Greetings to all...
There is a very interesting thread - http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum-administration-area/site-feedback-suggestions/6673-word-censuring.html
- about the use of profanity and it being censored on this forum. The thread is now closed but it brought up some interesting points that I'd like to address.
: Before I continue, let me stress that I am NOT trying to challenge the rules of this forum pertaining to the general use of profanity; I am merely bringing up the topic as a matter of Aesthetic / Ethical discussion.]
It's been often stated that: "People who use profanity do so because they lack a proper vocabulary."
Indeed, one of the users, Zetherin, made this comment:
And besides, as a philosopher (assumedly semi-intelligent), you should be able to find more clever, if not more subtle, ways to insult others if need be. Blatantly, liberally, and obnoxiously throwing around curse words isn't testament to one's intellectual prowess.
After thinking about this statement, I have no conclude that: if it's 'ok' to insult people using so-called intellectual terms, then what difference does it make if one uses profanity? -- The point being that an insult is an insult, regardless of what form it takes.
Criticising those who use profanity seems to me to be form of snobbery and elitism: a ethnocentric class-distinction that states that some
words are 'acceptable' and others are not.
Having been a long-time participant on many online forums which censor profanity, I have learned many ways to be dreadfully insulting to people without using a drop of profanity, or
using more technical versions of profane words to mean the same thing.
For example, I've told someone:
"You're just like the Stymphalian Birds and you're a sycophantic hierodule on this forum."
That's a pretty serious insult if you know what it means.
"I'd like to invite the original poster to copulate with themselves."
"Please do try to extricate your cranium from your rectum before posting again, thank you."
"Not being like the original poster, who possess a male organ roughly the size and shape of an anemic peanut, I cannot answer this question."
Language aside, we all know what these phrases mean; any one of them could've been expressed using profanity.
I assert that making the claim that it's somehow ethically / intellectually superior to refrain from using profanity is absurd when the language means the exact same thing.
Moreover, I assert that the claim "Use of profanity is evidence of a lack of intellect" is unfounded and amounts to nothing more than intellectual classism.
Finally, I assert that profanity certainly does have its uses. Language, like art, is fluid and we use words as an artist uses a brush. Sometimes a sharp or bold word is used for emphasis or specific description. To eliminate profanity from our language would be like eliminating the color red from the pallet.