Here, I guess: Kathleen, I’ll have the self-censorship setting on medium-high but if I do cross the line feel free to edit or delete as I know you will.
Next: Words, ideas and rhetoric (the art of argument and persuasion to name but two facets) are the self-proclaimed realms of the writer and it behoves each of us to learn as much about these aspects of the craft as we can. Personally, my education in these areas has been a steep upward curve, helped in no small part by some contributors on this site.
Third: I could just walk away and leave well enough alone but I happen to subscribe to the idea contained within the quote of J S Mills I posted above.
Fourth: The ‘Founding Fathers’ and all the members of the various state legislatures and specifically those members of the Continental Congress who voted for accepting the Declaration of Independence were common criminals in revolt. If they’d lost they would have all died a traitors death. But they won and revolt became rebellion, except they still call it the American Revolution.
Fifth: While self-deprecation can be a powerful tool if used to good effect, this is crass and insulting.
quote: If it’s so important, why don’t you put your irony aside that obviously confuses us plain-speakin’ bumpkins, and state it plainly?
Now, mfreivald, let me see if I can explain exactly what I mean without resorting to only using words of one syllable.
Freedom of choice, it’s that plain and simple.
I am free to choose what I write, what I say, how I write it or say it, who I associate with, how I live my life, what I believe in, I could go on and on. You, and everyone else is free to choose to agree with me or to disagree, even vehemently, and to denounce me, campaign against me, boycott my books and anything else you can think of. What you can’t do is incite people to violence.
quote: Someone is going to get physical, and the rest of society is going to back him.
I was arguing this general principle and you responded with specifics. And not just any type of specific arguments but ones designed deliberately to be as distasteful to any reasonable person as possible. So, let me deal with a few.
I don’t have the right to murder but I do have the right to kill: In defence of myself, my home (in the USA, not in Australia), my family, my friends and even perfect strangers. Get it?
I do have a right to libel or slander someone, particularly if they’re dead, or it is the truth, and the truth is the ultimate defence against either charge. And, unless proven on the balance of probabilities in a duly constituted court, that’s all it is, opinion.
When I asked the rhetorical question: So, just what is decent and good? You responded with this tirade:
quote: Oh, that’s just priceless. You blatantly attempt to impose your beliefs that would force an acceptance of extreme belligerence upon everyone else, and by doing so you are assert what you think is right, and then you try to disable the rest of us by saying that there is no “right” that can be asserted? Seriously think about what you are saying. You are saying: “My right is the only right, and no one else can assert right because all right is in doubt.” Extremely contradictory and irrational, and it should be laughed out of the public square.
Are you serious? I just asked the question, I didn’t assert anything; but I will now.
Just what do you have to hide? Come, Sir, nail your colours to the mast so that this degenerate libertine can see exactly what is decent and what is good – in your righteous opinion.
And then you say this:
quote: The fact is—I am advocating that we all struggle through this as decent human beings and, as much as we can, work out something that isn’t intolerable to our enemies but also accommodates as much freedom as is reasonable.
As much freedom as is reasonable? Work out something that isn’t intolerable . . .? What exactly are you advocating? And, who is this WE you are talking about, all right thinking people?
Finally, I can see your difficulty in understanding what I am saying; it seems you can’t even see what your own words reveal about yourself.
quote:Taking a persoanl exception to kmsf's citation of John Adam's opinion position(s) regarding freedom of speech is where the discussion went off the rails.
Well, that’s very convenient of you to identify that as where it “went off the rails.” That “personal exception” was me simply stating an alternate opinion, and it was neither aggressive nor disrespectful in any way. So it only “went of the rails” at that point because it was upon that small statement of opinion that Phil responded in over-the-top in-your-face aggressiveness. Saying my post “went off the rails” is like saying a mugging was precipitated by the victim earning an honest dollar. I think most people would agree that the usual use of “to go off the rails” fits Phil’s response to my opinion, not my giving it. Regardless of how you use the idiom, my post is clearly not where the aggressive manner of the thread started.
quote:(extrinsic quotes me):“These _pretentious_ tactics are _transparent_ and _silly_."
He replies: Ad hominem abuses, among others.
I don’t think you understand what ad hominem is. Ad hominem is the logical fallacy that uses criticism of the man to discredit the man’s argument. I didn’t do anything like that. I directly characterized your tactic, and you were using tactics that pretended to intellectual superiority in order to discredit my arguments. The tactics were obviously pretentious, and I stand by my characterization of them.
That being said—it’s nothing close to abusive. It’s not even personally insulting because I didn’t call you pretentious, I called your tactics pretentious.
Regarding paragraphs three through five in your recent post, extrinsic, all of those things you mentioned (child abuse, molestation, sexual issues regarding women, etc.) are open for discussion, and I would happily engage them in the public discussion. I would probably be quite liberal about them in most cases. But that doesn’t mean that we should be forbidden to even examine them and determine whether or not they are fit for print—and that includes whether or not they should be legally curtailed. That’s what I object to. Everything should be subject to scrutiny.
Posts: 387 | Registered: May 2006
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quote:I am dumbfounded at how this topic has evolved.
Most people get unhinged sometimes, and I don't hold it against Phil that he just started going off on me. Usually these kinds of things play themselves out and people get on with their lives. Hope it happens soon.
Posts: 387 | Registered: May 2006
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