Friday, March 19, 2010

Point of View

Synonyms: Values; Morals; Beliefs

Categories: Ideological identifier

Definition: Constellation of normative judgments supported by an ideological faction. Used to subtextually indicate a level of moral commitment and superiority supposedly absent from others outside the reference group.

Similar to other info speak catch phrases, this one employs a combination of imprecision, which renders it almost meaningless when interpreted at face value, with a mendacious dishonesty. What does it mean to have values? How are those values acted upon in difficult, real-world situations? Isn't it rather dangerously naive to rely entirely on a fixed 'point of view' in a three dimensional world? Perhaps it is this inflexibility which sometimes gives the discourse of 'values' speakers a flat, two-dimensional quality.

The real purpose of 'point of view' or 'values' speakers is most often to short-circuit debate and quickly build a critical mass of popular support. The contest for logical integrity of the argument is abandoned altother in exchange for political advantage. In a very ironic manner, by using such terms, the speaker indicates that he or she does not believe his audience intelligent or sophisticated enough to be able to evaluate his propositions on their merit. Often very effective.

Etymology: Twenty-first century revision of "Si Deus pro nobis quis Contra nos?" ("If God is for us, who can be against?")--Romans 8:31.

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