Bruce Smith (email@example.com)
Wed, 7 Feb 2001 21:59:51 -0700
I appreciate Bill's contribution to this dialogue, but I question his use
of certain terms and examples.
First, Bill cites the story of The Boy Who Fished as an example of the
regard that we should give each other on this listserve. Yet this was a
student allowed to pursue his own interests, whereas we are presently
engaged in an ongoing discussion. No one on this present discussion is, to
my knowledge, being discouraged from pursuing any of their interests; we
are engaged in a voluntary, collective activity here, not an individual
pursuit. I do not believe the parallel holds.
Secondly, Bill maintains that we should give each other not our arguments,
but our "deep respect and profound regard." I consider this a false
dichotomy. It harkens back to a difficulty I've occasionally seen on this
list in distinguishing between personal attacks and heated debate.
Certainly we may argue with each other in a spirit of respect. Perhaps
argument per se is not at the core of the model, but the intense,
thoughtful and respectful exchange of ideas surely is.
Finally, as for the latter half of "attack and defend," what did Bill's
post do if not defend a point of view?
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