Ms. Y: That's insanity!! The use of the word "retard" is wrong, no matter what context, unless the use is clinical. You would think a mother of a child with special needs would feel as strongly about it as anyone else. How dare she excuse it at all, much less in one place and criticize the other. Maybe one day she'll remove her head from her butt.
Ethan: Hmmmm, I kind of disagree. The words "stupid", "moron", and "idiot" were clinical terms as well, yet we use them as a description. Let's not forget the use of the word "gypped", which has racist roots, but we use it. A word is just a word, the intention is what makes it evil, neutral, or good. I could make the word "bread" evil if I tried.
Moderator: hmmmm...I kind of disagree with your kinda disagree. Many words have been used historically that most of us would be uncomfortable using in most circumstances...the "N" word and the "K" word (for Jews) being the two that come to mind first...yet cultural sensitivity and caring about other peoples feelings make these words inappropriate (most of the time).
Ms. Y: Oh Ethan, I do see your point but I also have to disagree with your disagreement. Mentally Retarded is a clinical term and is defined as two or more standard deviations away (lower than) from the average IQ score of 100. It's a recognized classification of disability. Much like the racist terms that make my stomach churn even thinking of them, using the word retard, or a form of the word, is wrong, unless it's a clinical diagnosis. Using the word retard as a descriptor of anyone/anything is just as offensive as the slurs that have the potential to see legal prosecution under hate crimes.
Ethan: I can appreciate from where your arguments stem, however I subscribe to the George Carlin view of words being innocent and the meaning being guilty. For a simple example, people often use the word lame to describe something that is disliked, however the word lame can also mean disfigured or crippled. However, the meaning is different. Also a number of my gay friends use the word gay in the same fashion as lame. I am also an egalitarian and think it is illogical and discriminatory for society to approve of one group using a word and condemn it for another. That is the definition of discrimination. Finally to you, Moderator. Your examples of those two words is not a good comparison. The original and nearly sole intent of those words is hate and discrimination, while the word retarded is not. If you wish to make a comparison the juxtaposed words should actually be comparable beyond the fact that they are composed of letters.
Ms. Y: George Carlin had many valid points, I'm a fan of his. Words are innocent and the meaning is guilty, then where exactly does that put using the word retard (or any other you see fit)? I'm all for freedom of speech (thought I'd throw that inthere before you attempt to use it against me) but when in life has it become okay to say and do whatever you like because you adopt famous people's views of language? We were not created to be and operate as islands. We are all interconnected and have been created to serve one another. Where exactly does using any word in a slanderous way move the Kingdom forward? When did we stop caring about others? When did it become "cool" and "a right" to insult one another? When did philosophy adopting give us the perspective that words don't hurt? Keep trying Ethan. OH, and Ethan, can you explain to me exactly how calling someone a retard is not discriminatory and hateful? Just wondering....
Ethan: Okay. First of all, the reason I cited George Carlin was not to say "Hey, someone famous said it, therefore I am right." It was more to give an example so I didn't have to explain the whole thing here on Facebook. The entire point of his statement is as follows: those who get offended at the word X, which they believe has the implication of Y, areoffended by the definition, not the word itself. So, when the definition is different, offense should not be found. I was under the impression that English was one of those cool languages where words could have multiple definitions. I am not denying that people take offense, as that is quite evident in the fact that we are having this conversation. Now, I shall try to go through my points sequentially so I don't lose my path: 1) You are correct, we are not islands, and we thrive through social interactions. However, social interaction is a two-way street. It is not simply, "I'll say I'm offended, and you will stop what I say offends me." It involves give and take from both sides, such as people working on not getting offended at things that have no offensive intention whatsoever. 2) "We ...have been created to serve one another." I could see using this mentality as a justification for slavery. And I will not agree with this statement for many reasons, not the least of which is "created". 3) As for your question about how this moves us forward, I would like to do a little thought experiment about where the path of politically correct censorship leads, and I can't help but see Orwell's Double Speak at the end of the tunnel. 4) Words can hurt. Any word can hurt. But words are simple devices for conveying a definition, a larger concept. Thus, with words that have multiple definitions, a single word can convey many different concepts; only in cases such as this are all of the definitions connected no matter what the intended implication. A thought comes to mind: the word retard does have other uses, ie. "Don't retard the process." Is this sentence acceptable? It does not use the definition of "a generalized disorder, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning...", nor does it follow the definition of "an insult to describe some one acting in an illogical way". 5) Finally, can I explain how calling someone a retard is not discriminatory or hateful? Yes. First of all, do physicians still use the word "retard" to describe someone with "a generalized disorder, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning"? If YES: Then the word is not always used to discriminate. If NO: Then the word is not used clinically to describe those with "impaired cognitive functioning", and thus is free for other definitions. Regardless of which is true, the discriminatory and hateful senses of a word comes from its definition, its implication, a sentiment that you agreed to in your previous post. Thus, if the word is used with no intention of hate, no intention of discrimination, then it is not hateful.
You told me to keep trying. I will.
Moderator: I don't find words themselves insulting...but when a word used to describe one group is used to insult another then it's as if we are saying the characteristics of the first group are inferior and therefore to say you are like them is an insult. Using the word Jew to describe me is fine...saying to someone else that "you jewed me" (meaning took financial advantage of) is saying to be like a Jew is bad and therefore I'm using it to insult you and insulting me at the same time...it's the use of the word...when both Limbaugh and Emmanuel used the word "retard" they said you are behaving like a person with a particular disability and therefore it's an insult to both the person it was used against and the people it refers to. It is, of course, ok to hurl an insult at someone, but I don't think it's ok to implicate, and potentially hurt others, while hurling it.
Ms. Y: Ethan, our philosophies on creation are not important here, so you're right, we need not go into that. I respect whatever your belief on that is. However, serving one another is far different then enslaving. You're a young boy and as you grow and mature that definition will become much broader than a likeness to slavery. Serving one another in love has absolutely nothing to do with slavery.George Carlin did have a point, but it's not the only point and it's not entirely correct. Let's remember: he made his living doing comedy, not matter how timely his comic routines may have been.
Your alternate definition of the word retard also has no bearing on this discussion as the use is correct but completely unrelated to humans or human behavior. There are also flame retardent clothing. Also, no bearing here.
People who are classified anywhere on the scales of mental retardation, which yes-is still a diagnosed disability, not "impaired cognitive functioning", that would be a definition, not a diagnosis present with many challenges. When that is used to insult another, it is insulting both sides.
The moderator did a fantastic job of saying exactly what the rest of my argument was going to be, so I don't feel I need to say it all again.
Ethan: ...I have stated it before, I am not using George Carlin as an appeal to authority; I don't know why you keep saying that I am. I was taught in school to cite people, maybe I was wrong.
2. How is it you've come to this conclusion, "However, that is no longer the intention. At all. By saying someone is retarded, the person is not attempting to use the word that is labeled to one group and throw it on another. That is not the point. That is a different definition." What other way is that possibly used??!! You can't make generalization to that degree on something you are not an expert.
3. I'm not sure why your anger discussion is included. Other than people, all people, any people SHOULD be angry and get involved when there are wrongs in this world that need our attention. And yes, this is one of those items that needs/deserves attention. I encourage to you to speak with people who have family members who are Mentally Retarded and/or educators who work with students with this diagnosed disability. I am sure you will find we all agree that the use of the word is absolutely unacceptable.
4. How do you know people don't want God to truly bless you when you sneeze?
5. Don't fall back on friendly (yet still offensive) banter. That also has no part in this argument.