Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LogicalFallacy

A discussion on the use of offensive/derogatory terminology

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

Bear with me, this is going to be a long OP as there is a lot to unpack.

 

This topic has come about after a brief exchange in one of the threads in the Lions Den in which was brought about by Bhim using the term “Asperger’s Christian” to derogatorily describe our latest delusional friend in the lions den.

 

Now, you might say, LF you mock people and use derogatory terms all the time. And yes, yes I do. I just did, didn’t I? You see my issue is not with the mocking, it is with the harmful effect that using terms like “Asperger’s Christian” causes. (For those who don’t know what Asperger’s syndrome is, it is a mental disorder on the autism spectrum which results in a mis wired brain that doesn’t read social cues like the majority of people. https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/mental-health-aspergers-syndrome

 

Now @Bhim made some comments about freedom of speech issues, but that is not what this topic is about, nor was it where I’m coming from. I’m not a free speech absolutist, but I’m pretty close to it, while at the same time quite happy to request, or suggest there are terms that as a society we shouldn’t use. Sound contradictory? Not at all. Free speech is about the compelling of speech, particularly of the Government compelling of speech, and I think as a society we must be extremely careful of what speech is compelled (Be that forcing you to say stuff, say like the pledge of allegiance, or forcing you not to stay stuff, say the Government made a ban on saying “Asperger's Christian.” In this I think Bhim and I will agree. So I don’t want Bhim using that term for reasons I’ll unpack later, but I uphold his right to say it.

 

At this point I probably need to address the part where I said “I could well be inclined to violence” as a way of expressing how pissed off I get when I see/hear people using terms such as we are discussing. I have a friend with Asperger's, but in reality, I wouldn’t actually do any violence even if Bhim made direct fun of my Asperger’s friend to his face. My policy on violence is that it should only be used sparingly and only as a last resort to protect yourself or another. Say a person is invading your house, I actually have no problem shooting them even if they haven’t at that point directly threatened you. The mere fact that they have invaded the sanctity of your home, and by their mere presence threatens your safety warrants the use of force. Not sure if the law agrees with that… but that’s my position on the matter. So to conclude this clarification, my phrase was a way to indicate how strongly I feel about this issue, which has its roots in my life experiences and subsequent thought about what makes a good society.

 

On 6/25/2020 at 2:50 AM, Bhim said:

All of that is going to make it harder for me to say that no, I can't reduce the frequency with which I joke about Asperger's Christians.

 

Well... yes you could, but are refusing to do so on grounds explained below. 

 

Quote

If you'd asked me a few years ago, I'd have thought nothing of simply acceding to your request. But, as I've discussed in various threads concerning my support for Donald Trump, I am deeply concerned with a growing movement to censor private individuals' free speech, culminating in the recent race riots in which personal threats of physical violence are made against low-profile individuals on the basis of casual comments or expressed opinions. I know that in your above post you are not threatening me personally, just as you are aware that I am not insulting your friend (I didn't even know he existed until just now). Nor do I have any ill will to anyone who actually has Asperger's. But this affected my social circle recently when last week, my father's colleague was physically assaulted in his home - he is currently in the ICU with life-threatening injuries - because he said on social media words to the effect of "why do we need to celebrate George Floyd?" I know that you're not trying to associate with any broader social movement.

 

Bhim, we largely agree here, and I am sorry about your father’s friend. As stated previously I abhor violence. Possibly I could have worded my post better that would have avoided the side discussion on violence, but I was trying to quickly convey how I felt on the issue – not that my feelings mean that what I say is correct per se. I don’t know if it will be useful discussing the wider social movements or their historical roots in this conversation – that’s probably it’s own topic. I agree that Government censorship should be discouraged, while still being able to have the societal conversation about what words we should or shouldn't use. For example if you walk down the street and yell "nigger" at a black person I do not think there should be any resort to the law to arrest you. However I would quite encourage people to give you a good verbal dressing down and explain what a sack of shit you are. I hope we are here?

 

Quote

You're just making this request of me because of your friend.

 

No, not at all. My friend is a close to hand example of why I think such terms are harmful and should be discouraged from use.

 

For as long as I can remember (In all my tender 3 plus decades under the sun), and I would warrant for millennia longer, people with mental illness have been made fun of. I’m sure we can all quickly think up phrases we might have used as children to mock others that have their roots in someone else’s hardship and suffering. Example, the quip, “oh stop being spastic” to a kid running around playing which of course has its roots from the way people’s muscles act when they have cerebral palsy.

 

So what’s my problem with this? This habit of using mocking terms rooted in actual ailments of people only acts to stigmatize these people and make life harder for them. Now I don’t limit my concern to terms using mental illnesses derogatorily. Racist terms like nigger etc I think should also be discouraged.

 

But why should we care? It comes from our empathy as a result of being a social species. I’m able to put myself into the shoes of an Asperger’s person, who’s been made fun of their whole life, had no friend’s etc, and empathize with their struggle. There are those in our society who are psychopathic – they lack this empathy, and thus are unable to understand that calling you names or punching you hurts you. However the vast majority of humans are able to empathize with their fellow humans. I trust you are one these.

 

There is the saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”, which is the biggest load of bullshit I was ever fed as a child. The general sentiment behind the saying is that what people say doesn’t actually do any harm. I think we can largely conclude, based on research and general life experience, that this is patently false. If words didn’t cause harm we wouldn’t have many of the problems we do today. Now this isn’t to say we should flake and peel at every little thing said against us, far from it, but I also think that there needs to be a balance and a mindfulness of our words and interactions in a larger societal framework. For example, I have no problem with calling Bhim an ignorant moron who is fuck nuts stupid. (Wrong as that opinion would be) I do however have a problem with referring to him as retarded, or mental, or using some racial slur etc. The first set is using descriptive terms that are not associated, nor use a characteristic about Bhim, his race, or particular illness. The second set is using derogatory language often directed at people actually suffering from mental illness to mock or describe Bhim.

 

Quote

Yet I feel that if I stop referring to SV as an Asperger's Christian, I'm participating in a culture of cowardice and censorship of the type that is causing people like my dad's coworker (and possibly himself, since he too doesn't care about George Floyd or systemic racism) to literally get beat up.

 

I disagree. If you stop using that term I’d just argue (in line with my above thoughts) that you are being a decent person, and that using this situation and the wider social movement as a reason (I won’t say excuse) to keep using it just means you failing to be a decent person. It isn't cowardice to stand up and say, lets encourage people to stop using this kind of harmful language, but for fucks sake, you people have got to stop being violent, destroying property and generally being arseholes. (Pretending I'm talking to a mixed crowd of protesters in that example)

 

Quote

This was a serious enough incident that I've taken steps to ensure that should someone be inclined to violence against me on the grounds of my offensive speech, I'm prepared to defend myself with a firearm. Which was a fairly big step because I don't prefer to have guns at home.

 

I respect your right to say what you want, and your right to defend yourself. However, I don’t think though we should be offensive for the sake of being offensive. If you are intentionally offensive to someone, with the intent of causing harm or grief, then I’d say you deserve what you get (Karma) even though I would condemn the violence against you.The reason for that is that there is no reason to be an arsehole for the sake of being one.

 

Quote

And again, I have to reiterate that I am aware you are not threatening me personally with violence. I mean, you're in New Zealand. If you spend money on a plane ticket to the United States just to punch me in the face, you're probably entitled to at least one free punch. But I just don't believe in filtering myself, especially when discussing important topics like religion. I'd rather not have the conversation at all than converse with a metaphorical gun to my head.

 

Again, this is not about a gun to your head situation. I am not saying “stop saying this or you will be banned/arrested etc”. I’m saying think about what you are saying in a wider social context and consider what words you might use to adequately express how stupid SV is, without the need to disparage others who themselves get enough disparaging without us adding to it. One of our members here might be diagnosed with Asperger’s and thus your post causes them a lot of suffering that could quite easily be avoided by using different words that still got the same message across.

 

Be empathetic I guess is the short version of my post.

 

If you made it thus far thanks for reading and considering my position.

 

LF

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TruthSeeker0's reply, which I'm reposting here to avoid the the aforementioned sulfur balls.

 

^^ Imo the above post is an example of some pretty adroit psychological manoeuvering/manipulation  in which the person without the ability or desire to feel any empathy for others (certainly a pattern there, there's even been expressions of hatred towards some groups in other threads) positions themselves as the victim and solicites understanding for this, because they weren't allowed to be a dick, ie express their feelings of indifference toward the experiences of others. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Bhim I've just updated my OP with my reply. Took a bit to get the quote over here in a separate topic then split it out. Mod powers bawhaha. Dave be praised for his blessings!

 

Cheers and good night for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'No, you have to let me insult people by labelling them as mentally ill, because communists are trying to get me to stop it, therefore I will continue to label them as mentally ill'.

 

Big Brains 2020. 🤭

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SilentVoice said:

'No, you have to let me insult people by labelling them as mentally ill, because communists are trying to get me to stop it, therefore I will continue to label them as mentally ill'.

 

Big Brains 2020. 🤭

 

I'm sure I said no flat earthers allowed. IF you want to take part in this discussion you leave your religious nonsense behind, and you post coherent, respectful posts. If you don't I'll delete them. I want this to be a decent serious discussion. I think this is stuff we need to talk about. It affects our future as a society.

 

First warning, last warning. I'll let your first post stand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a lot to say here that I haven't already said elsewhere, so I will be brief.

 

A distinction needs to be drawn between speech which happens to be offensive to some and speech which which is deliberately offensive, demeaning, derogatory, etcetera. There is simply no telling what some people may find offensive, so it's silly in principle to say that offensive speech in general should be avoided. Also, there are many cases where people need to be offended, because they are in the wrong. Many people find it offensive when arguments for lgbtqetc rights are put forth, for example. In cases like this, saying "that's offensive!" amounts to just saying "I don't like it". Well, so what? The point of the speech here is to establish the rights of a group of people. That it is offensive to some is merely incidental.

 

Using racial slurs (for example), on the other hand, serves no actual purpose except to give offense. I don't see that this is a worthy end in and of itself. Therefore, I can see no reason to engage in this kind of speech. Should it be allowed? I suppose, strictly speaking, I would say "yes", but with the caveat that people should also be allowed to strongly object to the usage of this kind of language. These objections are in no way suppression of free speech. They are, in fact, also actions of free speech on the part of those who object.

 

Of course, when the speaking stops and the violence starts, then eveyone loses.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I'm sure I said no flat earthers allowed. IF you want to take part in this discussion you leave your religious nonsense behind, and you post coherent, respectful posts. If you don't I'll delete them. I want this to be a decent serious discussion. I think this is stuff we need to talk about. It affects our future as a society.

 

First warning, last warning. I'll let your first post stand.

Where was the religious content in my post? I don't care if you delete all my posts. Wouldn't it be hilarious if you did that and demonstrated what "power" does to people who want to suppress opinions and persecute others.

 

"I have no problem with calling Bhim an ignorant moron who is fuck nuts stupid."

What's wrong with being ignorant?

What's wrong with being a moron?

What's wrong with being stupid?

 

I ask these questions unironically. None of the people who fit those descriptions are disqualified from being alive. Everybody is ignorant of many things.

 

""Moron" was coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Ancient Greek word μωρός (moros), which meant "dull" and used to describe a person with a mental age in adulthood of between 7 and 10 on the Binet scale."

 

So essentially you're being offensive to morons while pretending to care about the rights and feelings of the afflicted under the guise of compassion.

 

"I'm sure I said no flat earthers allowed"

I did CTRL+F and your reply was the only mention because you got butthurt about me being in the thread. 🤷‍♂️

 

"I’m not a free speech absolutist, but I’m pretty close to it, while at the same time quite happy to request, or suggest there are terms that as a society we shouldn’t use."

Slippery slope. Why not just petition to ban Christianity? I hear it makes lots of people angry.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While my baser personality traits love reading (and posting) personal insults for the smug comedic effect, I dont think it is productive. Ad hominem does not provide a counterpoint in debate. It's a logical fallacy. 

 

Perhaps human beings (including me), frustrated with not being able to 'get through' to someone , resort to ad hom as an emotional check valve...releasing some steam.  Is this the lizard brain talking? Or the neocortex? Which part of your brain do you want to present to the public? 

 

I guess it's best to stay anonymous. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This site hasn't given me much for a long time. I've hung around to help the newcomers but frankly I'm tired of the lack of decency in this section of the site in particular. It's time for me to move on and find what other people would refer to as an echo chamber, but one that's more aligned with my values. I agree that discussion and disagreement should take place, but in these forums it's too often been with people who just need to prove they're correct and have the last word. Those who are concerned with social justice, are feminists or who hold progressive values get short shrift here as it's too "liberal" of a pill for most to swallow. Eventually they get tired, like I am, and they leave. Y'all take care. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish you’d stay, @TruthSeeker0   And I say that as one who often disagrees with you and is even irritated by things you say. But if we only hang out with people we agree with, it’s not good for us.  It may be comfortable sure, but we don’t grow by being comfortable.  You’ve made me think about some of my opinions and attitudes. Thinking is good.  Part of the reason 2020 is such a mess is because of the echo-chambers people choose to inhabit.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @LogicalFallacy. So glad you decided to discuss this in some detail. I'm sure we can learn something from one another here.

13 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Now @Bhim made some comments about freedom of speech issues, but that is not what this topic is about, nor was it where I’m coming from. I’m not a free speech absolutist, but I’m pretty close to it, while at the same time quite happy to request, or suggest there are terms that as a society we shouldn’t use. Sound contradictory? Not at all. Free speech is about the compelling of speech, particularly of the Government compelling of speech, and I think as a society we must be extremely careful of what speech is compelled (Be that forcing you to say stuff, say like the pledge of allegiance, or forcing you not to stay stuff, say the Government made a ban on saying “Asperger's Christian.” In this I think Bhim and I will agree. So I don’t want Bhim using that term for reasons I’ll unpack later, but I uphold his right to say it.

 

So to start, I'm glad you delineated between government-protected free speech and the broader concept of free verbal expression (I emphasize the word "verbal" because in general I don't believe in free expression, e.g. I can't express myself by punching you or something of the like). I don't feel that government protection of free speech is in serious jeopardy at the moment. I'm far more worried about how we interact as individuals, and on the general culture of suppression of ideas. For example, let's say I want to express the opinion "black people possess genetics that confer inferior intelligence to that of non-blacks" (offensive opinion chosen intentionally), and let's further say that I discuss this with others in my backyard. What if my neighbor records me and broadcasts it across the far reaches of social media? Despite that I was engaging in a legal activity with consenting adults - on my own property and with a legal expectation of privacy - the Internet would call for me to be terminated from my employment. And this despite that my activity was in no way connected to my employment. So though I have legally-protected free speech, I do not effectively have free speech, because I cannot exercise my right in any meaningful capacity. It is precisely this mode of free speech that I wish to address, namely the mode of speech which is currently only fully accessible to wealthy individuals who do not depend on their employability for their subsistence.

 

13 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

No, not at all. My friend is a close to hand example of why I think such terms are harmful and should be discouraged from use.

 

For as long as I can remember (In all my tender 3 plus decades under the sun), and I would warrant for millennia longer, people with mental illness have been made fun of. I’m sure we can all quickly think up phrases we might have used as children to mock others that have their roots in someone else’s hardship and suffering. Example, the quip, “oh stop being spastic” to a kid running around playing which of course has its roots from the way people’s muscles act when they have cerebral palsy.

 

So what’s my problem with this? This habit of using mocking terms rooted in actual ailments of people only acts to stigmatize these people and make life harder for them. Now I don’t limit my concern to terms using mental illnesses derogatorily. Racist terms like nigger etc I think should also be discouraged.

 

But why should we care? It comes from our empathy as a result of being a social species. I’m able to put myself into the shoes of an Asperger’s person, who’s been made fun of their whole life, had no friend’s etc, and empathize with their struggle. There are those in our society who are psychopathic – they lack this empathy, and thus are unable to understand that calling you names or punching you hurts you. However the vast majority of humans are able to empathize with their fellow humans. I trust you are one these.

 

Thanks for clarifying that there is a larger philosophical issue here for you. That definitely elucidates my interpretation of your comments. Aside: I must say I'm impressed by your willingness to use the N-word even by way of reference. Maybe it's a US vs. New Zealand issue, but over here we are trained from birth to never use that word. The fact that such an ethic exists - that there is an unspeakable word - is evidence of the culture of cowardice to which I refer. The fact that I don't say the word, even when posting anonymously on a VPN, is not something I am proud of. Two points here.

 

1. I can think of no objection to your general ethic concerning empathy. No one should want anyone to suffer, and should actively want others to not suffer.

 

2. I take issue with the analysis of mockery here, because it is too specific. I'm not sure that mental illness was met with mockery in antiquity, since an inability to diagnose it would probably have caused all mental illness to be categorized as general lack of intelligence (but I'm not familiar with the history of this, so maybe I'm wrong). But I think we're not talking about empathy here, but sympathy, i.e. actually taking part in one's suffering rather than understanding it. I want to ask: why did you choose mental illness as opposed to any of the other available modes of suffering (e.g. poverty, genocide, etc.) as the focus of your sympathies?

 

I say this not to suggest that the issue is in fact personal for you, but to point out a potential oversight. Namely that many insults occur by way of analogy to some group of people who are defined by a deficiency. I haven't thought about this aspect of linguistics before, and after reading your post this morning I spent the better part of the day thinking about this topic, so I could be wrong. But when you call someone an "idiot" you are analogizing the idiot to people who are genuinely dimwitted. Calling someone "dumb" is a comparison to a deaf person. "Lame" refers to a crippled person. We call people with functional vision "blind," despite that the word is still in the vernacular as a reference to a lack of eyesight. "Ass kisser" and "shit eater" refers to people who are (presumably non-consentually) performing demeaning acts in order to feign obeisance to a socially superior individual. I'm not sure there's a generic principle here. After all, the word "asshole" is a crass reference to an unsanitary but deeply essential body part. But if the overriding moral principle here were that we should not use insults which rely on analogy to deficient individuals, then said principle severely limits our ability to insult. And hey, maybe in Jesus' (fortunately fictional) new world where all of us are in eternal hell, that would be a good thing.

 

But I do think this is worthy of some analysis. Do we eliminate the entire subset of insults that map to personal deficiency? Do "dumb" and "lame" get a pass because they have moved out of common usage as medical terms? You mentioned the term "spastic." When I was growing up we used the term "spaz." I didn't know until this morning that this referred to muscle spasms that are associated with cerebal palsy. So what I'm asking is: what's the limiting principle here that stops us from banning literally every insult?

 

Now, you gave an answer to this question in the paragraph (which I omit to limit the screen space I consume). You suggest that if you call me a moron, you are insulting me in a way that is morally acceptable. But if you call me a retard, mental, or a racial slur then this is morally unacceptable. Why did you group "retard," "mental," and racial slurs together? One of those thing is not like the other two. Retard and mental refer to mental retardation, a deficiency which I do not knowingly possess. Although I didn't perform all that well on high school standardized tests, so who knows? But the racial slur is interesting. If you called me a racial slur, presumably it would be one that maps to my actual race, namely Indian (aside: I feel left out that there is no N-word equivalent for Indians, if you learn one please pass it along). So you've incorrectly grouped together two insults that don't map directly to any personal trait of mine with a third which, by design, refers specifically to an immutable trait. Calling me a retard or mental is more like calling me a moron than any of those three are like the racial slur. I'm not going to be offended at being called a retard, mental, or a moron. Presumably if I were more thin skinned though, I might be offended at the racial slur. So it's not about what offends me, is it?

 

The only way I can think of in which retard, mental, and <unknown racial slur> group together logically is in their offensiveness to an absent third party observer. An actual retard or otherwise mentally handicapped person, or another person of the race to which the slur refers, might be offended. And that necessitates the question: why are the needs of an absent observer a consideration here?

13 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I disagree. If you stop using that term I’d just argue (in line with my above thoughts) that you are being a decent person, and that using this situation and the wider social movement as a reason (I won’t say excuse) to keep using it just means you failing to be a decent person. It isn't cowardice to stand up and say, lets encourage people to stop using this kind of harmful language, but for fucks sake, you people have got to stop being violent, destroying property and generally being arseholes. (Pretending I'm talking to a mixed crowd of protesters in that example)

 

From your perspective I can understand why you feel this way. I am, after all, referring to SV as an Asperger's Christian after you've told me that it offends you. And believe me, I don't want to be put in this position. As you alluded, I was a bit sloppy in my language: I could stop doing this, but I'm choosing not to. I'm very aware of how antipathetic this looks. But again, there's a time dependence to this situation, as well as a sort of spatial dependence. If you and I were in a room together for the past decade, unaware of the broader culture, done nothing all day and night but post on ex-C about our dislike of Christianity, and you raised an objection as soon as I said "Asperger's Christian," I would likely see no reason to not use a different term (though whatever I used would mean "socially inastute" Christian, and would thus be synonymous). In that sense, my reasons for refusing to use a different term are very much not about you.

 

Right now, I live in a place where racial violence is regularly occurring (with most of the victims being whites). In addition to various news reports of people being fired from their jobs for the mere accusations of racism, I work for an extremely woke company which I feel will soon attempt to compel me to say "black lives matter" (I'm content to remain silent to remain employed, but I won't utter those words no matter the consequence). In some sense, through no fault of your own you picked an inopportune time to ask me to refrain from using specific language. But I strongly feel that some line has to be drawn against compelled speech and compelled silence. And if I can't draw that line on an anonymous online forum, how can I draw it at the point where my manager asks me to say "black lives matter?" In some sense the two situations are not identical; the former is compelled silence and the latter is compelled speech, which I believe to be far worse. Now, what I'm about to say bears directly on these next comments of yours.

 

13 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I respect your right to say what you want, and your right to defend yourself. However, I don’t think though we should be offensive for the sake of being offensive. If you are intentionally offensive to someone, with the intent of causing harm or grief, then I’d say you deserve what you get (Karma) even though I would condemn the violence against you. The reason for that is that there is no reason to be an arsehole for the sake of being one.

 

I want to separate offensiveness from the above issue of compelled silence. Had the request been something along the lines of "you shouldn't insult SV," I would have happily complied. Like you, I don't want to be intentionally offensive. And if the offense in question was insulting SV, I would find it acceptable to retract my comment. But the offense was directed at the hypothetical third party Asperger's patient, and was thus an unintentional offense. That is at the root of my objection. I'm being asked to show a special sympathy for people with Asperger's, over and above what I would show towards people with any deficiency (stupidity, poverty, etc.). Really, the Asperger's issue is irrelevant. If I had insulted SV in a way that referred negatively to Indians, and someone who didn't know I was Indian (or maybe even someone who did...) asked me to not do so, I would now feel the special responsibility to not cease uttering the offending terminology. I hope you'll be able to trust me when I say that I'm not seeking to deliberately offend people. But what I want to avoid at all cost is a situation in which someone else's happiness depends on my speech or thought.

 

13 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

If you made it thus far thanks for reading and considering my position.

 

No, thank you for posting. Putting these thoughts to words takes considerable effort, and I hope I've reciprocated with an equally thoughtful reply. Looking forward to further dialog!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Bhim said:

 

So to start, I'm glad you delineated between government-protected free speech and the broader concept of free verbal expression (I emphasize the word "verbal" because in general I don't believe in free expression, e.g. I can't express myself by punching you or something of the like). I don't feel that government protection of free speech is in serious jeopardy at the moment. I'm far more worried about how we interact as individuals, and on the general culture of suppression of ideas. For example, let's say I want to express the opinion "black people possess genetics that confer inferior intelligence to that of non-blacks" (offensive opinion chosen intentionally), and let's further say that I discuss this with others in my backyard. What if my neighbor records me and broadcasts it across the far reaches of social media? Despite that I was engaging in a legal activity with consenting adults - on my own property and with a legal expectation of privacy - the Internet would call for me to be terminated from my employment. And this despite that my activity was in no way connected to my employment. So though I have legally-protected free speech, I do not effectively have free speech, because I cannot exercise my right in any meaningful capacity. It is precisely this mode of free speech that I wish to address, namely the mode of speech which is currently only fully accessible to wealthy individuals who do not depend on their employability for their subsistence.

 

 

Bhim,

 

Due respect, but in the italicized scenario, are not your hypothetical neighbour and the subsequent paticipants in any ensuing internet conversation not also engaging in free speech? And are you not here calling for them to not excercise their rights, because it is uncomfortable for you for them to do so? How, then, can you really complain?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  

7 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

This site hasn't given me much for a long time. I've hung around to help the newcomers but frankly I'm tired of the lack of decency in this section of the site in particular. It's time for me to move on and find what other people would refer to as an echo chamber, but one that's more aligned with my values. I agree that discussion and disagreement should take place, but in these forums it's too often been with people who just need to prove they're correct and have the last word. Those who are concerned with social justice, are feminists or who hold progressive values get short shrift here as it's too "liberal" of a pill for most to swallow. Eventually they get tired, like I am, and they leave. Y'all take care. 

 

I'm not going to comment on whether you should leave the entire forum or stay, except to state that I am not specifically calling for you to leave, and I certainly wouldn't object to discussion or debate (or both) with you on a wide range of topics. It may, however, not be the wisest course of action to comment on that subset of my posts which cover culture and politics. I don't mean to say this with any ill-will whatsoever. Allow me to explain.

 

When I talk about culture and politics here, I do so with intent to discuss these issues at a very high level of intellectual rigor. If I just wanted to talk Trump with Trump-supporters, such online forums are a dime a dozen. Contrary to stereotype, they are not all vociferous practitioners of evangelical Christianity. A Jesus-rejecting Hindu will find a warm welcome among the politically conservative crowd (as I well know from literally every Republican event I have ever attended in person in my local community, and on the so-called "dark corners" of the Internet). If I wanted debate with disagreeable people, I could easily find that too. I post here to a very specific purpose that is unrelated to whether people agree or disagree with me: ex-Christians are generally capable of a level of introspection and nuance of which the general public is incapable. Most of us here have believed wholeheartedly in Christianity, and have been forced to systematically deconstruct our entire worldview, and replace it with another. That's why I talk about politics and culture here, and not on some Trump forum or liberal forum. I don't want to disagree with people for the sake of disagreement. I want to have a discussion at a higher level than what is available from the average person.

 

When the response to a certain thought of mine is "I am offended by this," the comment adds nothing to the discussion (note that "you" here refers to a generic other poster, not you). How will it aid our mutual understanding of morality, ethics, and metaphysics for me to know that you are offended? Your personal mental state is not my concern, and if it were, then you should be worried that I take such an unnatural interest in the inner workings of your mind.

 

I'm here to have the in-depth intellectual exchange. If that's not why you are here, then some of the conversations I engage in probably aren't for you. And I respect that. I'm happy to join you in the more light-hearted discourse as well as to encourage newly-deconverted ex-Christians. I say this only to be transparent about what exactly is my intention when I broach the topics to which you are referring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

Bhim,

 

Due respect, but in the italicized scenario, are not your hypothetical neighbour and the subsequent paticipants in any ensuing internet conversation not also engaging in free speech? And are you not here calling for them to not excercise their rights, because it is uncomfortable for you for them to do so? How, then, can you really complain?

 

Hi @disillusioned. You bring up what, in my opinion, is a very interesting point. So first I'll give the boring and legal answer. At least in American law, I have some expectation of privacy in my own home. The backyard is an uncertain issue, but let's alter the hypothetical scenario to one in which I say the N-word inside my home and someone records me. That could be broadcast online and result in my termination from a job which is completely irrelevant to the situation upon which the termination is based. The person recording me would be guilty of an illegal act, and my first-level concern is that he would face no criminal penalty for his actions, while I would face long-lasting consequences because of his crime.

 

But on the more interesting moral level, you're essentially asking what restrictions can ever be placed on speech. Is this correct? Consider a contrived scenario in which you tell someone else to punch me, and they do so. The second party is what a lawyer might call the "proximate cause" of the assault. But are you not also morally responsible? I'm guessing you would agree here.

 

Now, let's consider the more abstract scenario in which I live in an extremely woke neighborhood, and you post a video of me saying the N-word in my own home, knowing that my woke neighbors will likely assault or even kill me. Are you morally culpable now?

 

Honestly I don't know the answer to that. I'd have to think about it a bit. But here's what I think is interesting about all of this: my point doesn't depend on whether or not you are morally culpable. What I am saying is that if I can't say the N-word - a word which does no physical harm (including financial harm, social harm, etc.) to anyone - without severe personal consequences, then I effectively do not have full freedom of speech. You're right that I would be asking others not to exercise their rights if I asked them not to report that I had said the N-word (again, ignoring the privacy issue here). But that's not what I'm even criticizing. I am not criticizing the person who tweets the video of me saying the N-word, I'm criticizing the fact that I can be fired for saying an objectionable word outside of work. If there were some hypothetical law that stated "no one can be terminated or not hired due to prior usage of the N-word," I wouldn't care how many people knew that I had said the N-word. If I said it, I'm happy to live with the social consequences. Just not the economic consequences. Going back to the analogy of you posting the video knowing that I live in a woke neighborhood, I don't know what restrictions should be imposed on you, if any. But I know my woke neighbors shouldn't be allowed to kill me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, SilentVoice said:

Slippery slope. Why not just petition to ban Christianity? I hear it makes lots of people angry.

 

The only justification I can find for not banning Christianity is an infeasibility owing to your large numbers. In India where this obstacle doesn't exist, PM Modi and the BJP are doing precisely this. Do you see me standing in their way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Bhim said:

 

Hi @disillusioned. You bring up what, in my opinion, is a very interesting point. So first I'll give the boring and legal answer. At least in American law, I have some expectation of privacy in my own home. The backyard is an uncertain issue, but let's alter the hypothetical scenario to one in which I say the N-word inside my home and someone records me. That could be broadcast online and result in my termination from a job which is completely irrelevant to the situation upon which the termination is based. The person recording me would be guilty of an illegal act, and my first-level concern is that he would face no criminal penalty for his actions, while I would face long-lasting consequences because of his crime.

 

Yes, fine. I'm not that interested in the minutia of privacy laws. I don't think they really have much bearing on the underlying points here.

 

Quote

But on the more interesting moral level, you're essentially asking what restrictions can ever be placed on speech. Is this correct? Consider a contrived scenario in which you tell someone else to punch me, and they do so. The second party is what a lawyer might call the "proximate cause" of the assault. But are you not also morally responsible? I'm guessing you would agree here.

 

No, and no. I'm, personally, not at all concerned by the fact that some restrictions on speech may be necessary in order to preserve the peace, to advance society,  etcetera. I don't see free speech as an absolute right, as if it were granted by God. I just don't. I don't believe in God. I'm not that naive. 

 

If I say "punch Bhim", I'm not responsible for the action of the person who punches you. I've had lots of interactions where I've said to friend A "hit him!", referring to friend B. And do you know what happens when friend A hits friend B? B hits A in return. No one argues that I'm somehow responsible, and should be hit because of what I said.

 

Now, if I forcibly coerced someone to hit you, then I actually would be responsible. But then we are going beyond free speech.

 

 

Quote

Now, let's consider the more abstract scenario in which I live in an extremely woke neighborhood, and you post a video of me saying the N-word in my own home, knowing that my woke neighbors will likely assault or even kill me. Are you morally culpable now?

 

Honestly I don't know the answer to that. I'd have to think about it a bit. But here's what I think is interesting about all of this: my point doesn't depend on whether or not you are morally culpable. What I am saying is that if I can't say the N-word - a word which does no physical harm (including financial harm, social harm, etc.) to anyone - without severe personal consequences, then I effectively do not have full freedom of speech. You're right that I would be asking others not to exercise their rights if I asked them not to report that I had said the N-word (again, ignoring the privacy issue here). But that's not what I'm even criticizing. I am not criticizing the person who tweets the video of me saying the N-word, I'm criticizing the fact that I can be fired for saying an objectionable word outside of work. If there were some hypothetical law that stated "no one can be terminated or not hired due to prior usage of the N-word," I wouldn't care how many people knew that I had said the N-word. If I said it, I'm happy to live with the social consequences. Just not the economic consequences. Going back to the analogy of you posting the video knowing that I live a woke neighborhood, I don't know what restrictions should be imposed on you, if any. But I know my woke neighbors shouldn't be allowed to kill me.

 

You're right; you do not have absolute freedom of speech. No one ever has. There are always consequences for what we choose to say. Social, economic, otherwise. If I may be excused for saying so, I think that the idea that freedom of speech is,  or ought to be, absolute,  is an American delusion. I don't mean to say that only Americans think this,  but rather that it is part of the American Dream (TM).

 

The only way that freedom of speech as a right makes any sense is if it is in the context of the government not persecuting you for your speech. Otherwise, your free speech and mine will inevitably clash. And then we run into trouble. But this means that your objection to "woke culture" etcetera is really just a claim that you find it offensive. Which is no different substantively from what you are objecting to. That's the real problem I'm trying to point to here. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@disillusioned correct me if I'm wrong but I think your argument can be distilled down to a question of whether free speech is a fundamental right. At which point I have to pause and ask: do you believe it's possible to have fundamental (i.e. "natural" or "negative") rights at all? You say you don't believe in God. As most here know, my relationship with belief in God is complicated, and this is exacerbated by Hinduism's toleration of a diversity of opinion on belief in God and extent of belief in God. Personally I can at minimum get behind the Jeffersonian idea of "Nature and Nature's God," which can confer fundamental rights on humans (it is especially helpful that no reference to Jesus is made). Whether the existence of God is a necessary component of fundamental rights is another interesting thread we could start at a later date. But for now I need to know if we can stipulate to the very existence of fundamental rights before I can formulate a further argument.

 

Now as to the woke culture issue, I have to respectfully but vehemently disagree that my objection is one of offense. Yes, I find it offensive. I also find a lot of @TruthSeeker0's beliefs offensive, but I would never ask her to leave and would strongly object to any attempt to remove her from the discussion. I take no issue with the existence of the wokes. My issue squarely rests with their power to inflict material harm on those who stop the free exchange of thought.

 

I am loathed to quote the Christian GK Chesterton, but he was right to state that "there is a thought that stops all thought, and that is the only thought that should be stopped."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Bhim said:

@disillusioned correct me if I'm wrong but I think your argument can be distilled down to a question of whether free speech is a fundamental right. At which point I have to pause and ask: do you believe it's possible to have fundamental (i.e. "natural" or "negative") rights at all? You say you don't believe in God. As most here know, my relationship with belief in God is complicated, and this is exacerbated by Hinduism's toleration of a diversity of opinion on belief in God and extent of belief in God. Personally I can at minimum get behind the Jeffersonian idea of "Nature and Nature's God," which can confer fundamental rights on humans (it is especially helpful that no reference to Jesus is made). Whether the existence of God is a necessary component of fundamental rights is another interesting thread we could start at a later date. But for now I need to know if we can stipulate to the very existence of fundamental rights before I can formulate a further argument.

 

I do accept fundamental rights, inasmuch as they are granted by society. No further.

 

"We, the people" is a powerful phrase, one which does not get enough critical evaluation, in my view.

 

Yes, there are fundamental rights. But they are fundamental because society declares them so to be. They are fundamental to society, not to humanity. I reject categorically the idea of God, and I cannot see how truly fundamental rights (ie, fundamental to humanity rather than society) can exist without God. I recognize that we may simply disagree on the question of God, and I don't really care to try to dissuade you of your particular beliefs.

 

20 minutes ago, Bhim said:

 

Now as to the woke culture issue, I have to respectfully but vehemently disagree that my objection is one of offense. Yes, I find it offensive. I also find a lot of @TruthSeeker0's beliefs offensive, but I would never ask her to leave and would strongly object to any attempt to remove her from the discussion. I take no issue with the existence of the wokes. My issue squarely rests with their power to inflict material harm on those who stop the free exchange of thought.

 

Which, I daresay, you find offensive. And, I daresay, the "woke" individuals have a thing or two to say about material harm as well.

 

20 minutes ago, Bhim said:

I am loathed to quote the Christian GK Chesterton, but he was right to state that "there is a thought that stops all thought, and that is the only thought that should be stopped."

 

No argument here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

I do accept fundamental rights, inasmuch as they are granted by society. No further.

 

"We, the people" is a powerful phrase, one which does not get enough critical evaluation, in my view.

 

Yes, there are fundamental rights. But they are fundamental because society declares them so to be. They are fundamental to society, not to humanity. I reject categorically the idea of God, and I cannot see how truly fundamental rights (ie, fundamental to humanity rather than society) can exist without God. I recognize that we may simply disagree on the question of God, and I don't really care to try to dissuade you of your particular beliefs.

 

Thanks for clarifying. I too do not care to persuade you towards any particular level of belief in God, especially when I haven't determined my own level of belief. That said, I think I can abstract this away from the conversation by simply stating that I believe (and I use the word "believe" intentionally so as to not make too strong a claim) that fundamental rights exist at a metaphysical level. So I do not think that my right to free speech derives from the United States government. I think we can proceed as long as we understand this foundational difference of opinion.

 

6 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

Which, I daresay, you find offensive. And, I daresay, the "woke" individuals have a thing or two to say about material harm as well.

 

Certainly I find the wokes offensive. Not only this, but deeply immoral as well. But the question is: to the extent my beliefs do not act as the impetus to any action that negatively affects them, why does it matter? I would never be friendly with a woke person or socialize with them. I would engage in business with them (e.g. patronizing a woke person's business or employing a woke). So while I may find the wokes offensive, in what way does my offense result in any behavior that anyone might find objectionable?

 

Could you elaborate on your comment about the woke individuals and material harm? I fear I may not fully understand what you're intending to convey here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, SilentVoice said:

Where was the religious content in my post? I don't care if you delete all my posts. Wouldn't it be hilarious if you did that and demonstrated what "power" does to people who want to suppress opinions and persecute others.

 

My post clearly went over your head. I wasn't saying there was religious content in that post, only that I didn't want you bringing your religion into this discussion. I wouldn't be deleting posts because I disagreed with them - if I was that way inclined I 1) Wouldn't be a moderator, and 2) would have deleted Bhim's post. I do urge you to work on reading comprehension so you don't misread others posts and intentions.

 

Quote

 

"I have no problem with calling Bhim an ignorant moron who is fuck nuts stupid."

What's wrong with being ignorant?

What's wrong with being a moron?

What's wrong with being stupid?

 

I ask these questions unironically. None of the people who fit those descriptions are disqualified from being alive. Everybody is ignorant of many things.

 

While you might be correct, you point is irrelevant to this conversation unless you can show where I'd be suggesting that people who fit descriptions shouldn't be allowed to live. Did you even read my first post? The entire thing was explaining why I didn't think Bhim should refer to you as a "Asperger's Christian".

 

Everybody is ignorant, but in this context it is used as a descriptor when someone is willingly ignorant of a subject, or speaks about it as if they know a lot about it but clearly demonstrate they are actually ignorant of the subject matter.

 

Quote

 

""Moron" was coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Ancient Greek word μωρός (moros), which meant "dull" and used to describe a person with a mental age in adulthood of between 7 and 10 on the Binet scale."

 

So essentially you're being offensive to morons while pretending to care about the rights and feelings of the afflicted under the guise of compassion.

 

Ignoring you incorrect claim about my intentions and motives, you do raise an interesting point. I did consider whether the word "crazy" should come under the terms I am talking about. The jury is still out on that one, but with regards to the term moron, (and crazy) no one is diagnosed as "moron" or "crazy". These are descriptor words in common usage. Thus there is a difference between saying you are a moron, and saying you are Asperger's. 

 

One is just using a word in common usage that essentially is synonymous with stupid, the other implies that you are stupid, but actually disparages people with Asperger's (Or what term you are using) who are not actually necessarily stupid.

 

Quote

 

"I'm sure I said no flat earthers allowed"

I did CTRL+F and your reply was the only mention because you got butthurt about me being in the thread. 🤷‍♂️

 

r/Whoosh

 

Hear that? It's my joke going over your head. I really don't care about your presence here as long as you contribute meaningfully.

 

Quote

 

"I’m not a free speech absolutist, but I’m pretty close to it, while at the same time quite happy to request, or suggest there are terms that as a society we shouldn’t use."

Slippery slope. Why not just petition to ban Christianity? I hear it makes lots of people angry.

 

Again your comprehension is clearly lacking. What is a slippery slope? Where have I advocated for banning speech? I happen to hold as a fundamental value that everyone is free to believe what they want, and have any religion or no religion that they want. Banning Christianity is opposite to that value so it's asinine to suggest that I'd even consider banning it.

 

If you are gong to respond, please do so in context of the conversation and actually address points made. We are getting tired of your misrepresentations and strawmen of our positions.

Thanks

LF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Bhim said:

 

Thanks for clarifying. I too do not care to persuade you towards any particular level of belief in God, especially when I haven't determined my own level of belief. That said, I think I can abstract this away from the conversation by simply stating that I believe (and I use the word "believe" intentionally so as to not make too strong a claim) that fundamental rights exist at a metaphysical level. So I do not think that my right to free speech derives from the United States government. I think we can proceed as long as we understand this foundational difference of opinion.

 

Ok, I think I follow you here. You believe in fundamental rights in a different sense than I do. That's fine.

 

6 hours ago, Bhim said:

Certainly I find the wokes offensive. Not only this, but deeply immoral as well. But the question is: to the extent my beliefs do not act as the impetus to any action that negatively affects them, why does it matter? I would never be friendly with a woke person or socialize with them. I would engage in business with them (e.g. patronizing a woke person's business or employing a woke). So while I may find the wokes offensive, in what way does my offense result in any behavior that anyone might find objectionable?

 

Well, for example, there have been certain members on these boards who have objected to some of what you've said. Speech is a type of behaviour, and your speech has been found objectionable by some. This is admittedly not a particularly strong point, but there it is.

 

The thing about people finding something objectionable is that it isn't really all that different from people taking offense. What is offense, after all,  except for finding something objectionable? You find them objectionable, and they find you objectionable. Are you really so different?

 

Also, when you say that your belief doesn't "act as the impetus to any action that negatively affects them", I must ask how you can possibly know this. We all have many beliefs, and we all act in accordance with them (when we are being honest, at least). None of us knows all the consequences of our actions. So it may very well be that your beliefs (that the wokes are offensive or otherwise) actually do sometimes cause you to act in ways that negatively affect others, whether you realize it or not. And it may be that they also cause you to act in ways which positively affect others, whether you realize it or not. I'd even go so far as to say that both of these are virtual certainties. This is why the critique of beliefs as distinct from the critique of actions is important in and of itself. Beliefs inherently shape how we act. They may not always do so consciously,  but they do.

 

6 hours ago, Bhim said:

Could you elaborate on your comment about the woke individuals and material harm? I fear I may not fully understand what you're intending to convey here.

 

I wasn't talking about you specifically there. I didn't mean to suggest that you are actively and intentionally causing material harm to anyone. I don't know this, and I suspect you aren't.

 

Take the recent wave of protests, for example. Clearly it is the case that the protesters (many of whom are proudly "woke") are disputing material harm. Racial injustice,  police brutality, and so on. I do not mean to open a can of worms regarding whether or not these are really systemic issues; that conversation is being had elsewhere already, and I don't feel that I have a lot to add to it personally. But the fact is, people have actually died, been arrested, been pepper-sprayed, been tear-gassed, been shot with rubber bullets, and so on. At least some of these people have simply been peaceful protesters or just innocent people going about their daily lives. I've seen this on video, and I'm sure you have as well. That is the definition of material harm. Admittedly, there has also been violence enacted by some protesters, and in some cases the use of force may be necessary to stop violence. But that is not all that has been happening in this csse. Actual material harm has been done to peaceful protesters, and it had been captured on tape. And actual material harm has been done to regular people before the protests. Hence, the protests.

 

You say that you take issue with the wokes because of "their power to inflict material harm on those who stop the free exchange of thought". Very well. In general, though,  wokes tend to take issue with the power of others (police, society, whomever) to inflict material harm on those who are not in positions of relative power. What I'm saying is, I don't see how your objection is really different from theirs. It's a different perspective, but I think that's about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/25/2020 at 5:45 PM, Bhim said:

Hi @LogicalFallacy. So glad you decided to discuss this in some detail. I'm sure we can learn something from one another here.

 

So to start, I'm glad you delineated between government-protected free speech and the broader concept of free verbal expression (I emphasize the word "verbal" because in general I don't believe in free expression, e.g. I can't express myself by punching you or something of the like). I don't feel that government protection of free speech is in serious jeopardy at the moment. I'm far more worried about how we interact as individuals, and on the general culture of suppression of ideas. For example, let's say I want to express the opinion "black people possess genetics that confer inferior intelligence to that of non-blacks" (offensive opinion chosen intentionally), and let's further say that I discuss this with others in my backyard. What if my neighbor records me and broadcasts it across the far reaches of social media? Despite that I was engaging in a legal activity with consenting adults - on my own property and with a legal expectation of privacy - the Internet would call for me to be terminated from my employment. And this despite that my activity was in no way connected to my employment. So though I have legally-protected free speech, I do not effectively have free speech, because I cannot exercise my right in any meaningful capacity. It is precisely this mode of free speech that I wish to address, namely the mode of speech which is currently only fully accessible to wealthy individuals who do not depend on their employability for their subsistence.

     What you're searching for here is the term Chilling Effect:



In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction.[1] The right that is most often described as being suppressed by a chilling effect is the US constitutional right to free speech. A chilling effect may be caused by legal actions such as the passing of a law, the decision of a court, or the threat of a lawsuit; any legal action that would cause people to hesitate to exercise a legitimate right (freedom of speech or otherwise) for fear of legal repercussions. When that fear is brought about by the threat of a libel lawsuit, it is called libel chill.[2] A lawsuit initiated specifically for the purpose of creating a chilling effect may be called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation ("SLAPP").

 

"Chilling" in this context normally implies an undesirable slowing. Outside the legal context in common usage; any coercion or threat of coercion (or other unpleasantries) can have a chilling effect on a group of people regarding a specific behavior, and often can be statistically measured or be plainly observed. For example, the news headline "Flood insurance [price] spikes have chilling effect on some home sales,"[3] and the abstract title of a two‐part survey of 160 college students involved in dating relationships: "The chilling effect of aggressive potential on the expression of complaints in intimate relationships."[4]

     You apparently fear that you cannot freely express your racists ideas in your own backyard for fear that you will be fired.  This has a chilling effect on you expressing your racist ideas.  If everyone were to speak freely in this fashion I wonder what sort of chilling effect that might have on the lives of those who were being spoken about?

 

          mwc

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mwc said:

You apparently fear that you cannot freely express your racists ideas in your own backyard for fear that you will be fired.  This has a chilling effect on you expressing your racist ideas.  If everyone were to speak freely in this fashion I wonder what sort of chilling effect that might have on the lives of those who were being spoken about?

 

Hi @mwc. I don't think that the Chilling Effect is the legal term I'm looking for here. As you said, "you cannot freely express your racists ideas in your own backyard for fear that you will be fired." Termination is a perfectly legal action on the part of an employer. As someone not wedded to a laissez-faire free market philosophy, I have no problem with laws that curtail employers' ability to fire employees on the basis of their behavior outside of work (including racist behavior). But right now I'm not aware of laws that make this illegal. But right now, lack of legal protection for offensive speech is the least of my concerns.

 

Now, I'm happy to separately talk about the various effects that acceptance of open, racially derogatory speech would have on the pertinent racial groups. I'd also be interested to talk about how many people would even wish to take advantage of such acceptance, since I think there are about as many genuine racists in our society as there are round-earth deniers (honestly, do think for an instant that SV really believes the earth is flat?).

 

However I am more interested in why you think the effect on these people is relevant (@LogicalFallacy has alluded to similar concerns, which I don't know that I've addressed sufficiently). The argument seems to be one of utilitarianism. And depending on the utility metric being optimized, this can go to some demonstrably bad places. Since Godwin's Law went out the door in 2016 I don't mind making the following argument: by your prescribed metric of hurt feelings, if a large number of people were made to feel bad due to the relative fortunes of a few well-to-do Jews, then how would the morally correct course of action not be to holocaust the Jews?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Bhim Apologies for not having replied yet. I am working on a reply, but I don't have a lot of free time at the moment. Don't want you to think I'm bailing out of my own topic. I'm giving some serious thought to this one, rather than quick fire replies so responses are taking longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think part of this speech issue is defining what is and is not offensive or racist language. Intent is not considered when defining what is and is not offensive language. The definition of offensive or racists language is currently being decided by the group, groups, or individuals that are claiming to be offended. These groups are generally associated with some activist group that is claiming to be offended. They are acting as judge, jury, and prosecutor. Then they are being allowed to determine the punishment.

 

That pretty much violates all the protection any accused has that is being charged with some offense in a Court of law. When it comes to speech the mere charge is sufficient to determine guilt and the offended group is also allowed to determine the punishment. The accused isn’t even allowed, in most cases, to defend themselves.

 

In many of these instances the offense occurred many years ago, but that doesn’t matter. Apparently there is no statute of limitations for Such an offensive. Once offensive words are spoken the offender has no rights or defense. People do change and evolve. Maybe they were racists in years past but they’ve changed and they don’t think that way now. 

 

Once a racists always a racists? Change and forgiveness isn’t possible?  We have, as a society and culture, descended into mob rule on this issue and that is pretty damn scary. As I’ve noted before, it appears a citizens right to free speech is now meaningless words on a piece of paper. 


Since hate speech, something that also needs to legally defined, is a serious crime then all the protections granted anyone charged with a criminal offense should apply. I don’t think employers should arbitrarily be allowed to fire any employee without some element of due process.

 

Just my opinion and I’m retired so I’m not employed by anyone. And just for the record, I deplore racists and hate speech, but if that is all that it is.....just speech without a threat of violence, then I don’t see the justification criminalizing such speech. The individual using such language is certainly displaying their ignorance and I can see where people wouldn’t want anything to do with them. 

 

Just as an example. If one co-worker called another co-worker an ignorant SOB in the heat of anger. That shows their ignorance, but should that kind of speech be criminalized? 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.