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Discussion of upsetting incidents

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5 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

Which is why it's alway worth taking a breath before posting and reviewing the content, which is not something I am always successful in doing.

A few guiding lines for a happy life :

 

God gave us two ears and one mouth, it is wise to use them in the same proportions.

 

Empty vessels make the most noise

 

Great minds think alike, but remember, 'fools seldom differ'.

 

If you tell the truth you don't need a good memory

 

Never regret anything that made you smile

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3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

A few guiding lines for a happy life :

 

God gave us two ears and one mouth, it is wise to use them in the same proportions.

 

Empty vessels make the most noise

 

Great minds think alike, but remember, 'fools seldom differ'.

 

If you tell the truth you don't need a good memory

 

Never regret anything that made you smile

You are missing a bit... god gave us two ears, one mouth, and ten fingers, it is wise to use them in the same proportions (if you are a keyboard warrior!)

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3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

A few guiding lines for a happy life :

 

God gave us two ears and one mouth, it is wise to use them in the same proportions.

 

Empty vessels make the most noise

 

Great minds think alike, but remember, 'fools seldom differ'.

 

If you tell the truth you don't need a good memory

 

Never regret anything that made you smile

I agree with the general idea...

God, hmmmm, not for me

 

Great minds agree when their right or in fact stupid minds as long as the facts are right.

 

I regret a fair few things that still make me laugh, beer is often involved 

 

:)

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7 hours ago, frahkn said:

No, it would be nice/convenient if it did but it doesn't. Freedom of speech is absolute or it is nothing.

 

I know this is hard - don't think it's any easier for me but in the end it's true. 

 

Some people will exercise responsibility, some won't, some will share my views and some will have views which are absolutely repugnant to me. Either they can freely share these or they cannot, in the later case, who decides? I would only trust one person and since it can't be me, I would rather have free speech but then it has to be free.

Firstly, 'freedom of speech' is neither absolute not unrestricted. The law - rightly in my book - places limits on what can be said, especially in respect of 'protected characteristics'. In particular, it must not be said in a way that a reasonable person might consider to be threatening or liable to create a breach of the peace or be an incitement to illegal activity.

 

Secondly, we have to be clear what is meant by 'freedom of speech'. It is not unlimited and does not necessary include absolutely everything that is said (or written or email or twittered etc) It pertains to the right to express views in general terms about matters of common interest, not abusive personal remarks about or to an individual, justified on the basis of 'freedom of speech'. It may be permissible to stand on a soap box at Speakers Corner and express a view that all Cornishmen (but not women) are a superior race and everyone else would bow down to them, but if I then went up to you at the next lock and demanded, with menaces, that you back out of the lock that you have just started to pass through so that I can assert my right of superiority, doing so in inelegant (aka abusive) language, then there is no defence in law that I know about, at least in this country - it seems to be different on the other side of the Pond, judging by selective reporting of tweets from a certain residence in Washington.

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37 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

Firstly, 'freedom of speech' is neither absolute not unrestricted. The law - rightly in my book - places limits on what can be said, especially in respect of 'protected characteristics'.

 

 

Of course, many freedoms are restricted by law - different freedoms under different legislations. The fact that the exercise of a particular freedom is illegal in the place where I happen to be is neither "natural" or "inevitable". Laws are mutable and change with the times (amongst other things).

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2 hours ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

before the modern day term was born: 'person of colour'.

 

No, I'm afraid "person of colour" is offensive now, or so I have been very firmly told. 

 

The term we must now use is "non-white". This apparently, is not offensive to persons of... erm.... 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

No, I'm afraid "person of colour" is offensive now, or so I have been very firmly told. 

 

The term we must now use is "non-white". This apparently, is not offensive to persons of... erm.... 

 

 

I’m not white, I’m pink with delicate hues of light brown (dirt).

 

Anyway this is the problem with all this woke BS - whereas the likes of Martin Luther King was all about judging people by their character / actions, not their skin colour, now the first thing you have to do is to compartmentalise everyone into groups of skin colour, race, religion, gender etc and then make sure you use the right words to reflect the groups. In other words, it is mandatory to discriminate on grounds of colour, gender etc.

Edited by nicknorman
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5 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

No, I'm afraid "person of colour" is offensive now, or so I have been very firmly told. 

 

The term we must now use is "non-white". This apparently, is not offensive to persons of... erm.... 

 

 

I was told this by a person of colour about 30 years ago:

 

When I was born, I was black,
When I grew up, I was black,
When I'm sick, I'm black,
When I go out in the sun, I'm black,
When I'm cold, I'm black,
When I die, I'll be black,

But you,

When you're born, you're pink,
When you grow up, you're white,
When you're sick, you're green,
When you go out in the sun, you go red,
When you're cold, you go blue,
When you die, you'll be purple,

And you have the nerve to call me colored!

Edited by rusty69
Found a better version
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21 hours ago, nicknorman said:

You chose to be offended. You could have chosen not to be.

Utter bollox. If someone is genuinely offended they have no choice in the matter. That's the point.

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16 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

No, I'm afraid "person of colour" is offensive now, or so I have been very firmly told. 

 

The term we must now use is "non-white". This apparently, is not offensive to persons of... erm.... 

 

 

I must keep up at the back then, I heard the term used in the house of commons only weeks ago. Just goes to show, even the puritanical amongst us are at risk of being branded as racists. 

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15 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

In most circumstances I find that no special word is required to describe people who happen not to have two caucasian parents.

 

I call them "people". 

So do I or occasionally folk.

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1 hour ago, Machpoint005 said:

Utter bollox. If someone is genuinely offended they have no choice in the matter. That's the point.

No I absolutely disagree and this is a very important point. Being offended is absolutely a choice, even if it might be a slightly subliminal one. Nothing is fundamentally offensive, it is just a behaviour you learn (you learn to be offended about some things, not offended by other things). You can learn different behaviours if you want, and of course what is “offensive” is time- and region-variant, not set in stone by some empiric laws of nature.

 

If you take the view that anyone has the right to be offended about anything they claim to be offensive (genuinely held, or put on) it becomes a powerful weapon to silence any dissenting views and thus ultimately it “doesn’t work”.

 

As I said, offence is purely in the eye of the receiver and this is clearly proven because for any given trigger, some people may find it offensive whilst some other people don’t. According to the choices they made.

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17 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

If you take the view that anyone has the right to be offended about anything they claim to be offensive (genuinely held, or put on) it becomes a powerful weapon to silence any dissenting views and thus ultimately it “doesn’t work”.

 

I don't. I just think that sometimes the offended party is not making any choice, whether conscious or subliminal.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

No I absolutely disagree and this is a very important point. Being offended is absolutely a choice, even if it might be a slightly subliminal one. Nothing is fundamentally offensive, it is just a behaviour you learn (you learn to be offended about some things, not offended by other things). You can learn different behaviours if you want, and of course what is “offensive” is time- and region-variant, not set in stone by some empiric laws of nature.

 

If you take the view that anyone has the right to be offended about anything they claim to be offensive (genuinely held, or put on) it becomes a powerful weapon to silence any dissenting views and thus ultimately it “doesn’t work”.

 

As I said, offence is purely in the eye of the receiver and this is clearly proven because for any given trigger, some people may find it offensive whilst some other people don’t. According to the choices they made.

I kind of agree but sometimes when someone is offensive to us it's because they are drawing attention to us that we've done something to hurt them. If we just ignore them then perhaps we won't learnt anything.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Rambling Boater said:

sometimes when someone is offensive to us it's because they are drawing attention to us that we've done something to hurt them

 

Like being foreign, or black, or gay, or of short stature, or bald?

 

(for the avoidance of doubt, I am none of the above).

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Just now, Machpoint005 said:

 

Like being foreign, or black, or gay, or of short stature, or bald?

 

(for the avoidance of doubt, I am none of the above).

Well I am gay. I have on occasion had some fairly unpleasant things said to me but when that happened, I didn’t curl up into a ball of “being offended”. I felt sorry for the stupidity of the perpetrator and yes perhaps a bit angry, but not offended. Because being offended is a rather negative and pointless thing and I choose not to waste energy on it.

7 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

I don't. I just think that sometimes the offended party is not making any choice, whether conscious or subliminal.

 

 

So why is it then, if not a choice, that some people will find a specific thing offensive whilst others don’t. The thing itself is proven not to be intrinsically offensive as some people find it not so. It is only the impact on the receiver, and only one person is in control of how that person behaves in response - that person. 

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1 minute ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Like being foreign, or black, or gay, or of short stature, or bald?

 

(for the avoidance of doubt, I am none of the above).

Obviously people shouldn't be offensive for the reasons you give but I can see why some people grow up to mistrust a category of people based on appearance.

 

For example, if you were black and kept being beaten up by white people at school it might take a while to learn to trust white people (even thogh logically every human should be assessed individually).

 

Not just people either . Some are scared of all animals which look like dogs just because they got bitten by one in the past .

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29 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

No I absolutely disagree and this is a very important point. Being offended is absolutely a choice, even if it might be a slightly subliminal one. Nothing is fundamentally offensive, it is just a behaviour you learn (you learn to be offended about some things, not offended by other things). You can learn different behaviours if you want, and of course what is “offensive” is time- and region-variant, not set in stone by some empiric laws of nature.

 

If you take the view that anyone has the right to be offended about anything they claim to be offensive (genuinely held, or put on) it becomes a powerful weapon to silence any dissenting views and thus ultimately it “doesn’t work”.

 

As I said, offence is purely in the eye of the receiver and this is clearly proven because for any given trigger, some people may find it offensive whilst some other people don’t. According to the choices they made.

I doubt your second paragraph; I think anyone does have the right to be offended by anything. What they don't have the right to do, is expect me to care (or possibly even notice) whether they are offended or not.

 

Being offended is a learnt behaviour but learnt behaviours can be very strong - I think this often leads to a lack of apparent choice for the person involved.

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1 hour ago, Machpoint005 said:

In most circumstances I find that no special word is required to describe people who happen not to have two caucasian parents.

 

I call them "people". 

Funny how those who think like you do invent the words that you say aren't required.

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2 hours ago, nicknorman said:

No I absolutely disagree and this is a very important point. Being offended is absolutely a choice, even if it might be a slightly subliminal one. Nothing is fundamentally offensive, it is just a behaviour you learn (you learn to be offended about some things, not offended by other things). You can learn different behaviours if you want, and of course what is “offensive” is time- and region-variant, not set in stone by some empiric laws of nature.

 

If you take the view that anyone has the right to be offended about anything they claim to be offensive (genuinely held, or put on) it becomes a powerful weapon to silence any dissenting views and thus ultimately it “doesn’t work”.

 

As I said, offence is purely in the eye of the receiver and this is clearly proven because for any given trigger, some people may find it offensive whilst some other people don’t. According to the choices they made.

You overstate your case:

 

Firstly, it is clear that sometimes a 'speaker' will be deliberately offensive, or at least knowingly so. It is not only in the head of the receiver.

 

Secondly, choice implies a conscious ability to control but in some cases the feeling of being offended is, to say the least, an instinctive reaction.

 

Thirdly, you assume that the characteristic that is the subject of the offence is capable of being changed. You would need to prove that this is universal, not just in some cases.

 

That said, there can be cases where, for ulterior motives, folk 'discover' that they have been offended, sometimes well after the event. The process of devising a word to describe a section of population leads to that word being considered offensive (often not because the word is inherently offensive but because it has become shorthand for abuse) it then becomes politically incorrect and a new word is coined. Unless behaviour and attitudes fundamentally change then that new word also becomes shorthand for just the same abuse and it too joins the non-PC backlist. And so on. The real need is to see society's attitudes changed, whatever the terminology used. Sometimes the need is to realise that the superficial aggregating people according to a visible characteristic is itself just plain wrong and the result of, or leads to, prejudice.

 

If I burn myself when playing with a match then I quickly learn not to play with matches. If I am badly treated by someone with red hair and then proceed to consider all red headed people in the same way, then that is prejudice.

 

This is all closely related to the common fallacy in the use of statistics, especially the arcane art of correlation, Just because two variables are correlated is not proof that there is a causative link. Indeed, the underlying mathematics of statistical correlation is that of Null Hypothesis. You have to start with a reasoned link and then determine how likely it is to have arisen by accident. If that probability is low then you are justified in resorting to your initial hypothesis - but that must be one for which, independently of the statistical analysis, you have good reason to believe may have a causative link.

 

In other words, my 'learning' about matches is only justified if I believe that my hurt is caused by burning material, but my prejudice about people with red hair is not unless I can demonstrate a reasonable causal link that the possession of red hair is related to that behaviour - generally not the case.

 

That said, there are always those who spoil the case for others. Just because we find one person impersonating a hard luck story by begging on the street corner should not lead us to ignore the fact that most people who resort to begging really do have a hard luck story.

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2 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Like being foreign, or black, or gay, or of short stature, or bald?

 

(for the avoidance of doubt, I am none of the above).

I score 40% on that list...

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Mike Todd, good post (because I like rational discussion, not because I agree with it!)

 

second para: someone may set out to be offensive but they only succeed if the recipient lets them.

 

Third para yes it can be difficult to switch from habitual behaviour/responses. One thing we learnt during piloty human factors training was that behaviour is the choice of the person. You can choose to behave well, or not. Despite what difficulties may be going on in your head. eg you are in a bad mood because crashed the car(boat)/spouse left you/relative ill etc, but it is your choice as to how those underlying problems reflect in your behaviour. The archetypal worst behaviour is of course the passive-aggressive where you are pissed off, you want everyone to know it, but you don’t explain why.


If we say that behaviour is NOT the choice of the person, we open the door to any old bad behaviour without responsibility, on the grounds that something bad happened so I’m entitled to behave badly towards others. That cannot work!

 

Yes certainly moving away from learnt behaviours and responses can be difficult, but ultimately is within our control and therefore is our choice.

 

Fifth para yes I agree with much of it. You are sort of saying that the vociferous ones determining that a particular word is “offensive” and forcing (by means of virtue signalling) everyone to use the new word, is ultimately ineffective. I would absolutely agree with that and is a good chunk of my point.

 

The rest, we are up against our biology & genetics where for thousands of years it was necessary to distrust and fight strangers / anyone a bit different, and to only respect and protect our own family / tribe. It is a difficult thing to get over and different languages and religions are most unhelpful in this respect, but we need to plod on. What doesn’t help is vociferous / woke people trying to force us into the latest PC things by means of virtue signalling and other tactics designed to show their moral righteousness. It becomes a self-perpetuating industry that doesn’t achieve anything except alienating anyone not in the liberal urban elite clique.

Edited by nicknorman

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43 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

 

 

 

(Snip)

This is all closely related to the common fallacy in the use of statistics, especially the arcane art of correlation, Just because two variables are correlated is not proof that there is a causative link. Indeed, the underlying mathematics of statistical correlation is that of Null Hypothesis. You have to start with a reasoned link and then determine how likely it is to have arisen by accident. If that probability is low then you are justified in resorting to your initial hypothesis - but that must be one for which, independently of the statistical analysis, you have good reason to believe may have a causative link.

(Snip)

 

If you have time, and are interested, could you have another go at this paragraph?

 

I think there is a kernel of something in there but I can't quite identify it.

 

I'm happy with statistics so you need not start from first principles.

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5 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

In most circumstances I find that no special word is required to describe people who happen not to have two caucasian parents.

 

I call them "people". 

 

4 hours ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

Funny how those who think like you do invent the words that you say aren't required.

 

Read the two posts quoted and compare the two highlighted bits of text. You can misquote me all you like but don't expect to prove anything by doing so.

 

Then try to work out why "those who think like you (ie me)" are allowed to have their own opinions without reference to me personally. 

 

 

1 hour ago, frahkn said:

 

I think there is a kernel of something in there but I can't quite identify it.

 

 

Correlation does not imply causation, and we should not infer one from t'other. I think that covers it!

1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

What doesn’t help is vociferous / woke people trying to force us into the latest PC things by means of virtue signalling and other tactics designed to show their moral righteousness. It becomes a self-perpetuating industry that doesn’t achieve anything except alienating anyone not in the liberal urban elite clique.

 

What does, help. however, is generally accepting people. Prejudice should be called out when and where it is appropriate to do so.

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