[OT] Benefit and belief

Devin Jeanpierre jeanpierreda at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 01:03:24 CEST 2011


> There we disagree. The hurt feelings of someone who attaches their identity
> to a text should not restrain our discourse.

Yes, we do.

> That would eliminate just about every joke: a huge range of jokes *depend*
> for their humour on connecting seemingly-unrelated ideas. So by your logic,
> we don't get to make those jokes here.

I didn't have much logic. I just don't think it's nice to do things
that hurt other people, and if we can, we should avoid those things.
Avoiding them is pretty easy here.

> But whoever takes that joke and says it's deliberately hurtful is being
> presumptuous and censorious and unreasonable. If they then castigate the
> joker for supposedly hurting someone's feelings, it's at that point the
> atmosphere turns hostile to discussion.

I don't really care about the "joke". I honestly I didn't understand
it as a joke, which would drive most of my disagrement. I don't think
it should have been made, yes. I take major issue with the
anti-Christian rant that appeared afterward, but I haven't really
taken much opportunity to attack it because it doesn't matter. All I'd
like is for people to be a little more friendly, if you please.

I also didn't reprimand anyone, except maybe Steven.

But anyway, no, we don't agree on what it means to be friendly or what
a hostile atmosphere is. I've noticed that people tend to be a lot
harsher here than what I'm used to, so perhaps your attitude to it is
more common on mailing-lists and I should just adapt.

Devin

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 6:01 PM, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> On 29-Sep-2011, 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 did not. It mentioned only a pair of texts: the bible, and the Zen of
> Python. Texts are not people, and we should not go out of our way to
> protect them from jokes or criticism.
>
>> 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.
>
> Nonsense. *Any* joke could be interpreted as an attack; the issue is
> whether it's reasonable to do so. Anyone who is so confused as to take a
> joke about a book as an attack on people is being quite unreasonable, and
> we should not restrain our jokes for the sake of that.
>
>> 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.
>
> Agreed. But only to the extent that attacks *on those people* are
> concerned. Peoples feelings about ideas are not a consideration when
> discussing ideas, and certainly not when joking about ideas.
>
>> 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.
>
> There we disagree. The hurt feelings of someone who attaches their identity
> to a text should not restrain our discourse.
>
>> 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 group of people to whom that refers, the administrative hierarchy of
> the Catholic Church, have been doing exactly what the quotation says.
>
> I agree that's not a joke; it's a matter of fact, and relevant in the
> context where it was mentioned.
>
>> Is it OK to make fun of arbitrary ideas as "jokes"? I don't think so.
>
> Yes, a thousand times yes. Ideas are not people, have no rights, and get no
> exemption from criticism or dismissal or attack or ridicule.
>
>> It seems, again, hurtful. Especially when the idea is totally unrelated.
>
> That would eliminate just about every joke: a huge range of jokes *depend*
> for their humour on connecting seemingly-unrelated ideas. So by your logic,
> we don't get to make those jokes here.
>
>> 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.
>
> And the joke would still be okay, and it would be silly for anyone to take
> it as hurtful.
>
> You can call such a joke off-topic, and I'd agree. You can say it's not
> very funny, and I'd agree. You can say it's undeserving of a flame war, and
> I'd agree wholeheartedly.
>
> But whoever takes that joke and says it's deliberately hurtful is being
> presumptuous and censorious and unreasonable. If they then castigate the
> joker for supposedly hurting someone's feelings, it's at that point the
> atmosphere turns hostile to discussion.
>
> --
>  \         “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is |
>  `\       able to think things out for himself, without regard to the |
> _o__)          prevailing superstitions and taboos.” —Henry L. Mencken |
> Ben Finney <ben at benfinney.id.au>
>
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
>
>



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