Religious literalism is usually assumed to go hand in hand with greater stringency; for the more liberally minded, entering into the spirit rather than the letter of a prohibition means skirting the prohibition. But not always: a Mormon who doesn’t drink coffee, tea or Coke is following the spirit; a Mormon who drinks Jolt because it isn’t expressly prohibited, though coffee and tea are, the letter. Endorsing a methodology merely because you expect a certain kind of result may lead to unwanted results.


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