If You Don’t Want the Truth, Don’t Ask

real life anime girlNot long ago, someone on Twitter started posting pictures of themselves and asked what people thought.  This was done to a public hashtag, it wasn’t that it was a private message to friends that was accidentally re-tweeted or anything.  Therefore, I answered and set off a chain reaction of whining.

Let me take a step back and say that it was someone who posted themselves made up similar to the picture to the left.  No, that’s not the picture from Twitter, I’m not going to make fun of them in particular, this is just a similar type of picture, especially the eyes.

So what did I say that got people so mad?  I said it was freaky.  I said it was creepy.  And it is.  I told the truth, at least in my opinion, which is what was requested.

Now I don’t go hunting down creepy people on the Internet, but if they come right out and ask people’s opinions in public, I’m not going to hold back either.  People have a right to dress however they want, they have a right to act however they want, what they do not have a right to do is expect everyone to compliment them on it.  If you ask for honesty, expect honesty, even if it’s not the response you were hoping for.

There is no expectation that everyone is  going to ride you around on their shoulders because you make a personal choice, especially when it’s a choice that falls outside of societal norms.  The same is true of people with copious amounts of visible tattoos and piercings.  Yeah, if you want to be an idiot and draw all over yourself in permanent marker and punch holes in your flesh, knock yourself out.  Just don’t expect me to give you emotional validation for doing so.  I think you look like an idiot and I reserve the right to tell you so.  You have a right to do it, I have a right to respond negatively to it.  I also have a right to not hire you if you come to me for a job.

This goes back to something I’ve talked about before, the liberal thought-crime police.  They don’t want you to simply allow others to do as they wish, they want you to agree with it.  Where it comes to gay marriage, they aren’t satisfied that the religious accept the right to marry regardless of your gender, they want the religious to openly and completely accept that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality.  Now I agree, there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, but I don’t pretend that I have any right to insist anyone change their mind.  What matters most is the public allowance, not the internal acceptance.  The person with the weird eye fetish has every right to walk down the street dressed however she wants.  I have a right to shake my head and think she’s an idiot. I can’t stop her from doing it, she can’t stop me from thinking she’s ridiculous.  That’s how it ought to be.  Sure, you’re free to hate me for my opinion, just as I can think you look absurd, but so long as both of us can think what we want to think and do what we want to do, everything ought to be fine.

And no, you don’t have any right not to have your feelings hurt.  If you really only want validation for your strange ways, don’t go asking in a public place, where people who may not think your freakish eyes are wonderful frequent, what everyone thinks.  You just might get some honest answers and clearly, you don’t want that.

6 thoughts on “If You Don’t Want the Truth, Don’t Ask

    1. Unfortunately, there seems to be an expectation that people have a right not to be offended, that everyone ought to ride them around on their shoulders and celebrate whatever stupidity they enjoy, just because they enjoy it. Screw that. Ask a question within my hearing and expect the truth, whether it makes you feel good or not.

  1. "If you ask for honesty, expect honesty, even if it's not the response you were hoping for."

    You have every right to respond and state your honest opinion. But it does seem to me that in this case you did so just to be mean. Just because you are asked a question doesn't mean you must give an answer. A thought doesn't have to cross one's lips (or in this case, find expression with our fingers on the keyboard) just because it forms inside your head. But then you have a right to be mean. You are correct that no one has a right not to be offended. But then no one who actually offends another has a right not to be criticized and called out as an asshole for issuing the offending words.

    1. There's nothing mean about reality. There's also no expectation to not be offended. The truth is the truth, regardless of whether or not it hurts someone's feelings. That's where intelligent conversations take place, where people are able to speak openly and honestly and truthfully and work out differences. Having to censor the truth because it might upset someone else is never a good thing.

      1. I did not claim there is anything mean about reality. But your commitment to reality, one I share, does not require that share your thoughts with a person just because those thoughts take form inside your brain. Your comment was mean because it wasn't necessary or required for you to share it. Yet you did. And I suspect you did so not out because of your sense of duty to uphold reality, but because here was an opportunity for you to say something that would likely be taken as hurtful by the recipient and you almost certainly knew this and so you said it.

        As for your comment that there is no expectation to not be offended, this is a pretty piss-poor response. If course there isn't. You said it the first time. And in my reply I acknowledged that you said it and that it is true. Repeating it to me again is not a rebuttal to my comments. For a person who claims to understand the rules for argumentation, this is a pretty clear lack of application of them. Repeating the comment is nothing more than a form of "doubling-down." You haven't anything compelling to say in reply so you repeat what you've already said and think you have just offered an argument.

        Again, I don't disagree that the "truth is the truth, regardless of whether or not it hurts someone's feelings." But there was no obligation here for you to hurt someone's feelings. Now if you were standing in front of the person have a face-to-face conversation and you were asked a question, I can see providing an honest answer, even if that answer hurts. But this was an online forum, where it was not necessary for you to respond. You did so, knowing t would hurt, only because you wanted to hurt and you are using this "truth is the truth" and "there is no expectation to not be offended" as a cover for just simply acting out of meanness. This is my opinion. I think you are a person who gets some satisfaction out of being needless mean to people whom for whatever reason you have taken a disliking.

        I agree that honesty and truthfulness are important ingredients in conversations where you are trying to work out differences. But in the case you posted about this was not one of those kinds of conversations. You weren't engaged in a conversation with this person to work our or even discuss difference. You just saw a chance to be hurtful, did so and then attempted to rationalize it by arguing you were upholding some high-minded principled commitment to truth and reality. In this particular case, this is simply bullshit.

        And I don't agree with you that censoring the truth is never a good thing. Most of the time it is not a good thing. But never? I am usually suspect of any claim that includes the word "never" in it. My system of ethics is based on consequentialism not absolutism. Anything that relies on absolutist claims is highly suspect to this skeptic. And when you say never you are making an absolutist claim. You seem to be implying that there are always only two options: tell the truth or tell a lie. But there s a third option. Don't say anything. Sometimes this is not possible. But in the case you blogged about, it was possible for you to say nothing and no one would have known that you had even been present or read the comment with its question. Had I been on the website and thought what you did in response to the question, I would not have posted the comment. Does this mean then that I am less committed to the principles of truth, honesty and reality than are you? No, it does not. But it does mean that I don't use my commitment to these principles and values like a club to needlessly hurt another person. I don't recklessly and wantonly exercise my commitment to these principles if it is going to cause hurt yet serve no noble purpose or achieve a meaningful objective. You on the other hand apparently do wield these principles as a club and care little about the effects this will have on other people in cases where it is obvious your act of truthfulness and honesty is not directed at some greater goal worth the injury you inflict. In my view this was the case in the instance about which you blogged.

        1. I find it humorous that you accuse someone of looking for a chance to hurt someone else. As if you knew he was trolling around, hoping to come across someone so he could wield the "club of truth". Maybe he didn't speak the truth with great care and tact but he wasn't asked to. You are entitled to your opinion but now you are stating it as fact. Let's try and uphold the morals we so vigorously defend in theory. We talk about everyone having the right to think and say whatever we want but then get incensed when they do just that. In reality, it seems we actually want them to line up with our particular set of morals. Yes, I think there are occasions to say nothing but I think you act best if you can speak truth in love.

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