Antonio: One can live a life of moderation by never deviating from the middle course. But then one loses the joy of spontaneity and misses the opportunities that come to those who are occasionally willing to take great chances, or to go too far.
Marla: But one who, in the interests of moderation, never risks going too far is actually failing to live a life of moderation: one must be moderate even in one’s moderation.
Antonio and Marla disagree over
whether it is desirable for people occasionally to take great chances in life
what a life of moderation requires of a person
whether it is possible for a person to embrace other virtues along with moderation
how often a person ought to deviate from the middle course in life
whether it is desirable for people to be moderately spontaneous
Antonio says that it’s possible to live a life of moderation by never deviating from the middle course. (Then he mentions some downsides of doing that.)
Marla says that never deviating from the middle course is actually not living a life of moderation. If you never risk going too far, she says, you are failing to be moderate in your moderation. It’s an interesting idea, don’t you think? In Marla’s world, one can become an extremist via radical moderation.
We’re asked to identify a point of disagreement between the two speakers. I’ve already done it. They’re arguing about whether pure moderation can properly be described as “living a life of moderation.”
A. The two speakers seem to agree that people should occasionally take great chances.
B. Yep. Antonio describes a life of moderation as one with no deviations. Marla says that’s not actually a life of moderation. This is their point of contention.
C. Neither speaker mentions whether it’s possible to embrace other virtues alongside moderation.
D. The two speakers seem to agree that the proper amount of deviation is not zero.
E. Both speakers seem to agree that some spontaneity—or at least risk-taking—is desirable.
Ready for more?