Debate:Politeness, the importance of

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Debate.png This is a Debate page.
Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by Gameboy.

The Setup of the Debate[edit]

Those of you who have visited my user page will note that I put a high value on politeness. Or perhaps you just read the previous sentence.
The purpose of this debate is to express one's own views on politeness, how important it is to you, and why. - Gameboy (talk) 01:05, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

For Clarity[edit]

When I refer to politeness, I refer to the act or quality of showing regard for other people's feelings.

The Actual Debate[edit]

While I have not always valued politeness as much as I do now, I did put some value upon it. Others, however, feel differently; Some view politeness as unnecessary, a waste of time at best. Others find impoliteness to be almost unthinkable. Those are two extremes of course. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. Personally, I try to be polite in all but the most casual situations.

The main reason I feel as I do is that communication (something I have always had difficulty with) goes much more smoothly if emotion is kept in check. Of course, there are subjects that will stir up emotion no matter how delicately one speaks, but I feel that is no reason not to try.

One of the great hurdles is the fact that different people have different standards for politeness. What one group considers acceptable can be utterly taboo to another group, which can (and has) lead to unfortunate misunderstandings. Additionally, there are times when it is simply not practical to be polite, usually because of urgency. Nonetheless, I feel that at least some level of politeness should be maintained if for no other reason that it facilitates communication. - Gameboy (talk) 01:05, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I would have to say that been raised to be a southern gentleman, and attending annoying events celebrating "proper bloodlines" and other such nonsense, that it is perfectly possible to be incredibly insulting while remaining impeccably polite. I do try to maintain a modicum of courtesy however. And always be polite to someone you don't know. ТyTalk. 03:28, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Depends on the circumstances. Among friends, most politeness is simply self-censorship and therefore condescending, IMO. Penn has a great video on this, but I couldn't find it, though this video of his is pretty close to the one I was thinking of: And I will celebrate their right to say that but I will look them in the eye and say, "You're wrong." And fundamentalists will look me in the eye and say, "You're wrong." And that to me is respect. The more liberal religious people who go "There are many paths to truth you just go on and maybe you'll find your way"... is the way you talk to a child." In my circle of friends, it's standard operating procedure to say "You're full of shit, here's why..." But we can call bullshit, literally, without someone getting pissy or coming to blows. When it comes to "debate debate," then I'd say the "Don't be a dick" rule applies. Take a look at the Gish-Plimer debate for a great example of dickishness backfiring.

I don't get the point of it. It's just a few words that don't mean anything. Don't be a bum or a troll, but is something is rubbish, tell them that it's rubbish. You won't gain anything otherwise. Bazer63 (talk) 09:47, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

As an Englishman, I have to say I value politeness very highly as a mechanism for devaluing others' opinions and insulting them in public. I find OP's idea that politeness can be equated with being pleasant delightfully quaint, and seeing it brought a smile to my face.
Much obliged. (talk) 17:03, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
There are several forms of politeness/courtesy/good manners (overlapping but subtly different)- from the near meaningless/wishing to prevent other people being hell/getting them to do what you want (by giving them something in return)/putting other people in their rightful place/conveying (un)subtle insults through tone and using words that seem reasonable when repeated to a lawyer. (talk) 17:25, 21 December 2015 (UTC)