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Author Topic: article arstechnica regarding IRS lost emails
TomDavidson
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No, see, I've already answered. In fact, I answered a version of this question posts ago, before I helpfully constructed yet another one that you might be able to answer for yourself.

I have already answered the question you asked. I have reworded that question so that you might answer it yourself, on the grounds that you claim to genuinely want to understand. So go for it, noel. Start from the assumption that there are people who hold that position that are neither stupid nor vacuous nor incapable of logical thought, and try to think for a moment about what their reasons might possibly be.

I do not need to be focused; you are neither interrogating me nor providing me a service. I am attempting to help you understand why people you do not understand might hold an opinion you can't comprehend. This is not an argument; it is, as you've demanded, an explanation. I am teaching you.

Your assignment, then, is to try to figure out for yourself why someone who does not object to affirmative action in college admissions -- a narrower stand-in for the original population of this hypothetical, sure, but it helps keep you "focused" -- might still find your assertion re: Obama to be offensive. All the necessary information has been provided in other posts, although a basic understanding of both human nature and American sociology would suffice on its own.

Knock yourself out.

-------

I'll generously provide you with one hint: the question does not contain the words "for what reasons that noel would find personally compelling..."

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noel c.
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PS,

Tomorrow is a busy day for me, so take your time.

"... a willful desire to discount the validity of the thoughts and feelings of those who disagree with you -- on premises and/or conclusions."...

I will forewarn you that once premises are established, the conclusions are not negotiable. You will not slip through an "internally consistent world-view" filter if you play that game.

"I do not need to be focused... "...

Discussion finished!

[ September 03, 2014, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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TomDavidson
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Ah, see, no.
I am not playing a game with you. This is not a contest. I am not constrained by your rules, "negotiable" or not.

If you want to understand why you come off either offensive or bizarre, you should try to comprehend what I have written here and not try to challenge it. I'm not going to engage in you in debate about whether you're offensive and/or bizarre, noel; that's just stupid (and arguably offensive and bizarre, natch). If you don't think you are, that's fine; let your freak flag fly, man, and don't worry about justifying your stank-ass brain to me.

There is no burden of proof incumbent upon me to demonstrate to your satisfaction that people's opinions of you are valid. If you disagree with those opinions and are not troubled by them, you're not going to score any actual points by trying to prove those opinions wrong. If you are troubled by them, you would do better to honestly try to understand where they're coming from, instead of engaging them as adversaries in hopes of "proving" that they've somehow got the wrong idea about you.

Because, man, that just demonstrates to me that you're exactly the sort of person I think you are, and based on your use of the word "predictable" as an insult, I'm sure you wouldn't want that.

Tom: Please see your email. -OrneryMod

[ September 04, 2014, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: OrneryMod ]

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noel c.
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The discussion with Tom is finished.

This post is related to his only by way of example. Our esteemed Attorney General has said "We are a nation of cowards when discussing race.".

The previous post is exemplary of Mr. Holder's assertion, and I am unrepentantly supportive of his collective accusation.

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Seneca
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The only cowards on race are the race-baiters and hustlers like Sharpton and those who feel that one race needs to be elevated above another to make up for past wrongs.
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TomDavidson
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*grin* As Exhibit C in noel's tendency to post bizarre and/or offensive things, I would like to cite his claim that my post -- which not once mentions race in any way or from any perspective, is not about race, and is not part of a conversation that at any point was about race -- is "exemplary" of cowardice re: conversations on race.

[ September 03, 2014, 06:11 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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AI Wessex
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quote:
... Possibly; my daughter says I suffer from Aspergers, and a relatively high IQ.
I know from experience, as do most fathers, that daughters tend to be kind and somewhat unrealistically positive about us. I remember one time my daughter fell and skinned her knee. I couldn't tell which made her more upset, the pain it caused or that I couldn't make it go away.

More to the point that you raised, which you probably won't understand, Aspergers is a mental condition with many possible manifestations. Most of them involve social awkwardness and an inability to feel empathy. Depending on the severity of the condition, the sufferer has an exaggerated need for order in his/her life and a concomitant sense that the world is governed by inflexible rules that aren't at all apparent to others.

There are many web sites that offer more complete descriptions of the condition and potential ways to manage it. If you think your daughter might be right, you should consider looking into some of them if you haven't already started treatment.

You shouldn't take this as a personal attack. Many people on Ornery have revealed that they have a personal problem and sought guidance from the forum community. That's all I'm trying to do here. But since this is after all just an internet forum, I won't follow up on this message to find out if you are looking for help unless you raise this topic again.

[ September 03, 2014, 07:36 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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LetterRip
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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) such as Asperger's isn't a lack of empathy, it is an inability to interpret social cues and a reduced emotional range. The inability to interpret social cues can result in not feeling empathy when it would be appropriate.

Psychopathy is an inability to experience reflexive empathy (psychopaths can experience 'contemplative empathy').

This distinction may be subtle but it is important, ASDs don't feel your pain because they don't realize you are in pain; Psychopaths don't feel your pain because they don't care if you are in pain.

quote:
"the affective/ information processing correlates of psychopathic tendencies and ASD are quite different. Psychopathic tendencies are associated with difficulties in resonating with other people's distress, whereas ASD is characterised by difficulties in knowing what other people think."
http://autism.about.com/od/SymptomsofAutism/f/Do-People-With-Autism-Lack-Empathy.htm
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TomDavidson
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quote:
ASDs don't feel your pain because they don't realize you are in pain
*nod* That's actually why I asked. Noel sounded genuinely confused, not simply insensitive.
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NobleHunter
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Poeple on the spectrum may also express empathy differently. So even when they feel your pain, it may be difficult to recognize that they're being empathic in response.
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AI Wessex
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The empathy connection is somewhat controversial, but given the wide range of symptoms across the spectrum, I'm sure many people with Aspergers do feel empathy, if differently from others. That's why I tried to couch my very brief description in terms that don't assign simple terms to all people on the spectrum. Thanks for the clarification and additional info.

[ September 03, 2014, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Seriati
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Wow. Just wow. Noel challenges you to spell out that you consider him to be a racist, and knowing that in spelling it out your implications that he's a racist would be revealed as nonsensensical, you double down on the vague "you know what you did" standard. Lol.

And then you guys do the exact same thing with your implications that he's fundementally mentally flawed by jumping on an innocent commment from his kids.

Take a look in a mirror, we're already heading to a very bad place this political season.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Noel challenges you to spell out that you consider him to be a racist...
What?
No, see, that wasn't actually the conversation we were having. If that's the conversation he wanted to have, he should have said so; rather, I was actually addressing the topic we both said we wanted to address, as opposed to something stupid.

At no point did I call noel a racist. At no point did he ask me to do so. At no point did I ever say that the conversation was about race, and I explicitly rejected claims to that effect. You're welcome to insist that this exchange demonstrates something or other, but frankly I think it demonstrates some things that aren't exactly flattering to your camp. Look in a mirror, indeed, kneejerk-man. [Wink]

[ September 03, 2014, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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AI Wessex
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quote:
And then you guys do the exact same thing with your implications that he's fundementally mentally flawed by jumping on an innocent commment from his kids.
I wonder sometimes how you decompose and compartmentalize some comments. Would you have been ok if I instead had responded that his daughter was wrong on either or both counts? I read his comment as a genuine statement, and given some of his eccentric topical comments in the past, including the one I responded to by calling it bizarre, I can see it being a genuine statement from his daughter, as well.
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Seriati
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Exactly, at no point did you call him a racist. You implied it, you hinted at it, you made comment after comment telling him that he should just know it. Maybe I'm misreading, but I'm finding it hard to see what other meaning you were getting at.

Al, I would have rather we just stick to the topics being discussed rather than getting personal at all. Why do you feel a need to constantly add narratives telling us how crazy or unreasonable everything certain posters say is? If it were crazy we'd already be aware of it, wouldn't we?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm finding it hard to see what other meaning you were getting at.
Noel asked, "what about what I said could be considered offensive?" I told him. That was literally the extent of the conversation, and the total extent of my involvement and investment.

Noel fixated immediately on the idea that he might be causing offense to somebody -- based on a throwaway line I used to note that noel's posts don't always inspire laughter, because sometimes they're actually offensive -- and wanted to know why. He then failed to understand (or pretended to fail to understand) a number of attempts at explanation.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
If it were crazy we'd already be aware of it, wouldn't we?
Apparently not. I don't see that it's a good idea to accept every opinion as if it's as grounded in common sense or logic as any other. That's a slippery slope that leads inevitably to FOX News.
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noel c.
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Tom, and Al,

My daughter, like me, has a laconic sense of humor. That neither of you appear to have picked up on sarcasm is, well... a symptom of Aspergers. [Wink]

Another feature of that disorder is an inability to place narrowly focused information in appropriate context. I find this to be a chronic problem the two of you have shared in virtually all of my exchanges with you over the years (note Tom, I did not "say" you were autistic... a lot of mileage can be had from things we *do not* "say", right Tom?).

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TomDavidson
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noel, I suspect you wouldn't recognize an "appropriate context" if it bit you on the face. I hesitate to provide examples -- since you'll no doubt use any I supply to go off on a lengthy and circuitous digression about how those examples are part of my subtle attempt to prove you suffer from scurvy -- but on this thread alone we see you literally jumping, entirely unprompted and apropos of nothing, from an allegorical (and passing) mention of food assistance to an actual attack on the president's expansion of federal food assistance programs.

(For what it's worth, I haven't said a word about your daughter or her "observations." My own question about a possible Asperger's diagnosis was based entirely on the difficulty you displayed in understanding basic elements of human interaction, although I'll freely admit that I suspect much of that difficulty was feigned.)

[ September 05, 2014, 12:20 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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noel c.
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Tom,

"noel, I suspect you wouldn't recognize an 'appropriate context' if it bit you on the face. I hesitate to provide examples... "...

The flaw in the great majority of your posts is your "hesitation" to provide "examples". Since you seem to be scrapping for another chance, let's try again.

Why should you, or I, understand the offensiveness that my initial statement *might* have upon others? Cast your net as broadly as you feel necessary to make your point.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why should you, or I, understand the offensiveness that my initial statement *might* have upon others?
Answering this in total sincerity, even though I don't believe it was asked in the same spirit: because a huge chunk of our identity -- a good portion of our shared context that makes up our sapience and conception of the self -- is dependent upon our interaction with other sapients. That shared experiential context forms much of the environment that our internal context struggles to interpret.

Not wanting to understand the effect of our statements on others -- not believing that we should try to anticipate our impacts on the people around us and mitigate the ones that might be individually harmful -- is in my opinion a serious breach of the social contract on which our functionality as humans utterly depends.

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noel c.
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Tom,

Is this a wordy way of saying that sapient dissonance is to be avoided?

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TomDavidson
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Not dissonance, necessarily. Rather, a lack of awareness is uncharitable at best and dangerous at worst.

Asking "why should I want to know why -- or whether -- other people might be offended by my words or actions" is like saying "why should I want to be aware of other cars on the highway on which I'm driving."

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noel c.
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I want to know why Tom. Tell me.
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TomDavidson
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I, um, just did. Because not caring to understand why other people might be offended by your actions is disrespectful to the point of being hostile and also extremely self-limiting, to the point of being dangerous. My analogy -- that it is like not wanting to know where the other cars on the road currently are -- is I hope comprehensible to you.
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noel c.
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Tom, you are chasing your tail. Did you understand my question?

Let me rephrase it; How is it *comprehensible* that my original statement might offend others operating from "an internally consistent world-view"?

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TomDavidson
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I understood the question you asked. I may have misunderstood the question you wanted to ask. Why should I care what question you wanted to ask? [Wink]

------

quote:
How is it *comprehensible* that my original statement might offend others operating from "an internally consistent world-view"?
That one's been asked and answered, as well. If you don't find the rationale compelling, heck, no one's saying you have to; you don't get to decide what offends other people, and they don't get to decide how you react to their taking offense.

If you're seriously still unable to understand that -- or why -- someone might be offended by the suggestion that our president has so far skirted scandal only by virtue of having a dusky-skinned, non-native father (and the mythology that thus accrues), it seems to me that you should consider recalibrating your external interfaces a bit.

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noel c.
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"That one's been asked and answered, as well. If you don't find the rationale compelling, heck, no one's saying you have to... "...

Can you refresh my memory by quotation?

"... you don't get to decide what offends other people, and they don't get to decide how you react to their taking offense."...

So, I guess the "social contract" assertion was merely excess verbiage?

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scifibum
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Noel, if you would at least sometimes write out direct arguments instead of trying to make them via oblique questions, it would save a lot of time and also save you from appearing to be afraid to say what you think.
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noel c.
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"If you're seriously still unable to understand that -- or why -- someone might be offended by the suggestion that our president has so far skirted scandal only by virtue of having a dusky-skinned, non-native father (and the mythology that thus accrues), it seems to me that you should consider recalibrating your external interfaces a bit."...

Hmm, didn't you tell Seriati that you made no allusion to racism?

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noel c.
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Scifibum,

Is it really ambiguous what I think?

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scifibum
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To be honest, it appears that you avoid to put direct statements in writing in order to preserve plausible deniability about any particular meaning.

I mean, in general it's obvious that you think Obama is terrible and that you lean right.

But when it comes to communicating in an efficient fashion - conveying information to other people - you are the worst example I've ever encountered. You seem to try to use questions to prolong every discussion and evade actual mutual understanding. At one point I perceived it as arrogance - that you considered yourself a teacher of the rest of us, and preferred Socratic methods - but over time I've started to see it as a defensive technique.

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noel c.
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Scifibum,

I have apparently struck a reasonable medium. Tom's complaint is that my opinions need recalibrated filtering.

If you really believe I "avoid to put(ting) direct statements in writing in order to preserve plausible deniability about any particular meaning.", then you jumped into the discussion unprepared.

Barry is a (liberal) white man coat-tailing on American slavery. Is that clear enough for you?

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noel c.
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... Oops, I placed a question mark after that... it must be an "defensive" response.

I will restate it; Barry has infinitely more in common with Saul Alinski, and Bill Ayers, than Huey Newton, and Eldredge Cleaver... strike that, Cleaver became an LDS republican in 1983.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Is it really ambiguous what I think?
I think it's very, very "ambiguous" whether you honestly don't understand why some people might be offended by your original statement (or your revised statement, "Barry is a (liberal) white man coat-tailing on American slavery.")

Do you truly not believe that there are people who would find this offensive? And that these people would have legitimate, internally consistent reasons for doing so?

Remember, the question at hand is not "is noel a racist?" The question is "might noel offend someone by saying this?"

-----------

quote:
So, I guess the "social contract" assertion was merely excess verbiage?
Nope. This is where being human gets complicated. Sartre wrote a whole book about it, in fact. You cannot demand that people experience the world in the way you do, or form the opinions that you form based on your premises and personal observations; each person has an internal context that cannot be shared, and which is ultimately the context that supplies them with meaning and interpretation.

To continue using a car analogy, each person has his own car and is trying to go somewhere. A responsible driver will watch the road for traffic and try to put his car where it will cause the least damage while still getting him to his desired destination. He lacks the ability to force other drivers to drive the way he desires, even if this would minimize conflict; he only has power and moral authority over his own car. But that doesn't mean that he should only pay attention to his own car.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
My daughter, like me, has a laconic sense of humor. That neither of you appear to have picked up on sarcasm is, well... a symptom of Aspergers.
Or is it a symptom of Aspergers that you missed the critical social implication of her confiding that very personal and difficult message to you? High functioning Aspergers sufferers are able to integrate into society but nevertheless can appear as insincere caricatures of ordinary people to others.

FWIW, the *only* person in this thread who has said that you have Aspergers is your daughter. Until you brought her comment into the discussion, I had always thought you were merely willfully obstinate beyond any reasonable extent, and were in the habit of taking extreme and unsupportable positions out of an almost evangelical disdain for Obama and everything that he can be said to represent.

But, I could be wrong about that, as I must say that Aspergers is another possible (and simpler) explanation.

But I could be wrong about both ways to understand your odd behavior on Ornery, and a more complicated explanation could emerge to explain why you take the complex and seemingly irrational positions you often do.

Tom,
quote:
Nope. This is where being human gets complicated. Sartre wrote a whole book about it, in fact. You cannot demand that people experience the world in the way you do, or form the opinions that you form based on your premises and personal observations; each person has an internal context that cannot be shared, and which is ultimately the context that supplies them with meaning and interpretation.
Tom, I must caution you that bringing Existentialism into the discussion opens the door to Noel educating you on another topic where his deep knowledge *far* exceeds yours or anyone else's here. As everything else he's done in this thread so far, he could turn that against you and keep it up for page after page. I'd step lightly here, if I were you.

[ September 05, 2014, 07:38 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
Scifibum,

Is it really ambiguous what I think?

Yes.

Not only is it difficult to tell what you think, it is difficult to tell what you are thinking about. Your posts jump wildly from subject to subject, often with no apparent connection.

Perhaps your efforts to be succinct are trimming not just fat, but actual meat, from your posts.

Regardless of why, the effect remains, your arguments are difficult to follow and often leave me confused about what you are thinking about, let alone what you think about that subject.

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noel c.
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"I think it's very, very 'ambiguous' whether you honestly don't understand why some people might be offended by your original statement (or your revised statement, "Barry is a (liberal) white man coat-tailing on American slavery.')"...

You are an equivocal one, aren't you? I can easily understand why children get upset at Christmas deliveries as well, but this is what you were supposed to provide an answer to;

quote:
How is it *comprehensible* that my original statement might offend others operating from "an internally consistent world-view"?

"Nope. This is where being human gets complicated. Sartre wrote a whole book about it, in fact. You cannot demand that people experience the world in the way you do, or form the opinions that you form based on your premises and personal observations; each person has an internal context that cannot be shared, and which is ultimately the context that supplies them with meaning and interpretation."...

Odd, isn't that what you whole social contract theory presupposes? For once, Al is right. You should be singing "Keep me in the shallow water before it gets too deep.". Sartre does not really belong in this conversation... or are you looking for a diversion?

[ September 05, 2014, 08:15 AM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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noel c.
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By the way, you seem to have forgotten my "unrevised" original statement. Can you quote it again just so we can be sure that you have some purposeful direction in our whole exchange?
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noel c.
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"Perhaps your efforts to be succinct are trimming not just fat, but actual meat, from your posts."...

Not likely.

Ask, and it shall be given you.

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