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In the pursuit of equality in civil rights struggles it does not further the cause to adopt concepts and language which the public at large finds offensive. I am not talking of criticism of many of the publics faults, belief systems, but of common manners.

Feminism seems to think that to have equality with men they must adopt the behavior of men. There are many men who are crude in expressing themselves, and seem expected to be so. The general public, seeing many feminists adopting male crudeness, react negatively, and rightly so. Equality does not mean equal crudeness.

Atheists seem to have found a fascination with the “F” word of late. Whatever it is they are trying to change by profuse use of the word is not working. Instead, the public at large sees vindication for their preconceived notions about atheists. Most of the atheists I know are intellectual in persuasion, and certainly have no need of the use of such a word in expressing themselves plainly and convincingly.

Desensitization may be the goal of these efforts. Perhaps it is hoped that by such actions barriers to all sorts of behavior, held in the minds of the public as chicanery, will be broken. Is civilized behavior to be thrown out the window? Should there be couples coupling on the street corner? Should drug use be free to proliferate? Should all the monsters of the ID, be released? Chaos is not a desirable state of being.

I am an atheist, yet for me, common morality includes moral decency. Decency is defined by the society you are living in. Some change is undesirable. Despite the need to be equally recognized, demonized groups need to exercise common decency, otherwise they risk living up to the preconceived convictions held by the public in general. This impedes the cause.

To exercise common moral decency does not mean that valid and strong arguments have to be sanitized. A few insults sometimes leaves a seed for people to think about. However, insult ideas, concepts, not people, and present the information clearly enough so even the most dense stoop knows what direction you are going. Use reason and knowledge, and make sure your opponent in an argument knows that when you say the world ignorant, that ignorant does not mean stupid. Know your audience… and know what is commonly decent among them.

If the audience thinks you are a sewer rat, you won’t change their mind by spewing sewage.

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