HY102 Kar Marx and Friedrich Engels Discussion The book is : Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York: Signet Classics, 2011), pa

HY102 Kar Marx and Friedrich Engels Discussion The book is : Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,

The Communist Manifesto (New York: Signet Classics, 2011), paper, ISBN-13: 978-0451531841

I only need 10 Discussion Questions about this book, no answer.

For the book, each student will prepare ten (10) discussion questions (no more and no less). These questions should elicit an informed response, not a yes/no, one-sentence, an either/or, or a fact response (Worth: 25% of total grade). Students not handing in sets of questions on the assigned days will receive a zero.

Below are two sets of discussion questions for Voltaire’s “Candide”, written by students in my previous HY 102 classes. The first set received an “A+”; the second was lucky to earn a “C–”

I do not expect students in this class to achieve the quality of the first set, but make an attempt to pose questions which (if you were to present them orally in class) would demand a complex answer.

here are some example questions. FIRST SET OF DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
Question 1) The characters in Candide suffer from confirmation bias; why is it
that Candide struggles to find a “cause” for life events that are bad for him, and yet
when things go well (often due to incredible luck,) it is because “pure nature is
good”? What is it about human nature that causes us to assume that only the
unpleasant events require an explanation; would assuming that pure nature is evil
be too frightening for humans to manage? Is Voltaire suggesting that we behave
more like Martin (largely emotionless, because we have become desensitized to
Question 2) According to Voltaire, is life worth living at all? Is Voltaire agreeing
with the old woman’s statement here, or is he portraying her as overly pessimistic?
What events in the book (perhaps Candide’s experiences) support the idea that life
is more than a burden (or the opposite, that living is foolish)?
Question 3) What does Voltaire think about the concept of “purity of heart” and
“pure intention”? Candide kills in order to protect himself and those he “loves”
(acts normally considered noble,) but his behavior is primarily motivated by lust,
jealousy, and vengeful callousness – self-centered emotions. Voltaire may be
implying that it is impossible to commit a truly selfless act while remaining alive how can “goodness” and “selfishness” coincide? Is the ultimate act of “purity of
heart” to simply give oneself up – what is the limit to the number of people one
may kill (in defense of yourself or others) while remaining “pure”? Note that later
in the book, Candide makes an especially rash decision to kill: he kills the
monkeys, without fully understanding the situation, hoping for glory.
Question 4) What is free will? Is it something that man has, but other animals do
not? If all human behavior is ultimately rooted in instincts related to preservation
of self (and kin as extension of self,) how should we define “evil” behavior? Notice
how Voltaire cuts off Candide’s statement about free will; what does this say about
the author’s opinion on free will (specifically, what is the value of discussing the
Question 5) What is love? Is Candide and Cunégonde’s relationship representative
of love – if not, what necessary characteristics are missing? Candide’s “love,” on
the other hand, was entirely lust, as evidenced by the fact that he completely loses
interest in her after she loses her youthful beauty. Compare Candide’s behavior
towards his lover at the end of the book with the idealized concept of “love” with
which Candide is obsessed. (After all, he leaves El Dorado, a perfect world, for
Question 6) Is there such a thing as the “greater good”? If the greater good simply
breaks down into more positive life events for more people, should one give up his
own life in order to improve the lives of others, and if so, how many others? Does
it make sense to pay for the positive (for others) with so much negative (for
yourself)? In the theory of optimism, what is God’s ultimate plan (are humans
meant to learn something from life, or perhaps to enjoy life more because there is
Question 7) Every character in Candide arrived at the end of the story after an
incredible series of lucky breaks and chance encounters. Why did Voltaire make
his characters so lucky? Does it underscore how lucky (or perhaps blessed?) we all
are to be able to experience life- does it suggest that every event in life is a product
of chance and not an act of God? If, at times, one character’s misfortune is
another’s luck, what does that say about judging the world as a whole as “good” or
Question 8) “What signifies it,” said the dervish, “whether there is evil or good?
When His Highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the
rats in the vessel are at their ease or not?”
“What must then be done?” said Pangloss.
“Be silent,” answered the dervish.
What does the dervish mean here? Since most people don’t even think about the
lives of rats, what does that imply about people who try to make statements about
the overall state of the world? If one refuses to care about rats, is it hypocritical to
care for other creatures, or human beings? A person obviously cannot care for all
the world’s creatures at the same time, so what advice would the dervish provide
about living day to day? The dervish in this scene is rather rude (he shuts the door
on them,) but Pangloss is also rude (he is pushy) – on whose side is Voltaire?
Question 9) “I have no more than twenty acres of ground,” he replied, “the whole
of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off
from us three great evils-idleness, vice, and want.”
Is the statement above in Voltaire’s voice – is this the author’s unsarcastic advice
(how do you know)?
A main element of classical satire is providing some sort of solution to the problem
that the work is pointing out. Candide’s main point is the futility of “maintaining
that everything is right when it is wrong.” But beyond that, the only suggestion
seems to be keeping busy with practical work (and so the book falls short as
satire). The author makes no attempt to define what “vice” is or why one should
avoid it. Ironically, the roots of religious fundamentalism and ignorance are found
in groups of people who work hard and avoid philosophical discussion. Therefore,
it seems that this advice will do nothing to prevent the horrific acts that are
described in the book (such as the burning of heretics). How is a general
viewpoint that “the world is good” or “the world is evil” connected to the act of
trying to force those around you to believe what you believe (since this is a natural
human behavior)? Does Voltaire even care about changing the world? perhaps he
is simply telling people “Don’t worry; be happy”.
Question 10) What is Voltaire’s opinion of philosophy itself? At the end of the
book, Pangloss continues to believe in optimism despite all the horrors he has
endured – there is nothing that will make him believe otherwise. Numerous times
in the book, characters who are philosophizing at length will get cut off, as if to
imply that they are being insufferable; is this Voltaire’s way of making fun of
beliefs that cannot be disproved via personal experience? Is this hypocritical, given
that Voltaire is a philosopher? (Although, the most horrific acts in the book were
not committed by the navelgazers, so perhaps he sees philosophizing as harmless,
but futile.)
What is Candide trying to accomplish? The ending’s advice is actually similar to
optimism in that it involves keeping to yourself and changing nothing (it’s either
“the world is good, have faith” or “the world is chaotic, don’t bother”). How does
Candide suggest we live our lives – would helping others, or maintaining any
morality at all, be imposing false ideas about “good” and “evil” on others?

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