But the mores and institutions of civility can be a double-edged sword. By insisting on "keeping things civil," in polite society, repressive powers may suppress ugly truths about their conduct merely because raising them requires bad manners.
No, I'm not asking for your resignation as an administrator. I'm asking you to take a good, hard look at what you're doing to see if you truly understand the environment you are trying to create. Is it one where people maintain an atmosphere of honesty and integrity even if it hurts or is it one where nobody ever has to confront the possibility that they're wrong since that could hurt their feelings?
And if it's the latter, fine. Just be honest about it...except that would require maintaining an environment of honesty and integrity which you don't seem to be interested in doing.
quote:There's no excuse whatever for calling truthlover a liar.
Even if he lies?
quote:Civility demands that those who lie be called out. Outrageous behaviour requires an outrageous response. Have you not read your Miss Manners?
What? Judith Martin says that when someone cites a disputed statistic you call them a liar?
Of course not. But then again, truthlover isn't "citing a disputed statistic." He is declaring something to be true that is factually and substantively false after being shown that it was so. Rather than saying, "Oops, I didn't know that," he tried to cover the ass of the person he was trying to defend. Minority representation at Florida state schools has never been as high as 37%. And yet, despite being shown this, he persists in claiming that O'Reilly was correct in the specific number of "37%" even though he erred in claiming that it was for black students rather than minority students as a whole.
When someone says something that they know to be untrue, what is the word we most commonly use to describe that?
quote:Judith Martin says that when confronted with outrageous behavior one should behave outrageously?
Yes. Have you not read her? I seem to recall that that is a direct quote. Outrageous behaviour demands an outrageous response.
That doesn't mean you behave impolitely, but it does mean that you will engage in behaviour that you wouldn't normally do were the circumstances different. If you are at a party and you are trying to tell a companion of yours not to do something such as going into the back room which you know is off limits for this affair, you wouldn't do so by shouting at him to stop, grabbing him, and force marching him out of the room. To do so would be outrageous.
But if you were to do so to someone whom you caught taking down his pants and pissing in the punch bowl, nobody would think you were out of place. Your response is outrageous, yes, but you are responding to outrageous behaviour. This does not give you license to do anything in the face of ridiculous behaviour, but politeness and civility does not mean suffering fools gladly.
quote:Sounds to me like you're bearing false witness against Judith Martin!
I highly suggest you read some of her books. Might I suggest Miss Manners Rescues Civilization, Chapter Eleven, "The Good, the Bad, and the Vulgar":
Condemnation of P.C. hs become so populat that the distinction between reacting to imaginary slights and reacting to real ones seems to have gotten lost. The anti-P.C. forces have succeeded in casting suspicion on anyone who won't accept the expression of bigotry with equanimity. So one day Miss Manners woke up from her afternoon nap and found that the bigots had managed to position themselves on the side of politeness and to define as rude the people who objected to bigotry.
Talk about outrage! P.C. at its most spluttering is nothing compared to Miss Manners' state when she found she was being yoked with the defenders of bigotry. Bigotry is rude. (Practicing it is immoral, but expressing it is rude.) reacting against it rudely is also rude; that's the bad P.C.
But racting against it in a civilized fashion is not rude. That's the good P.C. This is actually more in keeping with the baisc principles of manners, dignity and respect than is ignoring bigotry, which may superficially—but deceptively—appear to be the polite response.
And another quote of hers:
However, good manners have never required accepting outright bigotry.
Debate may be heated, but it depends upon the standard of honesty and integrity. To fluff off violations of that standard with the piffle of, "Everyone is entitled to his opinion," insults the entire point of discussion and debate. When someone lies to your face, it is not "being civil" to ignore it. "Manners do permit defending one's dignity," to quote Miss Manners, and it is an assault to my dignity when someone lies to my face.
Truthlover is entitled to his opinion. He is not entitled to his facts.
quote:Call someone a liar and you are out of here.
So you are not interested in actually furthering discussion and debate. You just want to run a touchy-feely happy group where people can come here and lie to their hearts contents and nobody is allowed to call them on it.
Strange...people get banned for that behaviour and here you are trying to promote it. The other admins seem to understand that the point of a discussion forum is to have people put forward arguments that are based upon factual analysis. It says so in the guidelines:
Make your points by providing supporting evidence and/or argument.
Debate in good faith by addressing rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence
And here's a big one:
Avoid any form of misrepresentation.
So when truthlover repeatedly puts forward a misrepresentation of the minority make up of Florida schools after being shown that it is, indeed, a misrepresentation, it is inappopriate to point it out?
It is against the rules to point out someone going against the rules?
Is that really conducive to maintaining a forum of honesty and integrity?
Here's a legitimate request asked in all sincerity:
Please explain the justification for your attitude. You don't have to. After all, you are the admin, but I am asking for you to indulge me.
Why do you find it inappropriate?
This message has been edited by Rrhain, 05-08-2005 01:41 AM