Question for Readers: Is This Bigoted?

The campaign for president in the United States is bringing out some strange things in a lot people. There's a lot that could be, and in fact has been, said about that. I'm not going to dwell on that topic today. Instead, I'd like to discuss something which arose from an example of it. Specifically, I would like people's opinion on whether or not these two statements are examples of bigoted language:

No amount of Jesuit casuitry is going to make most of those she insulted think or feel she apologized.

So: no amount Jesuit causistry is going to turn her not-apology into an apology. It’s not an apology.

Mind you, I am not asking if the person who made them is a bigot. People sometimes use bigoted language without realizing it, often because they were exposed to it growing up and never really thought about what it meant.

I suspect a lot of you don't know what "casuitry," "causistry" or "causuistry” is. That's okay. All of these are ways people in that discussion misspelled the word "casuistry." To help with this, I explained a bit about the word during that discussion, and I will copy it below for context:

The word actually stems from a philosophical approach to examining problems. Put simply, the approach uses “case studies” in which one examines simple examples to determine what should be done then extrapolates from those simple cases to determine what should be done in more complex cases. This has a lot of similarities to how the legal system works in the United States with cases setting precedent for future decisions.
The negative connotation of casuistry came about due to people abusing this philosophical approach to support selfish views and beliefs. A group commonly associated with this practice was Jesuits several hundred years ago (though non-Jesuit Catholics contributed to the movement as well). Many people saw the abuses of the approach and came to distrust it. This was especially prevalent amongst Protestants who came to view casuistry as a way for Catholics to justify hypocrisy.
This negative association of casuistry with the abuses of Catholics, especially those who were Jesuits, caused the word to be commonly used like in the definition I quote above. That usage remained common long after Catholics abandoned casuistry, persisting for centuries up to modern times. Over those centuries, “casuistry” came to be just another word with a meaning similar to “sophistry.” The association with Jesuits was largely forgotten amongst most people.
Because that association was largely forgotten, nowadays the only time you’ll really hear about “Jesuit casuistry” is when people are talking about things like religion and history where the philosophical methodology is being referred to. This topic has actually garnered more attention in the last few decades as people have re-visited the philosophical approach behind casuistry to argue it was abuses of the methodology, not the methodology itself, which was the problem.
The result of all this is when a person says “casuistry,” the normal interpretation is that of the common usage – something along the lines of sophistry. When a person says “Jesuit casuistry,” the normal interpretation is the use and abuse of the philosophical methodology by certain Catholics several hundred years ago.

There is obviously a lot more which could be said about casuistry. One interesting topic (to me, at least) is whether or not it is a good approach. A common hilosophical approach is like that of mathematics - we start with axioms or rules we decide are true and build our system of beliefs/analysis off them. Under this approach, a few simple assumptions can lay the foundation for a complex structure of hundreds or thousands of components.

Casuistry takes a different approach. Instead of trying to come up with a few key tenets everyone can agree to, it looks at specific scenarios and asks people to decide what is "right" for them. Under this approach, people with fundamental differences in their belief systems can find similarities (or differences) on smaller scales by seeing how they'd handle similar situations. This lets people see how their beliefs relate to those of others on a practical level rather than an abstract level.

But none of that really matters for today's topic. For today's topic, I just want to know this: What information would saying a person engaged in "Jesuit casuistry" convey that saying they engaged in "casuistry" not convey? The person who wrote those comments chose not to offer any explanation, saying:

Yes. Jesuit is clarifying. There is also “rabinnical casuistry”, “pluralistic casuistry’, “scientific causuistry”, “episcoppalian casuistry” , “protestant causuitry” and so on. All these adjectives all communicate something– and they communicate something specific about how causistry is used. And that something specific is more than pointing to a specific religion. How it was used, for what outcomes and so on differed.
Brandon is beclowing himself. I don’t feel any need to engage him on his imaginative (and long winded) theories. Had he simply asked early on why I picked that adjective, I would have happily explained. But at this point, he’s come up with an elaborate imaginitive theory, flung around accusations accompanied by words of wall….. Sorry. No. I’d rather talk with others.

Because I called that choice of langauge bigoted and explained:

The only way [name removed] saying “Jesuit casuistry” made her meaning clearer than if she had simply said “casuistry” is if she wanted to draw some association between what I was saying and either religious groups or the specific abuses they carried out several hundred years ago. If she merely wanted to say I was engaging in something like sophistry, “casuistry” was the right word as “Jesuit” has nothing to do with the common usage we have nowadays. If she wanted to say I was engaging in an approach like the philosophical methodology underlying casuistry, the use of “Jesuit” was inappropriate as neither that methodology nor the abuses of it were a Jesuit phenomenon. Jesuits were simply one group which used and abused that methodology.

According to the speaker, I am wrong because there is useful information conveyed by saying a person engaged in "Jesuit casuistry" as opposed to "Casuistry," "Rabbinical Casuistry," "Protestant Casuistry" or any number of other types of "Casuistry." The speaker chose not to say what information was conveyed by these, and I struggle to see what they could possibly be thinking of. Given they've basically said they won't explain, I thought I'd ask is as an open question.

Now obviously, if a Catholic and a Protestant are having a religious argument, one might refer to "Protestant Casuistry" and "Catholic Casuistry." That's because there's a clear, religious aspect which you're referring to. I am not Catholic, however, and neither religion nor history nor philosophy were being discussed in the conversation. Given that, what information could "Jesuit Casuistry" possibly convey that "Casuistry" would not?

To me, it seems clear the speaker's use of "Jesuit" was superfluous and served no useful purpose. If that's true, it was bigoted language. The speaker insists that isn't true though, and useful information was conveyed by the use of "Jesuit." Today's question is what, if any, information could they be thinking of?

As a final note, I should point out the main motivation for this post is I think bigotry is disgusting and we should all agree to not promote it. In theory, most people do. In practice, there is disagreement about what constitutes "bigotry." I view this as a clear case of bigotry. The speaker insists it isn't bigoted at all. This should largely be a factual matter which could, and should, be resolved.

I tried resolving it with the speaker, and since that wasn't effective, I thought I'd try with other people. Am I missing something that justifies saying a non-Catholic talking about a non-religious and non-philosophical issue is engaging in "Jesuit casuistry" as opposed to "casuistry"?

24 comments

  1. Reading the original source again, I wonder if misunderstood the meaning still more. Who is lucia implying is engaged in the causitry, you or Hillary?

  2. MikeN, definitely me. Hillary Clinton didn't say it was an apology, so lucia couldn't have been claiming Clinton engaged in casuistry to argue it was one.

  3. OK just checking as I just saw the line is 'make most of those she insulted think or feel she apologized'.

    I know you don't get it, but Brandon and Jesuit NewWordX, I know what is meant.
    Brandon and NewWordX, not necessarily.

  4. MikeN, I get you've chosen to say and probably belief the "Jesuit" in "Jesuit casuistry" here gave you useful information, but you've also chosen not to disclose what that information is despite having been asked multiple times. Saying you know I "don't get it" while refusing to make any attempt to explain it is... weird.

    It's also unconvincing. I don't think anyone will be convinced saying someone engages in "Jesuit casuistry" is non-bigoted simply because somebody said the word "Jesuit" helped them understand what was meant any more than they will be convinced by lucia taking the, "I could explain it, but because of how Brandon behaved, I won't" approach.

    Which isn't to say nobody will believe you. Some people probably will. They're just ones who wouldn't have agreed with me no matter what you or I said.

  5. To the schmo-on-the-Clapham-omnibus (eg me) I imagine that "Jesuitical casuistry" means something like "casuistry intended as an excuse for moral laxity". The schmo in question probably has at best a hazy idea of what "casuistry" means without the "Jesuitical" qualifier. Hopefully, he/she also recognises that this kind of casuistry is unlikely to have been a defining characteristic of Jesuits, back in the day or now. So I agree that the phrasing is unfortunate.

    A while back, I was commenting on a novel by a Catholic author in which I (hazily) discerned a polemic against this kind of "Jesuitical casuistry". In commenting on it I found myself using language like "the anti-Jesuit focus is striking even though I'm probably missing a lot of the detail, not being a Catholic", before realising what I was doing - ie assimilating the polemic against a kind of sophism to a polemic against Jesuits.

  6. Szilard, I think that would be a stretch as using casiustry to excuse moral laxity was hardly unique to Jesuits, but was rather a common problem with the approach. Portraying it as uniquely Jesuit would seem to be playing into a sterotype, which does nothing to dispute the idea it is bigoted. Whether or not one agrees with me on that though, the meaning you suggest simply isn't the meaning lucia meant to convey as there was no moral laxity being discussed.

    The issue was lucia said something was not an apology. I said it was. She portrayed my arguments as being "Jesuit casiustry" (not an exact quote as she misspelled it). Morality isn't involved in that. There was no moral obligation for the person to apologize, ans nobody had suggested there was one. The issue of morality hadn't even been brought up during the discussion.

    If people had been discussing morality, I wouldn't have stated this was bigoted language because I think your suggestion is a stretch, but not a completely unbelievable one. I'd have probably suggested it wasn't a good choice of language, but I would have at least understood why one might draw that particular parralel.*

    *Technically, the parallel should involve hypocrisy, not just moral laxity. What made things so bad those hundreds of years ago wasn't that people justified being "bad." It was that they justified contradicting their own moral guidelines. Other people might show moral laxity simply because they don't accept any such guidelines. That'd be rather different. Just another way the situations aren't analogous.

  7. In what I suspect some people will insist is yet another case of not-bigotry, we have this comment from a user on that very same website and webpage:

    Brandon’s posts not his thread are badly flawed. Peoples actions are generally not caused by subtle societal views about them or stereotypes. The real issue is ideological and not psychological. History is replete with murderous ideologies that needed to be contained and discredited. My view is that Islamism is such an evil ideology. It is incompatible with western democracies just as nazism was. Saying this does not cause Islamists to act out their beliefs. Brandon seems to be chanelling the American communists and fascists who excused Hitler and Stalin. In Hitlers case, the line was that the evil treaty of Versailles made him do it. The search for causes of evil in others as due to our own actions is a form of self-loathing. People are ultimately responsible for their own beliefs and actions.

    Islam is an evil ideology comparable to Nazism, and for my disagreement with this view, I am a commie/fascist Nazi-apologist. That seems like a... not reasonable comment to have in a discussion. Nobody expressed any concern about it though. Either they think it's not bigoted or they are just okay with that sort of bigotry being casually expressed in discussions they're having.

    Or, as I'm sure someone will claim, that's not bigotry. Because... reasons.

  8. I think what I've written is clear and you are overthinking.
    I never heard of causistry. So I can guess only from context.
    With Jesuit causitry, anything I know about Jesuits clears up what is meant.
    Now, I got the wrong meaning, but it still helped.

    I would have gotten a similar meaning from 'Stokesian causistry'.

  9. MikeN:

    With Jesuit causitry, anything I know about Jesuits clears up what is meant.
    Now, I got the wrong meaning, but it still helped.

    In other words, you read "Jesuit casuistry" and applied your knowledge of Jesuits to the phrase to try to figure out what it meant, ultimately leading to an incorrect interpretation. And you claim that means "Jesuit" helped you understand what was meant.

    I would have gotten a similar meaning from 'Stokesian causistry'.

    This means there was nothing unique about the use of "Jesuit" there, as it could have been replaced (at least for you) by other words. That means, by your own position, the use of "Jesuit" was unnecessary and did not convey any specific information - exactly what I've said.

    If you had explained this beforehand, people could have understood you found the "Jesuit" in "Jesuit casuistry" helpful in... coming up with the wrong interpretation just like you could have with any number of other words. I don't see how anyone would conclude that's an argument against the language being bigoted.

  10. I did post it there.
    Also,I don't know how you conclude from the use of a word other than Jesuit leading to the same result
    means that use of Jesuit conveys no specific information.

    I'll be like Norm MacDonald and say that you are engaged in Jesuit causitry.

  11. MikeN:

    Also,I don't know how you conclude from the use of a word other than Jesuit leading to the same result
    means that use of Jesuit conveys no specific information.

    I should have probably said "unique information" as I had already said "unique." Both ideas are actually true for my point, but that switch in terms was sloppy. That arose from rewriting the sentence. The reason I had referred to "specific information" originally is you yourself have shown there was no specific informaiton conveyed by the word as it just let you use your knowledge of Jesuits to come up with vague and incorrect context. There was nothing specific or unique about what "Jesuit" conveyed.

    I'd go farther and say that you could draw a false conclusion about what was meant by "Jesuit casuistry" does not mean the phrase was a legitimate one to use.

    Not sure if it makes a difference for them, but the poster said Islamism, not Islam.

    I had considered discussing his use of that distinction, but I decided nobody would care to hear another discourse on how the usage of words has evolved over time or how context shapes their meaning. The sad reality is bigotry is alive and well today, but polarization means very few people care to discuss the problem in a meaningful way. Just look at the contortions people on that thread have gone through to defend stop and frisk or how people can say things like:

    lucia wrote: “ISIS certainly does want a battle. That by itself tells us little about the best strategy for eliminating them as a power in the region.”
    It tells us a lot. Give them their battle and destroy them. That not only removes the immediate problem, it also undermines the sick idea driving the problem

    And not be laughed out of the room. I'm fine with disagreement, and I actually prefer to discuss things when people think I am wrong, but it's meaningless when people let polarization completely blind them to any sort of facts or reality. And yes, that is pretty much the only way you could possibly think, "Bomb 'em all!" could ever be a viable or not completely stupid approach doomed to make things worse.

  12. I shouldn't have said 'specific', but 'unnecessary'. Causitry alone vs Jesuit causitry created a different result, so it clearly added.

    Bin Laden in one of his videos highlighted people follow the strong horse not the weak horse.

  13. MikeN:

    I shouldn't have said 'specific', but 'unnecessary'. Causitry alone vs Jesuit causitry created a different result, so it clearly added.

    Nobody has disputed adding "Jesuit" to make "casuistry" read "Jesuit casuistry" added the meaning. The discussion has been over what it added. My contention has been that it added a superfluous qualifier referencing a religious group in a negative way, also known as being bigoted.

    Using bigoted language requires the language add some meaning. If it didn't add anything to the meaning, it couldn't be bigoted.

  14. Seems we are arguing over something you are no longer claiming. You declared it 'unnecessary', that causitry alone was sufficient.
    I said for me it helped me to understand the meaning, so was a useful qualifier.
    I have not argued your bigoted position, because to me the concept of anti-Jesuit bigotry is equal to anti-Punic bigotry.
    I just don't know much about them.

  15. MikeN, I'm not sure why you think anything has changed. lucia claimed her language wasn't bigoted because it conveyed useful (i.e. non-bigoted) information. I said that isn't true, that her inclusion of "Jesuit" was unnecessary for her intended meaning. You've claimed her use of "Jesuit" conveyed useful information to you, but at the same time you've said you came up with a faulty interpretation, making that claim very strange.

    Moreover, you've chosen not to describe what useful information "Jesuit" could possibly convey in anything other than a vague, hand-wavey manner. I'll note, even when you claim to have described that information, it's not like you've quoted an explanation of what "Jesuit" added for you. Your vagueness is such a person could even conclude the information you gleaned from her use of "Jesuit" was the very bigotry I've criticized.

    I have not argued your bigoted position, because to me the concept of anti-Jesuit bigotry is equal to anti-Punic bigotry.
    I just don't know much about them.

    Whether or not you know anything about a type of bigotry does not prevent you from being able to observe bigotry. If lucia had said "Jewish casuistry" instead of "Jesuit casuistry," it would have been just as bigoted and had the exact same meaning (aside from the specifics of the bigotry involved). She could have also said "Hispanic casuistry" with no change in meaning beyond which group she unfairly smeared.

    Adding a qualifier to a phrase that conveys no useful information and paints a group in a negative light is a classic form of bigotry. This was no better than if lucia had said someone was engaging in "gay sophistry" instead of just "sophistry."

  16. If she had said gay, Hispanic, Jewish, Punic, I would not have come close to the actual meaning.
    If she had left it blank, I would have not known. With Jesuit, I got a meaning that wasn't that far off.

  17. I don't know how you can say you came close to the intended meaning when lucia refused to say what her intended meaning was. She specifically said there was a special meaning intended due to her inclusion of "Jesuit" so as to distinguish it from casuistry in general.

    That the use of a stereotype may have helped you reach the meaning you would have reached by looking up the word doesn't mean you reached the secret meaning lucia intended. All it means os if you use derogatory stereotypes, people may recognize the sterotype you are using.

    Perhaps you may have misunderstood the point? The issue was not in discerning what "casuistry" means. Displaying bigotry via the use of derogatory stereotypes can get your meaning across (and be bigoted). lucia claims that's not what she did though. She claims her use of "Jesuit" indicated a special type of casuistry different from other types like "Puritan casuistry."

  18. As a thought, I have been less than clear in a couple comments. It may help if I spell somrthing out explicitly. When we talk about whether or not an adjective adds useful information, the question to consider is, "How does the adjective change or shape the meaning of the noun"? If the answer is, "It doesn't," the adjective is superfluous and thus not "useful."

    This is distinct from whether or not an adjective adds context that lets one figure out the meaning of words one doesn't recognize. That context may be "useful" in the sense it helps you guess what the word means, but that doesn't mean it actually adds any information that wasn't already present.

    To understand the difference, take any sentence you wamt and strip a noun out of it. Using the context of the sentence, can you figure out what is meant? Now look at what the word you removed means on its own and compare what it means in that specific context. Does the context change how you interpret the word?

    For the first question, it may be that the sentence you chose has bigotry in it. If so, that bigotry might help you fill in the blank. It'll still be bigotry. The only way it would turn out not to be bigotry is if when you looked at the second question, you found that supposed bigotry actually changed the meaning of the word you selected.

    To see this approach in action, consider the phrase "Jewish bankers." If that phrase is being used by someone who just wants to complain about bankers, with "Jewish" thrown in just as a stereotype, that is bigoted. On the other hand, if the phrase is being used to refer to an actual group of "Jewish bankers," it is not bigoted (in and of itself). The difference is in one case "Jewish" modifies the meaning of "bankers" while in the other case it merely adds a (bigoted) meaning to the sentence. That is a simple approach to determining whether or not something is racist.

  19. This post is an example of jesuit casuistry.(kidding)

    Its true, the Jesuit's were not unique in their use of it. Thats not required for the term to have meaning.They are EXEMPLARS.

    Pretty simple casuistry is more generic. Case based reasoning , about ethics or law. jesuit casuistry has a definite flavor.
    Like porn we know it when we see it. ( which makes it like all language, soft squishy and subject to change, mutation, and
    ambiguity )

    Jesuit casuistry, ( I assume Lucia is well versed in it) is case based reasoning taken to such an extreme
    that things like lying are justifed as long as you hold a "mental reservation:. or you could lie to advance
    the cause of the church. or murder was justifed as a response to being hit. basically you can figure that
    Jesuit casuistry was notoriously used to justify the wrong doing of the rich and powerful and church officials.
    It is an EXTREME form of case based reasoning employed, typically, in a way to protect someone or something you like.

    To give another example. The catholic church says that no supporters of abortion should be honored
    So when Obama was invited to speak at a catholic college, people objected.
    Some Priests responded by saying it wasnt HONORING him, he was only giving a speach.

    Like with most definitions ( cup, mug, glass) there are no necessary and sufficient conditions that will get you
    to a decision on what the term means.

    Lucia used the term. it obviously has meaning for her.
    That is the assumption you need to make in all reading. if a person has made a distinction,
    you job is to figure out what they were distinguishing. Sometime they will help you. In other cases
    like if you are quibbling, ( is this bigoted or not.. an invitation to casuistry) they may not help you.

    given her background i would say, adding "Jesuit" means this (it is how I would use the term )

    1. The reasoning was about an ethical issue (apology) as opposed to a legal issue
    2. The reasoning absolved a clear wrong doing. Remember the Jesuits were criticize for justifying things (like lying) that
    are clearly wrong. it was case based reasoning gone wild.
    3. The reasoning relied on quibbles, typically quibbles about words or meanings.
    4. it's pejorative.. Jesuit casuistry is perjorative for historical reasons. casuistry itself is not necessarily pejoritive.

    In other words Jesuit casuitry was stripped of his religious meaning long ago. If an atheist argued that lying was ok to protect a cause,
    I would say that was Jesuit casuitry. The term isnt religous. It STARTED with a religious meaning because the examples of This style
    of casuitry were in fact power Jesuits.. but over time ( as with all language ) the terms scope broadened. That is how exemplars work.
    Starts out clear and then gets muddy. That is hard for literalists to grasp

    Rabbincal casuistry would be entirely different. Basically that takes place within the context of a Schul.

    So what she said was not bigoted.

    You seem to think that bigoted means:
    "superfluous and served no useful purpose. If that's true, it was bigoted language."

    Bigoted? I thinks thats the wrong word, but it too has undergone change. if you believe in the superiority of your understanding
    and are intolerant of and dismiss other peoples opinions.. then you are bigoted.

    So. It served a useful purpose. As a reader I get more from the Jesuit qualifier than you did.

  20. Steven Mosher, as usual, you write a lengthy comment to respond to something apparently without having bothered to read it. Anyone who reads this post and then reads the first three paragraphs of your comment will see you're clearly ignoring/disregarding much of what the post says.

    Feel free to blather on without regard for what other people say, but please don't expect any further response. You may get one, but it most likely won't be from me.

  21. You seem to be moving the goalposts. I was arguing against your use of 'unnecessary', since it definitely helped me. Now you wish to redefine your usage to say it doesn't matter if it helped me.

    At least you seem to now understand what I was saying.

  22. MikeN:

    You seem to be moving the goalposts. I was arguing against your use of 'unnecessary', since it definitely helped me. Now you wish to redefine your usage to say it doesn't matter if it helped me.

    Huh? Whether or not a word helped you understand a person's meaning tells us nothing about whether or not that word was necessary to convey the intended meaning. If you don't know what a word means, you can look it up to discover what it means. Finding out casuistry is a synonym for sophistry doesn't require anyone use the word "Jesuit."

    As a demonstration, suppose you now see someone claim another person is relying on "casuistry." I am confident you will understand what they mean even though nobody makes any use of the word "Jesuit." Why? Because "Jesuit" had nothing to do with lucia's intended meaning. That is, it was not necessary.

    Put simply, "Helpful for me to try to figure out what was meant by a word I hadn't heard before" is not the same thing as, "Necessary."

  23. For the record, I do not think this bigotry is intentional. I think somebody here just doesn’t really know what the word “casuistry” means. I could be wrong about this, but I just can’t imagine lucia is trying to sugget my logic is Catholic.

    Do you see how you read Jesuit?

    you read it as LITERAL. it's not

    ###############################

    Now you claim:

    "comment will see you're clearly ignoring/disregarding much of what the post says."

    "But none of that really matters for today's topic. For today's topic, I just want to know this: What information would saying a person engaged in "Jesuit casuistry" convey that saying they engaged in "casuistry" not convey? .

    That LOOKS LIKE one of your main interests

    WHAT information does Jesuit Convey?

    I wrrote

    "1. The reasoning was about an ethical issue (apology) as opposed to a legal issue
    2. The reasoning absolved a clear wrong doing. Remember the Jesuits were criticize for justifying things (like lying) that
    are clearly wrong. it was case based reasoning gone wild.
    3. The reasoning relied on quibbles, typically quibbles about words or meanings.
    4. it's pejorative.. Jesuit casuistry is perjorative for historical reasons. casuistry itself is not necessarily pejoritive.

    What does it NOT CONVEY.. it does NOT imply your logic is catholic. Why?

    1. The term came into the language to describe a specific set of writers and tradition.
    2. Since then the term has lost it's religious referent, and come to mean any kind of Casuistry that shares the main
    features of HISTORICAL Jesuit casuistry, as distinct from say Rabbinical Casuity which retains its religious meaning
    3. The term is EXCLUSIVELY PEJORATIVE, as opposed to casuisty, which is more neutral. That is when a philosopher
    or legal person talks about casuisty, there is not the same strong pejorative meaning.
    4. The FOCUS or core of the pejorative meaning relates to the style of casuistry.

    As I wrote

    1. The reasoning was about an ethical issue (apology) as opposed to a legal issue
    2. The reasoning absolved a clear wrong doing. Remember the Jesuits were criticize for justifying things (like lying) that
    are clearly wrong. it was case based reasoning gone wild.
    3. The reasoning relied on quibbles, typically quibbles about words or meanings.
    4. it's pejorative.. Jesuit casuistry is perjorative for historical reasons. casuistry itself is not necessarily pejoritive.

    So, when you engage in casuistry, arguing ethics by case examples, you have to avoid doing the kinds of things the historical figures did..
    Like twisting a case so much that Lying and murder become acceptable,

    Here is a take on jesuit versus talmudic casuistry

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/1996/06/jesuitical_vs_talmudic.html

    "To characterize a lie as an "economy of truth" would be a Jesuitical formulation. To say that one had smoked marijuana but did not inhale would be a Jesuitical distinction. (Bill Clinton received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, a Jesuit school.) William Safire argues that "Jesuitical" has by now developed a sense devoid of any overtones of prevarication: "subtle, intricate, moralistic reasoning, informed by a rigorous logic" is his definition. I am not as sanguine as Safire, and believe that using the word will always carry some slight risk: It may be wielded as a slur and received as a compliment, or vice versa."

    or you could read Chesterton

    "The theory attributed to the Jesuits was very often almost identical with the practice adopted by nearly everybody I knew. Everybody in society practised verbal economies, equivocations and often direct fictions, without any sense of essential falsehood."

    So, when you tried to defend Clinton's non apology as an apology, Lucia sees what those of use who have studied Church History
    You were playing with words, trying to distinguish an apology from a "effective" apology.

    When she calls your casuistry "Jesuit" she is not referring to catholism (but I just can’t imagine lucia is trying to sugget my logic is Catholic)
    In fact that statement (but I just can’t imagine lucia is trying to sugget my logic is Catholic.) is just the kind of thing that gets you branded with the "jesuit" label. It's the tediousness, the overly cleverness, the verbal quibbling, that avoids the moral issue.

    One last thing: The term has a connotation that you are trying to defend what is clearly wrong.. ( The jesuits defended lying ) or that you are trying to defend the establishment -- in this case Clinton, in the case of Jesuit's the church. So the Jesuit's would have one set of cases for covering rich people and another set of rules for poor people. And the protestant complaint was that this casuistry was being used in the defense of church power rather than a seeking of the truth.

    So, I read what you wrote

    '"But none of that really matters for today's topic. For today's topic, I just want to know this: What information would saying a person engaged in "Jesuit casuistry" convey that saying they engaged in "casuistry" not convey? ."

    You want to know what the term Jesuit adds?
    it adds a pejorative meaning.

    BUT, that pejorative meaning has been stripped of its strictly religious meaning. And further Even it is had a religious overtone, that would not be Bigoted.

    So, YES "jesuit casuistry" ( I bet you had to look it up ) has a distinct meaning separate from casuistry or rabbincal or talmudic casuistry.
    And that meaning is PEJORATIVE, and NO characterizing your "logic" with a religiously neutral term is not bigoted.

    up to the 1660's the term jesuitic casuistry had a clear referent. Writers of moral tomes that covered thousands of cases.
    After the 1660's the term started to take on negative meanings.. its a particular KIND of casuistry... and so now it is almost devoid of religious meaning It has undergone broadening

    http://grammar.about.com/od/ab/g/broadenterm.htm

    Read Fromkin she is great.

    So, as I read your piece you had AT LEAST two questions?

    1. What does jesuit add to casuistry ( a question a jesuit would ask )
    2. Was She bigoted?

    Look back at what you claim

    '"you're clearly ignoring/disregarding much of what the post says."

    Thats a lie.

    1. I answered the question you had
    "
    '"But none of that really matters for today's topic. For today's topic, I just want to know this: What information would saying a person engaged in "Jesuit casuistry" convey that saying they engaged in "casuistry" not convey? ."

    2. I answered the FRICKEN HEADLINE QUESTION.

    "So what she said was not bigoted.

    You seem to think that bigoted means:
    "superfluous and served no useful purpose. If that's true, it was bigoted language."

    Bigoted? I thinks thats the wrong word, but it too has undergone change. if you believe in the superiority of your understanding
    and are intolerant of and dismiss other peoples opinions.. then you are bigoted."

    So how can you claim that I ignored what you were interested in when I answered the HEADLINE QUESTION and I answered
    you question about what "jesuit" conveys?

    You will find a way to argue that
    A) i ignored something else
    B) that wasnt what you meant
    C) My answer is "wrong"

    But its clear: you asked what Jesuit conveys. I told you
    Its clear, you asked in the fricking headline if it was bigoted, I answered. NO.

    Somehow you will construe that as ignoring. you will use jesuitic reasoning to do it.

    You cant help yourself

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