To Do or not To Do

The outing game

This topic contains 67 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 5 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 68 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1006

    Strega
    Moderator

    I believe we are in a kind of grey area, where either side’s position is correct dependent on the circumstances. I’m quite sure we can both create scenarios to support the two positions.

    In this situation, I’d usually fall back on the golden rule, do no harm etc…

    #1016

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    I think ‘outing’ is discrediting a person, not his or her opinions and actions. So you call out a hypocrite. You out a guy for having homosexual phone sex whilst voting against LGBT protections. How is that helping the cause?

    It’s not a persuasive argument in favor of your position. It does, however, shut up one member of your opposition. It’s very much a “bare knuckle” tactic.

    First of all, you’re declaring he is secretly part of the LGBT community, thus making that community seem hypocritical by association.

    I don’t see how that follows. An entire community isn’t hypocritical just because someone who (until the outing) wasn’t known to be a part of it, is a hypocrite.

    Secondly you’re labeling someone a hypocrite, which will only please those people who already think the way you do. It won’t change anyone’s opinion of their policy itself.

    Finally you’ve deflected attention from the actual issues, and pointed it at someone’s secret behaviors – effectively derailing the topic for a sideshow.

    Agreed, see above.

    We don’t allow ad hominem attacks on our forums. I would suggest that ‘outing’ falls into that camp too. We are no longer children and should put away childish things.

    I do agree it’s an attack on an individual, a particularly vicious one. It’s a hit below the belt, and as such should be done very, very sparingly to the most egregious cases, if even that much. I’d probably support it if it were done to someone who was actively trying to incite violence.

    When Dawkins started an out campaign for atheists several years ago (I believe it’s distinct from the current push), he urged people never to out someone else. I tend to agree.

    Edited to Add. Just read Davis’s reply to this, and he brought up some scenarios, completely different from outing a hypocritical biblethumper (the situation I had in mind when I wrote the above), where outing is not only appropriate but downright necessary (e.g., exposing an enemy agent of influence in your ranks).

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  SteveInCO.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  SteveInCO.
    #1023

    Gallup’s Mirror
    Participant

    I believe we are in a kind of grey area, where either side’s position is correct dependent on the circumstances. I’m quite sure we can both create scenarios to support the two positions.

    Absolutely.

    We can also examine real world examples. Take Ted Haggard, once arguably the most powerful evangelical leader in the United States. Haggard was pivotal in getting George W. Bush elected and had the president’s ear throughout his time in office. Once he was outed (by a gay escort who learned of Haggard’s anti-gay activism) Haggard’s supporters turned on him and removed him from power.

    The end result? Haggard, once a rabid anti-homosexual activist, changed his mind. The pastor went from sponsoring constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage to calling for marriage equality in every state.

    There are other examples but Haggard’s tale is the most remarkable. If he had never been outed, would Haggard have carried on without ever reversing himself? If Haggard had been outed six years earlier might Bush’s disastrous presidency have been prevented? Would the recent wave of new rights for LGBT people have come years sooner?

    I don’t know. But I think it’s possible that the man who outed Haggard helped change the course of history for the benefit of millions.

    #1028

    Unseen
    Participant

    We may dislike hypocrisy, but let’s be clear on the fact that when we do so, we are arguing ad hominem (against the person, or character of the person). It says nothing about the truth of their claims or beliefs.

    Thinking it does is another sort of ad hominem argument, argumentum ad hominem tu quoque. An example of this would be where the coughing grandfather tells the grandson, “Be smart: don’t ever start smoking” and the grandson argues (badly) “Why not? YOU smoke!”

    In other words, simply because someone acts in a way inconsistent with their stated beliefs, it doesn’t follow that those beliefs are wrong.

    A man who opposes gay rights but engages in gay sex may not even be strictly speaking hypocritical. He may be acting out an obsession about which he feels terribly guilty. People feel compelled to do things they know are wrong. Kleptomaniacs, for example, would probably tell you that stealing is wrong but that they can’t resist doing so.

    Outing a hypocrite may feel good on a certain level, but it’s a dirty smudgy unseemly kind of satisfaction we should feel when we do so. One is not minding one’s own business.

    In the case of a married man hiring a male escort while he’s out of town, outing him can have consequences beyond just him. Think of the humiliation of his wife and children.

    I would think twenty times before outing someone under these circumstances.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Unseen.
    #1038

    Davis
    Moderator

    @unseen

    It is true that there are a portion of self-hating homosexuals who believe they don’t deserve the rights that everyone else does. The only thing is…the record of outed politicians who admit that they are gay and then move on to champion gay rights is pretty high. Randy Boehning is but the most recent example.

    An ad hominem attack only applies when you are debating the topic (should gay people have the same rights as others). We aren’t debating this (probably most everyone on the forum has little problem with gay rights). The argument they are taking on is not necessarily the topic when we discuss political or religious hypocrisy (not to mention claim they are relived to finally be out of the closet). The topic is trust and/or the amount of weight you give to one’s position on a matter. Can you trust a person in a level of authority who scathingly denounces a certain behaviour and votes to suppress the rights of those who does it and yet moonlights as one of them…going to incredible extremes to hide it? How much weight to you give to a participant in decision making forums when they have not been sincere or have been outright manipulative in the forum in the past?

    If a leader of a ethnic diversity organization is caught anonymously writing sincere racist comments online…is it right for the group who are paying members and hard working members of this organization to call him out on this when they catch him red handed? Does that leader have much credibility left? Would you be able to take them seriously any more? How much weight would you give to his opinions/stances on issues? Would you want a fellow member to inform you about it?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #1044

    Gallup’s Mirror
    Participant

    In other words, simply because someone acts in a way inconsistent with their stated beliefs, it doesn’t follow that those beliefs are wrong.

    Your paraphrasing is off target. Who is claiming discrimination against LGBT people is wrong simply because the discriminator is hypocritical? I hold that discrimination against LGBT people is harmful and unjustified because the discriminator’s position is irrational and unscientific.

    In the case of a married man hiring a male escort while he’s out of town, outing him can have consequences beyond just him. Think of the humiliation of his wife and children.

    I more often thought of the degradation of millions of same-sex couples who, without marriage equality, were denied over a thousand rights, such as visiting a dying loved one in the hospital or being recognized as the parent of a child.

    #1055

    Davis
    Moderator

    Just read Davis’s reply to this, and he brought up some scenarios, completely different from outing a hypocritical bible thumper (the situation I had in mind when I wrote the above), where outing is not only appropriate but downright necessary (e.g., exposing an enemy agent of influence in your ranks).

    And so…outing someone who works against your interests within a group is okay…but outing someone outside of your group who works against your interests is not okay. I can see how this might be fair…but perhaps you can explain why?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #1063

    Unseen
    Participant

    It is true that there are a portion of self-hating homosexuals who believe they don’t deserve the rights that everyone else does. The only thing is…the record of outed politicians who admit that they are gay and then move on to champion gay rights is pretty high. Randy Boehning is but the most recent example.

    The end justifies the means.

    An ad hominem attack only applies when you are debating the topic (should gay people have the same rights as others). We aren’t debating this (probably most everyone on the forum has little problem with gay rights).

    Any attack based on hypocricy is ipso facto an ad hominem tu quoque. In other words, “You say one thing but do the opposite.”

    If a leader of a ethnic diversity organization is caught anonymously writing sincere racist comments online…is it right for the group who are paying members and hard working members of this organization to call him out on this when they catch him red handed? Does that leader have much credibility left? Would you be able to take them seriously any more? How much weight would you give to his opinions/stances on issues? Would you want a fellow member to inform you about it?

    So, you don’t really believe people are born gay but become gay(?). Or, perhaps you believe people are born racist rather than becoming racist along the way(?). I ask because you seem to feel confident there’s some equation between the two on which to base an analogy.

    These outings also injure people and not just the perceived offender. Address that, please, and also please do better than to deflect the blame onto the perceived offender. Minimally, at least take some responsibility for the collateral damage.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Unseen.
    #1067

    Davis
    Moderator

    Any attack based on hypocricy is ipso facto an ad hominem tu quoque. In other words, “You say one thing but do the opposite.”

    No…this falacy applies to debate on a particular topic (which is not under debate here). It does not apply when considering the weight of someone’s opinion in a decision making process, as a leader or as a representative (as opposed to proving that someone is objectively correct or not). If someone is unreliable or is known not to actually mean what they say…the weight their opinion has in a decision making process (as it ought to) becomes weaker the more they do so.

    So, you don’t really believe people are born gay but become gay(?). Or, perhaps you believe people are born racist rather than becoming racist along the way(?). I ask because you seem to feel confident there’s some equation between the two on which to base an analogy.

    Huh?

    These outings also injure people and not just the perceived offender. Address that, please, and also please do better than to deflect the blame onto the perceived offender. Minimally, at least take some responsibility for the collateral damage.

    I very much agree.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #1075

    Strega
    Moderator

    @davis. Re your huh?, I was also busy huffing, but I had another read of Unseens comments and I realize he is simply pointing out that racism and being gay aren’t comparable in that we believe we are born with our sexual orientation, whereas we learn racism.

    #1076

    Davis
    Moderator

    I understand what he is trying to say. You cannot choose to be gay but you can choose to be a homophobic-homosexual. You can choose to be an activist against racism but you can also choose to be a secretly-racist activist against racism. The first part in each phrase doesn’t matter…it’s the latter part that does. The difference (per the first part) is of no consequence in terms of being able to trust that the member of the group, leader or representative and if he/she is actually voicing his/her real views and is not secretly practising the opposite of what he/she is voting/fighting/leading for (or what he is even fighting to destroy) going to great lengths not to get caught. I don’t care how a person arrives at becoming an activist/leader/representative (if it is by choice or birth). What concerns me is the dubiousness or praiseworthiness of outing someone who is fighting for or against someone’s rights yet moonlighting as one of those who he is fighting contra/against.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #1077

    Strega
    Moderator

    I agree. Prejudism is a learned trait whatever the subject matter. I was just trying to clarify a confusing statement 🙂

    #1098

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    And so…outing someone who works against your interests within a group is okay…but outing someone outside of your group who works against your interests is not okay. I can see how this might be fair…but perhaps you can explain why?

    To be clear, I was thinking of the case where someone is pretending to be in Group A, is working with group A, but is secretly in group B, and his work for Group A is really intended to undermine group A. In other words, a spy.

    I wasn’t talking about a case where (say) a reverend who appears to be straight works with a gay rights group, then it turns out he’s secretly gay. There’s no reason to out that man.

    Back to our spy: If he’s passing information, then you could leave him alone and feed him false information. If he’s an agent of influence, doing his best to sabotage the group from within, then his existence as a spy should be revealed and he should be booted the hell out.

    Now someone who is on the other side, and is forthright about it (even if he has this embawassing weeedow skeleton in his closet) is at least playing by the rules, so outing is much more likely to be an overkill/underhanded tactic. It may help you “win” the argument by silencing your opponents, rather than by…winning the argument.

    #1102

    Unseen
    Participant

    No…this falacy applies to debate on a particular topic (which is not under debate here). It does not apply when considering the weight of someone’s opinion in a decision making process, as a leader or as a representative (as opposed to proving that someone is objectively correct or not). If someone is unreliable or is known not to actually mean what they say…the weight their opinion has in a decision making process (as it ought to) becomes weaker the more they do so.

    There are ad hominem fallacies and ad hominem attacks. You’re confusing the two.

    #1132

    Davis
    Moderator

    @unseen That is new to me unseen. As I was taught…an ad hominem fallacy is an attack. Can you direct me to a book or website which explains the difference between the fallacy and attack?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 68 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.