Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is Gossip Foolish?

Heard About the Pastor Who...? Gossip as an Ethical Activity

by William Willimon

"Despite the possibilities for self-deception in our talk about other people, morality is dependent upon such talk. Many of us find the more refined gossip of the novel a greater help in seeing our lives accurately than the work of academic ethicists. Modern ethics has-sought to rise above the mundane level of everyday discourse in the pursuit of the universal and the objective, the great overarching principles whereby ethical decisions can be made. And what ethicist would want to be labeled as a gossip? Yet there may be some truth to the claim that Ann Landers is about as helpful in teaching me to live well as Stanley Hauerwas. Ethical reflection is dependent upon a range of ordinary and specific examples. I need to see morality lived out in real people’s lives and the results of decision as they are mirrored in the lives of people like me."

I don't completely disagree with this, but I think what makes "gossip" foolish is that much of the human instinct is hypocritical because it is wrapped tight in a layer of insecurity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhm. who is like you?

9:12 AM  
Blogger RFS said...

Your assessment kind of reminds me of why I like the crate idea so much. You can still see out of the crate, but your vision is obscured. In my mind it represents that we never see the whole picture, it is always obscured by our own point of view, our own biases. No matter how purely you imagine you are experiencing something, you always bring your own perspective to it. I imagine this is even more true in the context of gossip.

9:10 PM  

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