Sunday, March 12, 2006

Johns Hopkins Reminder

Don’t forget the Johns Hopkins Cartoon Unveiling tomorrow (Monday) night which follows the UCLA event of this past Friday. As to this latter event, I would have to say that my appraisal differs markedly (though respectfully) from Don Watkins’ relatively lukewarm review. I too attended the UCLA event, but unlike Don, I thought that Dr. Brook gave one of his best performances and that almost every single point he made was clear and unambiguous. (The only possible exception would be on the timetable to end the conflict – in his answer it may not have been clear that he was taking an ideological change in the West as a prerequisite for conducting any decisive military action.) But mostly I disagree with Don’s blanket assessment “Events like this are always a mixed -- you can't develop your own position as fully but you reach more people.” (sic)

I believe that if an undecided, but honest, person is attending the event, it is invaluable for him to see the various positions in order to come to an informed decision. On this score, I thought the panel which ARI and LOGIC assembled was noteworthy since they were able to find people who could articulately and benevolently represent the various relevant positions on this issue. They had an arch neo-con in Avi Davis, an intelligent but non-intellectual “average American” in Kevin James, a highly educated Islamic scholar (who took much more “moderate” positions than would a typical Islamist) in Dr. Mohammed, and an incredibly knowledgeable Objectivist in Dr. Brook.

In my opinion, Dr. Brook’s unwavering defense of reason and principles came across all the more strongly because of the contrast with the other speakers, not less so. Moreover, I believe that an honest listener would be more likely to see the importance of taking an absolute and consistent position after hearing all the speakers than he would have had he only heard Dr. Brook’s position. So if anyone is debating attending the Johns Hopkins event because of the NoodleFood review, I personally would urge you to attend and decide for yourself.


Blogger Ergo Sum said...

I'll be driving up to Baltimore tonight from Chicago to attend the event. I hope to write my own review on my blog as soon as I get back.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

I'm glad to hear it Ergo and I hope you enjoy the event.

5:20 PM  

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