13 November 2006

After a Deep Breath...

Hello Charles Cherry,

Janet sent you this message from Meetup.com:

Hello Charles,

Having taken a deep breath and paused to analyze the situation, I feel the need to say a couple of things.

First, as I noted at the beginning of our correspondence, because I don't have infinite time, I didn't undertake to enter an unlimited discussion. As far as I am concerned, I have committed myself only to defending what I said in my letter to the editor as a justifiable response to yours, but with the hope of addressing some of your other questions along the way.

This limited agenda means that, while interesting, anything you say to back up your views NOW is actually irrelevant. What I wrote was solely and only in response to what you said before me, and it need be defended ONLY on that basis. To attempt to claim otherwise is to take quite unfair advantage.

So, I will be disregarding everything you just said about taxes, and concentrating on what you said in your letter to the editor.

Second, if we do manage to address larger issues, it's necessary that you understand what standards of argument I observe. From much of what you say, I get hints that you may subscribe to the common belief that reason is identical to logic. This is false, as thousands of years of human experience
have sadly demonstrated. Logic is only one of reason's tools; the other is empiricism. Without both, we cannot even catch those tantalizing glimpses of the truth that are all that Nature allows us.

Just so you know: I expect data, or at the very least verifiable examples, to back up assertions.

I will try to finish this project. But, I have a lot of other demands on my time this week, so it may be a while before I get back to you.