Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

Why Do People Talk About Others?

Category Privacy
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I have written my first essay. It took me hours and hours, and I just gave up. Please provide some constructive feedback. I know nothing beats practise, practise, practise, but some guide in the right direction would be muchly appreciated. Thanking in advise. Here goes: - We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them. Cato the Elder (234 BC – 149 BC) There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly behooves any of us To talk about the rest of us.

Edward Wallis Hoch (1849 – 1925), Marion (Kansas) Record Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, 'Why should I tell it? ' Johann K. Lavater A rumor without a leg to stand on will get around some other way. John Tudor Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality. Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act III Why do we talk about other people? Oscar Wilde's statement "Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality" shows something of the reason we talk about other people.

Gossip relieves boredom. Gossiping carries such a negative connotation that few will proudly own to have done so, but few can say that they have not. Even John Tudor suggests that gossiping is a wide spread method of relieving boredom, when he said "A rumour without a leg to stand on will get around some other way. " For this reason, I somewhat agree with Cato the Elder's quote "We cannot control the evil tongues of others, but a good life enables us to disregard them. " For gossip is so common as to be navoidable. If gossip causes one discomfort, one will be living with discomfort all their life. Is it not a good life's phillosphy to accept this fact and not let other's 'evil' tongue bother you? While accepting gossiping is a part of life, others attempt to advise us against gossiping. Edward Willis Hoch's quote" There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us. " suggests that there is not much point in gossiping.

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Also against gossiping is the the 'think before you speak' phillosophy because as Tudor implies, rumour will spread and Lavater's "Why should I tell it? ". These advice stem from the morality of giving respect for other's privacy, but they do not consider that the reason people gossip: the innate craving for learning, the comfort of having company and connection with other people. While some may say, there must be better things to learn about. Having company doesn't require talking about other people, there are other ways to connect. Yes, but why must we NOT talk about others?

When talking about other people, we can: State facts: He has gone to London for a holiday. Give Opinion: They are married. What a bad match! Lie: She didn't do anything today! When we say facts, we are passing information. However, the same fact said can mean different things depending on the intent of the speaker. A child saying a by-passer is fat is simply stating an observation. Another person my say the same thing it to demean others. When we lie, it can be done with good intent. Thus it is the intent of the speaker that people are concerned about, not the gossip itself.

It is through knowing one's action that one can learn from their mistakes, but one can only do so much! To learn from other's mistake is to not step in it yourself. If we do not talk about others, then one can only learn by doing things themshelves. Would this perhaps defeat the purpose of the education system? Does the benefit of learning not outweigh the intrusion into other's 'privacy'? Not all gossip invades privacy. Gossip is a way people communicate, and learn. Gossip itself is not the immoral act, it is the intent of the gossiper that makes the act immoral or otherwise.

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