Friday, September 26, 2008

Tapping Summary: Temptation (and Desire)

Some points:

We actually sort of skipped the hermeneutical question to begin with, and we went straight to evaluating whether temptation was good or bad. Loretta posited early that temptation was that bad thing that you do, but it feels oh so good. So there's a certain ambiguity in temptation in that there's a bad to it and a "good" side to it in that there's some aspect of desire being fulfilled. The bad is namely that one generally ought not to do the thing that one is tempted to do.

Ryan and Seth hotly contested this point, claiming that one can be tempted to do thing that society deems morally good, and that whenever temptation is at stake in the logic of a decision, there is always a twofold aspect of temptation for the two objects of the decision. They did not think that the fact that authority figures in effect determine what is a "temptation" and what is the "right" thing to do, changes the feeling that one has towards either option of the decision. I tended to disagree, claiming that what is operative in the definition of temptation, and what gives its unique semantic content is the fact that it goes against some kind of normative structure. As I understand it, the "feeling" of temptation that one gets for two aspects of a decision is really the desire of rational choice. This differs from temptation, which does not necessarily have anything to do with a decision, and when it does, it will always refer to sort of normative dichotomy.

And that was about most of it.

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