Re: Plea (was ExI: Cognitive Extropians)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 14:37:09 -0800 (PST)

> << When I see someone upset by a statement, it is usually
> a simple, straightforward statement of fact or opinion. A talk
> show host in SF recently said on the air "I believe the ethics of
> Jesus to be morally superior to the ethics of Judaism." Jews
> everywhere were indignant, and demanded apologies or reprimands.
> Why? They had no cause to take offense. He believed that, he
> stated why he believed it. I as an atheist took no offense, I
> merely disagree. He behaved entirely appropriately as a talk show
> host by expressi >>
> IMO this illustrates David's point most eloquently, rather than negating it.
> I also mayhave "no respect for those who complained" - but that is not the
> point. They do not get your respect, so what? They probably are too angry
> to care by the time you are to that point. A rational debate is pointless.

The statement above is a plain, honest, unadorned, statement. How could
it possibly be expressed in any "softer" way without distorting it to
the point of vacuousness or outright lying? If it had been a deliberately
hateful statement like "What would you expect from those evil heathens" I
would join the complaints, but because his statement is irrational and
dogmatic, not because of any particular emotional attachment I or other
listeners may or may not have.

Since the original statement is not like that, the fact that the plain
truth of an honestly expressed opinion provoked such a reaction is prima
facie evidence of an intellectual pathology in those listeners. The fact
that we might have predicted it ahead of time is evidence that we as a
society tolerate, even welcome, this intellectual weakness. Evading it,
dancing around it, or denying it won't cure the problem. Dealing with it
honestly and openly will.

Call me a button-pusher if you will; I hold the title proudly. Consider
me the QA department for the mind. There's a bug here: if you push this
button, it malfunctions. Your response is "well, don't push that button".
Mine is let's /remove/ the button. Let's fix the bug. Maybe I've spent
too much time in software QA, but sometimes you have to deliberately
push those buttons and look for failures to get things fixed.

> To blatantly push these buttons and then act indignant when others react -

I'm not indignant--I'm just pointing out that it's a bug.