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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %DICHOTOMOUS TEMPTATIONS RIGHT WRONG GOOD EVIL+950312 %ACCEPT REJECT SUCCESS FAILURE DO DON'T CONFORM+950312 %BATTLE CONFLICT WAR PARADIGM CHOSE SIDES FALSE 950312 We are often tempted to make or force other to make dichotomous choices between just two alternatives---when more than two alternatives are available. We are falsely told that only two alternative are available, when many alternative are available. We are tempted to join in the dishonesty of our tempters who tempt us to believe that only two alternatives are available to us, and that we much chose between just two alternatives: right/wrong, good/evil, success/failure, acceptable/rejectable, moral/immoral, pure/sinful, Godly/Devilish, etc. The temptations to be dichotomous obscure the reality that most of our lives have to do with choosing between alternatives which are good, desirable, honorable and helpful in various ways. Our dilemma is that we are limited in time, resources and personal energy: we cannot do all the good, desirable, honorable or helpful things we wish to do. We must say no to many possibilities which are good, desirable, honorable and helpful---in order to say yes to a few of them in keeping with our creaturely limitations. It is dishonest to pretend that we can meaningfully say yes to more good, desirable, honorable and helpful alternatives than our creaturely limitations permit. It is dishonest to pretend that our main problem is saying no to "temptations" to do evil things, when our main problem is saying no with integrity to the many alternatives which it would be good, desirable, honorable and helpful to say yes to---if we had unlimited time, resources and personal energy. How are we to set personal priorities with integrity and thereby promote both personal and communal integrity? How are we to transcend the false dichotomies which we are tempted to treat seriously---and to regard as properly defining "temptations" to do evil rather than to do good? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================