Saturday, June 27, 2015

Precept vs. Picture

We should avoid, I think, using the indicative mood for what is really a commandment like the Scout Law ("A Boy Scout is kind to animals" - it means a Boy Scout ought to be kind to animals). For if we hear: "a Christian couple grow in grace and love together" doesn't the question arise "supposing they don't?" It clears the air to substitute the bite of what is clearly a precept for the sweetness of a rosy picture.

Elizabeth Anscombe, Contraception and Chastity (1972).


  1. Martin T.2:21 PM

    I've been reading my way through Contraception and Chastity, maybe 1/3 of the way now but have had flagging interest as I can't seem to find any meat. This is the first of her work I've attempted and I expect the issue is with me, not her work. What an am I missing?

  2. branemrys3:00 PM

    I would have no way of knowing, because I don't know what you are getting out of it or not.


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