September 2nd 2007, 05:27 AM
I recently finished reading The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. What a powerful book on human nature! I would encourage everyone to read it if they haven't already. Yet I am inclined to remark on the "Grand Inquisitor" ... perhaps the most famous chapters in literary history. Many atheists seem to consider it the most powerful argument against the existence of God ... yet I find it ironic that this is not what Dostoyevsky ever intended as this chapter was simply reflecting the intense intellect of the troubled young Ivan Karamazov character. Powerful indeed this chapter is, as it insightfully and with wit breaks down the fundamental drives of fallen humanity in the temptations of Christ. Yet it only depicts the depravity of mankind and not the higher goal of what mankind is truly called to in God. To treat this chapter as an excerpt without reading the entire book is certainly unfair. Dostoyevsky powerfully displays the steadfast character of love and purpose, in faith to God, through the character of Alyosha in stark contrast to Ivan. I especially consider the musings of Father Zossima as quite powerful in this regard. For a man to plummet the depths of disbelief and belief in one fictional masterpiece quite powerfully shows the genius of Dostoyevsky.