25 August 2006

Emails, We Get Emails

The electronic postman today drags over the electronic transom the following email: Do you consider your self to be a casuistrist?

My first reaction is that I'm awfully tempted, but the outfits seem likely to be too expensive and kind of sweaty.*

My second response is that I certainly am a professional casuistrist. Personally, I am too. I am too skeptical of the limits of human reason and foresight to fully trust where logic takes me. Logic is both overinclusive and underinclusive, ruling out some actions that must be down while allowing some actions that ought not be done. I am a great believer that one should not let morality stop one from doing what is right, but only, I suppose in the extreme case.

The real problem is that I don't trust the rest of you with this powerful tool. In the best of all worlds, I get to be a casuistrist, while the rest of you must be rule bound.

* An old joke but a good one; perhaps done best by Patrick O'Brien by having a character ask, after two men are described as dreadful procrastinators, whether they "go to special houses."

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