Carol Platt Liebau: Take a chill pill, everybody

Friday, August 03, 2007

Take a chill pill, everybody

This is guest blogger Wile E. Coyote.

We're having a lot of heartfelt, robust discussion today.

Let's remember not to get personal. Focus on the ideas, not the person expressing them.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program...


Blogger rplat said...

"Let's remember not to get personal. Focus on the ideas, not the person expressing them."

The "person" is the vessel for the idea and the two cannot be separated or placed in different planes . . . they are one and the same. People must not express ideas unless they are prepared to be held accountable for their utterings.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Coyote here.

I think there a difference between saying "you're a fool" or "what you say is foolish" and "given the argument you make, how would you respond to ..."

For example, you state that a person and his ideas are one and the same. If I change my mind, do I necessarily change myself?

Finally, as to accountability, this is a blog. We don't rack people for their views. We just expect decorum so as to attract and keep bloggers with interesting ideas. Remember the old Monty Python sketch, "I came here for an argument, this is abuse."

2:25 PM  
Blogger rplat said...

I too believe there is a difference between saying, “you’re a fool” or “what you say is foolish”. The main thesis of my argument was that once you have spoken you will be held responsible and accountable for the effect of your words and you cannot separate them from your self. And yes, if you change your mind then you may indeed change your self and your belief system. Most beliefs have a direct impact on your value system that in turn guides or directs your behavior. I agree that one should attempt to understand and be tolerant of the opinions of others and one should not be unduly chastised for expressing honest but controversial opinions. If I appeared to profess a propensity for argumentation or personal attack that was not my intent, but I remain firm in stating that we will be judged by our spoken or written words . . . whatever they may be. Furthermore, everyone should be prepared to defend his or her positions in a fair and open forum.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

rplat, I suggest that you consider the rule in pragmatic terms. The sad fact is that people get mad and say nasty things in places like this. Somehow, the moderators have to prevent that from happening. But how do you draw a line between a merely clever retort and a flaming insult? The clearest, brightest line is to differentiate between ideas and people. The rule then becomes: "you can say anything you want about ideas, but you can't say a word about any other person." It's a good rule because it is simple to administer and easy to understand. I inadvertently violated it by writing a post containing a fairly mind personal rebuke, and then stupidly hit the "publish" button instead of "preview", as I usually do. Realizing my error, I immediately wrote an apology. Coyote quite properly deleted the entire post.

1:48 PM  

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