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De mortuis nihil nisi bonum

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Curious George, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    How well should we regard this phrase: Speak only good of the dead?

    While I do not agree that no ill should be spoken of the dead, I recognize there is a time and place. Where is that place, when is that time?

    Should we respect any boundaries? Are our standards consistent?
     
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  2. Srivijaya

    Srivijaya Active Member

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    Hitler... just wanted to get that one in.
     
  3. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Hitler was a genocidal **** who has it coming if anyone spits on his grave (assuming he has one).
    I think that's a fitting example of when it's alright to speak ill of the dead.
     
  4. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    "Speak well of the dead" is literally irrelevant today. However, the spirit of it -- respect our common humanity -- might still be relevant.
     
  5. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    You wouldn't find it the least bit tacky or wrong to interrupt his funeral? To intervene in discussions of people's remembrances? Ones lack of respect can know no bounds if it is genuinely felt?
     
  6. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Sure. Where is the place, when is the time? Are there limits?
     
  7. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I think with this kind of thing it can be helpful to consider the reasoning behind it. Moral principles like this will have generally come in to being for well-meaning reasons to become automatic social conventions.

    I’d suggest that there are several aspects to this. One will be about surviving relatives and friends of the deceased; However bad you might think the person was, there may well be people who loved and cared for them who could be hurt by negative comments and attacks. Another will be about yourself; Is it really healthy to retain such strong negative feelings about someone long gone or to vocally express them for no benefit? This kind of ties in to the similar phrase “If you’ve nothing good to say, say nothing at all”.
     
  8. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Those are good points that resonate with me. But is it right?

    If it is, where is the line? If we acknowledge these factors what is healthy vs unhealthy behavior, and what level of respect should be observed?
     
  9. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    How so?
     
  10. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    How did you get that out of my post? Hitler is pretty much the prime example of when there is nothing wrong with speaking ill of the dead.
     
  11. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    How did your post generate questions? Well you made a statement and that brought to mind questions.
     
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