If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Thursday 4 October 2012
Read gnomica 1-100 here!
All men are tempted.
There is no man that lives that can’t be broken down,
provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.
Henry Ward Beecher(24 Jun 1813 – 8 Mar 1887)
This Presbyterian divine should know!
His descent as it were into adultery was le scandale du jour, and it gives poignancy to this ‘atoning’ [?] pronouncement a generation after the dastardly deed. He is of course right on target here, and in a less strict age about such a practice (which I in no way condone) it might have been a mere blip in this ardent abolitionist’s life trajectory. As we know so well in our own age, he certainly was not the last man of the cloth led far astray by the irresistible pleasures of the flesh.
In general I believe his observation is probably true.
No doubt there are those — few and far between — made of sterner stuff, capable of withstanding the most intense of enticements. But, human nature being what human nature is, the corroborating words of the great German philosopher and classical scholar Friedrich Nietzsche (15 Oct 1844 – 25 Aug 1900) come to mind: “For every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing.” Or, as we might say in a more vernacular mode, everybody has his price.
If a person is reasonably honest with himself, he does wonder from time to time what the “bait” (or ‘price’) in question might be that he “cannot resist swallowing.” Not that they are all always honest with themselves, but even the staid solons in Washington are not above the odd inducement here or the sweet bait there in order to do donors’ demands. That particular form of enticement gains a certain salience in our national consciousness as the immolating campaign season 2012 has swung full bore into recourse to all means necessary to win some four weeks down the road.
And in that general arena, recent ‘inducements’ of a not entirely above-board nature by ‘lobbyists’ have roiled politics in the Empire State, for example.
Medical malpractice of a different sort from what the term normally connotes appears to involve an ongoing series of ‘enticements’ within the medical field at large. Specific government reimbursement programs for claims filed are rife with rip-offs promoted by a variety of ‘lures’ dropped in the teeming ponds of unscrupulous medical professionals, some manufacturers of defective implants, and greedy hospitals.
And so forth …
Incidentally, living as we do today in an age of a putative gender equality, we should not fail to note that all of the above applies equally to women, since the beginning of time, in fact – I mean, just think of Eve in the Garden!