I would like to praise a reader for his moral action: specifically, that of criticizing and correcting an immoral act performed by me.
In my last post, I summarized and criticized two arguments by Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga. Unfortunately, I had only read some brief commentaries on Plantinga’s two arguments, rather than the arguments themselves (which are longer and require a greater investment of my time). Because of this, I unknowingly misrepresented Plantinga’s argument.
Christian reader cartesian commented to condemn my intellectual laziness. He also explained where my summary of Plantinga’s views went wrong, and linked to full copies of Plantinga’s actual work, so I could read it.
Nobody who studies complex topics can read everything they comment on. We all rely on summaries and Cliffs Notes, while also reading many of the original works as time allows. We try to understand the original arguments and criticize them fairly, and we depend on others to correct us if we are wrong.
But I think in this case, my post was too hasty. I already had copies of the works I was discussing, and I refer to them often. So there is no excuse for the fact that I had only skimmed parts of them.
I suspect my intellectual laziness in this case was immoral in that there are many and strong reasons for action to inhibit that kind of intellectual laziness (using tools like condemnation). Those reasons for action to condemn intellectual laziness are all the desires that are thwarted when the pursuit of truth is corrupted. Truth helps to fulfill desires. For example, your desires for health are better fulfilled by scientific treatment than by an ignorant witchdoctor.
I suspect cartesian’s comments were moral because there are many and strong reasons for action to condemn intellectual laziness and enable a more successful pursuit of truth, as cartesian did. Cartesian condemned my intellectual laziness, and that influences me and others to avoid intellectual laziness in the future. He also enabled a more succesful pursuit of truth by going out of his way to explain Plantinga’s arguments correctly and link to copies of Plantinga’s original work.
So thank you, cartesian, for your moral action. Also, I apologize for my immoral action. I will (gladly) read Plantinga’s original work and then respond to it.
I have corrected my earlier post. I hope it no longer contains egregious errors.