Thursday, December 4, 2014

Human Arrogance in "Cause and Effect" Logic

I was thinking back to Jacques's death Chapter 5, specifically, Pangloss's reaction to his drowning, and realized how arrogant Pangloss's philosophy seems. Pangloss responds to Candide's desire to jump after Jacques by justifying his demise as what was meant to be: "but the philosopher Pangloss prevented him by proving that the Bay of Lisbon had been formed especially for this Anabaptist to drown in" (192). Does Jacques really matter that much? I mean, is one human really so important that  God created a whole body of water millions of years in advance just to drown an goodhearted Anabaptist? Personally, I think that smacks of human arrogance. We aren't the only ones inhabiting this earth. What about the countless fish that were fertilized, hatched, lived, and died in that bay? the birds that flew over it? even the other people who have sailed the bay? Why does it exist solely to drown Jacques? While I love him dearly, poor, unfortunate Jacques just isn't that important on the universal scale.



Ross said...

I agree with you when you say that the "Pangloss Logic" is incredibly arrogant. Personally, I attribute this arrogance to Pangloss' general stupidity and optimism. He assumes that everything is for the best and that God made everything to do certain things, such as drowning an Anabaptist. But by saying this, Pangloss actually devalues the worth of most life because he thinks that if someone dies then it is probably a good thing, so essentially they did not matter if God made them die.

Tiffany Tavassoli said...

I definitely agree that Pangloss' logic doesn't make sense and that it is arrogant, but his logic, in a way, remind me of the belief that "everything happens for a reason." I think the theory that the reason that the Bay of Lisbon was created was to kill Jacques is not optimistic at all, as Candide clams that Pangloss is all about positivity. On the contrary, Pangloss' ideas that God uses some of his creations on earth as a instrument to kill fails to portray God in a good light, and it seems like , as Ross said, that this theory devalues life and makes it seem worthless. The fact that God would create something specifically to destroy a human seems extremely pessimistic, revealing Voltaire's opinion on how Pangloss' theories are really just absurd.

Sri Korrapati said...

Okay, I know we all can agree PANGLOSS"S PHILOSOPHY IS ABSURD! BUT... Can we disprove it? This is probably my least favorite part of philosophy, YOU CAN BARELY EVER PROVE ONE WRONG! Think about it like this, If Pangloss is right, then the nose was made to support the glasses. Maybe God made the nose in such shape so that humans could invent our modern understanding of glasses. Of course, I believe God(s) created the nose for many different reasons, but can we prove that this one is not among them. What if Pangloss is right!? How can it be proven? It can't. It can't be disproved either. We are in eternal debate over this. Existentialism? Can you prove or disprove that?