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The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
BrendanB BS: The right not to be offended (87* d) RE: BS: The right not to be offended 27 May 14

I do not see how anyone can be denied the right to be offended, any more than they can be denied the right to liking the smell of roses.
What matters, I believe, is how people react to being offended. Demanding a right to reply; defending one's position; demonstrating the hypocrisy, dishonesty, intolerance, bigotry (if any or all of those are identifiable) of the offender - all of these are valid and justifiable. What I take issue with is the idea that anyone should have a legal right to protection from offence.
On the other hand, this requires a clear differentiation between behaviour which is simply offensive and offensive behaviour which is designed to encourage hatred, persecution or the demeaning of a group or class of people; which contributes to damaging the community or places other's safety at risk. Any society claiming to be civilised would surely wish to outlaw behaviour of that kind.
As with so many issues that seem initially obvious and straightforward the more one examines it the greater become its complexities.   Maybe there is some point in forgiving ones enemies and turning the other cheek? It couldn't be as simple as just loving one another, surely?

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