Purgatory : Where is the Ship going?

1171819202123»

Comments

  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    edited July 2020
    I think there are multiple kinds of imbalance in progress.

    I agree that recent crops of apparently right-wing posters have posted problematically, but I don't think it's always been dishonest. I also think that the charge of longtime posters getting more lenient treatment may be a fair assessment - although that is perhaps justified, because they have proved their value over time, so might legitimately be excused more.

    In addition, the age of the community makes it harder for new posters to break in. Over time, any community faces the danger of becoming inward-looking, and offsetting that does indeed require the usual denizens to go the extra mile - which includes not immediately suspecting the worst.

    In one recent exchange by PM about all this I wanted to point somebody to the History of the Ship thread, but of course it's only on the old site and page 1 appears to be missing.

    I put a very high value on the Ship as a place to confront conflicting ideas. The frequent, apparent inability to do that without it immediately descending into a slanging match concerns me.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    It is difficult. There are some posters who appear to play very close to the boundaries. Some appear to do it on purpose. Do we need to think of the spirit as well as the letter of the rules?
    I’m not proposing rule changes, just noting the imbalance of the approach being suggested.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Russ: Nazism is a non-simple phenomenon, with much that is bad, some that is morally neutral, and some virtues (generally of the martial kind).

    To use a cliched example, saying "Hitler was kind to animals" is a smear. It may be a true statement, but it denigrates by association a concern for animal welfare, which is morally good (if not taken to excess).

    I really can't see why the phrase is at all objectionable, it's merely designed to indicate that Hitler's war-mongering, general racism, instigation of the holocaust, human experimentation: shall I go on? were so heinous, that to suggest his concern for animal welfare can be offered in mitigation, rather like Mussolini's success in making the trains run on time, is morally bankrupt. However worthy was Hitler's concern for animals is doesn't reduced his sentence to community service. The reference to animal welfare in this context is not intended to demean a concern for animal welfare. Indeed, the manner of its employment implies that it is a good thing.

    IMO "Nazism" is not a phenomenon that has good, bad and neutral aspects, but an evil ideology that corrupted even the good that it touches, Q.E.D. by the German nation of its time. That is not a "sneer" or "smear" it's a fact: a profanity requiring to profanities to describe it.

  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    ......requiring no profanities to describe it. (end of last sentence).
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    I’m not proposing rule changes, just noting the imbalance of the approach being suggested.
    There is always going to be imbalance. The question is whether the imbalance is tilted towards the existing centre, or outwards towards those who are other. The longer a community is established, the harder the latter imbalance is to maintain. But I think it's the imbalance a 'magazine of Christian unrest' should strive to maintain.

    (This seems as good a moment as any to repeat my current musings that the main reason Jesus sent out the 12 and then the 70/72 was to ensure the disciples got out more).

  • If we have a bias, is it simply that there is a general bias here towards justice, towards equality, towards compassion, towards peace, towards the poor and the dispossessed? I feel shouldn't have to argue that all people, regardless of their political flavour, should also be biased this way.
  • Russ wrote: »
    To use a cliched example, saying "Hitler was kind to animals" is a smear. It may be a true statement, but it denigrates by association a concern for animal welfare, which is morally good (if not taken to excess).

    I have never heard it used that way. In my experience people use that as a comeback when somebody claims that some third person must be a nice person because they're kind to animals. It's saying that's not enough if you're also brutal to human beings.
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    If we have a bias, is it simply that there is a general bias here towards justice, towards equality, towards compassion, towards peace, towards the poor and the dispossessed? I feel shouldn't have to argue that all people, regardless of their political flavour, should also be biased this way.
    The challenge, in the words of John Le Carré, is not "to be inhuman in defence of our humanity . . . harsh in defence of compassion . . . single-minded in defence of our disparity” (The Honourable Schoolboy).

  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    If we have a bias, is it simply that there is a general bias here towards justice, towards equality, towards compassion, towards peace, towards the poor and the dispossessed? I feel shouldn't have to argue that all people, regardless of their political flavour, should also be biased this way.

    A lot depends on what you mean by those words. What is justice? How is peace to be achieved? What kind of equality?
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    I should like to add motherhood and apple pie.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    edited July 2020
    Yes we love apple pie in here. Any dessert actually.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    I put a very high value on the Ship as a place to confront conflicting ideas. The frequent, apparent inability to do that without it immediately descending into a slanging match concerns me.

    Agreed, and that seems to have become much more common since the Ship changed. I have no idea why that is the timing of it.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    If we have a bias, is it simply that there is a general bias here towards justice, towards equality, towards compassion, towards peace, towards the poor and the dispossessed? I feel shouldn't have to argue that all people, regardless of their political flavour, should also be biased this way.

    A lot depends on what you mean by those words. What is justice? How is peace to be achieved? What kind of equality?

    Of course. And those are debates we can have.

    But we do run up against the Popperian "tolerance of intolerance" problem. I'm in no way suggesting that, for example, a socialist's view of justice and equality is the only model possible, but debating with people who deny the very concept as something to be strived for is going to be difficult.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    DocTor:...... debating with people who deny the very concept as something to be strived for is going to be difficult.

    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints. Personally, I would enjoy debating the idea that justice and equality are not to be pursued.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints.

    My point exactly. Someone having a different - even radically different - sense of what justice or equality mean is not the same as them rejecting those concepts altogether.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    .......or [rejection] at all!
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2020
    There's a search box at the top right of the boards home page (on mobile phone you may need desktop view to see it). If you pop the word Nazi in there you can see exactly who was keen on throwing the term about recently and in what context.

    I have a lot of sympathy for what Eutychus says as it's normally my own approach that I try to avoid taking bait and not descend to the level of flamebaiting posters and to put my case reasonably - I'm human and don't always live up to my own best practice, but this is what I aim for.

    Unfortunately my experience is that this approach doesn't work all the time on a boardwide basis. We used to see a lot of really nasty posters eg. at the height of the controversy over Gene Robinson. They came to the Ship to tell gay posters their relationships were invalid or unnatural, or to suggest that they had a lifestyle choice that ought to be cured etc. Some of them were truly dreadful, relentless and unfeeling.

    It was absolutely no good suggesting to people that they didn't take the bait with the worst posters. Firstly because those of us who were 'don't take the baiters' often didn't have skin in the game - we weren't the people who were being told we were subhuman and our dearest relationships invalid and unnatural. Secondly goading people works - there's always someone who can be goaded to reply or feels they must reply rather than let an odious statement stand unopposed. Thirdly - if you let people come into debating rooms on a regular basis and tip a big bucket of filth over the heads of a certain group of guests, those guests leave and don't come back.

    The problems intensify when you have a group complain 'we are having all the ordure dumped over us' but they actually are prolific bucket tippers when it comes to others who are far more stigmatised and much less powerful and privileged, and what they actually don't like is those groups and their allies not just sitting there and taking it. You then get people start to claim that bucket-tipping is a sacred part of their ideology and they must be allowed to tip buckets of filth over people or it's not free speech, or their point of view that bucket-tipping is a fine, necessary and healthy thing is being repressed.

    We've had various strategies over the years to catch the bucket-tippers and stop them ruining the space for everyone. There's never a perfect solution - because human nature.

    I do see it more from the right populist side but I'm aware that it can come from the opposite political pole too - where anything is justified once you have identified someone, rightly or wrongly as a right-wing bucket tipper and therefore you are 'punching up'.

    But we need to beware of toxifying debate spaces - when spaces get scary and hostile precisely those who feel vulnerable, whose voices we might most want to hear, will be looking and thinking 'I'm not going to post in that! What if I say the wrong thing?' or 'I have enough shit in my day to day life as it is - precisely why should I want more for recreation?'

    So I don't have a solution. I think maybe discussing it and being more aware of these dynamics helps but there's no magic bullet.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    edited July 2020
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints.

    My point exactly. Someone having a different - even radically different - sense of what justice or equality mean is not the same as them rejecting those concepts altogether.

    Yes but no. If you want to swerve towards newspeak for your definitions, then go ahead. I won't debate on those terms.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Russ wrote: »
    And it ought to be possible to give an indication of why one thinks someone's statement isn't true or isn't good without either sneering or smearing ("that's the sort of thing that Nazis say"). But sometimes that can be hard to do concisely.
    Or indeed constantly sneering that the other person believes that the end justifies the means?

    Identifying the other person's argument as being that the end justifies the means is giving an indication of why one thinks it isn't good.

    That's not sneering.
    That looks to me like an irregular verb: I give an indication of why I think it isn't good; you sneer.

    If the other person really is endorsing utilitarian principles that's one thing. But the same goes if the other person really is favourably quoting Nazis. Just saying, that looks a bit like the end justifies the means to me, is not an intellectually upright move.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    DocTor:...... debating with people who deny the very concept as something to be strived for is going to be difficult.

    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints.
    Well, not, not completely. I'll not mention actual people, but there are a few whose POV essentially rejects the concept. Whilst it is possible, and in some cases likely, that the person has no direct ill will towards others but still favours policies that have that result.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Louise wrote: »
    There's a search box at the top right of the boards home page (on mobile phone you may need desktop view to see it). If you pop the word Nazi in there you can see exactly who was keen on throwing the term about recently and in what context.

    I have a lot of sympathy for what Eutychus says as it's normally my own approach that I try to avoid taking bait and not descend to the level of flamebaiting posters and to put my case reasonably - I'm human and don't always live up to my own best practice, but this is what I aim for.

    Unfortunately my experience is that this approach doesn't work all the time on a boardwide basis. We used to see a lot of really nasty posters eg. at the height of the controversy over Gene Robinson. They came to the Ship to tell gay posters their relationships were invalid or unnatural, or to suggest that they had a lifestyle choice that ought to be cured etc. Some of them were truly dreadful, relentless and unfeeling.

    It was absolutely no good suggesting to people that they didn't take the bait with the worst posters. Firstly because those of us who were 'don't take the baiters' often didn't have skin in the game - we weren't the people who were being told we were subhuman and our dearest relationships invalid and unnatural. Secondly goading people works - there's always someone who can be goaded to reply or feels they must reply rather than let an odious statement stand unopposed. Thirdly - if you let people come into debating rooms on a regular basis and tip a big bucket of filth over the heads of a certain group of guests, those guests leave and don't come back.
    Excellent post, though I would add a fourthly. The more odious POV are not challenged, the higher the chance they become seen as acceptable. We tend to view SOF as active participants with established POV. However, that is not perfectly true. There is a balance between taking the bait and ignoring trollish behaviour, but it is not a simple or clean line.

    Louise wrote: »

    So I don't have a solution. I think maybe discussing it and being more aware of these dynamics helps but there's no magic bullet.
    I don't think there is a perfect solution. I think that awareness informing response is te best we can hope for.

  • Louise wrote: »
    We used to see a lot of really nasty posters eg. at the height of the controversy over Gene Robinson. They came to the Ship to tell gay posters their relationships were invalid or unnatural, or to suggest that they had a lifestyle choice that ought to be cured etc. Some of them were truly dreadful, relentless and unfeeling.
    And, at the same time these odious individuals were racking up hostly warnings, admin warnings, suspensions and bans for personal attacks on Shipmates (a solid combination of C3, C1 and C6) there was also a gay man, advocate for gay rights, who was being relentlessly dreadful towards other Shipmates for identifying with Evangelical ... who also racked up the warnings and eventually got banned. The common element was the style of posting, not what side of the argument people were on.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Louise wrote: »
    We used to see a lot of really nasty posters eg. at the height of the controversy over Gene Robinson. They came to the Ship to tell gay posters their relationships were invalid or unnatural, or to suggest that they had a lifestyle choice that ought to be cured etc. Some of them were truly dreadful, relentless and unfeeling.
    And, at the same time these odious individuals were racking up hostly warnings, admin warnings, suspensions and bans for personal attacks on Shipmates (a solid combination of C3, C1 and C6) there was also a gay man, advocate for gay rights, who was being relentlessly dreadful towards other Shipmates for identifying with Evangelical ... who also racked up the warnings and eventually got banned. The common element was the style of posting, not what side of the argument people were on.
    But who is actually offensive is not equal. Nor is the effect of each bias.
    Simply being anti-gay has real world consequences that being anti-evangelical does does not.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints.

    My point exactly. Someone having a different - even radically different - sense of what justice or equality mean is not the same as them rejecting those concepts altogether.

    Yes but no. If you want to swerve towards newspeak for your definitions, then go ahead. I won't debate on those terms.

    So much for "I'm in no way suggesting that, for example, a socialist's view of justice and equality is the only model possible".
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints.

    My point exactly. Someone having a different - even radically different - sense of what justice or equality mean is not the same as them rejecting those concepts altogether.

    Yes but no. If you want to swerve towards newspeak for your definitions, then go ahead. I won't debate on those terms.

    So much for "I'm in no way suggesting that, for example, a socialist's view of justice and equality is the only model possible".

    Not really. That's a false dichotomy.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Recognising that the concepts of justice, equality and so on vary so widely that they mostly lead to polar opposite conclusions, I find it difficult to identify shipmates who reject the concept altogether. I would have thought most of the heat generated in Purgatory arises from competing definitions and standpoints.

    My point exactly. Someone having a different - even radically different - sense of what justice or equality mean is not the same as them rejecting those concepts altogether.

    Yes but no. If you want to swerve towards newspeak for your definitions, then go ahead. I won't debate on those terms.

    So much for "I'm in no way suggesting that, for example, a socialist's view of justice and equality is the only model possible".

    Well. If your definition of justice and/or equality is that radically different that no longer remotely resembles any widely accepted definition of the term, you're not actually talking about justice, or equality, and are talking about different concepts entirely - and trying to hide the fact.

    I don't know where you're going with this. I'm willing to discuss a libertarian's view of justice and equality, a conservative's view of justice and equality, a classic liberal's view of justice and equality, a social democrats view of justice and equality, even a theocrat's view of justice and equality. But if your own views of justice and equality are so far outside the accepted range that they no longer qualify, then ... that's not what they are.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2020
    And, at the same time these odious individuals were racking up hostly warnings, admin warnings, suspensions and bans for personal attacks on Shipmates (a solid combination of C3, C1 and C6) there was also a gay man, advocate for gay rights, who was being relentlessly dreadful towards other Shipmates for identifying with Evangelical ... who also racked up the warnings and eventually got banned. The common element was the style of posting, not what side of the argument people were on.

    To be fair Alan, it was about 95% to 5% determined homophobes versus posters whose hatred of homophobia meant they couldn't adhere to board rules or that they also tarred every evangelical with the same brush ( I can think of about two over 20 years). I think we need to resist the temptation to just 'both sides' it as a behavioural matter for that reason. One side was overwhelmingly represented.

    And Lil Buddha is right about the different real world consequences. It's just an unhappy fact that you can't run a moderated debate board based on a set of rules with people who consistently think the rules don't apply to them (for whatever reason).

    And while the process did its thing, as you rightly describe, I would watch threads derail and people get hurt, and people take bait and get angry and then I would have to ding them for C3/C4 and tell them they must stop or take it to Hell while they were being goaded by awful things being posted about them as human beings and their families and relationships. We also lost people along the way over that, who left because they felt this was unfair. I did at one stage contemplate resigning but when I looked back at the threads and how things had changed over the years and how much having the Dead Horses board allowed people to go about their business on the other boards without being assailed in this way, I saw the benefit in all those discussions over the years.

    I think it's really tempting to just 'both sides' it. There are well-known blind spots where dehumanising prejudice flourishes in left/liberal/far left circles too, and there are also left sources of 'fake news' and atrocity denialism, and indeed it is true in that regard that 'both sides' do these things, but one side does it much more than the other and has much more real world power and privilege behind it, and if we just 'both sides' then we don't grapple with that problem. We just end up priding ourselves on being neutral when people can see that one side falls foul of the rules more than the other. I think we're not neutral when it comes to dehumanising and demonising arguments and behaviour (at least I'd hope we weren't) and maybe we need to be a bit more up front about that.
  • Oh, I know that there are more real-world consequences for being at the receiving end of homophobic abuse than there are for being at the receiving end of anti-evangelical abuse. And, certainly on the Ship the quantity of homophobes is greater than anti-evangelical posters (that's probably true everywhere). Though it can be demoralising when trying to support gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in Christ from an evangelical position, trying to clearly demonstrate that there's nothing in evangelicalism that would necessarily deny people their human dignity (which most certainly includes but is not limited to the freedom to love and marry) and equality in Christ, that not all evangelicals are hate filled gay bashing monsters to find someone constantly on your back whenever you post something affirming of evangelicalism (regardless of context) with the same old "all evangelicals are hate-filled gay bashing monsters". Of course, no where near as bad as being at the receiving end of a hate-filled gay bashing monster.

    But, my point was that we've never banned anyone for not being fully on board with the majority of Shipmates who affirm gay rights. We've never banned anyone for having strong views on their experience of some evangelicals treating gays badly. We've only banned people when the way they express their views repeatedly crosses the line into personal abuse of other Shipmates (or, comes across as crusading or otherwise is "jerkish"). We have long-term Shipmates who we know don't agree with the majority here on gay rights, and who will regularly argue their corner with sufficient respect for the positions of others that they rarely, if ever, get a Hell call or hostly warning for their posts. The same is true of politically conservative Shipmates, though we're all aware that they're in a minority there are some who will likewise argue their case well and don't get into trouble. The rules apply to all, equally. The question is perhaps why so many more people with more conservative views on sexuality or politics seem to find it so much harder to operate within our fairly simple house rules than those who are more liberal?
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    edited July 2020
    Discussions on economic models - while having enormous real-world implications - are, more often than not, quite knockabout but not usually existentially threatening. As long as posters stay with the 10Cs, then debate can continue.

    If someone is saying that gay people shouldn't be able to marry within their gender, or that white people ought to be able to choose not to live next door to black people, then that is an existential attack on someone's identity and their rights. Things will run hot quickly, for obvious reasons.

    But we're all somewhere on the line of social conservatism. As a Ship, we've drawn the line to exclude -isms. Some will think that's too far along the conservative line, and would draw it further towards the liberal end. Some will think it too liberal, and we should throw that ruling altogether.

    If we moved it one way or the other, it would definitely have an affect on posts, and posters. Where ought we position it, if we were to reconsider?
  • Louise wrote: »
    I did at one stage contemplate resigning but when I looked back at the threads and how things had changed over the years and how much having the Dead Horses board allowed people to go about their business on the other boards without being assailed in this way, I saw the benefit in all those discussions over the years.

    That's the tension, isn't it? If people exist who are (sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, whatever), they're not going to spontaneously develop enlightenment by themselves. They need interaction with people who don't consider those things acceptable. What that means, to me, is that people who don't have direct skin in the game (because they aren't female, a racial minority, gay, trans, or whatever) need to step up and do a lot of the work of talking to these people, so that the people who are directly affected don't have to defend their existence continuously.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    The question is perhaps why so many more people with more conservative views on sexuality or politics seem to find it so much harder to operate within our fairly simple house rules than those who are more liberal?

    I mostly wasn't around for the sexuality debates. The landscape has changed significantly, partly because of Epiphanies and partly because of the passage of time (nobody really seems to have a burning desire to debate homosexuality these days).

    I think one of the factors we have to take into account generally is that the Ship in 2020 (at least) isn't a particularly attractive place for intelligent reasonable people with right-of-centre views to talk politics. For starters, the Ship's political centre of gravity is elsewhere, and many people seem very eager to keep it that way. So it perhaps shouldn't be too surprising that the right-of-centre people that we do attract these days sometimes don't look like intelligent reasonable people.



  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2020
    But, my point was that we've never banned anyone for not being fully on board with the majority of Shipmates who affirm gay rights. We've never banned anyone for having strong views on their experience of some evangelicals treating gays badly. We've only banned people when the way they express their views repeatedly crosses the line into personal abuse of other Shipmates (or, comes across as crusading or otherwise is "jerkish

    Yes this is true. I think that dehumanising/ or demonising stuff tends to cross those lines sooner. There's a big difference between not affirming/not agreeing and having no clue what you're doing to other people and getting stroppy when asked to have a clue or abide by rules.
    The question is perhaps why so many more people with more conservative views on sexuality or politics seem to find it so much harder to operate within our fairly simple house rules than those who are more liberal?

    I think this puts it well.

  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    ISTM the discussion of various aspects of sex/gender debates are difficult because they touch on extremely sensitive personal questions for a humber of contributors, and the conceptualisation of some issues are controversial because scientific understanding is very limited. The boundary between attempts at understanding and 'attitudes towards' those for whom the questions are painful is not always recognised. I'm not certain that this is an appropriate forum for some of these matters to be discussed, but where else in the public sphere?
  • edited July 2020
    Can we all shout "Godwin!" and then close the thread now?

    The posts which prompted this well-justified comment have now been split out to their own thread - see below. BroJames, Purgatory Host
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    If we have a bias, is it simply that there is a general bias here towards justice, towards equality, towards compassion, towards peace, towards the poor and the dispossessed? I feel shouldn't have to argue that all people, regardless of their political flavour, should also be biased this way.

    A lot depends on what you mean by those words. What is justice? How is peace to be achieved? What kind of equality?

    Of course. And those are debates we can have.

    But we do run up against the Popperian "tolerance of intolerance" problem. I'm in no way suggesting that, for example, a socialist's view of justice and equality is the only model possible, but debating with people who deny the very concept as something to be strived for is going to be difficult.

    One view of equality (not sure how you'd label it) is that the equality that matters is equality under the law. The same rules applying to everyone. Whether those are explicit written rules or tacit understandings that everyone is expected to abide by.

    One view of justice is absence of bias.

    You're saying that you're willing to debate other concepts of justice at the same time as saying that your concept should be built into the rules of how that debate is carried out.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Can we all shout "Godwin!" and then close the thread now?

    Maybe, or maybe not. I've split out the post about the nature and problem of good and evil in people to a new thread "burn your house down… brew you a cup of tea in the still-glowing embers" - good and evil in people*

    If it's got mileage feel free to discuss it further there, but not on this thread.

    We can tuck Godwin away again for now on this thread.

    BroJames, Purgatory Host

    (*Credit to @Doc Tor for the title.)
  • I have just come across this quotation from Aldous Huxley (The Devils of Loudun) cited in Victor Gollancz's anthology 'From Darkness to Light'. H. is discussing the Manichaean view of the world: 'Today it is everywhere self-evident that We are on the side of Light, They on the side of Darkness. And being on the side of Darkness, They deserve to be punished and must be liquidated . . . . by the most fiendish means at our disposal.'
    That is as true now as it was when Huxley wrote, and, in a small way, and in the mind of some shipmates, in the world of the Ship (which is supposed to be a 'magazine of Christian unrest) as in political life.
    The Ship, I fear, is both shrinking and sinking, which is a pity.
  • I know there is the argument that libraries have a duty to offer as wide a variety of opinions and viewpoints as possible

    There used to be a similar argument about universities.

    Yes and no ... It would be insane to require that every university geology department must have at least one faculty person who teaches -- and "believes" -- that the Earth is only 10,000 years old and that the Noah Flood in the Bible actually accounts for what we observe in sedimentary rocks globally ...
Sign In or Register to comment.