Summary Of Nonmoral Nature By Stephen Jay Gould

580 Words3 Pages

Answering the Unanswerable

Many people find the answers to their unanswerable questions in religion. However, as science progresses in the nineteenth century, there were new answers and new questions. In his comparative and refutational essay entitled “Nonmoral Nature”, Stephen Jay Gould weighs the impact ichneumon flies have on God’s divine benevolence. By adopting a autocratic tone, establishing dichotomies and employing a discursive structure, Gould seeks to highlight how the standards of morality cannot be found in nature, as nature is _________________. Gould commences his essay with a condescending analysis of William Buckland’s refutations to dilema of predator-prey relations in a world crafted out of benevolence. He employs phrases such as “amusing charm” to describe him and resolves that his ideas are only “to his satisfaction”. Gould uses these phrases in order to tonally denigrate Buckland in the reader's mind, to then awaken the idea that the root problem to this debate goes deeper than simple predation. By portraying the simplicity of Buckland’s arguments Gould sets the stage for the proceeding attacks to come.
He seeks to awaken the reader's mind the idea of the ichneumon fly. By crafting his discursive essay in this way, he weaves the reader through commentary on the habitudes of ichneumon flies and the ensuing …show more content…

Fabre is able to narratively portray the preys struggles, which Gould likens to “Jesus, immobile and thirsting on the cross, receiv[ing] only vinegar from his tormentors, Fabre at least could make the ending bittersweet.” After being nailed to a cross Jesus was offered vinegar, however the vinegar was meant to keep him alive. Gould is asserting that the way the text is written can change the meaning and tone. When ___________________________. By likening the issue he hints at subtle irony as the essay analyzes the benevolence of

Open Document