Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shirking Personal Responsibility...

 ...A pastime of past times… “A Lesson for Our Time in Three Late-Antique Narratives: Satyricon, The Golden Ass, and Confessions” by Thomas F. Bertonneau, Professor of English at the State University of New York College, Oswego, New York.  (essay)
[snip] "Those who are determined to resist the moral and civic corruption of their age – those who refuse to participate in the flouting of decorum and the degradation of bodies – must also resist the sophistic apology that seeks to excuse the very same moral and civic corruption. This apology typically articulates itself as a form of dogmatic determinism. The apologist denies freedom of will so as to exculpate moral lapses generally, or perhaps those of the enunciator himself specifically; determinism seeks to redefine moral consequences as non-causal outcomes that have somehow happened to people, as it were, at random. We can discern such attempts at spurious exoneration in the oft-heard counseling claim that obnoxious behaviors like dipsomania or drug addiction stem from the dumb proclivity of the organism rather than from witting declensions of a particular character; and in the sociological tenet that crime emerges as a “consequence” of “poverty” or of “oppressive social structures.[...]" (continue)