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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Ann Coulter is Keeping Her Mouth Shut for Awhile (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Ann Coulter is Keeping Her Mouth Shut for Awhile
Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
I see many differences including the fact that one is a satirical restriction created by Douglas Adams and the other is a serious restriction created by parties that are unknown to me. Also the two are spelled differently.

I have no knowledge of what specific difference you find relevant.

On the off chance you don't honestly see any difference between something avowedly made up and something deeply believed by millions of people, I commend to you sndrake's post for an explanation.

I think you might want to re-read the very paragraph that you quoted. I explicitly mentioned that I see many differences, so I have no idea why you're going on about me not seeing any difference. [Confused]

What I didn't know is which particular difference you find *relevant*. Now I know you find popularity relevant, I disagree with that. If I find "Oh, Belgium!" offensive, then my feelings can apparantly be ignored because I'm just one guy. Yet if tommorow millions of people find "Oh, Belgium!" offensive does that mean that there should be rules against it? On the flip-side, does that mean we can do away with these rules if suddenly Christians decide to be more reasonable? The rules on what people can say should not be that arbitrary and subject to the whim of a majority.

(Arguably, thats related to one of the main points of the whole Belgium tangent in Adams' book, that the very expletives that we pick are arbitrary)

On one hand, I fully agree that the owners of the site have the right to make these sorts of arbitrary rules. On the other hand, I disagree with whether they should. I think that this is best handled on a personal one-to-one level between posters than as a global rule.

quote:
It's amazing to me how much energy people put into wanting to be offensive to others.
How much energy people put into defending having the choice to be offensive to others. There is a distinction. I don't believe that I've *actually* used religious-based expletives very often on this forum.
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Chris Bridges
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The global rule is there to encourage civilized behavior and a comfortable place to talk. Without it, and the help of other members keeping an eye on the place, online forums swiftly descend into troll-pits.

The speeding analogy is a good one. Police don't catch every speeder, they couldn't possibly. But they can catch the obvious or really reckless ones, and that helps keeps the rest safer and a bit more cautious. Even if they don't see their own speeding as wrong, they'll avoid it if there's a chance they'll be caught, and that's good enough for the rest of the drivers.

Mucus - please note that Douglas Adams brilliantly illustrated his point without actually naming any of the other offended parties, a wonderful bit of satire. He made the point and let others draw their own conclusions. Here, out of context, it's targeting people.

As for Ann Coulter - she's an Internet troll who made it into print. Why should I waste time on her? I don't wish her pain and I do hope she gets through this quickly and without lasting effects.

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Chris Bridges
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That said, I don't agree that the expletives we pick are arbitrary. We're drawn to the extreme ones, the ones that name shameful or hidden acts, or sacred names. Those are the ones with force, that have a greater effect on our own subconscious and on those around us. (Not all of us, obviously; for some people regular profanity becomes punctuation, without any real bite to it)

One of the most annoying things since becoming an apatheist decades ago is trying to break myself of using religion-based epithets. It seems wrong, somehow, to take in vain the name of someone you don't believe in...

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natural_mystic
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quote:


One of the most annoying things since becoming an apatheist decades ago is trying to break myself of using religion-based epithets. It seems wrong, somehow, to take in vain the name of someone you don't believe in...

Would you think it wrong to say "Merlin's Ghost" (assuming you neither believe in Merlin, nor ghosts)?

[ November 28, 2008, 02:34 PM: Message edited by: natural_mystic ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
The global rule is there to encourage civilized behavior and a comfortable place to talk. Without it, and the help of other members keeping an eye on the place, online forums swiftly descend into troll-pits.

I can certainly sympathise with the idea but I respectfully disagree*. On the surface, it has a certain amount of common-sense logic, ban the really bad things and the average will get better. Its similar to the argument on rules to do with hate-speech, which seem to make common-sense but have unintended consequences.
It is all too easy to exploit the rule as a weapon.

But even as to its immediate goal, I'm not convinced. Samprimary explicitly mentioned that he would be ok to accommodate the Rabbit if they were dealing respectfully as fellow posters. Instead, the rule was used as a crude club and not only did that alienate Samprimary but it provoked Blayne.

Granted, this is just one incident and thus anecdotal. But it seems like the rule is counter-productive.

* At least on Hatrack, for better or worse our membership is small and stable, newcomers are relatively rare compared to many forums. Trolls are quickly identified and recognisable. I can see a certain amount of wisdom of the rule in an environment with a large relatively anonymous population with many newcomers.

quote:

The speeding analogy is a good one. Police don't catch every speeder, they couldn't possibly. But they can catch the obvious or really reckless ones, and that helps keeps the rest safer and a bit more cautious. Even if they don't see their own speeding as wrong, they'll avoid it if there's a chance they'll be caught, and that's good enough for the rest of the drivers.

The speeding analogy is a good one. Many people see speeding laws as a joke. People simply identify a "safe" boundary above the speed limit to travel at that maximises speed and produces an acceptable risk of being caught. This creates an environment where disrespect for the law is the norm and thus respect for other laws is eroded. I would greatly favour an increase in the speed limit and then see that limit is *strictly* enforced.

quote:
Mucus - please note that Douglas Adams brilliantly illustrated his point without actually naming any of the other offended parties, a wonderful bit of satire. He made the point and let others draw their own conclusions. Here, out of context, it's targeting people.
In the context of humour, you're perfectly right. This particular bit works for that reason. But that doesn't mean that the point is not valid when applied in a more serious context and indeed Adams himself had no qualms about targeting people in that setting. He called himself a "radical atheist" for a reason.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
That said, I don't agree that the expletives we pick are arbitrary. We're drawn to the extreme ones, the ones that name shameful or hidden acts, or sacred names. ...

Expletives are arbitrary, but what you seem to be objecting to is the related but different idea that expletives are random.

I think that expletives are most certainly arbitrary, but they are not random.

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Chris Bridges
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quote:
I can certainly sympathise with the idea but I respectfully disagree*. On the surface, it has a certain amount of common-sense logic, ban the really bad things and the average will get better. Its similar to the argument on rules to do with hate-speech, which seem to make common-sense but have unintended consequences.
It is all too easy to exploit the rule as a weapon.

It isn't a perfect solution, nothing dealing with human beings ever is. But as someone who had moderated online forums for over 12 years on one site or another, I can guarantee you that NOT maintaining some minimal form of "respect each other" rules will always, always result in the bickering foul-mouthed idiots taking over and the polite people gradually wandering away. Go read the bottom of any AintItCool.com page for an example. There should be some give and take, and one person's opinion over what should be permissible will differ from just about everyone else's, but a consensus can usually be reached.

One of the things I like about Hatrack is the conscious effort of most of the members to respect each other. I assure you, if you truly found the utterance of "B*****m" to be offensive, most folks here would try not to say it when talking to you. Not because they're uberliberal or PC to the point of pain, but because if you're comfortable here, you'll stay and talk. It's one reason why, much more often than at other forums, conversations actually occur here.

quote:
I would greatly favour an increase in the speed limit and then see that limit is *strictly* enforced.
I suppose some sort of automatic laser mounted on a radar gun would work, just shoot out the tires when they hit 71 mph. Of course, that doesn't allow any wiggle room for the times when the limit absolutely has to be broken: the woman getting her dying husband to the hospital, the man using a burst of speed to get away from carjackers. But that would require judgment calls, and there simply isn't the manpower to do it. Just as it isn't possible for someone to read every single post on every single thread on this forum to watch for signs of Evil SpeechTM. And this is where the speeding analogy falls apart, because the speed limit is an easily understood number. Speech, thought, opinion is much harder to quantify. You can't scan for it, lest you go to block "adult" language and inadvertently wipe out discussions of breast cancer survival (as reportedly happened at AOL back in the day). Best you can do is to read it and try to discern the intent behind the language. And I am positive PapaJanitor has no intentions of becoming the thought police.

What the rules boil down to is "respect one another." When people argue that they shouldn't have to, I really have to wonder why.

I'm not sure we're using the same definition of "arbitrary," by the way. The overwhelming majority of expletives -- in any language -- deal with sex, voiding wastes, or religion. That's kind of the opposite of arbitrary, isn't it? A clear and easily definable class of terms: when we cuss, we go for the taboo.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
What the rules boil down to is "respect one another." When people argue that they shouldn't have to, I really have to wonder why.

QFT
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Blayne Bradley
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Rawr I be grizzely bear! Do not provoke the bear!

I like how "and it provoked Blayne" sounds so much more.... 'scary'? As if it hushed tones people were fearful of me. Positively amusing.

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Chris Bridges
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Or it could be the way you warn your kids not to poke at the poor thing through the bars because it's just cruel.

Or the scary thing, could be that too...

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
One of the things I like about Hatrack is the conscious effort of most of the members to respect each other. I assure you, if you truly found the utterance of "B*****m" to be offensive, most folks here would try not to say it when talking to you. Not because they're uberliberal or PC to the point of pain, but because if you're comfortable here, you'll stay and talk. It's one reason why, much more often than at other forums, conversations actually occur here.

I fully agree with this part of your post and yet I don't think the rules are the reason. Most people probably just click through the TOS just like a EULA. Indeed, Kwea and Samprimary didn't even know about the rule in the first place. I certainly didn't.

No, the reason why Hatrack works in this regard is due to the low membership numbers and limited new members. I bet that if we had the same membership size and new member rate as AINT we'd be exactly in the same pickle, regardless of enforcement and rules.

quote:

quote:
I would greatly favour an increase in the speed limit and then see that limit is *strictly* enforced.
I suppose some sort of automatic laser mounted on a radar gun would work, just shoot out the tires when they hit 71 mph.
Yes, that is certainly a reasonable interpretation of "an increase." Please don't misrepresent my position.

quote:
What the rules boil down to is "respect one another." When people argue that they shouldn't have to, I really have to wonder why.
This rule doesn't boil down to that. It boils down to "don't post anything that a majority sees as disrespectful." There is a pretty clear distinction. If you think Blayne will respect Rabbit one iota more because Rabbit can ban Blayne from saying anything about deities tap-dancing, then I'd be pretty surprised.

As for speculation about my motives, thats a pretty low and personal blow. I'd appreciate it if you refrained from that.

quote:
I'm not sure we're using the same definition of "arbitrary," by the way. The overwhelming majority of expletives -- in any language -- deal with sex, voiding wastes, or religion. That's kind of the opposite of arbitrary, isn't it? A clear and easily definable class of terms: when we cuss, we go for the taboo.
And yet there is no logical reason why sex, voiding wastes, or religion is taboo. In fact, we're explicitly arguing in this thread that religion should not be taboo and I noted that Chinese expletives largely omit religious expletives. Its pretty much by whim that we've decided that sex is taboo and shameful (and only certain kinds of sex). A system that is built upon an arbitrary system is itself arbitrary.
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Chris Bridges
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You're right, I wasn't very clear. "Don't post anything that a majority sees as disrespectful" is more accurate, if only because a TOS that lists "Don't use JC as an expletive because it offends Bill, Mary and Fred, don't invoke Zeus because it really gets up Jake's nose," etc, is unworkable.

So I'll make it more accurate still: the TOS boils down to "Pretend to respect each other."

As for your motives, I apologize for misinterpreting them. I'll state mine: I think an expectation of polite behavior is not too much to ask in a forum, and the benefits of such outweigh the negatives.

There may not be a logical reason why such things are taboo (although it can be argued that there are evolutionary and social reasons) but once they're established as taboo then drawing your expletives from that source is logical and predictable. A system with its own internal consistency, even if built on an arbitrary system, is not itself arbitrary.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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This thread has devolved into a topic that is oddly appropriate...

Kwea, you say she's irrelevant and you gave some pretty decent reasons. But notice: anytime she says something or does something or her jaw breaks, a 3-page (and counting) thread gets started on a website about Orson Scott Card. Doesn't that indicate some degree of relevance?

No one takes her suggestions seriously, but neither would they take some of the suggestions some pop culture comedians make in their acts. She's not a policy maker, she is an entertainer who appeals to a niche market. Her relevance isn't the same variety as that of James Carville or Karl Rove.

Orincoro, she is funny to certain people, and we buy her books. Surely I don't need to explain to you that just because you don't think someone is funny doesn't mean that someone isn't funny.

A good bit of her popularity comes from the reaction she gets from people. Plenty of people hated Andrew Dice Clay, but part of what made him funny was not necessarily how offensive he was, but rather how offended people got. Does that make sense?

[ November 28, 2008, 05:29 PM: Message edited by: Reshpeckobiggle ]

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:

A good bit of her popularity comes from the reaction she gets from people. Plenty of people hated Andrew Dice Clay, but part of what made him funny was not necessarily how offensive he was, but rather how offended people got. Does that make sense?

I think Rush Limbaugh has expressly said that this is her feature that he admires.

I would feel a lot better if I knew that no one takes her seriously. But I'm not sure about that. Further, she is given legitimacy by being invited to speak at prominent conservative gatherings.

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Samprimary
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quote:
I have a hard time believing either of you actually think this. The counterexamples are so numerous on this board that you simply must know that your statements are nothing but the most shallow form of strawman.
Not in the least. if I based the TOS on her reading, which is to pull up the dictionary definition of the word and say that since my act applies to a form of the definition of the word, it is an act of that word, thus a violation of the terms.

Since 'not respectful of religious practice' is part of that reading, her reading makes it that way, as well as anyone doing anything which is not respectful of religious practice.

quote:
What the rules boil down to is "respect one another." When people argue that they shouldn't have to, I really have to wonder why.
Guess my motive. Honestly. Assume you are in my position, and you have had the honor of being charged with illegal blasphemy on an internet forum for using 'jesus christ' as an exclamation.

Imagine what I might be concerned about, besides the discovery of wildly irregular application of rules.

[ November 28, 2008, 06:57 PM: Message edited by: Samprimary ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
Guess my motive. Honestly. Assume you are in my position, and you have had the honor of being charged with illegal blasphemy on an internet forum for using 'jesus christ' as an exclamation.
Your motive seems to be wanting to be able to continue to use that phrase as an expletive knowing that it causes great offense. Why you want to continue this is something of a mystery.

What I don't get is why you made such a shallow statement about the rules prohibiting talking about working on the sabbath, despite there being numerous and obvious counterexamples.

Perhaps I'm wildly overestimating your intelligence. I'd like to think that's not the case.

You and Jhai have both tried to extend the rule far beyond its actual content. Then you've each called your newly absurdly expanded rule ridiculous.

Isn't that one of Coulter's favorite tactics?

quote:
Imagine what I might be concerned about, besides the discovery of wildly irregular application of rules.
What "wildly irregular application of the rules"?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Your motive seems to be wanting to be able to continue to use that phrase as an expletive knowing that it causes great offense. Why you want to continue this is something of a mystery.
Haha, what the heck, man. I don't think you could have guessed more wrongly. You should probably go back and read my posts I made in response to rabbit's taking-of-offense, the whole part where I state unequivocally that I can and would immediately cease using that phrase as an exclamation and/or 'expletive' because she takes it disrespectfully, then perhaps give another guess about my motives and intent which fails a little bit less.

quote:
What I don't get is why you made such a shallow statement about the rules prohibiting talking about working on the sabbath, despite there being numerous and obvious counterexamples.
If you don't get it, read my contention again. Maybe you're just not seeing it? I know there are numerous and obvious counterexamples. I said that if the forum's rules were determined the way she extrapolated them, then you could say that talking about working on the sabbath was prohibited by the TOS since there happen to be some christians that are greatly offended by that and find it disrespectful of religious beliefs.

obviously the point of my post was that I was saying the forum is not run by applying any and all aspects of the dictionary reading, including 'not respectful of religious practice' Unsurprisingly, I knew the forum proved that.

Yet at the same time, just because people have been regularly doing something and that there are 'numerous and obvious counterexamples' apparently doesn't mean that it is against the rules, since there are numerous and obvious examples of blasphemy being unobjected to and not prosecuted.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:

A good bit of her popularity comes from the reaction she gets from people. Plenty of people hated Andrew Dice Clay, but part of what made him funny was not necessarily how offensive he was, but rather how offended people got. Does that make sense?

I think Rush Limbaugh has expressly said that this is her feature that he admires.

I would feel a lot better if I knew that no one takes her seriously. But I'm not sure about that. Further, she is given legitimacy by being invited to speak at prominent conservative gatherings.

The obvious difference would be that Clay was in the business of amusing and (possibly) enlightening people in some way. I've seen no evidence that Coulter is trying to amuse or enlighten, and I rather think she has no clear motivations. I would say the underlying motivations are probably those of ego, and as I've said before, the acting out of aggression and conflict that is in some way titillating and evocative for her. Few of us can claim never to have been involved with or even having been, such a person.
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Haha, what the heck, man.
I find this offensive, derived as it is from "what the Hell". Please apologize. [Big Grin]

Related anecdote: a phrase I grew up with in the Caribbean was "Cawblemmah", used when shocked or surprised. My brother used it one day in a class discussion and was promptly given 200 lines. Apparently "Cawblemmah" is derived from "God blind me".

I'm bored and at work.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
quote:
Haha, what the heck, man.
I find this offensive, derived as it is from "what the Hell". Please apologize. [Big Grin]
You're trying to trick me into thinking it's a joke request again, and then you're going to be all like WHAT HOW DARE YOU and I'll be all like D:
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Sterling
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I would also note that, given the chance to explain that she was being ironic or otherwise kidding about some of her more "outrageous" statements, she's flatly said she was serious.

And I rather think her "relevance" is much like the "newsworthiness" of helicopter footage of a high-speed highway chase. Look away, it goes away.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
You're right, I wasn't very clear. "Don't post anything that a majority sees as disrespectful" is more accurate, if only because a TOS that lists "Don't use JC as an expletive because it offends Bill, Mary and Fred, don't invoke Zeus because it really gets up Jake's nose," etc, is unworkable

Ah, I think we have some insight. I fully agree that form of TOS is *unworkable*. However (and I don't want to put words in your mouth), it does seem much more *precise* when it comes to describing whats really going on. Do you agree?

quote:
So I'll make it more accurate still: the TOS boils down to "Pretend to respect each other."
I don't want to sound like I'm nitpicking, but that attempt at boiling down really does leave out the core of my objection, a distinction that is captured within "Don't post anything that a majority sees as disrespectful."

Part of it goes to the distinction between respecting a belief and respecting a person. (Kind of the flip side to saying that one should "respect the office of the president, but not necessarily the person that occupies that chair")

For example, a person that greatly respects a fellow poster but does not respect their beliefs is safe under the first rule, but not necessarily the second. For example, right now someone could post a new rendition of "Jesus Christ Superstar." Under their beliefs, they're not targeting a single fellow poster. However, if a majority feels that it is disrespectful *to them* then, bang, its caught under the second rule.

quote:
As for your motives, I apologize for misinterpreting them.
Thanks. I appreciate it.

quote:
... once they're established as taboo then drawing your expletives from that source is logical and predictable.
Is it? Consider the plight of Captain Kirk who finds out that while "you dumba**" is an insult, "a double dumba** on you" is not.
A threatening guy that says, "I'm going fu** you all up" in a club is potentially intimidating, "I'm going to shag you all up" is just kind of odd. Both seem to be verbs for the same activity, yet only one really works as a threat.
Mother incest seems to be in roughly the same level of taboo as sister incest. Yet the expletive "mother fu**er" is extremely common, "sister fu**er" is extremely rare and would probably get you odd looks.

There's a level of granularity and nuance here, even in a language like English where insults are relatively simple. Its not enough to know what is taboo, you need to know precisely which words for each taboo can be used and also which taboos can be used.

quote:
A system with its own internal consistency, even if built on an arbitrary system, is not itself arbitrary.
I can't say that I see how.
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Jhai
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This is extremely late to the argument, but I just want to point out that in various forms of "fundamentalist Islam" (for lack of a better term), expressing a wish or hope for the future without somehow indicating that it need also be in Allah's plan, is a profane statement. Also, in some forms of Jainism, any expression of ill regard or intention to hurt other beings is a profane statement.

So, no, Rabbit, I wasn't just being excessively hyperbolic. What I am doing is a very common argument in philosophy - push a rule or belief to its limit, and see if it results in an absurd conclusion. The idea that any "profane" statement is not to be allowed, when pushed to its limit, results an absurd conclusion.

Dagonee, I think the fact that no one has ever been called out for the two examples I discussed above suggests that, yes, it is clear that we aren't talking about every religion's profane. If that's true, then it should be clearly stated somewhere in the TOS.

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Scott R
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quote:
push a rule or belief to its limit, and see if it results in an absurd conclusion. The idea that any "profane" statement is not to be allowed, when pushed to its limit, results an absurd conclusion.
Do you believe that anyone is advocating pushing a belief to an extreme here?

In reality what is being asked for is a concession that will not harm the person being asked, and will make the requester more comfortable. What is being asked will help maintain respect without necessarily showing favoritism for any one ideology.

What is being asked is to show respect for others' beliefs in a way that does not denigrate, deflect, or interrupt your own.

Lots of us make these types of concessions every day, without resorting to, or even being tempted by, the extreme. Any element taken to the extreme is ridiculous, Jhai-- that's an inherent property of the phrase "extreme" as used in this discussion. That you can show that something can be made ridiculous isn't proof of its invalidity.

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Jhai
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Scott, if you'd read my posts more carefully, you would realize that I'm completely in favor of common curtsy, which includes not using language that others' find particularly offense when there is little or no need to do so. I stated that in my first post on this thread, in fact.

What I am against is an official rule that says that it is not allowed to say anything "profane". Because either (A) that rule really only applies to a few select religions' definition of profane or (B) the rule is absurd, since it rules out the vast majority of things we want to discuss.

The first is wrong because this is not, in my understanding, a forum which specifically promotes any religion over another. If it is, then, frankly, I will never post or read here again, because that is not a community I have any interest in contributing to or being a member of. The second is wrong because a discussion board which disallows the vast majority of things its members want to discuss is rather stupid.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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I am also fully in favor of the common curtsy, as the uncommon curtsies often have my girlfriend getting upset with my base reaction. Too much cleavage/undergarments presented in most cases. I really should just stay out of 19th century brothels. Or at least stop bringing my girlfriend...

quote:
Orincoro:
The obvious difference would be that Clay was in the business of amusing and (possibly) enlightening people in some way. I've seen no evidence that Coulter is trying to amuse or enlighten, and I rather think she has no clear motivations. I would say the underlying motivations are probably those of ego, and as I've said before, the acting out of aggression and conflict that is in some way titillating and evocative for her. Few of us can claim never to have been involved with or even having been, such a person.


Yes, because this person is a construct of your imagination. Barack Obama, however, is one exception that comes to mind.

Few of us can claim to have been involved with such a person? Such a person as you describe in your interpretation of someone you have never met and only know through others' representations, and whom you would never agree with in the first place? No, I've never been nor never known such a person. Good point.

[edit, and a big one] Seriously though, Coulter is also in the business of amusing and possible enlightening people in some way. Not most people, but people like me. Did you know that she was the first person from whom I heard an alternate retelling of the kind of man Joseph McCarthy actually was? My 4th/5th grade textbooks certainly told another story, the one everyone took as common knowledge. Dig in deep today and you will see that no one actually disputes the patriotism and honor of the man, and moreover, the truth of his accusations about the communist threat in America. But the only person who had the courage to speak out about it was -as usual- a comedian.

I've always been a big fan of stand-up comedy, because even though it is oftentimes mundane and of no consequence, when done right it is always entertaining. But when it is entertaining and also brutally and offensively honest, it is one of the few sources of unfiltered truth you can find.

Moreover, some of the times I have laughed the hardest in my life have been while reading books by stand-up comics, and other writers whose business is to be funny. Douglas Adams, Dave Barry, George Carlin, even Paul Reiser, Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano have floored me with some of their writings. Ann Coulter does not have the prerequisite skills to do stand-up, nor does Dave Barry.

But her sense of humor is just as sharp, and as any connoisseur of comedy knows, the secret to comedy is the kernel of truth. It may not be something you find to be truthful, but to those of us who do, it is the seed of great entertainment.

So knock her if you want, just realize that for those of us who have been, as I put it, "initiated," when we hear someone say that "she's just not funny," it evokes the same reaction as is found in a Radiohead fan when someone says, "they're different, but I just don't think they're really any good." In a word: Pity for your loss.

[ November 29, 2008, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: Reshpeckobiggle ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
The idea that any "profane" statement is not to be allowed, when pushed to its limit, results an absurd conclusion.
The idea that any "profane" statement is under a blanket ban for anything based on any element of its dictionary definition is already ridiculous without pushing it to any extreme. It's ridiculous up-front. And what is being asserted as the rules will pretty much skirt right up next to that. You couldn't govern literally using that ruling.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Fortunately this place is not governed by what you think are the rules, or much less the manner in which you think the rules ought to be interpreted and implemented. If PJ disagrees with the way you or I or anyone else is behaving on this forum, all he has to do is press the ban-button. Don't like it? Find someplace else to post your blather. Just be happy the country isn't run that way. Because the USA is one of the few places your (the collective "your," "sus" in espanol) idiocy is tolerated.
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Samprimary
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I also like how Resh's defense of coulter has pretty much degenerated to a bunch of caveats about how she's really a comedian and how what she says really isn't supposed to be serious, which means that his defense of her now actually openly defies Coulter's assertions of how she's actually very serious.

quote:
But her sense of humor is just as sharp, and as any connoisseur of comedy knows, the secret to comedy is the kernel of truth. It may not be something you find to be truthful, but to those of us who do, it is the seed of great entertainment.
You're right. It's entertaining when she implies that Al Gore is a 'faggot,' if, down inside, you've always assumed he was. And it's funny when she says that we should discriminate based on race when, deep down, you've always been racist and you vote for Tom Tancredo. It's the kernel of truth, baby!
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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I also like how Resh's defense of coulter has pretty much degenerated to a bunch of caveats about how she's really a comedian and how what she says really isn't supposed to be serious, which means that his defense of her now actually openly defies Coulter's assertions of how she's actually very serious.

Of course she's gonna tell you she's serious. You're the guy she's making fun of! And it's only funny so long as you continue to fail at getting the joke. Case in point:
quote:
quote:
But her sense of humor is just as sharp, and as any connoisseur of comedy knows, the secret to comedy is the kernel of truth. It may not be something you find to be truthful, but to those of us who do, it is the seed of great entertainment.
You're right. It's entertaining when she implies that Al Gore is a 'faggot,' if, down inside, you've always assumed he was. And it's funny when she says that we should discriminate based on race when, deep down, you've always been racist and you vote for Tom Tancredo. It's the kernel of truth, baby!
Perfect example! Nevermind it was John Edwards she called a faggot, isn't it common knowledge the Al Gore is a flaming queer also? I mean, I'm just going by what you're saying. I hadn't heard that myself, but you seem to know your business...

BUT THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!! Then why am I laughing? Must be something wrong with me. Because you have proven time and again that there's nothing wrong with your sense of humor. What we really need is someone (I nominate Orincoro) to tell us what is and isn't funny.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
... What I am doing is a very common argument in philosophy - push a rule or belief to its limit, and see if it results in an absurd conclusion. The idea that any "profane" statement is not to be allowed, when pushed to its limit, results an absurd conclusion.

Thats a pretty wonderful point.

In mathematics, when you're asked to prove or disprove a theorem, the best place to start is with counter-examples at the extremes.

As an application of the mathematics, in computer science, we call this boundary testing. The idea is that a insufficiently rigorous function often has bugs at boundary points, where valid input is close to invalid input.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Perfect example! Nevermind it was John Edwards she called a faggot,
You fail, resh. She also used that slur against al gore. Go ahead and defend her for calling people fags just because it's supposed to be funny. Go ahead. Tell me that it's okay because it's funny.

quote:
BUT THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!! Then why am I laughing? Must be something wrong with me. Because you have proven time and again that there's nothing wrong with your sense of humor.
Cool, you got all three of those statements right.
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Kwea
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I was aware of the rule, and follow it. However, I know we had had discussion as to what it relates, specific discussion about this specific word in this (or a very similar ) context, and I was not aware it applied.


That being said, even thinking it WASN'T covered by the rule in question I still make an effort NOT to use it. I don't follow every rule everywhere I go...but I also don't need a rule anywhere to tell me not to be rude to someone or offend their religious beliefs.


If I choose to do be rude (and I have in the past) I am aware of what I am doing and have a point, and am willing to accept the fallout for doing so. [Big Grin] But as long as someone is being respectful of my beliefs (not agreeing with me, but being respectful of my beliefs....there is a difference there as well) I try to be respectful of theirs.

There have been a few times where by the very nature of the discussion it was inevitable that someone would be offended....and if the positives outweighed the rude factor I was cool with it. In this case, what would have been lost by substituting some other words there? Was in central to your point?


It DID make for an interesting discussion, though. [Big Grin]


Resh....relevant in what way? As a pop culture book selling person of interest? Sure. I guess. As a person I would like to discuss actual policy (or even meet on the street) with, or someone I consider well informed?

Not even close.

I went though a phase like that in JR High...I knew I was smart, and I used cynicism and sarcasm to make my points. I reduced my enemies...because that was how I viewed debates, as war.....to tears on more than one occasion, and I was rude as a matter of fact, on a regular basis, even when it wasn't necessary or called for. It was my default setting for about 6 months.

I have an excuse. I was 15.

What's hers?

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
...
In reality what is being asked for is a concession that will not harm the person being asked, and will make the requester more comfortable.

Your language betrays you. That is a pretty awful word to use in this sort of discussion and I even double-checked via Google that my connotations are decently common (i.e. the first match, your results may vary).

The first connotations that come to my mind with the word "concession" is this:
quote:
... a concession is a territory within a country that is administered by another entity than the state which holds sovereignty over it. This is usually a colonizing power, or at least mandated by one ... Usually, it is conceded, that is, allowed or even surrendered by a weaker state to a stronger power. For example, the politically weak and militarily helpless Qing China in the 19th century was forced to sign several so-called Unequal Treaties ...
That reflects pretty badly on the problem at hand. Concession could be a pretty apt word to describe whats going on here, a weaker group (as decided by numbers) has to give up something of theirs to a stronger group. The stronger group gets to decide within this concession what rules, what laws, and what definitions are valid.

If I wasn't looking at your intent (or rather, your lack of it), the connotation of a Westerner asking this of me, a Chinese person, really would get me steamed.

Luckily, I do look at intent and thus I merely have the following suggestion, what you seek is a compromise. A compromise is an agreement between equals. A concession is something given by an inferior, a loser.

(Alternatively, we Canadians use the term "reasonable accommodation." As in you are asking for reasonable accommodation of your beliefs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_accommodation )

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Samprimary
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In all honesty though Coulter is just .. falling off the map. She kind of stuck herself in an accelerating position, too, where she would lose attention, then try to compensate for that by making more hideous attacks and ridiculous statements in her political column (the attacks on Gore/Edwards, for example) and this would drive away plenty of people who formerly were supporters of her work. She ended up just being a representative of a callous, extreme, and unthinking right, and she started dropping out of the sphere of political discourse and political news.

Now, she's a pox.

Honestly if this jaw accident had happened just a year ago it would have garnered tons more attention.

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Kwea
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You can concede a point in an argument without being a sovereign country, so at this pint you are merely nitpicking IMO.
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Kwea
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Case in point....


Main Entry:
con·ces·sion Listen to the pronunciation of concession
Pronunciation:
\kən-ˈse-shən\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle English concessyon, from Anglo-French concessioun, from Latin concession-, concessio, from concedere to concede
Date:
15th century

1 a: the act or an instance of conceding b: the admitting of a point claimed in argument

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Mucus
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You've got to be kidding me. You're using dictionary definitions to tell me what I may or may not find offensive? Shall we see if Christ is listed as offensive?

What I find offensive is my determination, I've given my reasons. You can ignore my feelings on the matter ignoring that I'm only ok with Scott's use of the word because I knew he intended no grief. You'll probably get away with it too.

Or you can reasonably accommodate me by just using a different word. No harm, no foul. Its your call.

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Scott R
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Mucus:

You don't know that I intended no grief. [Smile]

As you've outlined it, you're using an extreme perspective of the word profane.

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Dagonee
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quote:
What I am doing is a very common argument in philosophy - push a rule or belief to its limit, and see if it results in an absurd conclusion.
Yes, it's common in philosophy as a way to examine fundamental principles. When examining rules that actually apply in the real world, however, other disciplines are more useful.

For example, it's very common in legal analysis to examine different interpretations of rules and to discard the interpretations that lead to absurd results. So pointing out an extreme reading of a rule that leads to an absurd result is NOT sufficient to demonstrate the absurdity of the rule.

quote:
Dagonee, I think the fact that no one has ever been called out for the two examples I discussed above suggests that, yes, it is clear that we aren't talking about every religion's profane.
The fact that certain things haven't been "called out" would only make it "clear" that we aren't talking about other religions' profanity if we had some reason to believe that everything that violates the rules gets called out. That's simply not true.

quote:
I just want to point out that in various forms of "fundamentalist Islam" (for lack of a better term), expressing a wish or hope for the future without somehow indicating that it need also be in Allah's plan, is a profane statement. Also, in some forms of Jainism, any expression of ill regard or intention to hurt other beings is a profane statement.
I don't know any Jainists, but I know two muslims who believe that it is wrong to make a statement about the future without referencing Allah's will. Neither consider it profane for non-Muslims to do so (although they do consider it wrong for non-Muslims to do so), just as Jews don't consider it profane (or wrong) for non-Jews to eat pork. Given your previous example about scientology and psychology, I'm not going to take your word that this falls under the definition of a "fundamentalist Muslim" definition of "profane." You haven't demonstrated to me that you understand the concept.
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scifibum
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Dagonee, I think she understands the concept just fine.

Your quibble that non-Muslims can't profane under a particular Islamic rule doesn't play out. Would you support moderation that prevented Muslim members that subscribed to that rule from making profane statements of hope for the future? In my opinion it's still absurd.

quote:
The fact that certain things haven't been "called out" would only make it "clear" that we aren't talking about other religions' profanity if we had some reason to believe that everything that violates the rules gets called out. That's simply not true.
I doubt that the point is to say that the rule cannot be interpreted to ban profane statements, and that the existence of certain forms of profanity that go unchallenged proves this. I think the point is that is an absurd rule.

When most or all of a forum's membership share similar traditions and understanding of what kinds of profanity are offensive and not allowed, it functions just fine as a rule. The fact that profanity isn't what's banned, but whatever is considered profane by a large enough subset of the membership, is understood.

However, a better rule would be to show respect and refrain from causing needless offense. It would be highly subjective but at least it would be transparently so. People would rightly understand that they need to be aware of the subjective collective opinion on what is OK and what is not. Banning "profanity" is a shortcut to something that is effectively the same but is also mislabeling the true intent and application of the rule.

It's also easier for some people to accede to requests for courtesy than to submit to religious rules they personally disagree with. Banning profanity is enforcing religious rules; if the intent of the ban is to ensure courtesy then the rule should require courtesy, period.

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Jhai
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Somehow, Dag, I doubt you know any so-called fundamentalist Muslims (by "so-called" I mean to imply that exactly how to define them is difficult, but that "fundamentalist" gives a good general idea of the sect), given that they wouldn't associate with your Christian self. These are the type of people who think it's perfectly acceptable to kill non-Muslim and that Salman Rushdie should die a very painful death, soon.

I don't have a source for that fact, since I heard about it in a lecture of my Radical Islam class, and then again in some lecture at Georgetown I attended. I can ask around from some of my Muslim friends or friends studying Islam to see if they know of a printed or Internet source.

To address your first point, my argument is completely based on the dictionary definition that Rabbit pulled out to get people to stop oppressing her. Based on a dictionary definition, I'm led to the conclusion I discussed above. Of course, I doubt that the dictionary definition of profane is the one the TOS references - I doubt the TOS rule means, in essence, much more than "don't say shitty things to each other." But Rabbit threw the terms of the argument into dictionary definitions, which is where I get my absurd conclusion. Basically, I'm just calling her argument stupid. Like someone (Sam?) said, she should have just appealed to common curtsy, rather than trying to throw a rule book around by brute force. Sucks to her assmar.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
As you've outlined it, you're using an extreme perspective of the word profane.

Why is it extreme? What is your definition of extreme?

I'm not being glib because I could certainly choose to get genuinely quite offended over the use of the word concession both as a student of history and as a person who has heard stories from family who lived in concessions.

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Kwea
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And what I just did is take YOUR example to the absurd. You used the wrong definition of the word, or at least the least common definition, and tried to prove someone was wrong when they used it in common context.


It had nothing to do with being or not being offended. It was simply a way to make a point. D

Also, it is a far less insulting word in the English language....in common usage...than using a religious figures name as an explicative, which is what started this whole tangent.

It is possible to use the word YOU object to completely in context, and correctly, without ever intending or realizing it's negative connotations.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
It had nothing to do with being or not being offended. It was simply a way to make a point.

This is quite plainly wrong. I can choose to be quite offended *as well* as making a point. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

quote:
Also, it is a far less insulting word in the English language....in common usage...than using a religious figures name as an explicative, which is what started this whole tangent.
It is far less insulting in your perspective. Not mine. In mine, I find references to colonialism which affected real actual people far more insulting than insults directed to fictional entities.

Your dictionary definitions aren't helpful, consider a phrase like "I'm not a racist. I have a black friend." Even though that is very offensive, it is not obvious by simple definitions. The connotations are very important.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:
What we really need is someone (I nominate Orincoro) to tell us what is and isn't funny.

I accept. My first act as decider of funniness (DOF) is to inform you that you are not funny. Moreover, you do not have a good sense of humor, and so it is my judgment, as DOF, that you may not dictate the terms of funniness, nor make claims as to the funniness of others. This judgment may only, and even then in but rare cases, be appealed through a witty quip or a humorous turn of phrase. Failure to properly, and humorously, structure your response will result in a hilariously scathing denial of your appeal.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
It had nothing to do with being or not being offended. It was simply a way to make a point.

This is quite plainly wrong. I can choose to be quite offended *as well* as making a point. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

quote:
Also, it is a far less insulting word in the English language....in common usage...than using a religious figures name as an explicative, which is what started this whole tangent.
It is far less insulting in your perspective. Not mine. In mine, I find references to colonialism which affected real actual people far more insulting than insults directed to fictional entities.

No, it's isn't. I am NOT a racist...and I have a black friend. More than one. It is a logical fallacy to say that if I have a friend who is black I can't be a racist. Anything more than that is your problem, not mine.

Of course, that is hardly the ONLY point I could make. Anyone calling me a racist obviously has little to no grasp of reality, and has probably never met me in person. [Smile]

It is far more obvious when a person says Jesus' name (or any deity, substitute that at will, it doesn't matter to the point I am making) as an exclamation...because the entire POINT of using it exclamatory is to startle and get a reaction. It it wasn't you would just yell YOUR name in the middle of an unrelated conversation.


The point I was making...I wasn't referring any point you had tried to make, you just assumed I was....was that it is highly ironic that you don;t see why someone would be offended by other first example, yet you are so highly offended by the use of another word which IS correct, factual, and holds no derogatory connotations to 99.9% of people who use it.


It is FAR more likely that the word concession, used in this context is not intended insult someone, or deride their beliefs, than it is when a deity's name is used "in vain". It wouldn't be used for shock value, it wouldn't be offensive to a LARGE majority of English speakers (most of whom would be completely ignorant of the history of the word, and there fore couldn't INTEND it to be insulting), and actually refers to the point under discussion.


Talk about reductio ad absurdum.

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Elmer's Glue
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Why is it a logical fallacy to say that if I have a friend who is black I can't be a racist?

Not disagreeing, I just can't think of good reasons.

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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I accept. My first act as decider of funniness (DOF) is to inform you that you are not funny. Moreover, you do not have a good sense of humor, and so it is my judgment, as DOF, that you may not dictate the terms of funniness, nor make claims as to the funniness of others. This judgment may only, and even then in but rare cases, be appealed through a witty quip or a humorous turn of phrase. Failure to properly, and humorously, structure your response will result in a hilariously scathing denial of your appeal.

[Evil Laugh]
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Jhai
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You could believe that all black people are stupid compared to white people, but still have on as a friend 'cause you genuinely like not-bright people.
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