[Discuss-sudbury-model] analogies, and talking "bad"

From: <Dannyasher_at_aol.com>
Date: Sun Oct 9 08:45:00 2005

There are good analogies and bad analogies. Part of life is distinguishing
between the two. One can ask, is it a good or bad analogy to talk about
buying a Lexus sedan as being analogous to enjoying the bliss of beautiful
admiring models? Is it a good or bad analogy to talk about the Israelis treatment
of Palestinians as being analogous to the Gestapo's treatment of its enemies.
 And so forth. These are an important part of developing judgment. There
is no thought without some sort of analogy; a dictionary is nothing more than
a collection of analogies, as is every discussion of quantum theory (does
anyone think nuclear particles are made of actual strings?)
 
Nor is it always beneficial to avoid talking about what, in one's opinion,
is bad about something as well as talking about what is good about the
alternative being advocated by the speaker. Should we avoid talking about the bad
aspects of nazism, or the gulag, or colonialism, or slavery, or gender
discrimination, and only focus on the good things we enjoy in our culture? Is this
actually a productive way to advance human moral sensitivity?
 
I wonder whether all the people who are put off by writers on this list who
talk bad stuff in public schools are equally desirous of avoiding bad talk
about the Vietnam War, or companies that pollute the environment, or elected
political leaders who are mired in corruption?
 
Are we really so emotionally delicate that we cannot deal in a reasoned way
with arguments that we feel are wrong?
 
Dan Greenberg
Received on Sun Oct 09 2005 - 08:44:44 EDT

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