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Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

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  • Peter Staudenmaier
    Hi Mike, thanks for the reply. You wrote: Call me naive, but I have a hard time separating a persons psychological make- up (which stems from their
    Message 1 of 187 , Feb 22, 2004
      Hi Mike, thanks for the reply. You wrote:
      "Call me naive, but I have a hard time separating a persons psychological make-    up (which stems from their biography) from the ideas that they put forth."
      I agree that this can be hard to do sometimes, but I really do think it's important that we try to separate them for purposes of public discussion. Otherwise it becomes much harder for people to take a critical look at the ideas they put forward.
      "Personally I feel that completely discarding or separating a persons motive and intent, from the foundations upon which their ideas are built, leaves out an important     element of our shared humanity."
      I suppose it could if done too ineptly, but what I'm really recommending is more of a bracketing out of things like motive and intent when what you're really trying to get at is another person's ideas.
      "Might be great if we were talking about computers or bicycles; but when were talking about people, especially highly influential people like RS who expounded ideas in so many different areas of the human experience, and people like myself who have found much hope in his writings, personal motive and intent is important."
      Important for what? I think it completely depends on what we're talking about and in what sort of context. I'd like to quote a few lines from a very influential essay on the historical study of antisemitism, Shulamith Volkov's 1978 article "Antisemitism as a Cultural Code". There she inquires: "How did antisemitism come to play so central a role in the culture of Imperial Germany? What was the process by which it was transferred into a symbol, a short-hand label for an entire set of ideas and attitudes having little if anything to do with direct affection or dislike of Jews? [...] For the study of these men, on both the personal and the social level, sidestepping the question of motives and concentrating on the dynamics of the social and cultural processes involved may prove more relevant and perhaps more fruitful." I think this is often correct.
      "That's a bit of a red-herring, don't you think. I'm more interested in who you are as an individual, not in labeling you as such."
      Sorry, I didn't mean it that way. I was trying to find an extreme example to underline the point. I am not saying there is something wrong with being interested in who other people are as individuals (in fact I think there is something very right about this); what I'm saying is that it shouldn't affect how you assess the arguments that those individuals put forward.
      "Thank you. You might find that your difficulty with "talking to Anthroposophists" would be quite lessened in the future, if expounded upon these ideas more frequently."
      I hope that's not true, but you might well be right.
      "Dear God. I'd have to write a book on this one. Catholicism and the corporate-media; hard to deny the subtle effects that these institutions have on us all. I did the Alter-boy thing, communion, confirmation... I wound up burning my catholic Bible in my early twenties; it was quite satisfying to watch it roast. Maybe your immune but I am still effected."
      I am definitely not immune! Still recovering, all these years later. Your experinece sounds similar to mine. I guess what I was getting at is that I don't see how a Catholic background would get in the way of understanding a historical figure like Steiner, who was himself raised Catholic.
      Thanks for your thoughts,

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    • at@ael...
      Another one of those interesting points that is too much effort to substantiate, I suppose. It is easy for Peter Staudenmaier to make claimes, but when asked
      Message 187 of 187 , Apr 22 3:07 PM
        Another one of those interesting points that is too much effort to substantiate, I suppose. It is easy for Peter Staudenmaier to make claimes, but when asked to back them up, he runs away.

        Daniel Hindes
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: at@ael...
        Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 10:20 PM
        Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

        Peter Staudenmaier (back in February):
        Sure. Daniel said a few days back: "To anyone who has done a comparative study of the two, similarities between Rosenberg and Steiner are tenuous at best. Claiming that Rudolf Steiner's teachings became official mythology of Nazi Germany is patently absurd."  I think the second sentence is more or less accurate, if a bit overheated, but I disagree with the first sentence.
        Peter, could you perhaps elaborate on how you see Rosenberg being similar to Steiner? I would find it helpful to hear some examples of specific instances where they agree. I am curious to determine whether this is another example of confusing similar terms for similar concepts, or if the case is perhaps made from such generic points of agreement that have nothing at all to do with race.
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