Subject: Re: Freedom of different opinions was: Offensive Language and Rude Manners in comp.lang.lisp; An Example...
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 01:52:41 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Stefan Kain
| I didn't say what he has to do, but what I think would help everybody, if
| he refrained from doing it. (which is insulting those who live in the
| pity of having a different opinion than he has.)

  Could you at least refrain from insulting every intelligent person on the
  planet and understand that by perpetuating the Foderaroesque distortion
  of the truth that "different opinion" has anything whatsoever to do with
  any reaction at all, you are personally guilty of blaming someone for
  your very own lack of intelligence and willingness to understand an issue
  that portrays you as a moralistic tyrant who precisely tells people what
  to do, and not only that, you accuse them falsely of things you have no
  evidence to support and much evidence against.

  It is flat out amazing that people are so insulated from the process of
  thinking that they _stop_ at "different opinion".  Do people never ask
  _why_ people have different opinions?  Do you never consider that there
  is a _reason_ that people decide to stop understanding an issue when they
  have a "different opinion"?  The problem is not people who have different
  opinions on the best pizza crust or the most tasty filling in pies, it is
  people who think that lying, misrepresenting, falsifying evidence, and
  flat out refusing to think portray something as _fact_ under guise of
  being an "opinion".  People simply do not have "opinions" on whether
  there are two World Trade Towers in New York City or whether they have
  been destroyed.  People _have_ "opinions" on whether the appropriate
  response is to intern every Arab and muslim in the United States, but if
  you stop to talk to those who have this opinion, you might discover that
  they are indeed enraged, frightened, and irrational and that they change
  their opinion when they calm down a bit and consider the consequences of
  their opinions.  It is if they are permanently irrational, if they _keep_
  arguing for such a fantastically misguided reponse even when they have
  calmed down and had time and reason to think about their position that
  there is something _wrong_ with their value systems.  It did not stop at
  a difference of opinion.  The discussion _started_ with a difference of
  opinion.  It _ended_ when the person who keeps favoring interning people
  because of a group affiliation does not back down and start to think.
  There is nothing you _can_ do with people who _refuse_ to consider the
  arguments under discussion.  That is a willful action of the strongest
  form of disrespect for the audience and one's discussion partners, and
  that is why such people cause hostilities in newsgroups _everywhere_.

| I followed the thread between Anette and Erik and I _never_ had the
| feeling, that she _is_ or _behaves_ like an arrogant jerk.  She just
| plain simply was wrong.

  People who are "just plain simply wrong" _and_ refuse to listen _are_
  arrogant jerks.  That is what an arrogant jerk _is_.

| I think freedom comes with an obligation to also respect the freedom of
| others to have a different opinion than you have.

  Nodoby has ever argued against this.  If _you_ think so, take a _really_
  good look at your own respect for other people and _their_ opinions, and
  you are even so disrespectful towards others that _you_ tell them what
  they think!  You keep doing that, just like every other moralist who has
  ever tried to tell people to behave while disrespecting those he wants to

| It implies that you have the duty to protect the personal integrity of
| your communication partner as you expect your personal integrity to be
| left undamaged by your partners.

  I feel uncomfortable when people make comments about what others should
  do.  If you do not say "I have the duty to ...", you are just plain wrong
  and should shut up.  It is only yourself and your own behavior that you
  have the power to change or say anything about.  You can motivate others
  to do what you do, but if you tell people to do something you do not, you
  _cause_ hostility and extreme disgust, just like John Foderaro regularly
  invokes with lots of people with his peculiar moral superiority that
  tells everyone that he is himself _exempt_ from having to behave as long
  as he thinks he can blame somebody else for his own behavior.  There is
  nobody to blame!  There is _never_ anyone to blame!  Your behavior is
  _only_ your behavior.  If you want changes, that is where you start to
  accept responsibility and that is where you start working.  Nobody else.

| Calling me a fascist is just another example of overkill by Eriks
| responses.

  No, it is just another example of your self-serving moralistic opinion.

| I think Erik simply doesn't know how unnecessarily he hurts others.

  However, I _know_ that you have never asked me what I think, but instead
  prefer to post _your_ thoughts about me as if you knew me.  If you do not
  understand how much you insult every intelligent and probably _sentient_
  being on the whole planet with that kind of idiotic behavior, you are
  guilty of being a moral hypocrite par excellence.  However, most people
  are _unable_ to think in sufficiently broad terms to understand what it
  means to pretend to know others so well that you no longer need to find
  out what they think -- the most likely explanation is that others can
  know _you_ that well, and you _really_ do not want _that_ to be true.

  If you have at all cared to think about what you are observing, why has
  is not occurerd to you to even think for a second that maybe _I_ am hurt
  by others?  I associate such lack of objective thinking with emotionalism
  and a desire to tell people that they are how you think they are.  People
  are _not_ how you think they are, _ever_.  They are always something more
  than you have been willing to give them credit for.  That is why the only
  think you can criticize is people's concrete behavior in a very limited
  context.  Smart people understand this.  Moralists do not.  John Foderaro
  does not, and keeps posting his inflammatory filth because he has lost
  the capacity to understand that his moralism is based on a demonization
  of something that he has proven time and time again he is unable even to
  _observe_ properly.  You are beginning to show signs of the same kind of
  limited thinking capacity.

  This problem relates to how you terminate your search for answers with
  "different opinion" (just like he does).  Specifically, you have made up
  your mind about something, call it your "opinion", but you have made up
  your mind so much that you no longer think of it as an opinion.  You
  begin to think of it as a _fact_ on which you can base your actions
  without impunity and without concern for verifying that your "opinion"
  still holds water after you have attempted to act on it.  People who do
  that consistently cannot be trusted with _anything_, not code, not
  business, not design ideas, _nothing_.  People who are unable to think
  about the _factness_ of their assumptions or vice versa, but treat them
  all as largely the same thing, live in a world where their assumptions
  make intelligent discussion impossible.  Such people are very common on
  USENET, and if I am only guilty of one thing, it is that I smoke them
  out, and they hate me for it, like John Foderaro _obviously_ does.

| It is a sad thing indeed, because from at least a few postings I get the
| impression that he is quite an intelligent and humorous individual.
| Viewing a few photos on the web even let's me think that he can be quite
| a humorous party guest! :-)

  You make another mistake, here.  Your interest pretends to be in me as a
  person, but you are not really interested in me at all.  You are _using_
  me as a vehicle to push your moralism and for talking about how _you_
  think everybody else should behave.  That is indeed the core of fascism:
  _Using_ people for your own ends.

| He does a lot of damage to himself without noticing it.

  See, this is where you let your opinions get confused with facts.  You
  think so and so, and therefore it is suddenly a _fact_ that so and so.
  Such incredibly sloppy thinking is symptomatic of an intellect that has
  _never_ been exposed to any rigorous exercise, but has only sort of been
  able to go on at random without observing or controlling itself.  If you
  have no concern for distinguishing your opinions and assumptions from
  what you can observe, you _will_ become an evil person who accuses people
  of things you only think they have done, who portray people as something
  they are not, who take a false personal interest in others only to hang
  them out to dry because _you_ dislike them.  This is the fate of almost
  all moralists, however.  They simply cannot back down and shut up,
  either, even _after_ apologizing and realizing that they have abused a
  forum, like you did.  I regert accepting your apology -- I should have
  known better and that you would simply return with more of the same.

| I will just ignore the hatred in his messages from now on and try to
| concentrate on the technical stuff he talks about, which usually has an
| amazing high quality compared to his verbal lapses.

  Just like Anette Stegmann's amazingly silly response to this forum just
  recently, there is the same incredulous need for some people to tell
  people what they are _not_ doing.  John Foderaro does it all the time,
  and you hopefully just doing it this once, but the only way to ensure
  that you have _no_ risk of looking like a hypocritical idiot _and_ do
  what you think you should do is simply to _do_ it, without talking about
  it, without announcing anything, without trying to look like a saint or
  hero at somebody else's expense.  It is probably well-meant, but it is
  still a fairly insidious way to make yourself _look_ superior to others,
  which you are _not_.  Anyone who is more concerned about the behavior of
  others before his own is morally _inferior_ to those others and should
  approach others from this position to have an effect.  Those who start
  off thinking they are personally or morally superior will _always_ fail.