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Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

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Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by witchfinder on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:12 pm

First topic message reminder :

French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" has published pictures of the prophet Mohamed as a cartoon character in its latest issue, the magazine also stated that the prophet was the editor in chief for that particular issue, the result is the petrol bombing and destruction of the magazines offices in Paris.

It is strictly forbidden in Islam for anyone to make or create images of the prophet Mohamed, to do so is regarded by Muslims to be disrespectful and is an insult, therefore one has to ask - why ?, why did this magazine feel it necessary to knowingly and deliberately upset a section of French society. ?

Personaly I am a none believer, I am from a Christian background, and though I will frequently criticise Islam, the Catholic Church, Jewish hard liners and American bible bashers, I would not go so far as to purposely disrespect or poke fun at someone elses beliefs, this is called tolerance.

I am glad we live in the United Kingdom where the preaching or publishing or promotion of religious hatred and intolerance is forbiden by law - in some nations you are allowed to preach hatred and hide behind the wall called "freedom of speech", in some nations there is no hiding place.

We have seen the reactions of some Muslims before when this has happened, it begs the question - was this magazine looking for publicity knowing they would attract attention, perhaps their sales figures were down.





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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:55 pm

Yes I think he needs help.

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:04 pm

stuart torr wrote:So Bellatori to get all the advantages of some foreigners just wear a turban all the time and claim to be a sikh, then if you go out on your motorbike no crash helmet either great life eh.

It was a bad mistake that opened the flood gates to special pleading. I think that the law should be even handed... NO SPECIAL CASES... and that applies to all laws that impact on human rights.

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:45 pm

polyglide wrote:Atheism is not a belief it is a lack of belief.

Or perhaps a reluctance to choose.  There are several permutations.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:50 am

repeating yourself OW? seen that post elsewhere i'm sure I have.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Heretic on Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:46 am

oftenwrong wrote:
polyglide wrote:Atheism is not a belief it is a lack of belief.

Or perhaps a reluctance to choose.  There are several permutations.

I thought that was an agnostic.

:->>

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:56 am

Very true Heretic Cool 
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:44 am

Rather depends upon whether you think that the words "reluctance" and "inability" have the same meaning. But semantics are in the eye of the reader.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:22 am

Thesaurus=Reluctance= aversion,backwardness,disinclination, dislike,disrelish,distaste,hesitancy,indisposition,loathing,repugnance unwillingness. Dictionary=Reluctance= Averse,loath,offering opposition,dictionary states if one is averse then you turn away with dislike. loath the dictionary states having a repugnance or disgust or loathing for.an agnostic = proffessing the inability to know or the ignorance of,especially in religion.theol,unknown or unknowable theory of god,compared to or distinguished fro atheism.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:57 pm

You can have the ability but a reluctance to use it sa those who have a brain but know not what it is for.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:24 pm

You see PG, many posters do not wish to use their brain when conversing with yourself, that is the problem.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:05 pm

Wrong answer.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Shirina on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:42 pm

oftenwrong wrote:
polyglide wrote:Atheism is not a belief it is a lack of belief.

Or perhaps a reluctance to choose.  There are several permutations.

You don't choose your beliefs, OW. At least I never did.

I never woke up and said, "Today, I'm going to force myself to believe in the goodness of the Republican party" for instance. Belief is usually something that creeps up on a person over time through evidence and, unfortunately, a bit of brainwashing and indoctrination. Belief is often a matter of getting swept up in the tide of popular opinion - how else do you think the guy who "invented" the Pet Rock could make millions on his lame idea?
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Heretic on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:16 pm

Shirina wrote:You don't choose your beliefs, OW. At least I never did.

I never woke up and said, "Today, I'm going to force myself to believe in the goodness of the Republican party" for instance. Belief is usually something that creeps up on a person over time through evidence and, unfortunately, a bit of brainwashing and indoctrination. Belief is often a matter of getting swept up in the tide of popular opinion - how else do you think the guy who "invented" the Pet Rock could make millions on his lame idea?
 
The beliefs I try hardest to get rid of are the ones indoctrinated into me by processes that would be illegal if the advertising industry didn't have so much political muscle.
 
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Shirina on Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:22 pm

Heretic wrote:
Shirina wrote:You don't choose your beliefs, OW. At least I never did.

I never woke up and said, "Today, I'm going to force myself to believe in the goodness of the Republican party" for instance. Belief is usually something that creeps up on a person over time through evidence and, unfortunately, a bit of brainwashing and indoctrination. Belief is often a matter of getting swept up in the tide of popular opinion - how else do you think the guy who "invented" the Pet Rock could make millions on his lame idea?
 
The beliefs I try hardest to get rid of are the ones indoctrinated into me by processes that would be illegal if the advertising industry didn't have so much political muscle.
 
Heretic

Same here.

For the past several years, I've found myself existing on the very edge of society - so far on the edge that I have the ability to be on the outside looking in, an observer without being a participant.

The ability to do this has caused me to shake loose a lot of beliefs pushed into us by society, and yeah, advertizing is a good example. I have said before that the marketing industry is currently waging a psychological war against the population by manipulating people into spending their money - not by showcasing solid products but by subtle forms of mind-bending. Now advertizing has grown so intrusive that I refuse to watch any advert if I can help it. I record everything onto a DVR and fast forward through every ad.

Perhaps my position in society - or lack thereof - makes me less susceptible to the mind tricks advetizers like to play. For instance, I have no one to impress, no one to brag to, no image to uphold and thus being made to feel like I must have something to be accepted, to be "cool," or because people will think less of me if I don't have it simply doesn't work on me.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:35 pm

Exactly Shirina, I do believe that I am the same where I live too, I have no-one to impress or show off too or feel cool too, I live on my own with my pet pooch,and as long as we are ok, the snobs that surround me can think what they like.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Freemason on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:57 am

Your beliefs are based on what you are able to consider and the extent of your knowledge.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:20 pm

Aren't other contributors referring to what might be called an "instinctive" belief?
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:44 pm

Everyone chooses either to believe or not to believe anything that they have to consider or alternatively ignore.



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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Heretic on Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:33 pm

Advertising is a bugbear of mine and has been for quite some time but I am beginning to think it benign in some instances. Advertising is currently being used to provide free services to us all. I know that the advertisers are just there to generate more profits for themselves. A few of the things I am thinking about are Project Gutenberg that supplies free out of copyright books in text files, Linux is a free operating system and environment, YouTube, The Metro (a free newspaper I get on the bus, It has 3 Soduko puzzles that I have just enough time to complete before I arrive in town), Our search engines are funded by advertising and so are our browsers. There are other free products out there such as freeware (free software) and copyright free images and sound libraries but these manage for the most part without advertising.

I can see that depending on what is funding and what it is advertising that advertising itself is not of itself either good or evil. What is unacceptable is when they use dishonest techniques to worm their way into our consciousness's or when it targets children.

Maybe if we stop taking our children to MacDonald's until they stop advertising on kids TV then they might be forced into a more ethical form of advertising or a less ethical one. Which do you think they'll try first?

We need to be forever vigilant when advertising is targeting us but advertising is not automatically bad. Having said that you should not inflict it on yourself needlessly. The advertising you do spot is not the problem, it's the advertising that you don't spot that is the problem.

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:17 pm

It is an unfortunate fact that in todays world you cannot beleive much of what you hear, or see, there are means to deceive in may ways due to present day technology.

The best way is to handle everything that can be handled and always keep in mind , if it looks or sounds too good to be true then it usually is.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Heretic on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:07 pm

polyglide wrote:The best way is to handle everything that can be handled and always keep in mind , if it looks or sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

Like "life after death" if you put this life on hold.

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:23 pm

There is no way you can put life on hold.

Life will go on at the same pace whatever is involved.

Even were I not a Christian, I would still not believe that life on earth is consistant with one birth after another and one death after another with no end to it.

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:24 pm

Very Happy Good point, Heretic.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Shirina on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:55 pm

Heretic wrote:Advertising is a bugbear of mine and has been for quite some time but I am beginning to think it benign in some instances. Advertising is currently being used to provide free services to us all. I know that the advertisers are just there to generate more profits for themselves. A few of the things I am thinking about are Project Gutenberg that supplies free out of copyright books in text files, Linux is a free operating system and environment, YouTube, The Metro (a free newspaper I get on the bus, It has 3 Soduko puzzles that I have just enough time to complete before I arrive in town), Our search engines are funded by advertising and so are our browsers. There are other free products out there such as freeware (free software) and copyright free images and sound libraries but these manage for the most part without advertising.

I'm so sick of advertizing that I can't even watch television anymore. The fact that it's the same ads over and over and over again only makes it worse. I'm tired of car insurance ads ... and health insurance and fire insurance and flood insurance and alien abduction insurance (sure why not?). It's insurance everywhere you look (and unlike most Americans I can actually spell "insurance" correctly as it is NOT "ensurance."

Now I record everything I might want to see on DVR then watch it later with my trusty fast-forward button.

I am noticing now how ads on the internet are starting to disable the volume controls so that you can't mute them. You have to mute it through your computer instead. So I'm waiting for the day when cable companies won't give you DVRs with fast-forward buttons on them so you can't zip through the ads.

Even here in the US, when there is an extreme weather bulletin or some other emergency that goes onto the emergency broadcast system, an ad will NOT be interupted. Thus even if there is a tornado bearing down on your city, you won't find out about it until you have been appropriately bashed in the head with two or three more auto insurance commercials.

Heretic wrote:I can see that depending on what is funding and what it is advertising that advertising itself is not of itself either good or evil. What is unacceptable is when they use dishonest techniques to worm their way into our consciousness's or when it targets children.

It's all about making a buck, and the more bucks you make, the more revered you are by a loud and vocal subset of the US population. If you're wealthy, then you are above reproach. Thus the advertizers can do whatever they want. They're only prevented from telling outright lies. If we're not getting slammed with auto insurance commercials, the next most popular ad is for prescription drugs. Not long ago, it was illegal for pharma companies to advertize their drugs on television because no one wanted to see a rash of self-diagnoses or for patients showing up at the doctor's proclaiming, "I NEED this drug!"

Well, that wisdom was flushed down the toilet some years back and now the airwaves are positively infested with drug ads - and they are long and boring and spend about 70% of the time listing their side effects. Now, because of people running to their doctors to get the drugs, there is another very popular ad type being seen now: Lawyers telling people that if they've used X drug or Y drug, they might be eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit with a large financial compensation. Oh I wish we could go back to the days when only aspirin and cold medicines were ever advertized.

Heretic wrote:Maybe if we stop taking our children to MacDonald's until they stop advertising on kids TV then they might be forced into a more ethical form of advertising or a less ethical one. Which do you think they'll try first?

Boycots never work because a) giant companies like McDonald's never lose enough money to justify a change in policy (which might cost them more money than the boycot) and b) you can never get enough people to make that sacrifice, so it's not as though McDonald's restaurants will ever find themselves empty and devoid of customers.

In truth, I'm rather glad boycots don't work because they can just as easily work against our ideology. For instance, here in the US last year or so, fundie Christians organized a boycot of a group of businesses (including McDonald's) for refusing to stop being fair to homosexuals. In other words, the fundies wanted those businesses to start discriminating based on sexual orientation. The most they ever got on board with their boycot was just under a million people, and even assuming every one of them honored their pledge, there is no telling how many of them ever used those businesses in the first place. Well, a million isn't even 1% of the US population and the CEOs of said businesses pretty much told the Christians to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Fortunately that boycot failed abysmally.

Heretic wrote:We need to be forever vigilant when advertising is targeting us but advertising is not automatically bad. Having said that you should not inflict it on yourself needlessly. The advertising you do spot is not the problem, it's the advertising that you don't spot that is the problem.

Actually, I'd prefer not to spot it. I'm tired of having it shoved in my face everywhere I look. Can't even watch television these days without at least two of the corners occupied by what the channel will be showing next and later tonight.

I agree, though, that it takes a degree of vigilance, but even more important is self-discipline to not run out and buy things you don't need just because an ad tells you that you just absolutely have to possess it ... and NOW! And if you feel really compelled to buy it, well, that should give you a moment's pause to think why ... because you might be under the influence of psychological manipulation, something ads really excel at.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Heretic on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:54 pm

One thing I do with my buying decisions is to wait , normally about three weeks, before I implement the decision and actually buy the item. I actually have a fair amount of money at the moment as the result of an insurance payout but I have lived my entire adult life on low wages and have had to think about spending every penny. Delaying buying decisions should be a way of life, it helps vastly reducing any need for credit (most of the time to zero) and helps you always have what you need but not always what you want and I think that is healthy.

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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by boatlady on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:33 pm

I'm revisiting this thread because it seems maybe a suitable place to explore some thoughts I've been having about the thoughtless, unconscious prejudice and racism that seems to form the background to so many people's lives (possibly also including mine).

A few years ago, I got into a huge row with some people I know because within the group there was a sort of culture of telling racist and sexist jokes in a quite casual and relaxed sort of way. When I challenged this, saying that I found the practice offensive everyone said they thought I should lighten up. Eventually, following a series of increasingly difficult conversations, I realised that I have a choice - I don't have to associate with people whose casual conversation offends me - and terminated my contact with that particular group of people.

Over the years since then, I've often thought about the nature of this casual and even unconscious racism and prejudice, and how it maybe allows and encourages actual incidents of abuse and harm against others.

The prevalence of 'spastic' jokes in some groups, for example - I wonder how that would correlate with the statistics of disability related crime?
The cartoon depiction of a Muslim with backpack and bomb; jokes about Jews' noses; giggling about women's various interesting body parts - all perhaps examples of the use of humour to depersonalise and dehumanise a particular group or class of people.

Once in your mind you have denied a particular group the same human value you give yourself and your family and friends, is it then easier to take the step to inflict harm on members of that group? Was that part of the dynamic in Nazi Germany and in the more recent genocides in Africa?

The issue arose again for me this weekend, with an elderly lady who is a friend of my mum. Within 5 minutes this dear lady came out with three separate comments based entirely on prejudice and purporting to be humorous. (a comment about State school pupils having head lice; one about all Chinese people eating dogs, and finally something about Polish people killing swans and barbecuing them in the public parks)
When I signalled that I find this kind of comment rather offensive and unnecessary, and tried to challenge her on the factual basis for her comments - the response was to say - 'but of course it's just a joke'.
This respectable, animal loving Englishwoman is prepared to believe that people she has never met have a set of habits and personal traits that she finds repugnant - just on the basis of prejudice - and was quite taken aback to learn that anyone might find that type of prejudice offensive in any way.

It may indeed be that my thoughts on this topic are a bit extreme, but I thought I'd just put them out there, along with an interesting short piece I found on the good old internet on this very theme. The blog post and the comments by 'BOB' following sort of nicely put both sides, so I thought people might like to read them.
http://humansareweird.com/2013/03/27/racist-humour-yay-or-nay/
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:42 pm

Some of the attitudes complained of above by boatlady are, I believe, a direct result of the typical British newspaper's tone. Deprecating various groups of people is routine, and it's not really surprising that some readers will take this to be a majority opinion when it may simply be the prejudice of an individual writer.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Penderyn on Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:21 pm

In my experience, every racist and Nazi scumbag I've ever met believed itself to be hugely humorous and witty. We should test their sense of humour by kicking out their teeth, laughing merrily the while.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by boatlady on Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:09 pm

Actually, I don't really worry too much about out and out racists of the kind I think you're referring to, Penderyn - after all, they're out there, consciously holding their abhorrent views and we are of course free, as you so eloquently put it, to
test their sense of humour by kicking out their teeth, laughing merrily the while..



Where I get confused and quite worried, is when ordinary perfectly nice people are quite unconsciously making quite racist or prejudiced remarks or sharing 'jokes' based on something they may have heard on the news or read in the daily press, which, because they haven't bothered to think about it they assume is true.

I'm thinking about for example the media hysteria we saw in the wake of 9/11, which resulted in the 'knowledge' somehow becoming general that anyone of an arabic appearance was probably a terrorist or at least had dispatched several of his female relations by way of 'honour' killings.
A joke that gained currency at the time was the one about being told to come to a party dressed to kill - so you went with a Muslim head covering and Arabic robes.
Lots of people enjoyed a happy laugh at that one - mostly quite nice people who are good neighbours, kind to animals and small people - pillars of their local communities; and because the racial stereotype was presented in the form of a joke, of course challenging it was unacceptable and showed you had no sense of humour.

Then of course the stereotype becomes current - it becomes a 'fact' that people of Arabic appearance are sinister and also rather funny - not at all like us, so we don't have to worry about hurting their feelings, or treating them unjustly, and once you reach that point with people who can be identified as different (in this case by the colour of their skin and possibly the way they dress), it's perhaps a short step to not being that bothered if they come to harm, either by your actions or by you failing to report the harmful actions of another.

I'm writing this in my lunch break at work, so haven't really the time to get into it properly just now - maybe come back to it later, because I do think it's a complex question and worth giving a bit of thought to.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:20 pm

Lunch is for wimps.

That sort of thing? (Just joking, so it's alright).
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by boatlady on Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:08 pm

lol! I didn't have any food, though, so I'm still quite butch
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:36 pm

Boatlady i'm afraid you are so right with todays society though,it is becoming more relaxed regarding racism as it was in the 70s on programmes like the comedians when they use to be on,alas unless you speak up against it it will get worse.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Shirina on Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:14 pm

Well, not to be the Mary Contrary here, but we do have to watch ourselves. I agree that overt racism is something we shouldn't tolerate, but, eh ... I'm not overly concerned about jokes. Going along with your comparison of Nazi Germany, just remember that making jokes about Hitler could land you in prison - so is that the route we want to go? There is such a thing as taking ourselves too seriously, you know, and I feel that the spirit in which something is said is far more important than the words themselves. "It's not what you say but how you say it." Even positive words like "thank you" and "I'm sorry" can be twisted to mean something completely different with merely a change in inflection and tone of voice.

More emphasis, I think, should be placed on the spirit. Are those people repeating the jokes truly hateful and prejudiced against those they're joking about?

Actually, let me put it to you this way. When I first came to the US, I was in a small town - a region that was very Germanic and very Nordic. Hence my physical appearance was a major anomaly. For over six months, I couldn't make a friend. In act, few people would even talk to me. If not for a series of fortuitious happenstances, I may never had made friends there. One person who was actually overtly hostile towards me and spurred a few others to behave the same way actually became one of my best friends. So I asked him - what was it all about? Why was everyone being so aloof and stand-off-ish?

I figured it was just the usual "new kid" initiation, but it wasn't. He told me that a lot of people were uncomfortable in my presence. They couldn't really peg my nationality or my ethnicity, and they had NO idea what to say to me. They were terrified that they would say something offensive, ask the wrong question, or *ahem* repeat the wrong joke. They had no idea how to behave around me, and they didn't want to get into trouble if I went running to a teacher claiming people were making racist or ethnic jokes that I found offensive (especially if they were said in jest, without malice or hatred). I couldn't even get a date in those six months because everyone just assumed I would only date people "of my own culture" (yeah, as if there were so many Indian-Filipino-Brits running around).

So ... instead of taking the risk, they just ignored me.

I suppose the point here is that we need to find a line between being prejudiced and racist ... and poking some innocent fun. Where that line is, exactly, I can't really say. But I know from experience that people with differing ethnicities and nationalities can be ostracized due to our penchant for strict political correctness. None of my friends - or even my enemies - were actually racists or disliked me because I wasn't a Nordic or Germanic blonde. The aloofness I experienced in the beginning all stemmed from the fear of tripping over one's own tongue. Therefore, it was simply easier for them to maintain their existing friendships and go about life as normal without including me in what they did.

Sure, there were the occasional "off color" joke about women, gays, Polish, blondes, fat people, Christians, Jews, Hindus (somehow worshiping cows crept up more often than you might think), you name it. No one is really immune, and I'm sure I could google up an entire joke book filled with "racial" jokes about white people. What I don't want to see is the same kind of kneejerk rage that you see within the Muslim community when someone makes a joke about Muhammad or dares to depict him. We do need the breathing room to allow everyone to exercise their freedom of speech. If someone is disgustingly racist, if someone is constantly telling racial or ethnic jokes, if someone seems to harbor a deeply held prejudice just beneath the surface, then I would cut ties, of course.

But we have to be careful that we don't end up a politically correct police state. When blacks first began demanding to be called "African-Amreicans," I warned that it would spiral out of control, and it is. If blacks can't be called blacks, then whites should be called European-Americans and I should be an Asian-American. Hell, let's hyphenate ourselves to death so I can be a Asian-Indian-Filipino-British-American-Female. No, no, not "female" but a wimmyn because we have to eradicate the word "man" from the English language to avoid sounding sexist. So it's no longer a "manhole cover" but a "personhole cover" and it's no longer a cockpit but a flight deck; we should change the word "history" because it sounds like "his story" and by no means should women accept the fact that "man" is in our word, so let's make it womyn or wimmin or some other phrase.

Out of control ... just like I said.  pokenest 
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by boatlady on Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:41 pm

You're right, of course, that the thing can be taken to ridiculous lengths, and that intention and context are just as important as the actual words spoken.


However, there is a sense in which jokes can be used as a means to distance ourselves from other groups, maybe to belittle and dehumanise the members of those groups. Some of the racial jokes in circulation, I guess I would want to say, have been coined with very malicious intent, and are designed to enter the national consciousness as embodying 'truths', so that the more they are repeated, the more the central message (that women, blacks, muslims, disabled people) are 'different' and somehow less human is inseminated and becomes a part of common understanding (which is a bit like 'common sense' and don't get me started on that)

An example close to my heart is the prevalence of jokes about people with disabilities. There is a long list of pejorative words and phrases in English and probably other languages that are used to refer to people with various disabilities - moron (used to be a medical term), feeble minded (also a medical descriptor) crippled, spastic; I could go on. You would immediately know, if anyone used one of those words about you that you were being insulted. If you can make a 'joke' using one of those descriptors, you are automatically identifying a member of an inferior sub-group - deformed, ugly, laughable and somehow less human than the rest of us. I don't think it's any accident that in cases where crimes have been committed against disabled people (up to and including murder) the perpetrators will use this kind of 'humour' and these kinds of pejorative terms. Disability hate crime is on the rise in England, and some despicable and violent acts have been committed against vulnerable people - partly, I would argue, enabled by the common use of language that conveys contempt for those vulnerable individuals.

I agree that it's easy to get hysterical about language and that too much preoccupation with the words being used can distract from the common human business of getting along with each other in a complex world; however, I wouldn't want to dismiss the power of prejudice as expressed in common language and 'jokes' to colour our attitudes - I think it's really important to think about what we are saying and to try to avoid giving unnecessary offence.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:18 pm

Precisely ladies,the main point is to make sure you think properly before saying anything that people may take offence at.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:06 pm

polyglide wrote:You can have the ability but a reluctance to use it sa those who have a brain but know not what it is for.

I'm fairly certain it's not for guessing that magic is the root cause for things that we have ample evidence occurred naturally. or for indulging bronze age superstitions, but then I clearly lack your prodigious intellect.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:08 pm

polyglide wrote:It is an unfortunate fact that in todays world you cannot beleive much of what you hear, or see, there are means to deceive in may ways due to present day technology.

The best way is to handle everything that can be handled and always keep in mind , if it looks or sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

You mean like un-evidenced claims that you'll live forever in eternal bliss?
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by polyglide on Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:04 am

Yes but based on a firm foundation.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:49 pm

Depends what firm foundation who we are believing in PG DOES IT NOT, if we are believing in the big man,then the foundations are not that firm are they,only for believers.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:18 pm

polyglide wrote:Yes but based on a firm foundation.

That's just a subjective opinion, you can't throw a stone in the air without it hitting a theist who claims his opinion of what his god wants is the only right one. Your own opinion may seem like a firm foundation for indulging such beliefs to you, they do not to me. As for my own opinion I have through the years found it to be so fallible I insist on checking it against all available evidence.
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

Post by stuart torr on Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:42 pm

Do you not find that EVIDENCE for the existence of god nil Sheldon? Cool Cool
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Re: Freedom of expression vs. freedom from insults

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