Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor

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According to Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, freedom is a destructive tool that is used to corrupt societies by taking advantage of man’s weak and flawed nature. In other words, when people have the opportunity to make a choice, they are likely to make selfish decisions that will undermine the church’s efforts and lead to internal turmoil. He boasts that the Church has “vanquished freedom and have done so to make men happy” (Dovstoyevsky 4). Therefore, ideally, in order to create a world where everyone was happy, there must be complete authority without any freedom at all. In fact, the Grand Inquisitor’s job is not only to enforce the Church’s authority, but also to insure the abolition of freedom. This is why Jesus’ return is so offensive. He chose free will when tempted by the devil, refusing to end human suffering for the sake of liberty. The relationship between Jesus, Dostoevsky’s…show more content…
Although I think that the arguments Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor provide an insightful outlook on humanity, I don’t believe that overall story expresses Dostoyevsky 's own point of view. This type of narrative may seem peculiar considering many existentialists’ convictions regarding free will and autonomy. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the Grand Inquisitor is simply a fictional character. Therefore, the reader cannot attribute his characters’ beliefs to his own view. As an existentialist author, he uses this story to emphasize the absurdity surrounding this ideology present in his community. Specifically, the idea of the Church turning Jesus himself away in favor of their methodology is incredibly absurd, yet an astoundingly similar to the Russian worldview. Additionally, the apparent conflict between the Christian value of liberty and the preference of human happiness pose a unique juxtaposition of
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