I asked you whether you thought Germans would have no grounds for taking offense at that statement, not whether you personally thought your German acquaintances would be offended. And I think you are being completely unrealistic in your answer to that anyway. I can think of one or two German posters on this very board that would be utterly outraged at the statement.
Maybe so. I can't speak for all Germans because they're not a homogenous group. Some will be offended. Some won't.
When we make generalisations (all X do Y), it's usually understood that we don't mean it literally. It means something like "assuming a Gaussian distribution, the mean frequency of behaviour Y is shifted somewhat to the left/right in group X relative to group Z [which may be the rest of humanity in general], most likely with a standard deviation similiar to group Z". But if you said that in every conversation, nobody would ever talk to you again. So we just say "All X do Y". It's easier.
That's my point Finley. A public forum in Taiwan is not the equivalent of you sitting down with a friend. And even if you were sitting down with a friend you wouldn't introduce the subject with - Congolese are rapists, what do you think about that?
It's always going to be difficult to discuss questions of culture when you start from the standpoint of simplistic national stereotypes. Those shows that you mention demonstrated that. This thread doesn't. This thread gives credence to them.It is not a jumping off point for discussion. You have said yourself you wouldn't tell a Congolese that Congolese are rapists. Yet you think it's okay to go on a public forum in Taiwan and start discussing whether the Taiwanese lack a conscience. The only difference here is that people have the anonymity of the internet to protect them from the consequences of their attitudes.
Well, fair enough. But I think we left the OPs post behind long ago (I notice he's completely lost interest). Nobody here is seriously giving any thought to whether Taiwanese people do or don't have a conscience. The last couple of pages have gone off in a different direction - mostly, what people are discussing are the possible reasons for behaviour patterns or schema that are prevalent here, but are not so common in other countries (bearing in mind there are a LOT of different nationalities posting here).
I'm sorry, the British have been trying to teach the darkies how to do it properly too long for me to concur with your sentiment here.
Well yeah ... but that's not really what I meant. A frank exchange of views, culture, and bodily fluids has, through much of recorded history, had positive effects. For one thing, I was implying the reverse of "teaching the darkies how to do it properly" - there are several things that Taiwan does well that the UK (for example) would do well to observe and learn from.
Let's try telling some Americans we need to discuss whether they have a conscience or not and see how far we get with that 'well-meaning criticism'.
Again, I don't think anyone's talking about that anymore - but you'll notice that original provocative comment turned into a lively debate. Especially, it resulted in the original assertion being squashed and a few alternative theories being proposed. You can't argue about events or observed behaviour: bad driving, pollution, abuse of foreign maids ... they either happen, or they don't. What you can discuss is the perception of those events [by different cultures], the possible reasons for them, whether they are objectively [without reference to your own culture] "bad" or "good", how things might improve, and the possible influence of observer bias.
Innocent visitors such as myself stumbled upon many threads like this on this site, makes me wonder why so many foreigners hold so much hateful and racist view about Taiwanese and its culture. I truly hope there is only 0.1% of visitors here who do. If I post similar remarks in US message boards, I will for sure receive responses like "if you do not like it here, why don't you go back to where you came from."
There are a few Taiwanese posters here who have obviously spent a great deal of time and effort learning English. It seems some have absolutely nothing to say.