Digest of terms

casuistry

the practice of applying moral principles to specific instances. Critics suggest that the process involves the 'splitting of hairs', or the manipulation of otherwise clear rules to suit the convenience of those who would prefer they were less strict, and because of this the term came to acquire negative connotations. It would be fairer to see it positively as recognition that life is continually changing and that what is right and just is affected by particular circumstances. The notion emerges in Medieval Christendom, but the process is evident in all worldviews, religious and non-religious, wherever any norms of morality need to be applied to decisions in daily life and work. It is a way of engaging with moral ambiguity.

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