It is striking just how routinely ‘ungenerous’ many of our nationalist commenters are towards the Orange Order. Understandable to a degree, perhaps, since individuals have personal histories that may give them much justification for letting loose with such animus. However Mairtin promises to lead the way by trying to find three positive things to say about the Orange for an upcoming radio piece, in order to “encourage the green to embrace the orange”.If it is not good for the soul, it would certainly be good for future of civil argument, ala AC Grayling (for the sake of those who missed it before):
In debates that crucially affect the wellbeing of the world, ideas and beliefs should be open to tough challenge and hard discussion. Let someone state a view, and let the view be subjected to rigorous scrutiny, no holds barred, and no pleas of offence, hurt feelings, self-proclaimed sensitivities, “sacredness” or any other excuse allowed to stand in the way. But with a strictly governed exception, namely, an office-holder speaking ex-officio, let no individual be the target of attack, and even then neither abuse nor ad hominem attack.
There is no excuse for ill manners and insults, though of course there is an explanation: usually, the impotence and weakness of the insulter and his or her case. Insult an idea or an institution, by all means, if you have serious grounds to do so; but not individuals: that is the bottom line.
PS, I’d prefer to hold people to Grayling than the more prescriptive ‘three nice things’ scenario in this thread, if that is not too unrealistic an expectation?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty