I was trying to post a comment on Neil's (Ninglun's blog) blog when I ran into a system issue. I have no idea as to whether the comment go through given comment moderation , so I am posting again here. My comments follows:
Over to you, Neil.
Thank you for the positive comment, Neil.
I am not necessarily opposed to symbolic acts of reconciliation, nor indeed to more substantive action. My problem lies in the words and actions of some of the proponents.
There has, at least as I see it, been remarkably little substantive discussion on what some of these things mean. I have not tried to disentangle issues for fear of entering a minefield. Maybe I will one day when I feel stronger. The key thing is to identify and understand core principles.
What does saying sorry mean? Sorry to whom, and about what? And who should say sorry?
This is not meant to be argumentative. There has to be a dialogue, but it needs to be just that, a dialogue. I do not think that there has been a dialogue for many years.
So here is a challenge to you. Answer the questions about sorry I have set out above and I will respond, not in attack dog mode, but as a genuine response seeking to clarify issues.
As Neil said in a comment on this post, the issues has triggered an interesting discussion in the comments section of his original post. You can find the discussion here.
Among other things, the discussion draws out the different meanings attached to the word "sorry". This lies out the heart of my problem with the use of the word in this context. Any married male will know just how many meanings that word can have!
In one of his comments Neil pointed to a post he wrote some time ago on the nature of evil, referring to Jonathan Glover’s Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (Pimlico edition 2001). I had not read this post, but did so with interest because it refers to an issue that I know worries many of us, the continued existence of inhumanity in the human species.
School starts today, and I have to get Clare up at six, so I will not be responding further to Neil until tonight.