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A Plea for Understanding


Years ago when I began blogging here, I wrote an initial post that promised an open forum, diverse subjects and an honest discourse. I asked for civility in comments and promised the same in return. Those were the days when we screened and could edit comments. I promised to publish any and all comments that were not obscene, racist or contained personal attacks. I kept that promise. Today, of course, we no longer can screen comments.

I am increasingly bothered and saddened by the virulent tone of many comments to this blog. I am not dishonest, nor do I attempt to mislead. I am a fairly intelligent person with a good engineering education and long experience in scientific and technical fields. I am I think unusually curious and obsessively search for truth. Being human, I do not always find it.

My posts always deal with what I believe to be true. My basic purpose is to get people to think, to consider things in a way that is perhaps new or different. I am conservative by experience, having been a vocal liberal in college. I am an unabashed Christian, having arrived at faith from college agnosticism through common-sense science-based analyses of the conflicting theories of life and existence. I know this bothers a lot of folks, but I assure you that my belief in God is an honest and thoughtful conclusion to a long period of introspection. It is definitely not the result of listening to Jimmy Swaggart.

Comments to Eagle's Eye lately and going back aways have become increasingly vile and insulting. I have been called an idiot and a liar, which I am neither. Neither am I a fool or any of the other personal insults. I am a pretty nice guy (so I've been told) who has certain opinions and is taking advantage of this wonderful flexible forum to express them. Some admittedly are controversial but none are meant to be mean-spirited or hurtful.

I am chagrined that I have at times succumbed to the temptation to respond in kind to particularly nasty comments. For this I am truly sorry. I will try to do better. (Some of you could make it easier for me by toning it down a bit.)

So, this is a plea for understanding. If you disagree with what I say, feel free to express your rebuttal. I try very hard to research my assertions and avoid error. However, I have made mistakes and have, with the passage of time and availability of additional information, modified my positions. I do listen to contrary views. To not do so would indeed be dishonest. This does not mean I lied, just that I was honestly mistaken. Give me a break, folks. Even Albert Einstein admitted error. (No, I am not comparing myself to Albert the Great.)

All I ask for is civility and a modicum of respect. I promise to exercise the same to those who take the time and make the effort to comment. I truly appreciate thoughtful commentary, even in disagreement. Let's discuss, not fight. Thanks.

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