Benefits and Consequences of Civilization

Benefitsand Consequences of Civilization

Civilizationentailsa comprehensivedevelopmentof thehumanpotential in allthefacetsof lifespiritual,physical,psychological,moralandintellectual.In orderto attainthispotential, thecollectiveeffortof theentiresocietyis required,andits benefitscannot be limitedto a fewgroupsof individuals.Civilizationshould yieldfruitsto allmembersin thesociety.Eventhoughitmay not affectallthefacetsof lifeby thesamemeasure,its still remainscomprehensiveandinclusive.Therefore,in thisviewcivilizationshould maintaincontinuationandduration,anditfailsto be soifitjustemergesanddisappearswithout anymeaningfulimpactson thelifeof allmembersof thesociety.Thispaperwillexemplifythebenefitsandconsequencesof civilizationas presentedin theepicof Candide bookandGilgamesh book.Weshall seekto supportthepremisethatcivilizationmust comefrom somewhere,through peopleto othercommunitiesandthatiteffectsbenefitallpeoplewithin a givensocialsetup. IntheepicCandide book,wecomeacross a familythat has immeasurablepridein thenobleheritageof thefamilyline.In thecastle,everythingboilsdownto loyalty,andpowerandanybody whosefamilybackgroundcan not be tracedto thebloodof loyaltyis considereda weakerhuman(Voltaire4-5). Forexample,Candide’s motherwhowasa bastardsonof baron’ssisterrefusedto marryhis fatherbecause is rootscould onlybe tracedthrough’’ seventy-one quarterings’’ whilehers’ wasup to seventy-two (Voltaire4). In spiteof thefactthatPangloss thefamilyteacherreemphasizes thattheworldis the“bestof allpossibleworlds“,(Voltaire4), his wordsdonot changetheperceptionof thebarons.Infact Candide isbanishedfrom thesocietyforkissingthebaron’sdaughter,eventhoughthetwo appears to be fallingin love.On thescalesof justice,thisappearsratherhash to theyoungmanwhois determinedto learnas muchas possiblefrom Pangloss (Voltaire10). Voltaire usesthebaronfamilyto exemplifytheirrationalityof a rangeof beliefs,andmoresignificantly theirrationalityof tryingto pursuesuchbeliefsto thefarthestdegree.Candide is theagentof transformationthat triesto bringsanityto a groupof conceitedindividualswhowallowin thebeliefof naturalsuperioritypeggedon birthrights. Thethingsthat Candide endure,firstas a fighterin theBulgar’s army,andsecondin Holland at thefaceof theprotestant oratorandhis wifeare eventsthat posea parodyto theteachingof Pangloss whoappearsto be overly interestedin mattersthat havelittlerealimpactson theworld(Voltaire13).Pangloss ideaof a perfectworldis farfetchedandisbasedon shallowthinkingandfacts.Candide goesthrough differenttypesof educationin his transformationto a civilizedindividual.Expulsionfrom thecastlegavehim an opportunitytointeractwith therealworld,andheimmediatelyrealizesthatPangloss notionof our worldbeingthebestpossibleworldis a lie.Theworldaround him is fullof evil,sufferingandcruelty.Murder,destructionandrapeare theorderof theday. Therealbenefitsof civilizationare eminentin thecharacterof theAnabaptist Jacques. Anabaptist consists of a groupof Christians whorejectworldlypleasure(Voltaire24). Jacques is sympatheticto followerswholanguishin hunger,warandmiserywhiletheir churchleaderscontinueto squabbleover theologicaldogmas.Sheisportrayedas a kind,magnanimouspersonwhois realisticabout thehumanresponsibility(Voltaire25). Theladyacknowledgesthebrutality,insatiability andviolenceof mankind,andoffersevocativecharityto thosein needlike Candide. Unlike Pangloss whostudieshumannatureanddoesnothingto tryto influenceit,Jacques relentless strivesto changethestatusquo andmakeascontributionto changeis evident.

Responsibility

Intheepicof Gilgamesh book,weare introducedto Gilgamesh, an autocratickingwhodoesas hepleaseandhas noregardto thewelfareof thepeoplein his kingdom.His autocraticwayshas subduedhis subjects,andcreateda submissivecommunitythat is fearfulof theking(Spark Notes Editors 1). Itis eminentthatGilgamesh is guidedby archaicbeliefsandbasishis authorityon traditionaldogmasthat havebeensurpassedby time.Forexample,Gilgamesh wearsout his subjectswith incessantbattles,forcedlaborandcapriciousexerciseof power.In addition,wantonappetiteforsexpropelshim to rapeall thewomenthat hedesires.In theextremeof cases,heevenrapesbrideson their weddingday(SparkNotes Editors 1). Itis apparentthatGilgamesh considershimself to be a superiorbeingwhohas expressauthorityto dowhatever hedesires.Heconsidershimself as beingtwo-thirds godandas suchcan subjecttheothermortalbeingstomiseryandhardlaboras hefindsfitforthedevelopmentof thekingdom.Thenotionof civilizationonlydawnson Gilgamesh whenhecomesacross Enkindu,whois everything thatheis not. Enkidu teachesthekingallthevaluablelessonsof lifethat might helphim in servinghis subjectsbetter.ThoughGilgamesh cometo his senseafter Enkindu’sdeath,He strivesto be a betterkingby shunninghis unsustainable lavishlife,learnsto be justafter realizingthatheis not immortal(SparkNotes Editors 1). Civilizationbringssensein themindsof allmembersof thesociety.Realizationof thevanityof lifecoercedGilgamesh to abandonmaterialgoods,power,andgrandeur,elementsthathehadrelentlesslypursuedandstarthis questforthesecretof immortality.Intheend,hecomesto thefindingsthat helphim balanceto strikeharmonybetween mortalanddivineattributes.

Conclusion

Asaforementioned civilizationinvolvescreatinga conducivesituationthat developsthepotentialof allmembersin thesociety.Archaicthinkingandstrictadherence to beliefsthat havedetrimentalconsequencescan donothingbutbringharmandmiseryto thesociety.Itis suchbeliefsthatdraw Bulgars andAbares to a warthat completelywipesout theentirepopulation.On theotherhand,thebenefitsof civilizationcanbe seenin themannerin whichJacques handlesreligiousaffairsandthewaythathetreatspeoplewhoare below her in thesocietal radar.On a sournote,civilizationcallsforagentsof transformingin thesociety,andthisentailsmovementfrom one partof theglobetotheother.In theepicof Candide,thedisastrouseffectsof civilizationare exemplifiedin thediseasethatPanglosscontracts.Itis evidentthatagentsof civilizationare responsibleforhis sickness,butthebenefitsthat accruefrom itsupersedetheharmthatitbringsto thesociety.

WorkCited

SparkNotesEditors. “SparkNote on The Epic of Gilgamesh.” SparkNotes.com.SparkNotes LLC. 2004. Web. 2 Sept. 2014.

SparkNotesEditors. “SparkNote on Candide.” by Voltaire, SparkNotes.com.SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 2 Sept. 2014.