Re: reason and facts...
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@MIMICAD.COLORADO.EDU)
Sun, 28 Nov 1993 21:08:27 -0700
Steve Souza said:
> quoting From: Jonathan Dixon dixonj@MIMICAD.COLORADO.EDU
> > The policies should be grounded in reasonable, fact-supported beliefs
> Jon, just to understand your position... who gets to decide if the reasons
> are reasonable, and if they're based on facts??
Rather than fact-supported, perhaps I should have said "not
contradicted by the facts." A policy which would (probably) fail
under this yardstick is "Gays shouldn't be leaders in Scouting because
they might abuse the scouts." Since (as far as I understand, not
having checked the statistics, etc, normally quoted on this; there
hasn't been anyone claiming statistics otherwise that I've heard, tho)
gays are no more likely to abuse children than straights, this policy
would be based on a reason which is false and would therefore be a bad
policy. (NOTE: I am not trying to imply that that one reason is the
whole argument put forth by BSA, nor am I intending to imply a stance
on the issue; it is put forward solely for illustrative purposes)
As to who gets to decide on reasonableness, that is perhaps a stickier
issue (one I didn't consider in choosing a description in my original
posting). I guess the best answer is that it should be seen as a
reasonable belief by society as a whole. This doesn't mean that
society as a whole has to agree with it; just that it is not an
obviously absurd belief (ie, "the sun will rise tomorrow in the east"
is a reasonable belief, "Mohammed is a great prophet" is another
reasonable belief, "white people are inherently superior" is an
unreasonable belief, and "I'm always right" is just as unreasonable)
I think this pretty much sums up the bulk of my meaning, and I would
be willing to clarify anything of mine further as the need arises.
ASM Troop 1046, Bowie, MD, NCAC
Eagle '85 Vigil '89
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City