|Jason, please note that in post #21, I made absolutely no comment as to the substance of Hsieh's latest charges. I commented on three matters of general principle, matters that others raised here: |
* the general copyright status of private correspondence;
* John N's comment about what constitutes sufficient "evidence" when making public charges about the characters of others; and
* whether it is useful for Sciabarra (or anyone under personal attack) to divert his attention away from productive pursuits in order to answer yet another personal denunciation from sources whose apparent life mission is to issue at least one such denunciation per day.
May I point out that none of these issues requires specific familiarity with the content of the latest screed.
Regarding the third point above, let me be emphatic. Some people have apparently chosen to make amateur careers out of issuing moral-philosophical denunciations of others. At least, they appear to do little else than concern themselves, in a very public way, with the moral status of others. But my own experience with these people is that no responses -- no matter how many, in what level of detail, or with what measure of fact and logic -- EVER convince them to concede any error, let alone exonerate the accused. Rather, replying merely feeds these trolls, prompting them to issue an avalanche of subsequent charges based on the new communication, where immorality and irrationalism are detected in every comma.
I pose four challenges to those who have criticized me for refusing to read every new installment of this jihadist frenzy:
1. Based on the morality of self-interest, please explain to me what I, or anyone, could hope to gain personally from reading every new diatribe and screed that these people choose to issue.
2. Please explain to me why and how charges levelled against the characters of people I barely know -- all concerning disputed matters of private conduct among themselves and/or deceased third parties -- have a damned thing to do with MY life, well-being, and happiness.
3. Please explain to me exactly when I would possibly have the time to do my own work, or to have a life (i.e., activities NOT conducted online) if I were obliged to parse and judge every single post by every single partisan opining about the moral status of people who, to me, are casual acquaintances and, often, complete strangers.
4. Finally, please explain why it's "evasion" for me to refuse to divert my attention away from private, productive, rewarding pursuits and onto the private characters of remote acquaintances and strangers -- but why it is NOT "evasion" to make the moral status of others one's personal obsession.
I won't leave you in suspense about my views. My perspective is to ask the Randian question:
"What would Roark do?"
Call that simplistic, but I think a Roark would be focused on his own life, work, and values, rather than on the moral status of others far removed from his life.
I also think a Roark would not be intimidated by those who labeled him an "evader" for refusing to sacrifice that personal focus, in order to become an "enabler" of their second-hander obsessions.