The Respect Crisis

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Lava, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Lava Let discovery flow Registered Senior Member

    Lava said of the 'freudian paradise' thread:

    This thread seems revealing, not re the original topic, but re how human interactions tends to lead to complete disrespect all round.

    Why is this so? Why is it that honesty nearly always sooner or later leads to complete disrespect?

  2. Guest Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Define disrespect, sodomite.
  4. Guest Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member


    The events of that thread are not as clear-cut as they appear to appear in your eyes.
    That thread demonstrates a deep respect between two people (there was a third involved that I'm not so sure of but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt). A respect deep enough that a little 'flaming' and harsh words don't immediately throw up the barriers that so often hamper human communication. So often when the modern (and maybe the not-so-modern) man receives even a hint of disrespect, his sole objective becomes defensive. To prove that he is worthy of respect and to close down any who says otherwise. They don't look at the deeper issues. At what is being said. If something is being said. They just throw up the walls and attack back.

    So, to answer the question, "Why is it that honesty nearly always sooner or later leads to complete disrespect?": Because people are selfish fools who don't want honesty but rather to hear what they want to hear. To each their own, I suppose. But I pity these people and their small pitiful lives. Their constant asking of "Do these jeans make my ass look fat?" If you don't want to know then don't ask. Say what you mean. Say, "Tell me I'm not fat, honey. I'm feeling a bit down and would like some reassurance." If you want someone to lie to you then at least have the courage to be honest about it.

    Ha! Be honest about your desire for falsity. And courage thrown in to boot. This will never become common.
  6. Guest Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Lava Let discovery flow Registered Senior Member

    Good answer.

    The fact that that same question tends to get asked day after day shows that it dosent really work anyway. It is known the reassurance is meaningless, and thus its almost valueless.

  8. DT Strain Registered Senior Member

    I think that deep communication that is open and honest, even between those of vastly different positions, is possible while being respectable. Often it is simply the desire to be sensitive in the way one phrases things.

    But, unfortunately, the internet seems to encourage people interacting in tones that they would never take in real life, face to face. I have recently adopted an ethic that I will no longer let the "facelessness" of the internet lure me into this sort of behavior. I decided recently that I would try and interact with people online just as I would to their face, and that I would try to be respectable and sensitive to others as real people online.

    The result has been that people are remarkably capable of returning the same in kind once they see your approach, and the discussions that come out of that have been far more deeper, honest, and educational than would have been possible otherwise.
  9. Lava Let discovery flow Registered Senior Member

    Good point, the net sure seems to reveal a different nature, I suspect a more honest one. But the respect crisis seems to happen f2f as well, I've lost count of the number of times I've seen it go down. So much so that it is simply unacceptable to say various truths, get real and there _will_ be conflict.

    Maybe that is specifically true for folk that differ in opinion from the crowd around them. People react badly to all sorts of ideas: why do we?

  10. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Well, someone has to say it:

    You want the *truth*?! You can't handle the *truth*!

    People love to claim they want only the truth, no lies. Thus, they say they want honesty.

    The whole problem is that the truth is often uncomfortable, ugly, disappointing etc. And it this being uncomfortable, ugly, disapponting etc. that makes people negativistic, which can be displayed as disrespect.

    But why should the truth make someone negativistic?

    There is something called "wrong questions". Namely, we can ask many many questions, but just because we ask them, does not mean that they have an
    answer, or must be answered.

    Such questions are asked out of ignorance, or, more frequently, out of emotional blackmail or other kinds of manipulation.

    My pet hate wrong question is this (asked by an American girl):
    "What did those people in the WTC towers do wrong that they were punished with death?"
    I think you can see yourself why answering such a question is problematic.

    People often ask questions because they want affirmation by others, not because they would want answers.
    The question above expected an answer like, "Yes, indeed, they have done nothing wrong, and yet they were killed. What a dreadful world we live in!" (At least this is what I can presume, knowing that girl.)

    No, this isn't lying anymore though, as the actual subtext is clear to both involved.

    Note: In such a case, the other person by replying "You're not fat, honey" will not actually lie. That is, the reply will have an importantly different social function: that of expressing compassion. Even though on the surface, the reply is a lie. But if you are asking for compassion as that person above, this is perceived as honest enough, returned with compassion, and both parties involved know the actual subtext.

    Also compare: Someone says to you "Adore me!" and you will possible end up adoring this person. Why? Because they commanded you to adore them? No. We cannot demand from a person to do something that cannot be done deliberately.
    You will adore that person because they had *the audacity to say* something like "Adore me!"
  11. Lava Let discovery flow Registered Senior Member

    QUOTE water

    >Well, someone has to say it:
    >You want the *truth*?! You can't handle the *truth*!

    OK, so why cant people handle the truth? Or should I say someone else's opinion? Why are most people so wildly insecure that if someone else interprets them a way they dont like, they fall to pieces over it?

    > People love to claim they want only the truth, no lies. Thus, they say
    > they want honesty.

    Its kinda odd to see this from people who really believe it, but so clearly dont want any getting honest. I knew someone like that, convinced she was into honesty, yet in reality she seemed to have zero interest in honesty at all, she was entirely based on getting approval. When youre trying to get an important job done its kinda annoying.

    >The whole problem is that the truth is often uncomfortable, ugly,
    >disappointing etc. And it this being uncomfortable, ugly, disapponting
    >etc. that makes people negativistic, which can be displayed as disrespect.
    >But why should the truth make someone negativistic?

    Exactly. The sensible thing to do is either ignore the input or process it to see what room for improvement you can find. Its an opportunity if you choose to take it.

    >My pet hate wrong question is this (asked by an American girl):
    >"What did those people in the WTC towers do wrong that they were
    >punished with death?"
    >I think you can see yourself why answering such a question is

    'they didnt'? That might be a q you dont want answered

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    But you have plenty of good points on this.

    >People often ask questions because they want affirmation by others,
    >not because they would want answers.

    bingo. The 2 problems I see with this:
    1. It seems to constitute most discussion, thus people are choosing to live their lives in substantial ignorance.
    2. It also is the (possibly sole) agenda for many involved in what clearly ought to be technical rather than social discussions. All such people do is totally hold up the problem solving process.

  12. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    They display what is sometimes termed approval addiction.
    It all comes from having one's identity poorly defined. Thus people seek to patch it up by exceedingly seeking approval.

    Regarding some issues of respect, see .

    While your comment is certainly a constructive one, we must keep in mind that someone addicted to approval is unable to consider disagreement or opposition as an opportunity to improve (improve in whichever way).

    To say "They *chose* to live their lives in substantial ignorance" is unsupportable.
    One cannot choose to be ignorant.

    We like to think ourselves in full control of our lives, almost as if we were omniscient and omnipotent, and we like to say how everything we do is our *choice*. Which is obviously not true.

    One thing is if I *choose* whether to wear a pink or a blue shirt; but to say I *choose* to be ignorant/wise is a misconceptualization.

    Ex post, we can, as a summary, surely describe someone's life as "he chose to be ignorant/poor/rich/single" etc. -- but this is a claim that we can make ex post, and ex post only. It is a claim that is made with the benefit of hindsight.

    But parallelly, or ex ante, as things are taking place, we cannot say that someone "chooses ignorance". One does what one can do, and one does not have immediate insight into what is happening.

    For example, you think that you have made some very good posts here. But a month later, when you have gathered new experiences and information, you could say about those very same posts that they are no good and that you didn't have a clue.
    But if we are to go by your logic of choice, we'd have to say that you *chose* to make bad posts.

    The concept of choice is a very problematic one, as it greatly depends on the time perspective from which we observe a certain situation of choosing.

    However, there are ways to bypass the issue of choice and still make your point: we can conceptualize the above problem in the domain of values and preferences, and this makes the case much more clear.
    Instead of saying "They chose to be ignorant", we can say "They valued their safety" or "They valued only their own opinion".

    People are social beings, after all. With a ill-defined identity, when they are facing a professional problem, such people don't really know how to behave -- as they are not in the clear about the distinction between being a professional in a field and being a person.
  13. DT Strain Registered Senior Member

    I think honesty of some types can be overrated. We want honesty when it comes to communication of facts, but there are some types of honesty that are unecessary and harmful. For instance, a person may say something one finds incredibly ignorant and foolish, but if one reacts honestly, they are likely to make the other person feel insulted or feel badly. Meanwhile, they will have destroyed any chance at showing the person the error of their ways (or perhaps understanding them better), because their defenses will go up.

    So, I think that civility requires a bit of acting. When someone says something we find foolish, we should show restraint and control our emotional reaction, and instead keep a level of respect so that communication can continue. I'm sure you agree, but I thought I would point out that not all forms of honesty are desirable.

    I agree that respect levels have dropped, but the internet seems to intensify the situation because people feel less restraint when not face to face. Also, it may not be that respect levels have dropped so much as it is that what is permissible to say in public has broadened, and this is the natural reaction to that.

    Let me explain. When we imagine highly civilized folk of the romanticized past, each treating one another civily, we must also remember that the range of things that could be said publicly were much more narrow. An atheist, homosexual, or even a minority religion, would never reveal his/herself publicly. There were also political restraints on what people could say, lest they be branded a coimmunist. So, it's easy to be respectful when you live in Mayberry and everyone around you thinks and looks just like yourself.

    Now, however, people are free to say anything. Naturally, this causes discomfort when strong beliefs clash. We might even imagine that our imaginary folk of the past would start to become uncivilized if such things were said in their presence (I'm reminded of the film "Pleasantville").

    Our mission as a modern peoples therefore, is to enjoy this wonderful newfound modern freedom of expression and still maintain a functional society - enter the need for the self restraint I spoke of above. If we can cultivate that sort of toleration of diversity, then it needn't be the case that clashes of vastly different ideas lead to loss of respect.
  14. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    What an ample way to avoid saying "Modern men don't have balls"

    You were up against a corner and couldn't even bite- sure, we can say people guard their empty little egos like a rabid mother and discourse takes maturity but just because one “attacks” another for being honest does not always mean they’re ignoring it.
    You can “attack” just as honestly.

    That whole thread with you in the middle and all you could muster was a facetious "Cum guzzling queen!!"

    DT Stain:
    So…..lie and tell the moron he’s a genius, making a pretentious moron, peopling the world with more idiots once he’s bred.

  15. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member


    Not really.
    The 'attacks' you used against me were not convincing.

    It doesn't always mean it, but sometimes it does.
    And if the argument progresses, then all pretense at honesty is dropped and it becomes merely a will to win.
    Tactics are employed.
    Points are ignored.
    When one person feels any good points he may be making are being ignored, then he is more likely to ignore any good points made by the other. The war escalates and soon the beginnings of the war are lost in the chaos.
    The fight continues for the sake of fighting.
    The point is lost.
    Unless the point is fighting.

    Yes. But your attacks weren't honest.
    And, as to Xev, well, I felt her attacks weren't honest either. Either she was in 'cahoots' or being dishonest about her reasons for attacking in some other way.
    She changed her attitude very quickly and very extremely.
    She suddenly took 'offense' to things that I had said far earlier in the discussion as if she only just realized their significance.
    And there was also a phantom deletion of an entire post that I never commented on but was very telling.
    Such things are warning signs.

    I'd say that that was actually the worst I could muster. I said other things that were far more damaging to her character.
    And I also attacked you. Conditionally. If I took your words at face value then that would lead to the accusations I made towards you.
    But, I didn't take them at face value. And therefore I didn't really make the accusations.

    It was orchestrated and it was blatant.
    I will admit to some initial uncertainty, but that cleared up rather quickly.
    The only question was motive.
    I had two choices.
    Well, three. But one was ludicrous and I discounted it almost immediately.
    There were only two real choices and I think that both had a part to play.
    But, regardless of motive, it wasn't real and I knew it.

    So, what would I have done if it was real?
    Would I then turn to attack?
    I doubt if I would attack rabidly.
    I might make a few comments depending on your points of attack. If I felt they were honest and in error I'd try to show you why they were in error. If I felt they were honest and insightful then I'd admit to it. If I thought that you were just attacking to attack, I'd probably just leave. There's no honesty in an attack for the sole purpose of attacking.
    But, piss me off and I'd certainly make my anger known if I felt it would serve a purpose.
    Nothing wrong with honest anger.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  16. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    Glad-handing all around for everyone, please.

    No, seriously, the truth hurts.

    If you call me a moron, I laugh. So what?
    A real otherworldly intellect might make me feel bad if they said it to me, but I've never had the opportunity to talk to one. As Gendanken implies, there is a lot of over-estimation going on on this planet, in regards to people's perceptions of themselves, which is as destructive a problem as under-estimation can be.
    It is good to be sensitive, and avoid calling the moron a moron though. You wouldn't call a child moron I hope. Or someone who consistently thinks like a child? Epithets are the moron's only weapon, but we have better ones.

    The problem is that the language is very sloppy. E.G., I would like the term "ignorant" to be used to describe someone who knows the information, but selectively ignores it in order to feel more solid in some argument or belief. It would be a term denoting respect of the intellect and disrespect of the current position. But I don't think this is going to go over very well. I don't see much on these forums that seems to exhibit stupidity. Insanity, yes. Laziness, of course. Also, ignorance. But not stupidity.

    It does come down to respect. Sometimes I feel camraderie with a person, and hit them with a verbal pillow, knowing they will laugh, but they don't realize I respect them at all. It becomes an assault.
  17. WANDERER Banned Banned

    Whatever “crisis of respect” exists in our time can be simply explained as follows.

    Respect is a result of caution or a form of intimidation.

    When individuals are protected from the consequences of their words and of their actions, they lose all sense of propriety and caution and begin believing they are untouchable or unbreakable.
    They perceive the institutional defence of their being as being part of their own personal characteristics.
    Nobody can touch them so they must be untouchable.
    Nobody can harm them so they must be unbreakable.
    Nobody could assault them so they must be intimidating or special.

    So here we are living in a cultural environment where not even parents can discipline their children with a slap across the head or a quick verbal retribution.
    What comes as a result of this are generations of psychologically naïve souls believing they deserve what they have not earned and knowing that no matter how they behave or what they say their well-being and their survival is ensured.
    What comes of this is a total loss of respect, not only for others but for self.

    A population dominated by smart-assed morons hiding behind the rule of law and behind moral imperatives.
    A politically correct world where not even a hint of insult or aggression is tolerated.

    In the past an utterance of any stupidity or any act of vulgarity was rewarded with physical consequences.
    Today we must go through the courts or call the police or simply take it.
    The retribution is not immediate and so the connection is not made.
    Just like when you beat your dog for shitting on the carpet a full day after it happens.

    What you get is a confused dog, a neurotic dog but not a trained or an enlightened dog.

    You get a dog that knows no rules and that thinks it can take a dump just about anywhere and at anytime.

    An individual that has been shielded and protected all its life knows no caution and comprehends no limitations to his ego.
    Only one that has been cut and knows the taste of his own blood and the dangers of his own decisions can exhibit the humility and the responsibility necessary for respect.

    Take a house cat.
    It’s upbringing has not prepared it for the dangers of the wood so it sleeps anywhere, scratches everywhere and puts its nose in everything.

    But kick the cat once for getting on the table and see if it does not take care or respect the limitations of its domain afterwards.

    Why do people say and do things that are disrespectful and hurtful to others?
    Simple answer.
    Because they can get away with it.

    Human nature explains the reasons but not the frequency.

    A mind that knows no fear, knows no boundaries and no balance.
    Fear is at the root of respect.
  18. an>roid.v2 Registered Senior Member

    I'm not saying I agreed with the start of your post, nor that I disrespected any of it because of that—but things were picking up here and then until you build it up to the final point about fear. Then did most of your post make sense to me.

    And here I agree with the heart of the matter, as I've been particularly involved with this "respect" business lately (not at the forums—but out there, in the city).

    They want respect because it gives them a sense of passage in the world. But they certainly don't understand what it is they seek in "respect", but call it that in lieu of a more complex mechanism that can barely be fathomed. So they've contrived notions of respect as you've described: based on sensing another's fear.

    It's all so very strange. It's like they've got these slimy tendrils sensing their way around, sniffing, sniffing. They use body language to boost their nerve. They stare with eyes protruding from their sockets. They shift their psychology quicker than you can do a somersault. They commune with each other as if in a crazed satanic cult and silently pick the other one up when faltering. Then they'll twist your words against you like taffy, and will find it tremendously stimulating to watch you stammer should you attempt to back-step for clarification. When they are pleased with themselves they rock in their seats, as if on a merry-go-ride. When they are displeased with the direction of their performance… they'll change the subject but score themselves extra points by claiming your words irrelevant. They'll snicker, or politely excuse themselves, or put you on hold as a means to interrupt you, and they'll suddenly claim boredom while gripping the edge of their seats. When they're really serious, they'll suddenly stand up and shut the door. Then they'll start accusing in an annoyingly mournful voice at how ungrateful you are, and that you're some sort of malfunctioning neurotic android. God they are ghastly and ugly to behold! And how they love to instill fear—but with their own fear! Isn't it ambrosia to them to imagine that that fear is being transferred? But it isn't respect they seek from another's fear: they simply seek *your* fear—so as to sever themselves from their own fear. Thus they reward themselves with their own rejuvenating sense of "respect" for themselves—they're passage into the world!
  19. duendy Registered Senior Member

    Here's an example of some severe disrespect i experienced a while back at another forum. It was from a cross section of Buddhists from all over the world, and differnt schools
    What provoked the abuse?
    My questiong, and challenging their belief system, and my view that hallucinogenic experience was insightful and authentic

    Now this is a good example, becaus Buddhists claim to be above anger, and abuse etc. They will say this , but in REALITy it's not so, SO when it happens or has happened they deny it

    Why the abuse? Bcause i was threatening their worldviews. Not only to themselves, but to a possible audience
    Also i noticed that if i was talkiing with A Buddhist, another one would appear and gossip in front of me with the fellow Buddhist telling him i was a this or that, etc. ie., disrespecting me

    None of them would accept, own the fact thet they WERE being abusive and disrespectful. And hypcritically, several in the same breath preached how they were on a more advanced level where they did NOt abuse etc....
  20. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    That is: Respect is NOWADAYS OFTEN a result of caution or a form of intimidation.
    I also add emotional blackmail to caution and form of intimidation.

    Otherwise, I agree with your assessment, I liked it.
  21. an>roid.v2 Registered Senior Member

    When fear is not the issue, as it is among the masses, and when we are talking about quite a different thing, respect is… it's like… ballet. That's it—respect becomes a gracefulness of civility, an intimate exposure of a non-combative self because there is nothing that can challenge one's dignity.

    The thing is, respect is not an act nor an obligation. Fear of a personal loss, or seeking an advantage, will likely lead the common man to squiggle with sham "respect". But imagine a fearful experience of encountering an extraterrestrial, bowing one's head in a submissive gesture to it, exposing one's entire being to its almighty power—that's what confuses the mob because they think that is respect. But respect, in this sense, is an acknowledgment of another's integrity. But the common man know's nothing about another's integrity because they are still fighting to obtain there's.
  22. an>roid.v2 Registered Senior Member

    I mean, theirs.
  23. WANDERER Banned Banned

    Someones "integrity" becomes respectable only when it can threaten our own.
    Mutual respect is a balance of power.

Share This Page