Regretfully yours

Leaving perfection to God
My wife, a teacher of philosophy at a Catholic university, likes to begin introductory ethics courses with a hypothetical question. If you were to live to be 80, what would you like to be able to say about yourself? Her students, who are mostly Catholics and Lutherans—and often practicing ones—sometimes impress her with sensitive responses about virtue and character. But in the last few years she has noticed that more and more of them answer that they want to be able to say that they have no regrets, that they wouldn’t do anything differently. The avoidance of moral regret seems to be their life goal. She’s been surprised at how often this answer has come up. It bothers her and has long bothered me, because unfortunately it’s not limited to callow freshmen.


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