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Re: Jokes, ad-hominem attacks, and sensitivity

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Aug 21, 2006 at 23:20 UTC ( #568715=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Jokes, ad-hominem attacks, and sensitivity

Where I draw the line: I try not to deliberately offend without good reason. I am moderately careful to avoid accidentally offending, and if I misstep I think through what caused offense and decide whether I'll take care to avoid doing that again. Usually I will, but sometimes I won't. (Random example, I usually do not refrain from jokes about wildlife being potential dinner, even though I know some vegetarians who are offended at the concept.)

That said, reading through the thread, I personally find ptum's responses more offensive than DrHyde's initial comment. As the saying goes, be strict in what you emit and liberal in what you accept. Neither person followed that advice. However it seems to me that ptum was farther from that ideal. (That said, once DrHyde saw that this annoyed ptum, he shouldn't have prodded further...)

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Re^2: Jokes, ad-hominem attacks, and sensitivity
by rodion (Chaplain) on Aug 22, 2006 at 15:01 UTC
    A hearty double plus on your personal standards.

    I disagree with your weighing of ptum's response. I found it remarkably restrained, considering it's from someone who's just been injured. I could have been much more restrained, but Dr.Hyde's original exclamation didn't mess with any of my deeply held convictions or my sense of reverence.

      I disagree completely. Somebody who believes in something, like a christian who believes in the existence of christ, in christ being the son of god, or being the same as god, does not have that believe to be shocked by an insult.

      A christian who is shocked or insulted by an insult, and even complaints about that insult, should start thinking about the strength of his faith. Is his faith so weak that it can be shocked that easily? Of so, on what is his faith based?

      A true believer may be shocked, but does not complain in public about that shock. Instead, this believer seeks for the reason of this shock. Once he finds that reason, he thinks about it and tries to solve the problem, so the next time he is not shocked. If he wants to respond at all, he will then write about his quest for the reason of him being shocked and about the way he solved it.

      Being shocked generally means that the believer did not think about his believe thoroughly enough. There are aspects of his faith that are taken for granted, that are plainly accepted for true.

      A response that the believer is shocked by the insult is a confession of weakness. A response should include an answer to the one that insulted, in which the insult is proven wrong. If the faithful is not capable of such an answer, I seriously doubt the reason for his faith.

      Yes, I am an atheist. I know many christians who believe in christ just because their parents and teachers and religious leaders told them to be. Christians who know hardly anything about their religious texts. Maybe they use their faith to add to their identity, just like a Perl Monk who proudly claims on his home node he is a faithful christian, to distinguish himself from less faithful monks (look, my car is bigger and better).

      Should an insult remain unanswered? No, as I said, answer with a prove of the erroneousness of the insult. Not just by showing shock.


        Let's steer this back on topic. As important as religion may be, whether of the Christion, athiest or agnostic variety, Perl Monks is not a good place to sort it out (the name of the place not withstanding). The current topic is decorum, offense, and how much we cramp our style in order to be inclusive of those with different sensibilities. Such a matter of the conventions of courtesy is important for any community, especially one like PM, and it's therefore on-topic for this section.

        Different people are shocked by different things. I'm shocked by exlusive use of single letter variables in a large piece of production code. Graphic descriptions of consumption of human flesh and/or excrement are way beyond what I'm willing to read, even if they are part of someone's swearing about something that's realy bad. Others may have better code-reading comprehension or stronger stomachs.

        Courtesy requires that one at least start by taking someone at their word about what shocks or hurts them. Of the following responses:

        • Oops, sorry, I did't mean to offend.
        • Sorry to offend. This is a bit of a rough crowd and that's the way we generally talk here.
        • Intentional offense taken, intentional offense given, shall we call it even.
        • I don't see a problem, most (normal) people aren't offended by that.
        I believe that all but the last are appropriate courtesy in the right circumstances. From her writings, I'm pretty sure the American "Miss Manners" (aka Judith Martin) would agree with that.

        In the situation referred in the OP of this thread, I'd vote for the the first of these responses as the most appropriate for Dr.Hyde's response in those circumstances. Others may choose differently, but that's the boundary the OP of this thread is asking about, I believe.

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