Re: [XTalk] Re recent Damato email concerning Jeffery Gibson and X-talk.
- Very well said!
> Dear All,
> I am a moderator on X-talk and have been for a number of years. In view of
> the recent posting by Prof. Anthony Damata impugning X-talk and Jeffery I
> think it my duty to register a strong protest. If you feel this doesn't
> concern you, please feel free to delete.
> The issue here, contra the good prof, is not a love of free discourse,
> independence of thought, nor honest posting, all of which are characteristic
> of X-talk. It does concern, as Prof Damato notes, a basic academic
> sensibility, which on this list entails the requirement that contributors
> meet some basic scholarly standards, including some understanding of the
> subject matter. The aim is to prevent X-talk from descending into a circus
> of ill-informed and free-for-all speculation; if one wants this kind of
> thing there are lots of such sites available. I should expect this is also
> Anthony's view when it comes to an informed discussion of points of law.
> Unfortunately Prof Damato has failed to adhere to our and presumably his own
> standards. E.g., for those of you who have been following the thread, his
> pronouncement that "he who saves his life will lose it" is "pure lunacy"
> betrays both a lamentably impoverished understanding of the Jewish world in
> which Jesus lived and an intemperateness unbecoming to genuine scholarship,
> and hence X-talk. It is customary to seek to understand a culture before
> leaping to a judgment. His later response to Jeffrey's essay is no
> different. If Prof Damato would not tolerate this kind of thing in
> professional discussions in his own field, then I should have expected him
> to have understood that the same standards would apply to postings on
> Even more unhelpfully, he does this in an argumentative manner. Surely
> someone of his education must know that the wise approach when speaking
> outside one's field is to ask lots of questions and to at least show a
> little humility and tentativeness when making assertions. If I know my own
> field is complex then why should I think others' fields are any less so? To
> come into a branch of study about which one obviously understands so little
> and yet to make such bold assertions betrays, to put it mildly, a
> particularly well-developed self-importance which has no place on this list.
> His charges that Jeffery does not allow posts that contradict his own views
> and that Jeffery is engaged in tyrannical behavior are utterly untrue, as a
> quick perusal of the X-talk files will demonstrate and which files the
> learned prof has clearly not consulted, and I take considerable exception to
> them. While Jeffery might have stopped a couple of the good Prof's posts
> as is customary when an individual continues to flout list protocols since
> when does that specific translate into a general? Once again we have an
> example of a leap to judgment, which I suspect is not altogether unrelated
> to that afore mentioned healthy self-importance. After that I am very sorry
> to say Prof Damato descends into argumentative supposition regarding
> Jeffery's motives and personal attack neither of which either flatter the
> professor or strengthen his credibility.
> So no, this is not tyranny or anything like it. It is simply the recognition
> that the good prof, regardless of his facility in Law and our shared
> appreciation of independence of thought, all too often simply does not know
> what he is talking about, yet proceeds to offer opinions with a confidence
> to which he can only pretend, and is remarkably resistant to correction.
> Fortunately, the vast majority of posters to X-talk happily play by the
> rules and have found Jeffery's "game" both stimulating and enlightening, and
> thereby give the lie to what can only be characterized as a particularly
> misleading and self-serving post.
> Dr. R. Watts (PhD, Cambridge).
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