If you asked somebody to tell you some of the immutable laws of nature, some of the answers you might get would be along the lines of gravity or relativity. In Mere Christianity, Lewis makes a very compelling argument for morality to be included in that list. Human morality, he argues, is always present. Anyone that tells you that they do not believe that fact is likely to negate their statement minutes later. Even though its meaning has changed over the years, the concept of right and wrong has always remained. Furthermore, just like the other laws of nature, humans did not invent this concept, nor do we know where it came from.
Mere Christianity is the literary adaption of a series of radio broadcasts aired on the BBC in Britain between 1942-1944 by famous Christian writer C.S. Lewis. The main premise of the book is a series of arguments in favor of the Christian religion. While appropriate for any audience, I feel like the arguments are mainly geared toward intellectuals who are interested in Christianity but find social/intellectual stereotypes and their own intellectual questions getting in the way. It’s a very well put together apologetics that is a must read for any Christian.
Eventually, in both the Russian Revolution and the Animal Farm, the leader becomes corrupted. Both Stalin and Napoleon strayed from the original idealism that started their movement. They did anything necessary to keep their power, and while their citizens slaved away, they led secret lives of luxury. I think this is why Orwell wrote this book. Not because he disagreed with the Revolution altogether, but because he hated what it became. Idealism turned into ambition, cooperation turned into slave labor, and uncompromising original values were compromised over and over again.
As their ideas for the farm differ more and more, Snowball and Napoleon reach the breaking point, at which Napoleon chases Snowball off the farm. Subsequently, Napoleon steals Snowball’s ideas for the improvement of the farm and claims them as his own. Additionally, Napoleon spreads rumors and lies to massively exaggerate Snowball’s danger to the farm if he were to ever come back. He blames Snowball in some way or another for pretty much everything that goes wrong on the farm, and constantly keeps the animals obedient by portraying him as some looming threat. This is almost exactly what Stalin did to Trotsky at the time of the Russian Revolution. In fact, a lot of Communist countries/countries that use a lot of propaganda do this. They make a big bad wolf for the citizens to fear and to distract them from the real problems at home.
Now that Old Major is gone, somebody has to carry on his vision for the farm. Two pigs, named Snowball and Napoleon, step up to take over. Snowball represents Leon Trotsky, while Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin. It is quite fitting that in a manuscript critiquing the Russian Revolution, Orwell would depict its two main leaders as pigs. The pigs dazzle the other animals with their cunning and intellect and show that they alone are fit to lead, and that due to the intelligence gap, the other animals should not question their leadership. The animals agree, and although the farm runs smoothly at first, Snowball and Napoleon start to butt heads.
No, the title is not referring to the timeless speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. Rather, it is referring to a speech made by Old Major, a prize boar on the animal farm and a highly respected figure of the animal community. At the start of the book, Old Major tells the rest of the animals on the farm of a dream that he has had regarding their future – a dream where animals were no longer treated as subservient creatures at the hands of the humans but where animals were equals among each other, isolated from the humans. Just three days after leading all the farm animals in joyous song celebrating their future, old major died of undisclosed causes. This sparked the beginning of the animal farm.
Animal Farm is a story written by George Orwell critiquing the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution. Orwell sets the story in an actual farm, as the animals that reside there rebel against the farmer. Orwell then parallels almost exactly the story of the animals of the farm and the “animals” of the Russian Revolution. It looks to be a very interesting read, albeit a tad difficult to follow. I’ll be sure to post some more blogs getting into further detail about this interesting story.
The belief of a “god” or an afterlife is the symptom of an unhealthy body. These beliefs are caused by the body being unable to be happy with its existence because it is sick. Believing in these things is a sad attempt at giving the body hope for another chance- for something that is beyond this world. Even though this world is all that there is. This is Friedrich Nietzsche’s belief. He says that a healthy body is one that recognizes that it is primarily a physical body, and through this realization is happy with its existence. This is completely opposite to the beliefs of Christians. Christians believe that they are souls who have physical representations on the earth. Nietzsche believed that if a person achieved the status of the overman, there would be no entity above them. He believed that the overman was the highest creature in the universe. This is where I believe Nietzsche was really wrong. Even if somebody could overcome all of the vague trials of becoming an overman, they would not be satisfied. They would not be the highest being because instead of recognizing that there was more to life than the body, an overman has tied themselves to the earth. They have tried to find peace by accepting that all that exists is carnal desires. This is how the overman will never have any peace. This is why Nietzsche’s philosophy was flawed.
Upon further inspection, Nietzche’s overman appears to be representative of an ordinary person who has achieved some specific form of enlightenment. The problem that I’m presented with here is that there is no solid definition of an end goal. Throughout the chapters I’ve been reading, Zarathustra (by extension, Nietzche) has not provided an explicit end goal for the overman. He has provided chapters upon chapters of vague directions and obstacles that need to be overcome in order to achieve overman status, but nowhere has he provided a clear cut picture of the overman. There have been no examples at all. He has provided actions that an overman would do, but even these are confusing and convoluted.
The book Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a fictional account written by Friedrich Nietzsche of a character called Zarathustra. In this account, Zarathustra has achieved a somewhat enlightened state of understanding, and wants to share it with a town. In his apparent enlightenment, he talks about what he refers to as an “overman” and really expounds upon Nietszche’s beliefs. It’s a weird concept, but I’m going to dig into it a little and put out a couple more posts explaining the overman.