Profanity: What are your thoughts?
#1
This subject has come up recently on quite a few different forums. The question is simple enough. Should profanity be allowed here? Those of you who know me from my postings on facebook and elsewhere will be aware that I am fond of the occasional rip of the tongue. I do have a deeper idea on the issue than just 'Who cares, it shouldn't affect the argument'. But I'd like to see what others here have to say on this subject.

Yes or no to profanity. Why? Let us know.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#2
(16-Apr-2010, 08:39 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: This subject has come up recently on quite a few different forums. The question is simple enough. Should profanity be allowed here? Those of you who know me from my postings on facebook and elsewhere will be aware that I am fond of the occasional rip of the tongue. I do have a deeper idea on the issue than just 'Who cares, it shouldn't affect the argument'. But I'd like to see what others here have to say on this subject.

Yes or no to profanity. Why? Let us know.

I agree with you Ajita so long as there are no personal attacks, it should not be taboo.
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#3
fuck yeah!! Big Grin
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

http://dsriharsha.blogspot.com
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#4
My view: the very notion of profanity is anti-rational, as it stems from magical thinking.

This isn't my board, though, so you mob work it out between ya.
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#5
am sure members here are mature enuf not to post vulgarity or be lewd in their lingo.
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#6
(17-Apr-2010, 06:49 PM)jayeshvv Wrote: am sure members here are mature enuf not to post vulgarity or be lewd in their lingo.

As I said, it's not my board or anything, but I have to admit to being curious about the quoted comment above. As such, I'd like to ask some questions for clarification.

1) What is vulgarity?
2) Why is this a bad thing?
3) Same questions re: lewdness.
4) What does maturity have to do with it?

I ask these questions because I have a very real interest in the subject. Indeed, on some boards I've become noted for my exploration of the subject of profanity (and, no false modesty here, somewhat celebrated for my enthusiastic and creative uses of it as a form of expression). My view, as I've stated above, is that the very notion of 'profanity' is based in 'magical thinking' - the exact same form of thinking as is part of the basis for religion. 'Profanity', then, is nonsense. I don't mean that when someone swears they are talking nonsense, but that the idea that a word or phrase can inherently be bad is nonsense.

If someone has a reasonable argument against this position, I'd be very happy and interested to hear it.

And since I'm on this board as a (semi-)invited guest, I'll even refrain from using naughty words during such a discussion. Big Grin
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#7
(17-Apr-2010, 08:55 PM)Goldenmane Wrote: 1) What is vulgarity?
A cultural axiom that might have outlived its evolutionary purpose?
Quote:2) Why is this a bad thing?
Personally, I don't think it is, unless one makes it so.
Quote:3) Same questions re: lewdness.
Same answers, with the added nuance that it might be a bit more evolutionarily adaptive to punish lewdness than it would be to do vulgarity..going by standard definitions for those two terms.
Quote:4) What does maturity have to do with it?
Another cultural axiom, and perhaps the most evolutionarily adaptive of the three? I think it is one of those things we can try to come to agreement on through intersubjective reasoning, but there is always a level at which the whole damn thing is meaningless.

Quote: My view, as I've stated above, is that the very notion of 'profanity' is based in 'magical thinking' - the exact same form of thinking as is part of the basis for religion. 'Profanity', then, is nonsense. I don't mean that when someone swears they are talking nonsense, but that the idea that a word or phrase can inherently be bad is nonsense.

I agree with you. We just decide that they are bad by placing subjective value on them.

Quote:And since I'm on this board as a (semi-)invited guest, I'll even refrain from using naughty words during such a discussion. Big Grin

Thanks, but you don't have to if you don't fucking want to. Besides, thanks to you I'm starting to think that if used right profanity can actually add to the strength of the argument. Cool
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#8
(16-Apr-2010, 08:29 PM)Goldenmane Wrote: My view: the very notion of profanity is anti-rational, as it stems from magical thinking.

This isn't my board, though, so you mob work it out between ya.

I too think that the very notion of profanity is anti-rational. Religious and social taboos define what is profane.
I actually feel sorry for the men who use irrelevant words and phrases to express themselves. :P:P
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#9
(18-Apr-2010, 10:12 AM)Swati Wrote:
(16-Apr-2010, 08:29 PM)Goldenmane Wrote: My view: the very notion of profanity is anti-rational, as it stems from magical thinking.

This isn't my board, though, so you mob work it out between ya.

I too think that the very notion of profanity is anti-rational. Religious and social taboos define what is profane.
I actually feel sorry for the men who use irrelevant words and phrases to express themselves. :P:P

The ''edit'' function doesn't seem to work in this forum.

In above post, I was referring to socially-conditioned men who use certain words and phrases as terms of abuse. Women also blindly accept and use them.
Why would atheists want to use terms from the reactionary vocabulary of the earlier rebels against organised religions in a forum of atheists?
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#10
(18-Apr-2010, 08:38 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Besides, thanks to you I'm starting to think that if used right profanity can actually add to the strength of the argument. Cool

Well, that's certainly my view.

I'm all for rational analysis, but I do think that one thing that has been missing traditionally from the presentation of rational argument is passion. I'll expand on this, if you'd like, but I'm not going to write an extended essay on it right here and take up your bandwidth gratuitously.

Although, I should write an essay on it anyway, so I'll do that and stick it wherever seems appropriate. Big Grin
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#11
(18-Apr-2010, 11:55 AM)Goldenmane Wrote: I'm all for rational analysis, but I do think that one thing that has been missing traditionally from the presentation of rational argument is passion. I'll expand on this, if you'd like, but I'm not going to write an extended essay on it right here and take up your bandwidth gratuitously.

Although, I should write an essay on it anyway, so I'll do that and stick it wherever seems appropriate. Big Grin

I completely agree about the passion bit. I've touched on this in the Is Dawkins Arrogant thread.

I'd love to read what you have to say about the role of passion in making the argument, especially pertaining to freethought. You are a member of this freethinking community, just as the rest of us. Anything relevant you feel like talking about, please go right ahead and post it on the appropriate forum.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#12
Never thought about rationality or irrationality of profanity. I grew up using only Brahmanical Kannada cuss words like 'saavu' (death), avasthe (state..of mind), karma. There are many purity-pollution taboos that I need to liberate myself before embarking on their rationality. Some of them are;
eating beef, drinking alcohol, using profanity(of sexual nature). I have been successful only in eating beef. For the other two I didn't get proper surroundings.
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