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205Re: [XTalk] Re recent Damato email concerning Jeffery Gibson and X-talk.

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  • Matthew Estrada
    Nov 12, 2005
      I am one who disagrees with you, Rikk. I have found Jeffery's postings to be very argumentative and condescending (you accuse "the good prof" of this. Please go back and read Jeffery's posts), and those who don't, he attacks. He seems to enjoy, and seems to have, people around him that "praise" and agree with him. The moderators who share the responsibility of ensuring fairness do not seem to speak out when he is out of line. Go back and look at my past posts both on this list and the Johannine list. He excluded me from X-talk but did not exclude me from the Johannine list. Eventhough the both theories that I tried presenting on X-talk and the Johannine list groups respectively are innovative not in line with the traditional way of understanding the texts, if you do not allow one to think outside of the box (reasonably), then why discuss anything? Please do go back and re-read my past conversations with Jeffery on both of these lists, and try to be objective. Don't defend someone
      because that person is in your circle of friends.


      Matthew Estrada
      113 Laurel Court
      Peachtree City, Ga 30269

      Rikk Watts <rwatts@...> wrote:
      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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      Matthew Estrada

      113 Laurel Court

      Peachtree City, Ga 30269

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