Of Suffering And Evil In Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor

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The existence of suffering and evil in the presence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God has proved to be one of the most pressing concerns raised in arguments against the existence of God, since the beginning of Christian traditions and beliefs. In Dostoevsky’s work, The Grand Inquisitor, several chapters allude to thoughts on this topic. In chapter 5 of Dostoevsky 's book we see the link between freedom and human suffering. Older philosophers such as Epicurus also had arguments that resonated with Dostoevsky. The freedom bestowed upon us by this all powerful and all loving God has led to much of the suffering present in our world today. Dostoevsky’s argues not against the notion of suffering nor that of a God, but that of a just…show more content…
In the chapter, a cardinal goes to visit a man, Jesus Christ, that was imprisoned for performing miracles. The cardinal begins to interrogate christ about the three temptations proposed to him by Satan. The refutation of these three temptations is what allowed us to have free will which ultimately led to mankind’s hardship. The first temptation is that Jesus was told to turn stone into bread. Christ responds by saying that man should not live on bread, but by the word of God. Dostoevsky 's responds by saying “Choosing bread, thou wouldst have satisfied the universal and everlasting craving of humanity - to find someone to worship” (pg. 27). Dostoevsky is saying that Christ should have relieved us of hunger and suffering through starvation and famine rather than give us freedom of choice. Most of mankind is to weak to live off of the word of God when hungry, therefore one of man’s greatest fears is to be burdened with the gift of freedom. The purpose of a man’s life is not only to live but to have something to live for and if Christ had taken our freedom away we would have lived for him. Dostoevsky then states “ Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering” (pg. 28). Dostoevsky is claiming that Christ cherishes freedom more than the happiness of man and in granting man freedom of choice has magnified humanity 's…show more content…
Christ for the third time refuses. Since Christ refused the power presented to him, the church must now attempt at unifying the christian religion. A goal of mankind is to unite the civilizations into a “universal state” (pg. 31). A universal state brings along security in replacement of free will which humans are more than willing to give up especially if the one who unites them is the one that also provides for them. Humanity has suffered because we have had no unity among all civilizations until the church came around. Since christ has died and did not assume the role of a universal leader the church must assume this power for the sole purpose of benefiting man. Along with assuming this role, the church must also correct errors that Christ has caused. The church now has finally been able to convince mankind to submit their freedom in return for happiness, security, and a sense of unity. The last anguish of man is “the craving for universal unity” (pg 31). Now that the church has provided this to mankind we should not mess with or upset the

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