obligations in too strong and absolute terms, and the task of whittling them down to suit emergencies emasculates them and renders them useless.
Take the obligation of telling the truth.
Every man feels the beauty of this principle, and yet we know that there are occasions upon which we might utter falsehoods and justify ourselves in so doing.
But is it not still true that the act of lying to an armed enemy, for instance, to save the life of a child would be an unpleasant act — that it would cause us a certain degree of offensethat we would wish to escape the apparent necessity?
Is it not difficult to conceive of such a lie on the lips of a Jesus or a Buddha?
and do we not instinctively take it for granted that they would find some other way out of the dilemma?
And so with courage and cowardice.
Where shall the line between them be drawn?
At what degree of danger may the brave man be justified in flinching?
Surely there is but one proper rule of action and that is, Never flinch.
Nature will draw the line without our assistance.
I am convinced that the attempts to delimit and define moral laws of this kind is demoralizing.
They will delimit themselves sufficiently in practice.
We must accept them in their fullest sense, and then practice them as best we can, being assured