Intellectual Honesty

 

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:13 am
Subject: Intellectual Honesty (was: Fwd: van der Waals and Steiner)

At 00:49 15.03.2004, Christine quoted PS from the WC:

(1) he was ignorant of these terms and he decided to go ahead and talk to an audience likewise ignorant and claim knowledge and understanding that he didn't in fact have (intellectual dishonesty) ;

Fascinating. The concept of intellectual honesty is something I picked up from my studies of how Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species" was received and discussed in the 1860's. The Protestants were up in arms against it, but the Catholics were more open-minded, perhaps because they'd made such a mistake with Galileo and the heliocentric concept of astronomy. They wouldn't make the same mistake with time that they'd made with space. So the Catholic thinkers I read endorsed Darwin's theory as a plausible one that could be compatible with the Bible. One such priest felt an impelling necessity to admit biological evolution because of intellectual honesty.

That's is where I learned this word, "intellectual honesty". If all the critics of Anthroposophy were intellectually honest, their criticism would be a great service to the world. The honesty required is the same that is demanded of a theologian when he reads Charles Darwin. Criticism of Darwin is a good and necessary thing; our understanding of evolution would not be able to proceed without it. The same principle applies to Rudolf Steiner's works, to Anthroposophy.

Paradoxically, Peter S. does not appear to have an inkling of what intellectual dishonesty is, although he is obviously full of it. That's why he takes this expression, runs over to his WC congregation with it, and applies it to Daniel. Hello? Daniel and Detlef have endeavored to play Peter's games according to Peter's rules. Peter, the master of semantic acrobatics and intellectual trickery, tells his assembled critical souls that Daniel, probably a card-carrying member of the Anthro-Cult with clandestine connections among the sinister wizards in the Goetheanum basement, is intellectually dishonest!

This is good.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:42 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Intellectual Honesty (was: Fwd: van der Waals and Steiner)

It's possible that Peter S attributed the intellectual dishonesty to Steiner, but it's the same thing. How can you know what intellectual dishonesty is if you don't know how to be intellectually honest in the first place?

Tarjei

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:30 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Intellectual Honesty (was: Fwd: van der Waals and Steiner)

Hi Tarjei,

the post Christine quoted was from Peter Farrell, not from me.

Peter Staudenmaier

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From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:25 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Intellectual Honesty (was: Fwd: van der Waals and Steiner)

Peter S.

the post Christine quoted was from Peter Farrell, not from me.

So, Peter, what do you think of the definitions of what was applied to Dr. Steiners words and thoughts: intellectual dishonest, simple dishonesty and or now the third way 'he didn't realize he was being dishonest' thought by Walden?

Do you see how easily you fit into all of these categories according to the debates here at AT and the critics? Do you see how easily you would fall into the first two categories offered up by Mr. Peter Farell and possibly the third but the listmates here at AT are still not sure of the third possibility for you as of yet. Your being a Polemical writer kind of muddies the water a bit. It seems most here want to give you the benefit of the doubt but it is wearing a little thin if I do say so.

My best,
Dottie

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 6:45 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Intellectual Honesty

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

Do you see how easily you fit into all of these categories according to the debates here at AT and the critics?

No, I'm afraid I don't see that. When you read my work and conclude that I portray Steiner as a Nazi, it does not make me dishonest. (By the same token, when you read Peter Farrell's post and think that he called Einstein dishonest, it tells us nothing about Peter Farrell, but a lot about Dottie Zold.)

I think part of the reason that a number of listmates here consider me dishonest is that they're not used to people who write the way I do or who read the way I do. Some people probably really do think of stadiums when they read about a large audience, and there may even be people who think of horses when they read about national spirits. Other people evidently find the distinction between assimilation and annihilation too subtle. This sometimes makes for an interesting discussion environment, but it does not indicate that any of us is dishonest; we simply take very different approaches to public discourse.

Your being a Polemical writer kind of muddies the water a bit.

Yes, I've noticed that. It seems to me that this has to do with the notion that polemic is suspect and incompatible with scholarship. I think that notion is mistaken.

What I mostly hear from this list is that anthroposophists read Steiner's racial writings and do not find them racist, and that they read his statements about Jewry disappearing and do not find them antisemitic. This does not make any of you dishonest, in my view. There is nothing surprising about the fact that anthroposophists and critics of anthroposophy come to contrary conclusions about the nature of Steiner's work. It would be dishonest, to my mind, for critics of anthroposophy to give up their criticisms merely because anthroposophists do not share them.

Thanks for you thoughts,

Peter Staudenmaier

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From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:56 pm
Subject: Re: Intellectual Honesty

Peter:

No, I'm afraid I don't see that.

You don't see where your work fits in the description of intellectual dishonesty and simple dishonesty? Look again. But then again maybe it is the third way offered up by Walden and you just 'think' you are telling the truth and no mal intent is involved. Hmm.

Peter:

When you read my work and conclude that I portray Steiner as a Nazi, it does not make me dishonest.

It's not what I read and conclude it is what you write Peter that is dishonest. It's plain as day what you are saying and no matter how many words you try to slip and slide under, and by that I mean the constant dance I sense going on, it does not change, for the intent of your words is really clear.

Peter:

(By the same token, when you read Peter Farrell's post and think that he called Einstein dishonest, it tells us nothing about Peter Farrell, but a lot about Dottie Zold.)

Wasn't very nice was it. That was a GOTCHA moment for you Peter. This is exactly what you do: take things out of context and then put your own meaning to it. Not only do you do this in your work you do this in your posting to the groups. I suppose I could just say I was trying to save some 'bandwith'. Think that will work? No, it doesn't does it. It's deceitful and that is exactly what you have done to Steiners work and to the people on this list. That was for you and Dan and to share with Peter Farell how easy it is to manipulate a sentence.

Peter:

I think part of the reason that a number of listmates here consider me dishonest is that they're not used to people who write the way I do or who read the way I do.

No, its because you are wrong in your interpretations of a thing. You completely have no understanding of Steiners work and the method you employ only shows it doubly to be true: Polemic is a one side of the story filled with personal interpretations that may have nothing to do with the original author in question. It's half of the story and a lie, and you are complicit in it for telling it in that particular manner, knowing full well there is another side that you completely refuse to take into consideration.

Peter:

Some people probably really do think of stadiums when they read about a large audience, and there may even be people who think of horses when they read about national spirits. Other people evidently find the distinction between assimilation and annihilation too subtle. This sometimes makes for an interesting discussion environment, but it does not indicate that any of us is dishonest; we simply take very different approaches to public discourse.

Peter, I am not so sure of your outright dishonesty at this point. I keep trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Which is why I thought it very interesting that Mr. Farell would post what he did regarding his thoughts on 'intellectual dishonesty and simple dishonesty, followed up by Waldens, maybe there is a third way and there is no dishonesty just a different understanding. Which would you say your work falls under? And which would you say Dr. Steiners work falls under?

Peter:

Yes, I've noticed that. It seems to me that this has to do with the notion that polemic is suspect and incompatible with scholarship. I think that notion is mistaken.

Dottie

I disagree. From what I can tell it is a one sided personal understanding that has no relevance to what Dr. Steiner was sharing with his students and the world. I guess maybe you have been around or admired other writers who use this method and I don't think it is an honorable method. Again it reminds me of my friend who is sure the Holocaust never happened. Just like Mel Gibsons father is so sure and will tell anyone who will lend an ear. It's a one sided story and has nothing to do with the truth. Now, History is supposed to be something different in my opinion.

The other thought that comes to mind is the word 'scholarly'. Maybe it is scholarly, in that you are quite an intellectual and one can see your efforts and ability to get a thing across in a very comprehensible manner. So, yeah I guess it is scholarly, however it doesn't make it an honest way of doing business when discussing such an important subject regarding the 'history' of a thing. More balanced thinking and questioning is called for Peter. Not just your opinion but the whole that makes up the truth of the intent of Dr. Steiner and his works. Just because you think it is so does not mean it is.

Sincerely,
Dottie

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:46 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Intellectual Honesty

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

No, its because you are wrong in your interpretations of a thing.

That is entirely possible. But this has nothing to do with dishonesty. When I put forward an interpretation that you think is wrong, I am not being dishonest.
From what I can tell it is a one sided personal understanding that has no relevance to what Dr. Steiner was sharing with his students and the world.

It sounds like what you're saying is that my personal understanding of what Steiner shared with his students is very different from your personal understanding of what Steiner shared with his students. I think this is to be expected when fans of Steiner talk with critics of Steiner.

Peter

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From: dottie zold
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:55 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Intellectual Honesty

Dottie:

No, its because you are wrong in your interpretations of a thing.

Peter:

That is entirely possible. But this has nothing to do with dishonesty. When I put forward an interpretation that you think is wrong, I am not being dishonest.

Peter, what this conversation was born out of was Peter Farells remark that Dr. Steiner was of two possible thoughts: 1) he was Intellectually dishonest, and/or 2) simply dishonest.

Now, Walden offered up a third possibility to the scheme and said 'maybe there is a third way and he basically believed what he was saying'.

So, from your posts on this list you fit into the two descriptions of the first two easily, according to how Peter Farell framed his opinion and definitely on the third.

So, I ask you, 1) do you see how others on this list and off can hold you to the first two and definitely to the third possibility? And then I asked you of which do you hold that Dr. Steiner fits in? You have yet to answer on these points which is what I have been waiting for an answer.

So, where do you and Dr. Steiner fit in the 3 tiered scheme of honesty according to Mr. Farell and Walden?

Peter:

It sounds like what you're saying is that my personal understanding of what Steiner shared with his students is very different from your personal understanding of what Steiner shared with his students. I think this is to be expected when fans of Steiner talk with critics of Steiner.

No, Peter I am saying what you attribute to him is not true. Whether I understand it to be is irrelevant. It is clear from reading this man he was about brotherhood. You have pulled two word quotes around your twisted perceptions and the truth that does not make.

It has nothing to do with fans of Dr. Steiners it has to do with a piece of history that you are slanting and that can be easily seen by following up on your references. You misquote, misinterpret, use your own personal dictionary of Peter Staudenmaiers understandings, and ignore the other parts that make up the whole. At this point it has nothing to do with whether I see Dr. Steiner as a good guy or bad guy. If I was to do a report on your work and your conclusion and did not know either one of you I would have to say your work does not add up ot the conclusion you have purported to show at the onset.

The fact that I and many others do in fact know of his work and studied it along with many other philosophers and are open to all various Teachers of God not just Dr. Steiner, goes to show how varied are the people that respect what he brought to the world through his writings.

What you have in common with the other critics such as Dugan, Sharon, Kopp and others is that your world view is of a Humanistic, Atheist, Free Thinkers (read atheists) point of view.

So does it make the Steiner students wrong because they study Dr. Steiner? Does it make it wrong that you and the others calling 'cult cult' are atheist, humanists, free thinkers and so forth?

Dottie

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From: dottie zold
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:27 am
Subject: Re: Intellectual Honesty

Peter Farell on Dr. Steiner:

I think there are two possibilities: (1) he was ignorant of these terms and he decided to go ahead and talk to an audience likewise ignorant and claim knowledge and understanding that he didn't in fact have (intellectual dishonesty) ; (2) he did know about these terms and he deliberately ignored them in his course (simple dishonesty).

Peter, here are the two criteria that Mr. Farell put to the list over at the critics as to Dr. Steiners truthfullness.

Now, in your opinion, which ones do you feel the Steiner students state about you? And do you agree with Mr. Farell's comments that one can judge a man to be intellectually dishonest and simply dishonest by what he has stated above?

And then Mr./Ms/ Waldens point that maybe the third possibility is that Dr. Steiner may not have been lying because he really believed what he was saying. Where do you see this in how you are percieved on this list? And do you think this is a correct idea for judging Dr. Steiner?

Thanks,
Dottie

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:28 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Intellectual Honesty (was: Fwd: van der Waals and Steiner)

Peter S, you wrote:

Hi Tarjei,

the post Christine quoted was from Peter Farrell, not from me.

OK, sorry about the mix-up

Tarjei

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:46 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Intellectual Honesty

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

No, Peter I am saying what you attribute to him is not true. Whether I understand it to be is irrelevant.

That makes no sense. How you understand Steiner is not only relevant, it is the heart of the matter here. According to your understanding, what I attribute to Steiner is not true. According to my understanding, what I attribute to Steiner is true. Hence dishonesty has nothing to do with it. When I say something that you think is untrue, that does not make me dishonest. It is only dishonest when I say something that I think is untrue.

Peter

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From: dottie zold
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:12 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Intellectual Honesty

Dottie:

No, Peter I am saying what you attribute to him is not true. Whether I understand it to be is irrelevant.

Peter:

That makes no sense. How you understand Steiner is not only relevant, it is the heart of the matter here.

Peter, what you don't get is that people can be impartial to a thing. One can look at both sides and read the material from your articles and Steiners books and realize you have not told the whole story. Your references are absurd for the most part as they are two or three words surrounded by your interpretations that have no bearing on what was just said in the book. When one looks to see the truth of your article by checking out the references and Steiners work one can easily see the discrepancies.

The people who do not do their homework, by checking on the references, can have an opinion if you are right and wrong according to their own personal interpretations. I however checked your references a few years back and found your words to be only interpretations of Dr. STeiners work and not a good judgement as to the whole of the book or even the thought. You seemed to take three words that fit what you were looking for and then wrapped your opinion of what they meant disregarding anything that spoke to the contrary. And that as well is easy to see. It is not a matter of my interpretation rather the words spoken by Dr. Steiner. Even on this list word definitions have to be clarified as the Steiner students read it very differently than you.

Now, on this list things have come clear that you do indeed misinterpret things according to your non knowledge nor interest in understanding anything that speaks of a spiritual reality. Once it is fleshed out we have been able to see how your personal world view has clouded your judgement. So, just as one can apply a word as scholary to such a thing as Polemic one can also apply the words as I have above in my beginning statement.

We are not all slaves to our intellect Peter. There are people who can judge a thing while leaving their attachments to the side. There are people who can say 'damn man, I didn't see that' and counter every single thing they thought on a particular subject. You do not seem able to do this and you are way not alone. And there doesn't seem to be anything that could possibly help you shift that this man was not speaking of the things in the manner you have portrayed them. Again, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt regarding you knowing a thing and stating otherwise.

Peter:

Hence dishonesty has nothing to do with it. When I say something that you think is untrue, that does not make me dishonest. It is only dishonest when I say something that I think is untrue.

Peter, I feel like you are avoiding the point I made at least three times again. Maybe as you say you can't understand me but you sure do seem to spend alot of time talking to me:) versus hanging out with the big boys of Steiners work. So, I will assume you do understand what I am asking. And you can calm down, I am not trying to prove you are dishonest. I am trying to get you to answer the points brought up by Mr. Farell and Walden, and not trying to say you are a liar. I would like to know where you see how others who disagree with you might be able to judge your work according to his criteria. And I would like to know where you see Dr. Steiner line up with this criteria. Your opinion. I think it is relevant to the 'who is dishonest' and 'who is not' conversation on all sides.

Peter, a thought ocurred to me to day about your possible 'Historian' post in the future. You said something about 'it seems they are going to give it to me whether I like it or not', paraphrasing. Now, how would you like to have the people on this list go about in the manner you and Mr. Dugan have, well especially Dugan, and tell a very different story than how you feel truly represents your work. How would you like the Steiner students to go about maligning you to others in the 'history' field and such just because they don't agree with you and then that makes them think you are lying. And to you you are not lying you are just stating your opinion on how you see things. A persons career and reputation could really be burned by something like this. Now if your Dugan, you really don't care; hell with the world. Now, if your you, you may have a little more care with how others portray your work. Maybe not. But I am hoping you do care enough to figure out why there is such a difference in your opinions and theirs other than the same old dried up point 'they are fans of Dr. Steiner'.

Point being I am wondering if you ever took it into consideration that there is another reason why the Steiner students oppose how you have interpreted Dr. Steiner other than the fact that they are Steiner students. Did it ever occur to you that their lifes experiences bear out the wonderful teachings of this man who lived 100 years ago. Did it ever occur to you that these students come from all over the world, have no real place to call their home as in a Steiner church and so forth, unless of course they go to Dornach for a visit, and are being maligned as to the point they are in a cult.

Did you never think that maybe, just maybe some of us have had supersensory experiences that led us to look for answers that Dr. Steiner seemed to answer in his work that we somehow were lucky to find. I realize you do not believe in them and seem to have little respect for those that claim so but do you leave open the possibility that it might be true.

And you must not forget although you have not made any comments on the point that the Jews and Anthroposophy have the very same world view, cosmic view outlook on spiritual realities.

My Rabbi says that basically Christ Jesus did not exist as a Messiah. So, I ask him, how is it then that I see this Being? How is it that I see the things I see that related specifically to his birth and then to his rebirth? What is great about him is that he knows of the supersensory world and so he does not discount my experiences. But he can not figure out why I see what I see and specifically having to do with the Christ. He doesn't try to say 'oh well you have Jesuss on the brain and of course you see Him, no, he understands there are greater things than he and he can not say I am wrong. It's just not his experience.

Gotta Run, but please answer my question about Farell and Waldens points.

Dottie

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:53 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Intellectual Honesty

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

It is not a matter of my interpretation rather the words spoken by Dr. Steiner. Even on this list word definitions have to be clarified as the Steiner students read it very differently than you.

That still doesn't make sense. Your two claims above contradict one another. When people disagree about what words mean, it is obviously a matter of interpretation. What we have been arguing about all along is how to interpret Steiner, precisely because we read Steiner very differently.

And there doesn't seem to be anything that could possibly help you shift that this man was not speaking of the things in the manner you have portrayed them.

What can help shift me are cogent arguments accompanied by evidence.

How would you like the Steiner students to go about maligning you to others in the 'history' field and such just because they don't agree with you and then that makes them think you are lying.

This sort of thing happens a fair bit among historians. The only time it is a big problem is when there is some substance behind the charges. That is not the case here, since competent readers can easily tell the difference between disagreements and lying.

Point being I am wondering if you ever took it into consideration that there is another reason why the Steiner students oppose how you have interpreted Dr. Steiner other than the fact that they are Steiner students.

Yes, of course. I've already pointed out several other reasons. For one thing, many of my detractors are unfamiliar with the historical context; they believe that German assimilationists can't be antisemites, and so forth.

Peter

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