The Almighty Lawbreaker

1) The extraordinary are lawbreakers.

2) Lawbreakers are criminals.

3) Therefore, the extraordinary are criminals.

In Part III of Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky incorporated a juxtaposition of objective, superhuman authority, and subjective, nihilistic reality. An existential conundrum was splendidly conveyed through the dialogues of Raskolnikov, concerning his paper “On Crime”.

As Raskolnikov set forth his dichotomy of the “ordinary” and the “extraordinary”, he exploited his classifications as an advantage to conceal his offence. This division is homogeneous to Nietzsche’s Übermensch that discriminates the “weak” and “strong” moralities. The latter shall forge new laws and dictate society, thus the former ought to obey.

Nihilism rejects transcendental, spiritual concerns, favoring the secular notion on the inexistence of the soul, but solely the observable world. “Thou shalt not kill”, then, becomes nugatory.

Instantly, this denotes the self-defeating nature of relativistic morality. I postulate that not only this deleterious ethical standpoint is self-defeating philosophically, but in a physical sense, to Raskolnikov.

This contention pledged the reality that Raskolnikov has a fragmented nature, both cognitively and psychosomatically. Thus, the crux is: it is an intrinsic quality of our egocentric human nature that we aspire to destroy others for our own contentment, albeit on occasions we end up destroying ourselves.

Engrossingly, Raskolnikov explicitly professed his belief in God. Whereas, according to Nietzsche, “God is dead”, as the objective moral standard is illusory.

Raskolnikov, then, from a monotheistic perspective, defied an Old Covenant law, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Furthermore, Raskolnikov was intrigued by the account of Lazarus. At heart, perhaps, since the God of Lazarus—the God of the New Covenant—broke Jewish laws, provided that the syllogism is implemented: God, who is “extraordinary”, must be a criminal, and his baffling credence in the existence of God impelled him to become like God.


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