Last week from around the Internet

2 06 2010

A very concise comment in the comments:

I think there’s some difference between how prophets and casuists respond to hard cases. For moral casuists, and common lawyers, “hard cases make bad law.” They need to be dealt with, and decided fairly, but they ought not to be publicized or talked about too much, because they give a distorted picture of the general moral system and the social life it organizes.

For prophets, exactly the opposite is true. Hard cases are to be welcomed, and proclaimed, because they provide an opportunity to demonstrate radical commitment to a particular overriding value.

The only thing people nowadays do worse than being a casuist is being a prophet. Modern prophets usually get people killed or imprisoned, though none do it with the style or romantic insanity of the good ol’ days. Which means none of it is worth it.

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