Mr. da Fiesole, Revisited Yet


Mr. da Fiesole, Revisited Yet Again

Amidst much interesting discussion chez lui, I encountered the following proposition:
"I'm trying to insist that, for a morally upright person, what can be done is identical to what may be done."

To which I responded in several modes, and thus I delineate more clearly here my response. For the upright person they cannot be identical because it suggest to my mind complete will-lessness. Now, our wills should be united to God, but that should take the form not of recognize CAN and MAY as identical, but as recognizing and rejecting CAN. This is something that it is possible for me to do, but which I will not to do because I MAY not do it according to God. When CAN becomes MAY we are not necessarily upright, but just possibly crippled in mind, body, or will.

Perhaps the great saints implied that what one can do is identical to what one may do for the righteous. But I suspect not--it smacks paradoxically of both Calvinism and Quietism. No, the world of potential is open to the upright person, the choice is made, moment by moment not to do what is within his or her ability--that is what makes him or her morally upright.

Later: I thought of the proper phrasing of my disagreemnt. When CAN and MAY are identical, we have innocence (which is a form of uprightness, but not one that everyone can aspire to, nor the only form).

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 9, 2003 7:04 PM.

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