Monday, December 29, 2014

Quote of the day 29th December 2014

“I'm very depressed how in this country you can be told "That's offensive" as though those two words constitute an argument.”
  
(
Christopher Hitchens )

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a hypocrite

Chris Whiteside said...

I presume you mean Christopher Hitchens but if not it would be helpful if you could explain who you think is a hypocrite, and whether you mean Hitchens or anyone else, it would be helpful to explain why.

I don't take the Hitchins quote to mean that you should never have a problem with something being offensive. The key point he was making is that those two words do not constitute an argument.

Some people appear to find any opinion different from their own to be offensive. It should be obvious from the number of comments I have allowed to stand on this blog which I disagree with - starting with the one above - that I am not one of those people.

At other times people have a very good reason to find something offensive.

If you have a good reason to find something offensive you should be able to explain why - for example in a recent post and comment I explained that I find dragging someone's children into a political argument offensive and I used a lot more than two words to explain why. I'm not going to repeat that argument here.

I don't think there is anything hypocritical in holding or expressing the opinion that people may have good or bad reasons to find something offensive: and therefore if you argue that something is offensive it is a good idea to explain why, and a bad one to imagine that the words "that's offensive" in themselves constitute an argument.