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tomt's Avatar Jump to comment 92 by tomt

@xmaseveeve thanks for the response. I really care about humour and believe it to be one of the most powerful tools we have for shifting attitudes and bridging the issues that divide us. This is why I am extremely vocal when I see it being used in a way that deepens those divides. A good litmus test of whether a joke is malicious or not is to ask yourself how comfortable you would be telling the joke to a club full of the people your joke skewers. How would you expect those people to react? Would they find it funny or would they be hurt?

For example I'm pretty sure if I told a joke about the number of Jones' in the room to an audience of Welsh people, they'd probably have a chuckle. A joke about the number of Mohammud's to a group of Somalians I believe would not elicit the same response. You may well disagree and I respect that right.

Satire falls into a different category because you are ridiculing someone who has held themselves forth to be the object of your satire-a public figure like the pope for example. In that instance it matters less how the figure targetted might feel about it, what matters is whether your joke is raising consciousness in your audience.

I'm probably not going to be revisiting this thread and doubt anyone else is, if you are interested I had a link to great examples of religious humour in an earlier post of mine, you can find it here:

http://richarddawkins.net/comments/533187

Hope they give you a laugh.

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 03:55:43 UTC | #556382