Quote 1: “Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it’s beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am and honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It’s not God that I don’t accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return Him the ticket.”
“That’s rebellion,” murmured Alyosha, looking down.”
“Rebellion? I am sorry you call it that,” said Ivan earnestly. “One can hardly live in rebellion, and I want to live.”
Ivan’s challenge to Alyosha: “Tell me yourself, I challenge your answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature — that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance — and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.” From “The Rebellion”
1. If Ivan challenged you to the same question, how would you answer this question? Use your readings to support your answer. Your answer should include the following:
1.1. Whether or not the suffering of one innocent child is justified for the peace and happiness of the many.
1.2. Identify one of Ivan’s arguments for rebelling against God? Do you agree or disagree with his argument and why? In your opinion is Ivan’s rebellion against God morally justifiable? Why or why not?
Quote 2: “We shall show them that they are weak, that they are only pitiful children, but that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all. They will become timid and will look to us and huddle close to us in fear, as chicks to the hen. They will marvel at us and will be awe-stricken before us, and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever that we have been able to subdue such a turbulent flock of thousands of millions. They will tremble impotently before our wrath, their minds will grow fearful, they will be quick to shed tears like women and children, but they will be just as ready at a sign from us to pass to laughter and rejoicing, to happy mirth and childish song.” From “The Grand Inquisitor”
1. Explain how the Grand Inquisitor, in Dostoyevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” rationalizes his use of power. Do you agree or disagree with him and why?
2. Do you think that the powerful few, the Grand Inquisitor and the rulers of the Catholic Church, suffer to make the many happy? Your answer should include ways in which the Judea-Christian ethic is violated.
3. Would Nietzsche consider the Grand Inquisitor a master moralist or a slave moralist? After defining slave and master morality, give an argument based on your reading of Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil that justifies your answer.