> In a message dated 1/25/2000 4:06:54 PM
> Pacific Standard Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> << n's actual state of mind, the
> example probably captures Robert's experience. For me, such an experience
> be frustrating enough to warrant a response like Robert's, perhaps even a
> stronger one. (I might also just join the drunkenness -- indeed, this might
> be another way of understanding Robert's response, his favored drink being
> perhaps different from those of most.)
> If Extropians lost Robert, the overall caliber of the list would suffer
> immensely. >>
> Losing people is not the point finally.
Not sure I agree. No matter -->
> Simply put: while ideas are fair
> game, character bashing is not welcome anywhere
> on the net, regardless of the florid prose
> one uses. Mr Owen is undoubtably a fine
You seem to think the difference between an attack on an idea and an attack on
character is 1) easy to make in this case (or, if difficult, not worth publicly
justifying) and 2) relevant.
I'm sure about neither of those two things, but then, I take myself to be my
ideas, primarily; you may view yourself differently.
In any event, I see no significantly greater degree of personal attack in
Robert's comments than in Shaun's.
That Shaun is the one who started the "incivility" (a term with which you might
not agree, I know), yet Robert was the object of your, and others', moral
attack, I find interesting. It may of course be that you see nothing whatever
wrong with Shaun's tone. But perhaps it's a residue of Christianity: one must
"turn the other cheek." Most likely, it's simply a manifestation of personal
allegiance, as most moral sentiments tend to be. I suggest that restricting
yourself to the positive side of that allegiance might be more productive (if
difficult, to the degree that A = not-B: "A!" can't help but also mean,
implicitly, "not-B!" -- though I think Max pulled it off well).
Further, you are so certain of these aspects of your moral universe, that you're
willing to make an astonishingly absolute statement about right and wrong
behavior ("anywhere on the net") -- one that, qua empirical claim, is clearly
wrong, by the way.
Finally, one or two of your own statements about Robert look somewhat like
character-bashing to me (though I'm still not sure precisely what you mean by
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