There’s been a lot of discussion recently on Twitter, at least in my Time Line, concerning speech and treating one another with courtesy and dignity.
Let me begin by saying that I agree that treating each person with courtesy and dignity should be a goal of every skeptic, no matter how ridiculous the idea(s) being presented to us may appear. Tearing into another person, because you have a disagreement with them on any subject does not further the discussion nor will it convince the other(s) that they in fact, may be wrong.
Then there are those whose attitudes in general are acerbic. They can take no criticism, will have no discussion, and will be abusive no matter what your intent happens to be at the time.There are those that define “criticism” and “disagreement” as bullying and or harassment.
There’s nothing much any of us can do about that circumstance. People of that nature will probably never change. I tend to move on at that point and not address the other person again. Some, though, tend to want to force the issue of the others attitude and become abusive themselves. I guess it makes them feel better to hurl abuse back at someone than to just laugh the initial “discussion” off and just let it go.
Those with the abusive and dismissive altitudes though, shouldn’t be surprised when they receive the same harsh treatment they regularly dish out.
I’m always a little taken aback by those people that claim harassment from others and yet don’t realize that it was their comment – demeaning, abusive, dismissive – that caused the backlash to begin with. Some can see no wrong in whatever they say or write because it furthers an agenda and as long as they believe that, they’re going to get feedback that’s unwelcome whether it’s on Twitter, or other social media. And they always cry “foul” for others using the same egregious behavior as they have done in the past and continue to use.
Everyone has a perfect right to say whatever they want, in whatever manner pleases them. But don’t come back and accuse others of harassment or bullying because they didn’t happen like what you said. You can’t have it both ways.