Sane Society and Intellectual Honesty

Sometimes things I say confound people. They are talking to me via Facebook or chat room or email, and I say something like: “I think the term ‘intellectual honesty’ is a misnomer, just like the term ‘sane society.'”

I always manage to do these things where I make a complex statement, and it’s hard to jam the reasoning behind it into “140 characters,” so to speak.

This is why I love blogging.

I might lose just about all of you if I go on too long, but these URLs won’t go down so you can read my verbose verbage another time if you so desire. Like most who know a little about writing I know to kind of sum it all up in that last paragraph that everyone reads anyway.

Let’s start with “Intellectual Honesty” and why I call it a “misnomer”:

I am most certainly not saying that any person being intellectual is thereby being dishonest, by any means. The reason I believe the two words do not link is because the alternative is an impossibly. One cannot be dishonest in regards to your own personal reasoning and personal opinions, no matter if any facts collide with their intellectual position or not.

I can “intellectualize” any issue for you to the point that whatever provable facts and established evidence have far departed from whatever wide assertion I am making. You can find lots of examples of this on this very blog.

Whereas “honesty” relates to strict codes of precise reasoning that, as much as many desire them to, do not change at the whim of an individual. I believe the people screaming these false cries of “creeping socialism” are being “intellectually honest” with us, but they are still dishonest in their facts, in the labeling and on the raw record.

“Intellectual Honesty” is either one of two things: it is a given, where 100% of all people everywhere are “intellectually honest” so it is a redundant term; or it is a fallacy in that intellectualism may be in it’s nature honest but honesty is not by it’s nature intellectual. Either way I feel that this term doesn’t convey any kind of realistic view of the world, regardless of who is using the term.

Now on to “Sane Society”:

This term, to me, is a misnomer in complete and full. While one can glean and nit-pick through a society and raise up certain examples of sanity and good graces, there is a massive gap between that assessment and the picture of the whole.

I present to those believing that at a certain point we will attain a fully “Sane Society” here on planet Earth that to a certain degree establishments rely upon a certain amount of disorder. Utopian Society would be without need for “laws” or even “group morals” for all persons would never consider such acts that might disturb good public order and ethical treatment of others in first place. Other than for the sake of pomp and circumstance there would no need for “leaders” or anything but basic levels of “establishment” because all peoples everywhere would already understand and adhere to “Sane Society” principals. I believe a certain amount of chaos and disorder is inherent to the human condition itself, therefore while I enjoy musing over a “Sane Society” and the “Utopian Dream” I also view it as nothing but a muse in which to model a better world as opposed to the ultimate consequence of human progression.

What I am really talking about is the words we use and how we use them.

With the sharp increase in ad hominem attacks and red herring arguments in our lexicon, I can see how some might view these as less than important points. But I think these kind of issues are at the root of what is preventing good communication between opposing viewpoints in our society today. There is a strong need for a focus on critical thinking and making better arguments, and it starts with using language that makes real sense.

Sara Palin vs. Rush Limbaugh

Resigned Alaskan governor and rightwing activist Sara Palin has come out strongly against those that believe tossing around the “R-word” is acceptable in public discourse and should be included into the modern lexicon. I strongly agree. Though I remain baffled as to why Sara Palin will not strongly admonish radio host Rush Limbaugh for doing exactly just that to a very large listening audience.

It all began with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel referring to congressional liberal as “f—- retarded,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

A stern defender of the developmentally disabled, Sara Palin came out strongly against those who would use such derogatory language that hurts not just the people the insults are aimed at, but also injures the people that care for and love with all their heart developmentally disabled children as well.

“Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the ‘N-word’ or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them — is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page.

While I would disagree that Rahm Emanuel should resign over his poor choice of words, I support Sara Palin in her indignation against this kind of language. It is important to note that Rahm Emanuel has apologized in public for his statement and there is no reason to believe it was anything but very poor choice of words and the expression of an honest opinion that illuminates exactly what I have long thought may be true of the White House chief of staff.

Under my observation, Rahm Emanuel is misguided in some of reasoning in so far as in my view he should be in support of the congressional liberal agenda and attempting to balance that against the presidential agenda if he were a “true blood” liberal / progressive himself. Somewhat like his boss, he is just not liberal enough for me. But I chalk it up to personal political differences between those of the “grassroots” left and the “big tent” left.

Enter conservative radio-talker Rush Limbaugh:

Limbaugh took the occasion to double-down on Emanuel’s remark. On his radio show, Limbaugh made an even more derogatory comment, insisting that there can be no insult in “calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards.”

The real news, Limbaugh continued, was that Emanuel had directed his “retard” comment at Obama supporters. “So now there’s going to be a meeting,” he said. “There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House.”

Not only did Limbaugh use this hurtful word repeatedly but he outright refuses to apologize to God’s children for his venom spread as a public figure. What is more, Limbaugh has decided to use the words “retard summit” to embellish his point which removes the question if we are talking about Limbaugh believing others to be simply misguided in their thinking and he is slurring them in sport, or if he is talking about a group of people as “inferior” examples of humanity than himself. The question of if we are talking about persons or talking about ideas is made clear in Limbaugh’s statement but Emanuel’s statement could be taken either way.

This combined with the large difference in stature between a radio shock-jock and a White House chief of staff makes for a situation in which surely Sara Palin must see the need to say more about Rush’s “slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them” as there is no doubt it was and remains to be “unacceptable, and heartbreaking” that slurs and vile contempt for fellow human beings is so widely accepted in modern political lexicon.

There seems to be some confusion in the Sara Palin camp as to the seriousness of this kind of language being used by public figures in our politics. She has decided to issue an statement through a representative in regards to the offensive words of Rush Limbaugh rather than, as I believe is the proper format for a public figure of her stature, post her thoughts onto her Facebook page in regards to these onslaughts thrown at God’s children from the EIB studios.

This confusion persists as Sara Palin continues to hold her true feelings in about those who use mass media and public formats to attack the developmentally disabled in regards to this, possibly intentional, slight against her child and her family by Rush Limbaugh.

As it stands it appears that either Sara Palin was simply trying to score cheap political points by chastising Rahm Emanuel when “it doesn’t matter who said ‘r-word‘” or she has merely yet to properly address the seriousness of Limbaugh’s attacks against the developmentally disabled. There is no question that EIB & Rush Limbaugh thrown down the gauntlet against the rights of the developmentally disabled to be treated will respect and dignity. What remains to be seen is if Sara Palin will continue to waffle the issue by having her spokesperson, Meg Stapleton, speak for her or if she will stand proud and tall against all those who would cast such spiteful injuries unto those who deserve our greatest compassion in this modern lexicon.

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UPDATE!

Rush Limbaugh was won, unquestionably. Sara Palin has laid prostrate before his mighty slurs.