Saturday, February 9, 2013
Casuistry may seem an obscure word, but it is a noun more employed in the world at the moment than any other I can think of, from all advertising, political rhetoric, advocacy groups and legal selectivity. It is not hyperbole, it is worse. It is more subtle, more damaging and employs both anabole and hyperbole as well as deceptive reasonableness. Anabole at what it wishes to ignore and hyperbole about what it wishes that you not ignore. It can be seen in newsprint and internet and in the clever constructions from the comment sections. It is convincing to those who hear or read things, the spectators of life, than those who do things. Unfortunately, there is such a limited breadth of things we can do, and such a wide breadth of things we can watch! The only object of the casuist is to convince. We must always ask what is the interest of the convincer? The reaction of the audience may be cynical and believe nothing, or gullible and believe everything, or somewhere in between. You may in fact have already become aware that this paragraph I have written is an example of casuistry. It may not rank as a clever construction but it smacks of too much generalization to be on the high road. Still, it probably contains a tuppance worth of truth that those who already share the premise will find it wholely satisfying. If the file folder in your cerebral cortex is only available for A and not for B, then A will be accepted and B rejected. We have been programmed as spectators. As always, evidence is in the eye of the beholder. How do we get to a folder AB? I wish I knew!