Re: E X P O N E N T --December 2001 Members Newsletter

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 17:20:27 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > Pulling a gun in the middle of an argument is not tolerated.
> > Physically beating up your opponent in a debate is not tolerated
> > at all. So why should verbally abusing your opponent, their
> > character, intelligence and so on something that you want to
> > leave leeway on? Why is one form of violence introduced in a
> > debate more tolerable than any other?
> Um, because some of us don't confuse words with violence.

Violence is violence. Actions and words grow out of thoughts
belittling the others person rather than dealing with the ideas.

> Terms like "verbal abuse" beg the question of whether there
> is such a thing, and I happen to think there is not. If you

Er, I grew up with a father who practice extremes of verbal
abuse on his children almost every single day. I know from
first hand experience that such strictly verbal behavior hurts
people and hurts just as deeply at times as any level of
physical abuse (which was also not unknown in the household).
In any case there is no place for verbal harrassment of the
person one is talking to in a rational discussion.

> are harmed by words, that's your problem. But even if we

If you wish to ignore that words can hurt people and that they
have no place in a civilized discussion, exactly how is that "my

> concede that there might be such a thing, its existence
> and definitions are necessarily vague and subjective. One
> man's abuse is another man's humor. It is disingenuous to
> suggest otherwise.

I think using your fine brain to disown the negative side of
certain types of verbal exchange is disingenyous.

- samantha

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