Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 08:17 am
@Pangloss,
The first amendment protects against those types of lawsuits, in most cases. Of course "political incorrectness", when done on behalf of a company (by an employee, advertisement, etc) will hurt revenues after the media blows the whole thing out of proportion. Of course this usually just leads to the statement, "views expressed by ____ were not the position of our company, and this person has now been terminated."
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 10:24 am
@BlueChicken,
BlueChicken wrote:
Inspired by BMW's comment in "What do you exactly call philosophy" I am asking everyone what they think of the current state of political correctness in speech. Have we made giant leaps by referring to 'him', not as 'him' but as 'him/her' or 'he' as 'he/she/it'? Or has what appears to be a novel idea simply become a convoluted footnote without any real effect?


I'd definitely agree that this political correctness can be taken too far. I too have heard (and cringed) at some lengths. But with regards to the example you cite, I've known an good number of intelligent women who take issue with this. Whether meant or not, the gender-specific pronoun makes them feel excluded.

... they know it's not meant to exclude (and well understand where this practice comes from) but that's not the point. By subtle inculcation, constant use of the word "him" (when referring to either gender) does have a quantifiable negative effect; subtly elevating the male by dismissing the female.

Hope this makes sense. Despite how far what we're calling "political correctness" at times, there are some aspects to labeling that are quite legitimate to understand and accept - in my humble opinion Smile

Thanks
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 01:52 pm
@Pangloss,
I suppose we could just start referring to all hypothetical men and women in text and speech as "it". Then we would just be offending everyone... Smile
0 Replies
 
Salo phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 06:22 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
The first amendment protects against those types of lawsuits, in most cases. Of course "political incorrectness", when done on behalf of a company (by an employee, advertisement, etc) will hurt revenues after the media blows the whole thing out of proportion. Of course this usually just leads to the statement, "views expressed by ____ were not the position of our company, and this person has now been terminated."


I would hope it's the person's employment that gets terminated, and not the person themselves... :shocked:
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 03:35 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Exactly. This mindset of political correctness, or of "excessive democracy" and accepting all views as being right and good, ultimately, is a path to anarchy. We want and need laws and order in our society, and we should respect certain boundaries. We should be working towards finding the most just type of order; this order does not include giving up and simply accepting everything. That is no order at all.


It is so refreshing to witness the ability many of you have at discussing those "issues" that fall within any moral or ethical guideline deemed "controversial". In the case of some, it is as if it has become a stick of dynamite and it takes a very gifted individual to "tiptoe" in those waters so as not to "offend" anyone.

Yet even then reaching any dialog that civilly addresses those moral, religious and ethnic belief's and behaviors has been shelved simply because we have taken civil liberties to include any and everything.
What concerns me, is where will this eventually lead as we become more and more inured and totally lose sight of morality in all strata. If something is deadly, savage, decadent, dehumanizing and outright disgusting, how do we skirt around that using language that has desensitized it to the point any dialog comes off bigoted, intolerant and hateful. At some point lines must be drawn.

I agree some societies and cultures are not capable of understanding any different and only patience and time will allow those to progress at their own pace. To attempt to reach "quick" solutions in those cases will surely involve creating more division and exacerbate the natural growth and creating a greater problem. In those cases that do not involve dealing with a primitive belief system is another matter, IMO.

To me it comes down to those "civil liberties" that are antagonistic and deterrents to life and the enhancement of that life. Any carte blanc standard to protect "those civil liberties", should be overridden for obvious reasons and addressed. In those cultures where there are rituals and belief's that are primitive and can be painful yet are not in anyway a deterrent to life itself are not a problem except in the minds of those who are alien to such rituals. Those will, IMO, will subside over time if allowed to by gradually offering alternative and understandable reasons why those alternatives would be "better". However in those particular situations where those belief's, cultures, behavior's, custom's threaten the very lives of innocent human beings, serious attention must be given.

I am a stern advocate for the right's of minorities, unless those minorities represent the apple that threatens the entire barrel. To ambivalently stand by and do nothing is by far the worst thing we can do simply because we are afraid of "hurting someone's feelings".

I would like to believe we are of the same stuff and a definition of a moral code, if it can be defined in such a way so it could be accepted by all, would be a good thing rather than just shelving any sense of morality all together to satisfy the mores of a few. There must be guidelines that will determine what belief's and behaviors are true detriments to the whole barrel and all measures must be taken to render those harmless to the barrel or we all lose. This, to me, is a no brainer.

For what it is worth. I do enjoy observing enriching dialog and you guys are really good at it. I have a tendency to "blurt" and believe me, I would rather not. I would like to think I am getting better. Thanks to observing your ability to do so is helping me tremendously. Thanks,Smile

William
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 05:24 pm
@William,
Whether or not someone's annoyed by a term (in writing, or being addressed as such) tends to rely on which side of the equation they're on.

There are always two sides to such issues.
William
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 05:56 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
Whether or not someone's annoyed by a term (in writing, or being addressed as such) tends to rely on which side of the equation they're on.

There are always two sides to such issues.


Of course there are. Trivial "annoyances", at least as I understand this thread, is and would be of little concern and for the most part would not have to secured behind a politically correct all inclusive standard.

William
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 10:30 pm
@Pangloss,
There's nothing wrong with people choosing to use words that are not known to offend people. In 2008 no one should be referring to native americans as "red injuns".

Political correctness isn't a rigid set of rules. And for all its awkwardness sometimes, fundamentally it comes down to the truism that labelling people can be a form of prejudice.

Remember that the words idiot, moron, imbecile, and retard all used to be medical nouns to describe people with various degrees of mental retardation. All of those words have overtly negative connotations now. The same happens with many other labels. If I suffered from achondroplasia, frankly I'd hate to be called a "dwarf", I mean how would you feel?
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Nov, 2008 07:14 am
@Pangloss,
As far as "political correctness" and the annoyance of certain terms, those that are demeaning should never be tolerated. What is happening, IMO, even previously accepted terms such a "morality" and anything associated with it are being considered prudish, judgemental and offensive. I can understand this to a degree. What concerns me, if this sliding scale continues how far will it slide. At one time, a common term that was used was "for the entire 'family' to enjoy". This has all be disappeared as the word "family" itself is now on the same list as "morality" is, and it won't be long before it is a politically incorrect term, if it isn't already.

William
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Nov, 2008 09:34 am
@William,
That's true. The word "family" has become a sort of euphemism for conservative / religious morals. Just as the ideas of patriotism and the American flag were coopted by the Bush gunslinging approach to national security, and to oppose Bush was to be anti-American and anti-patriotic.

I listened to a lecture series from the Teaching Company about World War I, and the lecturer had an interesting point about the aftermath of the war. One effect was that patriotism, especially in Britain, became a completely ironic concept after the war. Sort of amazing. But when in 1914 people were celebrating in the streets at the outset of the war, which overall was a much more extreme version of the patriotism here, it overdid itself and became a sort of ridiculous concept by the end.

That's what overdoing political correctness (or any other political attitude) can create -- it can turn itself into an irony. And I think that's the spirit I detect among people who are very outspoken against political correctness.
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 02:07 am
@Pangloss,
I definitely recognize that name-calling, or derogatory references to groups of people is not something to be desired. What troubles me though is the "political correctness" that says we can't be critical of a human custom, society, or culture.

I wouldn't go out and start calling Muslims some derogatory name if I think that their culture encourages abuse of women (this is evident to me). I would say that this culture is bad that inspires these types of actual human rights violations. I can merely point to some evidence, like the recent acid attacks on females in Afghanistan, the instances where women have been whipped as a consequence for "tempting" men to rape them...these are terrible things, and the actual cultural values are misplaced to the point where it is accepted. Some would say we can't even say this without being "ethnocentric"...
William
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 08:32 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
I definitely recognize that name-calling, or derogatory references to groups of people is not something to be desired. What troubles me though is the "political correctness" that says we can't be critical of a human custom, society, or culture.

I wouldn't go out and start calling Muslims some derogatory name if I think that their culture encourages abuse of women (this is evident to me). I would say that this culture is bad that inspires these types of actual human rights violations. I can merely point to some evidence, like the recent acid attacks on females in Afghanistan, the instances where women have been whipped as a consequence for "tempting" men to rape them...these are terrible things, and the actual cultural values are misplaced to the point where it is accepted. Some would say we can't even say this without being "ethnocentric"...


Pangloss, not only do those human violations occur, IMO, any positive momentum to eliminate them, will become much more difficult as the rest of the world sees no "role model" that would prove as a blueprint for them to work toward as they become more aware of those atrocities created by those very "role models". We all have to get our *%@& together. Perhaps we are those communicators who will begin the origination of that blueprint. The days of politically correct, kiss ass rhetoric meant to keep lesser people in the dark is coming to an end.

Granted there is a lot of good stuff out there, but there's a lot of material that is fodder for propaganda too. Either we can choose to use our technology for the betterment of all or it's going to get so overwhelmingly chaotic, even more so than it is now, we will be grasping at straws just to get from one day to the next.

It is amazing to me, as I type these words, to know the world is reading them. Damn, what a amazing thing! No censorship, no choreography, no hindrances that will keep us from breaking through the "programming" we have all been subject to as we communicate mind to mind in an effort to find the truth that will bring us closer together. I am afraid the road still has many "bumps" in it, but it is a start.

Pangloss, let's face it, human violations are not indigenous to third world countries. We have our share here evident by our sexual more's, drug addictions, opulent lifestyles that to some may be just as offensive and do not want to see their own culture go down that same road. We can all learn from each other if we lay the groundwork that will allow us to honestly communicate on a level of trust and respect that has never existed as we all "clean up our act".

Most races, cultures and peoples at the core of their existence is a "faith" that grounds it. Regardless of what that faith may be, no one can just make it go away. Treating human's as human is the only answer.
I just had a thought last night concerning how good at rationalization we are. When the human being commits an atrocity, we look to the "animal" kingdom, to find a "reason" to justify it. Human rights are being threatened in all strata and cultures and as long as we equate the human to animal to excuse his behavior, rather than provide that environment that will allow him be "more human", the more savage we all become. Just smart savages. Nobody wins as we will truly begin to understand as "only the strong survive" takes on a whole new meaning. As I have often said, living and surviving are two very different terms.

Politics got us into this mess, cooperation will get us out. A global cooperation that has never existed. IMO, it is the only way.
William
0 Replies
 
Leonard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 04:41 pm
@Pangloss,
Political correctness, aside from being unconditional and illogical, is just covering up the truth. When I think of political correctness, I think of Fahrenheit 451, and it's shockingly similar to what we see today. Of course, if there are differing morals, some are bound to be wrong, unless we falsely assert that everything is very subjective. Any person can tell you right off the bat that 'paraplegics can not be runners because they cannot use their legs, therefore they are unfit to do so.' Paraplegics also know that they can't walk, therefore don't need people to cover it up. People feel at ease when they are open about their capablilities and incapabilities. If you were much of a relativist, you couldn't even use political correctness because relativism would rule out any reason to point the person's [mal]function out. The truth is in no way 'impolite,' unless you skew the truth. Then it is, but you must assert that it is incorrect, rather than forcing them to say something absolutely relativist.
TheSingingSword
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 04:53 pm
@Leonard,
In my humble opinion, I believe all morality to be subjective. I choose, therefore, to clothe myself in meekness. That is, until I choose to destroy what I can't abide. The time does come, as much as we avoid it, when action is the only arbitrator.
0 Replies
 
 

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