Are there dangerous ideas?

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This topic contains 360 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 week ago.

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  • #34441

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Jakelafort,

    I don’t mean atheists taking shit for being atheists. I don’t mean fat people being teased cuz of their weight. I don’t mean sensitive people who react badly to what would be no big deal for the majority. When we examine history and recognize the depth of depravity and cruelty that has been perpetrated and continues to be perpetrated and whose only M.O. is hate speech we ought to reflect and change things. Again i am reminded of the laws against marijuana. They were fucking stupid and the majority was taken in by the propaganda. This issue is not that difficult.

    Atheists get more trouble than just people talking shit about them, even in the United States.  In 7 State Constitutions, Atheists are still prohibited from holding public office, even though the Federal U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibits religious tests for any public office, whether Federal or State.

    Also, there is no analogy between marijuana laws and lack of “hate crime” and “hate speech” laws.  If anything, repealing marijuana laws is more in keeping with opposition to “hate speech” and “hate crime” laws.

    Government in a free society has no business telling consenting adults that they cannot merely alter their consciousness with substances, even if it may be unwise.  (Actions under the influence that affect the rights of others are another matter.)

    Lkewise government in a free society has no business telling them that they cannot merely express their consciousness, even if the thought and opinion is hateful and stupid.  (Actions against the rights of others are always another matter, and no, that doesn’t include living without exposure to hateful, stupid ideas.)

    No, it isn’t that difficult.  It’s either uphold the individual’s right to freedom of thought and expression or live in a Second Dark Ages.

    #34442

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Encogitationer, I am in a strange mood to be willing to respond to you. I have the distinct impression you will only dig your heals in and are not amenable to a change in thinking. But here goes..

    In mentioning other groups who would not be protected from hate speech i was hoping you would see that the incursion on free speech is for the most significantly oppressed groups. I suppose if we lived in a strong Muslim nation and that nation somehow had modern secular laws it would be reasonable to consider atheists as a protected class. The penalty for apostasy is death. But in the USA there simply isn’t the history of discrimination and oppression that warrants inclusion. Also a person can be mum about being an atheist. It is a lot more difficult to conceal blackness, Jewishness and to a lesser degree perhaps, sexual orientation.

    We know, i mean we KNOW the result of free hate speech on those marginalized groups. The murders, discrimination, oppression and suffering enabled by the misuse and adoration of an abstract concept that is not and never was absolute has to be balanced against the harm enabled by giving hatemongers freedom. You see constitutional analysis is largely concerned with a balancing of interests. For instance, commercial speech receives the least protection because it is not cherished the way political speech is. In commercial speech the government can place reasonable time place and manner restrictions. You see what happens there? We make a judgment as to the nature of the speech!

    On the one hand there is a general precept in which we value the right to say whatever the fuck the speaker thinks. Without that right it can be argued that one is not in a free society. In dictatorships for instance one is highly circumspect in one’s speech. Hatemongers want to spread their propaganda. But is their intention to cause harm and that is exactly what it is, worthy of protection?

    On the other hand we know what happens to the intended victims after centuries of calumniating and dehumanized minority groups. If you are not sufficiently grounded in the history of western civilization then you are missing out on an ineluctable conclusion. When we allow the dissemination of the most base and vile lies, propaganda, and mythology we enable the continuation of an old and tired play. Free speech for hate mongers has resulted in oceans of blood, millions of deaths, incalculable sorrow and suffering. Freedom for the oppressors or freedom for the oppressed? Is it treason to oppose the hands of hatred? The way the USA is being led by social media bubbles it is critical that we stop the madness.

    I mentioned marijuana laws not because i was making an analogy between the issues involving hatred with issues involving marijuana. Instead it was an analogy between an issue which is wrongly decided by the majority but is actually quite simple. I knew the majority was dead wrong then and that the majority is dead wrong now. By the way you have made arguments from popularity a few times. It is a no no.

    Your last line is ridiculous. It is beyond hyperbole. Nobody is challenging freedom of thought. Hell we don’t have the technology to do it even if we wanted to.

    #34443

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen, your understanding of law is not half bad for a nonlawyer. I have dim recollection of first yr law school class in torts. First class and prof writes torts on chalk board-says it comes from french word, tortus meaning twisting i think. But tort law is civil law and yes it is all about money damages. You are correct about the burden of proof but in cases of fraud the burden of proof is higher than ordinary torts law. Not sure what you mean by low limit damages-there is in some cases a limitation imposed on damages under tort reform laws but generally the damages that can be awarded are enormalous. Most states also have limitations on the amount attorneys can take in contingency cases. If an attorney takes your claim on a contingency basis it means she thinks it is a winner. BTW in claims that are settled…everyday shake and bake personal injury claims…the standard one third contingency is excessive when settled without filing suit. I used to do em for 25 percent which is still a lot.

    I once took a college aptitude test test that told me I should be an attorney, a minister, or a philosopher. Obviously, I went for philosophy.

    For years I was a photographer and I participated in photography forums. Once, I explained some aspect of the law regarding when it’s necessary to obtain releases when shooting in public and an attorney in the group wrote a comment saying that I had explained it in a summary way about as well as he could have.

    Anyway, I thought I said that in tort cases, the sky’s the limit when it comes to damage awards. It sounds like maybe you think I said otherwise(?). I see I wrote “Second, unlike criminal law which has fairly rigidly defined and limited consequences including prison time and/or cash penalties, in tort law the penalty is in cash with low limit.” I think my 73 year old fingers meant to end that sentence “with no limit.” If it were possible to still edit that graph, I’d do so because that is what I hamhandedly thought I was saying. LOL

    #34448

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Davis,

    Please show me these “talking points” you keep talking about.  My arguments come from nowhere but the logic of where “hate speech” and “hate crime” laws lead.  And they are more than confirmed by the news about them.

    #34449

    Davis
    Moderator

    Yes encoginator you did a fishing expedition and found one vaguely questionable example (lacking enough details to make any conclusion) in a developing country with a fragile democracy. When you put that on the scales next to European democracies which have had hate speech laws for years….I think your cherry picking attempts don’t make much of a dint.

    Conservative talking points are simply the eye rolling clichés that news sources like Fox news and right wing pundits repeat again and again despite them being full of half truths and fallacies. You seem to parrot them repeatedly when it comes to hate speech. How about instead of forming an opinion and then searching for dubious examples of hate speech that barely prove your bias and totally ignore the many examples that fly in the face of it you start with a willingness to read ALL information on the topic, gain a comprehensive understanding of how hate speech laws work in many countries and then form an opinion? That would be the rational thing to do.

    #34450

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Jakelafort,

    For the record, I don’t advocate for Atheists to be a “protected class” either.  All Atheists need is what all individuals need: equal recognition of their individual rights under the law.

    Article I, Sections 9-10 (prohibiting bills of attainder,) Article VI Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution (prohibiting religious tests for public office,) The Bill of Rights (especially Amendment 1,) and the Reconstruction Amendments 13, 14, and 15 are all the legal protection that a U.S. Atheist or any U.S. Citizen needs, if only these protections are upheld.

    And for Atheists in Islamic nations, equal individual rights and justice means the abolition of Sha’ria law and replacement with a secular legal system that protects equal rights and justice.  It also means that all verses of The Holy Qu’ran, The Haddith, and The Suna that call for persecution of Unbelievers are to be viewed as grim relics of history, not divine command.

    As for commercial speech versus any other speech, as long as the commercial speech is accurate, a good deal is as cherishable as a good treatise.  I don’t share “Lady Bird” Johnson’s aversions to billboards

    As for the results of hate speech, we know that the Neo-Nazis marching in Skokie, IL didn’t achieve any of their fantasies and didn’t change one mind to their hateful viewpoint.  The same result is achieved when people in a community shutter their windows and close their business doors when the Ku Klux Klan marches down Main Street in their town.  The same result will be achieved if people turn their backs or exchange same-sex kisses when Westboro Baptist or other homophobes stage a demonstration.  An idea only has power if minds accept it.

    Finally, as for me arguing from popularity, you will have to cite an actual quote where I did that.  I think your horses have had enough of them beans because the exhaust fumes must have gotten the better of your thinking.

    #34451

    Davis
    Moderator

    If you write a law requiring anyone anyone to conduct normal business with whoever walks in the door,

    Pfff. You talk about nuance and not overgeneralising unseen and yet I never claimed such a sweeping rule about anybody who walks through the door of any shop and asks for services for any reason. I made three provisos on top of that. But then to have understood that you would have had to have paid attention to the nuances of my arguments which you didn’t.

    As for the elderly being the subject of egregious dehumanisation, might you give me some evidence of this systematic threatening hate speech on a level that reaches that which say African Americans and LGBTQ+ face? I’m not talking about people making comments that aren’t nice, I’m talking about vicious life changing speech of a deep seeded and life changing nature.

    #34453

    Unseen
    Participant

    As for the elderly being the subject of egregious dehumanisation, might you give me some evidence of this systematic threatening hate speech on a level that reaches that which say African Americans and LGBTQ+ face? I’m not talking about people making comments that aren’t nice, I’m talking about vicious life changing speech of a deep seeded and life changing nature.

    Well, Davis, let’s start with  you answering a question: Do you regard derision of gays as hateful? Making fun of how they walk, how they talk, how they look generally, how they dress, how they seek sex partners, and how they make love? Is making fun of that hateful?

    #34455

    Davis
    Moderator

    Do you regard derision of gays as hateful?

    No I do not think making a joke about how some gay people walk or talk should be a crime. You will certainly pay a high social price in many settings if you openly do this maliciously but it is up for organisations (like work places, social groups, schools to decide that for themselves) to do this. For example in a school or work setting I think it is entirely appropriate to have policies about this (in some constituencies they do by law) and to even expel or fire someone for breaking those policies but the state should not penalise people for making extremely bad taste and mean spirited jokes. I am not aware of any country that has hate speech laws that cover mockery or assholtry rather than dehumanising speech, threatening speech, vicious insults (the n word, fucking faggot, money grubbing jew) nor would I support it.

    #34456

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Encogitationer,

    Which planet is this?

    Tell the tens of millions of victims of hate speech that they only need bills of attainder and reconstruction amendments or similar chimerical diaphanous dreck. Wade through the rivers of blood to inform them of your great understanding. Civilizations and cultures have permitted hate speech and the results are in! Genocides, scapegoating, purges, executions and assorted goodies are all fueled by the perpetuation of the age old myths, stereotypes, lies, dehumanization of vulnerable groups. When bad shit happens i never wonder whether the Jews are being blamed. I know it in advance. Sometimes i do a search just for the fuck of it and am never disappointed. Same shit that was said in the 1300s.. As i’ve indicated mind viruses are fueled by the free dissemination of hate speech. It is not simply an issue of an individual’s tolerance for being a target of ridicule. Not at all. It is the zeitgeist created by free dissemination of hate and the ultimate harm that ensues and impacts those vulnerable groups when conditions are favorable. Marginal and fringe thinking goes mainstream when we give the hatemongers freedom. The hate groups will continue to recruit those individuals who “choose” to participate in the fun.

    I have read variously that the KKK had 4 to 6 million members at its height. We have also had periods in which fascism was rising before world war 2. Father Coughlin was listened to by the masses and openly antisemitic. There were tens of thousands of anti semites in the german american bund. The west coast also saw a significant fascist uprising. Currently we see a heartening movement in favor of the civil rights of Blacks and against the institutional racism. Concomitantly we see a backlash. The shit is always just beneath the surface and it sends the absolute wrong message when we make it illegal to proscribe that activity and speech. Once shit begins and too many are complicit it is too late.

    You apparently misunderstand why i juxtaposed commercial speech against political speech. It is in fact the nature of the speech that is critical to free speech analysis. Commercial speech is give less protection than political speech because it is more valued. So we ought to ask the question whether the most degenerate hate speech ought to be protected at all. The general notions favoring free speech have carried the day in the USA. The arguments in favor of free hate speech are nonsense.

    You say “an idea only has power if minds accept it.” That is another crock of shit. Those viruses gonna do their thing just like they infect the masses with religion. Religion isn’t chosen any more than hate is chosen.

    I am not gonna look back at what you’ve written to find that fallacy. I am sick of this conversation already.

    #34460

    Unseen
    Participant

    Davis, I’m not sure why, but you answered my question unresponsively I wasn’t asking a legal question. I asked “Do you regard derision of gays as hateful?”

    #34462

    Davis
    Moderator

    No unseen we are dealing with hate speech not legal yet unpleasant speech and how hateful it may seem to me without knowing the context or the larger stoey. Stick to the topic.

    #34467

    Unseen
    Participant

    No unseen we are dealing with hate speech not legal yet unpleasant speech and how hateful it may seem to me without knowing the context or the larger stoey. Stick to the topic.

    We are dealing with dangerous ideas (the topic) and whether it is more dangerous to control speech or let it be free.

    #34470

    Davis
    Moderator

    Unseen I made a claim that elderly do not need the same protections as minorities and LGTBQ+ when it comes to egregious life changing systemic hate speech. You disagreed. I asked you to give examples of how the elderly suffer from it at the level that minorities and LGTBQ+ do. You then didn’t give examples (that’s twice now) and said you would if I answered if I thought a joke is hateful. Well in the context of the conversation we were having no I do not think a joke is at a level worth including in hate speech. As for my personal opinion, I don’t know unseen. It depends on the context, the severity of the joke, is it the first time? Is it part of sustained bullying? Is it accompanied with gestures that suggest menacing physical violence? How can I answer your question without details? And how does this information help you give me examples of the elderly suffering from hate-speech at the level that minorities and LGTBQ+ do?

    #34476

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen I made a claim that elderly do not need the same protections as minorities and LGTBQ+ when it comes to egregious life changing systemic hate speech. You disagreed. I asked you to give examples of how the elderly suffer from it at the level that minorities and LGTBQ+ do. You then didn’t give examples (that’s twice now) and said you would if I answered if I thought a joke is hateful. Well in the context of the conversation we were having no I do not think a joke is at a level worth including in hate speech. As for my personal opinion, I don’t know unseen. It depends on the context, the severity of the joke, is it the first time? Is it part of sustained bullying? Is it accompanied with gestures that suggest menacing physical violence? How can I answer your question without details? And how does this information help you give me examples of the elderly suffering from hate-speech at the level that minorities and LGTBQ+ do?

    An elder checking out of a drugstore. A group of teens behind him giggle as one of them says loud enough for everyone to hear: “Don’t forget your Depends (a brand of adult diaper).” It might be worse if in fact he is purchasing some Depends diapers. “Been shitting your shorts a lot lately?”

    Heaven forbid an elder make a mental error anyone night make, search for a word (common in old age). Somewhere within earshot someone says, “The old dude’s got alzheimer’s.”

    An older person gives a young person attention of some sort and one of his/her friends “Looks like you’ve got a ne girl/boyfriend” to which s/he replies “Ewww. Come on. I’m not fugglies.”

    “Which physics class are you taking? I’m taking Prof. Higgs’ class.” “That old fart. I’m taking Pinsky’s class. I assume he’s he’s more with it since he fresh out of MIT.” (There an unwarranted assumption there, and  stereotype.

    Old person’s having trouble with a buggy computer or cell phone anybody or any age might have. “Yeah, these geezers just don’t get tech. My uncle Willy has no clue how to save phone contacts.”

    These are not jokes. They are stereotypes that analogize to things said about women, gays, and people with handicaps.

    The severity of hate speech and its impact, it seems to me, can only be weighed by the recipient. What makes one person feel demeaned another can laugh off.

    I had a gay roomie for a while. When he interviewed with he said “I’m queer. Is that a problem?” I laughed and said no. I don’t think anything anyone could say to him would dehumanize him. He’s a successful professional and would probably feel instantly superior to anyone who insulted him in that way.

    People need protection in terms of employment and housing, but not in terms of buying cakes.

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