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Old 27th June 2019, 11:04 PM   #161
BobTheCoward
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I may totally misunderstand, but I have this constant struggle in the politics forum. Like today, someone pointed out the fact that a rape accuser told friends at the time.

I get why people feel that is significant. But scientific skepticism leads me to conclude that we need some data to actually determine if it means what we think it means.And I don't see why we need to lower the skepticism bar because scientific skepticism is hard
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Old 27th June 2019, 11:50 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Those are still scientific claims, even if they are elements of a wider political debate that hinges on disagreements over subjective value weightings.
I'm glad you agree that rational skepticism can be applied in the political arena as well as other fields. As for the 'subjective value weightings' I just wish the people making them could come straight out and say eg. "I hate Muslims because they aren't White Christians like me and I fear The Other" rather than trotting out pseudo-scientific arguments to justify their xenophobia. If they did that then there wouldn't be anything to be skeptical of (except perhaps whether they were on the level or not).

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There are experts on social issues but they are academics in the humanities - a field that attracts scorn from many of a scientism bent.
If you mean that in the pejorative sense then who cares what they think?
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Old 28th June 2019, 12:00 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I may totally misunderstand, but I have this constant struggle in the politics forum. Like today, someone pointed out the fact that a rape accuser told friends at the time.

I get why people feel that is significant. But scientific skepticism leads me to conclude that we need some data to actually determine if it means what we think it means.And I don't see why we need to lower the skepticism bar because scientific skepticism is hard
A rape accuser said she told her friends at the time and there's no independent corroboration or what.

Not really in the mood to sift through threads to find what you're referring to.
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Old 28th June 2019, 12:55 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I may totally misunderstand, but I have this constant struggle in the politics forum. Like today, someone pointed out the fact that a rape accuser told friends at the time.

I get why people feel that is significant. But scientific skepticism leads me to conclude that we need some data to actually determine if it means what we think it means.And I don't see why we need to lower the skepticism bar because scientific skepticism is hard
We have some data.

But you're Bob, so we know it won't be enough for you. Considering that in your own words "It isn't wasting time to have a realistic expectations about meeting the nigh impossible bar set by skepticism" I wouldn't expect you to be satisfied by any reasonable evidence.
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Old 28th June 2019, 05:18 AM   #165
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
We have some data.

But you're Bob, so we know it won't be enough for you. Considering that in your own words "It isn't wasting time to have a realistic expectations about meeting the nigh impossible bar set by skepticism" I wouldn't expect you to be satisfied by any reasonable evidence.
I don't see why it is regarded as nigh impossible.

This seems like a criminology question. Criminologists have done a lot of research on related subjects. For example, many of us are familiar about the studies of witness reliability. If someone in another thread makes an inference that contradicts what we know about the accuracy of witness testimony, people jump on that.

If in one thread I ask what the evidence is for witness testimony and get told about this research, but in another thread I ask about victim behavior and I'm told common sense, there is a skepticism disconnect.
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Old 28th June 2019, 05:24 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
The idea that scientific skepticism, which deals so well with the kind of fringe claims that were once the grain for the mill on these forums, can be redirected effectively to social and political issues is bunk. Appeals to skepticism on these subjects are appeals to unwarranted authority. That is what has happened to scepticism on these boards at least.
Oh hogwash and poppycock.

Even if we pretend there is some dividing line between "political/social" and... I don't know "reality" the political/social claims are still based on real world things.

You can't separate, for instance, Republicans refusal to address climate change with the fact that climate change actually exists.

Again I get that painting "science" (and by extension skepticism/critical thinking) as only dealing with the worlds of beakers and labcoats and not applying to "real world" is a popular one, but it is not true.
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Old 28th June 2019, 05:34 AM   #167
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*Yawn* Another clear science question.

Try the abortion debate. Science can sure inform it but a subjective choice decides the normative questions even after all the facts are laid out and miscommunication cast aside.
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Old 28th June 2019, 05:39 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
*Yawn* Another clear science question.

Try the abortion debate. Science can sure inform it but a subjective choice decides the normative questions even after all the facts are laid out and miscommunication cast aside.
That's your counter-example?

The "abortion debate" only exists because people think the magical sky wizard puts a soul in a fetus and it makes him cry when we kill it. Take away religion and opposition to abortion becomes statistically nil.
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Old 28th June 2019, 05:52 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's your counter-example?

The "abortion debate" only exists because people think the magical sky wizard puts a soul in a fetus and it makes him cry when we kill it. Take away religion and opposition to abortion becomes statistically nil.
I say, what gammon and spinach.
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Old 28th June 2019, 06:02 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's your counter-example?

The "abortion debate" only exists because people think the magical sky wizard puts a soul in a fetus and it makes him cry when we kill it. Take away religion and opposition to abortion becomes statistically nil.
Even atheists get more reluctant the closer you get to the date of delivery.
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Old 28th June 2019, 06:04 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's your counter-example?

The "abortion debate" only exists because people think the magical sky wizard puts a soul in a fetus and it makes him cry when we kill it. Take away religion and opposition to abortion becomes statistically nil.
This doesn't really explain why there are restrictions on abortion world wide, even in very secular nations.

As far as know there aren't any countries on earth in which a women can get an abortion without at least going through a few hoops past about 18 weeks. Typically, limits start phasing in quite a bit earlier than that.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6235557.stm

Lots of restrictions or requirement after 12 weeks in most countries.

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Old 28th June 2019, 06:30 AM   #172
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ah nvm

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Old 28th June 2019, 07:04 AM   #173
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I think people are conflating things. Science is a way to understand the universe in which we live. It does not tell us how we ought to behave. You can use pieces of knowledge acquired through science as points to support whatever argument you'd like to make about how we should behave, but that argument is coming from you and not from science itself.

Science can tell you all about the physical properties of a fetus, but it can't tell you whether it's right or wrong to abort it. That's always going to be a human decision, no matter how much medical information you paste into your thought process.
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Old 28th June 2019, 07:15 AM   #174
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Which is fine and dandy (I could quibble, a lot in fact, over certain versions of the "Science can't give you the should only the facts" sort of thing, but that's another topic) as long as it doesn't turn into "I like science as long as it gives me the answer I want, then I reframe it into a 'why' question and declare it off limits."

99% of the time "Why" questions are just "What" questions badly worded.
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Old 28th June 2019, 10:51 AM   #175
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From the OP: "Has skepticism just become a haven for bigots, transphobes, racists, islamophobes, misogynists and general ne'erdowells under the freedom of 'just discussing facts'?"

No, it has not. Many claim a mantle of skepticism to support their opinions, but we would actually apply critical thinking to address those claims. For example, "on what evidence do you base this statement?" "What would it take for you to change your mind about this?" This is basic skepticism 101. One need look no further than the OP decrying skepticism as a haven for injustice and replies suggesting that skepticism has been co-opted by social justice warriors (that term used as a pejorative, btw) to see that skepticism isn't problem.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:00 AM   #176
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WTF has happened to 'skepticism'?

I personally think the Merchants of doubt have been the main driver. Not the book per se, but the people described by the book.

They call themselves skeptics when delivering their paid propaganda, and gradually over the years the perception of what it means to be a skeptic changed with that.

So for example a climate skeptic in today's usage means a hard headed denialist of the science. In past usage of the term it would be the skeptic that sided with the scientific evidence. So considering the massive propaganda campaigns that have been spent over the years all under the umbrella of "skepticism". It shouldn't be too surprising that gradually the perception, if not actual meaning, of the word has shifted dramatically.
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Old 29th June 2019, 02:40 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Which is fine and dandy (I could quibble, a lot in fact, over certain versions of the "Science can't give you the should only the facts" sort of thing, but that's another topic) as long as it doesn't turn into "I like science as long as it gives me the answer I want, then I reframe it into a 'why' question and declare it off limits."

99% of the time "Why" questions are just "What" questions badly worded.
Pretty much this.
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Old 29th June 2019, 06:43 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
WTF has happened to 'skepticism'?

I personally think the Merchants of doubt have been the main driver. Not the book per se, but the people described by the book.

They call themselves skeptics when delivering their paid propaganda, and gradually over the years the perception of what it means to be a skeptic changed with that.

So for example a climate skeptic in today's usage means a hard headed denialist of the science. In past usage of the term it would be the skeptic that sided with the scientific evidence. So considering the massive propaganda campaigns that have been spent over the years all under the umbrella of "skepticism". It shouldn't be too surprising that gradually the perception, if not actual meaning, of the word has shifted dramatically.
I think I'm pretty good at applying scientific skepticism. I can't think of any mainstream scientific theory I reject.

But I feel there is a lot of complaints I'm a denialist when I bring scientific skepticism and am told I need to use common sense or that it is obvious.
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Old 29th June 2019, 10:53 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I think I'm pretty good at applying scientific skepticism. I can't think of any mainstream scientific theory I reject.

But I feel there is a lot of complaints I'm a denialist when I bring scientific skepticism and am told I need to use common sense or that it is obvious.
The complaints are mostly because your questions are often so strange and bizarre, it's difficult for people to believe that you're not just trying to piss them off.

If you aren't doing that, and you really are just a guy with an utterly strange way of thinking, then I suppose it's a shame your curiosity is often met with such hostility. But really, it shouldn't surprise you. You must know that your technique can be really aggravating. It's like someone took the Socratic method (which is already annoying as ****), added a big batch of random contrarian ideas, and turned it into a weapon. But not a lethal weapon - something more like a squirt gun full of pee!

I'm not picking on you, to be clear. I often find you funny, you occasionally offer quite unique insights, and I definitely can't guess what your position will be on any topic ahead of time. Still, it's really hard for me to believe that you can't see why your method angers people. You yourself admitted that you often have no point when you do this stuff. So, that's more like pot-stirring than skepticism.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:12 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
The complaints are mostly because your questions are often so strange and bizarre, it's difficult for people to believe that you're not just trying to piss them off.
I actually find his questions fairly straightforward. What's strange and bizarre is the way every attempt to reason from them meets immediate and fatal resistance from Bob.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:16 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I actually find his questions fairly straightforward. What's strange and bizarre is the way every attempt to reason from them meets immediate and fatal resistance from Bob.
I think it is mostly because a level of skepticism below scientific skepticism is being asked. I don't ask for much, just that scientific skepticism be applied to every subject ever.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:21 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I think it is mostly because a level of skepticism below scientific skepticism is being asked. I don't ask for much, just that scientific skepticism be applied to every subject ever.
It's not practical to apply every step of the scientific method to everything, particularly the analysis of the data and conclusion.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:21 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I actually find his questions fairly straightforward. What's strange and bizarre is the way every attempt to reason from them meets immediate and fatal resistance from Bob.
Yeah, it's like Bob's inner voice has Oppositional defiant disorder.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:46 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I think it is mostly because a level of skepticism below scientific skepticism is being asked. I don't ask for much, just that scientific skepticism be applied to every subject ever.
Q.E.D.

---

ETA: It's actually worse than that, but whatever.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:59 PM   #185
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Part of the problem is axiomatic. Bob's axioms are simply unworkable. Tell Bob that scientific rigor is not a good standard for everything, and that applying it injudiciously causes problems instead of solving them. He'll tell you that's too bad.
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Old 30th June 2019, 07:10 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
Correct. The high-tech commissars of Silicon Valley are not independent thinkers and neither do they support independent thought.
I wasn't talking about Silicon Valley, but okay, so at least we agree that you don't automatically become an independent critical thinker just because you happen to belong to some fringe culture?

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Ahh...There's that term again "conspiracy theorist." How do you define a conspiracy theorist or a conspiracy theory?
Conspiracy theory: a narrative about an event, group, or phenomenon, characterised by cherry-picking, logical fallacies, misleading or outright made up statements, an unwillingness to consider contrary evidence, and a lack of actual evidence in general.

CTs are perpetuated by statements which appear convincing, but are erroneous or rebutted by adding context, such as "the WTC collapsed even though it was designed to withstand collisions with airplanes", neglecting to mention that the planes the archictects had in mind were smaller and that they would be flying far more slowly and without much fuel left in their tanks. When corrected on this, CTers tend to ignore the contrary evidence, or try to smear the as "in on it" or corrupt or ignorant in some other way.

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From my experience, that term is used by members of the Skeptic Cult to denote who is a heretic and heretical beliefs.
Nope, it's used investigated and found wanting, like the idea that Bush was behind 9/11.

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Now it is interesting to note what is called a conspiracy theory and what is not. During the run up to the Iraq War(circa 2001-2003) our government, our media and intelligence agencies were actively engaged in an elaborate hoax to deceive the American people.
"Conspiracy theory" seems to mostly or only be used about private actors, so no, the WMD mess wouldn't be called a CT. Which makes sense. A CT is, pretty much by definition, an alternative narrative that challenges what you love to call "the official story".

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Yet when reading Skeptic sites and publications this huge conspiracy theory is never mentioned.
Have you somehow missed all the threads and posts on this site about the Iraq war and WMDs? Poll a large number of sceptics and I doubt you'll find very many who believe Bush and his cronies really thought Iraq still had WMDs.

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It is just the same old stuff about JFK, the moon landings and 9/11. Why does this huge conspiracy theory that led to the Iraq war never register among the Skeptics? Because the term "conspiracy theory" is only applied to beliefs not given official sanction by western intelligence/media.
Yes, every time I hear a claim I routinely call up the CNN and the FBI to see if it's been officially sanctioned. Might lose my shill money otherwise, and my current job as a hotel housekeeper doesn't pay that well.
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Old 30th June 2019, 07:45 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Part of the problem is axiomatic. Bob's axioms are simply unworkable. Tell Bob that scientific rigor is not a good standard for everything, and that applying it injudiciously causes problems instead of solving them. He'll tell you that's too bad.
Skepticism isnt about solving problems. It is about truth. Whether truth even has value is a separate question and irrelevant to the use of skepticism.
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Old 30th June 2019, 07:49 AM   #188
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Q.E.D.
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Old 1st July 2019, 06:18 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I think I'm pretty good at applying scientific skepticism. I can't think of any mainstream scientific theory I reject.

But I feel there is a lot of complaints I'm a denialist when I bring scientific skepticism and am told I need to use common sense or that it is obvious.
Obviously then you need to apply common sense to the scientific skepticism you bring, and stop complaining.
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Old 1st July 2019, 04:17 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I think I'm pretty good at applying scientific skepticism. I can't think of any mainstream scientific theory I reject.

But I feel there is a lot of complaints I'm a denialist when I bring scientific skepticism and am told I need to use common sense or that it is obvious.

An observation of mine - The more common a person is the less sense is evident.
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Old 1st July 2019, 04:22 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
An observation of mine - The more common a person is the less sense is evident.
Has a certain ring to it, but what does it mean to call a person "common" in this context?
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Old 1st July 2019, 04:40 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Has a certain ring to it, but what does it mean to call a person "common" in this context?
The lumpenproletariat.
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Old 1st July 2019, 04:50 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Has a certain ring to it, but what does it mean to call a person "common" in this context?

It's an English thing implying someone is of a lower class "commoner" as distinct from aristocratic I suppose. It has become to mean someone of low social status, education, and intelligence, from my understanding.

I recall one Mrs Slowcome (not sure of spelling here), in the series "Are you being served", used to refer to folk as common or dead common, in a derisive manner.
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Old 1st July 2019, 05:33 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It's an English thing implying someone is of a lower class "commoner" as distinct from aristocratic I suppose. It has become to mean someone of low social status, education, and intelligence, from my understanding.

I recall one Mrs Slowcome (not sure of spelling here), in the series "Are you being served", used to refer to folk as common or dead common, in a derisive manner.
Mrs. Slocombe talks like that because she's a misanthropic douchebag with an overinflated sense of self-importance. It works okay in a well-written farce, but is probably a bad model for how to think and talk about other people.
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Old 1st July 2019, 05:51 PM   #195
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Old 1st July 2019, 05:52 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Mrs. Slocombe talks like that because she's a misanthropic douchebag with an overinflated sense of self-importance. It works okay in a well-written farce, but is probably a bad model for how to think and talk about other people.

Thanks for the help in spelling Slocombe, but please don't think I am starting a fan club for her. She is just one I could bring to mind who used the word "common" in this manner. I am sure there are others as well, so don't get your'e nickers in a twist.
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Old 1st July 2019, 06:28 PM   #197
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Excuse me, but I won't be sat sitting here while people are slagging off on Mrs Slocombe! She was a great lady, of extreme refinement, and I am unanimous in that!
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Old 1st July 2019, 06:53 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Thanks for the help in spelling Slocombe, but please don't think I am starting a fan club for her. She is just one I could bring to mind who used the word "common" in this manner. I am sure there are others as well, so don't get your'e nickers in a twist.
The manner in which she uses it is mean-spirited.

The entire British concept of class is kind of gross. The conflation of "low" class with low morals and low intelligence is hateful and bigoted.

I'm not sure why you'd want to use the term the way Mrs. Slocombe does, but I guess at least we're clear about how you're using it.
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Old 1st July 2019, 06:59 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The manner in which she uses it is mean-spirited.

The entire British concept of class is kind of gross. The conflation of "low" class with low morals and low intelligence is hateful and bigoted.

I'm not sure why you'd want to use the term the way Mrs. Slocombe does, but I guess at least we're clear about how you're using it.
The American concept of class is far superior.
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Old 1st July 2019, 07:19 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
The American concept of class is far superior.
Only in the sense that it's a half-assed off-brand version of the British concept of class. Which is indeed far superior to actually getting the British concept right.
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