Tuesday, December 11, 2007

TIRTA 4: On Principle

The other day I found myself using the phrase 'on principle' rather too often in conversation. It is, of course a rather meaningless phrase, not to mention the implication that I do things on principle, whereas you are an unprincipled heathen (apologies to any heathens listening).

I might chose to refuse to send my child to a particular school with a religious policy I don't like, on principle. Another may send their child for a good education, on the principle that the importance of education is higher than of being offended by religion.

So the question is how to balance principled stands, when and how to pick principled fights, when to shut up and when to stop digging.

In the advent story, I suspect many of the characters are acting 'on principle'. Joseph is said to not want to publicly divorce Mary as he does not want to bring disgrace onto her family, although presumably the disgrace would still stick with the mother longer than with the father given that she'd have the baby to show for the relationship. Then an angel visits and tells Joseph to take his responsibilities like a man.

Clearly, we could do with some more angelic visitations to turn principles into responsibilities in our world.

Things I Relearnt This Advent: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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Blogger Maria Alva said...

I'm glad you liked my site, Joe. My, you are a fine writer! Very concise musings and very relevant...

3:44 PM  

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