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Essay on The Holy Bible – The Nature of God in Genesis

The Nature of God in Genesis

The depiction of God in the Bible’s story of creation, namely Genesis, brings to mind the image of an omnipotent, almighty and all-powerful child playing in a sandbox. Like a child his sole purpose seems to be to simply amuse himself, and possibly acquire a source of unconditional love. These needs are in contrast to the classic view of God acting with the idea of an ultimate plan. His actions clearly show that there is no perfect plan, or if there is it must be grossly overcomplicated. Consistently God makes poor decisions, and then eventually acts to fix the situation. The whole scenario conjures up an image of the crew of Apollo 13, alternately breaking things and then patching it together with duck tape.

God’s initial idea was a good one. He was alone in the void. Either out of boredom or perhaps out of a need to have someone else to confirm his greatness, he creates the Earth, plants, animals and most important (both for the sake of this argument and in God’s own mind) mankind. By design, man is supposed to be ignorant. So, for a time, God is happy and he has a source of praise. This is a rather mundane existence, however. As any kid will tell you, the game is no fun if you know you are going to win. Sure, it’s amusing for a while, but in the long run what the hell good is it? The game, in this case, is life, namely God’s life. (If that concept strikes you as odd, feel free to call it God’s existence) In any case, God makes sure there is temptation for man. It’s no accident that Adam and Eve have been made to live in close proximity to the one thing that is forbidden to them, the tree of knowledge. God wants his children to not o…

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…en dominion over animals, which is completely different. Dominion would mean that mankind were the keepers of animals, looking after them essentially. With Noah, God specifically says that the animals will fear man, and they will provide mankind with food. Once again, this forces us to ask why God didn’t just do this in the first place, with Adam? Once again this indicates not a plan on the part of God, but more like him throwing things together on the fly.

If God does have a plan, it seems to hold mankind’s welfare in little regard. A great example of this is the tower of Babel, where God willfully acts to destroy the clear progress of man. If God is not interested in mankind’s evolution, then it seems very clear to me that we should have as little to do with him as possible. It appears to be working so far.

Essay on Voltaire’s Candide: A Freudian Interpretation

A Freudian Interpretation of Candide

Voltaire’s Candide is a humorous work depicting the misadventures of a German man who has fallen from pseudo-nobility and is forced to roam the world in search for his love and his identity. In his adventures, he encounters massive fits of violence, both inflicted by himself onto others, and by those around him. This huge amount of violent behavior brings about startling questions about morality and justice in Voltaire’s time. It becomes apparent that Candide, among other things, is a satire which focuses on justice. Sigmund Freud, the noted psychologist, came up with the idea three states of consciousness: the id, which is the instinctive quality of humans; the ego, which is human rationale; and the superego, which is a person’s morality, or conscience. The characters and actions of Candide can easily be classified into these three states of consciousness to determine much of what Voltaire satirized in his work.

The middle group of the conscious states, the ego, is the medium of the brain. It is the bridge from the outside world to the inner workings of the mind. It is also the rational portion of the psyche, relying on reason. From the narrative, which is notably biased toward Candide’s point of view, the obvious symbol of the ego is Pangloss, the philosopher. He is Candide’s idol, and the model of right-thinking among the main characters, despite appearing as an utter buffoon to both the audience and the other characters with his hypotheses that all things are “for the best.” Also distorted views of the ego are apparent in most of the major characters, including Candide and Cunegonde, most notably. Although they are hardly the pictures of rationale, the…

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…p in their own personal El Dorado, the microcosmic garden. An Edenic farm becomes their new home. On the other hand, the rest of society is forced to live with the monstrosity that it has created of itself. Candide and his friends can live in peace for the rest of their existence while the rest of humanity, including perhaps even the real El Dorado, must suffer its own set of consequences.

Voltaire is obviously satirizing the period’s view of justice. He makes his points through biting sarcasm using the reversed roles of what he feels should be. These points are unstated, but painstakingly simple and clear. He was obviously hoping to reform the systems of the time. These ideas of reform are made even clearer by Freud’s ideas. Voltaire tries to refocus society’s efforts on morality and thinking, rather than tradition and blind submissions.

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