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Author Topic: How Proximity Affects Compassion
TomDavidson
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It sounds like you failed to understand what was being communicated to you, SW.
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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Which words? Which thoughts? Come on. Be specific.

I think it's most often situational and within particular contexts. And perhaps certain people.

I have a college friend who still lives up north whom, I'm pretty sure, thinks I'm a bigot because I am religious, live in Tennessee, and read Orson Scott Card. He flipped and all but called me a homophobe when he found out I was going to see "Ender's Game", which he had boycotted. Come to think of it we haven't really talked much if at all since then. I'm partly to blame for that as well.

I don't know as that's a good example either. Although, it does fall in line with the discussion we had above about thinking globally. Ender's Game, the book, had such a profound effect on me as a teenager (to the extent that I was even nicknamed Ender) that there was no way I wasn't going to see the film adaptation of it. And, as it is, what I take from the messages of that book are NOT what my friend focused on as regards the author (that's a different debate which I'm sure has been had on here ad nauseum). Plus, I work in the film industry... so it's not as simple as saying "seeing this movie supports the author of the book it was adapted from". It ALSO (or entirely apart from) supports MANY MANY MANY other hardworking folk.

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kmbboots
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You keep sidling away from it but I know you can get there.

Which situation? Which people? What kinds of words and thoughts?

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It sounds like you failed to understand what was being communicated to you, SW.

Wouldn't be the first time
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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
You keep sidling away from it but I know you can get there.

Which situation? Which people? What kinds of words and thoughts?

Hmmm...

Well... I can't speak for other peoples' definition of it. And I'm not sure how to properly define it.

But here's a for-instance experience. We'll see if it's anywhere near what we're talking about.

I have gay friends and black friends, and as part of how we talk to each other, we dig into each other - we tell racial jokes back and forth. I'll make gay jokes or black jokes and, believe it or not, my gay friends will make straight jokes (very clever ones at that) and my black friends will make white jokes. I consider myself not "PC" in that way. I'm not looking to insult anyone (and I apologize when I do) - I just have a particular sense of humor. Usually racy, usually dark, definitely absurd.

Within our group, that's fine. I would suspect because we know each others' intents and our hearts. We know who we are and where we're coming from.

Were I to say something like that in public, I'd be branded a racist and probably be held accountable for even THINKING like that. My friends MIGHT be held accountable if they did the same thing, but I doubt it. I'm white. They're either not white or they're gay. There's a double standard aspect to it.

To be clear, I'm NOT suggesting everyone must like my sense of humor, and I'm also NOT AT ALL saying people must not be offended by it just because it's a joke. But by the same token, I would hope that if I'm expected to apologize for offending someone (as I should) then the offended person might take a second to look past what offended them rather than just cast me off. I don't want to offend people, I want to make people feel good.

Though, to be honest, I didn't start feeling good about myself until people started taking the piss out of me. Made me start to get comfortable in my skin. I get not everyone is that way and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It sounds like you failed to understand what was being communicated to you, SW.

Wouldn't be the first time
^ Me all the time. [Razz]
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Emreecheek
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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/06/11/you-cant-deny-people-their-rights-and-be-nice-about-it/

"Forget about all that. Forget about grace and graciousness. Forget about niceness. Forget about kindness, civility and charity.
It’d be great if those could come along later, but they’ll have to wait. None of those matters a bit right now because none of those is what’s missing right now.
What’s missing right now is the bare minimum, the essential first-step starting point of simple legal equality — simple human equality. I don’t care if Scott grants it churlishly, spitefully or reluctantly, but until she grants that then all her talk of graciousness, kindness and civility is empty talk and clanging cymbals."

The concern trolling is real.

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kmbboots
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Here is a good definition of "PC Culture". "PC Culture" is when you can no longer demean or disrespect people out loud because of their race, religion, disability, gender, sexuality, and so forth without other people disapproving of it. When people complain about "PC Culture" what they really mean is that they want to be able to insult other people yet still be considered nice.
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Rakeesh
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Not always, I wouldn't say. But quite often.
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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Here is a good definition of "PC Culture". "PC Culture" is when you can no longer demean or disrespect people out loud because of their race, religion, disability, gender, sexuality, and so forth without other people disapproving of it. When people complain about "PC Culture" what they really mean is that they want to be able to insult other people yet still be considered nice.

Okay, this is a fair definition of how people should act. I mean I think we all would agree with that.

Though, I would argue, the true definition should be that it's not okay to demean or disrespect ANYONE out loud because of ANYTHING. Otherwise you leave room open to be able to choose who it's okay to demean or disrespect and for what reason you get to do so. Who gets to decide that? In those circumstances, why is it okay to demean one person and not another?

Beyond that my experience with PC Culture has extended beyond simply disapproving of out-loud disrespect of the above-described people.

In some cases it's not enough that you don't say it, you can't think it either.

In some cases your intent doesn't matter, you're still demonized and branded as a racist.

I'm a Christian. I get branded a bigot, an idiot, a backwards moron and all kinds of demeaning things simply because I believe in Christ, by the same people who would otherwise back up your definition. When you say you can't demean someone because of their religion, I wholeheartedly agree, but even then it appears that in many cases it depends on what religion you are.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that there are likely people out there not happy with the PC thing because they don't GET to be demeaning. And I do think people should be held accountable for demeaning acts. But there is still a hypocrisy in the behavior of many people who stand behind Political Correctness, and in fact, I would argue, a group of people who use this as an excuse to demean and disrespect other people THEY don't like. While that would otherwise be considered a generalization I would note again that I've actually experienced it. Is that fair to say?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I get branded a bigot, an idiot, a backwards moron and all kinds of demeaning things simply because I believe in Christ...
I doubt that.
Are there things you believe that ARE bigoted and backward, that you blame on your belief in Christ?

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
But there is still a hypocrisy in the behavior of many people who stand behind Political Correctness, and in fact, I would argue, a group of people who use this as an excuse to demean and disrespect other people THEY don't like.
QFT
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kmbboots
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I would agree that it should extend to everyone, but the "PC Culture" that people generally decry is mostly concerned with not being able to be as racist, sexist, anti-gay...and so forth.

How do people know what you are thinking? And why do you want to be thinking those things?

Why should intent matter? The insult is the same. The damage is the same. If the insult is unintentional, the remedy is to learn rather than defend your right to remain ignorant and insulting.

I am Christian, too. People do not brand me a bigot, an idiot, a backwards moron. At least not because I am a Christian. [Smile] Where do you think the difference might be?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
But there is still a hypocrisy in the behavior of many people who stand behind Political Correctness, and in fact, I would argue, a group of people who use this as an excuse to demean and disrespect other people THEY don't like.
QFT
Do they not like those people because those people are racist, sexist, or generally insulting? If not, how are they applying "PC"?
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Stone_Wolf_
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But but but we hate and demean and ostracize and disenfranchise for a GOOD reason!
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do they not like those people because those people are racist, sexist, or generally insulting? If not, how are they applying "PC"?

I said for a good reason boots...I said that part...after you posted, sorry, got confused [Confused]
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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I get branded a bigot, an idiot, a backwards moron and all kinds of demeaning things simply because I believe in Christ...
I doubt that.
Are there things you believe that ARE bigoted and backward, that you blame on your belief in Christ?

No not at all. Not that I observe anyway. I believe in Love, Compassion and Joy. I get that from my take on Christ (and I understand not everyone's take is going to be the same... but that's also part of the point). And, to be clear, this is before I've even opened my mouth about anything apart from believing in Christ.

What I glean from this is that the people that call me the above things believe that people who believe in Christ are bigots, backwards, etc... And since I claim to associate with Christ they in turn associate me with those people.

To the extent that, yeah, there are some pretty not-cool Christians out there, I understand it. It's easy to say that "if you are a Christian you must also hate gays like these other Christians do." It hurts that someone isn't willing to hear out that that might be who THEY are but that's not who _I_ am.

And in the same breath an atheist acquaintance will basically insult my intelligence for my belief in a God but turn around and say "hey have some respect and leave this Muslim alone." (to be clear, they aren't talking to me... I have respect for all beliefs).

My experience has been bad enough that it took me years before I had the courage to write my God Jots blog. EVEN here in Tennessee I don't often talk about my faith unless I'm in the right room. (to be fair though, the latter is not just because of attacks from atheists but also because of people who don't think I'm "religious enough").

Mind you, I understand that these are outliers. I think the general PC populace genuinely just wants to defend whom they see as the downtrodden or marginalized and that's great! I mean, shit... isn't that what Jesus did?

But to ignore that there are people WITHIN the PC populace who use it to hate isn't any better than ignoring true bigotry within, say, even Christiandom. And, trust me, I don't ignore that.

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kmbboots
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Do you understand the difference between disliking a person because of their own actions and demeaning a person because they belong to a particular racial or religious group, gender, sexuality, or have a particular disability?
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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I would agree that it should extend to everyone, but the "PC Culture" that people generally decry is mostly concerned with not being able to be as racist, sexist, anti-gay...and so forth.

How do people know what you are thinking? And why do you want to be thinking those things?

Why should intent matter? The insult is the same. The damage is the same. If the insult is unintentional, the remedy is to learn rather than defend your right to remain ignorant and insulting.

I am Christian, too. People do not brand me a bigot, an idiot, a backwards moron. At least not because I am a Christian. [Smile] Where do you think the difference might be?

I agree that the offender should learn why what they said was offensive, however, I also believe Compassion is a two-way street. This is not to say that the offended must necessarily learn why the offender is a racist or bigot or-what-have-you, but to the extent that perhaps they should determine whether or not the offense was intentional or meant in the way it was heard is worth exploring.

And as an aside, what if the offender genuinely didn't know something was offensive? It's entirely plausible someone from, say, Florida, could say something completely offensive to someone in Alaska and have no idea it would be so. Once that's made clear shouldn't there be a reciprocation of understanding?

Offense - not always, and probably not even most often - can potentially be a matter of perception. Not everyone is going to know everything that could be offensive to any given person. I think a little bit of leeway should be given there (depending on the voracity of the insult, of course).

As for the difference (in terms of you not being called those things and me being called them)? Beats me. I can only tell you my experience. And unfortunately, I don't get enough face time with those people to be able to figure out why. I mean, again, I can be a pretentious prick sometimes but... that's not a Christ thing ;P

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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you understand the difference between disliking a person because of their own actions and demeaning a person because they belong to a particular racial or religious group, gender, sexuality, or have a particular disability?

Of course I do. I don't understand what, within anything I've said, implies anything contrary.
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kmbboots
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When you are not the one insulted, you are not the one who gets to set the terms for "leeway". When you insult someone unintentionally, the correct response is to apologize and not do it again, not double-down and make it the problem of the person you offended.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
But but but we hate and demean and ostracize and disenfranchise for a GOOD reason!

Was that not meant as sarcasm?
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Stone_Wolf_
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That question might have been aimed at me?
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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm pointing out that the end behaviors have similarities between bigots and PC right fighters, although I acknowledge the motivations are literally opposed.

So...um...no, not sarcasm at all

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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
When you are not the one insulted, you are not the one who gets to set the terms for "leeway". When you insult someone unintentionally, the correct response is to apologize and not do it again, not double-down and make it the problem of the person you offended.

I... said pretty much the same thing. Where in the world did I say anything about the offender making anything the problem of the offended person? Or to "double-down"?

I mean... do you think I'm suggesting that once the offender apologizes they say to the offended "okay now it's your turn"? That would be silly.

It's up to the offended what they do next. And no one says they have to do ANYTHING.

In MY case, depending on the severity of the insult, I would want to make sure I know exactly what was said or the intent behind it before I turn it into something it's not. For me, if nothing else, a lot of that comes from the fact that I don't want to be mischaracterized, thus I'm willing to give someone the same benefit of the doubt that I would hope someone would give me. I just can't expect someone to give that to me if I'm not going to give it to someone else. But that's me. That's not everyone and I didn't say it had to be.

And, by the way (had to edit this, sorry) I imagine I would fail at all of this miserably in the moment.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Why should intent matter? The insult is the same. The damage is the same. If the insult is unintentional, the remedy is to learn rather than defend your right to remain ignorant and insulting.

I disagree w/ this strongly...intent always matters, and ignorance of other's culture is not a sin nor is the damage "the same". Some people are impossible not to offend. It seems like your views are so black & white
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theamazeeaz
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Everybody judges others by their actions and themselves by their intentions, that's just how the world works.
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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
Everybody judges others by their actions and themselves by their intentions, that's just how the world works.

Pretty spot on!

But does it HAVE to be that way? I suppose that's kind of a major root of what I'm getting at here. I mean, is there anything that can be done about it?

I take a very CS Lewis-ian approach to the concept of "love thy neighbor". It's not "do unto those as you would have done to you" it's more "do unto those as if they WERE you".

So, in other words, when I do something stupid, or say something stupid, sure I chastise myself for saying that stupid thing, but I also ultimately forgive myself because I know my intent. Thus, if I'm to love my neighbor as if they were me (or I were them) then I must get at the intent.

Yes, easier said than done. I fail miserably. And thus we are back to square one, with your above quote.

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Ender Bowen
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I'm in the mood for a Guinness. I need a Guinness break. Anyone else?
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kmbboots
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Better still, do unto others as they would have you do unto them - or leave them alone. For example, I do not like Guinness (unlike the vast majority of my friends) but I do like cider. So if someone gives me a Guinness once, I appreciate the gesture but explain I prefer cider. No harm. If he persists in getting me Guinness or, say, mocks people who don't drink Guinness, or lobbies for the pub to only carry Guinness - well, at some point I will consider him a jerk. That is a reflection on his behavior, not on the fact that he is a Guinness drinker.
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Rakeesh
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Of course it's ok to disrespect a given person for some actions.

quote:
I'm a Christian. I get branded a bigot, an idiot, a backwards moron and all kinds of demeaning things simply because I believe in Christ, by the same people who would otherwise back up your definition. When you say you can't demean someone because of their religion, I wholeheartedly agree, but even then it appears that in many cases it depends on what religion you are.
Those I don't doubt this has happened to you I'll be blunt: that is not a thorough review of what 'being a Christian' has meant to you, in the United States, with respect to 'how I am treated by others'. How many Christian presidents have there been? Members of the House and Senate? Governors, mayors, city councilors, etc. How much of an onus are we *really* meant to believe saying 'I'm a member of the biggest religion on the continent'? Much Iess *Tennessee*?

So no. Unless you happened to grow up in some sort of radical communist commune, while I don't doubt that from time to time you experience negativity related to your faith-particularly given your approach if this thread is a judge-overall it's been a plus. Unless we're talking about sectarian disapproval in which case guess what? PC liberals ain't the problem.

For example: that atheist who says 'lay off the Muslim'? Smart money says he thinks you're just as dumb as that Muslim, and what was the context when she told you to lay off the Muslim anyway?

You're pretending to an objectivity and disinterest in taking a side that you're simply not exhibiting. I don't mind you picking a side, but the part where you lecture as though you had the moral authority of distance and objectivity can grate over time.

And as for not saying 'the offended' need to do anything? Cmon man sure you are. They need to be more compassionate, right?

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
Everybody judges others by their actions and themselves by their intentions, that's just how the world works.

Quotable!...is this original?

quote:
Originally posted by Ender Bowen:
I'm in the mood for a Guinness. I need a Guinness break. Anyone else?

I'll toke a (fully legal) bong in your honor.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Better still, do unto others as they would have you do unto them - or leave them alone. For example, I do not like Guinness (unlike the vast majority of my friends) but I do like cider. So if someone gives me a Guinness once, I appreciate the gesture but explain I prefer cider. No harm. If he persists in getting me Guinness or, say, mocks people who don't drink Guinness, or lobbies for the pub to only carry Guinness - well, at some point I will consider him a jerk. That is a reflection on his behavior, not on the fact that he is a Guinness drinker.

This is an awesome allegory! [Smile]
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
[qb] Everybody judges others by their actions and themselves by their intentions, that's just how the world works.

Quotable!...is this original?


Absolutely not. It's been going around the internet for a while in my usual circles.

Google attributes this guy, but I'm guessing he is not the original source:
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/147819-we-judge-ourselves-by-our-intentions-and-others-by-their

https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/comments/2cips5/we_judge_ourselves_by_our_intentions_and_everyone/

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Stone_Wolf_
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It's a good line
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NobleHunter
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Better still, do unto others as they would have you do unto them - or leave them alone. For example, I do not like Guinness (unlike the vast majority of my friends) but I do like cider. So if someone gives me a Guinness once, I appreciate the gesture but explain I prefer cider. No harm. If he persists in getting me Guinness or, say, mocks people who don't drink Guinness, or lobbies for the pub to only carry Guinness - well, at some point I will consider him a jerk. That is a reflection on his behavior, not on the fact that he is a Guinness drinker.

This is an awesome allegory! [Smile]
Now I want Guinness *and* cider. Though not at the same time. And preferably with a palate cleanser between them.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I like both too!
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Heisenberg
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Ender, welcome to the board. I like the cut of your jib. You've done a much more eloquent job of explaining this viewpoint then I've managed to do these last few weeks.I agree with pretty much all you've said.

As an aside, I think it's silly to mock people for voting Trump because he's like them/represents them and he's a billionaire. (Supposedly.)

He wasn't supposed to represent them on a basis of socioeconomic status. He was supposed to represent them because he wasn't a politician. Had never been one. These people, rightly or wrongly, blame their ills on the government, and have very strong dislike and distrust for anyone connected to it. The longer they've been in, the greater the dislike.

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Rakeesh
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Except you only take it one step, and neglect the part that makes this supposed reason less credible. One of the chief reasons Washington is messed up, it is widely accepted, is that politicians are bought by special interests.

Donald Trump spent his life as a special interest. So why should anyone credit the claim 'he'll punish Washington in the nose!' as a reason for supporting him if he represented one of the exact reasons people want to punch Washington in the nose?

Yes, anger with Washington is a big part of it, no doubt. But if the supposed solution to Washington corruption chosen by many voters is one of the crassest epitomes of the ones doing the corrupting, then I start to wonder how many other reasons there are. Especially if he campaigned on them for over a year.

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kmbboots
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Cutting out the middle man?
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Heisenberg
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I dunno. People talking like that kind of sound like those who criticize Warren Buffet because he says that rich people should pay more taxes, whilst he doesn't pay much tax because of the insanely low tax rates on the rich.

Going from a devils advocate position, if the game rules are rigged, you can't blame the player for doing what it takes to stay competitive with others playing the game.

Trump flat out said that he had taken advantage of the loopholes, that they were wrong, and that they needed to be stopped. Again, compare to Buffet.

Whether it was wise to take him at his word or not is another matter.

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Ender Bowen
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Better still, do unto others as they would have you do unto them - or leave them alone. For example, I do not like Guinness (unlike the vast majority of my friends) but I do like cider. So if someone gives me a Guinness once, I appreciate the gesture but explain I prefer cider. No harm. If he persists in getting me Guinness or, say, mocks people who don't drink Guinness, or lobbies for the pub to only carry Guinness - well, at some point I will consider him a jerk. That is a reflection on his behavior, not on the fact that he is a Guinness drinker.

This is an awesome allegory! [Smile]
Now I want Guinness *and* cider. Though not at the same time. And preferably with a palate cleanser between them.
Have you ever done them both together like a Black and Tan? I think in some places it's called a Black Velvet. It doesn't seem like it should work but it's surprisingly good!
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happymann
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"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
-Retired General James Mattis (possibly our next Secretary of Defense)

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Stone_Wolf_
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That last part sounds like batman
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