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Keeping the faith

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  1. Introduction
  2. Emotions that defy the doctrines
  3. Feeling superior to others
  4. Arkady's fascination with nihilism
  5. Nikolai realization that his son's arrogance will widen the generation gap
  6. Bazarov's unyielding passion for nihilism
  7. Conclusion

Organized religion epitomizes man's need to give order and meaning to his life. Philosophy represents his effort to rationalize the principles of his faith and conduct. Acceptance of God or an all-powerful supreme being who governs the universe remains the cornerstone of most major religions, but the fate of civilization depends upon the actions of the individual. Yet, people often invest too much of themselves in their personal philosophies. Allowing one's beliefs to determine his behavior may prove spiritually beneficial, but allowing those morals to dictate his emotions minimizes the human experience. Adherence to a strong belief system denotes weakness of character.
In the novel Fathers and Sons, inflexibility of beliefs leads to self-destruction

[...] Bazarov cannot find the strength within his nihilistic philosophies or character to love his parents in the same selfless manner in which they love him. His mother cries, son's cut off from us .I'll always remain the same for you for ever and ever, just as you will for (136). While she realizes that she has no relationship of substance with her son, Bazarov's pride does not allow him to admit to a failed relationship with his parents. Therefore, he makes no attempt to improve the situation?another sign of weakness. [...]

[...] Anna cannot look past the similarities of their beliefs and, consequently, misses the path her heart seeks to follow. Her mind clashing with her emotions, she cedes control of her destiny. Her weakness lies in her passivity. Instead of making an effort to align logic and love--to understand that love cannot be as rational as a scientific formula--she gives up completely, standing back as Bazarov pulls away. In addition, Bazarov's unyielding passion for nihilism renders him a slave to his beliefs. [...]

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