Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Intellectual Rubbish Dilemma
I think there is something I call the Intellectual Rubbish Dilemma, which is the problem we have if we choose to get into discussions with views that we think of as rubbish and unworthy of respect. The difficulty is that an effective critique of an opposing position requires careful and charitable reading of what an opponent has said. To do a good job in critique requires us to be charitable, but to use enough charity to do a good critique sometimes requires us to appear to have more respect for our opponents than we think they deserve. In such situations I err on the side of charity.