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There does not exist a single statement that is inherently offensive. Change my mind.
in General

Whether said, written, painted, sculpted, sung, etc, absolutely no statement, is intrinsically offensive because offense can never be given, it can only be taken... 

Being offended is a choice one makes. 

Agree or not? 
Zombieguy1987ZeusAres42
" Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "



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  • Sbortion patients are worse than rapists, because they kill their victims.
    Zombieguy1987
  • Abortion patients are worse than rapists, because they kill their victims.
    Care to elaborate on how this is relevant to my question? Are you arguing that the statement you posted is intrinsically offensive? It seems irrelevant and also fallacious but not offensive per se... Do you disagree with my assertion that being offended is a choice or not? 
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • Sbortion patients are worse than rapists, because they kill their victims.



    While I think abortion is murder, calling people who want an abortion worse than rapists is just silly and insulting to people who are victims of rape



    Plaffelvohfen
    https://www.google.com/search?q=victims+of+religion&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewihu9jugorfahwkmeakhbtib00q_auidigb&biw=1920&bih=963&safe=active

    For the first time since 2009, the Carolina Hurricanes will be playing for the Stanley Cup! 

    Repealing the Second Amendment is the first step to Totalitarianism, and it needs to be prevented to protect our freedom 

    http://www.atheistrepublic.com/
  • K_MichaelK_Michael 64 Pts
    edited February 19
    Objectively, universally offensive statement:
    "Your mom (and/or other person you care deeply about) sucks."
    Zombieguy1987
    "We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." 
  • @K_Michael

    It might be true that she does suck, so could it be that it's really the truth that is offensive here? Is truth inherently offensive? Is that what you imply?
    But it might also be a lie, after all anyone would know if their mom sucked or not, so it would be lying that would be offensive, right? 

    One could also easily reply: "Is that an assertion or a question?" Maybe he's just asking, you know, he's weird so, meh...

    No, no, no, come on, develop; How this statement "your whatever suck", could be universally and objectively (independent of context or culture) offensive?
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • "Offensive" is a valid word in English, and it defines a pretty specific property of an action. You are correct that being offended is a choice (does not mean it is always within the individual's control, as psychology plays a major role here and nobody has a 100% control over their psychology - but it nonetheless is a choice), and that nobody can force you into being offended.

    "Offensive", however, refers not to the act of making someone offended. Consider a different world with a similar connotation: "defensive". It refers to the action you take in order to defend yourself. It does not mean that your defense will be successful, and it does not even mean that your intent was to defend yourself - but it means that the act was reasonably deemed to be taken in order to defend oneself by some party widely recognized as authoritative.

    So, with "offensive", it is not as much about what you do and how the other person reacts - it is, rather, about the taken action itself. If you tell someone that they are stupid, then they might or might not get offended, and you might or might not intend to offend them - but the culture as a whole will see this act as offensive, provocative, unethical. Does not mean you have to conform with the cultural view on this, and definitely does not mean the cultural view on this is objective - but the view nonetheless exists and is recognized by a large majority of people interacting with that culture.

    If you think about it, our entire language is built around conformity with some general notions. When I say "This book is good", I do not talk about some objective qualities of the book - but, rather, I say something about this book that others will be able to relate to. Some people might disagree that the book is good; some people might ask for the details on what exactly is good and how; and so on and so on - but in general, people will understand what you mean by that: "I liked this book, and it matched my taste and preferences very well".

    It is an essential feature of the language; without it, we would not be able to communicate. We can understand each other with just a few words exactly because there is some unspoken consensus on what those words mean in the particular context. It does not mean that everyone necessarily agrees with the meaning of each of those words - but people, at large, define those words very similarly.

    Last time I have been offended by anything in my life was well over a decade ago. That said, I did have a lot of things said to me that I would deem as offensive. I cannot describe precisely and objectively why I see them as offensive - rather, it is a result of certain unspoken societal conventions that made them be seen predominantly as offensive. It is nearly impossible to cause me to be offended, I have worked hard on my psychology and eliminated a lot of weak spots and weaknesses in it - but does it mean that nothing can be said to me that is offensive? I do not think so.
    Zombieguy1987
  • @MayCaesar

    You make fair points, but they're not really related to my core issue: Does anything exists that is inherently offensive, something that by its very nature would be offensive? I still don't think so... ;)

    Obviously, some statements are made with the deliberate intent to offend you. It's understandable that in these situations it's hard to overrule that emotional reaction - when someone tries to insult you, it's hard not to feel offended.

    To see why this is a problem, let's reason by analogy:

    When babies are born, they have no bowel control - if their bowel is full, they'll . As far as the baby's concerned it's an automatic process.

    However, as we grow and develop we learn that although excreting is an automatic process, we can learn to make it a conscious choice. Even if (through some biological problem) we can't do this, we at least recognize it's a fault within ourselves and strive to ameliorate it (for example, with diapers, medication, colostomy bags, and the like).

    What seems like an automatic process we have no control over can - with recognition - be mastered and controlled. And the more we practice it, the less difficult it becomes, until our chosen option becomes the automatic one (seriously - when was the last time you took a conscious choice not to yourself?).

    Likewise, although "being offended" feels for many people as if it's something beyond their control, this is an illusion caused by their own lack of self-control. It's effectively emotional incontinence.

    Given this, how fair is it to demand others change their actions based on a flaw within ourselves? It seems to me rather like demanding that everyone else carry around a potty at all times, just in case I want to take a .

    Applying this reasoning to incontinence makes the reaction seem ludicrous - obviously my lack of self-control is my problem to deal with. Anyone who insisted everyone else has to scramble to solve their own problem while they themselves did nothing would be considered enormously selfish, demanding and immature.

    So why, when the issue is an emotional lack of control, do so many people insist others change their behavior, instead of asking what it says about them?

    The most obvious examples for me are things like Cultural Appropriation, Critique of Religion and all that falls under Freedom of speech... People are overly sensitive these days... Not saying that anything goes here, libel is still libel and there are legitimate actions that can be taken and do not require you to be actually offended before taking those actions... I'm also not saying that someone who just continuously vomits insults and slurs isn't actually looking for some reactions, there are obviously things with more, offensive potential, than others...  

    But I wish we, as a society would stop thinking of "offendedness" as a blameless condition, and start thinking of it as a lack of self-control? Can we stop advocating banning "offensive" things, or "offensive ideas" from universities and colleges, and instead strive to fix the flaws within ourselves that mean they bother us so much? 

    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • @Plaffelvohfen

    Oh, do not get me wrong, I completely agree on these things. I believe that everyone should assume full individual responsibility for everything they do or feel, and accusing someone of "offending" them when they have failed to shrug the sentiment off and let it consume their being is both impractical and unreasonable.

    That said, things are a little bit more complicated than "Being offended is a choice". There are things outside our control. For example, a lot of war veterans have various forms of PTSD, which manifests as a completely uncontrollable reaction to certain things causing flashbacks of the mental traumas they received during the military actions. Modern sciences can, at best, somewhat improve the sufferer's condition, but completely curing PTSD is generally impossible at the current stage of our technological development. As a result, many veterans commit suicide, because they can no longer take it and give up. Would it be fair to say to them, "Man up, stop letting your emotions control you"? I do not think so; none of us has ever had to go through what they are going through, and we have no idea just how hard it is to deal with these things.

    Now imagine someone who, say, was severely bullied at a very young age. That person may have developed syndromes qualitatively similar to PTSD, and something said the wrong way at the wrong place at the wrong time may trigger an uncontrollable reaction in their psychology causing them to feel extremely hurt.

    I have noticed that in these debates people tend to jump between the extremes. Some will say that anything can be said to anyone, and nobody should be offended by it, otherwise they are willess weaklings. Others will say that every time someone is offended, it is those who they believe offended them who should be held responsible.

    I think that the right approach is to take full individual responsibility and to realise that you being hurt by someone's words is your failing. Whether they caused it or not is not really relevant: this is about you, not about them, since it is your well-being you should be concerned with, not theirs. Whether you like it or not, people will say and do hurtful things to you every now and then, and it is up to you to learn how to deal with these things without letting them get to you.
    At the same time, some reactions are hard or impossible to fix. I do not think that gives anyone the right to demand that others do not "offend" them, but I do think that these things should be kept in mind when talking to these people.

    Any idea can go too far. The idea of "offensiveness" is not inherently wrong, although, as you pointed out, it is inherently flawed. When it gets wrong is when people stop approaching that idea reasonably and take an impractical extreme position. Being constantly offended over minor things is a very poor behavioral mode, and when the society as a whole starts shifting into it, certain dangers are abound. What if one day the Western society essentially becomes a bunch of soft wimps crying out loud every time they cut their finger? Well, its competitors from other parts of the world, hardened by their difficult lives, will dismantle it. 
    We got to where we are because some time ago somewhere people stood up against the tyranny, they laid their lives down so their descendants could prosper. If we lose that will to always push hard in pursuit of our dreams, if we become weak and impotent, then we will die as a society.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • RyanHoughRyanHough 66 Pts
    @Plaffelvohfen I agree, you choose to be offended by the most stupid and insane matters. Example, if I were to say that you are retarded or any other insult a normal person would take offense. However, if someone complimented you would you be offended that they realized what remarkable traits would set you apart? Well, a NORMAL person would be happy to know that they are different than other people is a good way. But some people dislike that they are different and choose to take offense.
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