Nothing like a little public humiliation to "teach" people a lesson.
First question: Is shaming ever a justifiable treatment? I think it is.
I think it serves a purpose keeping us from moving too far from the norm. For example, if we weren't ashamed of being unclean many of us might have not gotten in the habit of taking showers or brushing our teeth when we were young. If someone doesn't shower, you call them on it. Extra cologne doesn't cover it. If you are an unhealthy weight, someone notices, comb your hair, tie your shoes, I don't want to see your underwear, you slopped food all over your shirt, wipe your nose, don't sneeze without covering, wash your hands after restroom.
Which brings me to my second question: Is calling stupid people stupid ever justifiable? I think it is.
If someone makes a bad choice based on their ignorance they're not at fault because if they knew better they wouldn't have made that choice. But if someone is unable to learn that person is stupid, a person who has a choice whether to be stupid or not is going to make ignorant choices based on what he or she doesn't know. But an ignorant person who refuses to learn can't learn and remedy their ignorance. I think we should call people on their stupid decisions, using shame as a deterrent against ignorance.
The reason I think we should act this way is because if we don't, we're letting the ignorant people who don't want to be called “stupid” dictate social policy…and you can see that as it’s reflect through different political policy about whether religion should be taught in schools, and the growing bias in our news media, among a lot of other politics pinning conservatives against liberals. I believe both sides need to learn how to be skeptical, and when to accept something as a more or less biased view. It all starts with calling our friends, family, and coworkers "stupid" whenever they think they have the right to criticize things they don't know about.
Social stigma and ridicule is a normative effect. Can be helpful. Proportionate response to proportionate threat or value. Polite but firm. Shaming is a useful way of enforcing healthy norms. Bullying is a put-down, "I am better than you," shaming is done as an equal, asking for someone to do what is good and healthy for all concerned. Shaming is not a rationalization someone can make to avoid accountability for being an asshole, the purpose of shaming is pushing an asshole to stop the asshole behavior and join the community as a decent human being. We humans don't like being thrown out of the group, this is true, that is why shaming is so powerful, do the good thing, or we will throw you out of the group; by the way, the good thing is what we want to do naturally, we all have consciences. Shaming is how we ask people to listen to their own conscience.
If you're not agree with me, stop for awhile, and think: have you ever did the shaming?
Obviously I can't agree bad practices and using the shaming tool to make a bad oppression to reflects stupidity. I’m talking about "knowing before we judge," if you can't do that, okay, if you won't because you’re standing with the people who shame intellectuals for understanding, then you're a bonehead. And it'd help society if that's what we called you.
Shaming is already out there. We use it all the time in all kinds of social situations, but if we point to it, it suddenly becomes ugly. It's a taboo because all we think about when we consider its harmful effects. Nobody likes being shamed. All I'm saying is we're never going to get rid of it and we should be allowed to consider how being conscious and taking control of shaming can benefit us.
This topic sort of reminds me about ethical relativism. I do find myself annoyed by the claim that since there is no proven "right" morality that there is no basis for judging anything. Most people don't even truly believe this, yet will pretend that they do mistaking ethical relativism for cultural correctness. Shame is a rather loaded term; but I do think people should be called out on their shoddy thinking, bad behavior, and mistakes. No doubt! The key is in knowing the sincerest way how to apply it; when and why.