integrative essay: modernity and freedom
This essay is a bit longer (1000-1200 words or about 3-4 pages). I have provided a long introduction for this assignment. The prompt is at the end: Sartre Reflection Essay Why does Socrates tell the jury in the Apology that a person who wishes to live a truly good life cannot be a public person (a "politician”), but rather must focus on a private life? Format your essay according to the following three requirements. At the end of the final play of his trilogy (The Eumenides), Aeschylus has Athena make the following two points to Orestes, the Furies, and the people of Athens. A. “I open on this rock [the Areopagus opposite the Acropolis] the pure springs of my laws. Do not taint them by an expedient shift for advantages. Protect this court which will protect you all from the headstrong license of any man’s will and from slavery. Above all, remember the power of fear and cherish it in your ministry of the laws… I give you this court and I bless it— Like heaven, not to be violated. Like heaven, holy.” B. In response to the Furies outcry against the verdict she says, “You call for justice. But God speaks through me. Only I, Pallas Athene, possess the key that unlocks the thunderbolt of Zeus. But the time for brute force is past. The day of reasoned persuasion, with its long vision, with its mercy, its forgiveness, has arrived.” Sartre, in his play, the Flies, has this confrontation between Zeus and Orestes: Zeus: “Orestes, I created you, and I created all things…. For the world is good; I made it according to my will, and I am Goodness… Return to Nature, Nature’s thankless son. Know your sin, abhor it, and tear it from you as one tears out a rotten noisome tooth…. Come back to the fold. Think of your loneliness; even your sister is forsaking you. Your eyes are big with anguish, your face pale and drawn. The disease you’re suffering from is inhuman, foreign to my nature, foreign to yourself. Come back. I am forgiveness, I am peace.” Orestes, however, responds as follows: “Foreign to myself—I know it. Outside nature, against nature, without excuse, beyond remedy, except what remedy I find within myself. But I shall not return under your law; I am doomed to have no other law but mine. Nor shall I come back to nature, the nature you found good; in it are a thousand beaten paths all leading up to you—but I must blaze my trail. For I, Zeus, am a man, and every man must find out his own way. Nature abhors man, and you too, god of gods, abhor man.” THE QUESTION: Aeschylus praises the power of the gods, especially in the persons of the Zeus (god of justice) and Athena (goddess of wisdom or reason) and the divine order they provide—a very ancient belief. He also sets the stage for the emphasis on reason that becomes central to philosophy. For Aeschylus, Orestes finds comfort and justification in conforming to the pronouncements of Athena and the arguments of sweet reason. Sartre, on the other hand, has Orestes reject such comforts. PART ONE OF THE ESSAY: Why does Sartre, given his situation at the end of Modernity, come to such a conclusion? Note important changes introduced by modern thinkers we have studied to make your point (2-3 paragraphs). PART TWO OF THE ESSAY: As a reflective Christian, state your position on how the modern notion of freedom and the demand to love and serve God and others fits together. (1 paragraph) Develop your ideas and defend them being sure to engage Sartre's and other modern ideas about freedom and the possibility of modern community. Avoid Biblical proof-texting or platitudes. Yes, we could call this "servant-leadership" or "freedom in Christ," but what do these things mean? You need to explain and justify what you claim. For Sartre, freedom is by definition the right and ability to decide for oneself and to judge for oneself what one will do. Any moral decision must originate in the self in order to be authentic; that is, it can't be commanded (3-4) paragraphs).