Earlier this AM I found myself wedged with a minor ethical dilemma. As one who is sometimes prone to engaging in improper (due to any of a number of human failings: thoughtlessness, odd or even twisted sense of humor, occasional fits of pique, etc.) or inconsistent behavior I sometimes wonder if some thing I am considering doing is, in fact, a good idea or if there might be some better way to go about it than I originally thought of.
The specifics of this dilemma are mundane and not the least bit worth detailing. Suffice it to say that there were three courses of action available to me each of which could be construed as unethical regardless of any benign intent on my part. I decided not to decide and, in this instance, to do nothing rather than something since there was no risk of any "sin of omission". Doing nothing was safe and a viable ethical choice in this case - it yielded no harm nor denied any benefit to others.
I am not a person of theologic faith. Since I do possess what I consider to be something akin to faith in matters outside of theology I have some vague sense that I can, at some shallow level, understand or at least sympathize with those who possess theologic faith.
The point I am rambling toward is that it seems quite clear to me that one need not possess theologic faith to ponder matters of proper behavior and to have principles to turn to to guide one's actions. Conversely, theologic faith does not necessarily protect one from finding oneself in a dilemma regarding one's choices related to one's potential courses of actions. It is quite obvious to me that people of theologic faith use that faith to guide their behavior, their actions, yet understand that it does not provide them an unerring moral compass.
So what has this to do with Hitchens? While perusing the latest additions to the YARGB blogroll at the right I clicked upon It Should Be Noted and discovered Take It Easy On the Lawyers Too where the host points to Miers and Brimstone, by Christopher Hitchens at Slate.
How is it possible that someone who so frequently demonstrates such useful intellectual capacity can be so trapped into such narrow thoughts - thoughts which are at best prejudicial and at worst bigoted - about theologic faith? Can this sort of screedly effort by Hitchens be explained? Is it really possible that Hitchens believes there is no intellectual space between faithful adherence to the dogma of a particular religion and abject hypocrisy?
Has Hitchens found his Sullivan moment?
Did New Hampshire go for two socialists?
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