Rhetoric Of Division

1418 Words6 Pages
The rhetoric of division is a powerful tool in which a stark contrast is made to illuminate a tough subject. It works well, because there is no middle-ground to get caught up in. One topic that uses the help from this rhetoric is the apocalypse. The apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation give an eschatological perspective through prophecy, and the rhetoric of division works through the concept of ethical dualism. This concept is the idea that there are two moral entities that constantly oppose each other: good and evil. The apocalyptic writers use this to group people into two parties. One party, the good, is described as a select few who are persecuted, but through their devotion to God, they will be saved during the time of judgement.…show more content…
The apocalyptic authors define them when they say that those who are good will receive “water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children” (Revelation 21:6-7). Immediately, this group is rewarded with life, but the term conquerors may be ambiguous. It is not saying a person who conquers people or land. Rather, this characteristic belongs to the people who conquer the teachings and beliefs of Jesus. This passage thus equates the conquerors with good, because God, who is everything that is good, is willing to take them in as children. However, on the other end of the spectrum, the “cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars… will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8). These characteristics define evil, and are deserving of an eternity in a burning lake. This conclusion is made because of the following logic. Life is good, goodness comes from God, and these characteristics result in a second death which is void of both life and God; therefore, it cannot be good. This polarization of characteristics is an example of the rhetoric of division. The two groups are being dramatically contrasted…show more content…
This rhetorical device is seen through ethical dualism which proposed that there are only two parties. One that is good, and the other that is evil. People are only allowed to be in one category. Apocalyptic literature goes one step further to say that the contrasting parties are served divine justice. The good who are written in the book of life will be given eternal life whereas those who are not written in the book are made to suffer eternal anguish. With this stark difference it is left up to the audience to determine how a person is supposed to get their name written in the book of life if it is not already
Open Document