On 11/08/2017 08:18 PM, Ben Finney wrote:
> Ned Batchelder <n...@nedbatchelder.com> writes:
> [...]
>> Second, now you want us to agree that calling someone arrogant isn't
>> an attack?
> It's one thing to say “this idea is arrogant”, which is what Steve did.
> That's not in any way personal, nor an attack on a person. It criticises
> an idea.
> If instead Steve said “that was an arrogant action”, the person is being
> criticised. But it's still not *characterising* the person; it
> characterises the action. It says nothing about whether the person is
> arrogant.
> If instead of either of those Steve said “you are arrogant”, that would
> warrant the response, in my estimation.
> That it got nowhere near that is why I'm pleading that we stop treating
> criticism of ideas as though it were an attack on a person.

People and their ideas are not separable.  The ideas that
people have and promote are part of what makes them who
they are.  You cannot criticize their ideas without criticizing 
them.  That you make up some pet theory about how people 
*should* be does not change the reality of how people *are*.

And when you apply anthropocentric terms to "an idea" (which 
obviously does not have "behavior" of it's own, the attempts 
of you and Chris to make that claim not withstanding) you 
reinforce the sense that you are talking about the person.
If I said, "that's an idea that an asshole would think up",
there is no one (other than perhaps you and Chris) who wouldn't
recognize that I was calling you an asshole. 

Conversely, while you claim any incivility is allowable 
when criticizing an idea you claim there's a requirement 
to respect a person.  Do you respect the terrorist who 
killed the hostages in Sydney a couple years ago? Or any 
number of other lowlifes?  Or maybe you'll now waffle about 
and limit respect to speech?  Suppose I came here and start
spouting neo-Nazi racist rants.  Do you seriously claim
people should criticize my ideas but not me?  That's so far 
from recognized human behavior that it justifies being called 
a crackpot theory.

If you want to show respect to people whose ideas you disagree 
with or even disrespect you do so by leaving out the insults, 
the innuendos, the aggressive language, completely subjective 
and unprovable non-facts like "arrogant" and "stupid", and just 
make a rational case why the other person is wrong in your 
opinion.  That also shows respect to other readers most of 
whom I bet dont want to read the constant verbal dueling that 
occurs so regularly here.

Nobody is saying not to criticize: it is how it is done that
is the problem.

But of course that is nowhere near as much fun, is it?

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