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Old 2009-04-03, 11:49   Link #21
Yukinokesshou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idiffer View Post
1) you are still lying
My response to that would be: so what? Just as you argue that there are aspects of politeness that are "practical" and aspects which are unnecessary formalities, I would argue that there are lies which are hurtful (and thus bad) and lies which are completely innocent. I guess it all depends on your moral priorities. Do you value honesty over harmony, or harmony over honesty? You're firmly for the former, while I've opted for the latter.

It could also be said that you're a Kantian deontologist while I'm a consequentialist. You believe that lying is intrinsically wrong, and wrong in all circumstances, since it would be irrational to will that lying should become a "univeral law". On the other hand, I believe that whether lying is right or wrong (or simply neutral) depends entirely on the circumstances and consequences. In my opinion, it would be somewhat ludicrous to consider a forced smile "morally wrong" since it (1) derives from positive intentions and (2) usually leads to positive consequences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Never be polite to someone who asks you to be polite with him/her, you are degrading the value of respect that way (given the way how people often bootlick their way out and up, it is like respect has got any value left in society anymore).

[...] Besides, wouldn't it be better to show respect by actions rather than words? Isn't that what politeness is supposed to be in the first place?
I entirely agree. I have mixed feelings over the rest of your post, but I'm definitely in favour of actions rather than words and believe that politeness and respect are only genuine when truly voluntary. I absolutely hate it when someone demands politeness or respect from someone else. I'll never forget an incident in primary school when the caretaker found a lunch box I misplaced and was about to return it to me. "What do you say now?" she said, holding the lunch box to her chest. I would naturally have said "thank you" out of appreciation, but to demand those words from me in such a manner was simply humiliating and condescending (as if to say "I will give this back to you only if you say 'thank you'!"). I told her to keep the lunch box and was promptly disciplined for my "lack of respect for authority". Now, who was the one who demonstrated a profound lack of respect in the first place??? -_-

(P.S. That was in the last year of primary school, so I wasn't a young child who needed to be taught manners. A ten-year old should be treated as a young adult and not with condescension.)

Last edited by Yukinokesshou; 2009-04-03 at 12:07.
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Old 2009-04-03, 11:58   Link #22
idiffer
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Yukinokesshou
yep, that is absolutely right. i guess its not honesty vs. harmony, but rather reliable information vs. harmony. and yes both have their merits and are needed by people.
people conclude things from information and act accordingly. so its not morally wrong, its practically wrong. but again this is circumstancial.
EDIT
but i can argue that the two are not mutually exclusive. i think its not a matter of values, but of ability.

Oh, and i too agree with SaintessHeart. (wow, this is the 2nd time...thats rare)
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Last edited by idiffer; 2009-04-03 at 12:10.
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Old 2009-04-03, 12:17   Link #23
Wing Zero
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politeness can be a different thing to people from different countries. The word does not apply universally, and therefore my interpretation of say someone opening the door for me may be different to someone else in a different area.

I have travelled around the world alot and I most of the time get a friendly greeting, there politness can be measured differently, depending on the act. I been to France many times, and I always felt that they were being polite and friendly to me, the simple words they used like "Salute...Merci...And Au revoir" made me feel good inside, and my opinion of those people is great, even if those french people didn't actually mean to be polite, maybe I should make a trip again in the summer ^^.
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Old 2009-04-03, 12:30   Link #24
Solais
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If I smile in public places where I live, people either think I'm nuts or I'm gay. And I don't want to talk about how rude and impolite the people here. Not to mention that body language here seems to be something that people don't notice. Like how people say that I'm impolite 'cause I rarely greet or thank people... yeah true, but they never notice that I usually nod my head, or bow a little in those cases. I don't like to talk much in RL (except if it's a topic about something I know, like anime; in those cases, I can't shut my hole).

Yeah I know I seem to be impolite, but it's not true. And lot of people are more impolite or ruder than me. Like my high school class. Farting during lessons is a sport for them. (Btw, I live in an Eastern European country.)
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Old 2009-04-03, 12:46   Link #25
idiffer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
If I smile in public places where I live, people either think I'm nuts or I'm gay.
eastern europe and russia are close) because that goes for my country as well.
a funny example. when i just returned from the U.S. after 3 years of living there,
my parents took me to get my picture taken for my passport (i think). I naturally smiled, showing my teeth. the photographer said something like "why the fuck are you smiling?". + when my friends see my US pics, they say that i'm a total geek because of the way i was taught to smile.
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Old 2009-04-03, 12:50   Link #26
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If it is in the limit of what is expected by social rules, lying is perfectly fine.
For example if you meet a complete stranger for the first time you can say "i'm glad to meet you" even if you aren't really particularly glad. Now i can't make many examples but what i mean is it's not really lying, because the other person should be aware that you are just being polite. It's like when someone compliments an old woman saying that she's very charming, that old woman is supposed to accept the compliment but not to really believe in it.
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Old 2009-04-03, 12:51   Link #27
Yukinokesshou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solais View Post
If I smile in public places where I live, people either think I'm nuts or I'm gay.
Regional and cultural differences aside, there's a clear difference between smiling like an idiot for no reason and smiling when you're talking to someone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idiffer
my parents took me to get my picture taken for my passport (i think). I naturally smiled, showing my teeth. the photographer said something like "why the fuck are you smiling?
Actually, I think some recent international convention stipulates that you're not supposed to smile in passport photos. A "neutral expression" is now a requirement for passport photos in all countries, including the US. It wasn't the case in the past, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idiffer
people conclude things from information and act accordingly. so its not morally wrong, its practically wrong. but again this is circumstancial. but i can argue that the two are not mutually exclusive.
That is true to an extent. If you honestly dislike someone and lie just "to be polite" (e.g. "Sorry for not inviting you for dinner! I forgot your phone number!"), then I would agree that what you are doing is misleading and therefore "practically wrong". However, a forced smile to someone you neither like nor dislike is, in my opinion, a completely friendly expression with no practical ramifications. Even if you are not genuinely happy, you are genuinely trying to be friendly, so what's misleading about a forced smile?

Last edited by Yukinokesshou; 2009-04-03 at 13:02.
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Old 2009-04-03, 12:57   Link #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Actually, I think some recent international convention stipulates that you're not supposed to smile in passport photos. A "neutral expression" is now a requirement for passport photos in all countries, including the US. It wasn't the case in the past, however.
i should have mentioned that the unwritten social rule goes for school class pictures as well, contrary to the US. on family pictures and the like it is still considered weird to show your teeth when smiling.
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b) Wasu~p?! *brofist*
c) Your mind is too narrow to embrace my genius, de geso.
d) I was accidentally dropped into a barrel of whiskey, so now I am constantly drunk.
e) Go home and die! Dattebayo!
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Old 2009-04-03, 13:10   Link #29
klowny
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I remember something not so long ago when i order for a pizza, gave the guy the correct amount and then he goes on say "What? no tip?" so then i felt like he was being rude and just went on saying "thank you for the pizza" i was going to give him $5

anyway i expect people who are doing their jobs to be polite to their customers no matter if the customer is wrong
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Old 2009-04-03, 13:26   Link #30
SaintessHeart
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Haha like I said, respect is not an entitlement. I work and earn it not by being polite, but by being honest to both myself and the other. I got one today in someone scolded me for being discourteous when I was preventing him from entering a room which I am keeping watch over. I just went, "Hm, hm, hm ok." while he was ranting about me being impolite. If not for the circumstances I am in, I would have just told him to grow out of his grudge mentality.

If I was the guy receiving the pizza, I would just say, "Yah.", then smile.

I never smile in official photos btw, I always give a very grim look, sit up straight and look straight into the camera. In that way anyone handling identification would still be able to recognise me even if I am dissed.

Note : If you ever meet me IRL, you will know that I am being extremely dishonest when I use extremely loaded English in a VERY formal, calm tone. If you hear me spew expletives, speak fast, and give a generous helping of puns and sarcasm, I am being a little too honest. That is why people call me mean.
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Old 2009-04-03, 13:30   Link #31
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I hate it in my job when I'm trying to take a customer's drink order & they're blatently chatting away on their mobile phone completely oblivious to the fact that they're actually holding everybody else up in the queue behind then cos they're far more interested in the converstion they're having on the other end of the phone with the person on the line!

It drives me round the bend! And it's just plain ignorant towards me!

Not a single ounce of politeness or a "please" or "thankyou" anywhere usually!
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Old 2009-04-03, 13:38   Link #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KawaiiKimmy View Post
I hate it in my job when I'm trying to take a customer's drink order & they're blatently chatting away on their mobile phone completely oblivious to the fact that they're actually holding everybody else up in the queue behind then cos they're far more interested in the converstion they're having on the other end of the phone with the person on the line!

It drives me round the bend! And it's just plain ignorant towards me!

Not a single ounce of politeness or a "please" or "thank you" anywhere usually!
Actually never expect any "thank you"s or "please"s from people nowadays. I feel that it is a fair trade if someone gives you a service, you return with a thank you. But being self-centred, they are more interested in whatever they are getting, they think everything is an investment. Come to think of it, even in an investment you GIVE before you TAKE right? There is difference between a mercenary and a robber.

These people fail in economics. No wonder they are always complaining of financial difficulty.

I encountered such problems in my job before I was doing national service, I was a cinema attendant. I just ask the person behind for orders and write what he/she needs down. Go ahead and let him/her complain, just say that the person is holding up the queue. But at times like this, keep in mind that you keep your job by using this technique on a long queue. I read a poll that people don't mind waiting, but if the queue is too long or the person is taking his/her own sweet time at the front, they get turned off.
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Old 2009-04-03, 13:39   Link #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kusa-San View Post
The worst is when i say "Hello" to a bus driver and he don't answer me Generally after that i'm in bad mood and i start to mumble a "You, bastard"
Politeness should be unconditional, don't expect a reply.
Poeple might have stopped being polite because they dont think others will reciprocate and feel as though since they have been polite people should be polite back.
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Old 2009-04-03, 14:03   Link #34
C.A.
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I didn't read the entire thread, but I do agree that politeness is no longer as common as before.

As societies grow larger, the world becomes a busier place and stress from work and education has weakened the social spirits.

The only politeness you get in public is from customer service and they demand service charge for that.
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Old 2009-04-03, 15:09   Link #35
Narona
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Non... en français, car = autocar = bus. What rosbifs call "car" would be a voiture. Anyway, the car=bus explanation would seem to make a lot more sense in the context of what Kusa-san wrote.
Exactly. he meant the Bus, I'm pretty sure of that.

Quote:
I'm also wondering whether Kusa-san meant "collège" in the French context, i.e. "middle school". I'm sorry to say this, but middle school pupils are children and generally do act like children. They're also at the age where going against authority is seen as "cool". It's the same in every country.
He meant University. I'm pretty sure of that too xD


Quote:
I find my own politeness level changing depending on where I am and who I'm interacting with. I say "hello" and "thank you" to bus drivers in England but not in Hong Kong. I hold doors open for the next person at my university and at the hospital, but not at the shopping centre (unless the next person happens to be elderly or disabled). My change in behaviour occurs subconsciously and I only realise it in retrospect. Generally speaking, however, I am polite to someone when I'm interacting directly with him/her, i.e. after I've made a conscious decision to open my mouth to communicate.
That happens to a lot of people, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinfully Naomi View Post
Clarste brings up a good point as well. Since none of us lived in the distant past, and have no firsthand information fo how polite people may or may not have been, there's no actual proof that anything may have chnaged over that timespan at all. For all you know, it may have even gotten better for all we know.
It's just not what Kusa did mean. Or we can also compare the current society to the prehistoric men <.<

He was talking about the recent generations, I think. My father would say the same. There's now more young people who curse without any good reason than when my father was a young boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idiffer View Post
iLney, you got me interested. i'll try searching for it on torrents.
but i mostly know that it makes others happy. the point is
1) you are still lying
2) most people dont do it to help others feel better, as i've stated earlier. rather to form a higher opinion of themselves in the eyes of the person they are talking to.
Yukinokesshou, i also read a book which said that forcefully smiling will eventually make you feel happy even without other people around.
i'm not a fan of this technique...
Well, as for Kusa first example, he was talking about a person who is doing his job. I think that in that kind of job in which you have to interact with many people, it's part of your job to be polite and such.

It's the same about a bellboy. It's part of his job to have a smile on his face.
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Old 2009-04-03, 19:42   Link #36
LeoXiao
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I think that natural politeness to everyone is a virtue, and not only that, it's a challenge. I am by nature a somewhat submissive person when it comes to petty things, so for example I tend to walk slightly behind someone who is with me, I don't overtly disagree with most people in a face-to-face conversation, and I try to let the other person do as much talking as possible. My friends criticize me for this sort of behavior, and say I should be more assertive or people won't think highly of me.
In fact I think it is bad to be assertive most of the time or, more importantly, casually show anyone that you have the capacity to be. Being assertive should be reserved for when you actually have a goal that needs to be achieved, or if someone is aiming to take someone important from you. If you show assertion rarely, it will surprise the people you are talking to who don't know you too well, and chances are you'll get what you need. In some cases, it may be good to be polite even if someone is taking something away from you. To jump up and get rude with the moron taking advantage of you may cost you a loss of face and in some places, your safety. Depending on the situation, if you play it out nicely at the moment and then get back what is rightfully yours later on (perhaps following the perpetrator to a place with no people or a place with your people lying in wait), it can result in a better outcome.
And it isn't always in circumstances where someone has taken advantage of you. If my teacher gave me a crappy grade on an essay which was obviously equal the work of a genius, I might feel inclined to complain and moan about it on the spot (which some people would say is justified given the true quality of the essay). However, this is would not be a wise choice as it would make the teacher respect you less, and other students in the class would feel that you are a whiner as they probably do not know of the essay. A wise choice would be to stay calm, thanks the teacher for grading the essay, and then going to him after school after thinking about what to say and then stating your position in understanding and friendly dialogue. It will achieve many positive things on many aspects.

That's my view on politeness.
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Old 2009-04-03, 22:48   Link #37
Kylaran
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Being polite may mean respect towards the person that's being treated politely, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's genuine. As some have pointed out, being polite may be fake. That is, others may simply be uttering their words without actually meaning it. For example, one's manners also once contributed to entrenching social rank; we all know of how people of lower rank addressed their overlords with "respect". Is it still being respectful to act according to what the social norm is, even if you don't mean it?

I personally believe that communities and societies must have an inherent trust in their own members in order to function with the most courtesy, hospitality, and caring. The issue with modern day societies is that, rather than suspecting outsiders, attention has been focused inside. With more liberal views and a general acceptance of a wider range of views, we also begin to distrust the person next to us because they may not necessarily agree with us on some things.

Hence, the definition of a stranger has expanded along with our "acceptance" of different people, ideas, and viewpoints. The genuine, community-centered idea of courtesy is long gone, but the remnants of being courteous still remain. Of course, we all understand that we should be respectful when listening to a teacher's lecture, but, in the end, they might just be another stranger. The habits are there, but our mindset regarding the habits have changed. But why bother with the habit at all if everyone you meet is going to be a part of your life for 47 milliseconds?

This is an extreme example of alienation, but in large populations, this is applicable.

On another note, some individuals find that it's better to not say anything than be courteous; in a way, this is a form of respect for others by admitting that they could care less to greet strangers. This, I feel, is a form of honesty. I personally think a smiles bring out the best in people, but I do have friends who have told me that they think this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
Apparently, in ancient Greece, killing strangers on the road was within the realm of acceptable behavior, possibly due to fears of bandits and the society of close knit city-states. People not saying "hello" to strangers looks somewhat different in that light.
I would like to point out that, 1.) there was an altercation before the slaying, so it wasn't an act of (completely) wanton violence, and 2.) Oedipus' father was punished for violating rules of Greek hospitality (I don't remember exactly what he did, but he committed a wrong when he visited another man's home), and was thus punished for his own previous discourtesy.

And I'm sure the ancient Greeks did not accept random murders as the norm; the murder functions as a literary device for numerous purposes (it's a bit absurd, but let's go with it since Sophocles wants to make a point). I'll bet you anything that the audience of the play was as shocked by the horrendous violation of social norms that took place in the play back then as we are now.
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Old 2009-04-03, 22:54   Link #38
Vexx
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Once you've *experienced* an environment with civility, good manners, and courtesy --- it makes the "others" seem that much more obnoxious.
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Old 2009-04-03, 23:03   Link #39
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Once you've *experienced* an environment with civility, good manners, and courtesy --- it makes the "others" seem that much more obnoxious.
LOL that is true. I pretty much grew up in an environment which is "Not happy? Settle this after school.", rather an exchange of sorries. Guess it boils down to how our environs shape us again.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2009-04-03, 23:10   Link #40
Nosauz
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I don't know being polite in someways is pure disrespect. If someone lies to your face and hides their true feelings from you by masking it with false respect, then it really becomes degrading. An example of this would be during race riots many white people although clearly afraid of blacks pretended to be ok with integration when in fact they were scared out of their minds. This lack of dialogue in the end resulted in the alienation of african americans and even though whites considered it "polite" or politically correct that underlying tension was never resolved. Of course this is an extreme but when people pretend to care but in actuallity don't give a rats ass, continue to personify this facade then confusion does arise.
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