[KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever

Edward C Appel edwardcappel at frontier.com
Wed Oct 29 19:54:52 EDT 2014

Yes, free speech is seriously curtailed in today's U.S. of A.  A potent epithet works as "efficiently" in the matter as a federal law.

The NCA Code of Communication Ethics illustrates the dilemma, as per Burke's "Dialectic of Constitutions."  Burke calls constitutions "wish lists," containing, almost necessarily, contradictory principles.  The NCA Code plumps for "free speech," while warning against speech that hurts or demeans people.  Can't have both codicils applied categorically at the same time.

Some "truths" that need to be spoken for the good of communities and the nation are going to offend.

Can't give them expression, except in Goffman's "back stage."


On Wed, 10/29/14, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever
 To: kb at kbjournal.org
 Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:07 PM
 Though all rabbits are
 mammals not all mammals are rabbits. Fascism was a quite
 peculiar inter-war political development mostly in central
 or eastern European nations.  We must be careful not to
 focus so much on the dead python at the front door while
 quite ferocious & very much alive tigers are clawing at
 the back door.
 How many on
 this list would free comfortable parading in front of your
 campus building with a placard denouncing Israel as guilty
 of genocide?
 Makes you
 crunch your shoulders at the thought -- No?
 Serious free speech is pretty
 much dead in the U.S. at this time. It is NOT fascism; it
 may be something far more efficient than fascism in
 depriving us of political rights.
 -----Original Message-----
 From: kb-bounces at kbjournal.org
 [mailto:kb-bounces at kbjournal.org]
 On Behalf Of Stan Lindsay
 Sent: Wednesday,
 October 29, 2014 3:49 PM
 To: Edward C
 Cc: kb at kbjournal.org
 Subject: Re: [KB] "Deacon"-structing
 Burke Part Whatever
 I will
 resume my thoughts now. Given that Greg is suggesting that
 religions are fascist, I define fascism as extreme
 authoritarian rule. In bin Laden's Islam there is
 clearly authoritarian rule. His jihadist interpretation is
 the final authority. Never mind that there may be other
 sects of Islam that may try to impose their own specific
 authoritarian rule,, disagreeing with bin Laden"s
 interpretation -- for bin Laden's followers there is
 only one true interpretation of the Quran. 
 Christianity does have
 parallels but even such an authoritarian denomination as
 Catholicism does not currently impose dangerous expectations
 for its followers. Certainly, the Catholic Church does not
 execute its members who choose to convert to another
 religion. Much of Islam does.
 When I argue in my book that David Koresh or
 Jim Jones or Gene Applewhite use authoritarian rule over
 their flocks, resulting in psychotic entelechy, they do so
 not because the Bible as an authoritarian book commands them
 to do these things, but because their interpretations of
 that book demand the dangerous behavior.
 Here I agree with Ed. As a good Burkean, I find
 the multiple perspectives of evangelicals, main line
 Christians, Jews, and even atheists (which one finds in the
 Society of Biblical Literature) as they interpret the
 Christian scriptures to be very useful. When Bible
 interpreters are given multiple perspectives and multiple
 explanations of various scripture passages and are offered
 the argumentation to support the varying interpretations,
 they have a greater likelihood of reaching a reasonable
 conclusion concerning the meaning of the text.
 There is no reason to
 conclude, as Greg appears to, that the simple fact that
 someone considers a text to be divinely inspired means that
 it is not open to interpretation or debate.  When a church
 imposes its creed upon the followers, however, that church
 moves in the direction of authoritarianism-though I am not
 willing to call such churches fascist.
 The U.S. uses a text as a final rule (the
 Constitution).  Even so, it relies on the Supreme Court to
 interpret the text.  Texts need interpreters.  Even so, I
 will hazard a guess that virtually all of us have disagreed
 with one or more of their interpretations.  In the U.S., we
 can amend the Constitution-an option generally unavailable
 to religious adherents of a sacred text, although several
 denominations do believe that option exists for them.
 I argue that the jihadists are
 misinterpreting the Qur'an, but I can easily see how
 their interpretations are reached. If I expect my
 interpretation of the Qur'an to be considered, I am open
 to hearing the perspectives of how the Christian scriptures
 might be interpreted by other sources. I do not leave it up
 to a vote however.  And just because someone shows that it
 is possible to interpret a text in a certain way does not
 automatically mean that that is the way the text should be
 interpreted.  This is far from an authoritarian view of
 religion.  It is a view that empowers the individual to
 accept or reject various interpretations.  It is not quite
 pure philosophy.  It is still religion but it leaves much
 in the hands of the individual.  Therefore it is by no
 means fascist.
 Sent from my
 Edward C Appel <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
 Greg, Stan, and
 Most centrally, Greg
 and I are defining "religion" and
 "religious" differently.  Greg is making the
 "authoritative" (that's the term that harkens
 back to the "fascism" of the early- and mid-20th
 century), Divinely-inspired text, essentiallly
 non-negotiable, with little room for
 "interpretation," the distinguishing attribute. 
 My definition is different.  Although the word
 "religious" can migrate (see OHN, pp. 143-44 on
 the looseness of even "proper names") in myriad
 directions, I regard its primary reference as characteristic
 of one who believes in an Originary Power we can rightfully
 call "God."  For me, as a Burkean, I would
 reductively define that Power as the "Great
 Potential,"  In other words, a "religious"
 person  is one who believes that human personality, or the
 verbal, is "Potential" in the Ground of Being,
 Creative Source, or Generative Force, maybe not necessary,
 but at least "Potential."  After all, here we are
 (See RM, pp. 290-91).  As such, a "religious"
 person would believe that human personality, or the verbal,
 is rooted in, and in some way reflective of, maybe only in a
 very, very small way relective of, the Ground of Being,
 Creative Source, or Generative Force, not just inanimate
 matter and blind physical forces.
 Called to lunch by higher authority.  Will get
 On Wed, 10/29/14, Stan Lindsay <slindsa at yahoo.com>
 Subject: Re: [KB]
 "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever
 To: "Gregory Desilet" <info at gregorydesilet.com>,
 "Ed Appel" <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
 Cc: "kb at kbjournal.org"
 <kb at kbjournal.org>
 Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 12:12 PM
 I think we are, to use
 Burke's terminology, arriving at closer and
 closer approximations.  I don't mind the religion
 philosophy distinction Greg makes.  But
 I would apply some sort of Toulminian qualifier to much of
 this.  Clearly, Evangelical Christians (those who believe
 in an entirely inspired and 100% infallible Old and New
 Testament, including those "evangelical Presbyterian
 Ed mentions) could be
 categorized as those who make the following claim: 
 "The Bible is DEFINITELY
 inerrant/inspired."   There are
 other groups--perhaps
 what Ed calls
 "mainline" who might claim:
 "The Bible is SUBSTANTIALLY inspired."  There are
 those who claim that the Bible is PARTIALLY
 inspired--wishing to back off of certain texts.  Even
 Luther did not
   accept the Book of
 James.  Some biblical scholars debate what is Pauline
 (written by the apostle) and pseudoPauline (only claims to
 be written by the apostle.  And, there are some outright
 unbelievers who still like to study the Bible.
  More on this later.  I have to teach a class,
 now. Dr. Stan A.
 Lindsay, Ph.D.
 Teaching Professor
 Professional Communication
 College of Applied Studies
 Florida State University
 slindsay at pc.fsu.edu
    On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:32 PM, Gregory
 Desilet <info at gregorydesilet.com>
 I find myself in agreement with much
 of what Ed
 and Stan say, but I
 also sense that it only obliquely addresses the issue I’ve
 raised. When Ed says, “You can’t paint everybody with a
 broad brush,” I assume by “everybody” he means every
 “religious” person.
 But the issue I’m
 concerns instead the notion that
 the term “religion” may be getting painted with too
 broad a brush. The use of any given term, when expanded too
 widely, becomes too thin to convey useful meaning.
 Accordingly, I’m arguing
 for all practical purposes the distinction between
 philosophy and religion largely collapses when religious
 texts are no longer treated as “sacred” in the sense
 I’ve indicated—namely, when the source of a text is not
 viewed as divinely dictated or inspired. When a religious
 text becomes a text composed and written by a “mere”
 human, it shifts into a very different category than when it
 is considered “sacred.” Groups who approach religious
 texts in this fashion cannot be significantly distinguished
 from groups who gather to interpret, study, discuss, and
 learn from philosophical texts (such as the Great Books
 discussion groups popular in the 50s and 60s).
 Indeed, I would
 anyone following this discussion to propose a significant
 distinction between these “religious” and
 “philosophical” groups aside from the circumstance that
 one may meet in a church and the other may meet in a library
 or conference room.I understand that a great variety exists
 among those who happen to call themselves “religious” or
 who claim to belong to a “religious tradition.” But if
 such persons who claim religious alignment AND also claim
 their relevant religious texts are NOT divinely inspired
 cannot significantly distinguish their activity from what
 philosophers do with their particular texts of interest,
 then I do not find the label “religious” compellingly
 useful in such cases. More likely the label in these cases
 could be rightly understood as misleading. In these cases,
 what would someone who says “this is my religion” mean
 that could set it apart from the one who says, “this is my
 philosophy”?So I acknowledge there are many folks who
 approach what have traditionally been called
 texts in the
 interpretive rather than received manner, but I
 see nothing thereby that necessitates the label
 “religious” be applied to such folks other than that
 their texts have been previously called “religious.”
 Applying the label in such
 cases would perhaps be analogous to continuing
 to call a bright light in the morning sky the Morning Star
 after it has been discovered to be the planet Venus.  In
 sum, if the term “religion”
 connection to views and practices
 oriented toward the approach to texts as divine inspiration,
 then the metaphysical connection between religion and
 fascism retains a measure of accuracy whereby fascism
 becomes a distortion of religion by way of a shift into the
 political realm with more implications for the here and now
 than an afterlife.Greg
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