Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beyond Debate

Hal Pepinsky,,
October 25, 2009
One listserv I’ve become particularly involved with since retirement is that of the Association of Humanist Sociology. I’ve been posting my blogs there and getting many thoughtful responses.
Since I last posted a blog, a discussion has arisen over who’s right and wrong in the Holy Land. Below, I wrote a response to the considerable and diverse traffic in this exchange. I’m hoping it helps explain what I mean by the importance to me of paradigm shift in criminology:

From: Pepinsky, Harold E.
Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:47 PM
Subject: RE: Ahs-talk Digest, Vol 8, Issue 79

To me, because the progress of human relations (cooling or heating) has taken over my fruitless quests to define harm, etc. as behavior, I find I as to my own behavior, I can invoke no higher authority for my actions than to try to account for how I feel and act as I do. In honest exchanges of beliefs about right and wrong like this one, I find myself asking what if anything leads folks in the discussion to move from justification to empathy--trying to find a way of showing an antagonist that without being patronizing, one is recognizing and respecting the passion with which an opposing position is being argued.
To be honest, I've only sampled this particular discussion, and so I have no business coming in as an outsider telling y'all how to get your acts together. As I continue to look at the digests, I'm wondering how folks involved feel about how I frame the a would-be peacemaker. l&p hal

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