[OT] Benefit and belief

Westley Martínez anikom15 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 17:20:15 EDT 2011

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 02:49:05PM -0400, Devin Jeanpierre wrote:
> >> This was a technical discussion, and calling the bible a joke was not
> >> necessary at all. It creates a hostile atmosphere.
> >
> > I disagree. It was not an attack on any person nor group of people. If
> > we are to be required to avoid jokes not directed at people, then *that*
> > is an atmosphere hostile to open friendly discussion.
> Well. It wasn't directly an attack on people exactly. It did mention
> believers directly. It could certainly be _interpreted_ as an attack
> (and was interpreted that way), and that's really all that's necessary
> for a hostile environment.
> I'm not saying we should censor ourselves exactly. I've always been
> opposed to harsh _rules_ about what's appropriate and what
> isn't. But I do think it's important to consider others' feelings.
> Just because it isn't an attack, doesn't mean it can't hurt peoples'
> feelings, and I think hurting peoples' feelings is something worth
> going out of your way to avoid.
> Anyway, if it was a joke before, it isn't when somebody starts calling
> some "group of people" "organised conspiracies to support and protect
> child molesters".
> > The person who wrote the “bible is a joke” intended it as a flippant
> > remark. Countless other flippant remarks pass through here all the time,
> > making jokes at the expense of some idea or other. Christianity will not
> > be an exception to that.
> That doesn't make it right. Is it OK to make fun of arbitrary ideas as
> "jokes"? I don't think so. It seems, again, hurtful. Especially when
> the idea is totally unrelated. It's like we're having a discussion
> about dynamic typing and somebody blurts out "Hahaha, static typing is
> almost as dumb as Cartesian Dualism". The best case outcome is that
> nobody cares. The worse case outcomes go down to hurt feelings and
> flame wars from dualists.
> > But the topic of keeping this forum safe for technical discussion
> > entails that it must be safe for *any* idea to be the butt of a joke, be
> > it a religious text or the Zen of Python, and that is very much
> > on-topic.
> It obviously isn't "safe" to joke about any topic, seeing as it caused
> a derailment and new thread.

Sometimes it's just not appropriate to joke.  Save them for the dates.

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