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Author Topic: For shame
Pyrtolin
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http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/users/2015/06/izabel_laxamana_a_tragic_case_in_the_growing_genre_of_parents_publicly_shaming.2.html

Since it's been asserted many times over that teaching people how their actions might be unintentionally contributing to a cycle of harm and direct criticism for harmful actions amounts to shaming them, I thought this look at actual shaming was pretty pertinent.

There is no comparison between efforts to educate or topical criticism and actual shaming.

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Fenring
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So one example of a young girl being put in public stocks is what "shaming is", and an extreme like this is the single standard by which the word will be defined?

Nice.

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JoshCrow
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There's nothing wrong with generalizing about an abstract and complex social concept by using a single extreme anecdote to try to prove a point.

Wait... there is? Oh. Nevermind, then.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
So one example of a young girl being put in public stocks is what "shaming is", and an extreme like this is the single standard by which the word will be defined?

Are you deliberately missing the point? Picking a random, irrelevant criticism rather than addressing the substance?

A single modern example, pointing back at a history of such actions. You don't have to look far to find other examples attempts to do generally humiliating or threatening things to people in order to shame them for unrelated actions.

Pointing out "Hey, this thing you're doing is hurtful for these reasons" is not shaming, even if there's a possibly that you may personally choose to shame yourself over it. The intent is to inform you of the consequences of your action, not to inflict emotional harm and public ridicule on you. Similar for shining light on harm that a person has done. There's a wide gulf between being critical, even vocally critical of someone and anything that even remotely amounts to shaming. Trying to equate them is a false equivalence that only serves as a tool for silencing people willing to be critical of harm by actually attempting to shame them (attack them socially and emotionally) because they were willing to speak critically.

Eich was not, by and large targeted as a person. His action was called of for criticism by people hurt by it and those who support them, and Mozilla was criticized by people who felt uncomfortable doing business with a company who would appont someone whose prior actions and stated beliefs were at such active odds with the responsibilities of hte position it placed him in.

That is not at all comparable to, for example, the pillorying and personal attacks, death threats, sexual speculation, and other battery of attacks launched against female game journalists and designers as part of the gamergate issue. Or the way that gay and trans kids children are still frequently rejected or outright disowned by their parents (And in the latter case even having their identity used as a self evidence justification for active or negligent homicide)

Eich chose to step down from a position where he could not reconcile his personal beliefs with some of the basic responsibilities of the job he would be expected to do in light of criticism that did not allow that conflict to be swept under the rug.. That is no comparison at all to the kind of dehumanizing attacks involved with shaming, intended to undermine the target's sense of security and self worth in general; that's something that goes well beyond enduring directed, topical criticism for advancing an unpopular position.

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JoshCrow
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And to think that all this time, all those kind people on Twitter were just "pointing things out"!

...or could it be that when it's something you agree with, it's "pointing things out", but when it isn't, it's "shaming".

When you agree with it, the pillorying and vitriol and open calls for your career to end comes from maybe just a (small) few spirited rabble who got carried away, maybe because of how hurt they were. When you agree with it, it's GOT to be something else besides "shame", because nice people like me don't shame others.

But when you disagree with it, the movement is all about "personal attacks" and the like, and there can't possibly be any valid argument because DEATH THREATS!

I understand how this game of words works now. If you redefine the words so "your side" is just "pointing to a hurtful problem", and the other side is hurling DEATH THREATS, everything becomes clear.

Eich and Mozilla aren't splitting, they're just "consciously uncoupling".

... come on, willya? Call a spade a spade. There's (no) shame in it.

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Fenring
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Pyr's assertion in this scenario tends to be entirely circular, where the person being "criticized" is framed as having done something wrong and hurtful to people, and all the people haranguing him are just 'pointing it out', albeit often with aggressive messages. But when someone framed as "innocent" received aggressive messages, this is hateful shaming and is oppressive. The reason this argument is circular is because the respective people are assumed by definition to be in the case of Eich, "guilty", and in the case of anyone referred to as having been shamed, "innocent." So what's really going on is a moral tribunal, where the innocent are shamed but the guilty are criticized for hurting others.

Never mind the fact that even referring to Eich as 'guilty' of hurting people is coming from an entrenched position in a contentious issue (gay marriage) and is a remark denoting a lack of tolerance for anyone who honestly disagrees about what is best for people ends but not in a PC way.

[ June 17, 2015, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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JoshCrow
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I think Pyr's confusion would be resolved if, instead of thinking along the lines of "shaming is a bad thing, and so what we're doing is not shaming", Pyr should consider instead that "shaming can take the form of social pressure to promote better social behaviors, or it also can be abused to defend bad ones".

By acknowledging that shame is neither innately good nor bad I think one escapes the problem. I don't know why it's so important to try to run away from that word.

[ June 17, 2015, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Seriati
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JoshCrow, Pyr's not confused, he never is when he plays these games. He's a conscious activist in redefining terms to completely moot anyone else's ability to make an argument. He never engages in a substantive debate (because it's moot after the redefinition) and completely refuses to consider the validity of his own definitions (essentially he turns into a tireless rebutter on this issue), which really leaves no grounds to explore an issue or move forward to a new understanding.
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JoshCrow
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It's not fat-shaming, it's pointing out that one's weight is dangerously in excess of the recommended healthy levels. It's teaching, really. [Smile]
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scifibum
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I think Pyrtolin is trying to generalize from what is essentially a clinically relevant definition of shame. Shame, as this definition goes, is not a healthy emotion and does not lead one to make more positive choices. Therefore it's not right to inflict it on people.

This isn't really the same definition everyone else is using when it comes to examples like Eich.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I think Pyrtolin is trying to generalize from what is essentially a clinically relevant definition of shame. Shame, as this definition goes, is not a healthy emotion and does not lead one to make more positive choices. Therefore it's not right to inflict it on people.

This isn't really the same definition everyone else is using when it comes to examples like Eich.

Shame isn't a healthy emotion? Are you sure you don't mean that it's not a pleasant emotion? One of the most common epithets leveled against miscreants historically isn't that they do wrong, but that they have no shame. It means they know and understood what they did and don't feel badly about it. A sense of shame is essential for the idea of a conscience, where when you realize you've transgressed you feel ashamed for having done so. It is a result of a dissonance between your sense of right and your actual behavior. I know you don't mean this, but to suggest that shame is unhealthy would imply that it should not be felt, which in turn seems inexorably to lead to the idea that we should all be sociopaths or maybe computers who devise a moral calculus but without feeling anything about it.
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NobleHunter
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Fenring, isn't that better called guilt? I haven't read his posts closely, but it seems Pyr is talking about a social emotion while you're talking about an internal one.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Pyr's assertion in this scenario tends to be entirely circular, where the person being "criticized" is framed as having done something wrong and hurtful to people, and all the people haranguing him are just 'pointing it out', albeit often with aggressive messages. But when someone framed as "innocent" received aggressive messages, this is hateful shaming and is oppressive. The reason this argument is circular is because the respective people are assumed by definition to be in the case of Eich, "guilty", and in the case of anyone referred to as having been shamed, "innocent." So what's really going on is a moral tribunal, where the innocent are shamed but the guilty are criticized for hurting others.

You do not see a difference between saying "Person a did a bad and hurtful thing" and saying "Person A is evil so it's funny to make a flash game where you beat them to a bloody pulp and talk about how you're going to murder or rape them"?

I love how you keep hand waving away the fact that I've very clearly stated that the difference is whether the criticism is about a specific, relevant topic vs whether it's a general attack on their person.

I don't see how you can connect the kind of suexual treats and attacks there were made by the gamer gate participants with the criticism of poor journalism that they claimed to be representing. Eich's actions were criticised, there was no similar major attempt to publish rape and abuse fantasies about him or otherwise objectify and humiliate him.

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JoshCrow
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NH: I'm pretty sure Pyr is just using his own definition of "shame" rather than the one you can find with, say, Google. In Pyr's definition, it appears to be wrong to cause someone to feel shame - regardless of the moral choices being questioned. Pyr is attempting to recast certain actions as "not shaming" but instead "teaching someone something" when he views the thing as a moral good. In this definition, "hurtful behavior" can be corrected by "teaching" without somehow the presence in the subject of any distress at recognizing their own hurtful behavior. I am truly skeptical that this occurs in humans, who have a tendency to feel badly when shown to be wrong.

In the classical (i.e. general population) definition of shame, there is nothing by which to judge whether shame is a moral good or evil, because one can feel shame for just about anything.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I think Pyrtolin is trying to generalize from what is essentially a clinically relevant definition of shame. Shame, as this definition goes, is not a healthy emotion and does not lead one to make more positive choices. Therefore it's not right to inflict it on people.

This isn't really the same definition everyone else is using when it comes to examples like Eich.

Shame isn't a healthy emotion? Are you sure you don't mean that it's not a pleasant emotion? One of the most common epithets leveled against miscreants historically isn't that they do wrong, but that they have no shame. It means they know and understood what they did and don't feel badly about it. A sense of shame is essential for the idea of a conscience, where when you realize you've transgressed you feel ashamed for having done so. It is a result of a dissonance between your sense of right and your actual behavior. I know you don't mean this, but to suggest that shame is unhealthy would imply that it should not be felt, which in turn seems inexorably to lead to the idea that we should all be sociopaths or maybe computers who devise a moral calculus but without feeling anything about it.
Yes, I'm sure that's not the definition I was describing.

Here is more detail about what I was describing:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shame/201305/the-difference-between-guilt-and-shame

In a clinical mental health context, some (perhaps even most) would say that shame is not healthy or helpful, when contrasted with guilt (i.e. moral regret). This is the type of shame that Pyrtolin has been referring to, while equating "shaming" to "causing to feel [unhealthy] shame".

I'm aware that when most people use the term "shame" they aren't making this clinical distinction. But Pyrtolin is, and that's where the conversation is stuck.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
You do not see a difference between saying "Person a did a bad and hurtful thing" and saying "Person A is evil so it's funny to make a flash game where you beat them to a bloody pulp and talk about how you're going to murder or rape them"?

Those sentences are incoherent - the first one doesn't have an agent responding to the statement. Nevertheless, I'll assume you mean to suggest "someone wants to correct person A" in each case. The mechanism for doing so is clearly different - in the first case, one can imagine politely criticizing someone over a cup of tea. In the second, you suggest vicious ad hominem attacks. Both of these are attempts to cause person A to change their mind by feeling shame over their hurtful behavior.

Again, I don't think you are using the word "shame" as it is understood by the general public. Google calls shame "a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.". There is no judgement there about the rightness or wrongness of applying shame to someone.


quote:

I love how you keep hand waving away the fact that I've very clearly stated that the difference is whether the criticism is about a specific, relevant topic vs whether it's a general attack on their person.

Those are techniques, not "shame". Actually, I would argue that attacking a person is not "shame" at all, since there is no interest in causing the subject to recognize "wrong or foolish behavior" and instead the attacker just wants them to hurt. The criticism on a topic is closer to the actual definition of inducing "shame"!
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I think Pyrtolin is trying to generalize from what is essentially a clinically relevant definition of shame. Shame, as this definition goes, is not a healthy emotion and does not lead one to make more positive choices. Therefore it's not right to inflict it on people.

This isn't really the same definition everyone else is using when it comes to examples like Eich.

Except when it suddenly becomes convenient to conflate them in order to derail a conversation. That's the reason that I'm so careful to keep the separate.

As soon as your discussing something that might happen to make someone feel bad about mistakes they didn't realize they made, shame suddenly goes from being the a general colloquial reference to feeling regret to being a horrible evil that is being inflicted. See above with Eich, even, where we're getting a very two faced argument that, on the one hand "Oh, shame is just a generic feeling of regret for mistakes" from the same people that, in his case suddenly make it "Oh show horrible is it that people are abusing him and causing him to possibly feel shame"

You can't have it both ways. Either shame is a non-issue, and even a productive thing to feel if you've hurt someone (which effectively leaves it as a synonym for regret without any distinct meaning) or it's a bad, emotionally abusive thing that involved inflicting emotional harm though humiliation and threats against those being shamed.

Any earnest suggesting that shame is another word for regret would mean that there's no merit to accusing anyone of shaming, because it's not a problematic thing to be accused of in the first place.

"You might make someone realize that they'd acted in error" is an absurd accusation, never mind justification for not teaching people ways that their actions may have had unintended consequences, as it's been used here.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I am truly skeptical that this occurs in humans, who have a tendency to feel badly when shown to be wrong
There is a huge difference between someone incidentally feeling regret for past actions when they realize they have done harm, and going out of your way to inflict such pain deliberately. Shaming is intentionally inflicting pain though humiliation, perhaps to discourage an action, perhaps just for the sake of inflicting pain. But either way it makes pain the _mechanism_ rather than a side effect. Education and criticism use information as the mechanism with no intent or desire to cause pain, even if some may be unavoidable in the process. Setting a bone may cause a little pain, but pain isn't the point of doing so, where as torture (which shaming is essentially a form of) specifically causes pain to try to use it to modify behavior.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Shaming is intentionally inflicting pain though humiliation, perhaps to discourage an action, perhaps just for the sake of inflicting pain.

Can you produce a link to a dictionary that agrees with you? What you've described (minus the "intent", which is optional) is actually called "humiliating" someone.

Humiliate: to cause (a person) a painful loss of pride, self-respect, or dignity; mortify.

Cutting a girl's hair on camera is clearly an attempt at humiliation, whereas what happened to Eich (if you restrict it to the public criticism of his views) was not, in fact, humiliation. Both are instances of shaming. You would have been on firmer ground with the H word (although in Eich's case, having to step down was arguably a kind of humiliation).

[ June 17, 2015, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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scifibum
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quote:
Any earnest suggesting that shame is another word for regret would mean that there's no merit to accusing anyone of shaming, because it's not a problematic thing to be accused of in the first place.
That's only true if you think that the accusation is "shaming", rather than unfair or unjustified shaming. This argument began over a claim that Eich was unfairly shamed.

[ June 17, 2015, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
As soon as your discussing something that might happen to make someone feel bad about mistakes they didn't realize they made, shame suddenly goes from being the a general colloquial reference to feeling regret to being a horrible evil that is being inflicted. See above with Eich, even, where we're getting a very two faced argument that, on the one hand "Oh, shame is just a generic feeling of regret for mistakes" from the same people that, in his case suddenly make it "Oh show horrible is it that people are abusing him and causing him to possibly feel shame"

You can't have it both ways. Either shame is a non-issue, and even a productive thing to feel if you've hurt someone (which effectively leaves it as a synonym for regret without any distinct meaning) or it's a bad, emotionally abusive thing that involved inflicting emotional harm though humiliation and threats against those being shamed.

This binary you've presented shows that it is you who haven't been listening. Previously when I said that Eich was shamed, I didn't ever state that this was bad because shaming is unacceptable. In fact it is you who have stated repeatedly that shaming is unacceptable. At varying times JoshCrow and I have mentioned how shame can be a force for change, or can just be inflicted as a weapon. We have not judged the term as such, but described its use. When I say "Eich was shamed" I'm not denigrating shame, I'm denigrating the fact that people thought he should be made to feel bad about something he honestly believed in. It is the war of ideals that is at issue here, the fact that people believe others are evil when they disagree.

There is definitely a difference between the level of vitriol between how Eich was treated and in gamer-gate. There are always levels. Some people in each case probably wanted contrition, others wanted blood, and yet others probably simply felt vindicated by issuing judgements in the first place and weren't invested in outcomes.

My main issue isn't with shaming, as such, but with the general notion of ganging up on someone using social media and ruining them. A mob of very polite "correctors" can bombard a company with requests to dismiss an employee, and this will still be the same old problem even if "shaming" isn't the tool employed.

Regarding scifi and NH's distinctions about shame versus guilt, you obviously don't know that many Jews or Catholics! You can feel shame, or be shamed by others, and you can likewise feel guilt, or else be guilted by others. Both have internal modes, and both have social modes. The only thing left to nitpick is about the precise brain activity involved with 'feeling shame' as opposed to 'feeling guilt'. If you want to link me neuroscience about the particulars of the brain activity in each I'll read it. Colloquially we can say that guilt might be a bit more oriented towards an action done, while shame can be more oriented towards who one is, but since one can also feel ashamed of an action and can feel guilty about one's views (but perhaps not so much about one's body) there is enough overlap that any broad distinction between these terms cannot be relevant in talking about a simple matter like yelling at a someone over twitter.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
What you've described (minus the "intent", which is optional) is actually called "humiliating" someone.
Intent is optional? How to you intentionally inflict shame on someone (that's what shaming means) without intending to inflict shame on them? Shaming doesn't happen by accident- it is a deliberate and intentional act. Humiliation is a tool of shaming, as are threats (if not actual execution of) of violence

quote:
Cutting a girl's hair on camera is clearly an attempt at humiliation, whereas what happened to Eich (if you restrict it to the public criticism of his views) was not, in fact, humiliation. Both are instances of shaming.
That's absurd. Refusing to business with someone you believe has hurt you does not, by any stretch of the imagination, shame them, regardless of how loosely you use the term.

quote:
You would have been on firmer ground with the H word (although in Eich's case, having to step down was arguably a kind of humiliation).
In what way? There's nothing humiliating about choosing to step down fora position, particularly when one does so because they realize that they're not a good fit for it. (The opposite case- where someone tries to disguise their lack of qualification and starting the job can lead to humiliating mistakes, or its possible that a lter decision to remove them can be executed in a humiliating way.

is choice to step down reflected well both on the strength of his convictions and his earnestness in understanding that they made him a poor fit for the position in question. That's about as far from humiliation as you can get; he chose to make a fully dignified exit.

[ June 22, 2015, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
That's only true if you think that the accusation is "shaming", rather than unfair or unjustified shaming. This argument began over a claim that Eich was unfairly shamed.
Shaming is unfair and unjustified, as are all forms of abuse. Nothing unfair happened to Eich. No shame of any sort was inflicted on him. People reacted with reasonable, criticism focused specifically on the problem that made him a poor fit for the position and he stepped aside in a dignified matter when if became clear that he could not resolve the conflict.

Had he chosen to apologize for attempting to push his convictions on others and issued a clear statement that he would be careful to not abuse his power as CEO to do so again, there would also have been no shame involved. The very suggestion that such an earnest apology is shameful or an indication is exceptionally disgusting and exactly the kind of attitude that keeps people from admitting their mistakes and prevents constructive progress. It creates a false perception that admitting to a mistake or part harm is somehow humiliating where the exact opposite is true- refusal to directly to acknowledge and address such is a clear result of humiliation and shame.

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D.W.
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quote:
When I say "Eich was shamed" I'm not denigrating shame, I'm denigrating the fact that people thought he should be made to feel bad about something he honestly believed in. It is the war of ideals that is at issue here, the fact that people believe others are evil when they disagree.
This boils down to how society functions. The group settles on a moving target of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. They then coerce those who fall outside of those constraints. This can be anywhere from a frowning look of disapproval, to a bombardment of tweets to a (real, killed the person) lynching.

The "war of ideals" is fought daily and constantly. A position which targets a subset of a community is only safe if the majority agrees. Typically an overwhelming majority at that. Our society is (or seems to me to be) trending towards a "live and let live" acceptance of people and cultures. For this to happen the community must take a seemingly hypocritical stance of singling out any group who would... single out another group.

This is why for instance whites or Christians, despite their demographic representation, sometimes express they are "under attack".

Just because a group WAS ok to neglect or treat poorly in the past doesn't mean that the current society is willing to "put up with that ****".

It's not wrong to push against societal changes but if you are inclined to do so, I'd say be very careful of what footing you are on when you attempt to claim the victim mantle. If your hands are dirty (your group's history that is) then you will not be granted the sympathy and support of those outside your group.

If your only support today is within your own group, society is going to give you a slapping around. Melting pot, information age and media saturation is all working against insulated groups doing whatever they want. The "majorities" have lost some of their power when it comes to things the public can directly impact.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
. Previously when I said that Eich was shamed, I didn't ever state that this was bad because shaming is unacceptable.
You took the position what happened in his case was unacceptable and called it shaming to justify that assertion, both of which are flat out wrong. Nothing bad happened to Eich. HE ws not shamed. He chose, with full dignity, to value convictions that made him unfit for a given position over the need to compromise either those convictions or the position itself in order to hold on to the job despite his incompatibility.

quote:
At varying times JoshCrow and I have mentioned how shame can be a force for change
Which is manifestly false. It's a tool used by the establishment to prevent change and punish those that stray from the status quo. Eich was not, in any way, punished.

quote:
, I'm denigrating the fact that people thought he should be made to feel bad about something he honestly believed in.
Which is completely spurious, because no one was asking him to feel bad about anything. The assertion that anyone was is exactly where you're effectively making things up to create a false equivalency here. People were asking him to resolve an obvious conflict of interests, either by acknowledging and apologizing for the harm that was inherent in seeking to push his convictions on others and assuring people that he wouldn't repeat that, or, (as he did) by acknowledging that he could not properly do the job he'd been appointed to if such convictions would inevitably come into conflict with the need to respect and accommodate differing beliefs among the employees of his company.

quote:
My main issue isn't with shaming, as such, but with the general notion of ganging up on someone using social media and ruining them.
Indeed, which is why the Eich situation is not parallel, since no effort to ruin anyone or intentionally make anyone feel bad was made, and no one was ruined or made to feel bad in the process, except, perhaps, spectators that were disappointed that a person whose demonstrated convictions, if earnest, would have led to less inclusive policies at decided to step aside instead of being their proxy champion by pushing his veas on others that he had power over, so they assert the false narrative that some kind of imaginary harm was done to him in the process to create a false equivalence and fool nominally fair minded people into advocating for their bigotry.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
The "war of ideals" is fought daily and constantly. A position which targets a subset of a community is only safe if the majority agrees. Typically an overwhelming majority at that.

This makes some sense. If a "community" believes a certain way it is entirely reasonable for that like-minded community to police itself to try to root out disagreeable sentiments or behaviors. Your mention of "overwhelming majority" sounds like a good standard for this kind of thing. Since it isn't the case the the issue of gay marriage has an overwhelming majority on either side of the issue it then seems more like culture wars than internal policing for a person to be taken to task for holding one view or the other on the subject.

quote:
Our society is (or seems to me to be) trending towards a "live and let live" acceptance of people and cultures.
I don't think so, although it is trending towards marketing itself as this. In some aspects of American life this probably is really true, but in others such as political view and social values I feel like the U.S. is sliding back to a McCarthy-era mentality where those who dissent are not merely wrong but are evil and dangerous.

quote:
For this to happen the community must take a seemingly hypocritical stance of singling out any group who would... single out another group.
This is certainly pertinent but it can become all too easy to paint any group that disagrees with the trending group as being 'intolerant'. Intolerant used to mean actively persecuting or legally sanctioning, but in common parlance now it also includes simple disagreement and saying anything negative about anyone.

quote:
It's not wrong to push against societal changes but if you are inclined to do so, I'd say be very careful of what footing you are on when you attempt to claim the victim mantle. If your hands are dirty (your group's history that is) then you will not be granted the sympathy and support of those outside your group.
I'd say that qualifying a person who supports the anti-gay marriage camp as having their hands dirty is not a reasonable designation. As I've been mentioning, it's literally calling someone evil for not agreeing with a new popular notion. I think it would be more reasonable to call such a person at worst "misguided or wrong" rather than evil.

quote:
If your only support today is within your own group, society is going to give you a slapping around. Melting pot, information age and media saturation is all working against insulated groups doing whatever they want. The "majorities" have lost some of their power when it comes to things the public can directly impact.
Plenty of people only support things within their own group (see: politics). It's not "society" that is slapping anyone around online, it's some small cross-section of zealous users that can cause mayhem all by themselves. They don't need to be a majority, they just need to be numerous enough to bust up comments sections and flood emails. It doesn't take a significant portion of the population to greatly affect a company's decision-making (they will try to avoid anything that sounds like trouble, the same coward's mentality that schools embrace) and there is no way to take an online campaign as a sign that they represent an average cross-section of the population. They don't.

[ June 22, 2015, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:


quote:
At varying times JoshCrow and I have mentioned how shame can be a force for change
Which is manifestly false. It's a tool used by the establishment to prevent change and punish those that stray from the status quo. Eich was not, in any way, punished.

Just to clarify - you are proposing that shame is NOT ever a useful force for change. I want to make sure I interpret you correctly before I proceed to show you how absurd a position I take this to be.

shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

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D.W.
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quote:
Since it isn't the case the the issue of gay marriage has an overwhelming majority on either side of the issue it then seems more like culture wars than internal policing for a person to be taken to task for holding one view or the other on the subject.
I would say you missed my point, but I didn’t really make it all that clearly. The current culture, as I see it, is accepting of all. At least it likes to see itself that way. Being for or against gay marriage is a question of exclusion. It’s not two conflicting views. It’s those who want to be inclusive (the current trend) and those who want to deny inclusion (those opposed to SSM). Those opposed use to have a super majority. Therefore they could treat homosexuals as they saw fit and feel comfortably denying them the right to marry. That supermajority has vanished. It may still be a contentious issue and still be closer to the 50/50 than an overwhelming majority for; however that isn’t the measurement needed anymore.

For an inclusive policy (the way society likes to see itself) it only takes a 50/50 or even lower split. Anything short of overwhelming majority against, is favored by an inclusive social change. I was not saying it requires an overwhelming majority to institute a change. Only that for a policy of exclusion to survive, you must maintain an overwhelming majority.

As to your “those who descent are evil and dangerous”, I would say that sometimes they are exactly that. SSM being one of those cases. The individuals opposing it may not be evil, but I strongly feel they are making evil possible. It may be that this is a problem of absolutism in politics / society, or it may just be that we are actually addressing real evils we’ve lived with so long people accepted them. The “dirty hands” comment comes from anyone who asks for sympathy while denying it for other groups.

I agree with you on the internet bullying / coercion. Companies are risk averse and PR minded. Perception is more important than the reality. Sad but true. Anyone who voices an opinion or participates in politics is exposing a vulnerability someone can exploit. We all do it with every post we make here. Someone could use what we say against us. Likely professionally. Welcome to the information age and the 24hr media cycle…

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Shaming doesn't happen by accident- it is a deliberate and intentional act.

shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

Are you implying you cannot feel distressed when you realize you were wrong about something? This can't happen without some third party? Or even unintentionally by a third party who shows you how wrong you were?


quote:
Refusing to business with someone you believe has hurt you does not, by any stretch of the imagination, shame them, regardless of how loosely you use the term.

"hurt you"... you mean "offended your beliefs", right? Let's not pretend the boycott was by a bunch of injured parties. They were people who took offense to someone's opinion. "Hurt" is a funny way to describe that.

But my deeper point is: Publicly disavowing a behavior is shaming that behavior. If the people boycotting Mozilla had not publicized their efforts, I would agree with you - but the moment you publicize it, you are shaming.
quote:

There's nothing humiliating about choosing to step down fora position, particularly when one does so because they realize that they're not a good fit for it.

This is naive in the extreme, to suggest Eich simply decided to step down. It's so well understood that a public figure can be made to "resign" rather than "be fired" that it's a joke at this point.

quote:

he chose to make a fully dignified exit.

And what, do you think, his other "choices" were that were available to him such that that was the best one?

[ June 22, 2015, 05:18 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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D.W.
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Shaming doesn't happen by accident- it is a deliberate and intentional act.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

Are you implying you cannot feel distressed when you realize you were wrong about something? This can't happen without some third party? Or even unintentionally by a third party who shows you how wrong you were?

Shaming is an act someone does to attempt to make you feel shame. It cannot happen without some third party.
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JoshCrow
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The verb, yes, but intent is not required. If I inform you that your fly is unzipped, you may feel shame in response, even though I did not wish to shame you about it.

Informing the world you will no longer do business with someone because of their position on some issue, on the other hand, can only serve the purpose of trying to bring about a change by application of shame - to make them realize the wrongness of their belief and repent or suffer a consequence.

[ June 22, 2015, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Fenring
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The verb "to shame" is far less clear than the noun, which is what one feels whether brought on by a third party or not. The verb is unclear because it doesn't specify whether shame was merely the result of an action by a third party or was the objective of the third party.

I'd like to take this opportunity to present a very short scene involving two persons of differing character:

MAN 1: I hate everything about you, sir; what you stand for, how you look, and everything you do. I curse you, sir.

MAN 2: I love you regardless and wish you the best.

MAN 1: You shame me, sir.

In this scene we see MAN 1 leaving the scene feeling ashamed, and this feeling being caused by what MAN 2 said to him. Shame caused without shame intended. But then again that depends on how we think of shame. Is making someone realize they behave shamefully a good thing? If so, then telling them the thing that will make them feel shame is good; but we note that the intention is to help the person himself (or others), not to hurt them or take vengeance on them. If one is savvy enough to know this then the decision to cause another pain in order to enlighten him should be a carefully considered one. One should know that one is gambling another person's well being on the basis of one's own certainty. But we don't avoid causing pain when it's necessary for the good, and we shouldn't avoid saying we've caused pain when that's what's happened, even if it was for good. A surgeon doesn't apologize for causing discomfort.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Are you implying you cannot feel distressed when you realize you were wrong about something? This can't happen without some third party? Or even unintentionally by a third party who shows you how wrong you were?
No, those are completely irrelevant when you're talking about shaming- acting to cause shame- not just someone incidentally feeling shame. The accusations aren't that targets of criticism might possibly feel shame, but that that criticism is equivalent to shaming- deliberately trying to cause shame.


quote:
If I inform you that your fly is unzipped, you may feel shame in response, even though I did not wish to shame you about it.
But in that case you did not same me. You informed me of something and I shamed myself (to be picky, it's more likely that I might feel a little embarrassed, not ashamed). If you were shaming me, you would have announced to everyone around us of how my fly was down and how this was horrible insult to them and otherwise proved that I was of little worth or even a danger to them. Shaming someone is deliberately inflicting shame on them- you cannot separate it from the intent. If someone incidentally feels shame because of something you say or do, the thing you say or do doesn't magically become shaming after the fact- it's only shaming if you do it with the intent to cause shame. (Most gerund forms of an act tend to imply deliberate action unless fairly clearly stated otherwise. Shame is a certain emotion. Shaming is acting to cause shame, which suggests that causing shame is the intent of the action)

quote:
"hurt you"... you mean "offended your beliefs", right? Let's not pretend the boycott was by a bunch of injured parties. They were people who took offense to someone's opinion. "Hurt" is a funny way to describe that.
No. First of all, you aren't a magical judge of what does or does not hurt others. Secondly, acting to deny (or supporting an attempt to dent) someone a civil right is a harm to them. This has nothing to do with offending sensibilities, and everything to ti with the fact that he had expressed through that support that his convictions instructed him to go out of his way to take actions that supported denying rights to others. You may disagree that people should have those rights, but if you believe they should, then there is clear harm in the act.


quote:
Publicly disavowing a behavior is shaming that behavior.
Not it's not. It's criticizing that behavoir, but it's not inherently humiliating the actor. The conflation you're making here is a very bad one that exists solely to derail discussions of issues by demonizing critics. You're making the same mistake here that the self-esteem cultists do when they try to give everyone a prize and prevent negative feedback.

NEgative feedback, even publicly isn't shaming, and should not be construed as shaming. Trying to claim that public disagreement or criticism is equivalent to humiliation is, to be honest, petty and disingenuous.

quote:
If the people boycotting Mozilla had not publicized their efforts, I would agree with you - but the moment you publicize it, you are shaming.
Not at all.
They are still criticizing. The moment hey stop using directed impersonal tactics (such as boycotts) or topical criticism and switch to making personal attacks and threats they cross the line, even if those attacks aren't publicized. It's not the public/private nature to what's being done, but wither what's being done is intended to cause humiliation, fear, or other forms of emotional distress.

quote:
It's so well understood that a public figure can be made to "resign" rather than "be fired" that it's a joke at this point.
Something that was very expressly not done in this case. Mozilla's Directors made it very clear that they did not ask for his resignation.

quote:
And what, do you think, his other "choices" were that were available to him such that that was the best one?
HE could have backed away from his conviction that it was his duty to attempt to dictate lifestyle choices to others and issued a clear apology and assurance that he'd not let his personal lack of support for same sex marriage bleed over into his professional responsibilities to a company that currently encourages such diversity.

He could have compromised his conviction and left the policies untouched while still claiming that he believed that is was his responsibility to act to discourage and prevent it.

He could have acted on his convictions as CEO and terminated all spousal benefits for same sex couples.

He chose not to compromise his beliefs (first option) or be hypocritical or inconsistent about them(second), and clearly understood that acting on them would be a public relations disaster(third), so instead stepped down with dignity

quote:
Informing the world you will no longer do business with someone because of their position on some issue, on the other hand, can only serve the purpose of trying to bring about a change by application of shame - to make them realize the wrongness of their belief and repent or suffer a consequence.
Where's the shame there, unless you're suggesting that being wring is something that people should be humiliated by, rather than something that happens to everyone. The attitude you're suggesting here is exactly why shame prevented progress- it creates such an irrational fear of making normal mistakes or being wrong that people try to hide it or circle the wagons in justify it instead of simply acknowledging it and correct their actions in the future.

If you want to make the case for shaming being involved, then you've got it right in your position, where you're telling people they should be ashamed of mistakes; teaching them that such are sources of humiliation and things they should hide from public view, if possible.

It's that attitude that has an element of shaming, not the attitude of those that hope to correct mistakes by pointing them out and trying to teach people how to avoid making them.

[ June 23, 2015, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
In this scene we see MAN 1 leaving the scene feeling ashamed, and this feeling being caused by what MAN 2 said to him.
I don't quite agree. What Man2 said didn't cause the shame, Man1's own conscious caused it in response to his own standards. Unless Man2 knew for sure that his statement would cause distress and meant to cause it, but that's a infinitely recursive rabbit hole to start down)

quote:
Is making someone realize they behave shamefully a good thing?
Teaching someone that the way they behave is shameful is a bad thing, because it means that they will tend to hid or conceal the behavior to avoid humiliation. It doesn't teach a right way to behave or even address what might be bad about the behavoir so that they can make a reasoned choice to avoid it. It just conditions them to fear abuse from themselves or others if they act in the shameful way.

If a person has already been conditioned to thing that a certain kind of mistake is shameful, then we should try to help unwind that conditioning while pointing out the mistake- but the shaming happened at the point they were conditioned to feel shame about it, not at the point where the mistake was earnestly pointed out be someone trying to help them correct it.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Are you implying you cannot feel distressed when you realize you were wrong about something? This can't happen without some third party? Or even unintentionally by a third party who shows you how wrong you were?
No, those are completely irrelevant when you're talking about shaming- acting to cause shame- not just someone incidentally feeling shame. The accusations aren't that targets of criticism might possibly feel shame, but that that criticism is equivalent to shaming- deliberately trying to cause shame.


quote:
If I inform you that your fly is unzipped, you may feel shame in response, even though I did not wish to shame you about it.
But in that case you did not same me. You informed me of something and I shamed myself (to be picky, it's more likely that I might feel a little embarrassed, not ashamed). If you were shaming me, you would have announced to everyone around us of how my fly was down and how this was horrible insult to them and otherwise proved that I was of little worth or even a danger to them. Shaming someone is deliberately inflicting shame on them- you cannot separate it from the intent. If someone incidentally feels shame because of something you say or do, the thing you say or do doesn't magically become shaming after the fact- it's only shaming if you do it with the intent to cause shame. (Most gerund forms of an act tend to imply deliberate action unless fairly clearly stated otherwise. Shame is a certain emotion. Shaming is acting to cause shame, which suggests that causing shame is the intent of the action)


Fairly argued - I'll concede the point. "Shaming" does seem to be generally understood as having intention behind it. In the generally understood sense, "to shame someone" is with intention.

quote:
quote:
"hurt you"... you mean "offended your beliefs", right? Let's not pretend the boycott was by a bunch of injured parties. They were people who took offense to someone's opinion. "Hurt" is a funny way to describe that.
No. First of all, you aren't a magical judge of what does or does not hurt others. Secondly, acting to deny (or supporting an attempt to dent) someone a civil right is a harm to them. This has nothing to do with offending sensibilities, and everything to ti with the fact that he had expressed through that support that his convictions instructed him to go out of his way to take actions that supported denying rights to others. You may disagree that people should have those rights, but if you believe they should, then there is clear harm in the act.

You seem to think the people conducting the boycott were themselves the injured parties (gay people), but I suspect that heterosexual supporters whose conscience was offended by Eich's position probably outnumbered actual gay people. In that regard, these are not people who are "hurt", these are people who are offended or upset about Eich hurting the gay community.

This is a category I include myself in, btw. I was certainly not "hurt" by the absence of gay marriage, but it upset my conscience.


quote:
quote:
Publicly disavowing a behavior is shaming that behavior.
Not it's not. It's criticizing that behavoir, but it's not inherently humiliating the actor. [...]It's not the public/private nature to what's being done, but wither what's being done is intended to cause humiliation, fear, or other forms of emotional distress.

On this we disagree again. You previously stated that "humiliation is a tool of shame" or some such - and in your response lies the answer. It is a "tool". To do what? Not necessary to bring about harm - but to provoke change.

Take a look at this article: http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/is-shame-too-mean-or-a-tool-for-change

There's a rich history of public shaming as a force for good. Some choice quotes:

"While it may make us cringe to see shame being used by the strong against the weak, Jacquet, assistant professor of environmental studies at New York University, sees merit in reversing the formula. She lays out a roadmap for how small groups of concerned citizens could use shame to change the behaviour of big corporations and even governments — and offers a provocative argument for why, particularly in the realm of environmental activism, shame may be a more useful emotion than guilt."

“Guilt is often defined as an internal conversation between you and your own conscience, whereas shame is the threat of social exposure — it affects your interpersonal relationships,” says Jennifer Jacquet

"But used sparingly and conscientiously, Jacquet argues, shame could be used to get the attention of some big-time “bad apples” causing headaches for the rest of us — especially when it comes to major collective action problems like climate change. It’s just a matter of being creative and focused about choosing our targets."

"JJ: For most of history, punishment was somewhat costly for the punisher. The online environment has reduced that cost so much, because so many of the punishers — the shamers — are anonymous. "


quote:
quote:
It's so well understood that a public figure can be made to "resign" rather than "be fired" that it's a joke at this point.
Something that was very expressly not done in this case. Mozilla's Directors made it very clear that they did not ask for his resignation.

I can't prove much here, but to make a long story short I have serious doubts about this and let's leave it at that.

quote:
quote:
And what, do you think, his other "choices" were that were available to him such that that was the best one?
He chose not to compromise his beliefs (first option) or be hypocritical or inconsistent about them(second), and clearly understood that acting on them would be a public relations disaster(third), so instead stepped down with dignity

And so let me ask the killer question - more than a year later, what function do you think his stepping down served? Has it changed his mind? Doubtful - that was never the point of this. Was it more about sending a message? Absolutely. The message is "agree with us, or lose your job." It's the only reason the pressure was put on the company, and why the pressure stopped when he left. People wanted him gone because he didn't agree with them. Which leads us to...

quote:
quote:
Informing the world you will no longer do business with someone because of their position on some issue, on the other hand, can only serve the purpose of trying to bring about a change by application of shame - to make them realize the wrongness of their belief and repent or suffer a consequence.
Where's the shame there, unless you're suggesting that being wring is something that people should be humiliated by, rather than something that happens to everyone.

Being publicly wrong is not only humiliating, it's downright difficult to admit to. Consider why people on this forum have so much difficulty saying "you're right" after someone argues a point convincingly. Instead, they just go silent or attack a weaker argument. There is significant humiliation involved, and people tend to want to avoid that.

quote:

The attitude you're suggesting here is exactly why shame prevented progress- it creates such an irrational fear of making normal mistakes or being wrong that people try to hide it or circle the wagons in justify it instead of simply acknowledging it and correct their actions in the future.

Yes, just as I said. We agree on this.
quote:

If you want to make the case for shaming being involved, then you've got it right in your position, where you're telling people they should be ashamed of mistakes; teaching them that such are sources of humiliation and things they should hide from public view, if possible.

It's that attitude that has an element of shaming, not the attitude of those that hope to correct mistakes by pointing them out and trying to teach people how to avoid making them.

The idea of "teaching" and "shaming" are not mutually exclusive as they might seem to be. See my link to JJ's article above, for example. Clearly I'm not alone in thinking so, or in describing the practice of publicly calling out businesspeople for their beliefs as "shaming" them for the greater good.

[ June 23, 2015, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
In this scene we see MAN 1 leaving the scene feeling ashamed, and this feeling being caused by what MAN 2 said to him.
I don't quite agree. What Man2 said didn't cause the shame, Man1's own conscious caused it in response to his own standards. Unless Man2 knew for sure that his statement would cause distress and meant to cause it, but that's a infinitely recursive rabbit hole to start down)
Generally when we expose someone to the fact he's done something shameful unless we are idiots we will know for sure it will cause the other person discomfort (in the form of shame, guilt, embarrassment, etc) to hear it. Arguing that revealing information doesn't "cause" the shame because the other person's conscience is what "caused it" is a huge solipsism and leaves absent the relationship between conscience, identity, and human interaction. None of these things happens 'just in your own mind', none of it is "caused" as a one-way operation. All human interaction (just look at the etymology of that word) involves not only two-way causation but also logic loops and recursion. It is simply not coherent to our understanding of nature to say that an effect resulting from an interaction between two people was caused by something in the brain of only one of them. The precondition for shame being triggered may be in the brain of the person doing something shameful, but from this it doesn't follow that someone else triggering it didn't cause it (in part, at least).

quote:
quote:
Is making someone realize they behave shamefully a good thing?
Teaching someone that the way they behave is shameful is a bad thing, because it means that they will tend to hid or conceal the behavior to avoid humiliation. It doesn't teach a right way to behave or even address what might be bad about the behavoir so that they can make a reasoned choice to avoid it. It just conditions them to fear abuse from themselves or others if they act in the shameful way.

You may be right in certain cases, although even hiding the behavior doesn't eliminate the possibility that they still took in the criticism and that it will have an effect over time. And again, let's not conflate "teaching about shameful behavior" with "shaming", because I think there is significant overlap between these even though they are not identical. Strategically each may even have a use, as a sensitive person who doesn't realize what they're doing may benefit from a gentle comment to give perspective, while a real hard-head might just need what's called a kick in the ass to get the message. For the hard-head a short, sharp dose of shame can do the trick. It all depends on whom you're dealing with and how they can be communicated with.

But overall, ignoring the issue of 'how best to communicate' let's just say that deliberately causing shame isn't great if the objective is vindictive (the "I hope you burn in hell" motive), but criticizing the person in such a way as they'll be made aware of their wrongness and feel shame as a result can certainly be for the benefit of the receiver. Where we get into disingenuous territory, as JoshCrow implied, is when people "criticize" someone for his view when they know full well he understands his position and isn't going to change it just because they complain. The intent in a case like this cannot be to educate, or to persuade, so it can therefore only be a use of force.

As a matter of curiosity, how do you on the one hand say that it's perfectly fine for people to criticize (publicly or otherwise) someone for having done harm to others, while you then say it's bad to teach someone they've done something shameful? What is the difference between these two situations, and how is that difference so great that one is good and the other is bad?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
You seem to think the people conducting the boycott were themselves the injured parties (gay people), but I suspect that heterosexual supporters whose conscience was offended by Eich's position probably outnumbered actual gay people. In that regard, these are not people who are "hurt", these are people who are offended or upset about Eich hurting the gay community.
You seem to be pedantically quibbling on an irrelevant difference between people who are directly harmed and people who see that harm hand stand up against it.Eich's actions represented harm to a certain group of people. People wishing to mitigate that harm, not limited to those directly affected responded. This is usually summarized by simply referring to a communal "those who were harmed", to avoid having to write several paragraphs to pedant-proof a simple and fairly intuitive concept.

quote:
On this we disagree again. You previously stated that "humiliation is a tool of shame" or some such - and in your response lies the answer. It is a "tool". To do what?
A tool to cause shame. Like a whip is a tool to cause pain. SHame can modify behavoir, sure, but your position is like saying that we should break kids legs so they don't run into the street, since that would stop them from doing it.

Sure there are abusive ways to change behavior, but you're effectively implying that this particular form of abuse is the only or best way to change behavior, which is absurdly false.

quote:
There's a rich history of public shaming as a force for good.
There are rich histories of use of many forms of abuse and torture that happened to result in a net public benefit. I'll respond, on an easy pick, with this:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2013/10/stop_calling_all_criticism_shaming.html

They're making the same mistake of calling public criticism, with no effort to humiliate or seriously threaten any individuals shaming. Remember- humiliation and emotional distress were actively part of the definition. identifying bad behavior isn't inherently humiliating. Humiliation requires going far beyond topical criticism into actually attacking someone's human worth.

quote:
And so let me ask the killer question - more than a year later, what function do you think his stepping down served?
It has preserved the benefits for same sex couples at his company which his convictions, if they were indeed earnest as he claims, would have necessarily led him to revoke.

quote:
Being publicly wrong is not only humiliating, it's downright difficult to admit to.
Because we shame it. Because we teach people to feel that way. IF we made a conscious effort to stop shaming people for it, humiliating them because of it. People would admit error much more freely and naturally, and be more free to correct their mistakes.

quote:
Consider why people on this forum have so much difficulty saying "you're right" after someone argues a point convincingly. Instead, they just go silent or attack a weaker argument. There is significant humiliation involved, and people tend to want to avoid that.
Yes. That's exactly why I so strenuously object to shaming, since that's the kind of behavoir that it causes. It actively prevents people fromackonlwedging error and teaches them to engage in just that way instead.

If we make a conscious effort to stop shaming people for being wrong and instead show public praise for being willing to admit error and improve behavoir, people will stop learning that it's humiliating to be wrong. As long as we keep applying shaming for behavior modification, we perpetuate the underlying notion that it's humiliating to be wrong and make it harder, not easier for people to change.

To the extent that the people in the article you posted are actually applying shaming and not simply being critical, they may make small advances on a case by case basis, but at the expense of perpetuating a system that makes it so hard for people to admit to and correct for errors in the first place.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Generally when we expose someone to the fact he's done something shameful unless we are idiots we will know for sure it will cause the other person discomfort (in the form of shame, guilt, embarrassment, etc) to hear it.
Which begs the question, because for someone to consider something to be shameful, they already have had to have had the groundwork for shaming laid- have been taught that it's shameful.

You keep using shameful here as if it means the same as "wrong" or "harmful" conflating them is begging the question, because it effectively asserts that we should be teaching people that making mistakes is shameful so they can be shamed for doing so.

quote:
And again, let's not conflate "teaching about shameful behavior"
That's a vacuous construction. No behavior is inherently shameful that it can be objectively taught about. Rather people can be taught to believe that certain behaviors are shameful, generally by being shamed for them or observing others being shamed for them.

quote:
Arguing that revealing information doesn't "cause" the shame because the other person's conscience is what "caused it" is a huge solipsism and leaves absent the relationship between conscience, identity, and human interaction.
Except that revealing information, ion and of itself does not cause shame. It's only after a person has been conditioned to feel shame about certain information that it can invoke that shame. It's effectively an emotional form of PTSD regarding what the person has been conditioned to feel shame about. There is value in being aware of and careful about triggers in such cases, but it only makes sense to put responsibility for shaming on the shoulders of the person doing the conditioning- teaching the person to feel shame over such, not the one who is simply trying to point out a mistake or problematic behavior without invoking such conditioning.

quote:
As a matter of curiosity, how do you on the one hand say that it's perfectly fine for people to criticize (publicly or otherwise) someone for having done harm to others, while you then say it's bad to teach someone they've done something shameful?
Why is it good to catch a child before they run out into the street and explain why it's dangerous to do that, but bad to break a child's leg every time they try to run into the street until they fear to do it?

Both stop the kid from being hit by a car, so they must be equivalent, right?

Or perhaps critical correction manages to be an effective way to not only correct behavior, but lend an understanding of why the behavior should be corrected, while shaming them for the behavior is not only de facto abusive, but only teaches people to act to avoid punishment and pain, not necessarily to actually understand why the behavior is wrong.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
You seem to be pedantically quibbling on an irrelevant difference

That could more or less describe this entire thread, which is about one's choice of words. [Smile]

quote:


quote:
On this we disagree again. You previously stated that "humiliation is a tool of shame" or some such - and in your response lies the answer. It is a "tool". To do what?
A tool to cause shame. Like a whip is a tool to cause pain. SHame can modify behavoir, sure, but your position is like saying that we should break kids legs so they don't run into the street, since that would stop them from doing it.

If you are seriously going to buttress your argument by equating "shaming" to "breaking a child's legs" we're not going to get anywhere. Not to get in the way of a good slippery slope, but those are orders of magnitude different when it comes to "harm".
quote:

Sure there are abusive ways to change behavior, but you're effectively implying that this particular form of abuse is the only or best way to change behavior, which is absurdly false.

Not only am I NOT implying that, I would call it an outright false representation of what I've said.

quote:

quote:
There's a rich history of public shaming as a force for good.
There are rich histories of use of many forms of abuse and torture that happened to result in a net public benefit. I'll respond, on an easy pick, with this:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2013/10/stop_calling_all_criticism_shaming.html


The article is just pointing out the meme-ifying of "-shaming" in comical ways, such as "baby-shaming" and "dog-shaming". That's really not what we're talking about here. I would even call the article a work of comedy in the tradition of Seinfeld.

quote:


quote:
And so let me ask the killer question - more than a year later, what function do you think his stepping down served?
It has preserved the benefits for same sex couples at his company which his convictions, if they were indeed earnest as he claims, would have necessarily led him to revoke.

Uhh... no. You don't get to pin your argument on what Eich would have speculatively done or not done. Let's leave that to the Republicans in 2008, telling us what Obama would do and then attacking that strawman construction they built. I expect better.

quote:

quote:
Being publicly wrong is not only humiliating, it's downright difficult to admit to.
Because we shame it. Because we teach people to feel that way. IF we made a conscious effort to stop shaming people for it, humiliating them because of it. People would admit error much more freely and naturally, and be more free to correct their mistakes.

Again, we agree. But this is why I didn't support the anti-Eich campaign, since I considered it part of that.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
If you are seriously going to buttress your argument by equating "shaming" to "breaking a child's legs" we're not going to get anywhere. Not to get in the way of a good slippery slope, but those are orders of magnitude different when it comes to "harm".
On what basis are they different, because one is physical harm and one is mental harm? If anything I'd rank emotional abuse such as shaming as generally being worse than physical abuse, because emotional scars are much, much harder to heal, and tend to pass themselves on from generation to generation because they encourage scarring those that come after in the same way.

quote:
You don't get to imagine what Eich would have speculatively done.
Fair enough- let me phrase what I was trying to say differently. Since the issue was raised because he'd effectively already acted that way in the past and refused to clearly rule out acting that way again in the future, then that kind of speculation is very relevant. It is what the people complaining about him were worried he'd do and why they were complaining, and what he eventually decided to step down over because he couldn't clearly commit to not doing it.

It's true that he may have decided to go with hypocrisy and not do it even though he'd previously made it clear that his convictions should lead him to do it.

In any case there was a real and present concern about what he might do, and the result of him stepping down in response to the complaints actively obviated that concern.

quote:
But this is why I didn't support the anti-Eich campaign, since I considered it part of that.
In what way? He was never personally attacked or seriously threatened for what he did. His action, not his personal character remained pretty well in the target of what was being reacted to. There was no shame directed at him, only an unwillingness to associate with him so long as he maintained that his convictions directed him to actively deny marriage to same sex couples. He didn't even need to change his personal belief that such are invalid, just make it clear that he was backing away from the belief that he had the imperative to act to deny others from engaging in them.

(It's possible that people on the fringes may have ridiculed, threatened, or otherwise attempted to personally attack him over the matter, but the main thrust of the issue did not involve any of such, simply an impersonal refusal to do business with the company so long as he left the question of respecting the diversity of his employees in question.)

The point being, that the complaints were to, one way or another, ensure that benefits were not rolled back in the company. There are many ways that he could have addressed those concerns but he chose to do so by stepping down, rather than compromising his beliefs or being inconsistent about them. It doesn't matter that the concern itself was somewhat speculative,expressing it resulted in one of the possible actions that could have addressed it, which was sufficient to satisfy the concern

[ June 23, 2015, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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