Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’:  Part one – Inferno

By: Jalalaisa Geleto

Image taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Comedy

‘The Divine Comedy’ is one of the greatest Christian arts ever made. The poem was started in 1308 and was completed in 1320. It was written by Dante Alighieri. It shows what the Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestants believe what the after life is.

‘The Divine Comedy’ is written in three parts. Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). Dante goes through the multiple levels of these realms to find his love in Heaven.

The first part of the story is Inferno. There are nine levels of Hell:

The first level is Limbo. This isn’t a heavenly place, but it isn’t the worst of Hell. This is where the unbaptized and virtuous pagans go to. In actual theology, there are many areas in limbo unlike in Dante’s where it’s just one realm.

The second circle of Hell is Lust. Those who are lustful and adulterers will suffer the many punishments for the different types of lustful sin they have committed. Famous historical figures in that circle are Cleopatra and Helena of Troy. Also, a lot of adulterous Italian politicians. This will be a theme throughout the entire story. Dante depicts all of his dead political opponents being in the many levels of Hell.

The third level Hell is for the sins of Gluttony. Those who over consume and spend so much on material things instead of God are sentenced to this level. Many politicians and upper class are sent to this level in Dante’s story.

The fourth level Hell is for the sin of Greed. These are for the bankers, greedy, and overly materialistic. One of their punishments is to forever bicker over money doomed to eternal mental anguish and anger.

The fifth level of Hell is for the sin of Wrath. Those who are forever angry and wrathful towards others are sentenced to this level of Hell. One of their many punishments is to forever fight in terrible battles with each other.

The sixth level of Hell is for the sin of Heresy. Any heretical Christians go to this level of Hell. Basically, if it doesn’t line up with what the original Church fathers said, and is against all of the holy text, it is heresy and you’re going to Hell.

The seventh level of Hell is for the sin of Violence. There are three different levels, or parts, to this level for the different types of violence you can commit. The first part is for violence against people and their property. The second part for people who commit violence for themselves (suicide). The third part is for blasphemers and sodomites.

The eighth level of Hell is for the sin of Fraud. This level is obviously occupied by the fraudulent. This level is divided in ten parts and Dante sees all sorts of punishment for the different types of fraudulent things one can do in life.

The ninth level of Hell is for the sin of Treachery. This level is occupied by the first treacherous being, Satan himself, according to Dante. Satan is both being tortured and touring others. This part of Hell is frozen because Satan is always flapping his massive wings. Everyone in this level is frozen except for three people: Brutus (friend who betrayed Caesar for the Republic), Cassius (another friend of Caesar for the same reasons), and the worst of them all, Judas (the man who betrayed Lord Christ). They are forever being chewed and eaten alive by Satan’s three heads. Doomed to be regenerated and eaten forever.

A brief overview of philosophical ideologies

By: Annika Getz

There’s a great many philosophical ideas and beliefs. Today I will be explaining some of them, specifically: nihilism, determinism, solipsism, and utilitarianism.

Nihilism can be placed in two branches of philosophy, depending on who you ask, metaphysical (which tries to define the meaning of existence) or ethical. It is the belief that life is meaningless, and therefore trying to do whatever is ethically right is pointless. Nihilists reject all moral and religious beliefs or principles, under the belief that it doesn’t matter anyways.

The word “nihilism” stems from the Latin word ​nihil​, which means “nothing.” The concept of nihilism came up in 19th century Russia. The word was used by Friedrich Nietzche. It has since then of course, expanded from Russia, and is now a fairly well-known concept.

Onto determinism. Determinism falls into the ethical branch of philosophy (though, like Nihilism, it could be argued that it belongs in the metaphysical branch). It is the belief that all choices and events are predetermined (though what it’s determined by has been argued, some say it’s previously existing events and causes, while others argue that it’s some all powerful being, such as God), therefore there is no such thing as free-will.

I unfortunately couldn’t find when and where the concept determinism was first posed, as many sources had conflicting information, some saying it was Ancient Greece, others saying it was closer to the 18th century.

Next is Solipsism. Solipsism is the belief that you are the only thing which truly exists, everything else is either a simulation, or a projection of your subconscious. Some even believe that they are in comas, and that everything that’s happening is a projection from their decaying brain. The problem with this theory is that it’s impossible to disprove, as everything that happens simple reaffirms your belief.

Solipsism stems from the philosopher René Descartes, who lived from 1596-1650. He didn’t actually use the word “solipsism” however. He introduced “methodological doubt” which sort of serves as a backdrop for solipsism.

Now onto utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the belief that any action is acceptable as long as it benefits the majority. Simply speaking, we should all base all of our decisions based on what is best for everyone else. This seems somewhat harmless on the surface, however, there is an issue with it. One could justify murder, abuse, or any number of bad things, as long as more people benefit from it than are hurt.

One thought experiment regarding utilitarianism is as follows: “You are a doctor, you can save five people, but you must harvest the organs from one healthy, innocent person.” Utilitarians would believe that killing the one person is morally right, since you can save five people.

There are of course, many more philosophical ideologies, but it would take forever to go over all of them. So there you have it, 4 basic philosophical beliefs.

Image taken from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sallypercy/2018/03/09/why-your-board-needs-a-chief-philos ophy-officer/?sh=279c78f142e3

Local coffee shops in the Twin Cities

By: Lizzy Woxland and Anna Hisle

Image taken from: https://onthegrid.city/minneapolis-st-paul/highland-park/j-s-bean-factory

From modern, to artsy themed décor, the Twin Cities have an large variety of coffee shops for any occasion.

Wether you want a quick latte to go, or a great place to sit down and be productive, the Twin Cities coffee shops will have something for everyone.

Here are a few of our favorite coffee shops in the Twin Cities.

Quixotic- ​http://www.quixoticcoffee.com/
Quixotic is a very modern clean cafe containing a variety of different drinks. They also have an array of foods and pastries so we are sure there is something you’ll like. Quixotic has great seating and is the perfect place to get stuff done.

Lizzies favorite drink is their “Marco Polo”

J&S Bean Factory- ​https://juststevesbeanfactory.com/
J&S Bean Factory opened ​in​ 2001 and is an independently owned coffee shop and roastery. J&S has a very welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel very comfortable. Not only that, but when they are roasting the beans the whole place smells amazing. They also have amazing staff that are always in a positive mood.

Lizzie’s favorite drink from them is their iced vanilla lattes.

Amore Coffee- ​https://www.amorecoffee.com/home
Amore coffee is a coffee shop in West Saint Paul. Amore is a small business that has independent roasters, a conference room, live music, and fresh food and drinks.

Cafe Astoria- ​https://cafeastoria-stpaul.com/
Cafe Astoria is a locally owned coffee shop in Saint Paul. The coffee shop features specialty drinks, crepes, and salads. Starting as a pop-up, people enjoyed their food and drinks so much that they moved into a place on Grand Ave and officially opened Cafe Astoria.

Fresh Grounds Coffee- ​http://www.freshgroundscoffee.com/
Fresh Grounds Café is not only a successful neighborhood business, but it is also partnered with RS EDEN and is a training program for teens and young adults who experience barriers to employment. This place brings a very cosy vibe. Not only do they have amazing coffee, but they also have pastries, lunch items, smoothies, and ice cream. This place is an amazing place to meet up with friends to sit and chat.

Ginkgo Coffeehouse- ​https://ginkgocoffee.com/
Ginkgo Coffee house opened in 1993 with a few locations throughout Saint Paul. Ginkgo has bands from all over North America that travel and play in their coffeehouse. Not only do they have musicians come and play but they have open mics! This coffee shop also has a small play area for children along with boards games and a small library area.

Riverview Cafe- ​https://www.theriverview.com/
The Riverview Cafe is a wine bar and coffee shop in Minneapolis. Inside the Riverview, there is a children’s play area, seating, and live music. Their menu has food and drinks everyone will like!

Anna’s favorite is their bran muffins.

We hope you try and support some of our personal favorite locally owned coffee shops! Enjoy!