• Joseph Walsh
    18
    Why do people offend on purpose?

    I believe that if people do offend others without purpose they should be excused. If for a joke, and for the sake of a laugh, then offence should be excused. But what do you guys think of what to do with people who offend for the sake of it? I believe it is out of our control what people say so it is either we act in indifference or we should ignore the person and walk away.
  • ssu
    996
    Why do people offend on purpose?Joseph Walsh
    There can be several reasons.

    Some might think that other people are hypocritical in being friendly and assume that they reveal the true nature of people after they have offended them. Or some just might have a bad day and want to spread the feeling. Or some are trolls, who knows.
  • Waya
    972
    They offend on purpose to be mean. Sometimes as revenge, sometimes to just be jerks. Sometimes both. And probably a bunch of other reasons. Like, I'm still trying to figure out why someone lied to me for no real reason...
  • Bitter Crank
    7.3k
    Why do people offend on purpose?Joseph Walsh

    Cussédness.

    Sometimes when we experience free-floating anger, rage, anxiety, animosity, resentment, etc. we want to relieve the static charge by zapping somebody. Normal people vent verbally. Males are maybe more likely to punch somebody out.

    In extreme cases we get ourselves a gun and wipe out a few people, or quite a few.

    H. L. Mencken, a long-time columnist for the Baltimore Sun, once said: "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken was also a scholar, and a critic of the average American yokel / rube. Here's another quote: "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." He said that long before Bush II or Donald Trump. Very prescient.

    His most famous saying is "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."
  • T Clark
    3.1k
    Why do people offend on purpose?Joseph Walsh

    A bit of a tangent, but you can only be offended if you choose to be. An insult; a nasty comment; ugly prejudice - they can often lead to what, in the anti-discrimination world, is known as a "hostile environment." But under most circumstances, they may hurt your feelings, but they don't cause significant harm. If they do, then the proper response is determination and maybe anger, not offence. Make it right, don't get on your high horse.This is especially true here on the forum where words are cheap and consequences are small.

    Taking offence is not the most effective way to address ugly language or behavior. You can ignore it, address it directly. If it's bad enough, take action. Here on the forum, there are penalties for certain kinds of speech that are not considered tolerable.

    I guess I didn't actually answer your question. Maybe my answer is "It doesn't matter."
  • Echarmion
    303
    Why do people offend on purpose?Joseph Walsh

    In addition to what others have said, it can be a show of dominance. Offend somebody and you express, to them and maybe others, that you do not need to respect their boundaries and are not afraid of the consequences.

    This is why calculated offensive behavior can be a political tool.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    I'm more perplexed by why anyone is ever offended.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    I'm more perplexed by why anyone is ever offended.Terrapin Station

    I agree I think. I don’t like it when people make personal attacks, but I don’t know if taking “offense” is the right word. When people just say things as a joke, for example, I don’t understand the outrage that some people feel at the “offensive” language. To me, there is no such thing as offensive language that isn’t also personal.
  • Jake
    1.2k
    But what do you guys think of what to do with people who offend for the sake of it?Joseph Walsh

    I would suggest two perspectives.

    In real face to face life such offense making needs to be limited to prevent violence.

    In the online realm, it's better to focus on that which we can control, our reaction to offense. If you insult me online you're actually doing me a favor as you're inviting me to investigate why I resist and resent the insult. If I take up the challenge and understand why I'm offended, I may be able to liberate myself from all insulters.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    Exactly. For people who can be offended, it's worth analyzing why one has that reaction.

    Do they expect everyone to like them? Why would they expect that?

    Or why is it so important to them that others only say things that they also believe are true?

    Or do they think that the insult has some truth to it, and they're having a difficult time being honest with themselves and/or towards others for some reason?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k


    So neither of you would take offense if someone said to the people of this forum,”They are child rapists and I have proof!”? What if a large number of people here believed her? What then?

    I bet you would take at least some offense at this personal attack.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    I'm not offendable.

    I should be offended at someone saying something that's not true, or at a propensity for people to believe things that aren't true, to believe things on bad epistemic grounds, etc. because?

    I mean, if I should be offended at things that aren't true or things that are believed on bad epistemic grounds then I should be offended by religious belief and a whole bunch of other stuff. But I'm not offended by religious belief. I'm not offendable. If you believe things that aren't true, or if you believe things on bad epistemic grounds that's ultimately your problem.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    Okay. You’re unusual then. That is enviable.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    I have known people who become very upset when other people are ignorant or unintelligent . . . But I've never understood that reaction. My reaction to it tends to be more between amusement and wanting to try to help those folks. I understand that other folks' ignorance or lack of intelligence might make various things more difficult for me, but it's just like not having Superman powers makes various things more difficult for me than they'd be if I were to have Superman powers. It's not as if I get upset that I don't have Superman powers.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    But no one has Superman powers. Bad example, but I get your point.
  • Pattern-chaser
    801
    Why do people offend on purpose?Joseph Walsh

    I don't know. I can only assume they are sadists, and enjoy the pain or discomfort their words cause? The whole idea is foreign to me; I can't empathise with someone who deliberately hurts others.

    Many of the comments so far posted suggest those who take offence should, er, not. Why? Why should people have to learn to tolerate this unpleasantness? It's not as if the unpleasantness contributes in any way, shape or form to any meaningful and useful discussion.
  • DingoJones
    532


    Because being able to declare something unpleasant or offensive is easy, it completly subjective, anyone can be offended by anything and if you allow people to make these declarations and those declarations justify punishment in the form of restricting other people or the use of violence as some here suggest then your propensity to be offended gives you power and control over other people that is dangerous...not because of people just wanting polite interaction but because of people who will abuse that power, who will not stop being offended, who will use that control to silence political opposition....all the worst tyranny always starts with the same mechanism, these days its called Politically Correct. The good intentions of people pushing for it are paving a road to hell.
    Further, When you allow yourself to be offended by others peoples words you are giving them control over you as well.
    I said it once and Ill say it again. We teach CHILDREN that “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”. Surely grown adults can meet the same challenge we set for todflers?
  • T Clark
    3.1k
    Because being able to declare something unpleasant or offensive is easy, it completly subjective, anyone can be offended by anything and if you allow people to make these declarations and those declarations justify punishment in the form of restricting other people or the use of violence as some here suggest then your propensity to be offended gives you power and control over other people that is dangerous...not because of people just wanting polite interaction but because of people who will abuse that power, who will not stop being offended, who will use that control to silence political opposition....all the worst tyranny always starts with the same mechanism, these days its called Politically Correct. The good intentions of people pushing for it are paving a road to hell.DingoJones

    I don't disagree. On the other hand, it is reasonable to hold people responsible for what they say.
  • DingoJones
    532


    To me it depends on in what way they are being held responsible. On the level of person to person I think its fine. Dont hang out with the offensive person, or say something to them or dont listen to the music, or comedy or whatever. I dont see a problem there, its YOUR choice effecting YOU. Thats not the level of PC. PC is about controlling OTHERS.
  • T Clark
    3.1k
    To me it depends on in what way they are being held responsible. On the level of person to person I think its fine. Dont hang out with the offensive person, or say something to them or dont listen to the music, or comedy or whatever. I dont see a problem there, its YOUR choice effecting YOU. Thats not the level of PC. PC is about controlling OTHERS.DingoJones

    Let's take as an example the Governor of Virginia. In the 80s he dressed up in blackface for a costume party. Some people demanded he resign. My thoughts - of course he shouldn't resign. My understanding is that he has been a reasonably good governor who treats people with respect. On the other hand, I have no problem with him being embarrassed in public for what he did. I wouldn't even find fault if someone decided not to vote for him in the future for it.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    Let's take as an example the Governor of Virginia. In the 80s he dressed up in blackface for a costume party. Some people demanded he resign. My thoughts - of course he shouldn't resign. My understanding is that he has been a reasonably good governor who treats people with respect. On the other hand, I have no problem with him being embarrassed in public for what he did. I wouldn't even find fault if someone decided not to vote for him in the future for it.T Clark

    I agree. Let the consequences be embarrassment or also being voted out of office. That seems commensurate to the offense. What if all politicians’ worst offenses of their pasts were dug up? Should they all resign? We all have skeletons.
  • DingoJones
    532


    Well, your example isnt about speech, but rather action but I suppose it falls under the PC paradigm.
    So he dressed up at a costume party as what? A black person, or black celebrity? I don’t know why he should be embarrassed by that and as far as voting for him...I think people should be able to vote for who they want.
    His crime was...bad taste I guess? I think I agree with your assessment, excepting that I dont think his choice of costume in his youth at a costume party is news worthy, or pertinent to his ability to govern. This sort of thing only comes up because the PC machine is always searching for something to be offended about, so that they can use it as ammunition in their efforts to virtue signal, to perpetuate outrage culture and thereby force others to comply with their views.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    This sort of thing only comes up because the PC machine is always searching for something to be offended about, so that they can use it as ammunition in their efforts to virtue signal, to perpetuate outrage culture and thereby force others to comply with their views.DingoJones

    Well said. You’re beginning to win me over to your view.
  • DingoJones
    532


    Thank you, and Ill try not to let it go to my head ;)
  • T Clark
    3.1k
    His crime was...bad taste I guess? I think I agree with your assessment, excepting that I dont think his choice of costume in his youth at a costume party is news worthy, or pertinent to his ability to govern. This sort of thing only comes up because the PC machine is always searching for something to be offended about, so that they can use it as ammunition in their efforts to virtue signal, to perpetuate outrage culture and thereby force others to comply with their views.DingoJones

    I mostly agree, but blackface is a pretty important issue to a lot of people for historical and other reasons. It's a big deal to a lot of black people. So I think some embarrassment is an appropriate way of holding him accountable for is actions, even 35 years ago.
  • DingoJones
    532


    I dont see how he did anything wrong in the first place. Why should he be publicly embarrassed then? Why does something so insignificant that happened 35 years ago even matter to anything happening today?
    I understand blackface is offensive to some, and some additional context in this case might change my view, but so is some art. With so many prople living together, your gonna be potentially offended. Probably alot.
    I understand there is historical basis at work, but the only history that needs to be considered when judging a person is that persons. This guy is in no way responsible or held to account for the actions of other, long dead people of the same skin color or culture.
  • T Clark
    3.1k
    I understand blackface is offensive to someDingoJones

    That’s like saying “calling someone a nigger is offensive to some.” Yeah, you know, black people.
  • DingoJones
    532


    Thats a bit different. You play dress up, and dress up as different things at a costume party. Its ok for exemple, to dress up as Mr. T and to that end apply black face.
    What kind of party would the use of “nigger” be used in a similar context? A racial slur party?
  • T Clark
    3.1k
    Its ok for exemple, to dress up as Mr. T and to that end apply black face.DingoJones

    No. No. Nonononononono. It's not ok.

  • T Clark
    3.1k
    Thats a bit different. You play dress up, and dress up as different things at a costume party. Its ok for exemple, to dress up as Mr. T and to that end apply black face.
    What kind of party would the use of “nigger” be used in a similar context? A racial slur party?
    DingoJones

    Whatever you do, don't run for Governor of Virginia!
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