Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Psalm 28:29

"He who trusts in himself is a fool, 
    but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe".

Free Will vs. Security: The Grand Inquisitor Redux

I heard on the radio this AM a reference to the Doestefsky's brilliant novel; The Brothers Karamozov and in addition to bringing me back a few decades to one of my more memorable classes in college it reminded me of a fascinating chapter titled: The Grand Inquisitor that featured the famous quote:

"Nothing has been more insufferable for man than  freedom..."

With the dire state of our finances (both fed, state and personal), the ongoing War on Terror, Drugs, Poverty, etc and so many focusing on themselves rather than the well being of "our neighbor" the theme of the Grand Inquisitor seems fitting. That is in the poem the Grand Inquisitor's statement to Christ (this is a novel) that he must leave because he offers individuals the freedom to choose where as he [the Inquisitor] offers them no freedom only security. In other words the Grand Inquisitor states to Christ that with His offering of freedom to followers implicit is the freedom to choose wisely and unwisely; and if a choice is unwise it will lead to despair and unhappiness. The Grand Inquisitor knows that freedom opens the door for suffering because people have the freedom to make a 'bad choice'.  Whereas and without a choice his subject are far happier with security when compared to freedom. 

As we roll out our new big government programs of President Obama I'm wondering whether decent to a choice-less society - one more akin to that which the Grand Inquisitor would approve - is where we are headed. Stay tuned.