Re: DSM: An alternative teacher at a traditional school

Scott Gray (
Wed, 20 Dec 2000 18:05:07 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 20 Dec 2000, Allan Saugstad wrote:

> No argument there. The difference is this; it is fine to disagree and judge what
> is right for oneself, and it is fine to communicate what one feels is wrong in a
> system, but it is wrong for me to tell someone to stop living the way they are
> and live "my way".

     I don't like to argue that I have any special authority to try to
stop them from engaging in activities that I disapprove of. It is
certainly not reasonable for me to show the details of how _I_ do things
as a model for others to follow; but I would suggest that it is often
reasonable for a person to loudly proclaim certain particular actions and
paths in life that one is _opposed_ to letting others follow. Would
anyone think I was being unreasonable if I advised a person that I did
_not_ approve of people starting hate groups or practicing terrorism?
     I worry about my responsibility as a person who believes in a "live
and let live" philosophy, when _some_ of the people that I may (or may
not) "let live" are engaged in an activity that is clearly at _odds_ with
that philosophy, and are engaging in actions designed to restrict the
liberty of _other_ people.

     To make an argument by reductio ad absurdum...
     The abolitionists in the 19th Century US were not, I think, acting in
a manner calculated _against_ liberty when they encouraged Abraham Lincoln
to draft the Emancipation Proclamation -- even though they were "limiting
the freedom" of slavers to enslave.
     Likewise, I wonder if standing by and _letting_ well-meaning adults
remain associated with traditional schools doesn't make it less likely
that the traditional school system could be changed or challenged... If
so, one may be acting _contrary_ to the value of letting people live their
own lives (aka liberty).

     I guess I worry when I hear people suggest that a belief in liberty
means that _any_ way of living ones life is acceptible... A belief in
liberty _implies_ that living ones life in a manner that compromises
_others'_ liberty is wrong, perhaps criminal.
     A belief in liberty means that you accept that there are an infinite
number of valid ways for a person to live his or her life -- but it also
may demand that we recognize that there are _some_ ways of living one's
life that are wrong or even wicked.
--Scott David Gray
reply to:
It is always wise to let people think that you have money.
I don't care what you say, unless you do something dreadful,
people think money and goodness go together. Somehow God
has to be on the side of the rich or how else would He
tolerate them to be that way? It also assures you a nice
measure of justice from the police. I know.

-- Fred Waldo Demara

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