Monday, October 23, 2006

Civilized debate

From Michael Bérubé I found out about Chris Clarke's plight. I had read a few of Chris' posts before, especially the haunting one about his step-father, the serial killer. In my seminar class we talk about how to discuss music, including a formal debate as part of the class. Real life does not usually use the rules of competetive debate, yet we do agree on certain socially-acceptable rules. One is that threats of violence are taboo. These threats are attempts to censure, and censure always stems from fear. Thus a person entering a debate/argument/discussion should be unafraid to be confronted by an idea. The commentor on Chris' blog clearly was not ready to wrestle with the ideas Chris expounded, and unfortunately Chris and his readers have to pay the price for that commentor's fear. My condolences to all involved.

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