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  #101  
Old 05-22-2020, 04:47 PM
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Hmm... In other threads I have elaborated that further to that none of us is under any obligation to really "let it ALL hang out", there are some thoughts we really do not need to share and it's for the better for everybody. And specifically in that linked thread I did make reference to that at some point sooner or later in life we learn "I will not mouth off the first thing that comes to my mind" is a useful rule.

Now, though: I do not subscribe to the notion that if you have to stop and question yourself whether what you say will be well received, then it somehow must mean that there is something wrong with it -- some of the comments could be interpreted that way. But neither am I going to walk on eggshells agonizing about constantly second-guessing myself. What I will do is, after deciding if it's necessary/useful to intervene, figure out what is a way by which I can communicate my question, opinion or query in a manner that minimizes conflict potential, aware all the time that (a) there is no way I will ever completely eliminate it and (b) there's always someone who may take it as a crusade and won't want to let go of it.

Of course, there's also issues of time, manner and place. I may word a statement or a reaction one way or another, or may choose to either go deep-dive or remain casual about it, about the same theme, depending if I'm getting in the middle of a heavy debate in GD, lighthearted banter in MPSIMS, or a vicious pile-on in the Pit, and I would expect those also involved to understand that.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 05-22-2020 at 04:48 PM.
  #102  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:14 PM
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Several people who I respect quit the debate, some twice, try as I may to stay civil and keep an open mind. I hate the feeling I got then, it's the most undesirable outcome of a debate when the other side just says this isn't worth it any more and walks away.
I don't follow which threads you're referring to; but I'm pretty sure I explicitly bowed out of a discussion with you at least once because I felt that it was getting nowhere at all.

I wouldn't say I was stressed out by it. But when you've asked a question, and I've tried to explain my answer six different ways, and you keep not understanding any of my different types of answer: there really doesn't seem to be anywhere to go from there. It's not possible to have a debate when the parties don't have enough common ground to understand each other; and when repeated attempts to build some sort of bridge to common ground keep getting met with a wall of incomprehension, yes, there's a point at which I at least am going to say that obviously if anybody's going to build that bridge successfully it isn't me and it's not worth it for me to keep trying.

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Originally Posted by Delayed Reflex View Post
Isn't it more factual that there are more than two sexes (ie. intersex people), but that gender is a social construct so it could be reasonable to argue that there are only two genders?
How would that make it more reasonable? What society constructs, society can construct differently. And there have been human societies throughout known history, and most likely before, which recognized more than two genders.

If all you want to say is, "The dominant USA society in, say, 1950, only formally recognized the existence of two genders", I doubt anybody's going to get worked up about that. (Though even in that society at that time, there were tomboys.) But that's not at all the same thing as "There are only two genders."

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Originally Posted by Do Not Taunt View Post
I assume he's referring to this thread. I just scanned through it, and most posts are from people who have either claimed they're male or have male-sounding names. There are a couple posters in there for whom I don't know either way - maybe Max knows better. That said, I mean, even posters who have said they're male could be lying, so who really knows?
I'm pretty sure Kimstu's female. There are others I don't know about. I'm not all that clear about most people's genders on this board; I often don't think it's relevant, and when I do think it's relevant to the thread or the post I sometimes still have trouble keeping track.
  #103  
Old 05-22-2020, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Well all sorts of things are possible. What's relevant here is whether you can insist that not only is it possible that your debate opponent has some belief that he's expressly denying but that he definitely does, and further, that you demand action based on the assumption that he does.

Conversely, thinking someone might possibly have other beliefs which underlay the positions they're expressing is not an automatic indicator of bad faith. It's when people refuse to accept the possibility that their opponents might simply mean exactly what they're saying, no more and no less, that it becomes reasonable to question their bona fides and/or intelligence. Especially if - as is so frequently the case - this attribution of beliefs very much serves the interests of the ones doing the attributing.
You can see that at work right on this thread with posts #59 and #60.

There's talk about dehumanizing in this thread too, cogito ergo sum, what is more dehumanizing than denying the thoughts of someone else and substituting them for your negative, self serving interpretation?
"You are not you, you are this thing I created to justify my thoughts and my actions against you", that form of dehumanization is rampant in the SDMB.
  #104  
Old 05-22-2020, 09:22 PM
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Last edited by Ale; 05-22-2020 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Forum hiccup
  #105  
Old 05-22-2020, 09:33 PM
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There's talk about dehumanizing in this thread too, cogito ergo sum, what is more dehumanizing than denying the thoughts of someone else and substituting them for your negative, self serving interpretation?
"You are not you, you are this thing I created to justify my thoughts and my actions against you", that form of dehumanization is rampant in the SDMB.
Nobody ever denies the thoughts of someone else. They deny that what a person claims are their thoughts really are their thoughts. They believe they are denying, not the person's thoughts, but their claims about those thoughts.

Accusations of dishonesty are really annoying when they're misdirected, but it's an enormous stretch to call them dehumanizing.
  #106  
Old 05-22-2020, 09:58 PM
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I did try to start a thread in GD, but should have realized that scientific racism is a banned topic, so Jonathan Chance has closed the thread. I agree with you that ATMB is not the right venue to be discussing this though so we can just drop the subject. While I understand you personally don't think discussion on scientific racism should be banned, it seems like the moderators don't want to take the chance of the discussion taking an ugly turn so I respect that.
I wonder, would a thread discussing the physiological adaptations to high altitude among ethnic Sherpas that make them better adapted to mountaineering be allowed?

It involves science and a distinct ethnicity, I would think hope it would not be banned.

I will predict though, that line of argumentation would be taken as a motte-and-bailey stratagem by a sizable chunk of the, shall we say gatekeeping irregulars; my position is that the search for knowledge should not be limited to a quest to validate predefined moralities and the idea that a set of moral dictums should decree what is or isn't allowed to be investigated is bad. We've been there and done that, colloquially known as the Dark Ages.

I see the banning of "any particular argument about why any particular group of humans is inherently better than any other group" as intellectual cowardice, my GF is inherently better than me at fending off malaria due to genetic baggage from her ethnic group, I can (and I would hope most people could) see that fact does not carry any nefarious connotations about how I value her as a person and her ethnic roots.

It is a fact that some groups of people are inherently better at some things than other groups of people (i.e. the Sherpas given as an example), having a rule that blatantly denies reality is a travesty, on itself and for the implications about the zeitgeist of the board. That there is a motte-and-bailey erected in the SDMB, we have already established that ideology trumps reality, now we are haggling about where else it may apply.
  #107  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:33 PM
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I see the banning of "any particular argument about why any particular group of humans is inherently better than any other group" as intellectual cowardice
do you now.
  #108  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:48 PM
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I see the banning of "any particular argument about why any particular group of humans is inherently better than any other group" as intellectual cowardice, my GF is inherently better than me at fending off malaria due to genetic baggage from her ethnic group
One obvious problem here is that you're misunderstanding, or goalpost-shifting, the concept of "inherently better". AFAICT it is neither intended nor applied to forbid discussion of specific factually identified genetic advantages with respect to some clearly defined specific aim.

Tall people, for example, are "inherently better" at reaching things on high shelves without assistance than short people. There's nothing dehumanizing about acknowledging that.

What would be dehumanizing would be, for instance, if you then tried to argue from that particular advantage to a position along the lines of "this proves that tall people are inherently better human beings than short people, because an essential component of human self-actualization is being able to reach things on high shelves". That would be just a bunch of anti-short bigotry bullshit, and it would not have a legitimate place in debate forums under the current rules.


(Once again, the mods seem to have perhaps overestimated the ability of some Dopers to grasp the import of points that could reasonably be considered obvious. Maybe they can rewrite the GD rules to carefully spell out in words of one syllable that the debate ban on "any particular argument about why any particular group of humans is inherently better than any other group", in the context of scientific racism, does not imply that it's verboten to mention specific factually identified genetic advantages with respect to some specific purpose. You wouldn't think it would be necessary to spell that out in a community supposedly made up of smarter-than-average people, but well, there it is.)
  #109  
Old 05-23-2020, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
One obvious problem here is that you're misunderstanding, or goalpost-shifting, the concept of "inherently better". AFAICT it is neither intended nor applied to forbid discussion of specific factually identified genetic advantages with respect to some clearly defined specific aim.

Tall people, for example, are "inherently better" at reaching things on high shelves without assistance than short people. There's nothing dehumanizing about acknowledging that.
I don't think it's that simple. We've had discussions in which the notion that black athletes were faster or more agile than white athletes, for instance, was regarded as racist even though that is "specific factually identified genetic advantages with respect to some clearly defined specific aim."
  #110  
Old 05-23-2020, 05:50 AM
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I don't think it's that simple. We've had discussions in which the notion that black athletes were faster or more agile than white athletes, for instance, was regarded as racist even though that is "specific factually identified genetic advantages with respect to some clearly defined specific aim."
Except it isn't, though.

It's a disingenuous pseudoscientific argument that thinks it can substitute "black" for specific ethnic groups that do have genetic advantages (not the same advantages in any one group, either), and no-one will notice.
  #111  
Old 05-23-2020, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
(Once again, the mods seem to have perhaps overestimated the ability of some Dopers to grasp the import of points that could reasonably be considered obvious. Maybe they can rewrite the GD rules to carefully spell out in words of one syllable that the debate ban on "any particular argument about why any particular group of humans is inherently better than any other group", in the context of scientific racism, does not imply that it's verboten to mention specific factually identified genetic advantages with respect to some specific purpose. You wouldn't think it would be necessary to spell that out in a community supposedly made up of smarter-than-average people, but well, there it is.)
I've got two things to say to this, and to the discussion in general.

1. As I've stated many times before, vague rules are a friend of the Straight Dope Message Board. By making them broad, we intend to broaden the danger zone for those dopers determined - there are many of them - to explore the boundaries of what is acceptable. I realize that this causes some tsuris for some of our posters. Nonetheless, the vagueness of the rules remains part of the features of the SDMB and not a bug. If vague rules bother a poster - not you, Kimstu, I'm not singling you out just using your post as a jumping off point - because you don't know where the line is then perhaps one should re-examine what one hopes to get out of posting here.

2. I remind every, again, that the 'Tired Topics' list isn't there to ban a topic. It's still possible to post on a topic provided one comes up with a new angle on it and seeks approval. The 'Tired Topic' concept is there because we've determined that debates on certain topics are guaranteed to be hurtful, acrimonious and a pain in the ass to moderate and we don't feel like seeing episode 97 of that series. By removing that topic, we hope to encourage more worthwhile discussions of other topics that will be both more enlightening and productive.
  #112  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:22 AM
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Colorful


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Originally Posted by Chingon View Post
I'm not sure politely you can tell me that I have inferior intelligence based on the color of my skin or sex.
Well, what is the color of your sex?
GDAR

"We know what she meant, oh, we know what she meant."
  #113  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:27 AM
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Permissible topics


My two (Euro)cents worth; discuss anything, but politely and intelligently. Those who can't, get booted. As for trolls, let them in so that they can make total fools of themselves, with just a little help from unsympathetic Dopers. I need my regular does of Schadenfreude from reading such debates.
  #114  
Old 05-23-2020, 09:09 AM
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My two (Euro)cents worth; discuss anything, but politely and intelligently.
That presupposes that all topics can be discussed politely. How can you politely advocate imprisoning me and torturing me to death?

If you agree that that's impossible, let's look at some other subjects.

Can a person politely advocate for exterminating Jews, as American Neonazis do?

Can a person politely advocate for executing abortion doctors, as a couple of pro-lifers I interviewed in the mid-nineties did?

Can a person politely defend the Somali laws that punish homosexual behavior with death?

Or let's leave murder out of the picture. Can a person politely advocate removing laws against adults having sexual contact with prepubescent children, as a poster once did on this board?

I submit that as a society we want to minimize laws that restrict speech; but private entities are under no such compunction. Certain positions are incivil by nature, and a board that emphasizes civility need not make room for them.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 05-23-2020 at 09:10 AM.
  #115  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:04 AM
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Remember that "perfect tolerance" is not a tolerant position. It is a position which eventually eliminates the free exchange of ideas.
  #116  
Old 05-23-2020, 01:39 PM
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Is there an actual list of "tired topics?" I read the rules and didn't see it. If there is, I can certainly think of a couple that might belong there, a handful of groaners that do pop up like weeds in the lawn... (I guess it would be threadshitting, though, if I named 'em...)
  #117  
Old 05-23-2020, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Is there an actual list of "tired topics?" I read the rules and didn't see it. If there is, I can certainly think of a couple that might belong there, a handful of groaners that do pop up like weeds in the lawn... (I guess it would be threadshitting, though, if I named 'em...)
Itís part of the GD rules sticky in that forum.
  #118  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:21 PM
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Ah! Found it. The ones I was thinking of weren't on the list...and probably shouldn't be...but were just eternal groaners, the ones we see and sigh, "Not that again!" ("Does meaning preclude essence?" ) But they aren't specifically bigoted, so... I guess meh.
  #119  
Old Yesterday, 02:28 AM
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Ah! Found it. The ones I was thinking of weren't on the list...and probably shouldn't be...but were just eternal groaners, the ones we see and sigh, "Not that again!" ("Does meaning preclude essence?" ) But they aren't specifically bigoted, so... I guess meh.
Would you like to hear about the modal ontological proof of God, Trinopus?
  #120  
Old Yesterday, 11:40 AM
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Would you like to hear about the modal ontological proof of God, Trinopus?
Grin! But, wait, what is "modal?" I searched and found references to the mopg but I couldn't find a site that explains how it's different from the medieval opg. So, er...yes?
  #121  
Old Yesterday, 11:48 AM
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Grin! But, wait, what is "modal?" I searched and found references to the mopg but I couldn't find a site that explains how it's different from the medieval opg. So, er...yes?
I think that's just where the opg was sung in Gregorian chant.
  #122  
Old Yesterday, 12:10 PM
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Grin! But, wait, what is "modal?" I searched and found references to the mopg but I couldn't find a site that explains how it's different from the medieval opg. So, er...yes?
It pulls in the multiple universes gadget for examining logical possibilities. Pulls it in, chews it up, puts it back together with bubblegum, and declares QED.
  #123  
Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM
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Whack-a-troll


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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
That presupposes that all topics can be discussed politely. How can you politely advocate imprisoning me and torturing me to death?.
I can advocate it, politely or otherwise (but this is only a very hypothetical situation, I see no reason to imprison and/or torture you), but free speech means that you and other Dopers are free to jump into the fray. no verbal holds barred in your responses.

I agree that many topics might be tasteless, or worse, but that will give us a chance to play whack-a-troll.
  #124  
Old Yesterday, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Can a person politely advocate for exterminating Jews, as American Neonazis do?

Can a person politely advocate for executing abortion doctors, as a couple of pro-lifers I interviewed in the mid-nineties did?

Can a person politely defend the Somali laws that punish homosexual behavior with death?

Or let's leave murder out of the picture. Can a person politely advocate removing laws against adults having sexual contact with prepubescent children, as a poster once did on this board?
Of course they can, if you permit free speech, meaning that they are free to make total idiots of themselves in public. And we are free to point out their lack of intelligence, morality or other useful qualities. It is entirely up to you whether your replies are polite.
  #125  
Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Brayne Ded View Post
I can advocate it, politely or otherwise
No. The topic is itself impolite. Absence of swears =/= polite.

polite: having or showing behaviour that is respectful and considerate of other people

There is absolutely nothing respectful or considerate in advocating the death of the person you are speaking to.

Last edited by MrDibble; Yesterday at 01:03 PM.
  #126  
Old Yesterday, 01:33 PM
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. . . There is absolutely nothing respectful or considerate in advocating the death of the person you are speaking to.
Maybe in a discussion of assisted suicide laws?
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