Heresy Of The Mind Displayed Philosophy Essay

2068 words - 9 pages

Society’s downfall is the logical consequence of actions taken by individuals who lack desire controlled by just and moral sentiments. When these individuals disobey the moral law of society they can be known as heretics towards that society. This heresy is embodied by Raskolnikov throughout his journey in Crime and Punishment, where his actions and decisions are derived from purely his mind and reason alone. When confronted with deciding if he himself is extraordinary and decides to perform murder, he uses his mind to guide himself which only leads him into sickness and delusion.
The justice of God is received in turn for any crime or sin to God. No crime is left unpunished. The levels of hell depicted in Inferno show how a person’s crime or sin, is their punishment in hell. Raskolnikov although having committed many evil deeds, is not directly punished for these acts. Instead, he is left to the constraints of his mind. Raskolnikov is not left to be punished in hell either however, throughout the progression of the novel, he is being punished for his sins directly. His sin, although seeming like violence and murder, are only actions resulting from the initial motive that is the sin within his mind. Raskolnikov’s article highlights how the extraordinary person has the ‘right’ to kill his fellow man if it required for the gain of their information to mankind, murder for the progress of humanity. “Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty bound … to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of making his discoveries known to the whole of humanity,” (Dostoyevsky, III, V, 466). It is this thought process that is displayed in Raskolnikov’s article that begins the unravelling of sin to follow, and it is what he is punished for. Raskolnikov becomes a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted, heresy of society and God’s doctrine. The created belief that murder can be held just, for the progress of mankind, is contrary with the doctrine of God. Upon creating this idea in his head, he has committed heresy, a sin that to Dante, would condemn him to the sixth sphere of hell, the sphere of heretics to be punished for eternity in a flaming tomb.
This style of punishment can be seen occurring in the present time of the book however. Raskolnikov’s sin is his mind, and his punishment in hell would be an eternity in pain with only his mind and beliefs to occupy him. Through the book, it is this exact punishment that condemns him to sickness and delusion. He continues to ponder the thoughts in his mind, thinking, always thinking, about what to do next without consideration of his sentiments. Despite ‘losing his mind’, he is punished by only having his mind and reason. When Lucifer first went through the thought process of desiring Gods throne, he created sin. Is this not what occurs in Raskolnikov’s mind? He create an idea, went through his own thought process that murder can be justified for the...

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