Thursday, August 30, 2001

In My Opinion

If the WORD is not the thing, how about the thought? Does a thought constitute an act? Does thinking about doing something have the same effect as doing that thing? Consider this Arabic proverb:

"The willing contemplation of vice is vice."

I believe this proverb confuses two levels of abstraction in such a way as to result in confusion and needless difficulty in those who would try to act in accordance with it. The consequences of a thought that does not lead to action, in my mind, differs in meaningful ways from the consequences of taking the action, regardless of any evaluation of the morality of the action itself.

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