Choices and real dilemmas

by Paul Burmeister

Here are two writers whose thoughts on choice and choosing converge: Isaiah Berlin, as quoted in Tony Judt's Thinking the Twentieth Century, and Charles Sherover, from his essays on time and temporality.

Berlin: Choices entail real and unavoidable costs. "In short, there are choices which we are right to make but which implicitly involve rejecting other choices whose virtues it would be a mistake to deny."

Sherover: The pressure of time can force a choice between equally defensible right actions; most real moral dilemmas aren't simple. "We can't do all the things we want to do; we can't in most human situations, do all the things we think we ought to do; we can't meet all the demands the most righteous conscience might demand."