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LogicalFallacy

Tolerance vs intolerance - where is the middle ground?

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5 minutes ago, florduh said:

Perhaps you could read my post again.

 

I read it several times.

 

12 hours ago, florduh said:

No. Their problem is that challenging the right wing narrative around here gets met, all too often, with insults, name calling and dismissal of the argument because of age, sex, education or anything else handy. Not all Conservatives are racist but it seems all racists are Conservative. But it is rude behavior that is the problem. If one can't post a study that goes against the ultra conservative program without it being deemed a "shit post" or when any contrary facts or statistics are brought up they are verbally tarred and feathered for using questionable sources or methodology, there is little ground for meaningful discussion or even friendly disagreement. The attitude of "if you can't take it then get out" is so like the old "love it or leave it" mantra use by the hawks during the Vietnam war. BTW, they were wrong and should have listened sooner to the bleeding heart pinko liberal peaceniks before deciding they had nothing of value to say about it. 

 

If you were referring to something else, I'm happy to apologize for the misunderstanding and retract the proverbial claws.

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@ag_NO_stic fwiw I'm 100% sure that florduh wasn't referring to you. In the case of the "shitposting" comment that is definitely a reference to someone else.

 

Speaking for myself, I welcome your contributions and have absolutely no issue with your posts challenging various methods or conclusions. I think I can understand where you are coming from given your history. Speaking of where folks are coming from, I think -- and this is probably more of an issue for @Orbit than for me, since she's a professional sociologist where I'm an amateur -- it can be frustrating for people with a lot of knowledge in a field when others are entirely dismissive of the very foundations or validity of the field as a whole. Sometimes channeling that frustration into productive conversation is a challenge, but of course that is not your problem at all, nor something that moderation should be involved with. Nor do I mean to beg the question about the validity of social science or suggest that challenging it should be intellectually off-limits for anyone. Basically I'm just hoping we can all bear with one another, recognizing that we are each coming from different perspectives.

 

That said, I do also think there's a meaningful difference between good-faith skepticism and a desire to think critically (but openly) about various issues, and the tendency I sometimes observe (and here I'm not referring to you) where people seem to have already settled on the desired conclusion and are merely searching for any convenient reason for rejecting any argument that challenges that conclusion. Critical thinking is a good thing, but motivated reasoning masquerading as critical thinking is not quite the same. There again though, it's not my desire to enshrine that distinction in forum rules. I think people should have the right to entirely dismiss social sciences out of hand for reasons I consider entirely wrong, and make posts to that effect. It's clear to me though that the former kind of skepticism allows for discussion where the latter kind of dismissal does not, so I rather prefer the former :P

 

 

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41 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

If you were referring to something else, I'm happy to apologize for the misunderstanding and retract the proverbial claws.

The complaint and reason people leave, as several have told me, is that arguments or information that goes against the prevailing conservative views of a handful of members are not typically addressed. The character, age or intelligence of the poster is attacked instead. Accusations of not being tough enough follow. Many people just don't have time for that kind of "discussion."

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37 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

@ag_NO_stic fwiw I'm 100% sure that florduh wasn't referring to you. In the case of the "shitposting" comment that is definitely a reference to someone else.

 

Speaking for myself, I welcome your contributions and have absolutely no issue with your posts challenging various methods or conclusions. I think I can understand where you are coming from given your history. Speaking of where folks are coming from, I think -- and this is probably more of an issue for @Orbit than for me, since she's a professional sociologist where I'm an amateur -- it can be frustrating for people with a lot of knowledge in a field when others are entirely dismissive of the very foundations or validity of the field as a whole. Sometimes channeling that frustration into productive conversation is a challenge, but of course that is not your problem at all, nor something that moderation should be involved with. Nor do I mean to beg the question about the validity of social science or suggest that challenging it should be intellectually off-limits for anyone. Basically I'm just hoping we can all bear with one another, recognizing that we are each coming from different perspectives.

 

That said, I do also think there's a meaningful difference between good-faith skepticism and a desire to think critically (but openly) about various issues, and the tendency I sometimes observe (and here I'm not referring to you) where people seem to have already settled on the desired conclusion and are merely searching for any convenient reason for rejecting any argument that challenges that conclusion. Critical thinking is a good thing, but motivated reasoning masquerading as critical thinking is not quite the same. There again though, it's not my desire to enshrine that distinction in forum rules. I think people should have the right to entirely dismiss social sciences out of hand for reasons I consider entirely wrong, and make posts to that effect. It's clear to me though that the former kind of skepticism allows for discussion where the latter kind of dismissal does not, so I rather prefer the former :P

 

 

 

 

I appreciate your posts as well, they are balanced, thoughtful, and respectful. I would respond to the rest of this, but I already have several times. Succinctly put, with a background in sociology, I'm aware of it's criticisms and seek only intellectual integrity out of respect for the science . I can relate to the frustrations of having to defend the field to others who discredit it, but it's part of the deal to defend the integrity of a study to fellow sociologists and peer review. 

 

 

31 minutes ago, florduh said:

The complaint and reason people leave, as several have told me, is that arguments or information that goes against the prevailing conservative views of a handful of members are not typically addressed. The character, age or intelligence of the poster is attacked instead. Accusations of not being tough enough follow. Many people just don't have time for that kind of "discussion."

 

Probably because many of us who are equally annoyed at what you're talking about just ignore it and don't complain about either side. Regardless, I'll retract claws, but I'm not sure how to respond here. I find it rude to not respond.

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10 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I would respond to the rest of this, but I already have several times. Succinctly put, with a background in sociology, I'm aware of it's criticisms and seek only intellectual integrity out of respect for the science .

 

:D

 

Sorry, I do repeat myself sometimes. I totally respect your approach here and wanted to encourage you to continue to participate. That was the main point I was trying to make.

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32 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

Its not like there was some big DNC strategy meeting where people decided they were going to start discriminating against administration officials.  This is just moral outrage of individuals naturally playing out in society.  

 

Either way, it’s counterproductive and liable to get Trump re-elected. 

 

32 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

 But these are exactly the points Conservative media are pushing, so good job.

 

Good job on the reasoned response. I really thought you could do better than that. 

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Just now, wellnamed said:

 

:D

 

Sorry, I do repeat myself sometimes. I totally respect your approach here and wanted to encourage you to continue to participate. That was the main point I was trying to make.

 

 

I was not referring to you, I was just too lazy to rewrite, sorry for the miscommunication. You have nothing to apologize for here. I probably shouldn't have done the "happy to leave" bit, but y'all aren't the only frustrated ones. As opposed to "intolerance," it almost feels like a waste of time after awhile.

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3 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

it almost feels like a waste of time after awhile.

 

Oh totally. Lucky for everyone I really enjoy wasting time on the internet. :P

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21 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Probably because many of us who are equally annoyed at what you're talking about just ignore it and don't complain about either side. Regardless, I'll retract claws, but I'm not sure how to respond here. I find it rude to not respond.

To be clear, if possible, it's not about "sides." It's about behavior, civility and sticking to the issues rather than berating the one who posts.

 

If I remember correctly, and that's not always the case, I thought you yourself were ready to quit shortly after joining the site and I persuaded you to stick it out. I have not attacked you or your opinions to the best of my knowledge. I am just trying to explain what's going on around here as revealed to me by members and former members.

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4 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

I am literally having the same debate with fundamentalist Christians elsewhere.  This is being heavily pushed by Conservative media at the present, it is super easy to see that they think this will help them.

 

Yes, it helped them in 2016.  Just because it’s being pushed by Conservative media doesn’t mean it’s invalid.  I think those on the left who discount it for that reason are unwise. 

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12 hours ago, TrueScotsman said:

I don't assume a kind of equal moral footing for all ideas, I contextualize these ideas in their application in the real world and how they affect real people.  That is why I am said to be intolerant of intolerance, because it has caused tremendous harm to many people, and I am unapologetic in my opposition to bigoted ideals.

That's just it, this thread really bothered me because assuming an equal moral footing for all ideas is ridiculous. Do people honestly want to argue that someone who doesn't tolerate hate speech is just as intolerant as the person guilty of hate speech? It's false equivalence. In any case, it has been hashed out fully here, and I think people should just agree to disagree. I stand fully behind the statement that all it takes for evil to triumph is for people to do nothing about it.

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7 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

That's just it, this thread really bothered me because assuming an equal moral footing for all ideas is ridiculous. Do people honestly want to argue that someone who doesn't tolerate hate speech is just as intolerant as the person guilty of hate speech? It's false equivalence. In any case, it has been hashed out fully here, and I think people should just agree to disagree. I stand fully behind the statement that all it takes for evil to triumph is for people to do nothing about it.

 

Just as long as you realize you're guilty of hate speech against Christians, we can all agree to disagree. 

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7 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

Evidence for this assertion?  

I think the borders of hate speech have to be more clearly defined than just saying you're guilty of it. Because disagreeing with someone's religious beliefs isn't the same as going out there on the streets and yelling "hey you Christian morons, y'all a bunch of idiots!" Once again, I don't think things can be so easily be put on an equal footing. Context matters.

 

Edit: I'm of the opinion that the beliefs people hold are not directly equivalent to their biological markers, ie race, sexuality, disability status etc. The former one can change, as we all know, while the latter cannot. That being said, I do see Ag's point very well, there is a thing such as freedom of religion. I don't think making an argument against, or even belittling people's opinions, falls into the category of hate speech at all.

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8 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

Evidence for this assertion?  

 

That would be my point, fyi.

 

4 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

I think the borders of hate speech have to be more clearly defined than just saying you're guilty of it. Because disagreeing with someone's religious beliefs isn't the same as going out there on the streets and yelling "hey you Christian morons, y'all a bunch of idiots!" Once again, I don't think things can be so easily be put on an equal footing. Context matters.

 

I mostly agree with this, for the record. But you've done both, right? Or is it only if we're not talking directly to them?

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2 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

Christianity currently has billions of people under the influence of the Bible, as the word of god.  Strong words are warranted.  Bigotry and hatred towards many of theses groups in society, has led to the justification of all manner of crimes for hundreds of years.  Strong words are warranted.  Reality isn't just this thing that you rationally deal with, there are positively fucked up things that sometimes will be unjustly responded to, if done so neutrally.  If the context was an academic one, which was not actively promoting or seeking to incite such hatred, would be a more appropriate context to interact with such ideas.  

 

I mostly agree with this. But your priority (or one of them, as it appears to me) is marginalized groups. One of my concerns is what the suppression/control of speech/thoughts leads to. Historically, it's not pretty.

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3 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I mostly agree with this, for the record. But you've done both, right? Or is it only if we're not talking directly to them?

I edited my post above. I'm of the same opinion as @TrueScotsman, I do think strong words are in many cases required when it comes to critiquing the views and opinions and beliefs that people hold. And the reason why, is as he stated, is beliefs themselves can result in hatred and bigotry towards people based on race, sexuality, etc.

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1 minute ago, TrueScotsman said:

I think the parallels are nuts, this is not East Germany or Stalinistic Russia, and it is different on the question of what one should do regarding the government regulations, or in a privately owned website platform with a particular goal and platform.  If you want a look at what not to do, look to China, which is definitely something we should all agree on that we should avoid.

This is why I'm saying the context matters. It just doesn't work to say one situation is equivalent to another, the world is much more nuanced than that.

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6 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

I edited my post above. I'm of the same opinion as @TrueScotsman, I do think strong words are in many cases required when it comes to critiquing the views and opinions and beliefs that people hold. And the reason why, is as he stated, is beliefs themselves can result in hatred and bigotry towards people based on race, sexuality, etc.

 

I understand, but if the christian is asserting that what you say is hatred or bigotry, regardless of your intent, do you see the point I'm trying to make? An outlandish or "bigoted" statement, no matter how distasteful, is based on certain people declaring that to be so. Right? I hope I'm communicating this okay.

 

5 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

I think the parallels are nuts, this is not East Germany or Stalinistic Russia, and it is different on the question of what one should do regarding the government regulations, or in a privately owned website platform with a particular goal and platform.  If you want a look at what not to do, look to China, which is definitely something we should all agree on that we should avoid.

 

You and I can agree on the site's rights to mod whatever they want. I am arguing more from a government stand point, good catch in difference there.

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7 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

An outlandish or "bigoted" statement, no matter how distasteful, is based on certain people declaring that to be so. Right?

 

I think it's probably inevitable that definitions of bigotry will have some subjective component, but I wouldn't agree that a definition is necessarily entirely subjective. I don't have a strong opinion on the usefulness of hate speech laws, but I also think laws like that could be given a roughly objective basis of some kind. Law is often like that, where courts have to (somewhat subjectively) assess objective evidence. Just as an example, I think there is an objective distinction between a statement like "Christians are misguided idiots adhering to a bronze age tribal religion" and "Christians are animals who should be rounded up and exterminated". I think a standard of bigotry or hate speech could be elaborated that would properly distinguish between the two statements. Such a distinction would recognize the way that the latter contributes to dehumanizing Christians and suggests violence against them. I would call the second bigoted, but not the first. Any attempt to outline such a distinction will inevitably have some fuzzy boundaries, but I don't think it follows that therefore the entire enterprise is subjective.

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4 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

 

I think it's probably inevitable that definitions of bigotry will have some subjective component, but I wouldn't agree that a definition is necessarily entirely subjective. I don't have a strong opinion on the usefulness of hate speech laws, but I also think laws like that could be given a roughly objective basis of some kind. Law is often like that, where courts have to (somewhat subjectively) assess objective evidence. Just as an example, I think there is an objective distinction between a statement like "Christians are misguided idiots adhering to a bronze age tribal religion" and "Christians are animals who should be rounded up and exterminated". I think a standard of bigotry or hate speech could be elaborated that would properly distinguish between the two statements. Such a distinction would recognize the way that the latter contributes to dehumanizing Christians and suggests violence against them. I would call the second bigoted, but not the first. Any attempt to outline such a distinction will inevitably have some fuzzy boundaries, but I don't think it follows that therefore the entire enterprise is subjective.

 

You make a very fair point. I guess my thing is, unless the person tries to do that, they were just talking. Should they be prosecuted by the law for words? I'm just curious.

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10 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

You make a very fair point. I guess my thing is, unless the person tries to do that, they were just talking. Should they be prosecuted by the law for words? I'm just curious.

 

I mean my general inclination is no, we should mostly not prosecute people for using words. If we contemplate limiting speech we should have very compelling reasons to do so, and we should favor other approaches where they might accomplish our policy goals with less downside. We do have some exceptions to speech protections though. I think I mentioned a few earlier in this thread. I think there's probably some reasonable argument to be made for hate speech laws that would inhibit literal neo-nazis from speaking publicly but not most other people. On the other hand, it's not clear to me if those laws would accomplish much in the present climate. To some extent social norms accomplish much the same thing. That said, there's been a disturbing uptick in dehumanizing rhetoric out of certain parties of late, most notably from the President when he speaks about immigrants. I don't think that rhetoric is entirely inconsequential, although at the moment I think it's the actions that are far worse. The two are related though, clearly. I don't know what the best solution is.

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1 minute ago, wellnamed said:

 

I mean my general inclination is no, we should mostly not prosecute people for using words. If we contemplate limiting speech we should have very compelling reasons to do so, and we should favor other approaches where they might accomplish our policy goals with less downside. We do have some exceptions to speech protections though. I think I mentioned a few earlier in this thread. I think there's probably some reasonable argument to be made for hate speech laws that would inhibit literal neo-nazis from speaking publicly but not most other people. On the other hand, it's not clear to me if those laws would accomplish much in the present climate. To some extent social norms accomplish much the same thing. That said, there's been a disturbing uptick in dehumanizing rhetoric out of certain parties of late, most notably from the President when he speaks about immigrants using dehumanizing language. I don't think that rhetoric is entirely inconsequential, although at the moment I think it's the actions that are far worse. The two are related though, clearly. I don't know what the best solution is.

 

I think this is pretty reasonable.

 

Fyi, I think you do a very good job on this forum of finding merit in the statements of another before disagreeing. I think, in general, if we all did the whole "I can see where you're coming from, good point. Have you considered ___" we'd get somewhere. Keep it up! :D

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55 minutes ago, Burnedout said:

 

Please define "Moral Outrage".  Also, how is it any different than self-righteous rantings? 

 

Given your views on individual liberty, does it really matter if there is no difference between "moral outrage" and "self-righteous ranting"? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, it would just seem to me that it shouldn't matter in this context. Perhaps I'm mistaken on that point, but previously you've said things like this:

 

which suggests to me that you would agree that the restaurant manager should be free to refuse service, even if her sense of "moral outrage" is really just "self-righteous ranting".

 

It also seems to me that the distinction isn't really even important to the point that Scotsman was making, since that point is entirely about the difference between organized political strategy and individual actions, rather than being about the justification for any particular action.

 

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3 hours ago, wellnamed said:

 

I think it's probably inevitable that definitions of bigotry will have some subjective component, but I wouldn't agree that a definition is necessarily entirely subjective. I don't have a strong opinion on the usefulness of hate speech laws, but I also think laws like that could be given a roughly objective basis of some kind. Law is often like that, where courts have to (somewhat subjectively) assess objective evidence. Just as an example, I think there is an objective distinction between a statement like "Christians are misguided idiots adhering to a bronze age tribal religion" and "Christians are animals who should be rounded up and exterminated". I think a standard of bigotry or hate speech could be elaborated that would properly distinguish between the two statements. Such a distinction would recognize the way that the latter contributes to dehumanizing Christians and suggests violence against them. I would call the second bigoted, but not the first. Any attempt to outline such a distinction will inevitably have some fuzzy boundaries, but I don't think it follows that therefore the entire enterprise is subjective.

Very well put, I was going to try say something similar, but you have a much better way of putting it. There is a real difference between telling people that their beliefs are misguided, or poking fun at their beliefs, and actually threatening or condoning violence against them, or dehumanizing them.

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1 hour ago, Burnedout said:

Please define "Moral Outrage".  Also, how is it any different than self-righteous rantings? 

Putting babies in cages sparks moral outrage in a few fringe crazies, I guess. Perhaps if more people in 1930s Germany were morally outraged, history would have turned out quite differently. Instead, they started to believe the hate speech and became desensitized so the final solution could begin. People are the same today, though. History happens without imparting any lessons, I guess.

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