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Thread: Taboos in society.

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    Default Taboos in society.

    In this thread we shall discuss the taboos in our society, and whether or not they should actually be considered taboos.

    Let's start with suicide. Why is it so frowned upon in our society to kill oneself? Does it come from religion? Is it unethical to force someone to live when they obviously don't want to, especially when it drains resources?

    What other taboos do you find odd?
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    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Public nudity. Here the weather is in triple digits, and I say the less clothing the better!

    To your suicide thing, voluntary cannibalees. It would be a great way to feed starving people. Commiting suicide does not tend to benefit others, but cannibalism is a great way to commit suicide if you're gonna do it.

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    Doesn't cannibalism cause mad cow disease or something?
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Mario, yes it is a religious reason. The church cannot get your tithing if you are dead!

    Public Nudity is not Taboo... It's a necessity! Really not many folks would want to see me naked!!! If everyone was Bronze gods and goddesses that would be different! However we would find some other reason to be modest I suppose.

    So true!

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    The obvious explanation for the suicide taboo is that suicide involves death, and humans as biological beings are generally averse to death. We might not understand this because we have too much time to think about it.

    One reason public unity is frowned upon is because clothes serve a variety of purposes. They can identify people and draw borders between groups of people, show who belongs to one group, occupation, etc. They also reinforce rank and class. And they can also indicate sexual status, from hiding people's appearance to presenting them as sexually 'available'.

    I also agree with Malanu to a certain point; we don't consider nudity in general to be that attractive. Plenty of cultures throughout our history have, however. Wearing clothes is also a defense mechanism for people - it's sort of practical to protect our skin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greatguy View Post
    Public nudity. Here the weather is in triple digits, and I say the less clothing the better!

    To your suicide thing, voluntary cannibalees. It would be a great way to feed starving people. Commiting suicide does not tend to benefit others, but cannibalism is a great way to commit suicide if you're gonna do it.
    I really hope you don't use Celcius.


    Suicide is a taboo, because of several reasons:

    For a more religious reason it is that you throw away the life your God gave you.

    And as sunny already said we don't like death and we don't understand why people would want that.

    But I also think people see it as a sign of weakness, of giving up, considering people tend to say you just have to deal with your problems as everyone haves problems.
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    Not only that, but we seek to distance ourselves, psychologically and ideologically, from someone who entertains the idea of suicide, because as a survival instinct we don't want to even think like them. So we start calling them weak and put them down for it. It's just like animals who abandon sick young in the wild. Running away from something isn't considered a good thing usually, so we tell ourselves that we are different and praise ourselves for our strength, when really that strength is just avoidance, because we all have that breaking point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albus Dumbledore
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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    Doesn't cannibalism cause mad cow disease or something?
    Exactly. It's not just society that decided that "cannibalism is bad". There are a couple of tribes in africa that do practice it, but are faciing the consequences of it, and most of the inhabitants are dying out because of a disease wich is, in short, the human version of mad cow disease.

    Same thing with incest. It's a biologically threatening practice that has fallen under society's taboos because it is dangereus for any living species. Humans included.


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    Why is taking drugs considered a bad thing?

    Why is the right to be offended seemingly beginning to trump the right to offend?

    Both of these are damning indictments on modern western life.

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    Taking drugs is considered bad because

    (A)The government is stupid
    (B)They can put you "out of your mind" and you could hurt someone (my mom, a nurseanesthitist, deals with hundreds of drunk driving cases monthly)
    (C)People do not tend to like crazy people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    Why is the right to be offended seemingly beginning to trump the right to offend?
    Two reasons: 1) It's believed that since society works on people working well together, that being non-offensive is generally the superior method for ideal cooperation between people, especially between different cultural groups in today's environment. 2) Other cultures (such as various Eastern cultures) have melded into the Western world, where respect and politeness are a major part of communication in daily life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albus Dumbledore
    Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyC View Post
    Two reasons: 1) It's believed that since society works on people working well together, that being non-offensive is generally the superior method for ideal cooperation between people, especially between different cultural groups in today's environment. 2) Other cultures (such as various Eastern cultures) have melded into the Western world, where respect and politeness are a major part of communication in daily life.
    1) It was a semi-rhetorical question.

    2) Both your points are irrelevant because they assume that offensive means are to be the dominant force by which one interacts with other points of view.

    3) In your analysis, you confuse the words "respect" and "politeness" with "censorship" and "authoritarianism".

    4) A society being tolerant and respectful is exactly the kind of society where the right to offend is more likely to exist.

    5) I hope this analysis does not mirror your personal view.

    Perhaps I should be a bit more blunt. Why is our society so hell bent on attempting to curb freedom of speech and support censorship? When are we going to stop appeasing intolerant groups and return to a more acceptable level of freedom of speech?
    Last edited by Snorunt conservationist; 26th June 2012 at 8:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    1) It was a semi-rhetorical question.

    2) Both your points are irrelevant because they assume that offensive means are to be the dominant force by which one interacts with other points of view.
    Don't quite get what you're saying here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    3) In your analysis, you confuse the words "respect" and "politeness" with "censorship" and "authoritarianism".
    Not really. Explain yourself or quit shoving buzzwords in my mouth in an attempt to make a strawman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    4) A society being tolerant and respectful is exactly the kind of society where the right to offend is more likely to exist.
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I didn't say the belief made sense or that I agreed with it, but in my observation that is the overarching rationale that society is using to move more toward trying not to offend people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    5) I hope this analysis does not mirror your personal view.
    I hope you cool down a little bit. Seems like you always debate in black and white these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    Perhaps I should be a bit more blunt. Why is our society so hell bent on attempting to curb freedom of speech and support censorship? When are we going to stop appeasing intolerant groups and return to a more acceptable level of freedom of speech?
    I think it's because realistically on a global level, there are different standards of speech and freedom of speech...in order to synthesize with them all, we end up accomodating belief systems that are more oppressive ideologically than our own. I can understand how that's a tragedy, but it doesn't mean we throw our own freedom of speech away - more like we create a patchwork of those different standards and try our best to be the dominant ingredient that eventually mixes with all of them. Or we can just separate and stay alone and try to overcome them by force or competition, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albus Dumbledore
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    If I may.

    Recently My wife and I agreed to create a swear jar for ourselves. Everytime we swear we owe a dollar. So it has gone pretty good, til this weekend. I was playing A video Game (Not Pokemon!) and lashed out because the camera was flailing wildly and I could not see my character. I yelled, "What is this CRAP" Yes Crap, not Shi... Crap. My son pinged in I owed a dollar! Of course I said I didn't as at 11 years old I feel crap is acceptable language for him to hear and even use.

    I was being bullied by my wife and son to stop saying crap because he didn't like it! NOT because it's a swear word, but just because my 11 year old didn't like it. Life lesson time for my son, people will use language every day that we do not like, however, the words may in fact be perfectly acceptable. Because you don't like it, isn't a reason to restrict another persons freedom of expression!

    Remember rights work both ways. I have the right to speak my mind. You have a right to be offended. You have a right to say so, I have a right to thank you and continue to express myself. And finally we both have the right to walk away because we are offended enough or badgered enough.

    The irony is that no matter how open minded you are how compassionate you are, you ARE going to offend someone, They are going to speak up against you and they will eventually try to force you to not be so open minded and compassionate.

    I know what I like and don't like, I keep an open mind towards most things outside those known limits, And I will not have anybody tell me ever that I cannot think or say what I believe. What's more I try to give everyone the same respect even if I don't agree with them. I fail from time to time, but I am only human after all.

    So true!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyC View Post
    Not really. Explain yourself or quit shoving buzzwords in my mouth in an attempt to make a strawman.
    Politeness and "inclusiveness" are becoming buzzwords for censorship and the like. We do not accept the cruder side of "Eastern" (crude but I get your meaning, though it should be pointed out that they are by no means the sole reason we are losing our right to offend) cultures because we respect them and are polite, we're doing it because we're cowardly and scared of the consequences of facing them.

    I hope you cool down a little bit. Seems like you always debate in black and white these days.
    I've always debated in Black and White.

    I think it's because realistically on a global level, there are different standards of speech and freedom of speech...in order to synthesize with them all, we end up accomodating belief systems that are more oppressive ideologically than our own. I can understand how that's a tragedy, but it doesn't mean we throw our own freedom of speech away - more like we create a patchwork of those different standards and try our best to be the dominant ingredient that eventually mixes with all of them. Or we can just separate and stay alone and try to overcome them by force or competition, I guess.
    When it comes to freedom of speech and the right to offend, there is only one correct view. Ours. Any attempt to censor freedom of speech, freedom of the press etc should lead to its proponents being publicly shamed and harrangued (legitimately).

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    I'm trying to understand how two people who love each other is such a societal taboo these days. Hear me out, I was looking around and I happened to stumble upon a story which was pretty disheartening to say the least.

    For my assignment where I was told to violate a “norm”, I was very unsure of what to do. From my perspective, I felt that this assignment should be more of something fun for me to do. But since it was supposed to be violating a norm, it would need to make other people feel, to a certain extent, uncomfortable. The norm I chose to violate was the ‘set’ standard of a male/female relationship. I achieved this violation by walking around Disneyland with my boyfriend while holding hands and being to some degree ‘lovey-dovey’. Now, this is a controversial violation because, even though I felt that it was completely normal and that I should be able to express how I feel just as the many straight couples at the theme park do, this is still, technically, a societal norm violation. And by ‘lovey-dovey’ I don’t mean making-out at every corner in the park or at the sound of every firework as the countless ‘normal’ teenage couples do. I mean, laughing together, joking around, hugging, holding hands, staring at one another, smiling, and just being a generally happy couple. I feel that my violation was a great example of the components of nonverbal communication and you can see that just by the list in the previous sentence.

    There were many components of nonverbal communication that were used in my violation. There was a lot of proxemics between my boyfriend and I. We were always between the intimate and personal zones. Our kinesic behavior was a lot of our facial expressions (happy, smiling), gestures towards each other (to come in for a hug or hold my hand), eye contact, and posture (having a relaxed posture because we are with the person we love or leaning on one another because we’re tired). Paralanguage was laughing, talking softer or sweeter, and a flirty, “Get over here!” while pulling closer. Lots of time involved with waiting in lines and being at the theme park all day, but no violations of the component time. A great deal of tactile/haptics went on during our norm violation. I believe that tactile/haptics was the largest part of our violation because otherwise we could have just been two friends at Disneyland together. But because we were holding hands, hugging, pulling in close, poking, pushing, and kissing, people had become uncomfortable and uneasy around us.

    Numerous people had various reactions about my norm violation. The main nonverbal component that was evident was kinesic. There were countless looks of surprise, confusion, happiness, pride, hate, and disgust. There were also many gestures such as pointing, head nods, and motioning for their kids to go in a different direction away from us; which also leads to proxemics. There were some families who saw us and immediately turned to go in a different direction or hurried past us. Since we were in a crowded theme park, most everybody was in the social zone of 4-12 feet. But when those certain people or families saw us, they tried to get as close to public zone as possible, if not farther. There wasn’t much paralanguage but the few that happened were: throat clearing, uncomfortable sighs, and coughing. Tourists of Disneyland would first get very uncomfortable, noticeable in their kinesic behavior (rigidity of their bodies), when waiting in a long line behind us, but with time, they seemed to relax a little and learned to not pay us any attention.

    I had many different emotions that entire day because I was trying so hard to notice these innumerable individuals and their nonverbal reactions to my own nonverbal actions. I was happy because I was at Disneyland with the person I love and we were having an amazing day just being together, but at the same time I felt alone and cast out as if we were lepers. These peoples’ looks and rude gestures made it hard to stay in that perky, upbeat mood I had taken to the theme park with me and made me want to be alone and sad and made me feel like I was, in some way, in the wrong; it was as if I were a wanted criminal walking the streets free.
    I mean I can understand why it's a bit of a taboo right now, because it's something that you just don't see. Even in countries where marriage is legalized, people just don't go around and be public about it. What's sad about it is that we can say that judging people who are just trying to enjoy a day at Disneyland is less taboo then two people just trying to have fun. Especially since this sort of thing can pretty much happen in any public place. Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    Let's start with suicide. Why is it so frowned upon in our society to kill oneself? Does it come from religion? Is it unethical to force someone to live when they obviously don't want to, especially when it drains resources?
    Some people commit suicide because life gets to be "too hard." In the religious community, it is frowned upon as a sin. Taking your life is addressed in the Bible as one of the worst sins to commit. In normal life, some people end up abandoned by the person who took their life, like children or spouses, which is not exactly supported by the general public.

    Quote Originally Posted by greatguy View Post
    Public nudity. Here the weather is in triple digits, and I say the less clothing the better!
    Again, religiously, people were sentenced by God to wear clothes. Honestly, though, some people don't want to see what you have going on in certain places... Most likely, though, nudity is probably associated by most people with their private sexual lives, so they feel embarrassment when they are nude. I'm no psychologist, but I maintain the middle argument. Some people need to keep their business in their clothes. 0_o

    My problem with society? How come teenagers can't talk in a movie theater when they are the ONLY ONES IN THE ROOM?! I went to see "Remember Me" with some friends two years ago, and we were the only ones there except the guy in the projector room. He came down to fuss, and we were just talking with each other. It wasn't even a good movie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manafi's Dream View Post
    My problem with society? How come teenagers can't talk in a movie theater when they are the ONLY ONES IN THE ROOM?! I went to see "Remember Me" with some friends two years ago, and we were the only ones there except the guy in the projector room. He came down to fuss, and we were just talking with each other. It wasn't even a good movie.
    There was really no one else in the theater? It probably wasn't a good movie. I guess you guys were bothering the guy in the projector room. He might have actually been enjoying himself.
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Back to the original poster;

    Suicide is so frowned upon because it's a selfish way to get out of something. People who commit suicide are only thinking about them selves. Everyone goes through problems, no reason they can't either. Suck it up, move on with your life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinpokomonOh? View Post
    Suicide is so frowned upon because it's a selfish way to get out of something. People who commit suicide are only thinking about them selves. Everyone goes through problems, no reason they can't either. Suck it up, move on with your life.
    Considering most people who are suicidal most likely have some sort of mental health issue, I'd retort that it's actually a lot more selfish to blame people who can't really control their thoughts or their actions. It's not easy for everybody to "suck it up" and move on with their life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinpokomonOh? View Post
    Back to the original poster;

    Suicide is so frowned upon because it's a selfish way to get out of something. People who commit suicide are only thinking about them selves. Everyone goes through problems, no reason they can't either. Suck it up, move on with your life.
    Or are you the selfish one for "forcing" someone to continue with a life they don't want to continue?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinpokomonOh? View Post
    Back to the original poster;

    Suicide is so frowned upon because it's a selfish way to get out of something. People who commit suicide are only thinking about them selves. Everyone goes through problems, no reason they can't either. Suck it up, move on with your life.
    People aren't allow to be selfish now. "Video games are a selfish way to spend your time. Suck it up, and get a job!"
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinpokomonOh? View Post
    Back to the original poster;

    Suicide is so frowned upon because it's a selfish way to get out of something. People who commit suicide are only thinking about them selves. Everyone goes through problems, no reason they can't either. Suck it up, move on with your life.
    In a situation where two parties both have their self-interests at stake - in this case the person who wants to commit suicide, versus the people who want them to stay alive to be there for them - neither can really be called more selfish than the other.

    What happened with you when you decided suicide is 'selfish' demonstrates the fact that when confronted with the concept of suicide, people try to tell themselves that a person who commits suicide is warped in every way possible, not just psychologically but ideologically, because their survival instinct wants them to distance themselves from the idea of death.
    Last edited by CSolarstorm; 29th June 2012 at 10:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post
    When it comes to freedom of speech and the right to offend, there is only one correct view. Ours. Any attempt to censor freedom of speech, freedom of the press etc should lead to its proponents being publicly shamed and harrangued (legitimately).
    I completely agree. I was reading an article where a journalist was charged for drawing a cartoon (and not even an offensive one) about Mohammed because one person found it offensive. I was outraged. Since when did religion trump the right to freedom of speech? Oh yeah, Medieval times.

    Anyway, something I find that is very taboo in North American society is the consumption of alcohol. I'm from Germany, and there people drink wine and beer alongside meals and casually throughout the day. Even teenagers. Because of this, my friends and I never really had the urge to go out and get completely hammered the moment we became completely of age. (I'm not saying that nobody in Germany does though, because a lot of people thoroughly enjoy getting hammered). When I moved here, I noticed young people (below age) wanting to get drunk so bad that they break the law, get completely wasted, and often do very irresponsible things. What I'm saying is that if alcohol wasn't so
    taboo, some people wouldn't be so eager to try it.
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    Let us remember the Assassins' Creed: "Nothing is true, everything is permitted". This means that the rules of society change and you shouldn't let them limit you.
    Ash nazg durbatulűk, ash nazg gimbatul,
    ash nazg thrakatulűk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

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    No morals for you evolutionists.
    Please avoid saying things like that.

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