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Meaner

March 14, 1993

Debate has fallen out of favor. Instead, our society now mistakenly sees personal feelings as a legitimate substitute for qualitative thought. In this philosophical vacuum, the only retort is one that hurts feelings; insult and invective as stand-in for intellectual engagement.

How can there be any doubt that susceptible minds are influenced when displays of ill temper are rewarded by laughter? How could such an appropriate and obvious maxim as "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" disappear from public consciousness?

DAN GERRITY

Los Angeles

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