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

Feb 10, 2006 03:19 PM
by robert_b_macd

Dear Bill,

No apology necessary.  If I behave poorly please let me know, if I
think your being unfair I will let you know.

However, to clarify things still further, since we are having this
conversation, I would like to make some further distinctions in the
abstract.  It is not my purpose to be a bully on this site or to make
anyone afraid of me.  I would rather work to help make arguments
stronger so that we can all understand theosophy better.  As I have
repeated several times, I don't think a discussion on motives is
helpful.  As it is difficult to devine what is in the mind of another,
we should stay away from the topic altogether.  This means subtle
inuendo or calling a "spade a spade" (which I believe is the more
honest way of judging anothers motive).  To that end I have no
intention of speculating on anyones motives on this site although I
will speculate on what I understand people to be arguing so that they
can correct me if I am wrong. In addition I will draw peoples
attention to any instances I perceive of it.

I understand human nature to be such that if we "act" civil and
respectful towards one another then in time we will "be" civil and
respectful towards one another.  We learn by doing.  If we stay away
from inuendo (corrosive) or bold face accusations of ill motive or
ignorant motive, then we remove a hurtful element from this site. 
That is not to say we can't point out bad behavior which you did in a
respectful way.  One of the most thoughtful individuals in the early
movement was Julia Keightly.  Judge, understanding how sensitive she
was hid her away behind an alias and out of reach of those who could
wound her with their words.  I am sure there are people like that
today who would take one look at this site and shy away.  We could be
losing a unique insight because we are so worried as to why the other
person is saying what he is saying.  Who cares?  Deal with the
argument.  I am not making a big deal of this for my own sake, I can
look after myself.  I am concerned about those who don't have a voice
but would like to.

You spoke in a previous post about standing up for one another.  I
just wanted to make it clear that I am not going to fight another's
battles for them, but I do think we can give encouragement, as many
did today to Paul Johnson, when a person sticks their neck out. 
Sometimes it is the moral support that gives people the courage to
move forward.  Sometimes others may be able to offer a way out of a
difficult problem.  We are in this together, even if we have to trod
our own personal path alone.

Also, I have never said that I would not accept vetted evidence brough
forward that would be problematic for H.P.B.  If someone were to take
one of Madame Coulomb's allegations and show the evidence that proves
the allegation, then the allegation becomes a statement of fact that
anyone could use in an appropriate manner.  As not one allegation has
been proved in over a hundred years and as many have been shown to be
lies, this is not a body of literature that I take with any
seriousness.  If H.P.B.'s accusers are unable or unwilling to do the
work to prove some of these allegations, then they should shut up
about them to the rest of us at least until they do the work.  That
does not mean the allegations are inaccessible, they still exist in
the archives but at this they are nothing more that malicious (that is
with malice) lies.  They can only injure a, thus far, innocent
individual.  Similarly if people come forward with fresh evidence and
arguments as to why the holocaust could not have happened in a certain
way, then the evidence and arguments have to be delt with, not denied.
 I am equal opportunity and consistent on both fronts.

As to liars, Bart can provide evidence, or an explanation, I'm open to
both.  It seems Daniel has provided everyone with the means to access
the debate from the day.  If there is any further evidence that Bart
wants to bring forward, great!  I have nothing to hide and the sooner
we put this to rest, the sooner we can move on.

Fraternally, Bruce

--- In, Bill Meredith <meredith_bill@...>
> 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
> 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
> 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
> "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
> 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
> you to make my points, remember that we are all brothers and as
> 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,
> bill
> >

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