Sunday, January 09, 2011

Trouble at Morningside -- One

It's been a while since I posted anything and longer since I posted about Morningside Gardens, the cooperative I call home. Things are not well here at Morningside -- the board of directors is deeply divided and there is anger, dismay, and confusion among the cooperators. A friend said to me today that the general fractious mood that characterizes our country these days is also manifesting itself here at Morningside.

What follows is largely intended for my neighbors, but you more distant friends might find it interesting also.

I have recently been reading about the ethics of speech, in particular hurtful speech. I read that Maimonides said that any utterance (true or not) that might cause a person physical or monetary damage, or shame, humiliation, anguish or fear is prohibited in Jewish law. As a Christian, I find that teaching to be consonant with the Christian ethic as I understand it.

Over the past several weeks I have been increasingly uneasy about the effects of a vote I cast in a closed session board meeting on September 14. If I take the statement of Maimonides as a standard, my vote was prohibited speech.


Anonymous said...

One need not turn to Jewish or Christian teachings for guidance on the subject of hurtful speech. Every child who graduates from Kindergarten is taught this. Backpeddling will not excuse you from your direct role and complicity in fomenting the conflict at MG that is tearing our community apart. Pandora's box is open.

Allen said...

You misunderstand me. I am not looking to excuse myself from anything. Nor am I backpedaling, at least not in the sense that expression is commonly understood. As I have said in other blog posts this week, I will have another post on this subject very soon.

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