In Principle, Stop Talking

“In principle, one ought to do such and such a thing,” they say, “but in reality, one must do another thing instead.” To that I say, bullshit. There is no “in principle, one should”: saying “理論上應該” in itself reflects bad assumptions. Either one ought to do so under the given conditions, period (!), or one ought not to in the first place. In the latter case, the “theoretical” inquiry was too shallow and failed to address the matter because it failed to fathom it. If, then, a principle cannot hold true in reality and thus “in practice”, it’s not good enough.

Now, that said, don’t take me off the trail with a red herring. I will not tolerate such a thing, even if I manage to pretend to. Because of your refusal to think rigorously, my opinion of you will fall, because I will consciously see to it that it does. Don’t just think you know, then: you’re only making stuff up. I’m sick of this cliché, not because it’s a cliché but because behind it lie only lies, and people who are fools enough to actually say it are fools enough to think I put up with such nonsense. Unfortunately, I’m quite sure there are people who think it even if they don’t say it.

Perhaps you know who you are.


3 responses to “In Principle, Stop Talking

  1. Hmm. I could perhaps see the logic of “In theory, one should do such and such a thing,” but “In practice, such and such a thing either is impossible or highly impractical.” Still, if something should be done in theory, it should still be done in practice… whether or not it actually can be executed, it “should” be.


  2. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing. The only problem, and it’s a big one still, is figuring out how to do it. I don’t think, however, that giving up is the key.


  3. I agree. If it works in a sound principle, then it should work in practice – as long as you have the will to see it through, whatever the sacrifice. The problem is that many people aren’t willing to sacrifice their comfort for the honesty and consistency of a greater principle.

    After all, what happened on the Cross would otherwise seem impossible in “practice.”


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