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  1. #1
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    Default Live and let live?

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Default

    I usually view this as an extention to the golden rule, treating others how you would wish to be treated if you were in their position.

    When it comes to this rule, doesn't it come with a hidden rule which is to not bother the other person. As soon as you start crossing other peoples boundaries, it ceases to become a case of letting others live but more a case of what you just want to do. Does censoring the self mean that you are no longer living? I could imagine how it could be the case, but at the same time it just seems from a cost-benefit perspective that the freedom of speech is not worth problems it'll produce in that basic scenario. Therefore I'd think that it's easier to give in to the other person out of politeness. Isn't the whole idea about promoting harmony in the first place?

    Now if the person swearing had tourettes or something or honestly couldn't contain themselves, then I'd consider that it's easier for the person listening to just deal with it. Eitherway neither of these situations are really live and let live scenarios, since it's always one way or the other. The truly live and let live scenario is moving into completely different locations.

    Then again there are some issues that can't be ignored rendering the whole live and let live attitude again somewhat useless, it can only be for specific things rather than a general attitude as people are often against things.

  3. #3

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    I would say that this is a case of the difference between obligation and courtesy. Should you be obligated to curtail some of your habits that offend others? No, as long as you're not hurting them. But is it really so stifling to do it out of courtesy? Just because you have the right to do something doesn't always make it the best idea.

    After all, if we learned anything from Dave Chappelle, it's that keeping it real can go wrong!
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabastious View Post
    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've had this exact discussion once with two Christian friends of mine. Being the kind person I am I agreed to try and not swear in front of them in exchange for them to stop bantering about their "feelings" and "believes", as I find that highly irrational. Good trade if you ask me.

  5. #5
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I would say that this is a case of the difference between obligation and courtesy. Should you be obligated to curtail some of your habits that offend others? No, as long as you're not hurting them. But is it really so stifling to do it out of courtesy? Just because you have the right to do something doesn't always make it the best idea.
    But what makes courtesy to them the only right choice if they are not being courteous back, ie just accepting that swearing is part of the language, always has been and always will be?

    Wonder what the caveman swear words were like lol.

    Unlike smoking, which is second hand and therefore a fair request to not smoke around someone who doesn't want you to, swearing does nothing accept for offend some people, and not even personally offending them because it's so general.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

  6. #6
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    I influence only what I can influence. It's easier for me to change my perception and my mode of communication than it is for me to convince someone else to do so, and so that's what I tend to do.

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