[OT] Benefit and belief

Devin Jeanpierre jeanpierreda at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 20:49:05 CEST 2011


>> 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.

Devin

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> Devin Jeanpierre <jeanpierreda at gmail.com> writes:
>
>> > Forget money, or even the love of money. The idea that one mustn't
>> > criticise another person's beliefs is the root of all evil.
>>
>> 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.
>
>> Can't you pick somewhere else to attack Christianity?
>
> 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.
>
> If you find someone attacking people, I'll join you in ostracising the
> attacker. But no, don't attempt to silence jokes that attack an idea.
>
> Off-topic? If we start discussing the content of the ideas being
> attacked, yeah, I'd say religion is pretty off-topic.
>
> 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.
>
> --
>  \         “We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!” |
>  `\    —Vroomfondel, _The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy_, Douglas |
> _o__)                                                            Adams |
> Ben Finney
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
>



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