2. Ascertain the degree to which the NSC can (or cannot) lend assistance in this instance and what your specific role in this decision will be.

In 2012, Americans were ranked 117th of 193 countries for geographical knowledge, a very poor showing. The National Geographic Society confirmed it that year with a study showing that, among Americans aged 18 to 24:
*30% could not find the Pacific Ocean on a map
*More 50% could not locate India
*85% could not find Iraq
*33% could not locate Louisiana and almost 50% of respondents were unable to identify Mississippi or New York
*Only 89% could find Texas and California
*Less than 30% of those polled believe that it was necessary to be able to locate countries in the news on a map
*87% thought Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe were countries, and not continents
*78% could not name the correct number on continents on Earth and only 10% could name them all
*75% could not locate Israel on a map of the Middle East
*30% thought that the most fortified border in the world was between Mexico and the US
*And 11% couldn’t even find their own country, the UNITED STATES on the world map
A National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs Geographic Literacy Study in 2006 painted a dismal picture of the geographic knowledge of the most recent high school graduates.
*88% percent of those questioned could not find Afghanistan on a map of Asia despite widespread coverage of the US-led overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 and the political rebirth of the country
*63% could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map and 75% could not point out Iran or Israel. 44% couldn’t find any one of those four countries
*Recently, American Idol Kellie Pickler appeared on US television game show ‘Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?’ and was asked what country had Budapest as its capital. She had never even heard of Hungary and she thought Europe was a country.
*Only about 20% of Americans have passports, but that’s no guarantee they know anything about the world in which they live. One survey asked passengers returning from Europe to show on a map where they had just been vacationing for the last week, and 32% were unable to locate the country or countries.

Los Angeles ? In one of his trademark random Jaywalking interviews with people strolling down the street, Jay Leno spoke recently with a young man, where the following conversation took place:
‘Who was the leader of Germany in World War II?’ Leno asked.
‘Hitler?’ the young man ventured.
‘What was his first name?’
‘Just Hitler, wasn’t it?’
‘Hitler Hitler? He didn’t have a first name? Was it Robert?’
‘He was just known as Hitler . . . like Cher.’



Sample Solution

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.



Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.