Re: Plea (was ExI: Cognitive Extropians)
Sun, 19 Jan 1997 14:23:23 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-01-18 18:18:08 EST, Lee writes:

<< When I see someone upset by a statement, it is usually
a simple, straightforward statement of fact or opinion. A talk
show host in SF recently said on the air "I believe the ethics of
Jesus to be morally superior to the ethics of Judaism." Jews
everywhere were indignant, and demanded apologies or reprimands.
Why? They had no cause to take offense. He believed that, he
stated why he believed it. I as an atheist took no offense, I
merely disagree. He behaved entirely appropriately as a talk show
host by expressi >>

IMO this illustrates David's point most eloquently, rather than negating it.
I also mayhave "no respect for those who complained" - but that is not the
They do not get your respect, so what? They probably are too angry to care by
the time you are to that point. A rational debate is pointless.

While I agree with you: it is not onjective to get offended at such things,
it is common knowledge that in this world, there are "touchy areas" and that
certain words will push certain buttons in certain individuals.
As Mr. Musick asserts, it depends on your goals, and if you wish to open
dialogue with people of different backgrounds, in order to get across (say,
your objectivist ideas for example) it is often wise to know before hand
which buttons you are pushing. To ignore these " buttons", and use words
which push them as if they that they exist is worse than to do it
deliberately, but they both have the same effect - alienating your audience.

To reiterate: Yes, it is easier to hold a dialogue with rational thinkers
who do not react emotionally to ideas. But they alrady have your same
leanings, we are talking about communicating your ideas to others you may
wish to sway....

In our society there are MANY "hot buttons" (religious, political, racial,
expletive, etc) which are commonly recognized as "baiting" for an emotional
response. In order to best communiate your most valid ideas to the largest
number of people, it may be wise to learn to use these *only when your
desired effect is anger*.

To blatantly push these buttons and then act indignant when others react -
seems to me an act of _passivity_, counterproductive to good relations with
others, ( and *most important* in debate), not optimal for spreading your