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Question: Is Being Offended A Personal Choice?

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posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:07 PM
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originally posted by: grandmakdw
As a retired Prof of PSY

I can tell you definitively that some of the posters are correct

no one can push your button but you

no one can "make you offended" but you

if one lacks self control, one is easily offended

if one lacks a strong belief/conviction in one's religion, ideas, convictions, etc., one is easily offended

if one knows what they believe and believe it fully, one can not be easily "offended"

In all of the instances of ugly slurs, etc.
a person who has self control and is firm in what they believe
may take issue with what is said
may argue rationally about what is said
may say what is said is not true
however, offense is an emotion
and those who can not control their emotions
and are weak in their convictions
are easily offended


Those who have control over their emotions
and are firm in their convictions
may disagree
but will not be "offended"

Being easily offended, is the sign of a weak personality
an underlying and unconscious questioning of ones beliefs
and a need to control others and
make others believe as you do, to bolster your own weak convictions
and validate your own beliefs


One can challenge "ugly" slurs
and show how and why the ideas presented by the slur
are incorrect and the belief flawed
without taking "offense"
It is people who do this that totally infuriate the easily offended
because they need others to be offended
to validate their own weak beliefs.




Wow!! Thank you!!! Great post. I'm very honored and grateful you took the time to respond in such great detail.

Makes perfect sense. Those more easily offended probably have a fear they will lose certainty, significance, and their own identity. The biggest fear, in my experience, is a person losing their identity.

Not trying to be political at all, but this is why some people are willing to kill over a cartoon. Their beliefs about their identity are so intertwined with the beliefs about what it means for the person to have drawn the cartoon, they must kill to stay congruent with their identity.

Thank you again. Very very helpful.




posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

I'd have to agree with you on this one. Not everyone can effectively operate at a high level of self-awareness, and use meta-cognition to repattern their psyches.

Last year I went sober, and saw a marked difference between how I went about growing through the months vs... what appeared to be mostly a stalling out by the majority of individuals in the support groups.

There is definitely a difference from being offended and taking a defensive action, as well and previously mentioned. I am still genuinely offended by some things, and actually prefer this, as it seems to play a key role in my personality and sharpening of instinct.

I don't think offenses are all related to culture and social mores, either. One can have an instinctive repulsion to actions, and add in a little cognition to become "offended".

So the larger question seems to be, why would someone seek to remove all beliefs related to their being offended in any situation? It's as if someone values the removal of pain at the expense of dulling their instinct and good sense. I'd rather take the hit and know that it's for a cause larger than my self.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:10 PM
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originally posted by: ausername

originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: ausername
Depends entirely on the individual, and their programming. For some people being offended is not a personal choice, it is a mandatory collective (group) response.

The only choice is for people who have been personally offended. In that case, you can choose to be, or not.

When your collective group, culture, religion, etc has been offended whether you are or not, is not a matter of choice.

How people react to being offended is also similarly dynamic.


How does the group determine whether they're supposed to be offended or not? Isn't that a collective group choice based on what the group chooses to believe?


It's not rocket science... For example, if you are gay, and I go into a long rant about how repulsive homosexuals are, how they are condemned to hell...etc etc, at some point, you will be offended... It is similar for any large social groups of people.



Not true.

I have very dear friends who are gay, and who would never be offended by anything you or anybody else could say to them. The more you attack them, the more somebody attacks them, the more they try to send love back at them, or out into the world. And they've been severely attacked.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

No I don't.




Otherwise happiness or laughter or sadness or anger are all choices...
These are all common reactions to being offended & can differ depending on the person.


An internal reaction to an external cause...
That's quite simple.


So how does that equate to it being an internal choice?



edit on 8-1-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:17 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Question: Is Being Offended A Personal Choice?


In order to be personally offended you'd have to care what the 'offending' person thinks and you'd have to internalize what they say. Maybe I'm a cold hearted person but I really don't care what people think of me or my interests and I don't internalize what they say. Instead, when people say ignorant things I just feel disdain for their stupidity and I might feel bad for them because they are so ignorant.

But maybe that's just me ...

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

You ask

Do you believe being offended is a personal choice based on what you choose to believe?


I ask in return, how many of us choose our beliefs in the first place? I make it that most people, most everywhere, hold beliefs that they did not not choose but rather, collected from the time of birth onward with little to no decisions about it. Because you or I seem to have this idea that we choose our beliefs is no reason to suppose that all others or even many others others do too. I think that for most people, taking offense is nothing more than a unconscious reaction in response to whatever belief was insulted.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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The real problems for humans with being offensive, and/or being offended begin when either are perpetrated by, or directed at a large group or collective.

There are extremists in every group, and among them are always the potential for violent reactions.

We can offend each other on personal levels all day long, but the real risks begin when we begin to somehow insult or offend our respective groups.

That is, and always has been the inherent flaw in humanity.

Think about it.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan


But maybe that's just me ...


Excellent FF... Truly.


Now a question if I may...


Do you feel that is a choice, or do you feel it's just how your brain reacts in the sense that it's how you were designed biologically to react?
edit on 8-1-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1


Do you believe being offended is a personal choice based on what you choose to believe?

And if so, what justification is there for wanting people change their behaviors so that you don't upset yourself with your own beliefs?


Being offended is a personal choice. People have more control over their emotions than they realize.

If person A displays behavior X, and behavior X is not stepping on someone's rights, and person B is offended by behavior X--then person A should not be forced to stop the behavior. Most likely, forcing person A to stop will actually result in person A's rights being stepped on.

Initiating the use of force to stop someone from doing something that is not harming you, and something that you simply don't like, is one of the most detestable human behaviors.

Using force to stop said person from coercing you should be the ultimate law of every civilization.

The majority of people do not question the prevailing beliefs of their culture. They take for granted both small beliefs and big beliefs.

Especially with little things. No one can give you a reasonable answer as to why they believe that cuss words are bad, they simply believe it because they were trained to, and they're offended by it for the same reason. They don't know why, but they just react without questioning, and many people expect others to conform to their arbitrary language standards. I always flat-out refuse to, I always tell people that ask me to, to give me one valid reason and I will--they never do. I won't be steam-rolled by ignorance. They are not special, and their feelings of being offended on such a frivolous matter are best ignored. Many people claim that "it's so much more civil to just do what they say," but there is absolutely nothing civil about forcing someone to behave the way you want them to behave--especially when you have no idea why you want them to behave that way, and their behavior is neither harming you or anyone else.

Basically, we should end this society of soccer mom's that we have created. Allowing people to end behaviors that offends them is going to cause more harm to society than good.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: ScientificRailgun

No I don't.




Otherwise happiness or laughter or sadness or anger are all choices...
These are all common reactions to being offended & can differ depending on the person.


An internal reaction to an external cause...
That's quite simple.


So how does that equate to it being an internal choice?


But you yourself said people react differently to different situations and stimuli, due to their brain composition and chemistry. As I said in a previous post, a person can INTEND to cause a certain emotional reaction in person, but they cannot FORCE the reaction on a person. Your offense, and subsequent reaction to it are internal process based on external stimuli. But as you said, the internal processes differ, so different people respond differently to the very same stimuli. If it were indeed possible to force an emotional reaction in someone, politicians long ago would have cracked the specific combination of words, facial expressions, and body language to make EVERYONE love them. But that's simply not possible, each reaction is a result of an internal process, and no external force can dictate what that response will be.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: ScientificRailgun

No I don't.




Otherwise happiness or laughter or sadness or anger are all choices...
These are all common reactions to being offended & can differ depending on the person.



How does that equate to it being an internal choice?




How it translates into an internal choice is we all have rules and values.

Here's an example.

Would you rip the wings off a butterfly just for fun?

Most people would say no and think it's evil and sick to rip the wings off a butterfly for fun.

But how about this.

Would you rip the wings off a butterfly for $1 million cash, tax free?

Honestly.

This is where the thought processes and values come into play. Some people don't budge in their belief that ripping the wings off a butterfly is something they wouldn't do, even for $1 million. Others say hell yeah!

It's all internal. Nothing is external except the stimuli. The external circumstances in and of themselves are neutral. The meaning we give them causes emotion, whether that meaning is a deliberate conscious choice, or has been conditioned into us.

The answer is being AWARE that the emotions are coming from our own beliefs and conditioning, not the external stimuli.

We we are triggered into anger, all we need to do is be aware that it's our beliefs and conditioning that's making us feel the way we do. Other people can experience the exact same external circumstances and not be angry.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: ScientificRailgun

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
Also one must only look at the definition of offensive...

It means causing someone to feel resentful, upset, or annoyed.

Causing!!!


In the sense that it's not a choice.




The pseudo-psychologists have come along to tell us we can choose how the chemicals in our brain react to stimuli...

How surprising.
Merriam-Webster are subject matter experts in the field of psychology now?


That's a great example, because it reflects a meaning given to label another person by the person who was offended.

The offended person creates the offensive person by being offended. Without the choice to be offended, the offensive person can't exist.

So you want to fill the world with offensive people? Be offended. Every time you're offended you spawn another offensive person.
edit on 8-1-2015 by Jamie1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

I don't understand how that makes it a choice.


As intellectual as it was, I fail to see the choice if it's a chemical reaction!




Honestly people, look at Dianetics, worldwide it's known as Pseudo-Psychology...
& it's almost identical to this premise that being offended is always a choice.
edit on 8-1-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:26 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
No...


If I make an intentionally offensive statement about Cancer or Rape how can a person choose which emotional response that will invoke?

That's like saying you can choose to find something funny, or upsetting...
Or you can choose what angers you...

If it's a meaningless statement of course it can be a choice...


But your generalisations on the "taking offence" hypothesis I have explained are flawed numerous times.




Exactly right.
That said - the OP has been making some incredibly vile and ignorant posts in most of these threads.
So this thread is probably just more of the same.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

I think anyone who would make that decision based on monetary gain fails at being a Human imo.


No I wouldn't, but again, we're all different.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

And with your first example, people then are offended by the number dead from the shooting. And sort of around it goes.

So many of the things people get miffed about are nothing new and happen practically everyday or probably more so without their knowing, why do it?

Especially when there are constructive things that can help ameliorate whatever problem. Wasted energy and can waste the energy of others or distract them.
edit on 1/8/2015 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:27 PM
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Seriously, look at addiction. What of compulsions? This is naivety to think that everyone can perfectly control their reactions to offenses, just cause.

What you're saying is: I can jump this high, why can't you?

Variation is to such a degree, in genetics and experiences, which mold our psyche over time, that expecting the same results for everyone is absurd.

What I found from looking at addicts? No system works for everyone. No results will be entirely the same. No metrics of progress can objectively be standardized, they all require beliefs and values.

You can approach this from a philosophical stance, and try to push your own values or beliefs on others, but at the end of the day that's all you've done, is create an additional layer when your intention was to break down a system.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:28 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: ScientificRailgun

I don't understand how that makes it a choice.


As intellectual as it was, I fail to see the choice of it's a chemical reaction!




Honestly people, look at Dianetics, worldwide it's known as Pseudo-Psychology...
& it's almost identical to this premise that being offended is always a choice.
Then that brings into light a deeper philosophical question that I have asked myself before. Are we slaves to our brains? Do we truly have free will, or are all of our actions simply result of a brain we cannot control responding to external stimuli via a process of learned behaviour, past experiences, and brain chemistry?
edit on 8-1-2015 by ScientificRailgun because: Spellang!



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

They PRETEND to be offended because they know that (especially in the case of muslim terrorists) the liberals will pretend to be offended and make excuses for the terrorists.

It's all about image to the apologists.

In my opinion-a liberal would kill their own mother for the chance to look (pretend to be) like some kind of rights activist.

They like to pretend to be offended because their entire party (mindset) is based on "You can't say that! I'm telling mommy!"

Just like a 3 year old child throwing a temper tantrum.

Every last one of them.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

Depends on what you call freewill or associate that with...


If you associate it with every decision we make, I see a flaw, sort a paradoxical one...


If you see God, you know it's God, you feel it's God, you sense it with all your being...
& you can guaruntee that it's not a hallucination...

What decision would you make as a hypothetical Atheist/Agnostic?


Would freewill come into it, or would that decision be made for you.



More to your point, I think our reactions can be controlled in certain situations...
If I'm crossing at a red traffic lights I have 3 choices...
Cross without looking...
Look & cross...
Wait for the green light...

I do believe with such an example there is certain situations in life where our brain gives us enough time to react to the chemistry of the brain...


In flight or fight time shortens... Rapidly & vigorously...


A shorter answer than my diatribe would be "sometimes"


edit on 8-1-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)



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