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Old 04-23-2012, 10:35 AM   #1532
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,673
Being offensive is not ban-worthy.

Here in Washington we have a law, recently upheld, to my dismay, that permits pharmacists to refuse to dispense legal medicine to someone with a legal prescription based on a moral objection. I imagine the pharmacists would say they were offended by, perhaps, the behavior or attitudes of, you know, some people. Here's why I have a problem with that AIRQUOTE standard AIRQUOTE.

One, it's utterly subjective. Even being intolerably annoying is subjective, but it is a more restrictive standard than "offensive". Do we want all offensive speech silenced? Not just ignored. Not fought against. Not refuted. Not argued into self-evident submission. Just forbidden, but just around here. I say no.

Two, that kind of rule cuts both ways, and it's *sharp*. Apparently, JBK finds *your* position offensive. When the shoe's on the other foot, there is no call for you to be kicked out. Why isn't there a call for you to be banned by the same standard "offensiveness" Is that the right response? I say no.

You said in another thread that one mitigating fact about mercy's comments was his contrition; that he "learned" about/from the offensiveness of his remarks. If teaching dwellars to be better people is the laudable, if Sisyphean goal, then banning JBK doesn't further your efforts toward that goal.

***

Dana

Rivers of hateful speech have flowed through the cellar, rivers whose headwaters are still here. I think selective banning is just a different shade of the same stupid prejudice being shown by JBK's homophobic remarks. And we absolutely *DO* make judgments about the ... importance of all kinds of remarks including hateful ones. As a student of language you know well the value of tone and context in all kinds of communication. Maybe I have been inattentive to this "kill kill kill" comments, but a quick search of the cellar returns over 45 thousand instances of "kill". That is many metric fucktons of evidence for banning. Really?
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