In the western world, offending someone is often seen as being as bad, if not worse, than actually causing harm. When someone has this view, words are going to be seen as another form of violence.
It will then be necessary to punish a person who has said something that is ‘offensive’, and there will be a number of ways that this can take place. They could end up being shamed for what they have said, or it could be far worse.
A Number of Consequences
If someone feels offended by what another person has said online, they could up trying to silence them. This can take place by labelling them in some way, and this can mean that they will accuse them of being something.
And in today’s world, there are plenty of words that can be used to here; it is not as though there is just one word available. For example, they could accuse them of being a sexist or a racist.
One Step Further
Along with this, they could try to have this person banned from social media, and this will then take away this persons platform. The effect it has on their life can all depend on how well known they are.
If, for instance, they use social media to share videos and blog posts, this is going to have a massive effect on their livelihood. However, if someone has been ‘offended’ by something they have said, this is not going to concern them.
A knock on effect
Therefore, what this person has said online is going to have an effect on how they live in the real world. They may have lived from the money they made online, so losing their platform will take away the money they need to survive,
But even if someone only uses social media to stay in touch with friends and to share their thoughts, what they say online could still impact their life in a big way. If another person is offended by what they have said, they could end up being reported to the police and/or they could even lose their job.
And what is fairly certain is that if one person is offended, there are likely to be others who will also be offended. Someone can then have an army of people who want them to be punished for what they have said or done.
These people are likely to make a lot of noise and to be full of a lot of emotion, and this will give them a lot of power. They probably won’t work for the police, but they will want to police other people’s thoughts.
Black and White
The trouble is that even if someone is offended by what another person has said or done, it doesn’t mean that this person has done something wrong. They may have just expressed a view that goes against the dominant narrative.
But as offence is often seen as something that is given, not taken, there will be no reason for this person to look into why they are offended. They will be in the right and the other person will be in the wrong, and that will be the end of it.
One will believe that the only reason they feel as they do is due to what another person has said. It is then going to be perfectly acceptable to punish the person who has made them feel bad.
The words that have come out of this person’s mouth will then be like bullets (or sticks and stones) that have caused them to experience pain and this will prove that they have done something wrong. Having this person banned from social media or even causing them to lose their job, for instance, is then going to be justified.
The Death of Free Speech
One way of looking at this would be to say that this shows how powerful people’s feelings have become in today world, that’s if they buy into a certain worldview. If they do, how they feel will be far more important than anything else.
It is then irrelevant as to whether what another person has said is true and actually reflects reality. The way to make sure that certain people don’t have to experience discomfort will be to stop certain views from being expressed.
But if all this is put to one side, it is clear that people like this are unable to handle their own emotions. They don’t have the ability to regulate how they feel and this is why they need to silence others.
Through being consumed by their own emotions and needs, it is going to stop them from being able to think about what will happen if people don’t have the ability to share their views. It is similar to how someone can steal food from an orphanage and, through being so consumed by their own needs, they won’t be able to think about the effect their behaviour will have on the children.
Thus, even though someone can appear to have the moral high ground if they have the tendency to be offended, this is not going to be the case. What it will show is that this is just someone who can’t manage their own emotions, which is why they want to control other people.
If they were a morally upright human being, they would look into what they need to do to be able to handle how they feel. They would also realise that it will only be a matter of time before they are silenced.
What this illustrates is how important it is for people to take responsibility for their own emotions. This something that the so-called leaders at the top should be encouraging, but their again, it is easier for them to control people who can’t control themselves, and they can use these people to completely transform society.
These people are only too aware of how fractured society has become, so they need to do everything they can to stop people from talking about what they can see with their own eyes. Dealing with the people who notice what is going on and ignoring the people who are causing problem is the modus operandi.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.