Thursday, March 31, 2011

Intellectual Integrity Wins!

Have you ever observed people being accused of resisting someones ideas because of fear? Someone writes a controversial book and reviewers critique the book and take exception to the writer's propositions as expressed in the book. Then the author responds that his critics are reacting out of fear.

Oh really? The author knows this for sure? All the criticism of his book is based on fear? Fear is the primary driving motive of the criticism?

But what if it is not? What if the criticism was based on the reviewer's properly critical rational examination of the author's own words and arguments as presented in the book? What if the criticism is based on an objective scholarly analysis of the author's own words and assertions?

What if the criticism comes from a basis of intellectual integrity, and the reviewer in his or her analysis detects that the author has not been entirely intellectually honest with the data; that critical points of context and other relevant information and data have been ignored or overlooked?

And why is the author responding to his critics with an ad hominem argument? Were the critics suppose to leave their brains at the door of their office before sitting down and reviewing the author's book? Are all critical rational thinking facilities to be laid aside when it comes to examining this writers assertions and claims?

And why use such emotional words such as "fear" or "afraid" in labeling one's critics? After all, does the author want dialogue or monologue?

What if in the end it is not fear that drives the criticism, but on the contrary it is application of the rigor of intellectual integrity?

In that case intellectual integrity and honesty wins.

No comments: