Polemic and history clarified III
After "discussing" history with Peter Staudenmaier for several weeks on the Anthroposophy Tomorrow e-mail list, I wrote an article on polemic and history summarizing my views on the matter. Peter Staudenmaier excerpted two sentences and responded. I replied:
In the essay I wrote wrote:
"In such true historical research, contrary viewpoints would be first and foremost interesting, and therefore included, rather than distained and dismissed."
Why do you say "rather than"? The proper approach is to include contrary viewpoints and then criticize them and explain why you think they are mistaken. There is nothing wrong with disdaining and dismissing arguments that you think are erroneous, especially ones that you think are silly and pointless.
It is all about intentions again. And attitude. If you find contradictions interesting, you are more likely to try to understand each viewpoint on its own merit. If you find contradictions stupid, it is unlikely you will spend much time trying to properly understand them, and your chances of succeeding are slim. And it all goes back to whether your goal is truth or power. Peter Staudenmaier is particularly interested in criticising and distaining Rudolf Steiner's philosophy, and is so fixated on this exercise that he fails to realize he has not actually understood Steiner. This becomes truly pathetic when so many people try to help him and he ignores them all and repeats his silly claims.