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I'm Offended!

Were you ever in a disagreement with someone only to have them claim they were offended by you or by what you believe?  Such a comment has a chilling effect. It's as if an invisible barrier were lowered, and all further explanation, discussion, or communication on the topic is shut down. The very beliefs of one person are supposedly so offensive to the other person that nothing further can be said without the offender looking like a brute who revels in torturing the offended. The comment silences debate and appears to give the offendee a win by forfeit.

I used to debate with people (when I was young and thought debate would actually help) about why I could not accept certain religious or moral beliefs as being as valid as mine. Not that they weren't valid in the sense that the other person had those beliefs and had a right to those beliefs etc, but valid in the sense that they were not true. I would try to explain that if I believe what I believe is true, it's necessarily …

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