Tag Archives: dictionary

The Selective Liberal Dictionary

Have I said how much I hate liberals lately?  They are hypocrites of the highest order, at least the ones I tend to debate.  Recently, the story of Ben Carson calling African slaves “immigrants” came out and, of course, the liberal whine parade had to run around screaming that the sky was falling.  Slaves can’t be immigrants because it wasn’t voluntary!

So I pulled out the dictionary and presented the definition of the word:  a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.  Nowhere in that definition does it describe the circumstances under which a person comes to live in a foreign country, it just says that they do.  It’s a perfectly accurate term to use, whether the illiberal left likes it or not.

You’d think these people don’t know what dictionaries are.  Of course, we know they do, they trot them out whenever the definition fits what they want to claim, like feminism, but when it doesn’t, they shrug and say “what’s a dictionary?”  Words only mean things when it helps them. They’re a bunch of hypocrites.

But why is this?  Because they have no actual arguments, they are just constant rage machines.  They don’t think, they just react.  They’re looking for something to get upset about, even if what they get upset about makes no rational sense.  This is what happens when emotions are used in place of intelligence.  The left has become the ideology of virtue signaling.  They want to look moral so they get upset at anything and everything that they can justify to themselves just might be bad, even if it isn’t. It’s why we see so much political correctness and censorship on the left, because they have to be higher and mightier than you are, even if they’re really not.

Please people, before you go screaming about some word that made you feel bad, go look up what that word actually means in the dictionary.  It might stop you from looking like an idiot, or at least it might make you look less like an idiot before you open your fool mouth and confirm everyone’s suspicions.

The Dictionary Does Not Dictate Reality

I find it funny how many people on the left absolutely worship the dictionary, as though they have no clue what the dictionary actually is.  We see this most commonly from feminists who love to quote the dictionary definition of feminism and then… go do something entirely different.

But today I ran into a self-identified liberal who didn’t really like that I was calling out liberals for things he didn’t seem to think were particularly liberal.  So he trots out the dictionary definition of liberal, then goes on to present his own positions that are 180-degree diametrically opposed from the dictionary definition.

These people need to realize that the dictionary doesn’t define words, the dictionary provides common usage.  The dictionary isn’t proscriptive, it’s descriptive.  That’s why dictionaries change definitions all the time and add entirely new words, because the general public changes how it uses words and invents new ones.  Therefore, the dictionary doesn’t actually tell you what words mean, that’s done by linguistic etymology, it just tells you the current usage of a particular set of sounds that come out of  your mouth.

That means that it all depends on which dictionary you look at as to what definition of a word you actually get.  If you find a dictionary published in the 1970s, you’re not going to get a modern definition of “feminism”.  There are such dictionaries online, like this one, the Webster’s Dictionary from 1828.  Look up “liberal” and compare it to a modern dictionary.  The word “feminism” didn’t even exist at that time.  It’s interesting to see how words have changed over almost 200 years.

Regardless, just because the dictionary says something doesn’t make it actually so.  As I said before, feminists will point to the dictionary definition, then go off and talk about gay rights and transgender issues, none of which fits with the dictionary definition of feminism.  They will scream about the “political, social, and economic equality to men” and when it’s pointed out that they already have all of that, they freak out.  There simply are no legally demonstrable rights that women lack that men have.  The reverse is entirely not the case, but women are, in every single way imaginable, entirely equal to men.  These special little snowflakes have just been indoctrinated to believe otherwise and not ask questions because, just like religion, if you ask questions, you’re just asking for trouble.

The dictionary doesn’t actually prove anything.  It certainly doesn’t prove that your actions fit any particular dictionary definition.  It just proves that lots of people use that word in a particular way.  So what?  If people started calling dogs “horses”, in a generation, the dictionary definition of “horse” would have a picture of a dog next to it.  Does that make a dog a horse?  I don’t think so.

The Objectively Dictionary Challenged

dictionaryI find myself walking away from more and more debates because the people involved are just damn stupid.  Nowhere is this better illustrated than a recent “debate” where a guy claimed that morality is objective.  This isn’t a new debate by any means and this guy isn’t playing the religious angle, in fact, I’d argue that he’s an atheist and making the same failed argument that I pointed out with Matt Dillahunty‘s secular morality claims.

There just isn’t any way to justify objective morality because objectivity, by it’s very definition, has to exist outside of the human mind and not be beholden to human whims, emotions, desires, dreams or anything of the sort.  Therefore, anyone who sets goals, observes standards, takes positions, etc. on the state of morality is, by definition, being subjective in their views.  This guy couldn’t wrap his head around that and, in fact, came off very dishonestly in his arguments.

He defined morality as supporting the goal of stopping suffering in humanity.  That’s exactly what Matt Dillahunty tries to argue and it fails for exactly the same reason.  The second you, as an individual, define a goal, you’re no longer being objective, but subjective.  I don’t care what the goal is, I don’t care how strongly you feel about the goal, that goal is still subjective because a human mind had a part in selecting it.  Words have meanings for a reason, to facilitate clear and concise communication.  So I produced a number of definitions for the word “objective” and he ignored them all entirely.  I guess words don’t mean much to him.  I told him to go out and find his own definition of “objective” from any reputable source that meets his claims about it.  He didn’t.  Instead, he went out and pulled a definition for the word “optimal”, claiming that he only cared about the optimal state of humanity and therefore, any morality that led to his self-defined optimal state was, by some bizarre definition, “objective”.

When I picked myself up off the floor, mouth agape, I just shook my head and walked away.  Now I don’t care if he wants to argue that his subjective position on morality is that it leads to some self-chosen optimal state, but come on, that’s not what the debate was about and he knows it.  This is becoming more and more common though, people thinking that they get to redefine words at their whim so they can win arguments.

Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

Red_Spectrum
Color is objectively defined, not subjectively experienced.

Worse yet, the guys on the other side of the debate weren’t that bright either.  They chased me down to explain that morality was subjective in the same way that color was subjective.  Everyone experiences it differently!  That sent me reeling as well because it is absolutely, positively not true.  Color is objective.  Each color is defined as a particular range of light wavelengths.  For example, red is defined as light around 650 nanometers, you don’t have to see this in order to measure it objectively.  If someone has red/green color blindness though, that light doesn’t magically transform into gray for the individual, even though they are unable to see red.  It remains red, their optical sensory organs are simply wrong.  They are not functioning properly.  The light doesn’t change, the people are seeing the light improperly!  I’ve tried to explain this to these people and they just can’t get it through their head that color is an objective thing.

It’s enough to make me want to throttle people sometimes.  Seriously, what do you do when you’re surrounded by morons on every side of the debate?