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earthpig
GTFO HOer
Wed Dec 07 02:38:42
The Grand Inquisitor wasn't optional, but I chose Machiavelli.

If anyone is curious, both works can be easily googled or kindled for free, both are a quick read, and both will tell you how to run your guild in WoW or LoL or WtF.



The Prince and The Grand Inquisitor

Dostoyevsky and Machiavelli both express views about human nature in their works, and both views are largely negative in at least one work from each. Dostoyevsky's parable “The Grand Inquisitor” contains a primary character that renounces Jesus' positive view of humanity as naïve, and presents the case that Jesus did humanity a great disservice by his deeds during the Three Temptations of Christ. Machiavelli consistently reiterates that humans are primarily concerned with self-preservation above all else, which allows fear to be the leaver by which they can easily be manipulated. Both also view wars of conquest under the banner of “unification” as a legitimate means to an end. One large difference between the two views on human nature is that while Dostoyevsky views humans as irredeemable creatures, Machiavelli's “The Prince” contains subtle hints that there may be some redemption to be found in the framework of a Free Republic.
In examining the first temptation of Christ, the Inquisitor condemns Jesus for refusing to turn a stone into bread under the laughable premise that men do not live on bread alone. He points out that while actively concerned about self-preservation and hunger, men are incapable of virtue until those needs are met. Hunger being a fundamental aspect of self-preservation, bread is not optional whereas virtue is. Jesus should have immediately taken advantage of Satan's offer to be granted the power to turn stone into bread. The ability to feed the masses amounts to the ability to activate human self-preservation, and whoever has that ability will be willingly handed power by the masses. The Inquisitor points to his own status in the ruling class and makes the claim that “never can they feed themselves without us!” to cement this point. Machiavelli's “The Prince” also espouses the primacy of being able to appeal to self-preservation in chapter 17 when he curtly points out that “it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.” A political leader reading both works could reasonably conclude that by gaining power over the supply of something a population needs to survive, and then by positioning himself as the sole provider of that item, he would find himself very secure in his office.
In the second and third temptations of Christ, Jesus is first offered the ability to prove his divinity to the masses and then offered conquest of the world. The Inquisitor tells us that Jesus would have done a great service to humanity by proving his divinity both by jumping to be caught by angels, and then by removing himself from the cross. Such proof would have compelled slave-like loyalty to the teachings of Jesus and there would be no need for conflict associated with the heresy arising out of free thought and the need for something to believe in. The Inquisitor neglects to mention the greatest miracle attributed to Jesus, and the absence of Jesus' return from the dead after three days may be an indication that this central tenant of Christianity never happened in the Inquisitor's view.
In the third temptation, Jesus refuses “the world and Caesar's purple” which would have brought a “universal state” with “universal peace.” Having had the opportunity to feed the bellies of the masses, to prevent heresy and burdensome free thought, and finally the opportunity to create world peace, Jesus refused all three. This left the Church in the position of filling that void; of feeding the masses, of telling them what to believe, and of conducting offensive warfare in the name of unity and final peace. There is no specific talk of theological underpinnings in “The Prince,” but it is casually assumed that warfare is a legitimate tool of state throughout the text, and that a successful state will be actively engaged in the conquest and subjugation of its neighbors along with the continual expansion of power. Machiavelli also echoes Dostoyevsky when he tells leaders that they ought to concern themselves with how the public views them. For Jesus the question was about the public view on his divinity, and for the political leader the question is about the public view on his virtue. It is completely irrelevant that Jesus must compromise his divine mission to ensure that he is viewed as divine, his being seen as divine is absolutely paramount. Similarly in Chapter 15 of “The Prince”, Machiavelli makes it clear that it doesn't matter if a Prince is virtuous or not, only that he is seen as virtuous to the greatest degree possible.
The largest single difference between what Machiavelli expresses in “The Prince” and what Dostoyevsky's character expresses in his parable is in the area of the redeemability of the general population of humanity. Both acknowledge that there are a few virtuous men, but while Dostoyevsky's Inquisitor believes the masses are forever condemned by their very nature, Machiavelli leaves us with hints about the redeemability of man that are confirmed by his other works described in lecture. The most overt defense of freedom by Machiavelli is contained in chapter 5, when he tells the reader of the numerous unique difficulties in ruling over a conquered republic. He cites numerous historical examples of failed occupations, and cautions that “in republics, there is more vitality, grater hatred, and more desire for vengeance, which will never permit them to allow the memory of their former liberty to rest.” Thus the reader, if he is an autocrat interested in military expansion, is left to conclude that conquering republics is best avoided unless absolutely necessary.
Though calling for cruelty and tyranny throughout “The Prince,” Machiavelli gives advice that could very well lead to the ruin of a cruel tyrant following that very advice. He tells the reader to rely on citizen soldiers and not mercenaries or allied soldiers, and devotes all of chapters 12 and 13 to convincing the reader of the merits of citizen soldiers over mercenaries and allies. In what may not be a coincidental side effect, following the advice to not have a single mercenary or auxiliary in ones employ would amount to the Prince creating a check on his own power. While allied soldiers and mercenaries can generally be assumed to be unconcerned about domestic affairs, an army of citizen soldiers will be very concerned about the welfare of his friends and family at home. Without any mercenary “regime defense” assets at his disposal that are personally loyal to him, a prince following Machiavelli's advice to the letter could very well be laying the groundwork for a coup against himself. Celebrated political philosopher John Jacques Rousseau takes this theory of underhandedness on the part of Machiavelli even farther when he points out in the 23rd footnote of book 3 of his work “The Social Contract” that “...being attached to the court of the Medici, he could not help veiling his love of liberty. […] The choice of his detestable hero, Caesar Borgia, clearly enough shows his hidden aim” and then goes on to cite the overtly pro-republic works of Machiavelli as further evidence.
It is very clear that Machiavelli and Dostoyevsky differ greatly in what they believe man can become, but they tend to fundamentally agree on both what man is in the world they see around them and on human nature itself. It is good that neither philosopher bothered with a state of nature, or it would have been more difficult to see how alike their outlooks truly are. Both are extremely cynical about the notion of the ability of man to rise above base concerns of self-preservation when it is challenged, both regard fear as a political tool of awesome might, both believe in expansionist unifying wars of conquest, and both demand secular rationalism as the basis for policy.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Wed Dec 07 02:39:56
Paragraph indentation fail. I thought we had special characters now!

The Prince and The Grand Inquisitor


Dostoyevsky and Machiavelli both express views about human nature in their works, and both views are largely negative in at least one work from each. Dostoyevsky's parable “The Grand Inquisitor” contains a primary character that renounces Jesus' positive view of humanity as naïve, and presents the case that Jesus did humanity a great disservice by his deeds during the Three Temptations of Christ. Machiavelli consistently reiterates that humans are primarily concerned with self-preservation above all else, which allows fear to be the leaver by which they can easily be manipulated. Both also view wars of conquest under the banner of “unification” as a legitimate means to an end. One large difference between the two views on human nature is that while Dostoyevsky views humans as irredeemable creatures, Machiavelli's “The Prince” contains subtle hints that there may be some redemption to be found in the framework of a Free Republic.


In examining the first temptation of Christ, the Inquisitor condemns Jesus for refusing to turn a stone into bread under the laughable premise that men do not live on bread alone. He points out that while actively concerned about self-preservation and hunger, men are incapable of virtue until those needs are met. Hunger being a fundamental aspect of self-preservation, bread is not optional whereas virtue is. Jesus should have immediately taken advantage of Satan's offer to be granted the power to turn stone into bread. The ability to feed the masses amounts to the ability to activate human self-preservation, and whoever has that ability will be willingly handed power by the masses. The Inquisitor points to his own status in the ruling class and makes the claim that “never can they feed themselves without us!” to cement this point. Machiavelli's “The Prince” also espouses the primacy of being able to appeal to self-preservation in chapter 17 when he curtly points out that “it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.” A political leader reading both works could reasonably conclude that by gaining power over the supply of something a population needs to survive, and then by positioning himself as the sole provider of that item, he would find himself very secure in his office.


In the second and third temptations of Christ, Jesus is first offered the ability to prove his divinity to the masses and then offered conquest of the world. The Inquisitor tells us that Jesus would have done a great service to humanity by proving his divinity both by jumping to be caught by angels, and then by removing himself from the cross. Such proof would have compelled slave-like loyalty to the teachings of Jesus and there would be no need for conflict associated with the heresy arising out of free thought and the need for something to believe in. The Inquisitor neglects to mention the greatest miracle attributed to Jesus, and the absence of Jesus' return from the dead after three days may be an indication that this central tenant of Christianity never happened in the Inquisitor's view.


In the third temptation, Jesus refuses “the world and Caesar's purple” which would have brought a “universal state” with “universal peace.” Having had the opportunity to feed the bellies of the masses, to prevent heresy and burdensome free thought, and finally the opportunity to create world peace, Jesus refused all three. This left the Church in the position of filling that void; of feeding the masses, of telling them what to believe, and of conducting offensive warfare in the name of unity and final peace. There is no specific talk of theological underpinnings in “The Prince,” but it is casually assumed that warfare is a legitimate tool of state throughout the text, and that a successful state will be actively engaged in the conquest and subjugation of its neighbors along with the continual expansion of power. Machiavelli also echoes Dostoyevsky when he tells leaders that they ought to concern themselves with how the public views them. For Jesus the question was about the public view on his divinity, and for the political leader the question is about the public view on his virtue. It is completely irrelevant that Jesus must compromise his divine mission to ensure that he is viewed as divine, his being seen as divine is absolutely paramount. Similarly in Chapter 15 of “The Prince”, Machiavelli makes it clear that it doesn't matter if a Prince is virtuous or not, only that he is seen as virtuous to the greatest degree possible.


The largest single difference between what Machiavelli expresses in “The Prince” and what Dostoyevsky's character expresses in his parable is in the area of the redeemability of the general population of humanity. Both acknowledge that there are a few virtuous men, but while Dostoyevsky's Inquisitor believes the masses are forever condemned by their very nature, Machiavelli leaves us with hints about the redeemability of man that are confirmed by his other works described in lecture. The most overt defense of freedom by Machiavelli is contained in chapter 5, when he tells the reader of the numerous unique difficulties in ruling over a conquered republic. He cites numerous historical examples of failed occupations, and cautions that “in republics, there is more vitality, grater hatred, and more desire for vengeance, which will never permit them to allow the memory of their former liberty to rest.” Thus the reader, if he is an autocrat interested in military expansion, is left to conclude that conquering republics is best avoided unless absolutely necessary.


Though calling for cruelty and tyranny throughout “The Prince,” Machiavelli gives advice that could very well lead to the ruin of a cruel tyrant following that very advice. He tells the reader to rely on citizen soldiers and not mercenaries or allied soldiers, and devotes all of chapters 12 and 13 to convincing the reader of the merits of citizen soldiers over mercenaries and allies. In what may not be a coincidental side effect, following the advice to not have a single mercenary or auxiliary in ones employ would amount to the Prince creating a check on his own power. While allied soldiers and mercenaries can generally be assumed to be unconcerned about domestic affairs, an army of citizen soldiers will be very concerned about the welfare of his friends and family at home. Without any mercenary “regime defense” assets at his disposal that are personally loyal to him, a prince following Machiavelli's advice to the letter could very well be laying the groundwork for a coup against himself. Celebrated political philosopher John Jacques Rousseau takes this theory of underhandedness on the part of Machiavelli even farther when he points out in the 23rd footnote of book 3 of his work “The Social Contract” that “...being attached to the court of the Medici, he could not help veiling his love of liberty. […] The choice of his detestable hero, Caesar Borgia, clearly enough shows his hidden aim” and then goes on to cite the overtly pro-republic works of Machiavelli as further evidence.


It is very clear that Machiavelli and Dostoyevsky differ greatly in what they believe man can become, but they tend to fundamentally agree on both what man is in the world they see around them and on human nature itself. It is good that neither philosopher bothered with a state of nature, or it would have been more difficult to see how alike their outlooks truly are. Both are extremely cynical about the notion of the ability of man to rise above base concerns of self-preservation when it is challenged, both regard fear as a political tool of awesome might, both believe in expansionist unifying wars of conquest, and both demand secular rationalism as the basis for policy.
Tragically Hip
Member
Wed Dec 07 02:49:22
Boo-erns!

I'm writing my own paper at the moment, it's due tomorrow and I'm not even half finished, so you'll have to wait for my comments.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Wed Dec 07 02:52:22
OK. You're a time zone ahead of me, I think, which means you procrastinated longer than me.

I usually get started on the little 4-5 pagers at about 11 pm.
Tragically Hip
Member
Wed Dec 07 03:04:15
4-5 pages! Wah! I have an 8 page minimum and it's a fucking first year course! Bull shit!
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Wed Dec 07 03:18:39
Gonna do a 15 page one nighter tomorrow.

But shouldn't be too hard, it's international relations (real world) so right up my alley.
QAG
Member
Wed Dec 07 22:30:19
I'm glad i'm not the only procrastinator, all though lately I've gotten realy bad and I write papers the morning of.
Cherub Cow
Member
Thu Dec 08 10:20:17
I'm going to publish your essay at a "Write my Essay for me! LOL!" webpage so that when your teacher googles it it appears there ;D
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Fri Dec 09 14:58:54
UGT shows up in google results.

And you'd have to retroactively date the post for it to get me in any trouble.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Fri Dec 09 14:59:41
Fuck me I broke my own thread. Can someone delete that post?

It consisted of a google search for "Jesus should have immediately taken advantage of Satan's offer to be granted the power to turn stone into bread. The ability to feed the masses amounts to the ability to activate human self-preservation, and whoever has that ability will be willingly handed power by the masses."
Palem
Person.
Fri Dec 09 15:11:18
That's too long of a search lol
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Dec 09 15:18:13
I'll pre-date your UGT post at the "Essay LOLz" web page! ;p
Stop negating my hypothetical imaginary!
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Fri Dec 09 15:25:27
Stop giving WoO ideas, then!
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Dec 09 16:03:28
Whateva! I do what I want!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZLVi4v7lSM

I'm explaining things with YouTube videos today ;)
McKobb
Member
Sun Dec 11 00:12:51
It's been a while since I've read The Grand Inquisitor and have not read The Prince but know the principles. Good job on a compare/contrast? paper.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Sun Dec 11 00:21:47
Get in this thread, TH, I thought of you the whole time I was writing that... "essay."

!! :)
Tragically HIp
Member
Sun Dec 11 00:23:56
Haha...sorry

I smoked too much hash to think.
Tragically HIp
Member
Sun Dec 11 00:40:46
"Dostoyevsky and Machiavelli both express views about human nature in their works"

Most works do...

"Hunger being a fundamental aspect of self-preservation, bread is not optional whereas virtue is."

Sentence fragment.

"A political leader reading both works could reasonably conclude that by gaining power over the supply of something a population needs to survive, and then by positioning himself as the sole provider of that item, he would find himself very secure in his office."

Gender biased language.

'Though calling for cruelty and tyranny throughout “The Prince,” Machiavelli gives advice that could very well lead to the ruin of a cruel tyrant following that very advice. He tells the reader to rely on citizen soldiers and not mercenaries or allied soldiers, and devotes all of chapters 12 and 13 to convincing the reader of the merits of citizen soldiers over mercenaries and allies"

thesaurus.com

"While allied soldiers and mercenaries can generally be assumed to be unconcerned about domestic affairs, an army of citizen soldiers will be very concerned about the welfare of his friends and family at home."

Pronoun disagreement

"Without any mercenary “regime defense” assets at his disposal that are personally loyal to him, a prince following Machiavelli's advice to the letter could very well be laying the groundwork for a coup against himself."

Awkward sentence

"even farther"

Further...

"It is good that neither philosopher bothered with a state of nature, or it would have been more difficult to see how alike their outlooks truly are"

Similar > alike in this sentence

"Both are extremely cynical about the notion of the ability of man to rise above base concerns of self-preservation when it is challenged, both regard fear as a political tool of awesome might, both believe in expansionist unifying wars of conquest, and both demand secular rationalism as the basis for policy."

both both both both!

Thesis not clearly stated and not summed up in the last paragraph.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Sun Dec 11 00:44:45
"Gender biased language. "

Yup. Men rule this planet.



Other than that, fair critique. Though, it was not for an English class.
McKobb
Member
Sun Dec 11 00:47:54
"Gender biased language."

I get flagged for that shit all the time. I grew up in a time when bitches weren't so sensitive. The universal masculine is good enough for God, Jesus, and Uncle Sam!
Tragically HIp
Member
Sun Dec 11 00:48:44
Haha. Well Im not familiar with either work, I've read Crime and Punishment....I can't really say whether or not you're right...are you asking if I agree with their "supposed" views?

Good writing shouldn't only be found in English classes. Surely you're graded on grammar.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Sun Dec 11 00:59:18
"Good writing shouldn't only be found in English classes. Surely you're graded on grammar. "

That was good writing. I didn't exactly submit it for publication in the New York Times.
earthpig
GTFO HOer
Sun Dec 11 01:00:38
It was actually non-gender biased originally.

I took that shit out when I pondered for 0.0005 seconds who and what I was writing about.
Tragically HIp
Member
Sun Dec 11 01:02:55
Could be better writing. Bleks. I handed in my paper for my grammar and comp. class and i didn't bother proof-reading until 5 minutes before...caught a bunch of errors...bad, bad, bad.



earthpig
GTFO HOer
Sun Dec 11 01:04:09
"i didn't bother proof-reading until 5 minutes before...caught a bunch of errors...bad, bad, bad. "

Bingo :)
Tragically HIp
Member
Sun Dec 11 01:05:52
I hate my writing. Reed reading my essays just makes me feel like shit, so I only reread them when it's no longer possible to correct my mistakes.


Akkk! New Keyboard mouse pad thingy is so shitty...it keeps moving my cursor all over the place!! Wah!
McKobb
Member
Sun Dec 11 01:06:57
Is it a dell? My dell does that shit.
Illuminated
Member
Mon Dec 19 06:20:04
blerg writing a 15 page paper about cultural studies and textual pleasure and the potential for "social transformation," but nothing else is happening so I decided to visit here! for the first time in... a long time? 5 months? idk.

halfway done and it's due in 9 hours. lolz.
Illuminated
Member
Mon Dec 19 06:21:05
also lost conception of time, why is this thread a week old?
McKobb
Member
Mon Dec 19 09:42:54
UGT is dying like a nursing-homer.
TheJovialReaper
Member
Mon Dec 19 18:18:29
The population isn't what it once was.
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Dec 19 19:30:16
I've started seeing other forums.
TheGrimReaper
Member
Fri Dec 30 03:55:12
I blame Jovial.
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