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Re: Consideration for obscenity

by ajt (Prior)
on Feb 03, 2007 at 13:58 UTC ( #598086=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Consideration for obscenity

What is obscene? and would I use an obscenity?

What is obscene is subjective and context dependent. Because it's all subjective I only use certain words if I believe the audience will not be offended: thus the word isn't obscene.

As I don't know the audience reading this, I choose to censor what I write. I am not offended by the four letter word in question but that does not mean I would use it in front of complete strangers.

In a article in one of the broadsheet papers most people in the UK would now not be offended by the word in question, however a formerly commonly used word to describe people of Pakistan origin is now considered by most people to be a highly offensive racist slur and isn't used in polite society.


--
ajt


Comment on Re: Consideration for obscenity
Re^2: Consideration for obscenity
by ptum (Priest) on Feb 06, 2007 at 16:42 UTC

    I guess the question I'm really asking is, "Does PerlMonks want to be a 'polite society'?" I thought that the existence of a consideration mechanism and the guidelines for consideration seemed to indicate that yes, we do. But the votes to 'keep' the node seemed to indicate that at least a small number of monks think that no, we don't want to be 'polite' if it means we have to limit our free speech out of respect for others. I didn't understand that, and I must admit, after reading all of the various responses, I still don't entirely get it.

    I think that we consider someone to be 'civilized' or 'sophisticated' or 'polite' when they are able to interact with a wide variety of people in various cultures without giving offense. I admire people who know the right fork to use in a black-tie dinner, yet are also able to hang out in a bowling alley without seeming uncomfortable. The fact that PerlMonks is a moderated, international community suggests that there are minimal standards of 'politeness' that we encourage in order to be as inclusive as possible. Using the example that ajt raises, I suspect that if qsl had posted a racial or cultural slur, no one would have voted to 'keep' the node.

    There seems to be this weird, but pervasive idea that it is OK to offend people whose moral culture is different, but that other groups of people are sacrosanct. I remember when radiantmatrix argued that cultures of moral people are 'fair game' for mockery in a thread that dealt with some similar issues (Re^5: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp) -- I don't think that argument holds any water. If we want to interact with other people, sooner or later we are going to have to take their sensitivities into account (however they came by them) if we want to avoid offending them. Much as I might personally disagree with someone operating from a different metaethical perspective, I try not to say offensive things about them (or their viewpoint) here. I try to use 'reasonable' and 'moderate' language so that others who do not share my viewpoint will not be made into enemies and will still be able to listen to what I have to say. As ajt says, 'I choose to censor myself'. I think that many of us would like PerlMonks to be a 'polite society', and I don't understand those who cannot (or will not) subsume their personal freedom of speech in favor of that goal.

      Just noting that you aren't differentiating at all between those who might vote keep and those who would post such a node. In a perfect world, perhaps there would be no distinction, but in this world, you've only obscured the issues being debated.
      If we want to interact with other people, sooner or later we are going to have to take their sensitivities into account (however they came by them) if we want to avoid offending them.
      I'd rather have people around me that are 'civilized' or 'sophisticated' enough to not get easily offended by someone outside of their environment. Actually, I prefer people who don't get offended that easily at all. The key is to just not take it personally.
      I think that many of us would like PerlMonks to be a 'polite society', and I don't understand those who cannot (or will not) subsume their personal freedom of speech in favor of that goal.
      I have underlined what I think is a mistake in that paragraph. If you consider a node, and want the consideration to go through because you think someone might be offended by that node, it's not your freedom of speech, it's not the voters freedom of speech, it's the freedom of those you're voting on. And seeing here that other monks seem to follow in dubio pro reo and try not to project their own morale standards makes this community even more fitting to my taste. By all means, remove trollings, by all means, remove spam. There are many examples of things which in my eyes justify removal or <beep>ing out parts. Worrying about peoples feelings is not on that list.

      Ordinary morality is for ordinary people. -- Aleister Crowley

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