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Author Topic: For shame
jasonr
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quote:
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.
This is a fine sentiment, which I agree with.

I put it to you that you don't actually understand what shame is, or have any concept of how shame works.

I recall a discussion we had on the Ferguson thread on the topic of black supporters of Michael Brown criticizing white supporters for not getting to the back of the line or not being deferential enough - a shame tactic I suggested was tantamount to spitting in their faces and would probably damage white support.

That you didn't understand why this would have the result of shaming those white people suggested to me that you were, frankly, out to lunch on certain important aspects of human nature.

So in this case, I don't actually think it's just a problem of you making up definitions that don't agree with the dictionary or common useage - but I don't think you actually know what shame is or understand how and under what circumstances people become ashamed.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
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

Although I won't won't comment on the overall reply containing this sentence, I'd like to point out that your use of the phrase "acted that way" and then "acting that way again" is more or less the crux of my issue on the Eich topic, although you've largely ignored the main issue in favor of definitional sidebars to undermine the language behind the point (a tactic which, as we can see, leads to an infinite regress of definitions of definitions, when we all knew what was being said in the first place). The point is that by using a term such as "acting like" you are using the same language as one would use when discussing a child throwing a tantrum or hitting someone ("don't act like that!"), or perhaps an adult who has exhibited disgusting behavior. Your use of this very telling language in passing exemplifies how zealous you are in denouncing Eich's position on gay marriage and in not even recognizing that an opposed position on that topic is not the same as being an active persecutor of gays. I know you think it is the same, and this is the problem. Gay marriage is a very new social concept, and one which is even newer in implementation. There is no supermajority in favor of it, and there is no "consensus" as a supermajority that it's completely obvious that there should be such a thing. I know you feel like there is, but there actually isn't. I'm not even addressing whether gay marriage is objectively good, I'm only talking about treating your own conviction and that of your circle as being "so obvious" to you that anyone who disagrees is automatically not only wrong but is "acting like" something, the suffix to follow obviously not being very nice. This is my problem with the online campaign against Eich; it takes a non-supermajority position and uses the force of online commentary to affect a business's ability to function. I wouldn't love it even if Eich's position was a vast minority, but at least I could write it off as typical normalization of a dissenter in the group. But this is no such thing; plenty of people have not yet come around on the issue of gay marriage, and as wrong as I know you think they are this doesn't actually grant you or anyone else the right to dictate to them what they should believe.

Pursuing any other detail on this topic is pointless because words bereft of their meaning can't be used in communication. The goalposts move all too easily to discuss anything.

However I have gathered one thing, Pyr, which is that you seem to have indicated that shame is something no one would feel unless they were conditioned to feel this way by abusive people, like PTSD. If this is really your belief then I can't dispute it rigorously (although science might prove you wrong in 200 years) except to say that I find this belief terribly disturbing, almost Orwellian in its audacity. I hope you have a lot (A LOT) of evidence to back up your claim because it seems to me not only intuitively ridiculous but also morally scandalous.

Then again maybe you're discussing something that I know not of, and using the letters "s-h-a-m-e" to spell it out. If so then you should ignore my previous objections except for the one of abusing the language.

[ June 23, 2015, 07:00 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Your use of this very telling language in passing exemplifies how zealous you are in denouncing Eich's position on gay marriage and in not even recognizing that an opposed position on that topic is not the same as being an active persecutor of gays
I suppose you're right that I shouldn't have leaned on pronouns for convenience in as much as they let you outright misrepresent me here by picking your preferred antecedent, even though it's not what I had explicitly discussed.

He can believe what he wants about gay marriage, that's his business. By "acted that way" I mean "Took action to force others to live by his beliefs"

He expressed not just a conviction that gay marriage was invalid- something I disagree with, sure, but but accept. He expressed that his conviction include actively supporting denying other people the freedom to do marry or not based on their own beliefs- effectively enforcing his conviction on them. That's the act that created the concern that he would naturally be consistent and revoke such rights at his company. Something that he absolutely refused to disavow and even went as far as to issue a statement that actively avoided disavowing it while speaking on a more generalized support for diversity.

[ June 23, 2015, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I recall a discussion we had on the Ferguson thread on the topic of black supporters of Michael Brown criticizing white supporters for not getting to the back of the line or not being deferential enough - a shame tactic I suggested was tantamount to spitting in their faces and would probably damage white support.
If you're waiting in line at the grocery store and someone jumps to the front of it, do you really consider it to be "spitting in their face" to ask them to wait in line like everyone else had to do? Why are you so offended by someone suggesting that you should actually act on equal terms with others instead of letting you assert your privilege to take over as kings just because you feel that being asked to act as an equal amounts to spitting in your face? What benefit do you bring to a movement for equality if you come in acting like your race and sex should mean that you must be treated as aristocracy and be given more respect than people who have actually put in work and effort to prove their value?

Seriously, what is it about being a white guy that apparently makes you think that you should get a free pass on talking over people with experience in civil rights? That gives you the right to demand that everyone be silent while you pontificate to them about your uninformed opinions (without even stopping to consider that maybe they've heard teh same thing from hundreds, if thousands of other similar "savants" who can magically solve a problem despite compete ignorance of it that don't even realize that such things have already been considered, tried, and where they were useful are part of the current state of the overall movement.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
But this is no such thing; plenty of people have not yet come around on the issue of gay marriage, and as wrong as I know you think they are this doesn't actually grant you or anyone else the right to dictate to them what they should believe.
But Eich, not only should he be allowed to dictate to others what they should believe, but people should be forced to do business with him, despite the fact that he actually acts with a conviction that he should be able to force people to live by his beliefs?

The problem is not what Eich believes. Its his clearly expressed conviction that he should force others to live by his beliefs. No one asked Euich to change his beliefs, only for clear assurances that he wouldn't again act to force others to live by his beliefs.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I suppose you're right that I shouldn't have leaned on pronouns for convenience in as much as they let you outright misrepresent me here by picking your preferred antecedent, even though it's not what I had explicitly discussed.

For what it's worth, I am not picking at your language just as a means of finding targets of argumentation. I believe the terms you used correctly exemplified your beliefs on the subject, and I was pointing it out. I blatantly stated that my comments on your word choice were not germane to the point you were making at the time, but I thought it was more important than the sub-sub-sub-sub-point that was currently being disputed. So there we are.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
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.
Suppose you said something offensive and were made to account for it in some way. Would you rather have your leg broken, or feel shame at having said such a thing?

Let's not pretend there aren't degrees here, and that while everybody suffers a broken leg as an extreme injury, people experience shame quite differently, and different sources of shame even more differently still.

quote:
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.

What if Eich's belief was the same as Obama's was - that civil unions might be acceptable and benefits granted but not called "marriage"?

quote:
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.[/qb]
There was enough pressure applied that he had to step down. That's pretty damaging, and it was based on his beliefs - an essential part of his character was being called into question. I would call it pretty personal.

quote:
His action, not his personal character remained pretty well in the target of what was being reacted to.

I doubt $1000 upset the balance of Prop 8. It was above all a question of his character. In fact, you admitted as much when you made it about what he "would have done" had he continued. What you choose to do pretty much defines your character.

quote:

The point being, that the complaints were to, one way or another, ensure that benefits were not rolled back in the company. [/QB]

Oh give me a break... as a strong supporter of gay marriage, this isn't about "benefits". If that's all it was we would have stopped at civil unions and been happy. This is about something much, much more than that and I think you reduce the cause by suggesting otherwise.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Pyr, which is that you seem to have indicated that shame is something no one would feel unless they were conditioned to feel this way by abusive people, like PTSD
And the only way that you've argued otherwise is by conflating it with regret, embarrassment, and other emotions that are all packed into shame, which is, effectively those basic emotions weaponized into a tool of social control.

Kids start off with no sense of shame, and if you never give them a reason to fear punishment, embarrassment, or humiliation for acting in a certain way, they never develop it. You required a society that has defined certain things to be shameful, then uses shaming techniques to teach that they are shameful to cause shame to arise.

Shame only arises where such fears have been inculcated in response to what has been deemed by society to be shameful behavior, so I feel it's perfectly fair to compare it to PTSD. It's a reaction to and attempt to avoid the trauma of previous humiliation, not an independent emotion.

Empathy, love, anger, pain, fear - those all come in the basic package. Shame has to be taught by conditioning a person to fear social and emotional pain regarding behaviors defined as shameful. (Especially because what is and is not shameful is purely a social construct nothing is shameful until society defines it as such and teaches people to be ashamed of it)

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Would you rather have your leg broken, or feel shame at having said such a thing?
If I had a non-forced choice, I'd pick incurring a little regret, perhaps even guilt with the associated motivation to make amends for the corresponding debt.

Of those over the top responses, I'd probably opt for the physical injury, because that's easier to deal with than an ongoing mental complex.

I say this from the comparative healing time that I've expereinced between the broken bone that I have had, and the various forms of shame that I've had inflicted on me and have struggled to overcome. The bone took a few weeks to heal (though I've been advised that I might not want to pitch left handed) the fallout from social and emotional abuses has taken decades to achieve incremental progress.

quote:
What if Eich's belief was the same as Obama's was - that civil unions might be acceptable and benefits granted but not called "marriage"?
Then I imagine he'd have given money to sup[port that cause instead, and the point would be mot.

quote:
There was enough pressure applied that he had to step down.
No evidence supports that. In fact a I gave three other things he could just as easily have done in the situation, none of which involved steeping down.
quote:
That's pretty damaging, and it was based on his beliefs - an essential part of his character was being called into question.
His actions, not his beliefs were called into question. There would have been no issue without an explicit action to force his beliefs onto others. Had he maintained a personal belief and simply chose to not get married to someone of the same sex, then no one would have seriously challenged that choice of action.

And all that resulted was that he was not a CEO. If not being a CEO is harm, then most of the people in the world are suffering pretty badly. He lost no personal wealth or assets, he was not put at the risk of physical danger, he lost nothing and chose to step down from a position that he was not fully qualified to hold. Maybe even coming out of it with a little extra from the inevitable golden parachute built into such offers.

quote:
I doubt $1000 upset the balance of Prop 8.
That's not relevant- it demonstrated that he believed he should go out of his way to exercise what influence he had to prevent recognition of same sex marriages. And then he refused to offer any assurance that he would not do so again, after showing that he was indeed willing to do so.

quote:
Oh give me a break... as a strong supporter of gay marriage, this isn't about "benefits". If that's all it was we would have stopped at civil unions and been happy.
What "this" in relevance to Eich are you talking about? He was criticized for the donation and people stopped doing business with Mozilla out of concern that he would enforce that conviction on his company and further use assets to further work to prevent same sex couples from marrying., He refused to give any clear assurance that he'd keep his beliefs in his pants, as it were, and eventually stepped down when it became clear that he was not a good fit for the job if he couldn't and wouldn't commit to keeping his personal beliefs personal, something that would have been incompatible with the power he would have had as CEO and the need to respect MOzilla's commitment to diversity and support for all of its employees.

[ June 23, 2015, 08:07 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Would you rather have your leg broken, or feel shame at having said such a thing?
Of those over the top responses, I'd probably opt for the physical injury, because that's easier to deal with than an ongoing mental complex.

And what if I told you that just today I was shamed over something I had written, and that the person who shamed me was correct to do so, and that it led to my apologizing and learning from the experience? In your world, I was simply "taught that I did wrong". But I felt clear shame, and my accuser intended so - and in the end, they were right.
quote:

quote:
What if Eich's belief was the same as Obama's was - that civil unions might be acceptable and benefits granted but not called "marriage"?
Then I imagine he'd have given money to sup[port that cause instead, and the point would be mot.

Did Obama? Are we to decide what someone believes only on the basis of where they donate money?
quote:

quote:
There was enough pressure applied that he had to step down.
No evidence supports that. In fact a I gave three other things he could just as easily have done in the situation, none of which involved steeping down.

*sigh* let me rephrase, for the "pedantic" reader: There was enough pressure applied that his best option was leaving the company he had created.
quote:

quote:
That's pretty damaging, and it was based on his beliefs - an essential part of his character was being called into question.
His actions, not his beliefs were called into question. There would have been no issue without an explicit action to force his beliefs onto others. Had he maintained a personal belief and simply chose to not get married to someone of the same sex, then no one would have seriously challenged that choice of action.

One's beliefs about how broader society should run can compel one to action. Do you not consider your liberal beliefs a part of your character? Do you not believe that acting on your beliefs reveals them? How can you separate one's character from one's moral choices? This isn't some math question he got wrong - this is a moral issue he believed in.
quote:

And all that resulted was that he was not a CEO. If not being a CEO is harm, then most of the people in the world are suffering pretty badly.

He built a company for 15 years and his best option was to leave it behind because of his moral convictions. That really sucks, and it would suck for anyone.

quote:
quote:
Oh give me a break... as a strong supporter of gay marriage, this isn't about "benefits". If that's all it was we would have stopped at civil unions and been happy.
What "this" in relevance to Eich are you talking about? He was criticized for the donation and people stopped doing business with Mozilla out of concern that he would enforce that conviction on his company and further use assets to further work to prevent same sex couples from marrying., He refused to give any clear assurance that he'd keep his beliefs in his pants, as it were, and eventually stepped down when it became clear that he was not a good fit for the job if he couldn't and wouldn't commit to keeping his personal beliefs personal, something that would have been incompatible with the power he would have had as CEO and the need to respect MOzilla's commitment to diversity and support for all of its employees.

There is so much in that paragraph that I've already challenged I'm not sure where to begin (again). It's like you've pieced together over several posts a complete narrative like Keyzer Soze's story, and now that's your version of events and you're married to it. I've already called out several aspects of this version of events, and if we're going to go in more circles I'm calling it a day.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
And what if I told you that just today I was shamed over something I had written, and that the person who shamed me was correct to do so, and that it led to my apologizing and learning from the experience?
Shamed or criticized? We're you actually humiliated to the point of questioning your human worth for writing it, perhaps even fearing for your physical safety due to the reactions of others to it? Are you suggesting that if someone had simply pointed out how you were incorrect and how what you said was wrong, hurtful, or the like, you'd have dismissed them, but because that humiliated you over it- attacked you personally and diminished your sense of self worth, you were more willing to listen? That you're, even now, wallowing in a pit of paralyzing self-loathing that's the hallmark of shame?

Or are you loosely using "shame" as a synonym for a less abusive process responding to valid criticism, and expressing empathy and regret for your mistakes with no active attempt to humiliate you or otherwise cause emotional trauma?

I'm thinkful that jasonr weighed in above to calrify exactly why that distinctino is important, because his assertio is only coherent, even if it's wrong, in the narrow sense and jumping from the narrow sense to make an accusation to the loose sense to pretend that one wasn't really making an accusation is very dishonest.

It's going from "You're bad for doing that because it's shaming" to "Oh, shaming isn't bad and can be good. (But you're still bad for shaming because I don't want to address you
're saying.)"

I'm full happy to accept the lose meaning of shame/shaming here on the condition that, since the loose meaning effectively renders it useless, it's not brought up at all as if it were a meaningful argument against something. There are many more accurate words (criticism, regret, empathy) that can be used to more clearly articulate your meaning that don't carry the abusive baggage that "shame" does and that don't communicate taht you're trying to use a moralistic trump to derail discussion of a substantial issue the way jansor did above when he equated having the nerve to ask someone to participate as an equal and be held to the same standards as everyone else to "spitting in their face" on the basis that it's humiliating to give white males anything less than the kind of differential and preferential treatment being demanded.

What's worst about the attitude there is that if basically uses "I'm not even willing to entertain what you have to say, because it raises the possibility that I might be so wrong that I'd feel awful" as a tactic to silence the offending point of view; as justification to distort it, misrepresent it, and use any other number of underhanded tactics to prevent it from even being put on the table.

Above we see "If it's even remotely possible that civil rights activists are intelligent and applying decades of experience with what is effective along with terminology that actually communicates ideas that they need to meaningfully express, I'd feel completely humiliated for my assertions that I know better than them, so it's actually insulting to suggest that I take the time to examine what they say and run the risk of having to admit my ignorance"

quote:
In your world, I was simply "taught that I did wrong". But I felt clear shame
Absolutely, in that in a less damaged scenario, you would have been able to understand and respond to your error without having to beat you with an emotional stick until you stopped resisting admitting it. Are you suggesting that it's a good thing that you feel you needed to be humiliated to admit error, rather than being able to admit it without suffering such an attack?

quote:
Are we to decide what someone believes only on the basis of where they donate money?
If you take for granted the assertion that such contributions are speech, then yes, absolutely- giving money to such a cause is absolutely a statement of support for the cause.

quote:
One's beliefs about how broader society should run can compel one to action. Do you not consider your liberal beliefs a part of your character? Do you not believe that acting on your beliefs reveals them?
Indeed, but there is a large difference between acting on my beliefs and seeking to impose them on others. The use of the law to force people to behave in certain ways needs to have a broader justification than simply being in line with my beliefs; specifically there needs to be evidence that others need to be protected from harm inherent in the activities being regulated. My moral beliefs may lead me to search for sufficient and clear evidence of harm where I think a given behavior is hurtful and to ask does prohibiting such behavior by law do more harm than good? But I'm under no illusion that simply holding a moral value for myself is justification for enshrining it in law. In fact, just the opposite, morality is cheapened when the law is used to enforce it, because people no longer act that way because it's right to do, but because they fear legal consequences. The less morality that the law enshrines, the more free people are to actually behave morally.

quote:
How can you separate one's character from one's moral choices? This isn't some math question he got wrong - this is a moral issue he believed in.
And where I disagree with him is his apparent moral imperative to force others to live by his personal preference. That is an active harm that should be clearly out of bounds by terms of the 1st amendment. Even if his philosophical opposition doesn't come from an explicit, formal religion, it still amounts to a personal moral view such that enacting it would violate the freedom of others to live and act differently without harming anyone. Someone who's Jewish may believe it a moral imperative to circumcise their sons, that does not translate into a moral imperative to pass a law saying all boys must be circumcised.

The fundamental belief in question does not require a law for him to live by it. The problematic belief is the one that compels him to try to force others to live by it, in violation of their right to live by different moral perspectives on the matter.

quote:
There was enough pressure applied that his best option was leaving the company he had created.

He built a company for 15 years and his best option was to leave it behind because of his moral convictions.

The best option would have been him clearly promising to not act on his belief that he should act to prevent recognition of same sex marriage. It was only because he was unwilling to do that that the next best option became leaving his position.

He was not asked to resign. The board even tried to keep him on by offering other executive positions.

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignation/

quote:
Brendan was not fired and was not asked by the Board to resign. Brendan voluntarily submitted his resignation. The Board acted in response by inviting him to remain at Mozilla in another C-level position. Brendan declined that offer. The Board respects his decision.
IF you want to put shame in a role here, then where it fits is not in the criticism, but in his refusal to address the issue head on. If he was feeling ashamed of that donation, it would explain why he chose to step down instead of talking through the issue and fully reassuring people that he would not continue to act to block same sex marriages. But even then, blaming the people who wanted to have that discussion for the way shame acted to prevent him from having it is not valid- he already brought it to the table with him, in that case and it would have been what paralyzed him and prevented him from resolving the issue more productively/ Someone not suffering from it would have been more free to directly respond to the critics, admit that he'd made a mistake, and move on.
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JoshCrow
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SHAME

noun
1.a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

verb
1.(of a person, action, or situation) make (someone) feel ashamed.
"I tried to shame him into giving some away"

Pyrtolin - I don't need to invent hyperbolic exaggerations of what 'shame' means, as you have done by insisting that it's only 'shame' if I'm in some kind of soul-burning agony. It's shame if I experience painful distress, period. See above. It's not some loose definition - it's the actual textbook definition, and there are degrees of it.

Moreover, we humans are not robots, whereby you can simply teach us that our core moral beliefs are wrong without some painful distress on our part as if it doesn't reflect on us. It's not like correcting someone getting a date wrong or committing a math error.

And since one of our points of contention was whether it was a personal attack on Eich's character or not, I don't understand your switch to discussing the distinction between having an internal belief or seeking to impose it on others. That's not even an issue we were discussing. I'll simply take your "indeed" to mean you agree with me.

Incidentally, changing the definition of marriage is "imposing on others" and this fact has little to do with whether I think it has merit or not. Drawing some sort of judgement line there is self-defeating, and seeking to justify some impositions while criticizing others is a circular argument. What you're really saying is "It's right when it's something I believe, and when Eich does it, it's wrong". You need your own moral calculus just to prop up your own argument about what is moral. Circular reasoning.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
It's not some loose definition - it's the actual textbook definition
What textbook? That looks like a dictionary definition, which means it covers enough to get the gist without addressing precise technical meanings, connotation, or other cultural baggage.

DINUINM

Defintion is not use, is not meaning.

There are many forms of painful distress that are not shame. Fear, anger, envy, embarrassment, regret, panic- all of those are also can cause painful distress. Shame is a specific type of pain- something that the dictionary doesn't dig into, because it's purpose is not to explore the concept, but just to give a clear enough approximation to covey the general gist.

This is at least one step closer to a "textbook" defintion:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame

But, again, if you want to use shame loosely to reference any kind of embarrassment, that's fine, but then it renders accusations of causing someone shame meaningless because it ignores the connotation of the strict and strong sense of the word that are implied to make such accusations meaningful.

quote:
Moreover, we humans are not robots, whereby you can simply teach us that our core moral beliefs are wrong without some painful distress on our part as if it doesn't reflect on us.
Not a claim I made and not relevant to whether a specific kind of emotional pain needs to be applied to teach people something. Again, if the claim is "people will feel some emotional discomfort" that's a non-controversial point, and not a valid argument to say that you shouldn't be attempting to teach people or using terms that clearly encapsulate an uncomfortable subject.

Because, understand, as above, that's exactly what this issue has been raise in response to. People trying to derail explanations of privilege and other civil rights issues by claiming that even accepting an accurate definition of what of the terms amounts to being shamed.

quote:
Incidentally, changing the definition of marriage is "imposing on others" and this fact has little to do with whether I think it has merit or not.
Who is forced to get married to someone they don't want to if same sex marriage is allowed? There is no imposition on others, except if you try to advance the bogus claim that allowing others to act in ways you disapprove of is an imposition on you.

quote:
And since one of our points of contention was whether it was a personal attack on Eich's character or not,
What "it" here? I imagine there were some finge personal attacks, but there were none from the mainstream. Boycott requests, sure, but those are very impersonal. There were no mainstream attempts to humiliate or otherwise demonize Eich, unless you have one that you want to put forward.
quote:
I don't understand your switch to discussing the distinction between having an internal belief or seeking to impose it on others.
What switch? His internal belief was irrelevant. His act to impose it on others was what drew criticism once he was put in a position where he'd have the power to directly take such an action again.

He was criticized for that and people who disagreed with that act boycotted his company but personal (ie: ad hominem) attacks and physical threats were not part of the mainstream complaint. Had people been attacking his person and not limiting their criticism to his actions, then there certainly would be a case for actual shaming, but no such attempt to humiliate him was made.

quote:
"It's right when it's something I believe, and when Eich does it, it's wrong"
What "it"? Your antecedent here is completely unclear, and the best I can interpret what you mean, it seems to be begging the question.

[ June 24, 2015, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:

quote:
Incidentally, changing the definition of marriage is "imposing on others" and this fact has little to do with whether I think it has merit or not.
Who is forced to get married to someone they don't want to if same sex marriage is allowed? There is no imposition on others, except if you try to advance the bogus claim that allowing others to act in ways you disapprove of is an imposition on you.
You seem to not know the difference between a relationship and between marriage. You are exactly on the opposite side of the truth on this. If two people have a relationship and do certain things together, that is 'what they do' not having an effect on others (and even this would be a dishonest construction but I'll ignore that for now). Marriage has nothing to do with what two people do together, it is actually everyone else being forced to acknowledge and recognize a legal (and sometimes religious) status. It has little to do with the couple's activities (since their being married should not materially affect how they relate to each other) and everything to do with how others must address and view them. It is strictly an imposition on others, and is in no way "just two people minding their own business." My comment here should be understood as not addressing the pros or cons of gay marriage, by the way.
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jasonr
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quote:
If you're waiting in line at the grocery store and someone jumps to the front of it, do you really consider it to be "spitting in their face" to ask them to wait in line like everyone else had to do?
Pyr, I love that you picked this example because I have actually been called out for cutting in line at the grocery store and I did indeed feel shame, even though my error was inadvertent.

This is why I don't think you actually understand shame or in what circumstances people feel it. Being called out publicly for some misbehaviour or social faux pas is pretty much one of the most common things likely to make someone feel ashamed.

That's why I think your issue is more than just definitional - you seem to have a real problem with certain aspects of social behaviour.

I fully realize of course that you're going to tell me that what I experienced is not "shame" but some other lesser emotion. Of course you are wrong - and this is yet another example of your redefinition of words against common usage and plain dictionary definition.

But since you don't believe in dictionaries, I'll pull a definition from the Wikipedia entry, which should be scholarly enough for the purposes of this debate:

quote:
Shame is a reaction to other people's criticism, an acute personal chagrin at our failure to live up to our obligations and the expectations others have of us. In true shame oriented cultures, every person has a place and a duty in the society. One maintains self-respect, not by choosing what is good rather than what is evil, but by choosing what is expected of one. (Hiebert 1985, 212)
Indeed, no mention of shame requiring some core attack on our personhood or whatever nonsense you have arbitrarily tacked on for the purpose of this debate. In short, shame is simply a feeling of humiliation and regret caused by our perceived failure to live up to our social obligations, I would add most commonly caused by a breach of etiquette or rudeness.

That applies to cutting in line at the grocery store, just as surely as it applies to someone being forced to resign from a major corporation after being lambasted for supporting a perceived bigotted cause.

[ June 24, 2015, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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JoshCrow
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I think I'm going to have to walk away from this, since I think Pyr has essentially wriggled away from discussing "shame" by suggesting that only certain, strong types of shame even merit discussion (thereby exempting the Eich case), and I won't agree to that, so the discussion between us ceases here. Pyr seems to think that:

1. Dictionary definitions (in general) are of no use in a thread about the usage of a word.
2. There are way worse types of shame than what Eich experienced, so what Eich experienced cannot be meaningfully called "shame".
3. A group of people seeking to redefine the public understanding of a word is not in any way imposing on the general public.

The first prevents meaningful resolution to any argument about a word. The second attempts to move the goalposts of the discussion to "degree of" instead of "it is or isn't shame", and the third is poised to get into an argument any moment about the definition of "impose" that I do not want to have given 1. and 2.!

I'm content to leave it here.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I love that you picked this example because I have actually been called out for cutting in line at the grocery store and I did indeed feel shame, even though my error was inadvertent.
And you felt that the people calling you out for it were spitting in your face? That they were attempting to humiliate you, rather than simply call attention to your mistake? Or- to follow what you said above, that there is no difference between the two, that any way they could have pointed out your mistake, no matter how politely, would amount to spitting in your face?

quote:
Indeed, no mention of shame requiring some core attack on our personhood or whatever nonsense you have arbitrarily tacked on for the purpose of this debate. In short, shame is simply a feeling of humiliation and regret caused by our perceived failure to live up to our social obligations, I would add most commonly caused by a breach of etiquette or rudeness.
So's embarrassment, but they're two different things, even if you essentially iew embarrassment as a milder point on a spectrum that ends with shame. You're saying that, over thins mistake, you went well past embarrassment into the sense of humiliation and loss of self respect and worth that are part of shame- that you actually thought less of yourself as a person because of your error?

If not, then my position is that you're using the term loosely as a synonym for embarrassment, at which point it's not useful to use as an accusation. If you did, then I think that such an extreme reaction to an earnest mistake points to exactly the kind of mental and emotional damage that is why I object to using shame at a tool for change, rather than respectful dialog, even if a little incidental embarrassment might be incurred.

I mean you contradict yourself within just that quote by first saying that there's no attack on ones human worth and then referencing humiliation which us (never mind your citation which suggests that a loss or failure in light of self-respect is involved)

How about this- put aside the word "shame" completely and either use "embarrass" or "humiliate" so we can stop this game where shame is used accusatively in the "humiliation" sense, but then that accusation is dishonestly waved away by defending it in the "embarassment" sense?

Because, again, it's that game that I'm objecting to here- arbitrarily switching between meanings of a word as convenient to make an accusation of intentional humiliation under the pretense of suggesting incidental embarrassment.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Dictionary definitions (in general) are of no use in a thread about the usage of a word.
Absolutely. Dictionaries don't even pretend to be authorities on usage. The convey a basic denotation of a given word and actively avoid delving into connotation and current usage. They get you in the ballpark, but no more. (And that's without even getting into the way that they reflect the bias of their editors even in giving that much)

quote:
There are way worse types of shame than what Eich experienced, so what Eich experienced cannot be meaningfully called "shame".
You have testimony as to what Eich experienced? That's completely outside the context of the conversation so far. None of us here have any idea of what emotions he actually felt. All we can look at is what others said or did. And I'll stand by the claim that there was no mainstream attempt to humiliate or otherwise threaten him directly. The worst that happened was a boycott of the product that his company produced, which cannot possibly be construed as socially debasing, threatening, or otherwise humiliating him.

quote:
A group of people seeking to redefine the public understanding of a word is not in any way imposing on the general public.
That's fully begging the question, as it's using the unevidenced assertion that allowing people of the same sex to marry changed the meaning of the term in any way. That's a pure invention of people wanting to impose inclusiveness without appearing to be acting from bigotry.

And guess what? If people want to personally believe that such marriages are invalid because they don't conform to their beliefs, then they're still perfectly free to do so. Otherwise Catholics would be claiming up and down that allowing Catholic/Protestant marriages shouldn't be allowed under law because they represent an imposition on their beliefs.

Again, the fact that other people can act, say, and claim things that you disagree with or don't believe are valid is not an imposition on you- you're free to continue to believe whatever you like. To be sure, it doesn't allow you to act in a discriminatory fashion toward them where it's been established that such discrimination amounts to an imposition on them as a class, but again, that's because discrimination is and actual imposition, whereas the requirement that one respect the rights of others to be treated equally is an explicitly enforced right; it may technically be an imposition, but it's one that applies to everyone equally by the nature of laws.

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