Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Side effects of Cough medicine

Apparently side effects of the drugs for my ear/sinus infection with a side of bronchitis, include among them conversations with imaginary friends. Deciding that a defense is the strong offensive, I've decided to enlist y'all...my not so imaginary friends, because then I'm not having this conversation by myself.

I've been reading the updated edition of The Sunflower. And it got me thinking about Reason. Epistemic reasons and Practical reasons- not Reason as a faculty.

In Judaism there is a teaching about the intention of performing a mitzvah. A mitzvah performed for the wrong reasons is not a mitzvah any longer. ie- if you do the right thing...but for the wrong reason...it's no longer a "right" thing.

Which brings me around to intent/reason. What happens if you don't do something - presumably a "wrong" something...does it matter what the reason was? Or does it only matter that you refrained from doing it?

For instance- Two men walk into a bar. Neither orders a drink. One man because he's in Recovery and he choses not to drink, but his friends are meeting here for sandwiches and he wants to see them. The other man doesn't order because he forgot his wallet in the car, and he's really only there to get his friend and they're leaving for a ballgame. Neither drinks...does the reason matter?

Do you think anyone will notice if I write this very shortly after a dose of cough medicine? Nah, sounds rational to me.


ChelleC said...

I love philosophy. Was my favorite class in college. That and Logic were both fascinating. Anyway, I definitely admire the guy who chooses not to drink because he's in Recovery. And I also admire the guy who goes to meet a friend but doesn't have his wallet. I think their reasons for not doing so are both admirable - but maybe to different degrees?

When I was studying Judaism many years ago, the Rabbi said that it's important to perform a mitzvah even if you don't feel like it at the time - the right action is most important, and the feelings may or may not follow. For example, if I have a sick relative in a nursing home, I have to visit her even if I dread it. Then if I later feel good about myself for doing it, that's great. And if I don't, I still did the right thing.

Maven said...

Blogging (and alternately, Facebooking) while blitzed on Rx cough syrup = entertainment for all; whereas, KNITTING (or crocheting) while blitzed on Rx cough syrup = nothing but heartache.

I thought doing a mitzvah for the wrong reasons is technically a bad thing, but it doesn't totally negate the fact that the mitzvah was performed? To me it's a bit of a moral grey area:)