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Everybody (or nobody) is a special flowsnake

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1/23/2016 11:56:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
In debates over social justice issues, the conservative side siding with the status quo would often accuse the pejoratively-called "social justice warriors" of wanting to give "special snowflakes" special treatment, while the side asking for more change--hereby referred to as "liberals"--would say that their proposals simply provide "equal opportunities". Both sides often describe themselves as a modern incarnation of the civil rights movements of the Jim Crow era or the suffragette movement in the early 20th century; the conservatives think that they are trying to hold back a new wave of reverse discrimination, while the liberals think that their proposals will level the playing field for underprivileged people. One thing that strikes me as interesting is that arguments, especially online, often rely on using loaded words in description instead of actual, well, arguments.

To prove this point, I have written passages below that demonstrate how using loaded words and playing with semantics can be persuasive, in the context of social justice debates. The passages below do not contain actual arguments, nor do they directly say anything about the issue at hand; instead, they simply describe things using loaded words and cherry-pick facts.


Under Indiana's religious freedom law, conservative businesses, such as bakeries run by fundamentalist wingnuts, would be able to refuse service to homosexuals on the virtue of them being themselves. If a person were to order a wedding cake for their gay wedding, then they might be refused service simply because of their sexual orientation. Gays would be practically segregated from some stores, just like african americans in the Jim Crow era, just because a vocal minority of people don't like them.


Lately, the Christian's right to operate his private business as he wishes has been assaulted by a vocal minority of liberals who wish to violate religious freedoms in the name of, er, "freedom". The Indiana religious freedom law will aid in turning the situation around by allowing Christians to provide only services that fall in accordance to their believe systems. Just like a Muslim butcher is not legally obliged to sell pork in his store, as it is a violation of his faith, Christian bakers should not be mandated to endorse weddings that violate their faith.

If the wordings used in the liberal argument were used in the conservative argument, and vice-versa, they will no longer make sense at all.

Liberal, with Conservative wordings

Under Indiana's religious freedom law, Christian businesses would be able to not endorse weddings that violate their faith. If a person were to force them to make cakes in a way that violates their faith, then the conservative business would be able to stand their ground and say no. Yes, Gays may find it harder to buy wedding cakes, but if ease is what we're going for, then we'd have to force Muslim butchers to sell pork so that others would be able to buy pork more easily.

Conservative, with Liberal wordings:

Lately, the fundamentalist wingnuts have been asked by liberals to stop discriminating against people that they do not like. The Indiana religious freedom law will make them able to discriminate against homosexuals again. Christian bakers should not be mandated by law to be tolerant and respectful.

Why can't I find a single competent argument on either side, at least on the Internet?
:) nac
Posts: 9,704
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1/24/2016 6:55:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2016 11:56:13 PM, Leugen9001 wrote:

Dude, you make an excellent point here, and it is sad to see that topics of this quality are overlooked simply because your name is not very well-known.

Honestly, imho, the arguments do convey the same meaning with the semantics and word-usage swapped; it simply makes it more difficult to convey the underlying meaning. Overall, the same thing is being said, albeit with different words.
"If anyone wants to engage in casual anti-Semitism, then whatever." ~Max

Vaarka swung his sword at the mod. However, since I am now incorporeal, he ends up accidentally striking the entire American landmass (It's a REALLY bastard sword), destroying both continents. Spiders are now at 50% of capacity."
Posts: 2,762
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2/2/2016 4:58:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The difference in vocab choice between liberals and conservatives reflects different ways of framing an issue. In fact, some cognitive scientists (by which I mean, of course, Lakoff and Johnson) believe this is the key to winning votes, because changing construals can change minds. Lakoff has actually suggested that Liberals should learn to gain an advantage using semantics because conservatives had the upper hand.

Unlike Lakoff, though, I believe we aren't prisoners or slaves of our instincts. We are able to see through these conceptual metaphors and make judgements based on facts and reason. The problem is whether we're willing to make the effort to pick up the necessary tools and spend the time to do this.
I think it is well established that the only reason aliens come to earth is to slice up cows and examine inside peoples' bottoms. Unless you are a cow or suffer haemerrhoids I don't think there is anything to worry about from aliens. - keithprosser

Don't be a stat cynic:

Response to conservative views on deforestation:

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM):
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2/2/2016 6:17:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Really good posts. I think the others have summed up my view pretty well though. I think that you could be a really great contributor to the site if you keep this up.
"Life calls the tune, we dance."
John Galsworthy