Is the world becoming too "politically correct"?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by S.J. Faerlind, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    So this is another question of interest to me and since everybody here seems to be pretty accepting of a lot of things, I thought it might be an interesting debate topic, especially since TFF members come from all over the world and there may be regional differences.

    In previous eras, people were a lot more relaxed about the things they said to each other. Unfortunately, sometimes that led to the harassment of some people by others. In a commendable effort to avoid that situation, a lot of organizations have set rules that everyone has to follow in their interactions with other people. In my experience, some of these "climates" are becoming unbelievably extreme to the point of ridiculousness. What is everyone else's experience?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I'm going to have to close this thread because its not sufficiently politically correct in content!


    My view is that extreme political correctness is generally the result of two things. First up its the extreme opposite of the situation that it wants to avoid and as such by imposing itself over people it aims to break the original condition, then through time be relaxed a little in order to enter the happy middleground between the polar extremes.

    Secondly its the auto default reaction for people who "like to follow the rules" or for bosses who want to ensure that they don't get sued (this is more of an issue in teh USA, but its creeping into other countries and is the result of separate problems with both cultural changes and legal loophole/abuse).



    In the end almost any form of extremism tends to result in a negative effect and in the case of political correctness can even end up being insulting to the group that its aiming to protect. One just hopes that the extremist view will slowly dwindle away and that we'll be left with a more modest medium that will better allow people to interact without social isolation.
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I can't instantly divine a conclusive answer to this. It seems to me, though, that mass media, increased individualisation or both lead people to become accustomed to less mannered behaviour. Although it must be said that this has been said about pretty much all generations that preceded us. The enforced political correctness, to me, make me believe that people under the duty of organising social events are on their toes, because they are not capable of trusting the participants enough to leave them to their devices.

    But no. This is not something I recognise. The Netherlands is a pretty liberal country. Political correctness hasn't poisoned us, really. So, maybe, it's more about the anglo-saxon world?
     
  4. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    You can't call someone "nigger" without getting called a "racist".
     
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I think we're missing the point of what the nature of Political Correctness is... should we suppress the truth, or someone's view of the truth because it may cause harm?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    In the Netherlands you can publicly deny that the holocaust ever happened, and be fined or jailed for "spreading hate"... that is political correctness turned to a form of *lite* tyranny. When you institutionalize Political Correctness then it becomes something a bit darker.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    There is no specific law against holocaust denial that I am aware of.

    Spreading hate is something else. So far, there has been an element of violence in hate spreading before judges would go with it. On the whole, the first article of the Dutch constitution outlines the freedoms we enjoy. When applied to political correctness or, if you like, spreading hate, there's always a balance between the freedoms of one person against another (say freedom of speech vs. freedom of religion). In practice, that hardly comes to play, though. And is hardly ever contested. Freedom, it is agreed upon, can only exist when people realise and respect that all other people enjoy the same freedoms.

    The tyranny thing... I have no idea what you mean by that. There is no tyrant here. And, since The Netherlands isn't as unwieldy as, say the US, the distance between political power and civilians is not actually that big. If anything, the vast majority agrees with matters as they exist now in Dutch law concerning freedom of speech.

    Ask the FCC what you can and cannot say in public in the US.

    In answer, I would like to ask you a question;

    Whose truth?
     
  8. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I think that common sense has often gone right out the window with political correctness. Everyone will have a different idea of what they find offensive and we all have to get along in order to live in a society. I think this is where the line becomes blurry between two individuals interacting with each other. Extreme political correctness seems to cater to the people who get offended easily so they can make the rules the same for everybody. It would be way easier if people just did a better job at communicating effectively with each other. So many people are afraid to just come out and tell someone else that they're finding their comments to be offensive. The other side of it is that some people who are told that their comments aren't welcome just won't quit making them. I think that's where the issue becomes harassment, especially with regard to things like racist remarks and sexual innuendo.
    I suppose an argument could be made for harassment being acceptable if you're trying to change something when all other avenues for change have been exhausted.... Greenpeace foiling whaling operations for example. I'm not always convinced that all other avenues HAVE been exhausted in some of these cases however. It's easy to jump into extreme actions as a short-term fix rather than dive into the underlying issues that caused the problem in the first place.
     
  9. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    another thread too harsh for my IQ...
     
  10. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    While I admire the idea behind using political correctness, like many other things in life it has become a bit of a joke.

    I was labelled "aurally challenged" by someone once. I couldn't help but laugh like an idiot, which I think may have offended the person who used the term. Kinda defeated the purpose right there really, as someone ended up being offended. :D

    Honestly, it's okay to call me deaf. That's what I am. There's really no skirting around that issue.
     
  11. Tannara Young

    Tannara Young New Member

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    In the past (and even in the present) different societies have had rules for what could be said - rules of politeness, religious rules, governmental rules, etc. The advances that have been made on free speech opened that up a lot, but also opened it up to abuse. Political correctness is a rule of politeness, I suppose, as there are no religious or governmental authorities backing it up – and like any form of politeness it serves both to protect and sustain a society and to hide away its ugliness.
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    To your first comment...

    The Netherlands...
    While Holocaust denial is not explicitly illegal in The Netherlands, the courts consider it a form of spreading hatred and therefore an offense. According to the Dutch public prosecution office, offensive remarks are only punishable by Dutch law if they equate to discrimination against a particular group. The relevant laws of the Dutch penal code are as follows:

    Article 137c
    He who in public, either verbally or in writing or image, deliberately offends a group of people because of their race, their religion or beliefs, their hetero- or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental handicap, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine of the third category.



    and to your second comment... the FCC regulates the airwaves (radio, television, etc) that are accessed by the general public. They have no say whatsoever in what we can and cannot say, or how we choose to express ourselves. In America you can pretty much say what you wish so long as you're not inciting a riot.
     
  13. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Id say political correctness serves a purpose and has a good idea behind it, usually words get associated with bad stuff or stereotypes and that's why we usually get newer and more "correct" terms to use.
    If someone on this planet earth is different from the norm, then the word that might describe them is going to be used as an insult. And when a word is used like an insult, we need a new one. Or try to take back the old one and make it full of positive associations. Gay is one of those words for example that has been taken back again, by the homosexual society. It was a really bad word some years ago, but now its spoken with pride.
    But words as (at least here in sweden) Handicapped or ADHD can't really be used anymore, cause those words are being thrown around as insults way too much that people associate it with bad stuff. Would you then like to be a person with a handicap? Probably not. We judge and read in too much in those words, which can make us see people for something they are not, or get a very, very wrong idea of it.
    I mean back in the days, the word idiot, wasn't used as an insult for someone 'stupid', it actually was a term for people with some sort of mental disabilities. But how would it sound if we told someone that they are an idiot? That's why we need new politically correct words.

    But then again, it can be taken too far, of course. But the idea of politically correct words is a good one. But it can be misused.


    And to Foinikas, Nigger is a word that for many, many years was used by people in a negative aspect (and still is), of course it's going to sound racist. But that's also a word that is being taken back to a good word, but mostly by the people actually classifying as dark skinned. Either way i think we should respect that some people don't want to be called something that can have a negative ring to it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  14. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I fear your knowledge of the Dutch juridical system is limited. There is no constitutional court or other institution that tests laws against the constitution. This will always be taken into account in court. For article 137c (or other members of the same article) to prevail above the constitutional freedom of speech, the prosecution has to come up with some very compelling arguments. Convictions on this article are very rare indeed...

    For as far as I understand, SJ didn't limit the debate to political correctness of juridical systems. FCC has a strong word in political correctness in some of the most powerful media. Therefore, I think it cannot be dismissed on beforehand.

    I didn't get an answer to the third point I made.
     
  15. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    Tur did you study law as well? You seem to know your law very well!

    You're totally right btw..i'm sorry sparrow but you have some misconceptions on dutch law.
     
  16. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    lol - I thought this was common knowledge? :p
     
  17. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    Aaahhh noooo not to me!!!! How nice :D! What masters degree do you have? In what subject? And where did you study it?
     
  18. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Geez Tur.... from some of the comments you've made I'd also think you have a science background too. Is there anything you haven't studied?

    And... to answer an earlier comment.... no I didn't limit the debate exclusively to judicial systems and law. Perhaps this is more of a North American thing after all. It seems to me that a lot of the movement toward political correctness is an effort to avoid legal prosecution for perceived offenses when perhaps no offense was intended. I'm all for having laws and procedures in place to protect people from a harassment situation where one person is making another one uncomfortable, but when neither party is uncomfortable over comments that are being made, that's where I think that political correctness has been taken too far. This trend toward legal "covering your butt" here now extends into all kinds of areas, not just interaction between people. Some unbelievable examples of things I've actually encountered with regard to this:
    1. A friend works in a library for the town (ie for our municipal government). They have a written policy they have to follow at work on how to change a light-bulb safely, which includes the wearing of industrial safety goggles (in case the bulb breaks while you're removing it) and a second person must watch you change the bulb in case you fall off the ladder or something. Come to think of it, they might even have to erect a scaffold? I think ladders are now considered to be unsafe?!?!?! (Not sure on that one)
    2. The school sends home a brochure for supplemental accident health insurance (in case your child gets injured on the playground or something at recess). If you want the insurance, you apply for it, if you don't, you throw the brochure in the recycling bin. Beginning last year they also started sending home a sheet for parents to sign indicating that they had received the brochure and read it, which parents were supposed to send back to the school. Seriously?
    3. Four adults (teachers) standing around a vehicle, trying to convince a child who didn't want to go to school to get out of a car in the school parking lot. Again... unbelievable. The child was 4 and no 4-year old should be allowed to dictate to a bunch of adults what is going to happen here. They were afraid to touch the kid and pull her out of the car. What would they have done if this had happened in the dead of winter and was -40 degrees outside?
    It's fear of legal prosecution that takes the common sense right out of handling these situations.
     
  19. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Oh you can make the fear of legal action work for you.

    When my daughter was six and attending public school one of her teachers had the entire class break for "quiet time" each day, then she would lead them in prayer. Goodness me, when I found out it took nothing more than a five minute meeting with the principle to end that bullshit. The teacher was put on leave, and was let go.
     
  20. borgrel

    borgrel New Member

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    Political Correctness is just another symptom of a much more pervasive problem:

    Genetic selection, survival of the fittest, hierarchical social structures, competition (Olympics), attractiveness; as a race we are HARDWIRED for preferential treatment of the strong.

    However society as a whole has decided that this is wrong and immoral so now the weak get empowered and the strong get stomped on.
    * Doctors make medical breakthroughs and save the lives of a few thousand cancer sufferers (because leaving them in pain is inhumane), government subsidizes these patients ability to live and function in society, making the strong pay more taxes so they can live free of obligation (while ensuring the hardworking effective members of society can't scrape together enough funds to raise even a single child comfortably). Laws are passed to ensure that they get chosen for job posting ahead of people who would do a better job because of their disabilities
    --Result: 2 generations later cancer is a plague infecting 60% of the population rather than less than 3% because of the hereditary nature of genetic selection

    * Schools are forced to pass the stupid and unwilling to work and brain-damaged, they get the paperwork 'proving' they will be productive member of society
    --Result: Quality of work suffers, the competent must compensate for their slacking and work harder without any recompense so that they can be paid for doing nothing and raise a family. Propagating their propensity for laziness and lowering the average IQ of future generations.

    * Idiots are rewarded for their stupidity with huge settlements for doing things even a new born ape will know is stupid and a bad idea. The inventor of a magical device is punished for advancing humanities understanding and utilization of science by daring to invent something that managed to harm the stupidest individual of the 10 million that used the device and the person who proved himself the most ultimately stupid is rewarded and provided with the funding to live like a king and sow his oats ensuring their are more like him in future generations.

    Political correctness is just another of the myriad of techniques employed to foster the weak and doom mankind to drooling imbecility!!!
     
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