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[xmca] Re: Obama's Learn Act

First off, sorry to all for the poor form in my response. I
had saved a draft of my email and forgot to delete all of the
messages that followed the one that I was responding to (I get
emails bundled once a day).

Larry, thanks for the comments. I think that your question of
where respect ends and conflict begins can only be determined
locally in each instance. I initially had thought of internet
blogging and posting as a way of doing guerrilla attacks on
positions that call for a response (e.g., Chuck Norris'
piece). There is always something appealing to young people
about engaging in "guerrilla" warfare for a just cause. But,
answering Mike's question, I would think that posting and
blogging could equally be done as practicing non-violence. If
you've ever read some of the posts on hot-bed issues, they get
very nasty very quickly. One could raise questions and
concerns and create a climate of respect where people can
actually have dialogue and conversation (two things that I
believe in!).


Message: 17
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:21:45 -0800
From: Larry Purss <lpurss@shaw.ca>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: Obama's Learn Act
To: "Gregory eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
Message-ID: <ceada1271f7c2.4b3332a9@shaw.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii


I wanted to reply to your wish to open dialogue with positions
different from our own and be respectful of different positions.
I want to add some possible qualifications to your position
which I generally support.
When we talk about taking an ethical and moral stance in the
world that we take as a fallible position which we are ready
to revise, we can enter into dialogue or literate discourses
with other traditions which are at least respectful of one's
position.  For me this means trying to understand theological
positions such as Christian, Moslem, Jewish, and Buddhist
"language games" with their traditional "language games" which
incorporate a set of rules (Wittgenstein) but embrace the
"mystery" and the sacredness and ultimate unknowability and
fallibility of one's tradition.  
>From this position my interest in seeing existence as
relationally grounded can be articulated within the other
theological and philosophical discourses and there is a
possibility of "opening up spaces" (or building bridges)
to alternative literary discourses.  

Your example of having respectful dialogues with positions
such as Chuck Norris articulates is more difficult for me to
envision.  Where does respect end and conflict begin? 
Traditions are also contested ground.  When the "other"
refuses to acknowledge your position as having a validity
claim then conflict is inevitable.
Too much respect and situations such as in Haiti continue to
exist and go unchallenged in our private worlds.  
The question is how do we become response-able.  My hope
(maybe too idealistic) is every action leads to a reaction
(which sometimes is mediated) and therefore the crisis we are
currently living through (with the planet in the balance)
may become so untenable that at a systems level there may be
change to a relational world view which theology, philosophy,
and science can all embrace.

Gregory, your ethical stance to reach out and open spaces for
dialogue is one I agree with.  However, using the language of
artifacts and architecture, and intermediate community (meso
level) if there is to be sustained dialogue we need to
construct architectural places where the dialogue can be
embodied and located.  This is why I am interested in the
history of LCHC as one of those places and its philosophical
parentage as embodying a tradition and literary discourse that
places a community of inquiry at the center of its ethical
position. (but that's another thread)

Greg Thompson
Ph.D. Candidate
The Department of Comparative Human Development
The University of Chicago
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