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Dostoyevsky

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Dostoyevsky
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theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Dostoyevsky

Im surprised why there isn't a Dostoyevsky thread in here, given the notorious things he said of atheism, especially in his book, The Brothers Karamazov, Ths arguably being the most famous, from which the creationist line "If god is dead: everything is permitted, even anthropophagy [which is a more elaborate way of describing cannibalism] " was born.

"here in our town, he [Ivan Fyodorovich] solemnly declared in the course of argument that in all the earth there is nothing whatever to compel human beings to love their fellows, and that a law of the type "man shall love mankind" is wholly non-existant, and that hitherto there has been any love upon the earth it has proceeded not from a natural law but solely from the fact that human beings have believed in their own immortality. Ivan Fydorovich added, moreover, the parenthetical observation that in this same circumstance rests the whole of the natural law, and that if one were to destroy mankind's faith in it's own immortality, there would instantly grow enfeebled within it not only love, but every vital force for the continuation of universial life. Not only that: then nothing would be immoral, all things would be lawful, even anthropophagy. But he went still further: he concluded with the assertion that for every private indivudial ... who believes neither in God nor his own immortality, the moral law of nature must instantly be transformed into the complete opposite of the old religious law, and that selfish egoism even to the point of evil-doing must not only be lawful to man, but must even be acknowledged to be necessary, the most reasonable and indeed possibly the most decent way out of his situation. From a paradox such as this, gentlemen, you may draw your own conclusions..." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov", Translated by David McDuff for "Penguin Classics". Pt 1, Book 2, Ch6, [p94.]

But let's debunk another dostoyevsky quote that some creationists are beginning to trot out


"Had he [Alyosha] decided that God and immortality did not exist he would have immediately become an atheist and a socialist (for socialism is not only a problem of labour, or the so called 'fourth estate', but it is in the first instance a problem of atheism, of the contemporary embodiment of atheism, the problem of the Tower of Babel, constructed expressly without God, not for the attainment of heaven from earth, but for the abasement of heaven to earth)." - ibid, Pt 1, Book 1, Ch5, [p40.]

Looks damming, but lets compare it to the one and only definition of socialism we get from the whole novel:

'And what's a socialist?' asked Smurov [to Kolya].

'It's when all men are equal, when everyone owns the same common property, when there is no marriage and religion and all the laws are for each to pick and choose, well and the rest of it." - ibid, pt3, book 10, ch3, [p674].

So what Dostoyevsky is actually describing when he says socialism to be a problem for atheism is a fact a Libertarian nihlistic socialism, and more to the point something out of Mikhail Bakunin!

internet encyclopedia of philosophy wrote:In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family [note how similar this is to the defintion of socialism in Dostoyevsky's book?]. In his early writing, anarchist leader Mikhael Bakunin (1814-1876) composed the notorious entreaty still identified with nihilism: "Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life-the passion for destruction is also a creative passion!" (Reaction in Germany, 1842). The movement advocated a social arrangement based on rationalism and materialism as the sole source of knowledge and individual freedom as the highest goal. By rejecting man's spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom. The movement eventually deteriorated into an ethos of subversion, destruction, and anarchy, and by the late 1870s, a nihilist was anyone associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassination.


And given Bakunin's well known Criticisms of Marx, Dostoyevsky is not saying something along the lines of "atheism leads to communism", not at all! So that argument from dostoyevsky is meaningless. Oh and it's not a coincidence that Ivan Fydorovich, the novels atheist was a Nihlist, as seen in the first Quote
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:02 am
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3508Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

Or you know... you could point out that they're characters in a book, and while it's beautifully written, that does not make it true.
Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:35 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

borrofburi wrote:Or you know... you could point out that they're characters in a book, and while it's beautifully written, that does not make it true.


Of course it's a work of fiction and that it's characters dont exist, but underlying the content is a philosophical message and well....
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:06 pm
DemojenPosts: 614Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:34 am

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

I don't consider a philosophy that says there's no reason to love without god very intelligent. If anything, it is the antithesis of love that requires god to give reason.
Every man has an interest in loving one another and the more we understand how to build that loving relationship between man without creating a psychosis, the closer we will be to a society of equality.

Anyone who believes you can not love without god is sick in the head.
Nunc ergo vos
"I think therefore you are"
Sat May 28, 2011 2:30 am
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

Demojen wrote:I don't consider a philosophy that says there's no reason to love without god very intelligent. If anything, it is the antithesis of love that requires god to give reason.
Every man has an interest in loving one another and the more we understand how to build that loving relationship between man without creating a psychosis, the closer we will be to a society of equality.

Anyone who believes you can not love without god is sick in the head.


Ivan's message, in short is that without the belief in immortality, there can be no virtue. His brother dmitry and Father Paisy, interpreted the passage in the following way

"Evil-doing must not only be lawful, but even recognized as being the most necessary and most intelligent way out of the situation in which every Atheist finds himself" - ibid, Pt 1, Book 2, Ch6, [p95.]

It's also worth noting Ivan did end up "Sick in the head" later on in the book due to his mental tortures and belief that he was partly responsible for the death of Fyodor, aided on by Smerdyakov. See The latter pages of Pt 3, Book 11 and especialy chapter 8.
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Sat May 28, 2011 6:49 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

I've made a good discovery of a sort, the book has been adapted into a series for Russian TV. It's now on youtube :)



So far from what i've seen, this adaption is reasonably faithful to the book
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Tue May 15, 2012 3:00 pm
CosmicJoghurtPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 808Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:59 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

I'm reading Crime and Punishment. I was recommended to read the Brothers (...) first but I just couldn't resist, sorry.

Quite interesting so far. I like how he manages to describe the main character's feelings in the most intimate way without being too cold.

That's my brilliant analysis.
Perception of reality results in interpretation of reality which results in a deformation of reality.
Tue May 15, 2012 11:39 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Dostoyevsky

theyounghistorian77 wrote:I've made a good discovery of a sort, the book has been adapted into a series for Russian TV. It's now on youtube :)



So far from what i've seen, this adaption is reasonably faithful to the book


it seems the video i linked has been taken down for copyright reasons. At least i saw it when i could :|


CosmicJoghurt wrote:I'm reading Crime and Punishment. I was recommended to read the Brothers (...) first but I just couldn't resist, sorry.

Quite interesting so far. I like how he manages to describe the main character's feelings in the most intimate way without being too cold.

That's my brilliant analysis.


And i have to agree. For me it is his tempo of narration and storytelling that makes the characters in his novels feel like they really are believable human beings with complex psycologies, i've almost felt like at times that this was his intent. I think it was Nietzsche who described Dostoevsky as being "the only psychologist" from which he "had anything to learn."

----

I've made this thread so-far to be quite "Brothers Karamazov" heavy because it appears clear to me that this book has become one of the favourite novels for apologists. Let me give you another example; Here Dostoyevsky was describing the spiritual and physical character of the main protagonist and his "hero" of the novel, Alyosha when he interjects the following:

"Oh it cannot be denied that in the monastery he believed in Miracles, but in my experience miracles never bother a realist. It is not miracles that incline a realist towards faith. The true realist, if he is not a believer, will invariably find within himself the strength and the ability not to believe in miracles either, and if a miracle stands before him as an incontrovertible fact, he will sooner disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. And even if he does admit it, it will be as a fact of nature, but one that until now has been obscure to him. In the realist it is not faith that is born of miracles, but miracles of faith. Once the realist believes, his realism inexorably compels him to admit miracles too. The Apostle Thomas declared that he would not believe until he saw, and that when he saw, said: 'My Lord and my God.' Was it the miracle that had made him believe? The likeliest explaination is that it was not, and that he came to believe for the sole reason that he wanted to believe, and perhaps, in the inmost corners of his being already fully believed, even when he said: 'Execpt I shall see ... I will not believe.'" - "ibid", Pt 1, Book 1, Ch5, [p39.]

An apologetic message can be draw from here concerning what may hapen if one of us happens to encounter a genuine Miracle someday, that is we will either abandon all senses and go mad, or we just rationalise the miracle as another piece of nature ignoring the divine origins, in other words we would not accept it as a proof of God, leading to the question along the lines of "well if you would not accept what you can see with your own eyes and what your own senses tell you, what would you accept as a proof of God then?"

I've had that question put to me before in a similar way, my response (vague i'll admit) was i would accept an argument that works, but there are no real working arguments at present.

That's my take on that quotation, what does anyone else think?
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:36 am
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