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Re: “'Facts' aren't enough

I appreciate your response. It is thoughtful. While metaphor is useful in an intellectual dialogue it is not useful as a vulgarity used to describe a person or a group of people. As we know even facts are sometimes fluid, but as a society and a culture we need to come to some agreement on a set of facts and values that are a framework for a dialogue. If we don't do this we will not have a society but a multicultural environment. But even a multicultural environment is feasible if we accept that we don't use metaphor (or slander) as a legitimate means of public discourse.

My concern with "fact" is in fact the same as yours, however, if one chooses to use the term in a letter as a statement, as in "it's a fact that Obama isn't a citizen", then it no longer becomes an editorial comment it is a statement. We agree that there is proper usage of letters and punctuation in order to communicate. Random letters and spaces are not communication and as a corellary random metaphors and facts are not thoughts. If the issue were freedom of expression then those letters that assert fiction as fact should be in the Arts and Entertainment section of the paper. Just as a painting that depicts an event isn't used as news coverage. I know the analogy isn't perfect but I don't believe we need to have perfection to have civil dialogue.

Ignorance is not a right. It is however a fact of life, silencing truely ignorant people is no more a problem than training a dog to stop barking. Noise is simply meaningless sound.

I contend still, that editors are correcting and formatting letters for organization and comprehension. If I had sent in a letter with random words and spaces it would not have been published. The moderator of these discussions need to use prudence and intelligence to ensure that the dialogue in this valued public forum does not degenerate to name calling and fact creation.

M. Kuiper

Posted by mjk on 07/16/2010 at 1:55 PM

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