We often hear that we can't say something due to causing offence.
So it would seem that we are being chastised into submission for transgressing a moral rule.
So is it immoral to express opinions based on rational thought?
Morality is a abstract concept and its value is in its relation to the welfare of living beings. An idea whether rational or no which is put forward with the intent to harm, would qualify as immoral. I like Nietzsche`s definition of evil. Where he states, that any action intended to make anothers life more difficult than it naturally has to be, is evil.
So am I evil in wanting to make another persons life more difficult by asking them to question their faith?
Or I am evil in confronting someone on their believe that homeopathy works in the way that it is claimed to work?
Because on both those counts I know that I am contributing to harming the beliefs they hold about the world.
No I would not say that displeasing someone is evil, but to purposely, intentionally diminish their physical ability to survive no matter in what degree,would be evil. There is no morality in nature, what ever IS in nature, is natural not moral. Morality is a feeling we have about how nature effects our biology and our likely hood of survival. At any give time it is the relation between subject and object or the individuals relation to the physical world. I am driving things a little off course perhaps. I have questioned myself about disrupting a friends worldview with a dose of reality, only to realize reality doesn't do much for him. So if he cannot handle losing the fantasy, knowing that, would I be evil to insisting on enlightening him--what do you think? Remember this is the means by which this man deals with living in this world.
James - it's a tough question - I have friends who have based all their health treatments of themselves and their children on homeopathy - obviously they would take their kids if the kid was bleeding to death or something equally needing such attention - so I'm not worried about their care of their children - but they do use homeopathy as part of a treatment for emotional instability, mild physical problems such as bed wetting or eczema, nervousness, air or sea sickness - also I have friends who have been Christian all their lives - and most of their family and friends are christian, including their partner and children - so I would say that they have way too much to loose in allowing free thought into their lives.
I know what the party line for my behaviour is in some religious groups - they are told to keep away from me, or aim to enlighten me to their way of thinking if they can - otherwise, I am considered a vehicle of evil and to be avoided.
OK - sounds good -
So someone hears that they have been holding onto an untruth - and therefore feel grief about that - or they hear that you disrespect their belief and feel grief about it.
Then they blame you for their grief.....
The blame is based in anger
Which in turn is based in a value judgement
So basically they feel hurt, make a value judgement about your comment, get angry about it, and blame you for their grief.
As opposed to:
Feeling hurt, expressing their feeling, expressing their need for support et al, expressing clearly what has happened to cause this hurt, and expressing clearly what they request from you about it.
I might say similar - I feel
when I know others have supernatural beliefs, because I need
to know and be known
to see and be seen
to understand and
celebration of life
And wonder if you would be willing to be more open minded to free thought?
Marc - but what if you want to maintain a friendship with someone who takes offense at your world view - what then?
Alice, then you decide that your relationship is more important that expressing your opinion.
Mark - true - so doesn't it then follow that if you do express your opinion to someone who you know has different views, that you are devaluing your relationship?
Mark - it's interesting because my husband is very opinionated - and speaks his mind - he doesn't try to offend anyone, but just talks about ideas and thoughts he is having. I seem to worry a lot more about what people think and feel about what I say.
If I hadn't been challenged and shocked and offended by others and chose to avoid it - then I wouldn't be on this website - I value truth - and so perhaps I presume that others also value truth.
I suppose I'll find out what they value as I go on expressing my world view.