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Say someone says something ill of another

  1. Apr 19, 2009 #1
    Maybe a friend or stranger says, "Mrs. Johnson shouldn't be performing," or, "It's unfortunate that this celebrity has a television program that focuses on dysfunctional individuals." Do you think he/she is obligated (morally or otherwise) to explain that position? Or can that individual leave the opinion at that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2009 #2


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    Hard call, but when someone starts blasting blacks or gay people around me, I dig in and push back. More so if it's a one-on-one conversation. If it's in a group, I still challenge, but try to leave them a way to salvage a retreat with *some* plausible excuse for their statements. I have a number of relatives from both groups, and I'm not going to sit idly by while some bigot dumps on them with such broad, negative, statements.

    If Mrs. Johnson shouldn't be performing (in the mind of the critic) because her performances aren't up to snuff, then maybe that is OK, but targeting broad swaths of people smacks of bigotry.
  4. Apr 19, 2009 #3


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    That sounds like one of my comments.

    It's a critical comment about the use of the media, and what I consider a waste of energy, much like tabloid journalism and journals like Us Weekly, People, etc, which seem to foster voyeurism.

    People (magazine) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_(magazine [Broken])

    This seems to a waste of energy and other resources.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Apr 19, 2009 #4
    Logically speaking a person ought to back up their opinions with facts. Realistically no one has to answer to you for their opinions. ;-)
  6. Apr 19, 2009 #5


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    If everyone had to backup their opinions (and if you're talking about moral obligation, that should mean nice or ill, whether or not you agreed with them), I don't think people would be able to have conversations :D
  7. Apr 19, 2009 #6
    I believe they would have to explain that position, otherwise how would anybody know whether they support it? If I were to say something ill of another, I would want to support the statement with other details, or else others would think the statement came from nowhere. Also, if others spoke ill of me, I would want them to explain their position as well, because otherwise it would be unfair to me if I were being judged and did not know why, if I were simply told, or heard, the statement.

    Plus, if you know the details of that position, you would be able to explain if you think otherwise, and perhaps prove the other person incorrect in saying whatever they said about another.

    Another answer to your question would be, it is incorrect to judge or speak ill of another, but that is a whole different subject.
  8. Apr 19, 2009 #7
    Perhaps you care too much about what others think?
    No one has any need to back up an opinion if they have no desire to convert anyone to their view or to discuss the topic.

    Some times people ask my opinion and I give it but have no desire to discuss it. Other times I just say things. The fact that a person is there to hear it is really just incidental and I never had any urge to elaborate. Yes, I talk to myself.
  9. Apr 19, 2009 #8


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    Obligated? No. If they are trying to convince others to agree with their opinion, it would help to explain it, but they don't need to do so if they are just stating their opinion without concern if others agree or disagree.
  10. Apr 19, 2009 #9
    You do have a point. It isn't necessary to back up an opinion, and of course, it's your choice whether or not you want to. It's just that your opinion about a person may be a misjudgment, so you're wrongfully speaking ill about them, when they do not deserve it.
  11. Apr 19, 2009 #10
    I get this at work a lot, and elsewhere. Someone will say something bad about someone on the tv or wherever. I'll ask why, and they don't answer. I just don't know what to make of that.
  12. Apr 19, 2009 #11
    Bravo, this is a perfect example! :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Apr 19, 2009 #12
    When Peter tells us about Paul, he tells us more about Peter than he does about Paul.
    Do you know who I am quoting? I have heard it was Spinoza, but I can't find reliable information.
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