Is politically correct (PC) a form of lying?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by wellwisher, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    There has always been something about PC or politically correct that rubbed me the wrong way. It sounds good on the surface, but I always sensed that there was something wrong. I think I figured out the nature of the beast.

    The nature of the beast is easy is to see with an example. Say the wife or girlfriend comes up to you and asks whether she looks fat in her new dress. You need to think before answering her, since the truth may not be what she wants.

    If you said, now that you mention it, the dress does make you look fat, maybe you need to diet and get more exercise. Even if this was true, this will not be acceptable at the level of her feelings. What would work better is more of a lie, such as, you look perfect in that dress. You don;t need any diet or exercise.

    This female-male dynamics is PC in a nutshell. One is expected to lie, if need be, to make people feel good. The truth, may need to be censored or spun. The very term politically correct should have been a giveaway, since politicians like to lie or spin the truth.

    Picture if we used the PC ritual for science. I am running experiments and my data is not coming out right. I ask, does this data make my theory look thin? If you use PC,you might say this data is the best data I have ever seen. The researcher would feel good and science goes down the tubes. The truth would be better, even if our researcher has his feelings hurt, since the truth allows him to make adjustments, to help reach the goal.

    Personally, if someone likes the PC rituals, they should have the right to play. If you don't like to lie and spin, and prefer the truth you should be able to opt out.
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  5. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    i think the "politically" part of "PC" means to optimize/maximize the positive response from society ... basically, playing to the crowd.
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So when you call your female postal service employee a "mailman", you are just being honest?
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Most of being politically correct just means "be courteous." If someone calls your friend "stumpy" because he lost an arm, and the name bothers him, it would be just plain courteous to not call him stumpy even if someone thinks it would be funny.

    People take it too extremes sometimes though and say things like "you can't call ANYONE stumpy! It's an insult to all disabled people!" Which, of course, may or may not be true. It's GENERALLY a good idea not to make fun of people's missing limbs, of course, which is why people call it "politically correct." But there may well be people who are fine with it, and other people who are aware of that - and it would be wrong to call those people "politically incorrect." They've actually taken the time to see what offends the person and are respecting their wishes.

    Why are the two options an insulting truth or a lie? Why not say "I think the denim dress would look better?" True and takes her feelings into account.

    You can do that if you like. But people who ignore political correctness because they dislike the concept, and are intentionally rude to people, are just as wrong as people who follow political correctness slavishly and are intentionally obsequious to people. Generally I prefer to just treat other people with respect, call them the name they prefer to be called, treat them how I would want to be treated myself. And that may be "politically correct" - but I find that the world is a better place when people make such efforts.
     
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I think it's honesty. Indians aren't really from India, they are native to this land, so it's more honest to say Native American, although even that includes America, which is a political organization they would not have recognized. Blacks aren't really black, some of them are whiter than other people who are considered white (like Italians or Jews).
     
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Cosmic, the first person I think of when I think of PC, is you.

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  11. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Forgive him, wellwisher is a reality challenged individual (RCI).
     
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Relationship dynamics are more complex.

    Often when people ask others for such evaluations as "Does this dress make me look fat?" what they are actually looking for is encouragement, appreciation, proof of love - but they do so indirectly.

    A woman might ask her boyfriend "Does this dress make me look fat?"
    but what she actually means by this question is 'Do you love me?'

    She doubts whether he loves her or not, and from previous experiences where she was direct, she knows that this is a delicate topic to bring up; but as she is troubled by it, she brings it up indirectly, by asking how the dress makes her look.


    Perhaps there are people narcissist traits who actually do feel better upon getting (undeserved) compliments.

    But many people are insecure and due to the insecurity, indirect.

    Indirectness, however, tends to breed even more insecurity. People who are insecure tangle themselves up in the stories they emphasize in their indirectness, and eventually, fall out of touch with their actual concerns. This is how PC spreads.


    The truth is often uncomfortable.
     
  13. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    That's true, but the corollary to that is that people with offensive views that express them in PC ways, are in fact "lying" when they do so. And it's usually pretty obvious - they chafe at the implication that their views are unacceptable, and so tend to put more or less sneer onto the PC terminology.
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Which is how PC is often simply passive-aggressiveness.
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Where is the passive aggressiveness about not wanting to be called a man?
     
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Read:

    in reference to QP's post.

    Nobody said that PC equals passive aggressiveness.
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I would call it active aggressiveness. It's standing up for honesty and respect. The thing is conservatives don't like it because conservatism is all about keeping things as they were in the past, when women and minorities were considered inferior.
     
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    PC is by now a complex phenomenon, so it cannot be simply characterized as one or the other.

    In some aspects/uses, PC is extremely passive-aggressive.
    In some other aspects/uses, PC is aggressive.
    In yet other aspects/uses, PC is just plain courtesy.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I agree it has multiple meanings. When comedians push the boundaries on what can be said in public, they are often said not to be politically correct. But I think overall it's a good thing that people are more sensitive to other people's feelings, and as I pointed out, sometimes it's even more honest and reflects an advancement in our understanding of history.
     
  20. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    This brings up a good point: what do you do when honesty and respect (or at least sensitivity) are at odds with each other?

    For example, "women are inferior to men in terms of physical prowess." Now, the PC way of stating this would be to string in a bunch of qualifiers such as "speaking in very general terms, and only on average, and only for this single metric, and also by the way did you know women's vocabulary is much larger than men's??" Twist and turn all you want, but I'm willing to bet someone's hackles were raised reading that first sentence, and this is on a subject that is quite obvious to basically every human being in the world!

    You are presuming that there's always a tactful way to deal with reality, when sometimes it isn't the dress that makes your ass look fat...it's actually your fat ass. Oh, and by the way, on a slightly related note...IQ DOES EXIST and IS A VALID INDICATOR for many things. The myriad attempts by the PC crowd to obfuscate IQ into meaninglessness (IQ, emotional quotient, artistic quotient, uhhhhh, sense of humor, purity of heart, etc) in the pursuit of not hurting anyone's feelings is just silly.

    Does this mean we should try hurting people's feelings? Of course not. But at some point a line is crossed where we are simply blinding ourselves to reality, which is why wellwisher's comment about Political Correctness existing in Science is such an obvious absurdity!
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    True. You can't make a callous ass a considerate person by requiring them to use certain words. At best that makes them a little less offensive.
     
  22. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No, you misunderstood the entire dynamic. When a woman asks if this dress makes me look fat, what it means is, does the construction, color, shape, texture, etc. of this dress flatter whatever beauty I may have or is there some flaw and another one would look better. She is not asking if she is fat!

    In fact, most clothing that I would call pretty on a woman would accentuate her (hopefully) big ass. Frumpy ill fitting clothing doesn't make her look fat, it just looks bad. Fat is a metaphor in her mind for looking bad.
     
  23. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Although PC is pitches as being respecful of feelings, it not about being polite and respectful of all feelings, since it only protects the liberal tribes. It is not considered politically incorrect to use any insult against anyone involved with Christianity. If you go to the religion sections in these forums, where are the PC police? If you are a male, white, straight, Christian, conservative, there is no concern for feelings. The movement is a lie.



    The truth of PC is it is
     

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