On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 6:10 PM, Asif Lodhi<asif.lo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi David,
> Obviously, you're more concerned about the mailing list. I know about
> flame wars and never do that. I do 100% agree that I should have
> emailed him personally on his own email address instead of this list
> but it's really shocking to read your stern reply. Does the freedom to
> say what you want to say really mean that you can say _whatever_ you
> want???

no. You should not aim to offend people. That is different from simply
indicating what quote you find interesting or what your views are
(though I would argue that the latter is somewhat irrelevant to a
public mailing list).

Your offense in this matter is quite as absurd as my taking offense to
a passing man because he happens to be picking his nose as he passes.
I'm not the arbiter of absolute truth, nor are you; it is only through
free exchange of ideas that we human beings begin to grasp parts of
the true nature of reality. Not by taking gratuitous offense at each
other's ideas.

> And, that too on a public mailing list??? Is _that_ an
> etiquette ? Aren't you hurting the feelings of so many thousands on
> this list by posting such offensive language/quotes on a public
> mailing list? Now who is hurting who? Can't you really see that that
> very offensive quote can start many flame wars now and in future? It's
> not me - I am not flaming.

Your initial post was not flaming. Now however, you have definitely
passed over that line and *are* flaming (although you have certainly
managed to be subtle.).

My quote was an example of exactly the kind of content that tends to
cause flamewars; posting it on a public mailing list is inappropriate
By contrast, Darxus' is not flame bait -- not at all.

> It's the quote.

The quote is a quote, not an assertion of absolute truth about
reality. Here's another one:

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will
lose both, and deserve neither” -- Thomas Jefferson

Hurt feelings are just hurt feelings. It's absolutely true that the
more freedoms people have, the more they get hurt; that's just a
simple matter of statistics -- the more things you can do, the more
ways there are to get hurt.
This does not justify reducing the number of things you can do; not in
any way; nor do hurt feelings equate directly to any kind of
non-trivial harm.

Politeness and civility is justified; political correctness, OTOH, is
sterile, stifling learning and the development of more nuanced ideas
about reality.

Hint: the above is my understanding only.

> I don't have anything personal against you or Darxus but posting such
> offensive quotes on a public mailing list is way too offensive and can
> really start way more than a flame war.

The quote I posted may be construed as offensive, as it is making an
assertion about reality (which no doubt you find offensive, much to
your detriment). The quote that Darxus has in his signature cannot
reasonably be construed as offensive -- it is a quote of a character
expressing a personal opinion about what kind of God he would find
acceptable. It's not an argument that you should follow that example,
or what *you* should find acceptable, nor is it an argument about what
the state of reality is. Finding such a quote 'offensive' is as
ridiculous as a Jew being offended at someone eating pork, or myself
(who is allergic to dairy and doesn't eat it) being offended at
someone drinking milk; It's disrespectful of people's choice to be
able to live their lives according to their own individual
understanding of life.

You can say 'please stop it' all you like -- I at least, will listen
only when you are asking me to stop doing something that honestly can
be objectively considered as something that clearly should be stopped.
I will never agree with stopping a practice simply because it *might*
cause harm; there must be a clear case that it *will* cause harm. This
has not been demonstrated (citing hurt feelings is *extremely*
unconvincing. Feelings are like the weather. And we are not here to
avoid hurting the feelings of people -- we are here to talk about
using GIMP, with a *reasonable*, not overweening, level of regard for

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