ’s sake must be willing, moreover, to suffer fools. Father Zosima exhibits such foolish suffering when, early in the novel, he makes a low bow of humility before the cruel buffoon who is old Fyodor Karamazov. It is an act utterly unlike the abstentions practiced by Nietzsche’s Übermensch. The Overman is akin to a lion who has claws but refrains from using them. He doesn’t show mercy so much as he seeks to humiliate the weaklings of the world with his contemptuous self-restraint. Though having the rightful authority to condemn the despicable old lecher, Zosima gestures forth his solidarity with Fyodor in bowing down before him. Unlike the Overman, Zosima identifies himself with the wretched creature. He knows that old Fyodor has become a buffoon, in large part, because everyone regards him as a fool. In secret pride and contempt for others, he fulfills their scornful judgment. Zosima refuses such judgment. He humbles himself before the despicable Fyodor, discerning in him the divine image and likeness: a person meant for agapeistic community rather than buffoonish autonomy. For Dostoevsky, the gospel of suffering in communal love is the only lasting answer to the perennial problem of evil and thus to the perennial question of human freedom. It is a gospel peculiar neither to East nor West because it is centered in the common Christian ground of the Incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection.

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