Total Posts:48|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Should insults be legally punishable?

Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 7:30:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://youtube.com...

Basically, in that video, the girl has been brought to court for Xanax possession. Upon leaving, the girl says a sassy "adios". The judge finds it insulting and doubles the bail money. She gets angry and says another insult that is beeped out, to which the judge reacts by sentencing her to 30 days in prison.

In the comments section, people have written both in defense of the girl as in defense of the judge. Whose side are YOU on?

Was the judge right in penalizing the girl the way he did or was this an abuse of power?

If you think what this judge did is okay, doesn't it follow that anybody should be able to have a person sent to jail for insulting them? I can't have you sent to jail for insulting me, so why can this judge?
They're just insults, the judge could have simply brushed them off and then her words wouldn't have hurt anyone.

I'll take this a little further, should it be okay for a boss to fire an employee because the employee said something insulting?

You might think "yes, a boss owns his business, he can do whatever he wants with it; hire and fire whomever is to his liking" but that's not completely true. A boss isn't free to fire for racist or sexist or homophobic reasons and people are okay with that, so surely they're okay with restricting a boss's power in general.

Secondly, you might think that insults make the workplace unpleasant because we all have a spontaneous reaction of defense or hurt when we're faced with them (a great deal of the time), but then again, isn't it our own fault? Shouldn't we learn to brush off insults instead of restricting people's freedom to speak their mind when they think insulting things?

That same reasoning is used for sexism and homophobia. If you have a problem with women or gays in your work environment, that's considered your problem that you need to work on, not the women's and gays's. Likewise, it's your problem if you let your ego get in your way of brushing off an insult (or is it not?), so why isn't the same reasoning applied?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.

Being insulting and contemptuous is the same thing though, isn't it?

I can't think of an insult that isn't degrading and contempt is about treating others as inferior, too.

At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?

This isn't just about getting flustered, though. It's about a boss firing an employee for an insult or a judge sentencing a girl to 30 days in prison for contemptuous behavior. Should he have that kind of power?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.

Being insulting and contemptuous is the same thing though, isn't it?

I can't think of an insult that isn't degrading and contempt is about treating others as inferior, too.

It's possible to be insulting without holding the court in contempt.

At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?

This isn't just about getting flustered, though. It's about a boss firing an employee for an insult or a judge sentencing a girl to 30 days in prison for contemptuous behavior. Should he have that kind of power?

My sig is not part of my comment to you.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 10:46:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?

This isn't just about getting flustered, though. It's about a boss firing an employee for an insult or a judge sentencing a girl to 30 days in prison for contemptuous behavior. Should he have that kind of power?

My sig is not part of my comment to you.

This isn't just about getting flustered bro. Oh btw, how did you manage to write that seven and a half months ago bro, you psychic or something?
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 10:48:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:46:50 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?

This isn't just about getting flustered, though. It's about a boss firing an employee for an insult or a judge sentencing a girl to 30 days in prison for contemptuous behavior. Should he have that kind of power?

My sig is not part of my comment to you.

This isn't just about getting flustered bro. Oh btw, how did you manage to write that seven and a half months ago bro, you psychic or something?

Troll elsewhere please.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 10:49:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:48:18 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:46:50 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?

This isn't just about getting flustered, though. It's about a boss firing an employee for an insult or a judge sentencing a girl to 30 days in prison for contemptuous behavior. Should he have that kind of power?

My sig is not part of my comment to you.

This isn't just about getting flustered bro. Oh btw, how did you manage to write that seven and a half months ago bro, you psychic or something?

Troll elsewhere please.

It's not like I'm going to get that setup anywhere else, is it?
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 10:53:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.

Being insulting and contemptuous is the same thing though, isn't it?

I can't think of an insult that isn't degrading and contempt is about treating others as inferior, too.

It's possible to be insulting without holding the court in contempt.

I suppose to make this more relevant to the case you brought up, should people be allowed to insult a court of law? I don't see why they should. It's not relevant to court proceedings, is a waste of time, and should be conducted outside of court, if at all. It's also potentially disruptive, leading to further waste of time.

In that sense, yes, low tolerance for insults is warranted.

In your corporate case, I would think that any activity that devalues the company is something the company is warranted in weeding out. If that involves firing someone who continually derides the company, that's the company's prerogative. As it is, they can fire for just about any reason, so I don't think there's any real relevance to the corporate case and the case in a court.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 11:00:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:53:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.

Being insulting and contemptuous is the same thing though, isn't it?

I can't think of an insult that isn't degrading and contempt is about treating others as inferior, too.

It's possible to be insulting without holding the court in contempt.

I suppose to make this more relevant to the case you brought up, should people be allowed to insult a court of law? I don't see why they should. It's not relevant to court proceedings, is a waste of time, and should be conducted outside of court, if at all. It's also potentially disruptive, leading to further waste of time.

In that sense, yes, low tolerance for insults is warranted.

In your corporate case, I would think that any activity that devalues the company is something the company is warranted in weeding out. If that involves firing someone who continually derides the company, that's the company's prerogative. As it is, they can fire for just about any reason, so I don't think there's any real relevance to the corporate case and the case in a court.

I'd go with this too. There is sometimes a fine line between insult and non-insult, though. So the judge needs to be able to show that the perpetrator was being insulting. There may also be some discretion allowed for accidental insults, but I don't know.
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 11:29:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.

Being insulting and contemptuous is the same thing though, isn't it?

I can't think of an insult that isn't degrading and contempt is about treating others as inferior, too.

It's possible to be insulting without holding the court in contempt.

...How? If you're insulting the judge, you're being contemptuous towards him, aren't you? If you're contemptuous towards the judge, you're holding the court in contempt, aren't you?

At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?

This isn't just about getting flustered, though. It's about a boss firing an employee for an insult or a judge sentencing a girl to 30 days in prison for contemptuous behavior. Should he have that kind of power?

My sig is not part of my comment to you.

Oh, my mistake. I hadn't noticed it was your signature.

I suppose to make this more relevant to the case you brought up, should people be allowed to insult a court of law? I don't see why they should. It's not relevant to court proceedings, is a waste of time, and should be conducted outside of court, if at all. It's also potentially disruptive, leading to further waste of time.

In that sense, yes, low tolerance for insults is warranted.

In the video, the girl insulted the judge when the procedure was over. He said "bye" and she returned the greeting. She wasn't wasting any time because she was saying it on her way also. If it's disruptive, it's only because the judge didn't brush it off and decided to call her back. Does protecting the judge's ego warrant a sentence of a month in prison?

In your corporate case, I would think that any activity that devalues the company is something the company is warranted in weeding out. If that involves firing someone who continually derides the company, that's the company's prerogative. As it is, they can fire for just about any reason, so I don't think there's any real relevance to the corporate case and the case in a court.

I meant being insulting towards the boss, personally, though, not the company. It makes complete sense that an employee who acts in a way that hinders the company's productivity would get fired (just lake when they mess up a task or arrive late).

And they can't fire for any reason from what I know (racism, sexism,...). It's relevant in that both are about how insulting behavior ought to be punished.
Shadow-Dragon
Posts: 55
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 11:38:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
That was a total abuse of power. Another great example of the ways "people in authority" abuse their power. Teachers, police officers, those TSA agents, judges. They all just act like they're the bosses of everyone else.
What the girl did was just practicing her freedom of speech, and the judge overreacted, and to show off his/her power, sentenced her to prison. Just another insecure person who thrives on the little power they have, and abuse it in order to make themselves feel powerful and happy.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 12:22:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 11:29:01 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:40:43 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 10:26:21 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 9:43:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea is not that the insult is punishable, but contempt is punishable.

Being insulting and contemptuous is the same thing though, isn't it?

I can't think of an insult that isn't degrading and contempt is about treating others as inferior, too.

It's possible to be insulting without holding the court in contempt.

...How? If you're insulting the judge, you're being contemptuous towards him, aren't you? If you're contemptuous towards the judge, you're holding the court in contempt, aren't you?

Yeah, this was my bad. I read the title and put more weight on that than I did your actual scenario.

I suppose to make this more relevant to the case you brought up, should people be allowed to insult a court of law? I don't see why they should. It's not relevant to court proceedings, is a waste of time, and should be conducted outside of court, if at all. It's also potentially disruptive, leading to further waste of time.

In that sense, yes, low tolerance for insults is warranted.

In the video, the girl insulted the judge when the procedure was over. He said "bye" and she returned the greeting. She wasn't wasting any time because she was saying it on her way also. If it's disruptive, it's only because the judge didn't brush it off and decided to call her back. Does protecting the judge's ego warrant a sentence of a month in prison?

In the video, the girl did not take the trial seriously and was even somewhat flirtatious. Apparently by the end of the trial the judge had enough. It's fine I think.

In your corporate case, I would think that any activity that devalues the company is something the company is warranted in weeding out. If that involves firing someone who continually derides the company, that's the company's prerogative. As it is, they can fire for just about any reason, so I don't think there's any real relevance to the corporate case and the case in a court.

I meant being insulting towards the boss, personally, though, not the company. It makes complete sense that an employee who acts in a way that hinders the company's productivity would get fired (just lake when they mess up a task or arrive late).

It depends upon how much autonomy the boss has. Does the boss need to communicate to HR what s/he is doing?

In the end, does insulting your boss in his/her face increase corporate productivity? Does it constitute constructive criticism? No.

And they can't fire for any reason from what I know (racism, sexism,...). It's relevant in that both are about how insulting behavior ought to be punished.

That extremely short list of civil rights violations are the only exception. Barring those, you can be fired for just about any reason.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 12:45:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:22:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
In the video, the girl did not take the trial seriously and was even somewhat flirtatious. Apparently by the end of the trial the judge had enough. It's fine I think.

But why is it fine for him to do so if I can't have you sent to jail for appearing to not take me seriously and being flirtatious?
If she didn't take it seriously, the sentence for her possession of Xanax was there to wake her up and deter her already, so how is it justified that he punishes her insulting behavior with imprisonment and fines on top of that?

I meant being insulting towards the boss, personally, though, not the company. It makes complete sense that an employee who acts in a way that hinders the company's productivity would get fired (just lake when they mess up a task or arrive late).

It depends upon how much autonomy the boss has. Does the boss need to communicate to HR what s/he is doing?

In the end, does insulting your boss in his/her face increase corporate productivity? Does it constitute constructive criticism? No.

And they can't fire for any reason from what I know (racism, sexism,...). It's relevant in that both are about how insulting behavior ought to be punished.

That extremely short list of civil rights violations are the only exception. Barring those, you can be fired for just about any reason.

Yes, but the point isn't whether they can or can't, it's whether they should be able to. What matters isn't the length of the list, it's the reasoning behind that list. And these reasons are that a boss has people's lives in his hands, people don't work for him because they want to, but because they absolutely have to in order to survive or at least live in dignity. Going by that reasoning, a boss shouldn't be able to fire a person for whatever petty reason and I'm wondering whether insults fall in the category of "too petty to punish so harshly".

Insulting the boss does not increase productivity, but neither does complimenting him and yet that's not a crime. Insults are a way to express strong disagreement (so they can be part of criticism that is aimed to be constructive) and it's much more difficult to refrain from saying them than to not do so, so it makes sense that people need a reason not to say them to refrain. They already have a reason to say them.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 1:19:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:45:41 PM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:22:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
In the video, the girl did not take the trial seriously and was even somewhat flirtatious. Apparently by the end of the trial the judge had enough. It's fine I think.

But why is it fine for him to do so if I can't have you sent to jail for appearing to not take me seriously and being flirtatious?
If she didn't take it seriously, the sentence for her possession of Xanax was there to wake her up and deter her already, so how is it justified that he punishes her insulting behavior with imprisonment and fines on top of that?

Because showing contempt for the court is its own offense. She probably was going to be convicted for possession anyway. The extra punitive measures were not about Xanax, but about contempt.

I meant being insulting towards the boss, personally, though, not the company. It makes complete sense that an employee who acts in a way that hinders the company's productivity would get fired (just lake when they mess up a task or arrive late).

It depends upon how much autonomy the boss has. Does the boss need to communicate to HR what s/he is doing?

In the end, does insulting your boss in his/her face increase corporate productivity? Does it constitute constructive criticism? No.

And they can't fire for any reason from what I know (racism, sexism,...). It's relevant in that both are about how insulting behavior ought to be punished.

That extremely short list of civil rights violations are the only exception. Barring those, you can be fired for just about any reason.

Yes, but the point isn't whether they can or can't, it's whether they should be able to. What matters isn't the length of the list, it's the reasoning behind that list. And these reasons are that a boss has people's lives in his hands, people don't work for him because they want to, but because they absolutely have to in order to survive or at least live in dignity. Going by that reasoning, a boss shouldn't be able to fire a person for whatever petty reason and I'm wondering whether insults fall in the category of "too petty to punish so harshly".

I agree with all of this and agree that the system needs to change. But until then, your employer has absolute power over your livelihood to a far greater extent and in a far more direct manner than the government does. Your only recourse is to become a quitter. Such is life.

Insulting the boss does not increase productivity, but neither does complimenting him and yet that's not a crime. Insults are a way to express strong disagreement (so they can be part of criticism that is aimed to be constructive) and it's much more difficult to refrain from saying them than to not do so, so it makes sense that people need a reason not to say them to refrain. They already have a reason to say them.

A boss can tell a brown noser to shut up, and they will. A boss can tell someone going on a hissy fit to shut up, and they won't.

Insults are not a way to express strong disagreement - you do that by expressing strong disagreement. Insults are meant to deride and degrade the target, which is separate and irrelevant to constructive criticism of any sort. Most people that have difficulty refraining from insulting others in inappropriate circumstances will fail in life, as did this girl in the video.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 1:53:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 1:19:31 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
Because showing contempt for the court is its own offense. She probably was going to be convicted for possession anyway. The extra punitive measures were not about Xanax, but about contempt.

I understand that that is the case, but I'm wondering whether that's how it should be.

Yes, but the point isn't whether they can or can't, it's whether they should be able to. What matters isn't the length of the list, it's the reasoning behind that list. And these reasons are that a boss has people's lives in his hands, people don't work for him because they want to, but because they absolutely have to in order to survive or at least live in dignity. Going by that reasoning, a boss shouldn't be able to fire a person for whatever petty reason and I'm wondering whether insults fall in the category of "too petty to punish so harshly".

I agree with all of this and agree that the system needs to change.

When you say you think the system should change, does that mean you think insults should be a valid reason for firing or not?

Insulting the boss does not increase productivity, but neither does complimenting him and yet that's not a crime. Insults are a way to express strong disagreement (so they can be part of criticism that is aimed to be constructive) and it's much more difficult to refrain from saying them than to not do so, so it makes sense that people need a reason not to say them to refrain. They already have a reason to say them.

A boss can tell a brown noser to shut up, and they will. A boss can tell someone going on a hissy fit to shut up, and they won't.

Insults are not a way to express strong disagreement - you do that by expressing strong disagreement. Insults are meant to deride and degrade the target, which is separate and irrelevant to constructive criticism of any sort.

I don't think that's true. People sometimes say it purely to hurt, but insults are very often said to let go of feelings of anger and because they are simply what one thinks.

If I behave very stupidly and you call me "an imbecile", I'd find it insulting, but the fact of the fact of the matter is that it could very well be true that stupid is what I am being. In this case, you would have used insulting language both because my stupid behavior annoyed you and you wanted to express that what I think wasn't just "not something the smartest person would do" (as you would say to be polite) but outright moronic, and because you think you're giving me true, constructive criticism at the same time.

Is it your moral responsibility to go out of your way to find more lengthy formulations just to avoid hurting the pride of the person you're addressing? Or should it be okay for you to be completely honest and the person you're talking to just needs to get over himself?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 2:25:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 1:53:31 PM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 1:19:31 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
Because showing contempt for the court is its own offense. She probably was going to be convicted for possession anyway. The extra punitive measures were not about Xanax, but about contempt.

I understand that that is the case, but I'm wondering whether that's how it should be.

IMHO it is for the reasons I explained already. It's not constructive to have people hold the court in contempt. It wastes time if nothing else. It also forces the court to be, well, more forceful, and no one likes that, the court included. So, be on your best behavior.

Yes, but the point isn't whether they can or can't, it's whether they should be able to. What matters isn't the length of the list, it's the reasoning behind that list. And these reasons are that a boss has people's lives in his hands, people don't work for him because they want to, but because they absolutely have to in order to survive or at least live in dignity. Going by that reasoning, a boss shouldn't be able to fire a person for whatever petty reason and I'm wondering whether insults fall in the category of "too petty to punish so harshly".

I agree with all of this and agree that the system needs to change.

When you say you think the system should change, does that mean you think insults should be a valid reason for firing or not?

No, mainly the underlined. I think insults are not proper in any professional environment.

Insulting the boss does not increase productivity, but neither does complimenting him and yet that's not a crime. Insults are a way to express strong disagreement (so they can be part of criticism that is aimed to be constructive) and it's much more difficult to refrain from saying them than to not do so, so it makes sense that people need a reason not to say them to refrain. They already have a reason to say them.

A boss can tell a brown noser to shut up, and they will. A boss can tell someone going on a hissy fit to shut up, and they won't.

Insults are not a way to express strong disagreement - you do that by expressing strong disagreement. Insults are meant to deride and degrade the target, which is separate and irrelevant to constructive criticism of any sort.

I don't think that's true. People sometimes say it purely to hurt, but insults are very often said to let go of feelings of anger and because they are simply what one thinks.

If you can't control your feelings, then you have self-control problems.

If I behave very stupidly and you call me "an imbecile", I'd find it insulting, but the fact of the fact of the matter is that it could very well be true that stupid is what I am being. In this case, you would have used insulting language both because my stupid behavior annoyed you and you wanted to express that what I think wasn't just "not something the smartest person would do" (as you would say to be polite) but outright moronic, and because you think you're giving me true, constructive criticism at the same time.

If you were behaving stupidly, then I am stupid for hiring you in the first place. So, the solution is that I fire you.

Is it your moral responsibility to go out of your way to find more lengthy formulations just to avoid hurting the pride of the person you're addressing? Or should it be okay for you to be completely honest and the person you're talking to just needs to get over himself?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 4:04:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 2:25:57 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
IMHO it is for the reasons I explained already. It's not constructive to have people hold the court in contempt. It wastes time if nothing else. It also forces the court to be, well, more forceful, and no one likes that, the court included. So, be on your best behavior.

Yes, but these reasons don't apply for that specific scenario of the girl, do they?
She returned his salutations and insulted him on her way back after he called her back. The judge decided to be 'more forceful', he didn't have to be. So do you still think his reaction was okay?

Yes, but the point isn't whether they can or can't, it's whether they should be able to. What matters isn't the length of the list, it's the reasoning behind that list. And these reasons are that a boss has people's lives in his hands, people don't work for him because they want to, but because they absolutely have to in order to survive or at least live in dignity. Going by that reasoning, a boss shouldn't be able to fire a person for whatever petty reason and I'm wondering whether insults fall in the category of "too petty to punish so harshly".

I agree with all of this and agree that the system needs to change.

When you say you think the system should change, does that mean you think insults should be a valid reason for firing or not?

No, mainly the underlined. I think insults are not proper in any professional environment.
Insults are not a way to express strong disagreement - you do that by expressing strong disagreement. Insults are meant to deride and degrade the target, which is separate and irrelevant to constructive criticism of any sort.

I don't think that's true. People sometimes say it purely to hurt, but insults are very often said to let go of feelings of anger and because they are simply what one thinks.

If you can't control your feelings, then you have self-control problems.

You can have self-control and decide to not refrain from doing certain things if you don't have any reason to. That's something we all do.
If your insults are constructive (like the "imbecile" one in my example) and you know it will help you express and let go of your anger and it won't hurt anyone (if the other doesn't let their ego get in the way), then you don't have a reason to refrain from saying them, do you? What is it that still makes it inappropriate according to you?

If I behave very stupidly and you call me "an imbecile", I'd find it insulting, but the fact of the fact of the matter is that it could very well be true that stupid is what I am being. In this case, you would have used insulting language both because my stupid behavior annoyed you and you wanted to express that what I think wasn't just "not something the smartest person would do" (as you would say to be polite) but outright moronic, and because you think you're giving me true, constructive criticism at the same time.

If you were behaving stupidly, then I am stupid for hiring you in the first place. So, the solution is that I fire you.

That doesn't really address the point I was making, though. It was intended to be the other way around (the boss is the one being stupid and the employee calling him out on it).

Is it your moral responsibility to go out of your way to find more lengthy formulations just to avoid hurting the pride of the person you're addressing? Or should it be okay for you to be completely honest and the person you're talking to just needs to get over himself?
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 4:21:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Living in Britain with the Public Order Act makes this a very funny discussion indeed!
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 4:34:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 4:04:15 PM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 2:25:57 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
IMHO it is for the reasons I explained already. It's not constructive to have people hold the court in contempt. It wastes time if nothing else. It also forces the court to be, well, more forceful, and no one likes that, the court included. So, be on your best behavior.

Yes, but these reasons don't apply for that specific scenario of the girl, do they?
She returned his salutations and insulted him on her way back after he called her back. The judge decided to be 'more forceful', he didn't have to be. So do you still think his reaction was okay?

They fully apply. Apparently the case was difficult to process (the senior legal correspondent in the video made this point clear). It would be easier to process without insolence and rudeness from the defendant.

Yes, but the point isn't whether they can or can't, it's whether they should be able to. What matters isn't the length of the list, it's the reasoning behind that list. And these reasons are that a boss has people's lives in his hands, people don't work for him because they want to, but because they absolutely have to in order to survive or at least live in dignity. Going by that reasoning, a boss shouldn't be able to fire a person for whatever petty reason and I'm wondering whether insults fall in the category of "too petty to punish so harshly".

I agree with all of this and agree that the system needs to change.

When you say you think the system should change, does that mean you think insults should be a valid reason for firing or not?

No, mainly the underlined. I think insults are not proper in any professional environment.
Insults are not a way to express strong disagreement - you do that by expressing strong disagreement. Insults are meant to deride and degrade the target, which is separate and irrelevant to constructive criticism of any sort.

I don't think that's true. People sometimes say it purely to hurt, but insults are very often said to let go of feelings of anger and because they are simply what one thinks.

If you can't control your feelings, then you have self-control problems.

You can have self-control and decide to not refrain from doing certain things if you don't have any reason to. That's something we all do.

Ok, this sounds like an affirmation of the point I just made.

If your insults are constructive (like the "imbecile" one in my example) and you know it will help you express and let go of your anger and it won't hurt anyone (if the other doesn't let their ego get in the way), then you don't have a reason to refrain from saying them, do you? What is it that still makes it inappropriate according to you?

Calling someone an imbecile is NOT constructive. Labeling a certain form of behavior imbecilic would be much more proper (although still potentially offensive). In the latter, you do not condemn a person for what they did...you give them room for redemption. They can correct their behavior, and thus would not be doing anything imbecilic.

By calling someone an imbecile, they could be eating their lunch, and they're an imbecile. They could be driving home from work, and they're an imbecile.

Overall, it would be much better to just not use derogatory language. Just say that a certain behavior is not constructive, etc...

If I behave very stupidly and you call me "an imbecile", I'd find it insulting, but the fact of the fact of the matter is that it could very well be true that stupid is what I am being. In this case, you would have used insulting language both because my stupid behavior annoyed you and you wanted to express that what I think wasn't just "not something the smartest person would do" (as you would say to be polite) but outright moronic, and because you think you're giving me true, constructive criticism at the same time.

If you were behaving stupidly, then I am stupid for hiring you in the first place. So, the solution is that I fire you.

That doesn't really address the point I was making, though. It was intended to be the other way around (the boss is the one being stupid and the employee calling him out on it).

If the employee doesn't like the boss, they're free to find somewhere else to work.

You're assuming the employee has power. That's like saying that you have power when someone is pointing a gun to your head. In both instances, you have to convince the person pulling the trigger that it's in their best interests not to pull the trigger.

Is it your moral responsibility to go out of your way to find more lengthy formulations just to avoid hurting the pride of the person you're addressing? Or should it be okay for you to be completely honest and the person you're talking to just needs to get over himself?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 4:49:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The key is simple. No one in any organization worth its salt should be doing anything imbecilic, so there should be no reason to label anyone an imbecile, nor to criticize anyone for doing anything imbecilic.

If you find yourself in a situation where you think calling anyone in an organization, any task in an organization, or the organization itself imbecilic is the proper course of action, you're in the wrong organization. It would behoove you to quit immediately and find a place where you fit in.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 6:27:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 4:34:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 4:04:15 PM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 2:25:57 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
IMHO it is for the reasons I explained already. It's not constructive to have people hold the court in contempt. It wastes time if nothing else. It also forces the court to be, well, more forceful, and no one likes that, the court included. So, be on your best behavior.

Yes, but these reasons don't apply for that specific scenario of the girl, do they?
She returned his salutations and insulted him on her way back after he called her back. The judge decided to be 'more forceful', he didn't have to be. So do you still think his reaction was okay?

They fully apply. Apparently the case was difficult to process (the senior legal correspondent in the video made this point clear). It would be easier to process without insolence and rudeness from the defendant.

But you keep ignoring that the case was only 'difficult to process' because the judge decided to keep trying to teach her manners like she was his child. It wouldn't have been if he had just brushed off the remarks. He chose to make it an issue, so it wasn't really her behavior that was disruptive it was his reaction to it. That's why I don't think your reasons don't apply here.

I don't think that's true. People sometimes say it purely to hurt, but insults are very often said to let go of feelings of anger and because they are simply what one thinks.

If you can't control your feelings, then you have self-control problems.

You can have self-control and decide to not refrain from doing certain things if you don't have any reason to. That's something we all do.

Ok, this sounds like an affirmation of the point I just made.

Then why did you make that affirmation? I do not see what it is about what I'd said that you were contradicting when you said that then. I assumed that you were considering any insult as an indication of lack of self-control and I was replying that you can be chose to be insulting despite having self-control.

If your insults are constructive (like the "imbecile" one in my example) and you know it will help you express and let go of your anger and it won't hurt anyone (if the other doesn't let their ego get in the way), then you don't have a reason to refrain from saying them, do you? What is it that still makes it inappropriate according to you?

Calling someone an imbecile is NOT constructive. Labeling a certain form of behavior imbecilic would be much more proper (although still potentially offensive). In the latter, you do not condemn a person for what they did...you give them room for redemption. They can correct their behavior, and thus would not be doing anything imbecilic.

By calling someone an imbecile, they could be eating their lunch, and they're an imbecile. They could be driving home from work, and they're an imbecile.

Someone could be acting stupid in a specific moment and calling that person an imbecile for what they did in that moment doesn't mean there's no way they can improve. Using that insult would just be a way to criticize the way that person behaved in that moment, it doesn't mean he's an imbecile also when eating lunch.

But, as you said, if you went about saying that your superior was "being an imbecile" in a certain moment, it could still be offensive and you could still get chastised for that. Is avoiding to offend him something you have a moral duty to do or is it he who has a moral duty to not let his ego get in the way so that you can be free to express yourself clearly without tiptoeing?

Overall, it would be much better to just not use derogatory language. Just say that a certain behavior is not constructive, etc...

But this isn't about what's better, it's about what is okay and what isn't.

If you were behaving stupidly, then I am stupid for hiring you in the first place. So, the solution is that I fire you.

That doesn't really address the point I was making, though. It was intended to be the other way around (the boss is the one being stupid and the employee calling him out on it).

If the employee doesn't like the boss, they're free to find somewhere else to work.

No, they aren't. We settled that earlier when we talked about how people work because they have to, not because they want to, and work isn't easy to find.

You're assuming the employee has power.

Yes, because employees do. They have the power to complain about certain work conditions even if they don't have the power to fire or prevent their boss from firing them.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 8:00:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 6:27:42 PM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 4:34:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 4:04:15 PM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 2:25:57 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
IMHO it is for the reasons I explained already. It's not constructive to have people hold the court in contempt. It wastes time if nothing else. It also forces the court to be, well, more forceful, and no one likes that, the court included. So, be on your best behavior.

Yes, but these reasons don't apply for that specific scenario of the girl, do they?
She returned his salutations and insulted him on her way back after he called her back. The judge decided to be 'more forceful', he didn't have to be. So do you still think his reaction was okay?

They fully apply. Apparently the case was difficult to process (the senior legal correspondent in the video made this point clear). It would be easier to process without insolence and rudeness from the defendant.

But you keep ignoring that the case was only 'difficult to process' because the judge decided to keep trying to teach her manners like she was his child. It wouldn't have been if he had just brushed off the remarks. He chose to make it an issue, so it wasn't really her behavior that was disruptive it was his reaction to it. That's why I don't think your reasons don't apply here.

"Turn the other cheek" is not a tenable philosophy in the real world.

She transgressed throughout the hearing, and he was fully within his bounds to deal with it. Her behavior already led to a disruption in court, for whatever reason he chose to deal with it at the sentencing, probably for maximal impact.

I don't think that's true. People sometimes say it purely to hurt, but insults are very often said to let go of feelings of anger and because they are simply what one thinks.

If you can't control your feelings, then you have self-control problems.

You can have self-control and decide to not refrain from doing certain things if you don't have any reason to. That's something we all do.

Ok, this sounds like an affirmation of the point I just made.

Then why did you make that affirmation? I do not see what it is about what I'd said that you were contradicting when you said that then. I assumed that you were considering any insult as an indication of lack of self-control and I was replying that you can be chose to be insulting despite having self-control.

If you are insulting, you are a disruption to whatever productive activity is taking place. Any insult in such an environment is indicative of a lack of self control and a problem asking for a solution.

If your insults are constructive (like the "imbecile" one in my example) and you know it will help you express and let go of your anger and it won't hurt anyone (if the other doesn't let their ego get in the way), then you don't have a reason to refrain from saying them, do you? What is it that still makes it inappropriate according to you?

Calling someone an imbecile is NOT constructive. Labeling a certain form of behavior imbecilic would be much more proper (although still potentially offensive). In the latter, you do not condemn a person for what they did...you give them room for redemption. They can correct their behavior, and thus would not be doing anything imbecilic.

By calling someone an imbecile, they could be eating their lunch, and they're an imbecile. They could be driving home from work, and they're an imbecile.

Someone could be acting stupid in a specific moment and calling that person an imbecile for what they did in that moment doesn't mean there's no way they can improve. Using that insult would just be a way to criticize the way that person behaved in that moment, it doesn't mean he's an imbecile also when eating lunch.

Calling someone an imbecile does nothing to improve their behavior. Describing the offending behavior and proffering an alternate course of action that is not offending is the proper solution. Insulting someone on the other hand is childish, non-productive, non-constructive, and will likely hurt you far more than it hurts your target.

But, as you said, if you went about saying that your superior was "being an imbecile" in a certain moment, it could still be offensive and you could still get chastised for that. Is avoiding to offend him something you have a moral duty to do or is it he who has a moral duty to not let his ego get in the way so that you can be free to express yourself clearly without tiptoeing?

Overall, it would be much better to just not use derogatory language. Just say that a certain behavior is not constructive, etc...

But this isn't about what's better, it's about what is okay and what isn't.

It is about what's better, because to do what is worse is not okay.

Freedom is not an intrinsic good. Utilizing that freedom to do good is an intrinsic good. Utilizing that freedom to do evil is an intrinsic evil.

If you were behaving stupidly, then I am stupid for hiring you in the first place. So, the solution is that I fire you.

That doesn't really address the point I was making, though. It was intended to be the other way around (the boss is the one being stupid and the employee calling him out on it).

If the employee doesn't like the boss, they're free to find somewhere else to work.

No, they aren't. We settled that earlier when we talked about how people work because they have to, not because they want to, and work isn't easy to find.

We didn't settle that. We settled that people are forced to work. People can still choose to quit their job and find employment elsewhere. If it is tough for them to do so, it is because they're not competitive in the workplace. That's something that takes investments in education to ameliorate, something this particular individual apparently did not do and is now paying the price for it.

You're assuming the employee has power.

Yes, because employees do. They have the power to complain about certain work conditions even if they don't have the power to fire or prevent their boss from firing them.

1) You're not talking about complaints, you're talking about insults. Two completely different things. Already established this, you totally ignored the point, I consider you having dropped the point and thus any equating of insults to complaints is invalid.

2) That's not power, that's freedom. Power would be for their complaints to result in change that would improve their situation. Employees complaining in an improper manner would get them fired.

3) The manager has both power and freedom - the power to enact change that would improve their situation (firing you) and the freedom to fire you.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/20/2014 8:03:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 6:27:42 PM, Questionner wrote:

If you're unable to address comment #20, then I consider this discussion over. It addresses all of your points, and renders any attempt at insults to be counterproductive.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 3:17:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 8:00:26 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/20/2014 6:27:42 PM, Questionner wrote:
They fully apply. Apparently the case was difficult to process (the senior legal correspondent in the video made this point clear). It would be easier to process without insolence and rudeness from the defendant.

But you keep ignoring that the case was only 'difficult to process' because the judge decided to keep trying to teach her manners like she was his child. It wouldn't have been if he had just brushed off the remarks. He chose to make it an issue, so it wasn't really her behavior that was disruptive it was his reaction to it. That's why I don't think your reasons don't apply here.

"Turn the other cheek" is not a tenable philosophy in the real world.

I never said it was. If I had used that as an argument, I'd have implied that she did something wrong and that he shouldn't have made her pay for the wrong she did, whereas whether she did something wrong is what we're discussing in the first place.

She transgressed throughout the hearing, and he was fully within his bounds to deal with it. Her behavior already led to a disruption in court, for whatever reason he chose to deal with it at the sentencing, probably for maximal impact.

Here, you're completely ignoring my comment about how it wasn't her behavior, but his reaction to it that was disruptive. Nothing bad would have happened if he had just brushed off the insulting behavior (from what we know in the video). The reasons you cited for which insults in courts would be wrong still don't apply. If disruption is the reason why a behavior in court deserves 30 days in jail and his reaction is disruptive, then his reaction is to be questioned.

The fact that she transgressed the rules on itself isn't an argument because we're debating whether the rules are justified in the first place.

Then why did you make that affirmation? I do not see what it is about what I'd said that you were contradicting when you said that then. I assumed that you were considering any insult as an indication of lack of self-control and I was replying that you can be chose to be insulting despite having self-control.

If you are insulting, you are a disruption to whatever productive activity is taking place.

You're, again, not addressing my comment on why it's "disruptive" in the first place, given that not all insults are a waste of time.

Any insult in such an environment is indicative of a lack of self control

And I just said in my previous post that that's untrue. If a person chooses to insult because they think there is no reason not to, that person is not displaying a lack of self-control. They're making a conscious choice, the same way you are when you decide to move your arm because you feel like it and there's no reason not to. It would be a lack of self-control if it were some spasmodic motion that you hadn't decided to do.

Someone could be acting stupid in a specific moment and calling that person an imbecile for what they did in that moment doesn't mean there's no way they can improve. Using that insult would just be a way to criticize the way that person behaved in that moment, it doesn't mean he's an imbecile also when eating lunch.

Calling someone an imbecile does nothing to improve their behavior.

It does if it's, like a said, a way to criticize the person's behavior. If you say that someone was "being an imbecile" in a certain moment, you're saying that there was something very illogical in the way they behaved in that moment and urging that person to not act like that again. It does help them improve by making that someone aware of their fault, and then, of course, you should elaborate on why what they did was illogical. Nobody wants to earn the title imbecile, so if you label it that way, it is more likely to make an impact that if you just say "it was illogical".

I didn't "drop the ball", this does contradict your argument on how it's counterproductive.

Describing the offending behavior and proffering an alternate course of action that is not offending is the proper solution.

But why should a person care about not offending the other person if the only reason why it's offensive in the first place is the fact that the other person is letting his ego get in the way of it not being offensive? Why should the insulting party restrict their freedom to use crude and direct language that lets them express their feelings to protect the other person's pride? If the other person didn't have that much pride, it would make things easier for everyone. The other person wouldn't get hurt and the insulting party would be free to express themselves without needing to tiptoe around the other person's ego.

Insulting someone on the other hand ["] will likely hurt you far more than it hurts your target.

And the thing is exactly that that maybe shouldn't be the case.

But, as you said, if you went about saying that your superior was "being an imbecile" in a certain moment, it could still be offensive and you could still get chastised for that. Is avoiding to offend him something you have a moral duty to do or is it he who has a moral duty to not let his ego get in the way so that you can be free to express yourself clearly without tiptoeing?

Overall, it would be much better to just not use derogatory language. Just say that a certain behavior is not constructive, etc...

It's only "better" for the party being insulted, not the insulting party who is forced to put effort into tiptoeing when they could spare time by flat out just saying what they think. And it's only "better" to the insulting party because their ego makes it so.

But this isn't about what's better, it's about what is okay and what isn't.

It is about what's better, because to do what is worse is not okay.

One person's freedom always comes at the price of someone else's though, so it will always be "better" to at least one of the parties involved, it's a matter of perspective.

If the employee doesn't like the boss, they're free to find somewhere else to work.

No, they aren't. We settled that earlier when we talked about how people work because they have to, not because they want to, and work isn't easy to find.

We didn't settle that. We settled that people are forced to work. People can still choose to quit their job and find employment elsewhere. If it is tough for them to do so, it is because they're not competitive in the workplace. That's something that takes investments in education to ameliorate, something this particular individual apparently did not do and is now paying the price for it.

You can be educated and still not find a job. Not everything about finding a job is within your control, otherwise employers would be able to have their employees work in the most abject conditions under the pretense that "they can just go somewhere else if they don't like it."

1) You're not talking about complaints, you're talking about insults. Two completely different things.

No, they aren't "completely different" at all. You can use insults to convey a complaint, as is exactly the case with the "imbecile" example.

Already established this,

No, we didn't.

you totally ignored the point,

No, I didn't.

2) That's not power, that's freedom. Power would be for their complaints to result in change that would improve their situation. Employees complaining in an improper manner would get them fired.

Alright, we're entering semantic territory. In any case, what is an "improper manner" is the question at hand and whether employees have power or not has no bearing on that.

3) The manager has both power and freedom - the power to enact change that would improve their situation (firing you) and the freedom to fire you.

Okay.
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 3:20:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 4:49:46 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The key is simple. No one in any organization worth its salt should be doing anything imbecilic,

That doesn't mean no one in any organization worth its salt will (has) ever do(ne) anything imbecilic in the entire future (or history) of mankind. Humans are still fallible, no matter how smart they generally are.

If you find yourself in a situation where you think calling anyone in an organization, any task in an organization, or the organization itself imbecilic is the proper course of action, you're in the wrong organization. It would behoove you to quit immediately and find a place where you fit in.

But that's merely your vision of what is fitting for you. It is nobody's call but my own to determine what organization is "wrong" for me. Quitting isn't always easy and if someone prefers to fix the organization from the inside with criticism instead of looking for another one, there's no reason why they shouldn't be free to make that choice.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 3:30:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
A court situation is drastically different to real life, contrary to the implication of the title. In court, showing up in shorts and a singlet to your court case (as actually happens here in Australia) will make the judge or magistrate suspend the hearing or trial and make you pay the wages of all the court personnel at the standard rate. Does this mean that casual dress is illegal? Of course not. It means it is a form of behavior unacceptable in a court of law. The girl in the video was doing something worse. I can't really comprehend what else she was expecting. If the judge didn't punish that I would be quite surprised.
Music composition contest: http://www.debate.org...
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 4:03:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 3:17:17 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 8:00:26 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

"Turn the other cheek" is not a tenable philosophy in the real world.

I never said it was. If I had used that as an argument, I'd have implied that she did something wrong and that he shouldn't have made her pay for the wrong she did, whereas whether she did something wrong is what we're discussing in the first place.

You've yet to even address any of my responses that describe what she did as wrong. Therefore, unless you actually do, then we are in agreement that what she did was wrong, and to "brush it off" is to "turn the other cheek."

She transgressed throughout the hearing, and he was fully within his bounds to deal with it. Her behavior already led to a disruption in court, for whatever reason he chose to deal with it at the sentencing, probably for maximal impact.

Here, you're completely ignoring my comment about how it wasn't her behavior, but his reaction to it that was disruptive. Nothing bad would have happened if he had just brushed off the insulting behavior (from what we know in the video). The reasons you cited for which insults in courts would be wrong still don't apply. If disruption is the reason why a behavior in court deserves 30 days in jail and his reaction is disruptive, then his reaction is to be questioned.

What you're saying here is that a philosophy other than "turn the other cheek" is disruptive. Sure, retaliation is disruptive, but at this point it's the trolley dilemma...you have two undesirable choices, which one is "more undesirable"? The way the law is structured, contempt is the "more undesirable" option, so instead of choosing that option, you choose the one that is "less undesirable".

The fact that she transgressed the rules on itself isn't an argument because we're debating whether the rules are justified in the first place.

I've already given arguments for justification. Ignoring those arguments mean that you concede their validity.

Any insult in such an environment is indicative of a lack of self control

And I just said in my previous post that that's untrue. If a person chooses to insult because they think there is no reason not to, that person is not displaying a lack of self-control. They're making a conscious choice, the same way you are when you decide to move your arm because you feel like it and there's no reason not to. It would be a lack of self-control if it were some spasmodic motion that you hadn't decided to do.

You confuse "freedom" with "self control". Self control entails having the freedom, and then choosing the more desirable option.

Calling someone an imbecile does nothing to improve their behavior.

It does if it's, like a said, a way to criticize the person's behavior.

It is not a way to criticize the person's behavior. You cricitize the person's behavior by pointing out exactly what aspect of a person's behavior is undesirable, and then proffering an alternate course of action. "You're a fvcking moron" does none of this. It is nothing but an insult...it is nothing but a waste of time.

I must say that if you insist upon believing in the opposite without addressing my arguments, you would then also become a waste of time.

If you say that someone was "being an imbecile" in a certain moment, you're saying that there was something very illogical in the way they behaved in that moment and urging that person to not act like that again.

You're saying no such thing. You would say that something was unreasonable or illogical by saying that it was unreasonable or illogical. Calling someone an imbecile means that their brain capacity is sub-standard...it is irrelevant as to whether or not a certain action is logical or not.

For example, your arguments are extremely illogical. However, you may be the smartest man in the world, and therefore not imbecilic. Being the smartest man in the world would not mean that you are right here, nor would it magically make your arguments reasonable...that's fallacious ad hominem.

It does help them improve by making that someone aware of their fault, and then, of course, you should elaborate on why what they did was illogical.

Someone would become aware of their fault if you point out what is faulty and elaborate upon it. The insult does none of this.

I didn't "drop the ball", this does contradict your argument on how it's counterproductive.

Any and all ad hominems are "dropping the ball" when it comes to a discussion over a topic that does not involve the person being referenced.

For example, if I said now "You're a fvcking moron", that would not have any relevance to the OP.

Describing the offending behavior and proffering an alternate course of action that is not offending is the proper solution.

But why should a person care about not offending the other person if the only reason why it's offensive in the first place is the fact that the other person is letting his ego get in the way of it not being offensive?

Here you have completely ignored the transgression by the the person giving offense. The accused disrupted the court, that's not questionable. She was flirtatious with the judge and did not take the trial seriously. The flirtation could easily be construed as an attempt at bribery had the judge allowed it to sway his judgment in favor of the accused, thus clearly making it a form of contempt for the legal process. Taking the trial seriously would make the trial progress in a more efficient manner, and I've already demonstrated that what is better is indeed what matters.

Why should the insulting party restrict their freedom to use crude and direct language that lets them express their feelings to protect the other person's pride?

Because that's not the issue here.

But this isn't about what's better, it's about what is okay and what isn't.

It is about what's better, because to do what is worse is not okay.

One person's freedom always comes at the price of someone else's though, so it will always be "better" to at least one of the parties involved, it's a matter of perspective.

And when it does, then the opinion of the person holding more power will be the one that matters. "With great power comes great responsibility".

You can be educated and still not find a job. Not everything about finding a job is within your control, otherwise employers would be able to have their employees work in the most abject conditions under the pretense that "they can just go somewhere else if they don't like it."

Sh!t happens. You are placing far too much responsibility for a person's liabilities upon the employer. Perhaps you should be found guilty for not feeding starving children in Africa, for for not preventing the AIDS epidemic. We should find you guilty of mass murder under the kind of accusations you are attempting to lobby upon parties that are not responsible for laborer's situation.

1) You're not talking about complaints, you're talking about insults. Two completely different things.

No, they aren't "completely different" at all. You can use insults to convey a complaint, as is exactly the case with the "imbecile" example.

Here you make clear that an insult is NOT a complaint, but a POTENTIAL VEHICLE through which to express that complaint. To state the complaint, you'd state the complaint, with or without the insult. The insult is superfluous and unnecessary.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 4:15:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 3:20:29 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 4:49:46 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The key is simple. No one in any organization worth its salt should be doing anything imbecilic,

That doesn't mean no one in any organization worth its salt will (has) ever do(ne) anything imbecilic in the entire future (or history) of mankind. Humans are still fallible, no matter how smart they generally are.

Actually it does. Making a mistake is not a sign of imbecility. Inexperience is not a sign of imbecility. A sign of imbecility is exhibiting qualities that would suggest you are "a person affected with moderate mental retardation." (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Any organization worth its salt would not hire someone who suffered from moderate mental retardation (I'm assuming skilled jobs here). All else being equal, an organization that did not discriminate in employment due to imbecility is an organization that employs unskilled labor and is most certainly "not worth its salt" compared to an organization that was competitive in skilled labor. (I'm saying this because discriminating based upon mental retardation is a civil rights violation...indeed this entire discussion surrounding imbecility can be construed as a civil rights violation if we're talking about unskilled labor).

If you find yourself in a situation where you think calling anyone in an organization, any task in an organization, or the organization itself imbecilic is the proper course of action, you're in the wrong organization. It would behoove you to quit immediately and find a place where you fit in.

But that's merely your vision of what is fitting for you. It is nobody's call but my own to determine what organization is "wrong" for me. Quitting isn't always easy and if someone prefers to fix the organization from the inside with criticism instead of looking for another one, there's no reason why they shouldn't be free to make that choice.

You're free to your opinion. But, if you continually confuse freedom and self-control and to confuse insults with criticism, IMHO you're invariably going to experience this girl's fate no matter what your stature in life.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 10:12:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 4:03:17 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/21/2014 3:17:17 AM, Questionner wrote:
At 4/20/2014 8:00:26 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

"Turn the other cheek" is not a tenable philosophy in the real world.

I never said it was. If I had used that as an argument, I'd have implied that she did something wrong and that he shouldn't have made her pay for the wrong she did, whereas whether she did something wrong is what we're discussing in the first place.

You've yet to even address any of my responses that describe what she did as wrong.

Uh, what? What have I been doing in my previous posts if it isn't responding to what you said?
You described it as wrong for certain reasons. I went over these reasons and replied by saying that they don't apply here. If that is not "addressing your response", I don"t know what would be.

Therefore, unless you actually do, then we are in agreement that what she did was wrong,

I have done it and we"re not in agreement.

and to "brush it off" is to "turn the other cheek."

The problem with "turn the other cheek" is that it"s a precept that commands people to ignore any aggressive behavior. I am not defending this general principle, I"m defending the idea that an insult does not warrant such a harsh legal punishment. If the judge had insulted her back, he wouldn"t have "turned the other cheek", but I wouldn"t have cared as much because he would have acted like any civilian. However, he sentenced her to prison for it as if he were above civilians; as if an insult is so much more unacceptable when it is directed to a judge than a normal person, which it isn"t and yet no normal person has the power to sentence somebody to jail for an insult.

What you're saying here is that a philosophy other than "turn the other cheek" is disruptive.
Sure, retaliation is disruptive, but at this point it's the trolley dilemma...you have two undesirable choices,

No, you don"t. If he didn"t react with punishment, the girl would have left with her "adios" and he would have gone on with addressing the other charges. Nothing "undesirable" would have happened, hence why that seems the most logical solution to me.

which one is "more undesirable"? The way the law is structured, contempt is the "more undesirable" option, so instead of choosing that option, you choose the one that is "less undesirable".

This, the rest of your reasoning, is erroneous because it"s based on the false premise that this is a trolley dilemma.

The fact that she transgressed the rules on itself isn't an argument because we're debating whether the rules are justified in the first place.

I've already given arguments for justification. Ignoring those arguments mean that you concede their validity.

Again, what? How am I "ignoring" your arguments if I have went over them, called them invalid (because they don"t apply here) and explained why? I am doing everything but ignoring you.

I just said in my previous post that that's untrue. If a person chooses to insult because they think there is no reason not to, that person is not displaying a lack of self-control. They're making a conscious choice

You confuse "freedom" with "self control". Self control entails having the freedom, and then choosing the more desirable option.

I am not confusing these two terms at all. Keep in mind that we have differing opinions with regards to what the "more desirable option" is.

Besides, "self-control" is, as the word very clearly says, about "controlling oneself", i.e. not doing regrettable things on a whim. If a person thinks through what they do, they are "controlling themselves", regardless of whether you, personally, think the option they chose is the more desirable one or not.

Calling someone an imbecile does nothing to improve their behavior.

It does if it's, like a said, a way to criticize the person's behavior.

It is not a way to criticize the person's behavior. You cricitize the person's behavior by pointing out exactly what aspect of a person's behavior is undesirable, and then proffering an alternate course of action. "You're a fvcking moron" does none of this. It is nothing but an insult...it is nothing but a waste of time.

Again, calling a person a "moron"/"imbecile" does do this by pointing out that the person is being profoundly illogical in that instance. Saying of someone that they're "being a moron" does not exclude further explaining why you think that term applies to them and what they can do to make it so that the term doesn't apply to them anymore. It's the exact same thing as "I personally think you're not making sense here, because..." only it's shorter and blunter and likely conveys feelings of strong disagreement or annoyance (which, I guess, is okay if the person wants to convey that).

I must say that if you insist upon believing in the opposite without addressing my arguments, you would then also become a waste of time.

Again, what? Seriously, though. If you at least pointed out what arguments I"m ignoring, this remark would be of any use, but right now, it just isn"t because I honestly do not know what you"re talking about.

You're saying no such thing. You would say that something was unreasonable or illogical by saying that it was unreasonable or illogical. Calling someone an imbecile means that their brain capacity is sub-standard...it is irrelevant as to whether or not a certain action is logical or not.

It is relevant to whether a certain action is logical or not because something must have led the insulter to think of this person as stupid. And that "something" is undeniably this person"s actions. Saying "you"re an imbecile" and only that would not help much, but neither would saying "you"re unreasonable or illogical" and only that. There is always a need for explaining the basis of a negative judgment when one criticizes another and it"s this elaboration that renders the negative judgment productive.

Any organization worth its salt would not hire someone who suffered from moderate mental retardation (I'm assuming skilled jobs here).

That"s a digression though. Regardless of that, we"re discussing the hypothetical case where someone thinks a person is behaving in a way that earns them the title moron and whether explicitly mentioning that in their criticism is okay.

For example, your arguments are extremely illogical. However, you may be the smartest man in the world, and therefore not imbecilic.

Saying that someone is "being a moron" in that instant does not mean the person is literally affected by scientifically proven mental retardation and thus behaving stupidly is a fatality for them. Being an "Imbecile" or "moron" or "stupid" are used to denote idiotic behavior that is temporary too. That"s how these words are used most of the time. The same thing applies when you call someone a "jerk" or another insult of that kind. It doesn"t exclude a chance for improvement.

Someone would become aware of their fault if you point out what is faulty and elaborate upon it. The insult does none of this.

Again, it does, because what is faulty is exactly the fact that the person is behaving very stupidly and the insult denotes just that. You can elaborate on why you think the insult applies to help the person improve.

I didn't "drop the ball", this does contradict your argument on how it's counterproductive.

Any and all ad hominems are "dropping the ball" when it comes to a discussion over a topic that does not involve the person being referenced.

How is this remark relevant? I have not used any ad hominem towards you and we are speaking about situations that involve the person being referenced.
Questionner
Posts: 233
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/21/2014 10:18:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
For example, if I said now "You're a fvcking moron", that would not have any relevance to the OP.

Yes, because the OP isn"t about me. If we were discussing what you thought about my behavior, that would be relevant.

Describing the offending behavior and proffering an alternate course of action that is not offending is the proper solution.

But why should a person care about not offending the other person if the only reason why it's offensive in the first place is the fact that the other person is letting his ego get in the way of it not being offensive?

Here you have completely ignored the transgression by the the person giving offense. The accused disrupted the court, that's not questionable.

Yes, it is questionable. I have previously said, and I quote: "Here, you're completely ignoring my comment about how it wasn't her behavior, but his reaction to it that was disruptive. " I am clearly saying that the accused did not disrupt the court here, am I not? He called her back, he devoted time to chastising her, time which he could have used for other things, hence why, if anyone was being "disruptive", it"s him.

She was flirtatious with the judge

She didn"t interrupt him to catcall him or anything, she just said "adios" in a way that could possibly be interpreted as flirtatious, but it"s extremely ambiguous.

and did not take the trial seriously.

How did she? If anything made her appear like she wasn"t taking it seriously, it was the fact that something made her laugh, but it isn"t evident to everyone that laughing in such a situation is a crime. The judge pointed out to her that her laughing was not appropriate and she amended her behavior. Other than that, she was listening to what she was told and answering the questions. Nothing there was impeding the procedure.

The flirtation could easily be construed as an attempt at bribery had the judge allowed it to sway his judgment in favor of the accused, thus clearly making it a form of contempt for the legal process.

Again, the flirtatious behavior was extremely ambiguous. Offering him money would be a clear bribery attempt, just saying "adios" with a smile is not at all. And the judge shouldn"t allow it to sway his judgment, that"s his responsibility as a judge.

Why should the insulting party restrict their freedom to use crude and direct language that lets them express their feelings to protect the other person's pride?

Because that's not the issue here.

It is part of the problem, otherwise you would have had no point in specifying that the proper course of action is a course of action "that is not offending", like you did. If you consider whether it"s offensive or not as a criteria, we logically have to discuss whether this criteria is valid.

I have asked this question multiple times and you have ignored it multiple times although it"s an important part of why insults are generally considered wrong; the fact that they"re offensive. Even if the fact that it"s offensive isn"t something that influenced the judge"s judgment, I would still like an answer to this question because it pertains to the general topic of how insults should be dealt with.

"Is it your moral responsibility to go out of your way to find more lengthy formulations just to avoid hurting the pride of the person you're addressing? Or should it be okay for you to be completely honest and the person you're talking to just needs to get over himself?"

One person's freedom always comes at the price of someone else's though, so it will always be "better" to at least one of the parties involved, it's a matter of perspective.

And when it does, then the opinion of the person holding more power will be the one that matters. "With great power comes great responsibility".

Again, this isn"t about how things are or "will be" it"s about how they should be. Like I said in the quote, what is "better" is always a matter of perspective, so if I turn that "will be" in your sentence into a "should be", that would mean you"re saying that the people in power should always have it their way ("their opinion is the one that matters"). That seems extremely unfair for those without power, so I seriously doubt you actually believe only the opinion of those in power matters.

And I don"t see how the quote "With great power comes great responsibility" is relevant to the point you"re making here.

You can be educated and still not find a job. Not everything about finding a job is within your control, otherwise employers would be able to have their employees work in the most abject conditions under the pretense that "they can just go somewhere else if they don't like it."

Sh!t happens. You are placing far too much responsibility for a person's liabilities upon the employer. Perhaps you should be found guilty for not feeding starving children in Africa, for for not preventing the AIDS epidemic. We should find you guilty of mass murder under the kind of accusations you are attempting to lobby upon parties that are not responsible for laborer's situation.

No, my reasoning doesn"t necessarily lead to the idea that we"re all mass murderers. I just don"t think you"re being coherent in your reasoning. You agreed that an insult is too petty to get fired over, but it isn"t too petty to have a person quit their job over? That comes down to the same thing. We already agree that the power of an employer needs to be curbed to some extent, only to what extent is under debate.

Likewise, I guess you agree that we ought to donate to the less fortunate to help them and we all do so through our taxes, whether we should do even more on top of that is under debate. (Not literally here, but analogically.)

No, they aren't "completely different" at all. You can use insults to convey a complaint, as is exactly the case with the "imbecile" example.
Here you make clear that an insult is NOT a complaint, but a POTENTIAL VEHICLE through which to express that complaint. To state the complaint, you'd state the complaint, with or without the insult. The insult is superfluous and unnecessary.

Yes, an insult is a "potential vehicle through which to express a complaint". ANY WORD is a "vehicle through which to express a complaint". Conveying a certain message is the whole point of verbal language. Saying that insults are "superfluous and unnecessary" because we can use other words is like saying that words are "superfluous and unnecessary" because we can use sign language. An insult has an edge to it that compels attention and reaction, allows a person to honestly express what they think and how they feel and it is constructive if it"s elaborated (just like any other negative judgment).

The only downside I see is that it"s potentially very hurtful, hence why I keep repeating the question of whether these hurt feelings are worth restricting an insulter"s freedom for, given that the hurt stems from a person"s pride (and pride is generally made out to be something wrong, especially when it restricts other people"s freedom).

At 4/21/2014 4:15:29 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
You're free to your opinion. But, if you continually confuse freedom and self-control and to confuse insults with criticism, IMHO you're invariably going to experience this girl's fate no matter what your stature in life.

Which does not apply to me because I'm confusing neither of these four concepts. Furthermore, it"s not about how things are, but how they should be. You can believe that insults should be okay and yet refrain from being insulting because you know that it"s more advantageous for yourself in a world where most people disagree with you. Not everyone is an idealist.