So what I’m going to talk about today is offense. I’ve had a bit of a strange experience over the past few days. I’ve been at a convention. I had an absolutely fantastic time and loads of fun but I worry sone people have started to see me as a bit of a dick. The main thing that caused problems was something I said. That being “The Catholic church is an evil evil evil organisation.”. Now I won’t be discussing that point today as I’d just go on a huge tangent. Instead, i’m going to look at the views of myself and others to that statement.
So since high school I’ve mingled in groups that I’m starting to think are stranger than I thought. The groups I’ve been friends with have generally been equal parts atheist and religious but with a slight lean towards the atheists. My groups of friends have also had far higher than average numbers of gays and bisexuals (I feel I should note I fall into the second category more tk avoid misconceptions over the statement than anything else). So there has been quite the spread for controversy and discussion. It’s through this that I have grown to love controversial discussion and even enjoy it. Often have I discussed the possibility of a God and the role of religion. Although I now realise that earlier statement of mine serves little more than to demonstrate the diversity of my friends as I’ve not often discussed homosexuality aside from the times people have brought up their opposition to it. I find the discussion of the equality and morality of homosexuality akin to that of equal rights for women. So given my past experiences, I was somewhat surprised at the reaction I got the other day.
When I said what I did, I was met with “You can’t say that!”, “That’s generalisation!” and other such replies. Fine replies which I kind if wanted to discuss tbh but didn’t really get the chance to. I sort of don’t know if I should type this as it may be taken the wrong way but I think those I was with were uncomfortable with the discussion. I think they thought I was going to go on an atheist preach rather than a discussion. Though I think my choice of words were bad give I haven’t spoken to some of the people a huge amount and they may not know my intentions with that sort of comment. I think it may have been taken as an attempt to offend. Absolutely not. If I want to offend, I will will be clear about it. No. My intention was to start discussion. One I hoped, maybe even expected, would lead to an agreement to disagree. I can’t remember the last time I deliberately tried to offend someone. It’s just something I don’t do. Even around enemies, I will favour a well constructed argument over a slagging match as insults just don’t get you anywhere. So we were all left sat there in an awkward situation where I was trying to do my usual thing of explaining why I said what I had but to be met with further comments like the above.
Now I’m not trying to say I think badly or look down upon these friends. Not at all. But I more feel disheartened by the way things went. There seems to be a deep rooted instinct in many to avoid difficult situations. I really find this a shame as if these controversial subjects aren’t touched and discussed once in a while, how do we progress? Think of it as “I’ve come to these conclusions because of this. Do you have anything to add that might help tweak and refine those?”. It’s almost a scientific approach to my outlook on life. Every once in a while I look at what I have in front of me and gather further information and research to adjust my thoughts. And if need be, I’ll turn on a dime. I would much rather do this than look at ons book (my life experiences) and stick my fingers in my ears to anything to do with it. If you are believe something I say us wrong, please show me where. I ask you. If you think my opinion us completely wrong I would love you to correct me. I can’t refine my views and morals though from just “you can’t say that”. And neither do I expect to agree on everything. But if we understand where we stand then they makes things so much easier.
I should also say, I’m not writing this to say I’m annoyed at my friends. More that I worry for myself. I had some friends around that table I’ve really been kicking myself for making myself look like an arsehole in front of. I just hope this can reverse that a little. I guess this all comes back to my post on swearing too. If I am obviously aiming to offend then sure, take offence. But what good does it do to assume certain topics are offensive whenever brought up? I’m pretty much 100% of the time trying to make conversation or say something off the cuff when I make these comments. Please take them at face value rather than mapping my conversations to offense at the drop of a hat.
I’m sorry for any un-intended offence the other day guys. But I hope this post just let’s you know for the future. I also hope done people might decide they like my way of looking at this. Anyway I might do a proper post on offence soon when i’m less worrying about friends. I’m also probably going to do something on the sra convention soon. Now I’ve eased my worries slightly. 🙂
Love you guys