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The Offensive Thread

Discussion in 'Serious' started by VipersGratitude, 30 Mar 2018.

  1. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Unfortunately you've used more emotive and feeling words to define it, that's not to criticise you in anyway, it's just to point out that because hatred is emotion it can't be defined without referring to other feelings or emotions and those are entirely subjective.

    When NHS staff held a protest last month about underfunding were they displaying hatred towards the government? Some would say so, some would probably even welcome the chance to prevent such "hateful" protests.

    The same thing could be applied to persecution, we're going to prevent you from being critical towards the government because you're being negative, hostile or rejecting towards *insert political group of choice hear*

    Don't get me wrong as I'm not standing up for the right of people to incite hatred or persecution, what I'm trying to say is that (imo) it's open to abuse.
     
    Last edited: 1 Apr 2018
  2. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Depends. If NHS staff disapprove of the government's actions ("What they're doing is corrupt/stupid"), or call them names ("Jeremy Hunt is a c***") that's freedom of expletives expression. If they say that Jeremy Hunt should be hated --I guess what I mean by that is: societally cast out-- and ill-treated ("Jeremy Hunt is an enemy of the people" and "Jeremy Hunt should be denied services wherever he goes"), then I'd draw a line.

    Now this doesn't seem a big deal because Jeremy Hunt, like most government figures, is in a position of power, so very unlikely to end up a victim. But apply this to, say, single mums or homeless people: "Single mothers are a threat to society" or "Homeless people should be denied services wherever they go", you get the idea. Criticism of action or name calling is an expression of personal opinion; incitement is calling for people to be treated in an adverse or harmful manner, whether that is to be societally cast out, ill-treated or subjected to violence.

    I think that there is no ideal solution around the idea of incitement. Everything is basically just talk until some nutter acts on it, and how can you hold people responsible for the actions of some nutter? But bad ideas/ideology and sloppy thinking deserve to be challenged, because if they are not, they are just normalised and accepted.
     
    Last edited: 1 Apr 2018
  3. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Yes bad ideas/ideology and sloppy thinking deserve to be challenged but it shouldn't be the state who challenges it, it should be society, as if we allow the state to challenge it we allow those in power to subvert it for their own ends, we allow them to recategorise calling someone corrupt/stupid as "hateful".

    It would, i imagine, be fairly easy for someone in a position of power who doesn't like the idea of speaking truth to power that the truth you're talking about is persuading, encouraging, instigating, and/or pressuring someone to commit a crime, that you're advocating direct action.
     
  4. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    In the UK there has long been a negative right to free expression, save for the libel laws which I believe are a disgrace to the nation. However, the purpose of this thread wasn't to discuss legislation, but political correctness - not directed statements but the use of adjectives that relate to disability or abnormality whose use is increasingly taboo e.g. retarded, gay, or autistic.

    While I understand the offence they can cause, I do also believe that their insolent nature has a certain quality unmatched by other words, especially when used for comedic effect, be that in an actual stand-up routine or a meme. My fear is that, essentially due to the reach of the internet, everyone can now be vocally offended about their pet peccadillo rendering all adjectives relating to the human condition potentially offensive to someone and limiting the breadth of the language.
     
  5. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I think you maybe conflating political correctness with offensiveness, political correctness relates to language, policies, or measures directed at a group in society, offensiveness is when someone feels resentful, upset, or annoyed.

    The former relates to what society deems offensive, the later is what someone feels and while they appear similar they're not IMO as context plays a part, society is made up of a group of people involved in social interaction, it could be 2 people or hundreds and thousands, and as i mentioned earlier people normally adapt the language they use based on who they're speaking to.

    Language one person may find offensive may not be to another, it may actually ease your social interaction with them, take CrapBag's example of the N word, white person saying it is not okay, black person saying it is more acceptable probably for many complex reasons that I'm not really qualified to comment on.
     
  6. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Don't be overly pedantic.

    1 "Someone who is politically correct believes that language and actions that could be offensive to others, especially those relating to sex and race, should be avoided."
    2 "A politically correct word or expression is used instead of another one to avoid being offensive"
    ~ Cambridge Dictionary.

    The purpose of this thread is to determine whether or not curtailing offence language is appropriate and justified in these times where almost everything can be perceived to be offensive, or if rampant politically correct policing is limiting expression and interaction.
     
  7. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Sorry it wasn't my intention to be pedantic but I'm a little confused, you say this thread wasn't to discuss legislation and now you say it is to determine whether or not curtailing offensive language is appropriate, if it's not to discuss legislation and instead if we should curtail offensive language then I'm at a loss as to how you'd go about doing so. :confused:

    Either you pass legislation to curtail it or you allow society to moderate itself depending on whose involved in that society.

    Also the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary isn't what I'd personally use for definitions as it's really directed at learners of English, the OED gives a more extensive coverage of language IMO and it says of political correctness that it's "The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2018
  8. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    I'm not playing armchair hitler. This is simply a discussion as to whether or not politically correctness - as defined by civil interactions - is worth it.

    (Short answer. I'm in the middle of cooking)
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Watcha cooking? (I'm doing Spanish meatball stew with butterbeans and homemade bread.)

    (And how can you be overly pedantic? Especially on Bit-Tech? :p)
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2018
  10. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    These are my views and not the views or my employer or any company associated with me
    Going to be honest. I don't have the time to read through all of this but if i see
    You're probably going to get a temp ban. It's an idiotic term. It's like insulting someone over the way their face looks. An insult over something someone can't change is just bad. This whole politically correct argument in my opinion is BS as well. It's often used by people that want to be offensive as a cop out to say "oh what has the world come to, It's PC gone mad I tell you" instead of changing their ways and being mindful of peoples feelings which let's be honest, isn't asking for much is it? Then you get into the free speech argument. I think we can all agree that free speech is a good thing and something we should strive to keep. But most people want free speech on their terms. It's like the swearing filter on the forums. if it was fully up to me then I would turn it off for everything but things like racial and homosexual slurs but we don't because there are things the general public don't know.

    TLDR: If you use what is referenced in that quote then you're likely going to get a temp ban.
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2018
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  11. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    No you're not and i didn't intended for what i said to say you were, sorry that it did. :(

    I think the confusion comes from us having different definitions of what political correctness is, to me there's not really such a thing as i view the political part as relating to society, be that between two or more people, and the correctness being what is acceptable to say or do.

    As for if it's worth trying not to offend someone or a group of people i would say yes it is as when you don't you come across as a bit of a dick for not considering other people, knowingly doing so says more about the person doing it IMO.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Still don't know what people are cooking. I is disappoint. :(

    Back on topic, with regards to political correctness I try to adhere to netiquette rule no. 1: 'Don't be a dick.'
     
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  13. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Same thing I always eat due to ARFID - Chicken

    Like this :p

    Oh, mostly what you missed is how we collectively agreed that context is obviously essential concerning any communication

    I absolutely agree that insulting someone for something they can't change is abhorrent. I'm more concerned with adjectives whose meaning change over time, or through context. For example it's verboten to use the adjective that you're referring to, but the word "ugly" in the case of a mod (or the mod of a case) is perfectly acceptable - surely that's offensive to ugly people. Would they want to be associated with an acrylic/RGB monstrosity by way of the same descriptive word being used? The comedian Doug Stanhope has a great bit on this known as "The ugly woman who could sing". I'd link it, but don't want to suffer a knee-jerk reaction to this uncomfortable and controversial subject. I'm not advocating being free to insult anyone you want. The train of thought that led me to create this thread is a response to the fact modern life is basically walking on eggshells, because everyone is just dying to show how virtuous they are by being offended by other people. Then, the more I thought about it - mostly due to Pinker's Euphemism Treadmill - the more I was convinced that language policing is just a big waste of time.

    I agree it should be removed. Especially now that there are frequent, unredacted features on how to use power tools. There's exactly zero evidence that bad words fracture the mind, but plenty on hammers fracturing the hand.
     
  14. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    All communication is political. You need two people to do it, don't you? Yes you do. :eyebrow:

    Offence is implied in a direct insult, but when using related words in a different context the offence is inferred. The difference being that implication is a throwing arm, and inference is a catcher's mitt. So is it appropriate to lay the burden of self-policing on the person who isn't implying anything when the offence is inferred by the person choosing to be offended?

    You may recall that Stephen Fry was investigated by the Gardai for blasphemy last year. Do blasphemy laws have a place in modern society? It's the same idea - protecting the feelings of those who couldn't help but be indoctrinated in to a certain world view by policing all negative language relating to that world view. Times have changed, the idea of what is sacrosanct has changed, but structurally political correctness is no different than the concept of blasphemy.
     
  15. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I would say no as politics involves the process of making decisions about, or involving, a group of people, all communication is not political IMO as it rarely involves making decisions that effect the group.

    I understand you probably consider that to be semantics but i feel it's important to make that distinction as not doing so risks censoring what should be open and honest discussion about decisions that effect society.

    Just to add i strongly feel that the term "political correctness" is a derogatory term used by some people in an attempt to shutdown discussion on issues because they don't want things to change.
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2018
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  16. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Haven't you ever been in a relationship? :hehe:
    Politics is about power dynamics, and in my opinion, all communication has a political edge to it. Currently single, mind.... :worried:
    But now we've established that let's not get too hung up on the minutiae and instead get back to the discussion at hand

    EDIT 12th Apr: It looks like this thread has actually become topical
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2018
  17. Byron C

    Byron C No liability accepted as a result of this post

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    If this gets me a temp ban then so be it, but I'm not going to dance around the subject here.

    I originally posted this:

    Which was in response to another post, which you can find if you follow the links...

    In this case, as in many others, context is what matters. This was not said in a sarcastic or joking fashion; I do not find it amusing, and the use of stereotypes in such a negative way can not be construed as anything other than a slur.

    However: Offence is taken, not given. I take offence in the way that "autistic screeching" was used in this post and the way that it is used in many other places. And the fact that I can object to it and I can stand up and say "hey, that's not cool" does not automatically mean that people are no longer allowed to say/write it. You have the freedom to do and say whatever you want, short of inciting actual harm on others (and "incitement" is a sticky definition in of itself, as we've already seen), just as I have the freedom to think that you're a tool and ignore you (and please bear in mind that I mean "you" in a general sense).

    Contrast this with my reaction to the Mark Meecham story. Mark Meecham was recently found guilty of an offence under the Communications Act because of a video he posted as a joke. TL;DR: as a wind-up to his girlfriend, he posted a video in which he trained her pug to do a Nazi salute when he said "Sieg Heil"; at the start of the original video (google for "M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi") he explained that his other half thinks that her dog is always cute no matter what it does, so as a joke he'd train it to be the most horrible thing he could think of: a Nazi. He repeatedly uses the phrase "gas the Jews", and plays footage of one of Hitler's speeches. I watched the video and I laughed; I found it funny. I laughed a cute wee pug doing a Nazi salute on command. But it's clear to anyone how it can easily cause offence, even if those taking offence know full well that it's a joke and that the intention was not to cause offence. However being charged with a criminal offence is a IMO an over-reaction; the fact that the sentence was only an £800 fine instead of jail time doesn't diminish that.

    Don't misunderstand me: I'm not trying to say that you should be able to get away with, for example, calling for the death of all gay people under the guise of "It's just a joke, it's bantz mate" (on the other hand if you wanted to kill all humans then that's fine, because you'd be Bender). Hence drawing the line at the sticky definition of "incitement". Does that video constitute incitement? That's open to interpretation; but it would not be a stretch to say that stand up comics have got away with far worse than "M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi" without a criminal prosecution. Even Prince Harry went to a fancy dress party as a Nazi.

    This isn't an easy thing to get right from a legal point of view. On the one hand you can have people marching through the streets inciting hatred without impunity (see: EDL), and on the other hand you can face a criminal prosecution for posting a joke video or sending a sarcastic tweet.
     
  18. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    After starting this thread I got a lot of youtube suggestions on the topic of political correctness and offence. I'll write more later, but this video stood out:



    EDIT: As Georg mentions in the above video political correctness represents the politicisation of society. I think we can go further than that - I am typing this on a corporate-controlled communication platform. That's what all forums are, that's what facebook is, twitter, instagram, and any other number of social networking platforms. These days almost all other corporations use them.

    These platforms are the modern town square, with one important distinction. They are privately owned, rather than publicly owned, and the rules that govern them can be utterly arbitrary. Corporations want to appeal to the widest possible audience, hence sanitising language and, if you subscribe to the Sapir-Whorf theory, thought. It's why you only see four stars when I attempt to type the word "****". Beyond that, corporations in this wave of political correctness now also attempt to police certain modes of expression, per their ideological leaning. (This isn't a particular dig at Bit-tech, it's just the most convenient and relatable example).

    This leads to the question - As well-intentioned as political correctness is, is it corrosive to democratic society? After all, the modern IT landscape has led to almost all interactions within the electorate being subject to corporate sanctions. Corporations, who too, have their own political motivations and agendas.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2018
  19. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I want to answer but last time i tried i kept getting it wrong. ;)

    Seriously though, no, political correctness is not corrosive to a democratic society as there are ways to talk about sensitive subjects without causing offense.

    That's not to say everyone does so or that people with ulterior motives don't seize on what's being said to further their own goals but that doesn't mean being PC is corroding democracy in society, it means some people don't have the vocabulary, awareness, or perspicuity to be able to express themselves without causing offense, or that someone has what could be an endless list of ulterior motives that would only be discovered upon further examination.
     
  20. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    What is a sensitive subject?
    Who sets the standard on what is offensive?

    Political correctness, as far as I can tell, is an attempt to affect semantics by policing syntax - Which is why they are all subject to the Euphemism Treadmill.
     

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