Ambiguity, Hallmark of Our Times
For the discriminating reader…
The following comments are taken from a letter to the editor ofthe Philadelphia Daily News penned by Art Delaney, a member of the board of our Philadelphia - South Jersey Chapter. Art was responding to a letter by a Mr. Paul Hanson which equated racism with opposition to the
With the extinction of distinction ambiguity has become the hallmark of our times. All the ink spent in recent editorials, op-ed pieces and commentaries devoted to the swirling controversy over homosexuality is a case in point. Without distinctions we are getting obfuscation at best and distortion at worst….
There is a real, valid and authentic distinction between discriminating and discrimination. To be discriminating means to distinguish keenly; to clarify; to establish a real difference; to differentiate on an intellectual level according to some real, objective and demonstrable principle, law, axiom, rule or proposition. Conversely, discrimination means to hold an emotional prejudice; to express intolerance based on narrow, attitudinal, emotional and unfair premises and not according to some objectively defensible cause, principle or law.
Not to be discriminating is to be a fool and to engage in discrimination is to be a bigot. There is a real difference. The keynote of discriminating is intellectual discernment while the keynote of discrimination is emotional bias. The one is not the other!
Discriminating persons generally do and always should have great compassion, empathy, understanding and sympathy for those with whom they profoundly disagree and may even hold to be in error. Nevertheless, compassion should never be understood as validation, empathy for legitimizing, understanding for acceptance or sympathy for agreement. Where you have a clash of absolutes there is no middle ground but such metaphysical disagreement is very different than an emotionally based vindictive discrimination.
Discrimination by anybody’s judgment is wrong and ought not exist but that is not to say that the intellectually discriminating mind may not at times honestly and authentically arrive at a moral and metaphysical conclusion diametrically opposed by others. This is not discrimination, however quick some are to label it so, it is honest intellectual disagreement. …
I believe the time has come for the media generally and Mr. Paul Hansen particularly to stop misreading our lips and to start reading more of our Apocalypse!