> --- Gillam wrote:
> > Anyway, I think the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad letter
> > should be given the L B treatment. Take it seriously
> > and reply point by point.
> Just to play Deva's advocate :-), doesn't this
> imply a desire, or a need, to "convert" either
> the person one is interfacing with or the lurkers
> to what you consider the "right" or "correct"
> point of view? That sounds a lot like small-s
> self and ego to me.
I always had the impression that, while L B felt
a sense of mission in his sparring - and he
admitted as much - he was more interested in
truth as he saw it than in converting someone
else. Surely you can see how the two can coexist.
The beauty of this dance is that I listen to you not
to lull you into adopting my position, but because
listening is one of the rules of engagement. We must
really listen to one another, but we must also not
surrender what we perceive as truth. Which means
I'll grant you points when appropriate, but tell you
you're full of crap when I feel such is warranted. And
you do the same for me.
I'm asking my country's leaders to listen to Iran's
president not because I agree with what he says,
for I don't. I'm asking my country's leaders to listen
to him because that's what leaders must do. Even
if the words they're hearing are anathema.
I've often cited the work of my friend Dirk Ficca,
director of the Council for a Parliament of the World's
Religions, who advocates just this position. He
encourages religions to listen to one another *not
to find a common ground,* but for just the opposite
reason: to understand why they are so different. For
understanding leads to humanization, and
humanization makes conflict more difficult.
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