Cake
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    • Without naming names, can you think of a very famous person who has the freedom to post short messages but who seemingly has a problem with self-restraint?

      Montana attempted to allow more personal freedom when the USA's national 55 mph law was repealed. They decided not to have a state speed limit. After a few years, they instated a state speed limit because they had had a problem with drivers who thought that freedom meant lack of all restraint even self-restraint.

      While it is true that freedom of speech allows for incivility and boorishness, it by no means glorifies the inglorious. A person who expresses himself in such a manner is showing what his character is.

      In recent years, there seems to be a misunderstanding of what freedom of speech or expression is and is not.

      It is one thing to have the freedom to say anything you want about another person without prosecution short of actionable slander or the freedom to publish anything you want without prosecution about another person short of actionable libel, it is quite another to think that every publication and every internet platform is obligated to publish your rant or screed. It is also wrong to think that you can say these things and express these things anywhere and at anytime regardless of private property, personal privacy, and public harassment.

      Although I believe that the doctrines of many places of religious worship are false doctrines, I by no means think that it is appropriate or "my right" to occupy the publicly owned pavement outside of their places of assembly with bullhorns and loud speakers and denounce their doctrines while their assemblies are underway.

      Yet this is how many "political activists" behave themselves.

      Social conservatives stand outside of facilities which provide abortion services and harass those who pass by.

      Social liberals gather outside of private residences and harangue the residents.

      People go into restaurants and publicly berate and harass a public figure for one reason or another.

      There is a difference between freedom and a break down in individual responsibility.

      When did we lose the ability to disagree with respect? When did we lose the ability to argue with civility?

      Those who behave in these ways regardless of the positions which they espouse are demonstrating a personal character problem.

      The same thing goes for one's participation on this platform. Please respect one another's rights to disagree and be polite. Do not knowingly trample on the "taboos" of those whose values differ from yours. Don't be crude. Don't be boorish. Be civil, polite and respectful.

      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (A phrase invented by Evelyn Beatrice Hall to describe the thought processes of Voltaire)

    • When did we lose the ability to disagree with respect? When did we lose the ability to argue with civility?

      It seems to me that recently quite a number of people feel that the ability to disagree with respect has been stolen from them, not lost. When the opinions of the educated are discounted because they labelled 'elites' (like that's a bad thing to be), when the people whose job it is to inform the populace of what's going on in the world are labelled 'fake', then they have lose the ability argument civilly, and feel they must resort to other means.

    • You might notice that in my post, I tried to examine the situation from various viewpoints, not just my own or those whom I admire.

      Now this does not mean that I endorsed the vitriolic on any side of any issue. My post called for civility and respectful disagreement

      Now that you have expressed the viewpoint of those with whom you are sympathetic, can you also express the feeling of those with whom you are less sympathetic but who are not among the crude and boorish, not those who show no politeness towards those who hold views similar to yours. Do any of them feel as if their ability to disagree with respect has been stolen?

      Also, when you say "stolen" are you suggesting that other people can take away our ability to choose to respond in a manner that is different from the way that our enemies behave towards us? Are we merely reactive or can we choose how we respond to stimuli?

    • Now that you have expressed the viewpoint of those with whom you are sympathetic, can you also express the feeling of those with whom you are less sympathetic but who are not among the crude and boorish, not those who show no politeness towards those who hold views similar to yours. Do any of them feel as if their ability to disagree with respect has been stolen?

      No doubt they do. You asked why rational discourse might be eroding, and I gave some examples of situations in which people might feel that they had no other option.

      Also, when you say "stolen" are you suggesting that other people can take away our ability to choose to respond in a manner that is different from the way that our enemies behave towards us? Are we merely reactive or can we choose how we respond to stimuli?

      No. We can choose to respond in whatever manner we like. What I'm saying is that other people can make your choice to stick to rational discourse meaningless, by making sure people can't hear you at all unless you turn up the volume.

    • What I believe the antagonism comes from is the lack of teaching kids the "golden rule". That's largely because for over a generation people weren't taught about civility; nor how to express themselves other than what they watched on TV and in the movies. During the 1990s media became coarser and coarser, until they could pass a kid cussing off another (i.e., testing the limits of just how far they can get away with without public disgust).

      If the media does that to be "edgy" and see what they could pass as "entertainment", politics also watched. It was just a matter of time a figure would come to the White House to be just like the foulness in the media, and even "sell" depravity as big news, too.

      Have you watched how the news networks are behaving now, too? Gone are the days of Murrow and Cronkite, where civility was more expected. Now it's another race to the bottom mixed into "highbrow" intellectualism.

      They're not taught to respect different views.

      They're not taught to be civil.

      So if they're not being taught basic etiquette to behave in public, they see nothing wrong in being like who they see in the media. If John Wayne can shoot a bad guy, so can they. If a kid can cuss out an adult, so can they.

      In a lot of ways that is a parental problem for they let the media become their kids' babysitter. They thought it was safe, as it was for the parents. Not since the late 80s has TV been a family and educational medium for all ages.

      I pulled the TV plugs out (in fact I don't watch TV anymore, but what is shown here and there on the news online, as I was sick of the incivility and nastiness, that conflicted with my values). These days I read select media that carefully edits their articles and shows to remove the ugliness out of their medium. Don't need to cuss narrating a talk show or documentary. I don't need to see "real life" in the media, I can see that on the street. The media was meant to see the idealistic life to strive for, instead. They used to educate for the Greater Good, not try to show me hell on Earth everywhere.

      So we got our "alternative reality" in the media now, and they're just feeding on the dead daily. If you can turn it off. Move on. Meet real people. Talk face-to-face with them. Enjoy real human contact. Not more of this negative and ugly mediums all racing to the abyss.

    You've been invited!