Dangerous topics are those which are both discourse-wise difficult to discuss and are politically incorrect-sounding. These topics are often at least bordering on Offensive to one of the listeners/readers.
Imagine Romeo, a lady's man and a romantic in the extreme. He is oh-so (arrogantly, but unintentionally) suave about the way he dresses, acts and speaks. Our Romeo pauses and chats up a young lady, asking for directions. Imagine that Romeo has only the purest intentions, and truly wishes for these directions and nothing more. From his perspective, he is being nice as per usual, and enjoys going out of his way, by reflex, to make the lady comfortable with him. From the young lady's perspective, he is an extreme and obvious temptation even though it may be known that he is not trying to "pick her up", he is Dangerous. Romeo is Dangerous to eligible young ladies.
Some Dangerous topics include:
- Abortion versus the rights of a pregnant woman
- Gun control
- The Right to Die versus the needs of the dependant
- The Right of Religious freedom versus the well-being of other citizens
- Duress and breaking the law - being forced to murder, at gunpoint
- Criminal rights - the privacy of a convicted pedophile versus the need to inform local parents
- Parental rights over children - is spanking a criminal act?
This list could continue at great length. These are topics which while at once important are also extraordinarily difficult to resolve with uniform participant satisfaction.
An entirely different type of Dangerous topic exists, where there is less "clear and present" Danger. Often these are unresolvable topics generally fueled by opinion. They may be argued over at length but no conclusion is ever reached, nor can a conclusion be logically reachable. These topics tend to be acts of "sharpening the saw" to maintain skills in Sophism. See also Flame War.
- anarchy versus capitalism
- democracy versus plutocracy
- windows versus unix
- vi versus emacs
- real "art" is dead
- Java sucks
- CamelCase sucks
Pro-life versus pro-choice is often the best example of a permanent argument since both sides are dependent on a belief. Until the belief is resolved, very little genuine discourse can take place.
Discussion about such topics rarely brings about any legitimate discussion, only exacerbation and wild declarations. These are flamebait.
The almost blind support of a Dangerous topic is often seen as Zealotry.
Some Dangerous topics on this wiki:
- Bad Guy
- Bad Thing
- Carnivore - A system of internet traffic analysis software enforced by ISPs and selected intelligence agencies for security purposes. Not in use anymore.
- Flamebait/Flame War
- Free speech
- Social engineering