Sticks and stones may break my bones...

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. "But words will never hurt me."

    I'm curious what people think of this statement. I've noticed that there are many elements of society that push against language that is considered unsuitable for the public sphere or certain social circles. (ex: No vulgarities in children's programming, anti-hate speech laws that censor what view points are allowed in public debate, et cetera.) So, naturally, I'm going to ask some questions for the Iwaku community to satiate my curiosity for differing view points.
    • Is it possible to hurt someone with words in such a way as to require laws to prevent it from occurring? How so?
    • Do you live in a country with hate speech laws? If so, how effective do you think they are at preventing hate speech?
    • Is offensive humour acceptable? Should there be any limitations to it? How should those limitations be enforced?
    • Is it acceptable to employ hate speech, bullying, psychological manipulation, non-optional reeducation, or mass groups to attack/convince those with hateful views to change their ways? Why or why not?
    • (Optional) Which is more important to you: The collective good, or the individual good?
    • Do you promise not to turn this into a derpbate shitstorm? If not, I will sic my ferrets on you.

    As always with my threads, play nice, or don't play at all. I guarantee you mods are watching, and I won't be shy of reporting specific individuals for loathsome behaviour. Tolerate that other people have opinions you do not like, and leave them alone if you're just going to attack them.

    You can ask questions and discuss things, but don't try to attack each other on a personal level, or tell people that they're stupid for having their views. You want that shit? Become a politician, or join Reddit, or Tumblr.

    Thanks. I would post a happy ferret picture here, but I'm on my phone, so my internet capacity is limited. :ferret:

    PS: For those who must know what my curiosity is for, its mostly role play related. Those who want to know more, just have to ask. I will be happy to reply, but otherwise, for the sake of neutrality, I will avoid posting my own thoughts, or choosing sides, or whatever else people do these days.
     
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  2. As for the opening statement: I do strongly disagree with that old saying, as words can definitely have negative impacts on people -- such as in the form of bullying, hate speech, etc -- and that saying almost seems to imply that physical attacks are the only ones that matter, and that we aren't allowed to acknowledge when someone's words can have an emotionally damaging effect, or even that emotional/psychological wounds don't matter at all, which I really don't agree with.

    I wanted to get that out of the way first, though, because the power of words where it concerns the law is, uh... a bit trickier. o.o And I didn't want my answers to your individual questions to make it seem like I held a stance that didn't align with what I said above. Because, yes, I think words can be damaging -- but the question of when it's acceptable to censor the potentially harmful words of some in order to protect others is... considerably more complicated.

    Like I said, I'm a bit more iffy about this. So, I'm not so sure.

    It would appear that the US doesn't have any laws against hate speech, and that, debatably, it could be considered protected by the first amendment. BUT, I'm certainly no expert on government or politics, so, everyone else reading this: don't hesitate to correct me if necessary.

    Here's my take on offensive humor: it really bugs me when people are all like "everyone's too easily offended nowadays! No one can take a joke anymore!!", because I really don't think it's anyone's right to say what other people find offensive. @_@ If someone thinks a comedian's routine is offensive, then, guess what? They have every right to say that they find it offensive. You can't force anyone to enjoy any type of humor, especially if they find it personally offensive.

    BUT, I also don't think it's fair to censor offensive humor outright just because some people will be offended by it. Because the people who would find it offensive don't have to watch/listen to it. Offensive humor will always have an audience, and that audience can enjoy it to their hearts' content. That's fine by me. BUT, if someone says they're offended by that kind of comedy, then you're a real asshole if you're going to try to dismiss them by acting as if they're somehow 'not allowed' to be offended, because, guess what? That's not going to make them enjoy the joke any more than before, especially if it's a joke about a sensitive topic -- in which case, you really shouldn't be surprised that people were offended by it.

    Basically, I'll say that people have the right to make offensive jokes, but, just because you have the right to make those jokes doesn't mean you're immune to the consequences of it -- because your audience also has every right to condemn your jokes as being offensive. Just because you have the right to make jokes about rape, doesn't mean that you can expect the rape victims to laugh along with you, nor act like they're in the wrong if they say they find your comedy offensive. And, if you're concerned that these "easily offended" types are "ruining comedy", then maybe you should find a different audience, because you can't force people to like your jokes, especially when it means trying to dictate whether or not they "should" feel personally offended by said jokes.

    And, see, this is why, in general, I'm pretty iffy about bringing the law into this kind of stuff, because I'd rather see comedians just learn to deal with the consequences of what they say than to see them be censored outright. (Which I think applies to most 'free speech' cases, really.) If you want to be allowed to tell offensive jokes, you have to accept that other people are allowed to call you offensive -- and maybe even stand on their soapbox and explain to others why your comedy is so harmful, so then all the people listening can decide for themselves whether or not they agree with that person. And if more and more people do agree that that kind of comedy is offensive/harmful then, well, you can't force anyone to like your jokes, so I suggest either finding a new audience or a new routine.

    Fighting hate with hate isn't going to get us anywhere, I don't think.

    And honestly, half the things listed here sound downright dystopian future-ish. @_@ So no, I wouldn't agree with this.
     
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  3. This thread triggered me. Say you're sorry! :[

    On a more serious note, while I am all for free speech and would never avocating legislation to ban certain language, it is undeniable words can be pretty damn hurtful, especially if you're a victim of bullying. Even the most benign sounding name can wear you down after a while of it's used to devalue your personal identity.
     
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  4. Truer words vere never spoken. Words are words, and they are only hurtful, if you let them get to you. If you dont, ppl can call you anything they want, and you arent afected by it. Like I sayed in a couple threads by now, most ppl are just too sensitive. Though I admit, repeated name-calling/verbal insults and stuff can get past even the thickest skin, if overused. And then a person can react in 2 ways, IMO. 1) Let it devalue theyr self-esteem and turn them into a "victim". Or 2) Use it as a goad, to tighten-up theyr resolve even more, and teach the offending asshole a lesson. Verbaly, or literaly. I tend to skip the verbal part all-together if it comes to that, since the last thing I want is to lower my-self to theyr pathetic level and "feed the troll". Besydes, it isnt even efective, since in most cases, the insults just go back-and-forth in a never-ending loop. Vhats the point? On the other hand, a good punch wil stop it in its tracks imediatly, and leave a lasting impression. :) In general, I think ppl talk too much, and do too little. If it vere the other way around, I think this world wuld be alot better place, since ppl wuld think twice before starting any conflict.

    Now the list:

    1) No. If someone is so affected as to need the law to intervene because of a verbal insult (!!!), that is just the height of weakness and insecurity, imo. Handle the problem yorself! If your not capable of that, wel... your problem. Weaknes promotes weaknes.
    2) No I dont. I think here in Croatia we have some kind of loosely-worded law against hate-speech, but I'l be damned if it vas ever actualy enforced! And I like it that vay. Ppl have the right to say vhat-ever they want. Long as they can handle the consekvences. Now thats real democracy :P
    3) Ofc it is. How acceptable, depends on a person that is the object of it, and how much they going to put up vith it. Enforcing/limiting its use thru laws? Weeeak.
    4) Same as above. Acceptable, sure. Anyone can say vhat they want. Wil it work? Doubtful. Unless they can back up those vords with actions. But since that wuld spark a equal response on the other side, they wont (unles they want a lasting conflict). So I think this is actualy a self-governing principle. You wil NEVER convince anyone of anything, thru verbal/physical attacks. You may scare them, intimidate them, but you most definitly wil NOT change their view, just solidify it, even if they might act like they have changed, for awhile, vhile the fear lasts, until they had enogh and strike back.
    5) Hmmmm... As much as I care about individualism, too much individualism amounts to anarchy. So... lets say I'm mostly on the fence, leaning a litle over the fence in the "collective" direction. But not much. Besydes "individual/collective good" is just too broad a term to decide like that.
    6) Speaking for my-self, I promise. I stated my views in this post, not attacking anyone. Vhat other ppl make of my views, thats up to them.
     
  5. Words hurt people on a daily basis. It's up to them to either be themselves or take it to heart.

    Case closed and GG.
     
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  6. I'll just...




    It's a heaping pile of shit lie.

    A stable, functioning human psyche can and will be affected by the words that it hears and/or understands. The person affected can either repress their reaction or express it, that's just the way it is. Anyone that says otherwise is just acting tough and needs to come to terms with who they are so that they can respond to cruel words with the correct attitude.
    If someone has the capacity to be affected by the way that someone else looks at them, then they have the capacity to be affected by how that someone else speaks to or about them.

    Not to mention the whole eye-contact self-esteem thing. Which would have made this post quite a bit longer.
     
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  7. Laws notsomuch, but most public places have rules that prevent their employees from engaging in hate speech, and can boot anyone whose behaviour is destructive off the property

    I do believe words can hurt; they cause MENTAL damage. Continued abuse can cause depression, anxieties, even trauma. Absolutely we should prevent it; and anyway it's a pretty good way to make a societal statement that its not cool
     
  8. Words can hurt deeply when they come from peers or those from your inner circle.

    I dislike when people say things like it only hurts if you let them get to you because while it may be said in a way meant to be helpful, it kind of comes off as "stop being such a weak pussy" in my eyes (my mom says this shit and she's usually the first one to insult me lol). Many people have different levels of sensitivity, not everyone is built full of confidence yet a lot of people are very apathetic towards others and their feelings.

    Many teens have committed suicide as a result of verbal abuse because it is constant. Every day of "you're fat" "you're gay" "you're retarded" or some other dumb shit. So yes, I strongly believe that words have a high impact on our day to day lives. Omo;;
     
  9. That saying is empowerment kind of deal, a mantra. It isn't based in reality or any kind psychology. Word have tremendous power, language is our primary form of communication, we are meant to take in and decipher it, to put meaning onto it. Human empathy ensure we apply and attach emotion to it. Words do hurt, words if applied constantly and consistently, do substantial damage. Growing thicker skin is all well and good, but that eventually turns into a ugly, cynical, confrontational nature that breeds more emotional damage to your surroundings, perpetuating the cycle. Basic consideration and attempts of empathy has been thrown out the window more and more as of late, and it is gonna have a negative effect as whole.

    Sweden have hate speach laws. Generally, it only inforced against really public individuals trying to incite open discrimination and violence. And even then, I can only really think of one case. It was a priest talking about homosexuals. (This is what got us the Ire of the Westbro baptists!)
     
  10. No. The only way one can be hurt through words is if the individual lets it hurt them.
    Granted, sometimes that's hard like say if your own parent denounces you or something.

    But generally speaking, assuming there aren't pressing family ties/matters involves it boils down to the "victims" choice in being a victim.
    And the second we allow Laws to protect such behaviour is the second people start pulling the victim card left and right to get rid of any conflicting opinion.
    To my Knowledge I don't think there's any laws in place.
    A General culture that tries to avoid certain words? Yea, but nothing legal.
    I do Nazi the point in any limitations. Anne Frankley I don't see the logic behind it.
    Humor is humor, it's purpose is to entertain and heal. Often through positivity on an otherwise horrible event.

    And to remove such a Gift just because some people don't grasp the concept of not-censoring stuff they don't like?
    I just find it plane wrong.
    From a Moral standpoint I don't think it should be tolerated at all (though note I tend to hate emotional manipulation in all it's form, positive or negative).
    Though to try to restrict it Legally would simply be a recipe for disaster.
    [​IMG]

    That being said though, it comes with some general guidelines.

    1) It has to be an actual, legitimate need. Not something like "This makes me feel bad!" or "I don't want to spend Taxes on people getting educated or health care!". Though the latter one can easily argue serves the many, not the few.
    2) Those needs can't be violating the core rights that every human being possess.
    So Trump the Nazi's coming up and saying "The refugees Jews need to go! We the many deem it so!" doesn't fly.

    I don't intend on any back and fourth with others... Especially considering we've had this exact topic pop up several times before so I already know how certain people are going to be acting here.
    (Asking)
     
  11. Since I know you're Canadian, I'll just let you know that we do have them. They're just extremely specific and designed to target the worst offenders--think KKK members openly declaring war on the black race, or someone founding a political campaign to strip away women's fundamental human rights. Stuff like dark comedy routines and what not are explicitly protected as an exemption (irony/sarcasm), and offensive opinions are also protected so long as they're attempts at being productive to a conversation, rather than a blatant attempt to dehumanize and destroy the identity of a person. They were created specifically to abridge free speech only when said speech would abridge someone's right to equality and human rights, since no particular part of our Bill of Rights should be held sacrosanct above any other. At least, that's the general idea behind it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. It being so specific is probably why I never heard about this till now. XD

    Still, good to know. :3
     
  13. How do you create more interesting role play worlds? Have a diverse cast. How do you create a diverse cast? Understand different perspectives of the world. How do you do that? Ask people earnest questions where you know you will get many different answers.

    I mean, I could just create an army of male white 20 to 30 somethings that think and act just like me, and have armies of enemies comprised of things I don't like. I could descend to Fanfiction.net levels of terrible tripe, but, no thanks. I'd rather just expand my horizons, and by doing so, increase the total sum knowledge I have of the world to utilize in the mindset of a character. The more I understand, the more I can empathize, the more I can put myself in someone else's shoes and know where they're walking and why they're walking there--the more variety I have to create worlds. The more life I can breath into NPC's without resorting to comical evil or eye-rolling cheesy good.

    Look at @Hellis & @Marchosias for instance. Their answers directly clash and are different. Here are two different answers to the same question, and neither one is particularly wrong. Just different. I have two more answers to pull from when creating a character and asking myself "how would they deal with this pain? How would they tolerate the hostile words of others? What would they do?"

    Asking questions lets me have a portal into the minds of others from which to derive a richer understanding of the universe. I have my answer, certainly, but if I'm going to make like, 20 NPC's, I better fuckin' have more than one fuckin' answer to a lot of different questions, or things are going to get bland and one dimensional very quickly. :ferret:

    tl;dr: Genuinely wishing to empathize with and understand the views of others enriches your view of the world. Your view is one colour in a rainbow comprised of thousands. If you're going to write an interesting story, the more views you have of the world, of various issues within that world, the better your odds of making interesting conflicts and diverse, deep characters. Else, you can only write what you know, and if all you know is your singular colour of the rainbow, your work will turn out quite monotone, quite quickly, with no reprieve, and no growth as a result.
     
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  14. I don't like this question. Yes. The written and spoken word can have tremendous impact. This can be bad press, this can be twitter assaults, this can be one person knowing exactly what buttons to press. If you want to stop this from occurring, Big Brother-esque regulation needs to be put in place.

    Should it, though?

    No.

    Yes. I mean it can be inappropriate, like you're probably not gonna make a lot of yo momma jokes at your friend's mother's funeral, but I don't think there should be any enforced limitations. I think they should be fine in public space under normal circumstances.

    No. One does not teach tolerance though intolerance. Freedom of speech is, as the word implies, a freedom. These messages coerce people. They not only attack freedom of speech but also freedom of thought.

    Legally, it's trickier, because equality.

    Let's just say I've been to China and while I learned a lot I don't want to live my life there.
     
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  15. A very nice sentiment that phrase. A sweet show of mental fortitude and so, so misleading.

    A phrase to counter that: "The pen is mightier than the sword." This is also a truth, because words have the power to either make or break a large movement.

    Cyberbullying has driven children and adults alike to suicide. Because of a hunted lion a dentist closed down costing several jobs to directly unrelated people. Gaslighting and domestic abuse is a thing and laws are heavily unbalanced and unequipped to protect the abused partner.
    Laws to stop torrents of unrelenting witch hunts and to protect those who need help to escape an abusive situation safely and without bias would be a good thing.

    I know there's laws against discrimination. Now, their effectiveness and usefulness is a variable matter...

    Hard to say... Offensive humor that encourages to violence, hatred and other negatively directed actions is by no means permittable. There's a negative consequence there which leads to serious harm.
    Still, offensive humor in a context where all parties are okay with it then I don't think it's any harmful, especially if it just stays as humor.

    No, because it's not a genuine change. Outwardly forcing someone to change won't change people that easily. It just becomes a mask to play along to outside forces.

    Ooh, that's a tough one. I'm really on the fence on a lot of subjects so my answer to that might seem like "a bit of both"-thing, but here goes:
    I don't think either should be more worth than the other. If the collective good is directly harmful to a small group of individuals, causing them undeserved harm the the collective good is in need of reevaluation.
    Likewise if the individual good is appreciated more than the collective. Some individual pleasures and desires comes at the price of someone else's autonomy, accepting that as the ultimate truth will most likely lead to a form of anarchy or self-destruction.
    So yeah, another fence-like answer.
     
  16. The saying is not true or realistic for anyone, but then it was never meant to be. It's a mantra that people use to ward off the harm that words do. When do people most often say it? Right after they get insulted or verbally attacked. It's a defense mechanism, not a truism. It's a way of reminding yourself that words can't physically harm you, and you are in some level of control over how much words can emotionally and psychologically harm you, so up go the shields to protect yourself.

    That said, just because words can hurt people does not necessarily mean anything special ought to be done about that fact. I'll clarify by way of answering the questions.
    It's absolutely possible to hurt someone with words. The only kinds that require laws to punish their use (because laws don't prevent criminal activity, they just set up the framework to punish transgressors) are those that can cause direct and tangible harm to people.

    Defamation, for example, is a sort of speech that shouldn't be allowed because it can cause measurable damage to someone. Most countries have laws against libel and slander, because they can truly ruin a person's life and/or livelihood, and I'm totally fine with that.

    Inciting violence or crime that hurts people and/or their property is another way of causing harm (perhaps indirectly) with words that should be punished under the law.

    Harassment and verbal abuse are yet another example. Dickishness or insults that shouldn't be counted as criminal conduct can become so when it's a dedicated barrage against a person, because that can do serious psychological harm to a person. Non-physical bullying can fall under this as well, under loose definitions of harassment and verbal abuse, and I see no problem with the law punishing that either.

    Those are the only categories of word usage I can think of that should absolutely be made illegal. All other categories of possibly harmful speech that come to mind are things I would say should be dealt with in non-legal manners.
    Nope, and thank fuck for that. Notice how the above list of types of speech that should be regulated by law didn't include anything about bigotry or widely despised opinions? That's basically what hate speech laws are meant to punish, and I find that to be utterly moronic. If it's not covered under harassment and verbal abuse, then saying asshole things shouldn't be a legal issue. This is one of the few areas where the US has it right and the majority of the rest of the world has it wrong, unlike the Metric system and the way the date is written out.

    What the US does have is the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which in truncated form says "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." Even so, over the years our legal system has come to decide that there are some kinds of speech that aren't covered despite this broad statement. Defamation, inciting violence or crime, and harassment and verbal abuse are some of those exceptions that are not protected by the First Amendment freedom of speech clause. They've also decided obscenity (with a particular definition and some specific criteria that have to be met for something to qualify as obscene) isn't protected free speech though, so it's not perfect in my opinion, but at least there are no silly hate speech laws.
    Not only is it acceptable, I happen to quite enjoy humor that others might find offensive. It's important to always remember that offensiveness is subjective and sensibilities change over time. If I were to call most people a mick they wouldn't give a shit or probably even know what I was saying; if I called an Irish person a mick then they might get pissed because that was an anti-Irish slur that isn't so common nowadays but was very common in the early 1900s. Generally speaking, if you find someone's humor offensive then you should either leave and stop associating with the source of that humor or ask the person to stop because you're offended... and then if they continue your only legal recourse ought to be to leave or block the person if it's on the internet or so on.

    The only sort of exception I can think of would be offensive humor being used to harass someone, such as a person repeatedly making rape jokes to a person they know is very uncomfortable with them. The reason it's a "sort of" exception to my above opinion is because there is no need for any extra limitation to humor, you just need to follow through with the legal procedures for harassment and have it dealt with that way.
    Hate Speech: Yep, that's fine, ain't no laws against being a dick and I don't think there should be. It's gross from an ethical/moral standpoint, but legally it's all good. Throw slurs at someone all you like, see if I give a fuck. So long as it doesn't cross the line into harassment or abuse, it's fair game.

    Bullying: Probably not. Bullying is basically harassment and abuse, so it's not okay.

    Psychological Manipulation: This here is a HUGE grey area. What counts as psychological manipulation exactly? Simply using basic debate tactics to try to convince someone that their hateful views are awful and should change could be counted as psychological manipulation. Hell, here's a list of a lot of different things that can be used to psychologically manipulate someone: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, lying, guilt tripping, shaming someone, punishing someone in any way, feigning confusion, threatening retribution, and charming someone in any way. None of those things are actually inherently bad, but they can be used in bad ways. It's way too broad a thing to make a call on, but generally speaking as long as it's not treating into psychological abuse territory then it's probably fine. Manipulation is not inherently evil.

    Non-optional Reeducation: Nope. This would be impinging upon someone's right to do and think as they please, including having hateful views. Let's not get into Orwellian territory of trying to wipe out thoughtcrime.

    Mass Groups: Eh, they generally should be fine, but there's always the possibility of mob mentality taking over and pushing some to harassment or abuse or other shitty actions against the target. Getting lots of people together to rail against hate is an acceptable tactic, but it's one that comes with inherent risks that should be weighed against the possible benefits. One random guy being a racist dick does not call for a mob of 100+ people to shit on him for being a racist dick, for example. Proportionality is key.

    Oh, and the usage of the word 'attack' in this question is unfortunate. Anything that could be reasonably defined as an attack (such as a group of people bombing someone's inbox with slurs) is probably a bad tactic that should not be used. Just saying.
    The individual good, though the collective good is not unimportant by any means. I prefer to protect the rights and safety of individuals over the comfort and preferences of groups, which is basically the entire reason I support the freedom for an individual to be a bigoted dick over groups of people being uncomfortable with it.
    Fuck your ferrets, I'm gonna derpbate you so hard Brovo. Prepare your anus.
     
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  17. True, but then I did add "/convince" in as well, in case attack was too harsh.
     
    • Is it possible to hurt someone with words in such a way as to require laws to prevent it from occurring? How so?

    Mmm.... It is very possible to hurt someone deeply and profoundly with words alone. People have died by their own hands due to such words. But I don't believe that words alone should be enough to involve authorities to specifically make someone stop saying such things. That begins to infringe on the freedom of speech. However, if an individual is spouting hate or other such ideals that offend you, and its on a piece of property you own? Then you are well within your rights to have authorities come and remove said individual. If you are an employer, and an employee of yours is propagating ideals that conflict with your companies core values, it is within your rights to have them removed. Freedom of speech means you cannot be censored by the government. It does not mean others have to entertain you or give you a megaphone.

    • Do you live in a country with hate speech laws? If so, how effective do you think they are at preventing hate speech?

    I do. And I believe that they are... mostly effective. People are free to say what they will in private company, or in private gatherings. They cannot, however, publicly call for the attack or death of an identifiable group under threat of fines or jail time. It helps slow and stall the spread of hateful ideals and resentment towards specific groups.

    • Is offensive humour acceptable? Should there be any limitations to it? How should those limitations be enforced?

    Humour is as subjective as art, and cannot be constricted as many would like. My own limitation is jokes that call for the defilement or hurting of another individual (ex. Daniel Tosh “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl [referring to an audience member who “heckled” him about rape jokes not being funny earlier in his set] got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now?”) That shit's not cute. But I think jokes about tragedy and terrible things help take power away from them, and give them back to the victims if implemented properly. Anything can be funny.

    • Is it acceptable to employ hate speech, bullying, psychological manipulation, non-optional reeducation, or mass groups to attack/convince those with hateful views to change their ways? Why or why not?

    No. Hate leads to hate, and employing such tactics doesn't remove said thoughts from the individual (except maybe in the case of psych manipulation and reeducation, but I would label those under torture. Which opens up an whole other can of worms.) We cannot and should not police the thoughts and views of others. It is highly unethical and infringes on their rights as people. Even if you believe such tactics would reform them into better people, you cannot take away someone's freedom of thought. To do so would be to strip them of a vital part of their humanity.

    • (Optional) Which is more important to you: The collective good, or the individual good?

    A blend of both, with heavier leanings towards the collective good. Individual privilege should not work against the collective good, and the collective good cannot infringe upon the rights of the individual.

    • Do you promise not to turn this into a derpbate shitstorm? If not, I will sic my ferrets on you.

    Are they cuddly ferrets? Can I pet them?
     
  18. Of course.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Awww cuteeee my cat wuld have a field day playing vith that ferret :)
     
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