Monday, April 18, 2011

Criteria of judgment

I talked with the LD about a possible post, on a recent dreadful event that saw the killing of a poor young Italian fellow, who thought of working for the good along lines I don't agree with. The LD dissuaded me, rightly arguing that it could sound like hitting a dead man. The purpose of our blog is not so much to pass judgments on things and people, as to reason on how we pass judgments. We humbly hope this might help to increase in a however minimal degree the awareness of what judging things requires.

We definitely have our ideas, hence our liking and disliking, which run against opposite liking and disliking. But what use would be to bang our head against those holding them? Not much, and therefore it isn't much the use of mentioning and discussing facts, if we don't agree about what kind of facts they are.

I give you as example an observation my mother made when, as school teacher, she realized that facts changed in the course of time with the changing of text books.

Everybody makes history as he likes, she observed. Take Robespierre. It used to be, in older text books, that they unequivocally spoke about him as having turned the French Revolution into terror. Now I read that he saved it, because he brought order in a country in disarray.

The very nature of the fact changes by the way we tell it.

The most necessary thing, therefore, is to promote the awareness of the criteria by which we judge facts. Without such an awareness it isn't possible to inquire into them, in order to see whether an agreement on them could be possible.


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