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orion David's response to Judith

From: "Robert Johnson" <rwjohns3@eos.ncsu.edu>
To: orion@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il
Subject: Re: David's response to Judith

To David Goldman:


I am not a participant in the debates on Orion;  I prefer to sit back and
listen and (hopefully) learn.  I consider myself an objective observer,
and in this case I feel you may benefit from a little objectivity.

When Ms. Wegner took you to task on some fundamental points of religious
scholarship (as she saw them, anyhow), she was quite blunt and perhaps a
little rough.  However, for you to respond to professional criticism with
name-calling and ad hominem attacks will only strengthen your opponent's

One cannot construct an effective argument using only adjectives.  In
two sentences, six names were ratlled off in succession: "old-fashioned",
"narrow-minded", "prisoner", "materialist", "elitist", and "stolid".
While this paints quite a vivid picture, nowhere was there any evidence
offered to back up these accusations.  You informed us that "Judith's
veiws are not new," yet neglected to describe what exactly her "views"
entail, much less why they should be disregarded as irrelevant.
Furthermore, merely reciting the names of a few textbook philosophers is
meaningless if you cannot make any sort of comparison between them and
the subject of your attack.

Unsubstantiated allegations and smug insinuations that allude to the
triviality of someone else's scholarship -- without any sort of evidence
or examples -- is tesatment to a severe lack of scholarship and
professionalism.  On occasion these little flame wars are amusing, but
they really have no place in a scholarly forum.  I have far too much mail
cluttering my mailer on a daily basis as it is, and the last thing I need
is to sort through endless volleys of taunts, jeers, and hurt feelings.
USENET groups are a much more suitable forum for this type of foolishness.
 Perhaps you would be more at ease in such an environment.


Robert Johnson