You ask me to compromise my principles for what you deem to be a good cause.
I’m not one of those who can dance with the devil and find my soul waiting for me when I get back.
Virtue has never been a faucet I can turn on and off at will.
It is more of a hummingbird that, when set aside for some lesser good, upon my returning is nowhere to be found.
I do not mean to be stubborn, but I spent the first third of my life searching for my own soul.
At this point, my only fear lies in losing it.
Very nice, but isn’t this how we got a do-nothing Congress and other bizarre behavior associated with radical allegiance to some deeply held, yet possibly misguided personal principles? Is this, perhaps, a “fundamentalism” or “legalism” that you remind us is in all of us? Perhaps it works fine when we are alone, but community often demands a certain wisdom to recognize how to deal with some of our principles that are so often in conflict with those of other members of our community. 12/31/13–13:07 CST
Bob, Good question. I will yield to deeper or more universal principles when I hear them. But I see “compromise” as very different than yielding to a more profound understanding in the form of a political compromise which doesn’t meet anyone’s principles. There are countless compromises necessary to get along, but when I use the word “principle” I mean it as the dynamics by which any individual might work for the common good. There are principles that make that possible, and others that make it impossible. None of us can be absolutely clear we know what that is, but we should all recognize that private principles or group principles are very different than those which we might all follow to seek the common good.
Thanks. I find that it does get pretty hard to know sometimes whether it’s basic individual principle or derivative or common good principle. Common good is not always so clear, and common good might depend on the applicable community. How extensive must that community be? Also, I wonder sometimes whether the principle I’m protecting is basic or derivative. I think we are often not well aware of the basic or fundamental principle, but, even if we are, we can get the two confused, sometimes because other issues are at play within us. 1/1/14, 15:50 CST
Bob, I agree. It is dangerous waters.