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A lover of the liberal arts, especially antiquity in its diverse forms, I am nonetheless wholly devoted to, utterly transformed by divine revelation. I seek to know the thought of the past, articulate my deepest longings aroused by the wise, and understand the uneasy relationship between reason and revelation; all for the sake of proper action and contemplation, both now and in the future.


Aurea Mediocritas

I have long considered what constitutes the mean. There many things from which the Christian is called to abstain completely, and many things which are permitted in moderation. I have no wish for excess in anything; the Christian (and the philosopher) is forbidden to indulge beyond the mean. Furthermore, this mean is different for everyone. The amount of food I eat the constitutes the mean is a lot for a 10-year old, but insufficient for someone like Michael Phelps.

Mostly I think about the questionable pleasures: tobacco and alcohol. Alcohol is not forbidden to Christians; we may enjoy it moderately without fear. I would argue that smoking is similar. Addiction is forbidden to Christians but I see no harm in G.K. Chesterton smoking a cigar or me having a cigarette. However, God speaks and relates to all men differently. He may not require a friend of mine to abstain from smoking, but he may tell me not to. My Question: How do I know what things are forbidden to me and which are not? I am beginning to get the feeling I should quit smoking, at least for the time being. Going clean might be fun. On the other hand, it could be that I am merely not enjoying it as well as I did before; also a reason to quit; why engage in a detrimental habit that produces no enjoyment? These two reasons (perhaps the second is a product of the first) make me think about smoking. I am not sure I would pick up roll-your-owns as an alternative; they taste great (I had one about 45 seconds ago) but are far worse though the enjoyment they produce is much better.

I am close to quitting. We'll see how this goes. Maybe I'll go completely clean (no alcohol or tobacco) but alcohol is a separate matter since I consume it illegally. I will think further along these lines and make a decision soon.

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