Don Pablo Edronkin

An Idea For Sociologists.




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I have developed a strange empirical theory that perhaps would pick the interest of a sociologist in order to develop it further: the quantity and quality of insults existent into a given language is inversely proportional to the degree of well-being and spirituality found within the society that uses that language.

It could be interesting to consider what it means from a communicational point of view the fact that we insult others sometimes.

First of all, I think that insulting is a way of discrediting, a weapon in a heated discussion, and a way in which many people try to manipulate an audience to their favour.

In logical terms, this is known as an 'Ad hominem' non-formal fallacy. Arguments that use these structures are plainly wrong but remain very persuasive.

For example: in international politics, whenever the United States' government receives critics for the way in which it handles its diplomatic relationship with Mr. Castro's Cuba, they frequently remark that Mr. Castro is in their view a dictator, that he does not respect human rights, etc.

This is not an answer to the contradictions and very murky spots in the history of the U.S. intentions over Cuba; moreover, it ignores completely that Mr. Castro is there because of the United States and its virtual occupation of the island for decades, yet, such arguments against Mr. Castro are frequently enough to quell most critics.

So, being such a powerful weapon, disqualification - even by insult - is used quite frequently.

Another reason as to insult is to attack without any purpose or because the speaker does not have a vocabulary and imagination wide enough to provide 'venting' for her or his anger about something; that could be another reason.

And the other reason I see for insulting is fear, plain and simple. Being a weapon, and being weapons used preemptively or consequently, it is quite likely that one would use them not as an answer, but in order to avoid having to answer to a perceived attack.

This sort of communication, which oddly intends to break the process, is thus a measure of fear, ignorance and lack of honesty, and societies where insults are frequent and common in daily conversation should pay attention, not for some arcane and ancient morals, but in order to make their future a little better.

It would be nice to discuss the matter and bring the debate to the research group that I lead.

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