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Re: Code of Conduct complaint about Linus's comments at DC14 :: Respect

On Wed, Sep 03, 2014 at 06:19:19PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Paul Hedderly <paul@xxxxxxx> writes:
> > Let me try some hyperbole - its all the rage don't you know. Debian says
> > everyone deserves respect. Sounds nice.  So Hitler deserves respect? The
> > man who murdered Foley deserves respect?  No. No.
> Er, yes, they do.  I entirely disagree with this.  Even mass murderers
> deserve respect.  They also need to be incarcerated to protect the rest of
> society from them.  These are not inconsistent concepts.

Well that is another can of worms... but I firmly believe that those who deny
basics rights to others _can not_ expect to demand rights themselves because
they are not _deserving_ of any rights themselves... We can and should, show
_grace_ (giving undeserved favour), but they have no _right_ to it.

But back to the point...

> I think we are running into definitional problems here.

Exactly my point.


1) :  a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation <remarks having respect to an earlier plan>
2) :  an act of giving particular attention :  consideration
3) a :  high or special regard :  esteem
3) b :  the quality or state of being esteemed
3) c plural :  expressions of high or special regard or deference <paid our respects>
4) :  particular, detail <a good plan in some respects>

I would note the phrases: "given particular attention" "special regard" "being

None of those definitions really apply to the way we use the word in the CoCs.
All of them reference a "special" or elevated consideration. It would be a
nonsense to say that we give "special regard" to _everyone_ because it would
then not be special...

But Oxford to Debian's rescue somewhat:


	1 [mass noun] A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited
	by their abilities, qualities, or achievements: the director had a lot of
	respect for Douglas as an actor

Like Webster, that clearly emphasies respect given not just for existing but
for having earned it in some way.

... and is clearly (by context) the meaning LT is using. Perhaps because of the
ambiguitiy with the later use of the word (see 2 below) the word 'regard'
would be more helpful in this case although it does not have the same meaning.

	2 Due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others: young
	people’s lack of respect for their parents

This secondary definition is I feel more the meaning in the Debian CoC's
(apparently we like CoC's... meh!) and it is a very different meaning to 1)

Of course English being English the variety does not end there:

	3 A particular aspect, point, or detail: the government’s record in this
	respect is a mixed one

(As per MB:1+4) but that has no bearing on this discussion.

> your definition of respect is wrong, but I don't think you're using the
> word the same way that others are using it.

On the contrary I think Debian is not using the word in the most common way
that it is used as demonstrated by the dictionary definitions quoted above.

> By my definition, respect does not mean agreement, or support, or trust,
> or even a willingness to listen to someone or consider their ideas.
> Rather, it means treating people as human rather than treating them as
> objects or some form of subhuman creature.  All human beings deserve
> respect in that sense.

Ok well I humbly suggest that your definition is quite narrowly only
including the secondary meaning in the Oxford definition, and not
substantially corroborated in MW at all.

> > Debian says everyone deserves respect, so Debian allows everyone to
> > submit packages to NEW and UPLOAD.  No.
> What you are calling respect here, I would call trust.  I consider trust
> something completely different from respect.

Having checked with the dictionaries I stand by my understading that we
trust people _because_ we have "special regard" (or respect) for them.

> If there's some other word for respect that will help more people
> understand, I'd be happy to switch, but that word is definitely not
> "politeness."  "Polite" means other things, like not disagreeing with
> someone publicly or not calling people on bad behavior, that I don't
> believe is included in what I call respect.  And trust is definitely also
> not that word.
> "Treating people decently" is closer to what I mean by respect.

Agreed. And my whole point is that Debian and LT are talking at cross purposes
because of a different focus on a narrowing favoured definition of the word.


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