Obtuse Is as Obtuse Does

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Thank you, Dan

Thank you, Dan. I have been muttering under my breath about the simplistic approach to malaria eradication (e.g., why buy nets instead of working on water supplies?) for a number of years. I think this is the result of a *communication* agency taking the lead on this project when international development is obviously not their area of expertise. "Imagine No Malaria" is doing a better job of finding holistic solutions than "Nothing But Nets," but we still have a long way to go.

I wish we could connect the church and the academy better in this, since anyone with a modicum of education in international development would recognize exactly what you are pointing out.

Diane Kenaston more than 4 years ago

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"Harsh and direct disagreement places thought under pressure. That’s its point. Pressure can be intellectually productive: being forced to look closely at arguments against a beloved position helps those who hold it to burnish and buttress it as often as it moves them to abandon it. But pressure also causes pain and fear; and when those under pressure find these things difficult to bear, they’ll sometimes use any means possible to make the pressure and the pain go away. They feel unsafe, threatened, put upon, and so they react by deploying the soft violence of the law or the harder violence of the aggressive and speech-denying protest. Both moves are common enough in our élite universities now, as is their support by the powers that be. Tolerance for intellectual pain is less than it was. So is tolerance for argument."

– Paul Griffiths, former professor of Catholic theology at United Methodist-related Duke University Divinity School, in an article for Commonweal magazine on why he resigned over a recent conflict with a colleague related to racism training.


   

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