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Re: Theos-World Re: On expanding a disagreeable situation into a sandlot rhubarb

Feb 10, 2006 10:53 AM
by Bill Meredith

Greetings Bruce,

robert_b_macd wrote:
Dear Bill,

I have no problems with what you have to say and take it all with the
good faith in which I know it was intended. I have no doubt that
Carlos can stand up for himself. I probably could have taken in good
faith what Bart had to say had he not thrown in at the last that
completely unfounded comment on the Hollocaust.
Yes, I sensed that this was the proverbial straw, however I was referring to your previous post where you presented a well thought out philosophical argument, but chose for some reason to present this argument using named individuals as points to be made. Just today you offered the philosophically sound idea of discussing things in the abstract. I suggest that Bart was coming nearer this ideal when he quoted the ML letter than you were when you addressed his reasoning behind quoting the letter. Now we come to the issue of the Holocaust. Why is Bart under the impression that your magazine, by publishing some article, has said that it did not happen? I think it important to hear from Bart on this point so that we may better understand his thought processes. This could be a very similar situation to your disagreement with Daniel's publishing those lies about HPB. You have concluded that they are lies and so you do not think any spreading of them through further publication can be useful. Bart may have concluded that the holocaust did happen and that any further spreading of lies and concoctions to the contrary is wrong.
I am sure that you are not objecting to people joining in debates. I
suspect that Carlos would have ignored Bart's opinion of him and kept
his focus on the larger debate at hand. I, on the other hand, found
the topic of philosophical interest and tried to post a well thought
out argument in good faith. One way of creating a harmonious site is
to assume that others are acting out of principle. As we cannot guess
at anothers motive this would seem to be the most charitable way to
proceed, certainly more so than trying to judge others. In this way
we stick to the arguments and don't get caught up in defending motive.

Yes and it always a good solution to try and "out" the truth rather than "prove" another is a liar. The truth will stand for itself when it is given full exposure. I do not know the truth of what FOHAT may have published about the holocaust since I have not read everything the magazine has published. I trust that you have, but still I am awaiting Bart's evidence before drawing any conclusions. If Bart has made a mistake in remembering some article or other and perhaps where that article was published, then I am sure he will acknowledge that mistake and we can all move on. To be mistaken, no matter the degree, is not the same as being a liar. This is the point that you and Carlos are making with respect to those who lied about HPB and whose work is being published anyway.
An argument even if poorly motivated can still be a good argument. Motive then becomes a distraction to the issue. We are not here to
teach people to become better people, we are here as students, and
will take away from each exchange what we need.
I would say that we are here for a variety of reasons. I would also that we have a tendency to put into each exchange what we need as well. As an editor, I'm sure you are aware that it is sometimes useful to write that philosophical argument that we think is so well thought out and then sit on it for awhile, return to it and try to see it as it will likely be received by the readers, especially the readers whom we use to make a point with. I often find that after a second or third time through a posting I can eliminate a good bit of the personal and replace it with the abstract. The points can still be made.

This is the point that
I was originally trying to make to Bart and if in the process I
overstepped the bounds of propriety, I apologize.

I think it has been good to clear the air somewhat, but at the same time I find the process less than enjoyable because it is not my intention to publicly point out the potential mistakes of anyone other than my own self. With that in mind, wherever I may appear to be using you to make my points, remember that we are all brothers and as Adelasie says, if we look close enough we will surely find ourselves reflected in each other, warts and all.
Given that, I apologize to you as well.

peace and goodwill,


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