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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Death of an Idol (Page 6)

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Author Topic: The Death of an Idol
Stone_Wolf_
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If people are offended by a factual disagreement of their beliefs, then they are offended. This is not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about effort to be polite, I'm talking about the attempt to avoid objectively negative ways of speaking. There are multiple benefits.

And I still don't understand what harm comes from giving the benefit of the doubt. Yes, if the other guy isn't, then they will be acting like a jerk, but in not doing the same, how is it "harmful"? Either their jerkiness is harmful to you or not, you returning fire does not mitigate their damage, it's just -more damage-.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Yes. Because the need to be polite is unaffected by who one is addressing. I am polite because being rude harms others as well as myself. Morally I cannot conceive of a situation where being rude or cruel is necessary. Can you? And I don't mean "tactically". I mean morally it's the right thing to do.

BlackBlade, was it polite for black people to sit in restaurants where they were specifically not wanted and refuse to leave? Is it polite for protesters to inconvenience people by intruding on public spaces? Did a lot of those old testament prophets preface their exhortations with, "If you don't mind" and "I don't want to hurt your feelings but..."?

Speaking truth to power sometimes requires offending people.

Offense is not something I think can be avoided. As Jesus said the world will hate us for his sake. I accept that when one is standing against evil they will be called much worse than rude. But that is their problem not mine. Civil disobedience is an excellent place to discuss this issue. I'd have to take it on a case by case basis. Bus boycotts are fine with me. Blocking bridges and stopping traffic are not. I'll have to think about it some more but I hate posting on my iTouch.
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Scott R
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quote:
now no one can possibly occupy high ground as there is none left to stand on.
I beg your pardon; this piece of road I'm standing on is quite elevated, thank you very much.
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Scott R
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quote:
Speaking truth to power sometimes requires offending people.
Depends on the "power." Mostly, I think people who use this phrase actually align closely with the Limbaugh/Beck style of communication.

All I'm saying is: know your audience.

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kmbboots
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I think it depends on the truth. Limbaugh and Beck do not speak truth. But they sure as heck know their audience.
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kmbboots
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Tell me. What could possibly be a "polite" response to this guy?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/waymon-hudson/american-evangelical-lou_b_560819.html

quote:
Not only did Engle fully support the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but he whipped up bizarre fears of evil gays lurking in schools in Uganda. He also praised the backers of a bill that seeks to kill gays and imprison those who support them. Engle happily gave a huge platform to violent, anti-gay activists with his organization's TheCall rally in Uganda.

This is the danger of exporting radical American Evangelicalism and homophobia to other countries. Lou Engle has turned an already volatile situation into an untenable one where blood will most likely be spilled in the name of his extremism -- blood that will rest firmly on his hands.

Or these guys?

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/two-more-pastors-two-different-states-advocate-for-the-killing-of-gays/

quote:
“They should be put to death. That’s what happened in Israel. That’s why homosexuality wouldn’t have grown in Israel. It tends to limit conversions. It tends to limit people coming out of the closet. — ‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t but they should.
How about them?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/aint-no-homos-gonna-make-it-to-heaven_n_1555735.html

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Synesthesia
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Why can't these people just move to Iran and leave the rest of us alone? Seriously, what is WRONG with these people? How is being gay worth killing someone over it...?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Boots:

Here is my polite response to your examples:

"Dear Sirs,

Your views on homosexuality and homosexuals are evil. I, and others who feel the same as I do, will do anything in our power to stop your message of hate from being spread. Further if you attempt to harm our fabulous brothers or plaid clad sisters we will stop you by any means necessary, including physical restraint, legal prosecution to the full extent of the law and even lethal force. Your persecution of the free and innocent people who are only seeking happiness and equal rights is unethical, unjustifiable, and downright unAmerican. I beg you to rethink your positions and consider that homosexuality harms you in no way what so ever. And if you can not share this conclusion, then I ask you to embrace the founding idea of our country, freedom. Freedom from religious, racial and sexual orientation persecution."

I'm sure what I said above would offend some. But I made effort to not impinge the opinion holder, only the opinion they choose to broadcast. I let them know I oppose them, but I never call them names. I only talk about their stated views and actions. It isn't about what -they deserve- it is about keeping my personal dignity intact, the dignity of the message I'm championing and not following them down the slippery slope of hatred.

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Scott R
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quote:
What could possibly be a "polite" response to this guy?
Regarding the pastors who are advocating violent action against homosexuals:

Since they are supposedly Christian, I'd start by establishing a baseline of what the New Testament teaches regarding homosexuality. Then I'd transition to the idea that killing someone is robbing them of their ability to repent and come to Jesus Christ. I would point out that Paul, who was one of the worst enemies of the Church, and who was complicit in the death of Steven, was shown mercy by Christ himself, allowed to repent, and became an incredible missionary force. I'd emphasize the universality of Christ's sacrifice for all men, and demonstrate scripturally that their extreme position is actually condemned by God, and that they have no doctrinal leg to stand on.

From there, I'd discuss the fact that true religion is fostered by an open society-- that when people are allowed to dialog and speak openly about their beliefs, without fear of violent or social reprisal, their adherence to the religion they choose is strengthened. Sure, there's the specter of apostasy or atheism; but true Christian discipleship is only possible when there is the choice to behave otherwise.

Once you kind of muscle through the gag reflex of what they're proposing, and realign your point of view to make counter arguments within a context that is compatible to the audience, it is indeed possible to make a polite and passionate argument against them.

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kmbboots
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I don't think that either of those qualifies as "polite" but neither are they as strong as I would like them to be.

Scott, what do you mean by "social reprisal"?

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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I don't think that either of those qualifies as "polite" but neither are they as strong as I would like them to be.

Scott, what do you mean by "social reprisal"?

Not permitting a minority group the ability to have businesses and conduct trade; not permitting a minority group to invest in the government of a society; not permitting a minority group the same rights of personal transport or freedom of movement; not permitting a minority group to advocate for changes to laws governing the society in which they live; government sponsored boycott of businesses owned by a minority group...

That sort of thing. Government-sponsored intimidation through economic or other means.

What is your definition of polite, kmboots, within the context of this discussion?

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Stone_Wolf_
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Boots: What was rude in mine or Scott's message?
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Scott R
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quote:
I don't think that either of those qualifies as "polite" but neither are they as strong as I would like them to be.
What is your definition of polite, kmboots, within the context of this discussion?

As for 'strong', I guess it depends on what one's purpose is in arguing the point. A strong, and blunt refutation is, in my opinion, less than effective in winning the hearts and minds of the opposition. (For example: how many democrats are swayed to become Republican via the Rush Limbaugh radio show?)

On the other hand it makes GREAT press among the people who already believe it. Much wagging of heads and tongues, and so forth. That's something, I guess.

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kmbboots
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Polite, for me, is different in different contexts but has at its heart the desire and intention of making other people comfortable. I don't want people holding these vicious ideas to be comfortable about it.

Scott, thanks for your clarification of social reprisal. I do think that the government should refrain from such reprisals. I do think that non-government reprisals can be appropriate, though.

I also don't think that all the courtesy in the world is going to change the minds of some of these people. God (and you all) know that I have been presenting theological arguments for decades. If that worked this guy wouldn't exist.

http://barthsnotes.com/2009/10/19/leviticus-fail/

The people cheering for that child vomiting out his hateful song are no more likely to change than the KKK grand wizard is likely to change. But I do want them to become increasingly isolated islands of hate (like the KKK) rather than permeating and influencing society as they do know. I want the "mild" people - the "love the sinner, hate the sin" folks, the apologetic anti-gay folks to realize whose side they are picking in the battle.

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Stone_Wolf_
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There are those of us who are trying to avoid battle. And I don't think you can stop the spread of hate, with more hate.
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kmbboots
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A strategy of appeasement then, Stone Wolf?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
There are those of us who are trying to avoid battle.

Duly noted.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
A strategy of appeasement then, Stone Wolf?

Oh for goodness sake are those the only choices?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Considering I said I would use lethal force to protect gays I don't think appeasement is an appropriate word. Just because I'm willing to kill doesn't mean I'm actively trying to degenerate discussion into violence. And just because I'm trying to avoid battle doesn't mean I'm not standing up for gay rights.
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kmbboots
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BlackBlade, What do you suggest? We are still denying people the right to have families. People who form public opinion are talking about rounding gays up inside fences till they die off or just having the government kill them outright. They are teaching hate to their children. How does one not fight against that unless they think it is okay or not important?

Edit: StoneWolf, how does one use lethal force "politely"?

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Scott R
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quote:
I want the "mild" people - the "love the sinner, hate the sin" folks, the apologetic anti-gay folks to realize whose side they are picking in the battle.
Really? This tact seems...inadvisable, if you're going to try to persuade these folks to your position.

quote:
God (and you all) know that I have been presenting theological arguments for decades. If that worked this guy wouldn't exist.
This is a very dangerous thought, in general. The degree of danger is dependent on what your solution to their opposition is.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
I want the "mild" people - the "love the sinner, hate the sin" folks, the apologetic anti-gay folks to realize whose side they are picking in the battle.
Really? This tact seems...inadvisable, if you're going to try to persuade these folks to your position.

quote:
God (and you all) know that I have been presenting theological arguments for decades. If that worked this guy wouldn't exist.
This is a very dangerous thought, in general. The degree of danger is dependent on what your solution to their opposition is.

What is dangerous about that? By "doesn't exist" I don't mean kill him or anything. I mean that the theological wrongness of tattooing a verse from Leviticus would be immediately apparent to anyone for whom a theological argument would be effective. It doesn't need a solution.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Edit: StoneWolf, how does one use lethal force "politely"?

quote:
Originally posted by odouls268:
...'Say, pardon me...' *gunshot* '...I'm awfully sorry. Awfully sorry.'"
-George Carlin


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kmbboots
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Stone Wolf, you get that George Carlin was a comedian, right? That it wasn't actually polite but an example of how ridiculous the idea of shooting someone politely is? Right?
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Stone_Wolf_
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When the police say "Sir, you will be shot if you don't put down the gun." is it polite in form? I say yes.

Of course I got that it was joke.

quote:
How does one not fight against that unless they think it is okay or not important?
So, are you saying that because I am an advocate for politeness that I am not fighting against bigotry? And if so, does that mean that Mahatma Gandhi (not comparing myself to him) wasn't fighting against the English?

What you are not seeming to understand is that one can oppose these evils without adopting their ardent ways.

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kmbboots
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Stone Wolf, non-violence is not the same thing as politeness. I am not advocating violence.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Just battle?
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kmbboots
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I am sorry. I should have been more clear. I was using "battle" in a metaphoric sense. I did not mean actual physical battle.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible.
Mahatma Gandhi
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kmbboots
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quote:
A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.


Ditto.
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Stone_Wolf_
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How is saying "no" with courtesy the same as "yes"?
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kmbboots
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Stone Wolf, a dressed up "no" is still a "no". Decorating opposition with "pleases" and "sirs" doesn't make it polite and more than denying people rights while being sort of apologetic about it makes them polite.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:

As for 'strong', I guess it depends on what one's purpose is in arguing the point. A strong, and blunt refutation is, in my opinion, less than effective in winning the hearts and minds of the opposition. (For example: how many democrats are swayed to become Republican via the Rush Limbaugh radio show?)

Perhaps that is because Rush Limbaugh is also wrong.
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Stone_Wolf_
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The "no" I was referring to was the opposition's suggestion that we reinforced gay's second class citizenship. And you are 100% right, that a polite no is still a no.

It doesn't matter who one are talking to, no matter what bad thing they have said or done, acting like a jerk to them still makes one a jerk.

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kmbboots
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We don't seem to be getting anywhere trying to define polite. Why don't you define "acting like a jerk" to see if we are talking about the same thing. Lots of people would consider saying the "polite" statement you proposed about to be acting like a jerk.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
If people are offended by a factual disagreement of their beliefs, then they are offended. This is not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about effort to be polite, I'm talking about the attempt to avoid objectively negative ways of speaking.


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kmbboots
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"No" is negative. "You are wrong" is negative and impolite. One can be negative and not polite without being a jerk.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Decorating opposition with "pleases" and "sirs" doesn't make it polite...

Are you saying that anytime there is a disagreement it is impolite?
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Stone_Wolf_
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I agree the phrase "You are wrong." is impolite.

But the phrase "I think your views are wrong." is polite.

A big part of being polite in a disagreement is talking about the person's views, and the not person holding them.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I also disagree with your statement that one can be impolite and not be a jerk (with the exception of friendly commodore joking style jerkery).
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kmbboots
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Disagreement is not opposition, so no. I am not saying that.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I also disagree with your statement that one can be impolite and not be a jerk (with the exception of friendly commodore joking style jerkery).

You are wrong. And yet, I am not a jerk.
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Stone_Wolf_
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What is the delineation between disagreement and opposition?

I should have said, "One can not be impolite and not act like a jerk."

I don't think you -are- a jerk boots, but acting like one? Maybe. *shrug* Not that I mind in this particular case, as we are comrades and such.

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kmbboots
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I am not your comrade, Stone Wolf. Sir. There. That was polite.

Disagreement: You think tea is tasty? I think it is insipid.

Opposition: You want to make everyone drink tea? I will campaign against that.

Edit: BTW, telling me that I am acting like a jerk, is acting like a jerk.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Awwww, polite, sure, but sad.

So, disagreement can be polite, unless it is on a large scale?

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kmbboots
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It isn't a case of scale. It is a case of opposing something rather than disagreeing with something.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Edit: BTW, telling me that I am acting like a jerk, is acting like a jerk.

I say "saying "you are wrong" is acting like a jerk in my opinion."

You say, "You are wrong."

I say, "You aren't a jerk, but acting like one? Maybe, but I don't mind cause we are comrades."

You say, "We aren't comrades."

So, if something I said offended you, I apologize. Seriously, because despite what you said, I say we are comrades.

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Stone_Wolf_
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But you just said that opposing something is disagreeing with it on a large scale, or did I misunderstand you?
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kmbboots
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You haven't offended me. I am trying to be clear.

"Comrade" indicates a much closer relationship than I believe we have. We are only sort-of acquaintances. We have not formed an intimate bond by struggling together in adversity which is what "comrade" means to me. Something deeper than even friendship. Do you really think we have achieved that level of mutual dependence and intimacy? Or that we are members of the Communist Party?

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kmbboots
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Yes. You misunderstand me. I did not say that. You said "large scale" and I disagreed.
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