I was reading a New York Times article online about Jewish author and educator Erica Brown, when I came across this line:
“During our coffee, she criticized the way some observers bury moral teaching under legal casuistry and the way some moderns try to explain away the unfashionable things the Torah clearly says.”
I had never before heard of the word “casuistry” (ˈka zh (ə)wəstrē) , so I looked it up.
“The use of clever but unsound reasoning, esp. in relation to moral questions; sophistry; the use of fallacious arguments, esp. with the intention of deceiving.”
I can think of so many examples of casuistry when I read the news, especially in the shoddy treatment of Israel and the moral relativism thereof. Honest Reporting recently released their 2010 Award for Dishonest Reporter (spoiler: Time Magazine “wins”). Reading such blatant examples of casuistry is downright scary. So for now, “casuistry” shall be my favorite word of the moment.