Questioning Conservatives

Intellectual discussion of conservative policy, particularly for the renewal or replacement of the Republican Party.


    Is political correctness different from politeness?

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    Chris "Jesdisciple"
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    Join date : 2009-11-03

    Is political correctness different from politeness?

    Post  Chris "Jesdisciple" on Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:11 am

    "Politically correct" is a translation of a Soviet term for state-sanctioned speech, appropriated by the right to caricature the left and then adopted by the left as a badge of honor. The current meaning is essentially "polite," but is its application too extreme? What ethics do you use to justify your opinion?


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    SamHamilton

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    Join date : 2009-11-18

    Political correctness

    Post  SamHamilton on Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:41 pm

    Chris "Jesdisciple" wrote:"Politically correct" is a translation of a Soviet term for state-sanctioned speech, appropriated by the right to caricature the left and then adopted by the left as a badge of honor. The current meaning is essentially "polite," but is its application too extreme? What ethics do you use to justify your opinion?

    When you say the current meaning is essentially "polite", I think this depends on who is using the term. Generally, when advocates of being "politically correct" use the term it means either being polite or, going even further, conferring dignity on another human being that a former term did not. For example, saying "mentally handicapped" instead of "retarded" falls into this category. Or another example is how no one says "bums" anymore to refer to people who sleep on the street; they're now "homeless". Political correctness in this form is a good thing, in my mind. It offers fellow human beings created in the image of God more dignity.

    There's another type of political correctness that I think should be discouraged though, and this is where I think there's another definition of it, usually used by the opponents of political correctness. It's the shying away from inconvenient facts because they may offend (usually) racial, ethnic or religious groups. For example, there's a tendency, usually among liberals, to bury facts or scientific studies that may show racial minorities in a poor light. The reasons for wanting to do so aren't always nefarious, and, in fact, me be the best of intentions, but when public policy is being debated, we need to have all the facts exposed to the sunshine.

    But this leads to another problem I have with some conservatives. I sometimes hear conservatives use the excuse of "I'm just being politically incorrect" when, in fact, they're being just plain rude. For example, if a talk show hots says "Islam is an evil religion". Well, yes, that's certainly a politically incorrect thing to say. But it's also rude. Being politically incorrect, while a virtue in cases of pointing out inconvenient facts, is not a virtue as an excuse to be rude and obnoxious. Sometimes it's a fine line, but I think conservatives need to be on the look out for it.

    Anyway...sorry if this is rambling and off topic.

    "Sam"

    Chris "Jesdisciple"
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    Posts : 37
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    Re: Is political correctness different from politeness?

    Post  Chris "Jesdisciple" on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:55 pm

    I think your first definition fits just fine under "politeness" and there's no need to add four extra syllables. The second definition is an example of "politically correct," and I think the left considers this "polite" still. The problem is that this politeness trumps other, higher values such as truth and art. For example, the debates over that Kung Fu character-building book or Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino try to stifle art. I know from first-hand experience that art can be offensive; I often hear jokes about religion from secular friends. But I hope I never get to the point where I cry foul every time this happens; it's not healthy for my friendships or for society at large.

    But you're right; using "politically incorrectness" as an excuse for rudeness is wrong. I think we should be truthful, creative, and polite, with the later values trimming off unnecessary pieces of the earlier ones but never trumping them.


    _________________
    I expect well-reasoned answers to my questions, and you should call me out on poor logic. I also expect questions from you. I will answer my own questions after you; this isn't merely a blog.

    My words are often misunderstood, so maybe my glossary will help. See here to make your own.

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