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How to engage in Polite discourse with disagreement.

Updated on January 15, 2014

How impolite to be naked, unless you are a little boy in his mud puddle!

Oh My! he was so rude to his toys. But the toys did not seem to mind.
Oh My! he was so rude to his toys. But the toys did not seem to mind. | Source

Let us start with per se defamation!

Really the laws have a definition of what is without a doubt wrongful and rude to say and actually actionable. Insults can serve a purpose. But let us look at Polite insults and then work on being more polite.

First let us look at some rules about what is just considered dead wrong: Here is a link to California Jury Instructions on this issue; http://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1700/1704.html Check it out it is very interesting about what jurors must decide in order to award damages for this type of defamation. It kind of is legal but made for lay folk like us.

“Defamation is an invasion of the interest in reputation. The tort involves the intentional publication of a statement of fact that is false, unprivileged, and has a natural tendency to injure or which causes special damage.”

We will get back to this. The false part is the fun part.

Ask a friend to love you by calming you down and relieving your stress and mean.

Are you polite my friend?

Do you worry about being nice and polite?

See results

Polite is nice.

Really polite is just being pleasant and nice. We are not required to be. And some folks just are not pleasant and nice. I have a bit of schizoid tendency here. Normally I am nice but sometimes I am just down right ornery and mean and nasty. That is part of the reason I preach love so much. It has made my life richer by at least putting some reins on my mean side.

And preaching it helps to teach it, even if just to me. But some folk are impolite and not nice. And whine when though I preach love I come down on them like a ton of bricks when they teach intolerance, divisiveness and just plain hate. So when we should always try to be polite and nice sometimes impolite is called for.

Some guy or gal once declared that if you do not have anything nice to say do not say anything at all. Well thank God George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, King and Mandela did not buy into that load of horse dung.

But still better to be polite nice and respectful.

The actions versus the words is a tough one. And here is the rub. When treated shabbily we are not to be doormats. If we are then in the end the meanest win. Pacifism is not an invitation for another to be rude to us. Because we at least try to be nice and speak of that as a virtue does not mean that we have to be nice to the person who is abusing us. In fact the opposite is true and that is how we all can and should stop bullies.

this was just so rude to the tree. but soon you will see how these Italian Cypress are happier after their buzz cut.

I just cannot stand cutting something alive, yet my words can cut like a knife on others.
I just cannot stand cutting something alive, yet my words can cut like a knife on others. | Source

So a fellow who uses the name Righteous as he publicizes on the Net calls me "self righteous".

Kind of funny with the name he uses for himself or herself as it tries to remain anonymous. Now that is a rude and impolite comment. Is it true? I think that is for others to decide so probably it is not actionable or even in my mind complainable. But rude? Hell yes! Did it serve a purpose? No it was just done to be mean, and it added nothing to the discourse.

So sue the guy for being rude and impolite and a little light headed? I think not.

There is a cool saying that comes from Latin and I really like it: Res Ipsa Loquitor. and it means that "the thing speaks for itself".

Most impoliteness and meanness should just stand on it's own. Let it speak for itself. Again my friends it is easier said than done. And that brings us right to the crux of the matter.

Can a Rose be impolite?

Probably not.
Probably not. | Source

Christians, Jews and Muslim share a notion.

I figure that a whole whole bunch of the population cannot be all wrong when it comes to matters they share in common. Here are some cool notions: The breastplate of faith, The sword of tolerance and the mighty hand of the weak. Those are really in all the above constructs of a belief system that spans all of the determinations of good in most of our world. And probably we could say even more so in the Hindi and Buddhist belief systems.

And yet even the esteemed leaders are not perfect at being polite. This does nothing to diminish their teachings and leadings. For sometimes we must stand up and be even rude for what we feel is right.

I had one of those horrible "some woman hitting her child in the check out line" moments the other day. I do not think I was very polite. I think I was probably arrogant and rude and tried to smack her back with my words and leave a scar. Well shame on me. I fell short of the love and kindness and politeness she probably needed.

So as we started so shall we end. Malice!

This is a great quote:

  • “We conclude that permitting recovery of presumed and punitive damages in defamation cases absent a showing of ‘actual malice’ does not violate the First Amendment when the defamatory statements do not involve matters of public concern.” (Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., supra, 472 U.S. at p. 763.)

We are left even in the law with looking into the heart of the speaker. This is not science and it is not theological. It is about our conduct toward our fellow man. What is polite and what is wrongful? Certainly from the above we see that if malice is concerned it is wrongful. Absent a clear and convincing showing of malice we are left to determine what is polite and what is not.

I conclude, that we must do our best to be polite. And we should preach politeness to those under our charge and influence. But a really cool dude with a really cool mustache once suggested:"Walk softly but carry a big stick". As I write to writers I suggest that our stick is truly big and so we do have the luxury of at least trying to walk softly on the feelings of others.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe strongly in this. I don't mind that people disagree with me; just be polite about it. I can handle being wrong; I can't handle name-calling and rudeness. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We try hard to avoid it. And I think we do normally. One thing left unsaid here is that we need to forgive each other and ourselves when we fail. Thanks Bill for checking in and adding so much.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Eric, one of my favorite chakras to open and meditate on is the third chakra, the manipura chakra at the solar plexus. It contains your sense of self, self-esteem, and your ability to set strong yet flexible personal boundaries. I believe it is very important for all of us to establish our personal boundaries.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent point Brian. And that boundary is nice to know in others. Letting that Chakra be felt outside of our self is very helpful for those around us.

    • Gap4 profile image

      George Patterson 3 years ago from Charleston, WV

      The picture makes me laugh, cool article. Polite disagreement is the way to go, unless you are arguing with a referee at a basketball game.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I assume you can raise so real hell in Spanish. My mom once slipped and said that cursing is allowable when in a foreign tongue.

    • Gap4 profile image

      George Patterson 3 years ago from Charleston, WV

      Haha. Mother is always right. (You just have to hope the referee isn't from a spanish speaking country. That's happend)

    • lesliebyars profile image

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      This is a great hub. I voted up and interesting. Keep up the great work!!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Very nice article. I'm okay with people who are outspoken in the sense that what you see is what you get. I don't like people who are polite to your face then rude behind your back. But this wasn't covered in your piece. Overall, I think it's okay to agree to disagree. But being polite is probably the best way to start off till you know someone so well that you can curse and they are okay with it. I ramble.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Gap4 or maybe we hope that they are. How fun life is?

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Leslie I am glad that you liked it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      GOL thank you. I am with you all the way and I think that subject probably deserves it's own hub.

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      But you are self righteous Eric. I thought you valued honesty and blunt speaking - apparently not. I didn't tell you this to be mean, I told you in the hope that you might become less self righteous. Doesn't seem to have worked though. :(

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nice Internet Name you have there.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I agree on that line ''if you do not have anything nice to say then don't say it all.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The trouble with that is/are things like wife beaters, concentration camps, polluters, and abusers. It is a nice sentiment though.

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      Thanks - I chose it with care, mindful of the ironic implications.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well in that I have gotten to know you. I think you picked a good name. I mean that pleasantly. I do not think we should be afraid of being self righteous. We should be that without the ego part of it. I do feel that you and I speak from a position that we have analyzed and feel righteous about. Those are really the only worthy conversations to have. Thank you.

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

      Civil Decorum is something I have touched upon while in the forum. It's ok to speak your mind ... but unfortunately there are liberal-minded people who are extremist in nature ( would like to add, for some, bi-polar in nature) who do not meet the norm when it comes to civility. I no longer pay heed to the forum because I find many who inhabit that place usually have serious issues already. Especially those who promote darkness. That's all I'm gonna say there, no names. I wish the Hub would rid us all of that nasty forum ... but then again, where would all those troublesome souls go? Your hub is spot on and voting UP and by the way ... righteous? lmao

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ziyena I just hate it when great folks like you make comments that are better than my hub ;-). I am not as fortunate as you. All physicians must go where their specialty calls them to go. I am afraid mine is in the "burn unit". I do love though to just write my hubs where I know my people just love life and share it with me. Like you just now. You are that rare flower so beautiful on the outside and yet more so on the inside. Go smile at someone!!!

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