Bigotry (you win, I give up)

Rurpy rurpy at
Sat Apr 22 13:32:58 EDT 2017

On 04/22/2017 05:17 AM, Rustom Mody wrote:
> On Friday, April 21, 2017 at 2:38:08 PM UTC+5:30, Antoon Pardon wrote:
>> Op 20-04-17 om 17:25 schreef Rustom Mody:
>>> But more importantly thank you for your polite and consistent pointing out to
>>> Ben Finney that his religion-bashing signature lines [many of them] and his 
>>> claims to wish this list be welcoming are way out of sync.
>> I don't know. I think a concept like welcoming is too complex, to draw such
>> simple conclusions. First of all we have to make a choice about the public we
>> want to be welcoming to. I'm rather confident we can agree we don't want to
>> be welcoming to bigots on this list.
>> Then feeling welcome is not a boolean, people can feel welcome to a different
>> degree and there are many factors at work. If people tend to react in a friendly
>> manner to there co-participants, people generally should feel welcome. A statment
>> in a signature that isn't addressing anyone personnaly may give rise to some
>> irritation but shouldn't make this list feel unwelcome to someone.
> Generally agree
> [though I wonder how you will decide what constitutes a 'bigot'. Look at the
> suggestion in the very subject of these threads]

As the author of that subject, I'm not sure what point you are
trying to make but let me point out that "bigot" does NOT appear 
in the subject line.  I distinguish between "bigotry", an expression 
of intolerance and prejudice and "bigot", a person who repeatedly 
and knowingly makes bigoted statements.

It also seems to me that "bigot", like "racist", has very little 
intellectual value having been degraded by use to little more than
a stronger more emotive form of "asshole" or "dickhead".

>> Do you think critising any idea in one's signature is enough to conclude that
>> this person doesn't wish this list to be welcoming?

I have to agree Antoon here.
I think there is a distinction between a signature that expresses
an opinion (even an offensive one to some) and the use of prejudice 
and bigotry directly in a message and used to attack a person or 
idea rather than a reasoned refutation of the idea itself.

After all, listening to and understanding (though not necessarily)
agreeing with) opinions that differ from our own is surely something
not to be discouraged?

  Me: I think python strings should be mutable.
  Someome: That's stupid.  You sound like a typical Rurplandian 
    who we know have IQ scores 15 points lower than us.
  [It's true that we have lower IQ scores.]

vs. a sig:
  Because of the stupidity of its people, Rurplandia should not
  be admitted to the UN.

I would find the former offensive and objectionable, the latter
offensive but acceptable.

That being said, there are certainly sigs that are offensive enough
to community standards as to be unacceptable.  But the bar for sigs
should be much higher than for bigotry directed towards a person 
in a discussion. 

And the point of my first post remains: whatever that bar is should 
be applied evenhandedly, with regard to both the poster and to the 
politics expressed.

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