We've heard this subversive phrase all too often but I've yet to come across a good reply.

  • How would you categorize this device and
  • Acknowledging that context is important, what kind of rhetorical defense would you use.

closed as too broad by sumelic, Drew, user140086, DJClayworth, Mitch Nov 5 '15 at 15:10

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Since you acknowledge the importance of context, I think some would be useful. Could you give an example of a scenario and a conversation? It can only be categorised as a device if it is unnecessary. For example: "Don't stand on the edge of the cliff--I'm saying that for your own safety." would simply be good advice. – chasly from UK Nov 4 '15 at 23:29
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    I'm not sure this is really a question about English. – Hot Licks Nov 4 '15 at 23:31
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    I suspect that the rhetorical defense would be highly contingent on context. Perhaps with a few examples, we could prove/disprove that suspicion. – Nonnal Nov 4 '15 at 23:33
  • "Infantilization is not a solution" ? – Graffito Nov 4 '15 at 23:34
  • Not as individuals, but collectively as a society we are being told by the UK government that they need to have access to our internet browsing records for one year. And it is for our own safety. – WS2 Nov 5 '15 at 0:06

If there is a grain of truth to the statement, but the restriction is assinine rather than sensible, then it is an extreme example of Nanny-statism:

Nanny state is a term of British origin that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. - wikipedia

The -ism refers to an attitude/behavioural practive that infects authoritarians beyond the state itself.

Suggested response: "No, it's for the safety of morons, and as I am not one, I won't allow undue consideration for imbeciles to constrain my freedom thank you very much!" [...Potentially famous last words]

If the motive is actually something completely different - eg your actions, if proceeded with, could be detrimental not to your own safety, but to some other interest entirely - then really this is just an example of deception. Which could start to be unravelled with the response: "Really? How so?"

  • +1 for the questioning response. Talking about authoritarianism... now they don't even allow new users to upvote answers. Not to speak of closing the question with vague arguments - who's "too broad" here? – LogicBreaker Nov 5 '15 at 23:11

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