I was simply going to resurrect that thread as it was opening to this when it ended, and please feel free to respond to that thread.
However, intellectual Integrity particularly in relation to Dhamma Discussion is something worth a separate thread.
the Quote in my signature works well to illustrate what one possible Buddhist perspective of intellectual Integrity is, namely, being open to facts and not ignoring them due to disagreeing, or finding them difficult in some way to absorb.
This also reminds me of the imponderables."Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
but I am curious as to what you all think.
as a little extra food for thought here is a blog post by David Yamada.
and one by Tammi Jonas, which relates to the previous thread.Intellectual honesty: A key to ethical behavior and practice wrote:Consultant Steve Weitzenkorn, in an excellent blog post titled “What Happened to Intellectual Honesty?,” writes about the importance of this quality in contemporary life:
Harvard ethicist Louis M. Guenin describes the “kernel” of intellectual honesty as “a virtuous disposition to eschew deception when given an incentive for deception.” Intellectual honesty involves presenting and discussing facts in an inclusive and unbiased manner, and examining all available data not just the information that supports one’s preferred solution or position. It requires that people put aside personal interests and assumptions and be as objective as possible. The opposite of intellectual honesty is “spin” – creating a misleading, distorted, or false impression by intentionally omitting some facts and/or selectively emphasizing or exaggerating others to promote one position or viewpoint over another. Spinning is calculated misrepresentation.
Politics and more
Weitzenkorn’s post focuses on spin and dishonesty in politics: “The common practice is to say anything to get elected or promote an agenda, including personally maligning one’s opponent.” But it’s more than that, he urges. Trash and burn politics is so predominant that these behaviors become modeled for young people, teaching them that lying and distortion are perfectly acceptable ways of getting ahead.
Advocacy vs. dishonesty: A fine line?
If we’re going to be intellectually honest about it, we must concede that pure objectivity in offering an assessment, analysis, or observation is impossible. We all make subjective judgments on how to shape and present information. Sometimes those judgments lead us to become advocates for a given policy, practice, candidate, or cause.
The line between advocacy and dishonesty can be a fine one. The tools of persuasion involve appeals to the heart and mind, and in that realm there is plenty of room for manipulation. As a lawyer, advocate, and educator, I have become well aware of how easy it is to distort. I have heard brilliant legal arguments that are patently dishonest. I have heard utterances at faculty meetings that have made my head spin with their calculated falsity.
I make no claim of purity on these points. I can think of many times when I have advanced weak arguments and spun messages. But over the years I have found myself understanding how inauthentic it feels to conduct one’s work in such a manner. Operating in a constant spin zone requires us to abandon a vital part of our souls.
We can’t micro-regulate this behavior. Ultimately, intellectual honesty (or lack thereof) is about having a strong personal ethic (or not). For those of us who work in the world of information and ideas, it all comes down to individual responsibility.
Now some page style maybe missing and there are some links in them I will leave for you all to follow through the links on the source pages if you are so interested.Intellectual honesty and an open mind wrote:You say a thing. I disagree with the thing you said and I tell you so. You say:
Everybody is entitled to their opinion.
Why are you so difficult?
nothing, and look surly or distraught.
The first example is a 'non-answer', designed to stifle discussion and debate. I may have information you don't have about the topic. Telling me 'it's just my opinion' rather than engaging with the opinion or assertion of 'fact' achieves nothing except to silence me. Your original statement remains unchallenged and unchallengeable, because anything anyone might say is 'just opinion'. This isn't true. Not everything is opinion.
Academics are trained to research a topic until they know it inside and out. That doesn't mean there can't be new data at any time, that may shift the scholar's position once uncovered. It does, however, mean the scholar is considered 'an expert' who has authority to speak on the topic. This authority has come with years of work and constantly challenging assertions and so-called common sense beliefs. It has not come from reading an article in the newspaper and then citing that article for the next year as authoritative.
Newspapers are not authoritative. Research is, as carried out by academics and other knowledge workers across many sectors who read widely, ask questions, observe, and engage in constant discussion and debate on a topic.
What you read in The Australian about climate change is not authoritative. What you read from the Union of Concerned Scientists is.
The second response (that I am being difficult) is also a non-answer, but a more aggressive one in which I am positioned as an unreasonable person who won't let a person speak freely. This answer, while serving the same purpose as the first (to silence me), is, I would argue, pernicious. It allows statements that commit symbolic violence to go forth and prosper.
You're not racist/sexist/nationalist - I'm just difficult.
I'll admit it. I'm contrarian when people un-reflexively reproduce stereotypes and prejudice that keep us from progressing towards a more egalitarian/cosmopolitan/sustainable society.
I will tell you I disagree with you when you say things that maintain hegemonic structures such as white privilege. Calling me difficult when I tell you I disagree is tantamount to saying you don't care that you are privileged, and in fact you bloody well like it this way, so bugger the global south/Indigenous Australians/asylum seekers/women… Why don't you try an honest approach and just admit it - the status quo benefits you - rather than obfuscating the point by trying to dismiss me as difficult?
But wait, you meant no harm? That is why I will disagree with you respectfully. People often reproduce stereotypes while meaning no harm. Wouldn't you like to know that's what you did though, so you don't do it again? And please tell me when I say something unintentionally offensive or inaccurate.
The third one, silence (often surly silence), is spectacularly disingenuous - you get to be a victim of this difficult contrarian. Make sure your eyes look pained in your silence so everyone around you can see that I'm picking on you. In fact, I'm the elitist one, sharing what I've learned as a researcher, 'me and my f**king education'. Yes, it's awful that I have learned many things that have made me want to do more so that more people in the world can feed themselves and have choices in their lives as to what and where they will eat, study, work, marry, vote, live.
Rather than being so wounded when I tell you I disagree with you and why, try something different. Try saying, 'Really? Tell me more. I'm interested'. There should be nothing threatening about learning something new, something that may even change your mind. It's okay to change your mind. I'll change mine if you provide compelling evidence for me to do so.
You say a thing. I disagree with the thing you said, but I say nothing.
You believe I agree with you.
I feel dishonest for not saying what I think/know.
Your peace is kept, mine is disturbed.
If the world is to distribute resources and power more equally amongst all its people, then for me to imply with my silence that I agree with your statement that is promoting ignorance or prejudice is for me to support the very hegemony I am suggesting we should contest. I become complicit. My silence extends the symbolic violence of your words by giving the impression of consent.
I am then a lesser person for my intellectual dishonesty. I have remained silent and allowed you to believe that your comment about 'those uncivil people of…' was acceptable. I am unhappy with my silence, but I am so well versed in what happens (1, 2 or 3) that I have learned to pick my battles and 'get along well enough'. In getting along well enough with you, I have failed to protect the voiceless. I have not used my own privilege to fight for the rights of others. I am wasting my privilege so that you may maintain yours.
You say a thing. I disagree with the thing you said, and I tell you so. You say:
Really? Tell me more. I'm interested.