[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Apr 24 11:31:28 UTC 2007

Olga writes (hi Olga!)

> From: "Lee Corbin" <lcorbin at rawbw.com>
>> Listen, I think that it's perfectly all right for black people to tell 
>> jokes about white people, and vice-versa, but only so long as none of the 
>> "targets" are within listening range. Insults, derogatory remarks, and 
>> even jokes put people into uncomfortable positions, where often they even 
>> have to decide whether to be confrontational about the slights received. 
>> Sensible and courteous folks simply DO NOT say such things in mixed
> audiences.
> Mixed audiences?  What precisely is a mixed audience (or not)? (And, I say 
> ... HOW would you know whether you were in a "mixed" audience or not?)

Precisely, a "mixed-audience" is composed of two parts, either along doctrinal
or ethnic or gender lines. I consider this audience to now be mixed because
some people have had the temerity to actually endorse, or come close to 
endorsing, religious beliefs.

You can never know for sure if there are crypto-fascists on, say, the Extropian
lists, but then, certainty is impossible in general in life. It's *safe* to say that
there are no fascists on this list.  (And that *must* mean, of course, people
who self-describe as that way;  there is always the kind of name-calling going
on, alas, in which many people here are wont to call others fascists or whatever.)

> There's respecting someone's opinions ... and there's respecting a person's 
> right to those opinions.  I personally have no compunction in telling 
> someone (i.e., someone into superstition) that I don't have respect for 
> their opinions - only their right to those views.

It can become clear what you think of their views, and always does! None
of us is going to tip-toe around issues to the degree that it's not clear where
we stand. (At least I hope so.)

The question is not whether one "respects the views of another".  In most cases
people who debate issues consider the other party to be dead wrong. As they
should. What is at question here is the degree of courtesy with which such
disagreement is expressed.   Hmm... Let's take for granted that *here* no one
is questioning that people have a "right to their views" (whatever that means).
So that particular straw-horse / dead-man  can be laid to rest.

The question *is* whether or not insulting language is to be employed, e.g.
characterizing the views of others as puerile, stupid, ignorant, etc. Again,
use of such language is completely pointless, except as an emotional salve
for those who already agree with you.  Rah, rah, rah.


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