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View Diary: Dear Conservatives: The train is leaving the station. You can hop on or stay cursing at the platform (172 comments)

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  •  I wonder if pure anything was ever useful.... (2+ / 0-)
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    Larsstephens, Buckeye Nut Schell

    At least, no principle is so reliable that it can be applied entirely blindly. Mark Twain had wicked fun with the duty to tell the truth, for instance, in some of his late sketches.

    The Chinese philosophical school that I studied years ago, that of the Gongyang Tradition to the Annals, had the paired concepts of jing and quan. Jing (literally, warp-threads; metaphorically, "canonical") refers to the rules that one ordinarily honors in conducting your life. Quan, literally "balance-scale, weighing," indicates what in the Western tradition we would call casuistry, judging what is best to be done when several principles come into messy collision. The classic example, in those days of poor and slow communications, was a high government official away on a mission who was suddenly presented with the opportunity to make a peace treaty with an enemy. Does he usurp the powers of his ruler in the cause of promoting peace (a key Confucian value), relying on quan, his own judgement of the rarity of the opportunity and the worth of the prize, or does he let slip an opportunity that may never come again, demonstrating his loyalty to his ruler but perhaps in so doing entailing great harm to the interests of the state?

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 01:33:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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