Pete is a great professor. I've taken two classes with him now.
I am of the opinion that we can "respect the sensitivities of others" and challenge their beliefs and assumptions. Disrespectful discourse does not necessarily follow from disagreement. People are inherently irrational and their perceptions of how they are treated affects their openness to accept new beliefs. That doesn't make it okay, but that is a reality the pragmatic communicator must accept. Making people defensive automatically causes them to restrict themselves to their worldview so as to come up with arguments to defend it. As such, discourse that carries a tone more similar to discussion is more likely to sway people than discourse that carries a tone similar to debate.
People are inherently irrational? Really?
I call bullshit on the term "political correctness." It has been used so extensively by obvious bigots as an excuse to spread unreason that it no longer belongs in a rational person's mouth.
@John Orendt - Unfortunately Yes. may help.

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