Jesus and Mo discuss the ‘personally offensive’ issue. I would love to think Bill Buckingham will see that – but perhaps if he did he wouldn’t realize that it was about people like him.

Richard Chappell also discusses it.

It’s so depressing how arbitrary subjective responses are presented in public discourse as though they were legitimate reasons…The underlying problem, I suspect, is that our public culture has become so infected with subjectivist assumptions that people don’t realize that there’s a difference between desires and reasons. Sentiments are taken as given; no-one ever stops to question whether their reactive attitudes are warranted. Any kind of negative emotion is not just evidence, but constitutive, of suffering injustice. You’re offended, therefore they’re in the wrong.

And all you have to do is say the magic words ‘I’m personally offended by _____’ and everyone is supposed to start clawing the air with eagerness to make you feel better and rescind whatever it was that made you personally offended. That’s clearly what Bill Buckingham was expecting from the world at large. ‘I’m personally offended by evolution’ – and? And someone very important should immediately issue a statement saying evolution has been withdrawn and we’re all very sorry and it will never happen again? Or what? What do people really think should be done about a great mountain of evidence dispersed among thousands of institutions and books and minds all over the world, that they find personally offensive? That it should all be, like, vaporized with one blow of the MagicVaporizerRing? Who knows.

Spinoza’s Lens has appeared in public.

13 Responses to “Miscellany”

  • #4

    I am personally offended by money going to Microsoft – and? And what?

    I dislike being forced to use the stuff for compatibility with the world of real business, but really it is worth it.

  • #5

    Whats poor Micro soft ever done apart from bring us all cheap idiot proof soft ware G.

  • #6

    Well nearly idiot proof I am buggered if I can get the hang of it!

  • #7

    Hang on, hang on, I think I see the answer to all our problems….

    “I am personally offended by patriarchal monotheism.”

    Did it work?

  • #8

    A new series about the planet started last week on the BBC with the presenter striding along the edge of a volcano and saying “When the earth was formed 4 billion years ago…” and I yelled “Yes!!” and punched the air.

    No ifs or buts no ‘I hope you aren’t offended’ just a statement that the BBC assumes is taken as read. Refreshing stuff. Shame some other parts of the corporation are more mealy-mouthed.

  • #9

    Oh Oh. The l-word.

  • #10

    “Whats poor Micro soft ever done apart from bring us all cheap idiot proof soft ware G.”

    Apart from the illegal monopoly thing and generally damaging the freedom of software users?

    Well, currently they and Intel seem to be trying to scuttle the OLPC project.

  • #11

    Microsoft offends me but they’re still here.

    Try openoffice.org. It’s free.

  • #12

    Actually, the rest of my comment disappeared somehow. It was supposed to be “Don’t give money to Microsoft because Open Office does everything that Office does, but with fewer bugs – and it’s free.”

    I’m a big fan of open source software and such.

  • #13

    I don’t worry if someone is offended, it is a legitimate feeling, and I’m willing to apologise if I offend someone through a moment of thoughtlessness. However, I do object when someone tries to make me feel guilty, or when they try to generalise their personal feeling to a group. You know the kind of statement “I’m personally offended and we….” it usually ends with the demand that someone else do something about the situation, ‘them’ or ‘the government’.