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  #201  
Old Today, 08:37 AM
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So there really isn't anything else to say is there? If that is honestly what you believe then you are happily walking down the path to tyranny.
Postwar Western Europe - such a hotbed of tyranny
  #202  
Old Today, 08:40 AM
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Oh, now THIS should be entertaining. Why do these idiots always try and act as their own attourneys?
Because they're the smartest person in the room. Just ask 'em.
  #203  
Old Today, 08:48 AM
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When schools get shot up, the GOP talks about arming teachers. Weird that they aren't vocal about arming mosques for some reason.
It should be apparent, but okay, consider it said.

My understanding is that the asswipe shot a few random people enroute to the first mosque (not including the person who said 'Hello, brother'), then shot into a pile of people trying to avoid and hide form him inside the mosque until he left.

At the second mosque, apparently there was a brave soul who confronted the asswipe and threw a credit card machine at hum, then followed up by badgering him to his car and even picked up a discarded shotgunand chunked it at asswipe's car window. This intimidated the asswipe into leaving; he was soon caught by the police.

The brave soul's name is Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah, and resistance is not futile.
  #204  
Old Today, 08:56 AM
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He almost, but not quite, makes it obvious he has no problem with white nationalist terrorist attacks. Only attacks by Muslims and other dark skinned people seem to bother him.
  #205  
Old Today, 09:05 AM
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When people use false claims to justify immigration restrictions, as we've seen with the right wing's repeated false claims of 'border emergencies', then that's not middle ground that needs protection; those are deliberate falsehoods motivated by racism that absolutely must be called out.
"called out" is fine. The correct reaction to false claims are solid facts and strong arguments. So if that is what you mean then I agree. Giving legal protection to someone's right to say something objectionable is not the same as saying they should be protected from all consequences of saying it.

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Banquet Bear's reactions and comments were presumably in response to the very real racial undertones and overtones expressed by people in positions of real power like Australian Senator Fraser Anning.
Who appears to be a racist twat of the highest order and deserved everything he gets up to the point of physical harm. What he should get is a wave of response that sweeps him out of power, not a muzzle and not a jail cell.

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There can be no middle ground, and honestly, such speech is the least deserving of protection
This is where I disagree most. Allowing speech you agree with is trivially easy. It takes no effort, no intellectual courage and shows no actual commitment to the concept of free speech. The stuff you disagree with is the most important to protect and the hardest to bring ourselves to do.

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There are some slippery slope arguments that are occasionally valid, but far too often concerns over slippery slopes assume that ordinary people can't distinguish between hate speech that undermines social order without being frivolous. I reject that idea.
So you appeal to the intelligence of the ordinary person and suggest that they can see why some restrictions on free speech might be warranted. I agree with your assessment of the ordinary person, but I'd roll that back a step and suggest that if that is the case, why would they be unable to spot the flaws and lies in hateful speech in the first place? why would they not be able to stack one claim against another? why must they be shielded from even knowing such hateful ideas exists?

As for slippery slope? The inescapable logic of the banning of speech that "undermines social order" is that it necessarily must then extend to speech that comes from any ideology, religions included. Willing to tackle that one? Good luck. Which religious text is first up?

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Germans and other European societies have had restrictions against hate speech for quite some time now, and people still have the freedom to debate immigration without being thrown in jail or intimidated into silence.
They certainly don't have the freedom to deny that the holocaust happened. That'll earn you a jail sentence in some places and that is a disgrace.
I'd also challenge whether the debate on immigration has been affected by people feeling they can't voice concerns about it. We can't know what people may be wanting to say if they feel to some extent unable to say it. There's a fertile ground for disaffection and far-right recruitment right there. Concerns over immigration were sidelined, marginalised and labelled racist In UK politics from the New Labour years onwards and I suspect the upshot of that was a rise not a reduction in right-wing popularity and momentum for the Brexit vote.

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In any case, the freedom of speech, like all freedoms, depends on the degree to which society as a whole values freedom and equal rights in the broader sense.
And for me it comes before pretty much any other concept because society only exists in the first place as a result of ideas and thoughts. You stunt those and you stunt society and you will never to be able to predict how. It is a worryingly short distance from "you can't say that" to "you can't think that".

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When societies devalue the freedoms and rights of minorities, when they begin using the language of social distance, the language of "we" and "they", then that is the moment at which freedom begins to decay.
I don't see how we stop that......ever. Tribal, cultural, political, religious, ethnic discussions are part of society. They are impossible without some reference to "we" and "they" and you can't prevent the malignant usage without preventing the benign and in that case the cure is worse than the disease.

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A responsible freedom and egalitarian-loving society that is based on the value of inclusion and that respects the rights and basic needs of all people must stand up and categorically reject speech that undermines those values.
And it should be done loudly, proudly and repeatedly.

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And in some cases, we must do so through the force of law.
Absent a specific credible threat or incitement to action, no.

I think the best talk I've heard on free speech was By Christopher Hitchens. Always worth listening to on such matters.
  #206  
Old Today, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Postwar Western Europe - such a hotbed of tyranny
One of the reasons that it isn't a hotbed of tyranny is the widespread acceptance of freedom of speech as a principle.

That Article 10 is written so loosely as to allow for the jailing of people for holocaust denial is a problem for me, that's not an interpretation I'm comfortable with.
  #207  
Old Today, 09:26 AM
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They certainly don't have the freedom to deny that the holocaust happened. That'll earn you a jail sentence in some places and that is a disgrace.
Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more, mate.

It's a bloody disgrace that it's only "some", right?

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  #208  
Old Today, 09:27 AM
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One of the reasons that it isn't a hotbed of tyranny is the widespread acceptance of freedom of speech as a principle.
I think the Council of Europe and you have very different ideas on what "freedom of speech as a principle" means.

Last edited by MrDibble; Today at 09:30 AM.
  #209  
Old Today, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more, mate.

It's a bloody disgrace that it's only "some", right?
It appears to be one of the many things we disagree on.

I think a person should be able to deny the holocaust without being jailed for it. One European country doing it is one too many.
  #210  
Old Today, 10:24 AM
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It appears to be one of the many things we disagree on.

I think a person should be able to deny the holocaust without being jailed for it. One European country doing it is one too many.
I think past a certain point we hit diminishing returns on freedom of speech. We all agree that slander and libel should be actionable, right? Why is it okay to stop people from lying about other individuals, and not okay to stop people from maliciously lying about history to downplay atrocities and encourage their repetition? (Why yes, we do have a pretty good idea of why people would deny the holocaust, and "honest engagement with ideas" ain't it.)
  #211  
Old Today, 10:27 AM
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It appears to be one of the many things we disagree on.

I think a person should be able to deny the holocaust without being jailed for it. One European country doing it is one too many.
Is it OK if the country doing it isn't in Europe?
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  #212  
Old Today, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
It appears to be one of the many things we disagree on.

I think a person should be able to deny the holocaust without being jailed for it. One European country doing it is one too many.
It would be ok, if they would not have the habit of being followers of fascists that continue to tell others about how then to turn their denied holocaust into a reality.

Last edited by GIGObuster; Today at 10:32 AM.
  #213  
Old Today, 10:33 AM
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Other countries are allowed to see things differently. They believe the spreading of hate is a danger to their nations. Don’t pretend speech isn’t regulated in any way in the US, that’s untrue. Other societies have slightly different values and see firearms and hate speech as sufficiently dangerous as to require regulation. They have simply drawn the lines in slightly different places concerning both issues.

You’re certainly entitled to rail against any variation from the American Way, of course. But the entire world can see clearly the state of your nation. And that speaks louder, I’m afraid.
  #214  
Old Today, 10:33 AM
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Just because he wants to say things doesn't mean a government, a corporation, or anyone else is required to rent him a venue or a microphone...
Well, if a cake maker can be made to set aside his personal beliefs and provide service for a cause he doesn't agree with...
  #215  
Old Today, 10:49 AM
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Other countries are allowed to see things differently. They believe the spreading of hate is a danger to their nations. Don’t pretend speech isn’t regulated in any way in the US, that’s untrue. Other societies have slightly different values and see firearms and hate speech as sufficiently dangerous as to require regulation. They have simply drawn the lines in slightly different places concerning both issues.

You’re certainly entitled to rail against any variation from the American Way, of course. But the entire world can see clearly the state of your nation. And that speaks louder, I’m afraid.
I'm from the UK.
  #216  
Old Today, 10:50 AM
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I'm from the UK.
Good for you, you can join Quartz in the "Adopting America's Dumb Ideas" club.
  #217  
Old Today, 10:51 AM
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I'm from the UK.
Sincerest apologies!

Please substitute ‘your particular way’, for ‘American Way’.
The rest stands.
  #218  
Old Today, 10:56 AM
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I think a person should be able to deny the holocaust without being jailed for it.
Well, yeah - but then you also seem to think Mein Kampf can make a good book club recommendation...
  #219  
Old Today, 10:58 AM
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Is it OK if the country doing it isn't in Europe?
I think I can only offer an opinion on the area of which I have experience.

I'll give a nod of approval to France which decriminalised denial the Armenian Genocide in 2017. It isn't all one-way traffic.

What is the situation in Spain regarding such claims?
  #220  
Old Today, 11:09 AM
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The rest stands.
I don't take my approach to free speech from any single country. Where I come from has no bearing on it.
  #221  
Old Today, 11:21 AM
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Well, yeah - but then you also seem to think Mein Kampf can make a good book club recommendation...
We all make mistakes, it was that or "Wuthering Heights" and I made a bad call. Those canapes went completely untouched.

I confess it isn't a page turner, the sub-text is a little too obvious and unfortunately we all how it ends but it is hugely important work. To fully understand the rise of National Socialism it is required reading.

I'll go out on a limb and say that it shouldn't be banned, even Germany haven't done that, (I believe they have some experience of how that pans out).

Do you think it should be banned?
  #222  
Old Today, 11:54 AM
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The posts by asahi and others on free speech are reminiscent of the mindset that ultimately turned the French and Russian Revolutions from truly noble social experiments to repressive Orwellian nightmares.
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  #223  
Old Today, 12:03 PM
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it is hugely important work.
No, it really isn't.
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To fully understand the rise of National Socialism it is required reading.
Naah, pass. I understand the rise of Hitler perfectly fine, thanks.
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Do you think it should be banned?
No. But then I don't consider pre-War racist, fascist drivel on the same order of utterance as active modern Holocaust denial or other hate speech.
  #224  
Old Today, 12:18 PM
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We all make mistakes, it was that or "Wuthering Heights" and I made a bad call. Those canapes went completely untouched.

I confess it isn't a page turner, the sub-text is a little too obvious and unfortunately we all how it ends but it is hugely important work. To fully understand the rise of National Socialism it is required reading.

I'll go out on a limb and say that it shouldn't be banned, even Germany haven't done that, (I believe they have some experience of how that pans out).

Do you think it should be banned?
Heh. Do you suppose in 2081 someone will post to a message board that The Art of the Deal is required reading for the understanding of the rise of Trumpism [sic]?
  #225  
Old Today, 12:18 PM
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The posts by asahi and others on free speech are reminiscent of the mindset that ultimately turned the French and Russian Revolutions from truly noble social experiments to repressive Orwellian nightmares.
Actually the point I made does take into account what Karl Popper and Godwin (Yes, that Godwin) said.

https://www.libertarianism.org/proto...hould-tolerate
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Quote:
“Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”
...

Proving this requires a close textual reading, which means we have to note Popper’s precise language. At the outset, the philosopher makes clear that he is focusing not on tolerance—which is generally regarded as a virtue in open societies—but specifically on “unlimited tolerance.” [The emphasis is mine.] As he puts it, “I do not imply […] that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies.” Only when “incitement to intolerance and persecution” happens should we treat the utterance as criminal, he explains. And it’s Popper’s use of “incitement” here that links his thought helpfully to First Amendment theory.
Yes, there is a need for free speech of even ideas that most consider to be bad, however, do not expect others to remain silent and to not demand that the intolerant stop reaching for the sticks and stones.
  #226  
Old Today, 12:40 PM
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Other countries are allowed to see things differently. They believe the spreading of hate is a danger to their nations. Don’t pretend speech isn’t regulated in any way in the US, that’s untrue. Other societies have slightly different values and see firearms and hate speech as sufficiently dangerous as to require regulation. They have simply drawn the lines in slightly different places concerning both issues.

You’re certainly entitled to rail against any variation from the American Way, of course. But the entire world can see clearly the state of your nation. And that speaks louder, I’m afraid.
Point well taken on firearms. I don't know what the rest of this is supposed to mean. The US is a model for much of the world in how Muslims can for the most part coexist with other beliefs and cultures. There was a spasm where some manipulative spambot material that factored into the 2016 election was not regulated as promptly as it should have been by the likes of Facebook. It's not immediately obvious to me what our valuing free speech has to do with the main problems we face right now, executive branch abuses. Freedom of speech in some ways is acting as a bulwark against the worsening of these abuses.

Some odious characters here carrying recessive genes of right wing thought that had laid dormant for a long time did come out of the woodwork in 2015-2016. And, all in all they haven't coalesced into too much as far as united movements. It's a bit more acceptable to kowtow to conspiracy and prejudice for some elected officials and I'd like if they were replaced by voters as much as possible. What you're mostly left with as threats are radicalized individuals, and that is hardly unique to us. You have relatively unregulated internet in your country as well which has played a part in individuals like Alek Minassian going on killing sprees, and I'm sure people in some parts of the world are appalled by that.
  #227  
Old Today, 12:45 PM
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Heh. Do you suppose in 2081 someone will post to a message board that The Art of the Deal is required reading for the understanding of the rise of Trumpism [sic]?
ooooo! christ let's hope not. No-one needs that. I suspect Trump is an ugly orange blip (blimp?) rather than a precursor to a major atrocity.
He'll be remembered as a fashion error like rah-rah skirts and lawn flamingos.
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  #228  
Old Today, 12:51 PM
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That Hitch video is one I hadn't seen before. Might now be my favorite.
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  #229  
Old Today, 12:55 PM
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Well, if a cake maker can be made to set aside his personal beliefs and provide service for a cause he doesn't agree with...
Y'know, that's a good point and I'm going to have to think about it. It might make a good debate thread: Is refusing to make public space available to a racist/bigot/etc. the same as refusing to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple? Both actions are, presumably, the result of refusing to do something because it goes against your principles and implies support of something you reject. On the other hand, the first is refusing to support a form of hate, and the other is refusing to support for reasons of hate.

Is this a case of situational ethics? Am I basing my position off of my personal prejudices? Definitely have to go off and think about this one.
  #230  
Old Today, 03:20 PM
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The posts by asahi and others on free speech are reminiscent of the mindset that ultimately turned the French and Russian Revolutions from truly noble social experiments to repressive Orwellian nightmares.
...Orwellian nightmares?

LOL. You want to ban Muslims from entering America. You literally want to stop people coming to your country because of what they think, who they worship, how they dress. I can't imagine anything more Orwellian than that. Get off your fucking high horse.
  #231  
Old Today, 04:35 PM
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"called out" is fine. The correct reaction to false claims are solid facts and strong arguments. So if that is what you mean then I agree. Giving legal protection to someone's right to say something objectionable is not the same as saying they should be protected from all consequences of saying it.
People can create their own information bubbles, particularly online. The first step toward committing terrorism is to dehumanize the perceived enemy. It won't matter whether people call them out or not because the racists will seek and find each other, and reinforce their own sick worldview. The problem is, there's little that their victims can do to defend themselves from this kind of demonization except to hope that nobody actually takes their hatred to the next level and commits violence -- we've seen how that works, which is not well.

It's no coincidence that those who have this great philosophical admiration for the absolutist view of free speech are generally themselves white. It's easy to be favor a philosophical view when you're not the ones dealing with the consequences. What's striking is that in almost every Western country I can think of, including the United States - no, especially the United States - there are laws against providing material support to terrorists. Those laws include producing propaganda. Those laws even include translating propaganda for English audiences, regardless of whether or not the translator identifies as a terrorist. Such laws might even conceivably include prohibitions on distributing their content. There are variants of these laws in most countries, and they were passed with narry a fuss because they target "terrorists" -- in short, Muslims. It's an acknowledgement that some ideas are so extreme that they become dangerous and politically destabilizing.

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Who appears to be a racist twat of the highest order and deserved everything he gets up to the point of physical harm. What he should get is a wave of response that sweeps him out of power, not a muzzle and not a jail cell.
I wasn't necessarily arguing that his rhetoric rises to the level of criminal conduct, but it's abhorrent, and the real problem that it reveals is that there is one standard of conduct for the white majority, and a standard for everyone else. In our own country, for example, we've just seen how vulnerable someone like Rep. Ilhan Omar is to charges of antisemitism. To be clear, I've agreed that her rhetoric needed to be confronted - that's not the point. The point is that someone like Omar or other minorities can't exercise their free speech rights in the same way that someone like Fraser Anning, or Geert Wilders, or Steve King because they represent one faction within a majority that, while not constituting a majority of the voting population, is nevertheless strong enough politically to ensure that it has a voice that can still be heard, regardless of how repugnant the other 51-70% of us find them. Intolerance and racial antipathy in any form is bad, but going back to the infamous Huey Freeman threads, I reiterate what I said then, which is that understanding and defining racism isn't just about knowing the language of racism, but also reckoning with its real-world power. History teaches us that, in reality, ethnic majorities, the majority tribes if you will, make rules with themselves in mind, and they establish their own sets of standards that everyone else has to live by. For that reason, we occasionally need artificial boundaries in place to protect everyone else against their abuses of power.

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This is where I disagree most. Allowing speech you agree with is trivially easy. It takes no effort, no intellectual courage and shows no actual commitment to the concept of free speech. The stuff you disagree with is the most important to protect and the hardest to bring ourselves to do.
Speech I disagree with is one thing; speech that encourages dangerous behavior is quite another. You'll never get me to agree that there's social value in protecting the rhetoric of an Adolf Hitler or ISIS. Sure, there's a danger that some autocrat come come along later and change the meaning of "hate speech" to include anyone who hates a regime, but overly-broad interpretations of free speech won't prevent tyrannical power grabs, either (nor will their gun collection). So-called "libertarians" (typically right-leaning) miss the point when they propose that liberty means that we should protect hate speech, because what they're missing is that by tolerating hate speech, you're also tolerate speech that is essentially anti-freedom, anti-libertarian. The more a society tolerates hate speech, the more it actually engenders the destruction of freedom. There is nobody who espouses racial animus who can claim to be libertarian- at all. Racial intolerance necessarily, absolutely, always means that someone else's freedom is deprived. This is what minorities have understood from the very beginning, and what whites - even people who consider themselves 'modern', 'moderate' and 'tolerate' - find it very difficult to understand, for the simple reason that they've never had to live on the other side of liberty.

Last edited by asahi; Today at 04:38 PM.
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