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  1. #61
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    Ideally, we would be able to keep a separation of institutional rights and cultural acceptance as two apposite counter balances. An institutional right means nobody has the right to prevent you from doing something by force, but it doesn't mean anything you do within your rights is a right thing to do. This is where cultural acceptance & social pressures can be a positive force, as long as they do not lead to enforcement. You have the legal right to be offensive, but nobody has the obligation to be accepting towards it.

    Unfortunately, the nature of democracy is for institutions to follow cultural model, so this might not be sustainable.
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  2. #62
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    I think that you definately have the right to offend however I don't believe that it is generally in your best interest to do so.

    If it comes down to it and you are in a situation where nothing else will work, go for it, but at the end of the day if you offend needlessly you are doing yourself and everyone around you no favors.
    The purpose of protest is often to get people to think: to consider ideas they have never thought of before; to question their assumptions and the way things have always been done. After giving new ideas such consideration, some people will still prefer the status quo. If they never think about the alternatives, though, they almost certainly will, and nothing will change.

    Many people are offended by the very notion of this questioning, by the suggestion that some of their assumptions are wrong and that there is a better way to do things. This means that protest will almost always offend someone, usually the strongest supporters of whatever the protesters object to.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inis Mona View Post
    Democracy has its limits. The number one rule of democracy is percieving your own freedom, while not directly attacking the freedom of anyone else. Offending someone is attacking someone else's freedom.
    Freedom to do what?

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The purpose of protest is often to get people to think: to consider ideas they have never thought of before; to question their assumptions and the way things have always been done. After giving new ideas such consideration, some people will still prefer the status quo. If they never think about the alternatives, though, they almost certainly will, and nothing will change.

    Many people are offended by the very notion of this questioning, by the suggestion that some of their assumptions are wrong and that there is a better way to do things. This means that protest will almost always offend someone, usually the strongest supporters of whatever the protesters object to.
    Right, you can say what you please, but alot of the time you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Ghandi staged a hugely successful protest while not being overly disrespectful to anyone. It would be more difficult to keep your words completely inoffensive while still retaining the point you are trying to make, but generally it is possible to remain dignity and composure. I have found that the people who do set out to intentionally offend someone generally just end up making themselves look bad.

    It might be tempting in some situations to make the dramatic yet somewhat offensive point, but generally that means whoever you are arguing with will just go on the defensive and you will lose any ground that you could possibly have made with them.

    And of course some people will become offended at the mere suggestion of reopening a book they already see as closed, but you cannot control others feelings you can only control what you say. At that point, what would be the reasoning behind continuing to 'offend' them.

    I say whenever possible take the high road, and as I said earlier, choose your battles.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    Right, you can say what you please, but alot of the time you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Ghandi staged a hugely successful protest while not being overly disrespectful to anyone. It would be more difficult to keep your words completely inoffensive while still retaining the point you are trying to make, but generally it is possible to remain dignity and composure. I have found that the people who do set out to intentionally offend someone generally just end up making themselves look bad.

    It might be tempting in some situations to make the dramatic yet somewhat offensive point, but generally that means whoever you are arguing with will just go on the defensive and you will lose any ground that you could possibly have made with them.

    I say whenever possible take the high road, and as I said earlier, choose your battles.
    Protesting is just one element of working toward social or political change. Its purpose is to shake things up, to raise awareness, to shatter complacency. Sometimes it can be the "shove", as in "when push comes to shove". Negotiation, sweet-talking, alliance-building, deal-making, and compromise all have their place as well, often behind the scenes, carried on patiently over months if not years. Protests are the punctuation marks that can take things to the next level, get a slower process unstuck, or simply give the movement a shot in the arm. Any movement that employs only one tactic will surely fail.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  6. #66
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Protesting is just one element of working toward social or political change. Its purpose is to shake things up, to raise awareness, to shatter complacency. Sometimes it can be the "shove", as in "when push comes to shove". Negotiation, sweet-talking, alliance-building, deal-making, and compromise all have their place as well, often behind the scenes, carried on patiently over months if not years. Protests are the punctuation marks that can take things to the next level, get a slower process unstuck, or simply give the movement a shot in the arm. Any movement that employs only one tactic will surely fail.
    Shock value is ok when it is done to open up someones mind to a new idea, however there is just never any reason to personally attack someone especially on the offensive. For example, anti-abortion ads that post statistics about fetal development certainly shock people and can cause people to think, while ads calling all mothers who choose to have abortions heartless monsters will more than likely cause people to be offended and shut down. People could get offended at either approach, but you would probably offend less people would be offended at the first approach and therefore it would be taken more seriously.

    You definately should have the right to offend, but it to me it just seems to scream desperation and not the composure someone who is trying to make a solid point should try to convey.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    Shock value is ok when it is done to open up someones mind to a new idea, however there is just never any reason to personally attack someone especially on the offensive. For example, anti-abortion ads that post statistics about fetal development certainly shock people and can cause people to think, while ads calling all mothers who choose to have abortions heartless monsters will more than likely cause people to be offended and shut down. People could get offended at either approach, but you would probably offend less people would be offended at the first approach and therefore it would be taken more seriously.

    You definately should have the right to offend, but it to me it just seems to scream desperation and not the composure someone who is trying to make a solid point should try to convey.
    I don't consider any of these abortion ads to be a form of protest. They are emotional manipulation, that's all. Protest would be those people who picket abortion clinics and harass the patients and staff. Or better yet: the folks who march on the Capitol on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. The only way not to give any offense is never to challenge anyone's beliefs and preconceived notions. Beliefs and notions that cannot withstand challenge are not worth holding.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  8. #68
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Maybe this thread should be titled Freedom of speech vs. the possibility of offending (or something like that), because I think that what you are saying is that someome could get offended at anything you do, even if that wasn't your intention. I pretty much am saying that you can challenge someone without it resorting to underhanded tactics. Right now I am not intentionally trying to offend you, just respectfully discussing and debating. If you choose to be offended it is not my intention, just as if I were to go down to the capital and fight for some cause and people got upset. You cannot control other peoples feelings, but you can choose to not take advantage of them in a disagreement. Personal offense is not a good thing, impersonal offense can be. Of course you are going to offend people in life, I just do not think any good can come of making it your goal. It seems like you would be losing more ground with people then you ever hoped to gain.

  9. #69
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    Although I do not really care how I come off to other people, other people care and they base much of your value on their personal opinion of you. If you want to protest because you are really passionate about something then that is wonderful, good for you for knowing what you believe in. However if if you offend someone intentionally just because you have exhausted other methods of persuasion, then I think that you have just lost whatever point you were trying to make. An example of this to me is calling someone elses stance on an argument 'stupid' or the like. Unless someone can point out specific reasons as to why an argument is 'stupid', and generally they can't because again it comes from a place of desperation, it just derails an argument. You have the right to offend someone, but I would just make sure your reasons are pretty good for doing so. Again, (its becoming my own personal motto), pick your battles.

  10. #70
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    Right, thats my point! To me it just seems unneccesary and counter-productive to INTENTIONALLY harass someone. You can disagree with someone, but generally when you make it your main goal to offend someone to win an argument you have really lost. You did not win them over, maybe if they were weaker than you you bullied them into temporarily going along with what you are saying out of a place of fear, but really at the end of the day:

    1) You lose all rapport you gained with the person

    2) They now see you as a bully and the might tell others you are too irrational to debate with losing an opportunity to gain converts to your cause.

    3) It makes you look bad, unhinged, illogical, and immature. (Opinion)

    4) We have such a beautiful and expansive language, certainly there are words/ ways to get your point accross by avoiding the offensive ones. You literally can say whatever you would like, why automatically revert to whatevers easiest.

    5) It just isn't generally necessary to set out to hurt comeones feelings. Why would you set out to be mean?

    There is a difference between arguing and fighting.
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