This post by a Philosophy Professor, Viet Nam Vet, and Jesuit, Rev. Paul McNellis, at the Democracy Project is excellent and gets to the heart of the problem with TNR and present hopes for the future of Private Beauchamp. It begins:
In a famous passage in his Confessions, St. Augustine admits that as a young boy he ran with a bad crowd and fabricated stories to impress his friends.
I was ashamed among other youths that my viciousness was less than theirs: I heard them boasting of their exploits...not only for the pleasure of the act but for the pleasure of the boasting....and when I lacked opportunity to equal others in vice, I invented things I had not done, lest I might be held cowardly for being innocent, or contemptible for being chaste....Someone cries, ‘Come on, let’s do it’--and we would be ashamed to be ashamed.
Who among us, at some point in our lives, has not so intensely desired to belong to the group that we ended up apologizing for our virtues and boasting of our vices? It could have taken the form of remaining silent when we should have spoken out. The point, of course, is to grow out of it. Augustine was referring to when he was 16 years old. As one grows older, the fear of appearing virtuous before bad people is replaced by the desire to be virtuous with good people. It’s called character...
Be sure to read the whole post. The last five paragraphs will resonate with all of you.