Contributed by: filbert Friday, August 05 2011 @ 07:48 AM CST
From Inside Higher Ed,[*1] something that needs to be said and repeated again and again:
Anger and indignation are aggressive defenses; they suggest the angry person cannot support his or her position with evidence or carefully reasoned argument; it is an unambiguous red flag. Anger, indignation and character attacks are used to enforce adherence to “sacred values” and for that reason they have no place in a community of scholars.
We are very gifted in the art of analyzing the behavior and motivations of other groups and institutions. Furthermore, we are intensely trained in the tools used to conduct complex inquiry; yet, we rarely bring those tools to bear on our own activities.
And not just in the context of academe, either . . . although after a while, anger at someone who simply refuses to comprehend what you’re saying in the first place becomes a natural human reaction. That’s where many on the intelligent right are today with the “progressives.” They simply don’t seem to understand–and don’t seem to want to understand–what we keep trying to tell them about how the world really works, vs. how they want the world to work. This gets really, really frustrating after a while.