• schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Well, people can have really intense fears of trees, and that fear is probably going to be persistent, but what needs to be worked on there is what's going on with the person psychologically. The aim is to try to alleviate if not cure what's seen as an irrational reaction.Terrapin Station

    Yes, this would be a straw man. Because some people overreact all mean acts are exempt? That just sounds fishy. Rather, a more reasonable line of thinking is people from an early age should be taught to take any mean action with a grain of salt, ignore, get away, keep in mind what NOT to do, etc. However, the mean person is at fault here for trying to inflict some sort of pain on someone. They don't get a pass just because people should be taught to ignore mean people as much as possible. As I was saying, it depends on several things, so it is a situation by situation thing- things like intent, duration, intensity, context, place, etc. Also, as I stated, not everything is as easy as "Target can move away from Aggressor". Life isn't that simple sometimes.

    Also, you are subtly moving the argument from morality to speech. I never said mean speech should be banned. It is more about the descriptor of that speech, not any legal status of it, or whether it should be allowed or not. Mean speech is still free speech in my opinion, but we are not evaluating that dimension of it in this argument. I do think a forum owned/run by administrators, just like other private establishments can choose to have standards they want to keep though, but if we are talking public acts, etc. yeah free speech, but not the issue.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k

    I would also direct you to my last comment.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Yes, this would be a straw man. Because some people overreact all mean acts are exempt?schopenhauer1

    You suggested intensity and persistence as criteria.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    You suggested intensity and persistence as criteria.Terrapin Station

    So are you bringing up epistemic arguments that since there is no arbiter of how intense or persistent the mean person is actually being, it becomes useless to try to figure it out?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    So are you bringing up epistemic arguments that since there is no arbiter of how intense or persistent the mean person is actually being, it becomes useless to try to figure it out?schopenhauer1

    ??

    No. I was saying that there are fears that are intense and persistent but not rational, so we try to fix the fact that people have them rather than moderating the external stuff that triggered the fear.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    No. I was saying that there are fears that are intense and persistent but not rational, so we try to fix the fact that people have them rather than moderating the external stuff that triggered the fear.Terrapin Station

    No I get what you were saying, but I was saying earlier that helping someone "protect" against perceived meanness, doesn't exempt the mean person for trying to be mean. Again, "mean" here is more about intensity, context, duration, intent, etc.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Again, "mean" here is more about intensity, context, duration, intent, etc.schopenhauer1

    Ah--intensity, etc. of the "mean person," not the person who sees it as mean?

    I don't think that needs to be "excused" though when the problem lies with seeing the behavior as mean.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    when the problem lies with seeing the behavior as mean.Terrapin Station

    Again, trying to be mean to someone isn't the "fault" of the person its targeted to. There can be mutually exclusive things going on a) the aggressor is wrong for being mean b) the target should try to grow a thick skin.

    Your thought-process is making more sense in general though in your behavior.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Again, trying to be mean to someone isn't the "fault" of the person its targeted to. There can be mutually exclusive things going on a) the aggressor is wrong for being mean b) the target should try to grow a thick skin.schopenhauer1

    Why is the aggressor wrong for being mean if no one should be upset at what the aggressor is doing?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    Why is the aggressor wrong for being mean if no one should be upset at what the aggressor is doing?Terrapin Station

    Intent
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Intentschopenhauer1

    Why would intent be a problem if the actions it's directed towards are not a problem?
  • Possibility
    599
    Rather, a more reasonable line of thinking is people from an early age should be taught to take any mean action with a grain of salt, ignore, get away, keep in mind what NOT to do, etc. However, the mean person is at fault here for trying to inflict some sort of pain on someone. They don't get a pass just because people should be taught to ignore mean people as much as possible. As I was saying, it depends on several things, so it is a situation by situation thing- things like intent, duration, intensity, context, place, etc. Also, as I stated, not everything is as easy as "Target can move away from Aggressor". Life isn't that simple sometimes.schopenhauer1

    I will continue to disagree that the mean person is trying to inflict some sort of pain on someone. You keep judging a person as ‘mean’ based on how you’d feel on the receiving end, as if this were the only important perspective. Discount, ignore, exclude, prevent: none of these actions take into account that there is another human being involved here - one who is currently interacting, albeit imperfectly. I recognise that the ideal situation is to interact without any experience of pain, but given that may not be possible, is the main priority here to avoid any experience of pain, or to interact?
  • Coben
    943
    I also said that I think that sometimes negative feelings in response to speech are a problem with the person with the negative feelings, not a problem with the person who said whatever they did to cause the negative feelingsTerrapin Station

    So, sometimes, on the other hand, they are the problem of the person who said the whatever they said to cause the negative feelings. IOW above you say sometimes the problem rests with the listener, implying strongly that sometimes it is the sender's problem. (and of course both could be factors in any given instance) I can't see what the problem is with saying that it is immoral, in those cases where the problem is on the side of the sender. Where they intend to hurt the other person's feelings and to be cruel.

    You can still want a society that does not punish these people, for a wide variety of reasons.

    Otherwise it just seems like we are playing the progessive preschool teacher game, where instead of say it was bad when you did X to Cynthia, we say it was unharmonious. Here we can't say, for some reason it is immoral to tell someone they just heard that their father got run over by a bus, when it isn't true and the goal is to scare someone, but we can say that the problem is on the side of the person sending this message.

    Or we can call them an asshole, but we cannot call the act immoral.

    You would avoid assholes - those who get this label through speech acts, which you were willing to give some people -, but you want them to be assholes.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k

    It's a matter of right epistemic judgment on what is mean. I dont see causing undue pain as necessary.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    IOW above you say sometimes the problem rests with the listener, implying strongly that sometimes it is the sender's problem.Coben

    Actually it's just a rhetorical tactic to avoid sidelining the idea with a bigger dispute that's not what you want to focus on.

    A pet peeve of mine here, which tends to be a bigger problem with doing this on a message board rather than via chat, is that we don't focus on one idea at a time and resolve anything about it.
  • Possibility
    599
    It's a matter of right epistemic judgment on what is mean. I dont see causing undue pain as necessary.schopenhauer1

    When you’re not the one causing the undue pain, then epistemic judgement is not a call you get to make. As the one potentially experiencing pain, you get to decide whether you interact with the world or avoid experiencing pain.

    I don’t see causing undue pain as necessary, either. I don’t see causing any pain as necessary. But undue pain happens - and I won’t stop it from happening just by judging that it shouldn’t happen, or even by avoiding the pain myself.

    This is the problem with moral judgement - and it relates to the other discussion on what triggers hate, too. Judging something as ‘immoral’ does what, exactly? Does it make the behaviour disappear from the world? Or does it simply define the parameters of what we hate - what we refuse to accept in our reality?

    People are mean - they cause undue pain - and the majority of it is from fear, ignorance and selfishness rather than actually intending harm. But you don’t get to decide whether or not someone else intended to cause harm. If you make a judgement based only on how you feel, then it’s a judgement based on your own fear, ignorance and selfishness, not on any ‘objective’ sense of the world. If you act on that judgement then you’re no better than the mean person.

    Whether being a mean person is a ‘moral flaw’ or not doesn’t change the fact that people are mean and we don’t like it happening. So what? Moral judgement declares one perspective of the world to be the only one that matters. All that does is cause more pain through fear, ignorance and selfishness - unnecessarily.
  • Isaac
    1.3k
    there are fears that are intense and persistent but not rational, so we try to fix the fact that people have them rather than moderating the external stuff that triggered the fear.Terrapin Station

    How can any emotion be rational? It's not 'rational' to fear being chased by a tiger. It's rational to run away from it (presuming you want to preserve your life) but you could do so calmly without fear, or in a mad panic.

    Whether a person is treated for their fears has nothing whatsoever to do with rationality. It's to do with whether those fears are significantly impacting on their daily life in a negative way when compared to the attitudes normal people manage. You're just trying the same old hypocrisy again. When it suits your argument you invoke what we know, and practice, about psychology, then when someone presents some psychological norms which contradict your dogma you say we don't really know anything about psychology and it's all guesswork.

    People respond a certain way to verbal abuse. That is a fact. Your absurd claim that they could respond some other way has absolutely no basis in fact, no support from psychology and is frankly reckless.

    For you to even communicate effectively, let alone be a member of any community, requires that you make some broadly accurate assessments of how other humans will react to your actions (verbal or otherwise), to do this you have to have a model of how human psychology works. You can either base that model on experience (and controlled experiment where more detail is required), or you can base it on some wacko idea you've just made up. You're welcome to try either, but good luck persuading anyone remotely rational to attempt the latter.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    How can any emotion be rational?Isaac

    Again, this suggests that you're an Aspie. Same problem: I'm asking because this is further evidence of your reading comprehension deficiencies. You have a tendency to read everything "as 'literal' as possible," with no evidenced ability to pick up on contextual clues for semantic nuance.
  • Echarmion
    855
    I will continue to disagree that the mean person is trying to inflict some sort of pain on someone.Possibility

    If that wasn't the intent though, why would we call it "mean"? At worst it'd be careless.

    But you don’t get to decide whether or not someone else intended to cause harmPossibility

    Uh, why not? It's a fairly basic feature of human interaction to judge intent.

    You have a tendency to read everything "as 'literal' as possible," with no evidenced ability to pick up on contextual clues for semantic nuance.Terrapin Station

    If that isn't an instance of the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    If that isn't an instance of the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.Echarmion

    Marijuana doesn't talk.

    Is that what you were looking for?
  • Echarmion
    855
    Marijuana doesn't talk.

    Is that what you were looking for?
    Terrapin Station

    As good a rejoinder as any.
  • Possibility
    599
    If that wasn't the intent though, why would we call it "mean"? At worst it'd be careless.Echarmion

    But it’s more than careless. It’s an intentional withdrawal of kindness, but not intended to cause harm as such. A mean person has no regard for the feelings of others. There’s a difference between this and being intentionally harmful.

    Refer to my first post.

    Uh, why not? It's a fairly basic feature of human interaction to judge intent.Echarmion

    My argument is that it’s not a ‘right epistemic judgement’ if it’s limited to the victim’s perspective. You need to take into account the ‘mean’ person’s perspective, which includes whether or not they genuinely intended to cause harm. You won’t get accuracy from your own limited judgement - especially if you’re the one who was harmed.
  • Echarmion
    855
    But it’s more than careless. It’s an intentional withdrawal of kindness, but not intended to cause harm as such. A mean person has no regard for the feelings of others. There’s a difference between this and being intentionally harmful.Possibility

    Having no regard for the consequences counts as intent in my book. It is, after all, an intentional disregard of the safety of others.

    My argument is that it’s not a ‘right epistemic judgement’ if it’s limited to the victim’s perspective. You need to take into account the ‘mean’ person’s perspective, which includes whether or not they genuinely intended to cause harm.Possibility

    How is that supposed to work, practically? And why are you now qualifying the intent as genuine? What's an example of a non-genuine intent?

    You won’t get accuracy from your own limited judgement - especially if you’re the one who was harmed.Possibility

    Optimally, one should of course take as much evidence into account as possible. But I don't quite see what option I have, when judging the morality of an act, apart from making the judgement myself. At best I can refer the case to the court of popular opinion.
  • Possibility
    599
    Having no regard for the consequences counts as intent in my book. It is, after all, an intentional disregard of the safety of others.Echarmion

    I agree. It’s still different from an intent to harm, though.

    How is that supposed to work, practically? And why are you now qualifying the intent as genuine? What's an example of a non-genuine intent?Echarmion

    Non-genuine intent is intent that you’ve assumed is there.

    Optimally, one should of course take as much evidence into account as possible. But I don't quite see what option I have, when judging the morality of an act, apart from making the judgement myself. At best I can refer the case to the court of popular opinion.Echarmion

    You could speak with the person who committed the act...
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