I wanted to get peoples thoughts on a certain philosophical topic. It regards changing things about yourself, temporarily, to be courteous to others with different opinions.
A good, yet simple, example would be swearing. It would seem to me that the notion that swearing is wrong is purely an opinion. Some people think swearing is hard on the ears, vulgar or inappropriate, while others think that swear words can be effective for expressing themselves.
I have heard a lot (possibly the majority) say that you shouldnít swear around others that donít want you to swear out of respect for their wishes. But what about the other personís wish to swear? If the swearing person stops swearing they are, in essence, saying that the other personís opinion is enough to make them stop while they are around. Conversely, if the non-swearing person chooses to overlook the swearing, they are doing the same thing.
To me both opinions are just that, opinions. Neither is greater or lesser than the other. So, how does one choose in this paradox?
I will give my personal opinion.
I really make an effort in my life not to take responsibility for the feelings of others. I make sure I only take responsibility for my part of life and situations.
I feel I have a valid reason to swear in front of other adults that might feel offended by the words. The reason being that I feel that the word accurately describes the way I feel about the situation.
Example: I come across something that has a heinous smell. I probably would say ďMan, that smells like a pile of shit.Ē
The smell usually doesnít smell like a pile of feces, but thatís not the reason why I am using the term. Itís more of a metaphor for how I feel about the smell.
On the other hand, what would be the reason why the other person would want the sentence to be altered? They probably think itís vulgar and inappropriate. This is a less practical view. While this does not make it invalid, it is, in my view, less logical than the reason I have to use the word: the most personally accurate description.
Anyway, this isnít really about swear words. Itís about when you feel pressure to change the way you live your life, in small or large ways, because of how others feel.
A lot of people talk about being respectful or courteous of others. My argument is why canít we all be respectful and courteous even if someoneís lifestyle or choices personally offend us?
ďI would like it if you didnít do that around me.Ē
Is the same as:
ďI would like to do it around youĒ
Both seem like equal forms of opinion.