Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Political Correctness and Pacifists

  1. Dec 13, 2003 #1
    I posted what I thought was a quite humerous piece about dealing with Pacifists on the General Discussion forum (as opposed to on this Politics and World Affairs Forum).

    The response was quite surprising - the following quote was a particular good one:-

    For someone who claims to be a teacher, you show no signs of logical thought or rationality. You seem to have no clue to human nature, and no life-experience in the real world. I suppose you could try to excuse this post as humor, but that would require something to be funny

    As well as:

    If you can tell me what Iraq has to do with those terrorist attacks in the USA on 11/09/01, I might begin to consider you something more than an irrational, braindead imbecile.

    Well hey, I'm as happy as the next guy to have a bit of discussion, but all of the above, and more, was based on my piece about Peace Activists, not on any particular stance I claim to have (or not have).

    So, stop insulting me in the discussion forum and lets talk serious up here in the Politics forum. Here goes:-

    Humour is something we often use to point out the absurdities of human existence. Jokes often play on stereotypes that although not necessarily true, have a grain of truth about them that we all recognise. This is what makes them funny.

    Stand up comedians do whole routines about mundane topics such as shopping, the office party, dating, sex, affairs, whatever. These all poke fun at us, human beings.
    We laugh at men, women, politicians, children, pets, race, gender etc. But what is and isn't acceptable.

    Are there ANY topics that are not acceptable (eg 'Home Alone IV' the scariest one yet, staring Michael Jackson) Is this sick, racist, sexist, homophobic or just mildly amusing?
    Q, What do you call a man with no legs or arms floating in the sea? A,- Bob. Is this cruel or funny?

    Do Peace activists have some behaviour traits that are amusing to others? Is George Bush someone who some may find a figure of fun? Can a black person tell a racist joke? Can we laugh at male/female differences? Is humour off-limits on some topics? Should it be?

    Over to you.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2003 #2
    I think it is important to remember that the world isn't made up of groups of people who are identical; it is made up of individuals. For instance, peace activists include pacifists and military veterans, religious people and atheists, pretty much the entire spectrum of human being is represented in a good-sized crowd of peace activists. The ones you won't see are also varied; it isn't fair to say that everyone who supports a specific war is a war-mongering racist imerialist dirtbag...

    ...except for Bush and his cronies, of course!Those folks are slime!
  4. Dec 13, 2003 #3

    Well at least someone on here has got a sense of humour!!

    But back to my question above, yes sterotypes are pathetic instruments to use for abusing or insulting people, but what about HUMOUR?
  5. Dec 15, 2003 #4
    Let me tell you something Adrian, this board is dominated, by definition, by academics. They generally have no idea how the real world works and get pissed when you use simple and obvious logic like yours. Of course you are an exception to that.
    I just read your post, and found it funny and true.
    Two posts later, I read FZ+ post. The only reason he feels that way is because it didn't happen to him. I bet you that if some guy was walking by FZ+ and suddenly hit him, he would try to be reasonable and logical, but that guy would just keep hitting him, so he would end up hitting him back, and negate his own unrealistic philosophy.
    There have probably been only 10 people in the history of mankind who have pulled off the turn the other cheek lifestyle, and I bet you 9 of them died a premature, violent death. Yeah, that's the way you want to run a country.
    This reminds me of South Park, in that that show always makes political statements by taking something down to the everyday level and to absurd extremes to be funny and to make a correct point. Notice that by correct point I mean whatever conclusion that is not obviously flawed that the boys come to, because their parents are stupid.
    An example is that they proved that 'hippie pussies' and rednecks are too extreme. If you had a whole country of hippie pussies, they'd be overrun in ten minutes. If you had a whole country of rednecks, they'd be on the war path continuously until they all died. Obviously, the correct place is somewhere inbetween, and they determined that this place is America, because here we have enough rednecks to go to war and do a good job, and if it turns out bad, we have enough hippie pussies to say that we didn't even want to go to war in the first place.
    Man I love that show.
    Anyway, it wasn't the nonPC of your post they didn't like, it was that you found a simple and amusing way to point out how stupid they are.
  6. Dec 15, 2003 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I've laughed at quite a lot of tasteless humor in my life, I still do. I can see the humor behind the Michael Jackson/Home Alone joke. Even if someone finds this tasteless, they can easily see that it is supposed to be funny. I have absolutely no doubt that I have a wonderful sense of humor.

    Your post on peace protesters was not funny. It was also, clearly, indicative of a hatred of peace protesters and demonstrates almost complete ignorance of them. I think it was more the case that you wanted to denigrate a group of people, and tried (but failed miserably) to do it in a humorous manner so as to be acceptable.

    In case you're wondering where I stand, you can look up my old posts. I made vociferous arguments in favor of the invasion of Iraq. I stand by them today, and think war was the proper course. I believe we should leave our troops in Iraq until the job is done. I don't believe that my decision requires me to demonize those who disagree with me. They are not irrational idiots for opposing the war (well, not all of them). Most display far more rationality (and a better sense of humor) than you.

  7. Dec 15, 2003 #6
    It was funny because he made a generalization of the peace protestors, he knows they aren't all that way. Here are two funny things that come to mind, and they actually happened.
    Peace protestors went to Iraq to act as human sheilds. Saddam tried to stick them in front of real military targets (they wanted to sit around in front of hospitals and other non-targets), and they realized that they might get hurt there, so they went home.

    I can't think of a particular case of this (where, etc.), but I know I heard this many times:
    "A riot broke out today as a peace protest got out of hand..."
  8. Dec 15, 2003 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Unfortunately, in many places what is acceptable and what is not is decided by those who are offended.
  9. Dec 15, 2003 #8
    Almost anything can be funny, its a matter of how you take it. People get way to uptight about jokes, people complain about the stupidest things. I first heard that particular quip on the radio, and found it to be hilarious. Its humor is how a philosophy which seems so perfect in a distant sense, seems so stupid when something is actually happening and the cause effect relationship is much more clear.

    Anyway, getting back to the point, make fun of things, don't let political correctness stop you from looking at the true irony that is often present in the world. Listen to some Carlin, some Steven Lynch, or your favorite, non-politically correct entertainer. Have fun.
  10. Dec 16, 2003 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Johnathan -

    I wanted to be a human shield but I was told I didn’t qualify.
  11. Dec 16, 2003 #10
    GENIERE, what is your point? I don't care, you can go ahead and be one if you want, I don't see the relevance. The funny thing about what I posted is that it never dawned on those peace protestors before they went to Iraq that they might get hurt.
  12. Dec 16, 2003 #11
    When I read that post, I got to read "lots of comments of others" as people had been responding, and few seemed to see the "Humor" in it. (neither did I) What (perhaps) you should have done was to preface the writting to inform us of the intent of humor, (as we all know, "pre-" that that is the 'intent' of "South Park" comment protected as/with and by 'humor') such that I would not end up thinking that this is a Teacher iN America who wasn't doesn't remember the Name "Columbine"....and what was admitted to be "Needed learning, and then practise thereof"............discourse in 'roling' as "Opposite to whatever" can be very productive, but it is usually prefaced, or constrained in such a manner that, in/at the end of the 'experiment'/class the (test?) 'subjects' at least know what, and why, they were put through it...

    Sadly, your stance advocates exactly what you claim to be preventing yourself from recieving, an unprovoked attack! Kinda like trying to prove you finger is stronger the steel by pounding on it with a hammer on an anvil...not really an intelligent thing to be doing, I suspect...don't really know though, never tried it....just not that stupid I guess...
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2003
  13. Dec 16, 2003 #12
    I'll say it once more I WAS NOT ADVOCATING VIOLENCE! I believe that the pen is often mighty than the sword and as such had a bit of a dig at the 'Peace' brigade that seem to worship every terrorist and rogue Government but NEVER their own democratic one.

    There seem to be very few genuine peace campaigners who are prepared to condemn Saddam and terrorism in general as much as they vocalise against Bush and Blair. (yes there are some and I respect their viewpoint) I can't remember a massive sustained campaign against Saddam before the war by these people, only against Bush afterwards. Were they content to let Saddam gas and kill his own people as this was a more 'peaceful' option? Why are they campaigning against Bush more than against the Zimbabwe or N. Korean Goverments?

    One of our UK Politicians was in Iraq before the war praising Saddam and proclaiming his greatness on Arabic TV. He was TOTALLY opposed to war and couldn't find anything bad to say about Iraq on his return. He refused to condemn Saddam's abuse of Human Rights. This is blind prejudice.

    The stupidity of THIS is what my piece was about. It showed up some of the contradictions of the policies of these people. I believed what I wrote to be SO extreme that it needed no further comment. Perhaps it was a little to 'near the knuckle' for some... Oh well.

    I think Russ_watters is right when he says:

    Perhaps that is the answer to my original posting on THIS thread, but I still think that those who can't have a laugh at themselves now and again are taking life just a tad too seriously.......
  14. Dec 16, 2003 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Johnathan –

    No point at all. Apparently I failed in my attempt to be humorous. Pacifists are strange people in my mind. For the record, I agree with you and Adrian.
  15. Dec 16, 2003 #14


    User Avatar

    Why you... you pacifist!

    (Realistically speaking, though I probably wouldn't have punched back, knowing that retaliating will probably lead to further attack, and since I'm pretty crap at any form of combat known to me, it will be a futile exercise that will merely invite additional pain. I'll probably take the pacifist option and call the police instead.)

    That is your problem. Groups such as amnesty international have been campaigning regarding Iraq for decades, only such word have been suppressed by media/government organisations because, to put it bluntly, they didn't care.

    Such peace groups have consistently argued against the arms trade that allow this sort of actions to continue - right now, they are protesting against sales of arms to places like Saudi Arabia, where they very likely will be used for repressive purposes. Of course, this will not receive much publicity until we come to invade Saudi Arabia... Also no evidence of any continued killings on the scale of the original atrocities - most of the reports are digging up stuff from 10 years ago, some of which were conducted under the support of the US government...

    Interesting comment recently. A senior US official blamed Saddam for releasing prisoners from his jails ahead of the invasion and so "disrupting public order", just as other officials blamed him for holding so many prisoners in his jails.

    The Zimbabwean / NK governments don't listen. And the governments are already dealing with them, to some degree. Also, some are campaigning against Bush for not applying a consistent policy - ie. acting on the NK/Z issue.

    Galloway is an exception. He also has freedom of speech.

    Laughing at themselves? Do you laugh at yourself? If we merely look over the politics forum again, and note the number of times flame wars developed when zero made a remark that some people considered to be an attack. Even declaring him to be a "traitor".

    I guess some people just can't take a joke, no? Humour is no excuse to laugh at people, just because you can't be bothered understanding them.
  16. Dec 16, 2003 #15
    And people who cannot admit error, in not having Clearly forewarned readers, in an International, Open to the General Public (and children too!!) forum, perhaps are not taking themselves, (and the responciblity for there words and the actions that ensue them) and their actions, seriously enough.

    Being a teacher is a responcibility, I should be able to safely assume you know that, and teach requisite saftey in your classes...do you think it should end there?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2003
  17. Dec 17, 2003 #16
    Professor Richard Lynn (http://www.rlynn.co.uk/) studies pacificm, or more technically, the personality trait of altruism (agreeableness). There are 5 basic personality traits, each which is 50% heritable:

    -Altruism or agreeableness
    -conventionality versus open to experience

    Altruism is what affects war desires. More altruistic people are are for peace, less altruistic people are for war. Democrats tend to have higher levels of innate altruism, while conservatives are less innately altruistic.

    Carlos Hernandez
  18. Dec 17, 2003 #17
    That is a very good point Mr. Hernandez.
    Something earlier in this thread reminded me of a quote from a priest or a preacher or something, who said something to the effect of "When 'they' came for the Jews, they called for help, and I did nothing. When 'they' came for the blacks, they called for help, and I did nothing. (It went on in this fashion for awhile.) When 'they' came for me, I called for help, and no one came. I looked around, and saw that there was no one left." I think this statement is very wise, and it is because of this that even if we knew Saddam had no weapons I would be for this war (though I'd be for more international involvement too since we wouldn't feel pressed for time).
  19. Dec 17, 2003 #18
    I have no problem with apologising to those who I offended:
    Sorry, Sorry Sorry! :smile:

    ....but this thread is about humour, Political Correctness and boundaries, not with arguing about what I originally wrote on another thread. I was clearly wrong to write what I did without a warning or two, but can we get back to the subject of humour here...
  20. Dec 17, 2003 #19


    User Avatar

    It didn't quite go like this. In fact, it was an account of the Nazi rise to power:

    Note the word - speak up. Note the comments on communists.

    What this quote is really about is the danger of drawing the sort of good/evil lines the Bush admin are so keen to draw up. Divide and conquer. What was needed against the Nazi was not people to fight them - there were plenty, and this disorder helped keep them in power - but for people to truly speak out against them, to refuse to accept there dominance.
  21. Dec 17, 2003 #20
    So for political correctness, in humor, respect is nice, humor is healthy for both intellect and emotion, boundaries are, to me estimation to be drawn by the user, hence informed 'users' make better buys, and see less comedy that they might think might "Offend" them (I was 'affronted' Not "offended" not the same) from a position of a beforehand knowledge, there is no other "just/fair" way.

    Perhaps a different presentational style would have seemed funnier, as (No "offence") that particular one didn't 'strike' me, ( ) personally, as humorous....but I have certainly laughed when "Wile E. Coyote" got it on the head yet once again...but that clearly is a cartoon.

    If you like humor, why not try the "Ask a Stupid Question ...." thread, or perhaps the "What would you do if..." thread, both in General Discussions.... "Originaquality" counts! (Isn't someone counting?)
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Political Correctness and Pacifists
  1. The Politics of Scale (Replies: 7)