On the Strength of the Inclination to Bad

from When I am Playing with My Cat, How Do I know That She Is Not Playing with Me?
Saul Frampton
Our zeal performs wonder when it seconds our inclinations to hatred, cruelty, ambition, avarice, detraction, rebellion. But moved. . . toward goodness, benignity, moderation, unless by miracle some rare disposition prompt us to it, we stir neither hand nor foot. Our religion is intended to eradicate vices whereas it covers, nourishes, incites them.  (Quoting Montaigne)

All too true and frightening, and so how much more frightening, then, when words, spoken innocently enough and without guile or intent to deceive can be used to foment division and unrest.  Words of faith, rightly used and wrongly construed still result in the negative that Montaigne conceives here.  So our doctrine must not only be sound, but soundly worded so that there can be nothing within it that can be taken to detract from the value of another human being--nothing that can be interpreted to mean that one person is necessarily less than another--nothing that can give one profound believer cause to harm or rise up against another either literally or figuratively.


  1. Steven,

    The more I read Montaigne, the greater my respect for him grows. I read one commentor who said that he's very modern--I disagree, for I think he's timeless.

  2. Dear Fred,

    I agree--and being timeless, he'll always seem "modern." He's also a very good specific against our desire to live in the past and future. He makes the very buddhist point that we should live in the now and be very present.




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