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OT: [CONLANG] The Need for Debate

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 0:09
John Cowan:
> It's not up to the offender to decide what is and what is not offensive, > unfortunately. Only the offended can forgive.
It's not really up to the offendee, either, to decide what is and what is not offensive, if offensiveness is characterized by reprehensibleness rather than merely the fact of someone having been caused to feel offended. We all have a right to be treated kindly and with consideration, and an obligation to treat others thus, but we don't have a right to not be caused to feel offended. Hence if someone causes us to feel offended, we cannot necessarily accuse them of having culpably injured us. A failure to share this point of view seems to underlie the ire of most flame exchanges. (Although I have often caused offence (always unintentionally but not always inadvertently), I cannot for the life of me remember ever having been caused to feel offended [-- by way of an experiment, anybody is welcome to try, by private email, to deflower me of this particular virginity], and given that I frequently encounter views that appal and disgust me, this surely is an efficacious ingredient for a life that much the happier and less wroth.) --And.


John Cowan <jcowan@...>