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Is it wrong to offend someone else's religion?

melian          8 May 2015 07:11 AM

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melian 8 May 2015 01:17 PM

I do not see why religions should be treated differently than secular ideologies. Would it be wrong to offend Fascism or Communism if Mussolini or Marx claimed divine inspiration?


DanielLC 8 May 2015 12:15 PM

It depends on the context. If someone is offended by the idea that you don't believe in god, that does not make it wrong to not believe in god. If you're intentionally offending someone as a method of signalling your loyalty to the atheist crowd or to some other religion by burning your bridges with that one, I think it's a bad idea. It's not good for all the subcultures to hate each other.


Fwiffo 16 May 2015 04:45 PM

It is stupid and I don't see much point what could be achieved by purely offending anybody. Freedom of religion is a good thing but it doesn't include a demand to respect any religion just not interfere with its practise.

Most often offence happens when a separate more important need is trying to be met. Some people find it emotionally hard to be critical without being offensive/hostile. Sure it would be a positive move to have critism not be offensive but usually the need to articulate clearly the critism is more important than having it in a politically correct form.

It is not wrong, but why would you do it?


melian 16 May 2015 07:06 PM

Offending a group of people just for the sake of offending them is one thing. Saying or writing very negative things about their deeply cherished beliefs is another (even if in practice it can be just as offensive to them).

Many people seem to think that while secular ideologies and political leaders can be criticized without restraint, religious beliefs and holy figures should be given special protection. The latter even get legal protection in some supposedly free countries (see “hate speech” laws). I do not see why the status of religious and political views should be different.


Fwiffo 17 May 2015 03:55 AM

Hate speech laws usually don't single out religion as the reasoning. That is going witch hunting for political reasons or ethnic reasons is just as bad and given equal protection against.

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petergast 30 October 2015 02:27 AM

You seem to be assuming that the offense is all on the part of the speaker.

But it has often been pointed out that taking offense is also a very common and effective power play to shut down criticism.

And that taking things personally is inimical to having a productive dialog.


Fwiffo 2 November 2015 08:17 AM

When one is taking offense one is interpreting the others speech to be offensive. This need not be need offensive in itself but in practise it is used to justify counteroffence.

When used with "pure motives" taking offense informs that feelings were hurt. This leaves the option for the speaker to be sorry or watch more carefully that they don't in the future unnnecceraily break feelings.

When used with "bad motives" it can be an attempt to make a guilt trap where there didn't need to be one. Still whether one expresses quilt or not is not a forced move. There migth be a way of showing that the party is silly or unreasonable in taking offence on what was said. If someone with a napoleon complex takes offence that you don't kneel down to wittness their ruling of the world you might successfully argue that you are not a heartless bastard for not playing along. ... read more