Freedom of Speech and Maturity

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by wellwisher, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Why should I? I don't know. As a member of the scientific community, which is, from cultural point of view, upper class, I have some traditional ideas about polite behavior, thus, even if I'm too angry to be really polite, I prefer some more subtle invections, like the "my friend" which seems quite popular here or so.

    But if people with another cultural background, and in another context, use these words, say, a gay meeting another one in a gaybar with "hey, old faggot", why should I care?

    And there will always be hate speech. Because people have feelings, among them hate. And they want to express their hate, and tell the people they hate that they hate them. If you forbid some forms of hate speech, other words will be used for the same hate speech.
    No reason. I'm brave enough to attack him openly. By naming his press propaganda press and his presstitutes liars.

    I have more sympathy for those who use such low level resistance against the Big Brother than for his faithful servants. A little bit only, the enemy of my enemy does not automatically become my friend. But essentially they fight the same fight: It is quite obvious that, in the long range, the fight against "hate speech" is a fight against me, my right to name their propagandists liars and presstitutes.
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    You're the one claiming hatespeech is ok aren't you? That people should be able to hatefully call other people niggers and faggots because that's what people free of totalitarian control do right? That if we ban certain hate words others will fill their place, therefore we shouldn't ban hatewords? Unless now you are claiming otherwise. That hatespeech really IS abusive and not something we should be engaging in.
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  5. tali89 Registered Senior Member


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  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Hatespeech is not ok - it is a sign of low culture, bad education, insufficient ability to control oneself. One can, therefore, despise people who use it. And express this opinion.

    But it is nonsensical to force people not to use hatespeech. This is as meaningless as to force them to be polite, to be educated, to have culture. This is meaningless, because the use of force to reach these aims shows lack of culture and education. The only way to distribute politeness, culture, education is the own example.
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Only indirectly. I don't think that PC is driven by a desire to protect feelings. That's just how PC is justified when it's challenged.

    Its real underlying motivation is a desire to stack the deck so that only one side in the so-called 'culture wars' possesses the right of free speech.

    Here in the United States, universities are typically the opposite of safe zones for white people, males, Republicans or for Christians. More generally, Western civilization, its history, traditions and cultural products are under constant attack.

    There's no concern at all about offending people's feelings in those cases, which is why I think that most of the concern for feelings is just rhetorical. Only some feelings matter, and maintaining that hegemony is the real point.

    It's already here and it has been here for decades.

    Western intellectual life is starting to resemble medieval Europe when the Church dominated higher education. I'm reminded of when the Bishop of Paris tried to forbid certain ideas of Aristotle from being taught in the University of Paris. The Western humanities have already become a disaster area, increasingly dominated by race-class-gender identity-theory.
    milkweed likes this.
  9. Bells Staff Member

    Mod Note

    Stop trolling.
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Everyone has things that they like and things that they don't like. You personally don't like Christians, you don't like religion in general (despite your being the biggest believer in the supernatural on the board), you don't like Republicans and you don't like me.

    You feel completely free to express those dislikes. Tiassa, Joepistole and several others behave as ideologues on Sciforums, constantly and ceaselessly expressing their own dislike for Republicans and for "conservatives" generally. Each of you resorts to insults, caricatures, stereotypes and rants when you get going.

    That's all free speech.

    Then when somebody expresses their dislike for homosexuals, the sky falls in. You nurse the grievance for years, making yourself angry over and over, instead of letting it go.

    It can't be allowed! It has to be outlawed! Those who don't like me must be silenced!

    My question is, if you feel free in pissing people off, why shouldn't they?

    I'm inclined to agree with Schmelzer. People should try not to be rude. They should display a basic level of compassion and shouldn't gratuitiously attempt to anger and provoke other people. That goes for everyone, not just those that we disagree with. We can't demand absolute civility from them, while we claim immunity ourselves to be as rude and provocative as we like, because we imagine that our politics is correct. That's just hypocrisy.

    So I would condemn the guy who shouted "faggot" at you. (I've had people shout it at me too.) He was an asshole. But that doesn't give you a licence to be an asshole yourself.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
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  11. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Has anyone ever heard of the saying, sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me. When I was a child, most children had a handle on this, exhibiting a level of mature objectivity. Where did this maturity go?

    Sticks and stones can create physical body damage that can be measured using an object scale in science. The doctor can see cuts, bruises, abrasions, broken bones and quantify these injuries in a way that allows him to know the source of trauma, and prescribe the needed medical treatment.

    Feelings are different, because there is no object scale for feelings. Feeling are subjective. There is no objective way to determine the extent of the subjective injury in a person, like you can with cuts and bruises. Also ,we can't always tell if one is faking or exaggerating an injury to game the system. I can't fake a broken bone, but any child can fake how hurt he is to manipulate mom to give in. One also can't always tell whether that person's pain is out of touch with real time reality. They might be reacting on cue like a trained seal. If someone dies you tell people how sorry you feel ,even if you don't have the same pain due to them being a stranger. It is polite to do this on cue.

    Maturity comes from knowing the difference between objective and subjective. Only sticks and stones can make an objective injury that we call agree upon. Objective is connected to outer reality and therefore subject to science, while subjective is connected to inner reality, which is not objective, with overreaction based on inner reality, often due to defects in inner reality.

    Maturity is connected to being honest about lack of objective data when it comes to subjective pain, and not using this fuzzy dice to game the system or be gamed by it. PC for example, claims all this subjective pain due to words, that cannot be quantified by science. If you look at who is being restricted, PC does this in a way that promotes its own base. Privileged white is not racist or hate speech, in the dual subjective standard of PC, even if people get angry and worked up after noise is cued up.

    I don't think the adults in the room, should bowing down to the irrational, since this makes you stupid and over time can cause one lose touch with outer reality, in favor of a collective fantasy world. Rather the irrational should be trying to learn from the adults. Objective needs to lead.
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    That's a trend which have been observed by other people too: Infantilization of the society.

    It starts with education of children, what they are allowed to do themself. I have seen a picture of what distances 8 yo children have been allowed to walk alone, without parents, and how this changed over generations. In the past, that have been many miles, some hours to go, for fishing at a lake. This reduced to almost nothing today. I was going home from school 2 km from the start, as a 6yo, 3 km with tram as a 9yo, I doubt that this is often happens today, at that time it was normal.

    The aim of education in the past was to make children strong. Today, one has to protect them. If unprotected, the poor child becomes a victim. If it feels victimized, the offender is guilty, as well as the adults who have not sufficiently protected the victim.

    The result is predictable. Adults are also much more infantile today. And it is, of course, in the interest of the Big State. Children need protection, the childish adult needs protection too, and who provides protection? You guess it, the state.
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  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well, being slightly to the left of Genghis Khan or disagreeing with right wing partisans doesn't make one an ideologue.

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    Only an ideologue would think otherwise.

    Well, if the goalpost is legally mandating courteous behavior, then I would agree. We cannot stop people from being people. People are assholes and we have all been assholes at times either through ignorance or intent. If you don't believe that, you haven't driven a car.

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    People are mean, but they can also be kind and some people can be mean pretty much all the time and sometimes people are just misunderstood. The remedy for every social transgression or every social ill isn't a law or law enforcement.

    I think the US and Western countries in general have the right blend. They do have freedom of speech except in cases where that speech threatens others with violence. And that leads us to where I think MR has gone. In recent years we have seen some high profile cases in which bullying has led to individuals taking their lives. Off hand, I recall the case of a young musician who jumped off a bridge after being bullied by classmates for being gay. There have been cases where teenagers have committed suicide because they were badgered by classmates for various reasons. That's a problem. That bothers me. The answer, the solution, is probably not in restricting free speech but in educating both the bully and the victim. There is a very real problem and it needs to be addressed.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  14. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    My personal philosophy is - well very Freudian.

    The aim of psychoanalysis is to to dare repressed memories into consciousness. Hence, I would say, if we are already conscious of our thoughts we can excecsie control.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Well, here's the thing about that, Yazata: If someone gets caught lying, it isn't hate speech to call them a liar. If someone isn't a goat, it's hateful to compare them to such just to suit one's own aesthetics. Around Sciforums, it's kind of like the old idea that it isn't an ad hom if it's true.

    And I think that if you actually took the time and made an effort to pay attention to certain details, you'd figure out pretty quickly what is wrong with your complaint.

    Consider this: Delusional rants like we get from Tali or Wellwisher about liberals as root of all evil aren't the problem with their delusional rants. Are you able to figure that part out? It's that they have to dehumanize other people along the way in order to do so. How about that part? Is that too tough to figure out?

    My question is whether you're really so stupid that you can't tell the difference?

    So, for instance, yeah, right now the GOP is a house of bigotry. After all these years of my conservative neighbors lying about how this isn't really part of their movement―you know, a bad seed argument, and how it's unfair to say this is really conservative or Republican―we now see the hatred not simply on display, but proudly marching about and demanding betrayal of Constitution and nation alike. And if this hurts a conservative or Republican supporter's feelings, what, are we supposed to lie in order to make that person feel better?

    So, what now? We going to call a black man a thug? Compare a queer to a dog? Talk about women like they're cars or houses, to be owned and traded and locked with keys and alarms?

    Tell us, Yazata, is it just a word or idea that you're complaining about, or would you concur that when one argues for the curtailment of human rights, and refuses to acknowledge the humanity and human rights of women, it would count as misogyny, or do we need to tailor our speech in order to show extraordinary sensitivity to bigotry?

    We actually have a special policy in place to illustrate. The thing is that it's one of those rules somebody invented in the moment, applied once, and has never been used again; the Administration has never disowned the policy, so it is, technically, still in effect. And this is how it goes: Racists get to post racist material, but calling out racism is a personal attack and should be forbidden. We also have a one-time rule protecting sexual harassment of women that was invented in the last couple years that, translated into the real world would mean you can't charge a serial criminal with anything but the first crime.

    And these are the things we've done in order to protect the conservative right to "free speech". In order to accommodate conservative demands for fairness, we must handicap the field.

    I would greatly appreciate your answer to the following:

    A criticizes a person's existential condition; they are faulty for having dark skin, or being a woman.

    B criticizes choices a person makes; they are in fault and error according to their decisions and behavior, such as supporting bigotry.​

    Do you argue that A and B are equivalent?

    We need to account for this difference.

    And this is a problem. Kim Davis? Mat Staver? They're not the only conservatives who can't tell the difference. It really does seem as if they have forgotten that their mockery was, in fact, mockery. No, really; it's as if conservatives have spent so long arguing that there is no logic, that all these headaches are because some liberal somewhere decided to call this racism or that sexism or the other thing over there civil rights, that they now actually see the world that way, and thus think they can get away with demanding supremacism as a condition of equality.

    Can you tell the difference?

    Your own words tell us you think this is about deliberately pissing people off. And maybe that's how conservatives do it, but I can't help it if a racist is pissed off by being called a racist, or a misogynist because it's unfair to call it misogyny when what's really wrong is the destruction of his right to treat random women like sex toys. Something about maturity goes here.

    So let's try this: If over the course of years a person's behavior consistently demonstrates a range of outlooks that fall within the boundaries of a certain descriptor, should that term be reserved simply because it might piss the person off?

    I think of, say, rape advocacy. I'm well aware the term pisses people off; that's why I use it as little as I do. And if something about the preceding sentence rings a little strangely to you, I would point out that once upon a time we were supposed to believe the argumentation we hear frequently today wasn't really what was going on.

    And just like the xenophobia tempting Republican voters toward fascist-cult behavior, we've been expected to believe for decades, at least, that this wasn't really what was going on.

    Over the course of years, identity politics can be very dangerous sympathies. Maybe Jack the Conservative didn't think he had it in him, and resented that kind of talk once upon a time, but after throwing in with the label for the sake of pride so many times without attending what was actually said, maybe after a while he needs to wake up and listen to himself.

    Once upon a time it was fair enough for a Christian conservative to denounce what he or she didn't like as the root of all evil. Think about the real implications of saying something is from the Devil. And here, you can set aside my point about the Book of Job and Satan's actual status in the divine hierarchy, because while I might make the point over and over again, they don't believe it. Now that Christians have to take heat? Now that their bigotry is being called out as bigotry? Well, now we have to stop, apparently, because accurate descriptions of bad behavior apparently now count as bigotry. Christ left them a pathway through; that they reject it is their own problem, and shouldn't be anyone else's. This is their own choice. One might be born black, or female, or not heterosexual, but I have yet to see the Punnett calculation on the dominant and recessive traits defining who is born an asshole.

    It's true that a certain amount of the back and forth between the factions is pretty useless. To wit, I disdain Joepistole's enjoyment of dimunition with terms like "Baby Bush", but I also get why he's doing it. And the thing about it is that in conservative rhetoric, what he's doing is fair game. Practically speaking in a Sciforums context, sure, I could put on my green hat and tell him to knock it off, but I think the other results, the number of media and literary sources that would be similarly prohibited, would only give conservatives another reason to complain that they're being censored.

    So let's start with that: Okay, so I'll put my green hat on and start with Joe and tell him that since conservatives can't take it anymore, he has to be the first to stop.

    (1) Do we think conservatives will stop?

    (2) When conservatives complain at the number of sources stricken from discussion, will you stand with them and yell about censorship?​

    Part of the problem with that one goes back years; we allowed certain political conservatives extra room under the rules―tacitly, of course, most days―because otherwise the resulting actions would look like we had it out for them. There was even an occasion six years ago that saw us rewrite the English language in order to punish an uppity liberalized woman in order to help conservatives feel better. Hindsight, of course, screams that it was always a mistake, but at that point if we actually enforced certain rules we would wind up with all of the two conservative moderators and, well, you weren't here, yet, so ... I don't know, I don't remember who else would have been left on your side of the aisle.

    And, you know, I guess I look at more than just the words. I mean, really; sure, there's a smarmy, juvenile thrill to saying, "Obummer" or "Baby Bush", but I think of so many of the names conservatives call President Obama, and can recall the period in which they were so determined to convince everyone else that he was the beginning of a national socialist personality cult they started inventing a cult to mock.

    These days, most of it is just post-juvenilia, but at the same time the question arises: Is snark according to convention the same as trying to redefine the terms of discussion according to desperate, mythopoeic snark?

    And if you don't like my assessment, you can always be more specific. Like the time a rape advocate pointed to old arguments in order to declare dehumanization of homosexuals admirable discourse. I mean, honestly, that one technically requires no response, but it also does serve as a useful example.
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Noone is forcing people to not use hatespeech. But being able to confront people who use it is a part of being free and protecting our right not to harassed. We live in a culture where hatespeech is wrong and should be called out the moment it is used. Nobody's freedom is thereby abridged. It is simply society enforcing its own rules of operation, which is what it has done since we came down from the trees.
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    An Additional Note on My Prior Post

    This isn't anything new to someone like me, who has been consistently accused of trying to bring about the end of the world pretty much through the entire period of my political awareness; compared to the Godwin corrollary, yeah, I kind of chuckle. After all, the longest complaint about liberalism, the Devil, and the end of civilized society comes from quarters that are supposed to rejoice at the end of the world; the irony is worth enjoying.

    (No, really, why, just for instance, is Michele Bachmann fearmongering the end of the world? On apocalyptic evangelical Christian radio and television? Are these people faithless? Do they fear the Will of God? Do they not trust Him? No, seriously, just look past the basic idea that this is something someone wants to say and start thinking about what they are actually saying. There are observable, functional differences, and in truth, I don't see how it's so hard: Michele Bachmann is not someone we shouldn't listen to simply because she disagrees with me; rather, she should be ignored until her argument isn't self-defeating. Fearmongering and dehumanization generally don't serve any purpose, but as long as we're on the subject of intellectual, psychological and emotional maturity, it seems a fair question to wonder what the hell she's on about and why anyone should listen to her.)​

    Part of the problem I see is that I still believe some taking part are actually capable of recognizing the difference. As long as we stick to the superficial reality of a liberal speaks and a conservative speaks, and pay no attention to what people are saying regardless of political labels, sure, a lot of these complaints can start to make sense.

    But any more precisely than that? Where is who on what map?

    See, here's how the prophecy of my kind of politics bringing the end of the world is true: That as the bigotries and divisions of the world diminish, the bigots who fretted we would bring the end of the world will pitch a fit and try to end the world.

    Right now in my nation we're as close as we've been to that point since the last time, a hundred fifty years ago. As such, the differences beneath the superficial veneer are as openly displayed as I have seen in my lifetime. The appeal to superficiality, therefore, is not surprising; in fact, it is expected, except for the proposition that I keep thinking we're far enough down the rabbit hole that certain plummets must eventually end, and yet they don't―at some point I am obliged to at least consider the possibility that enough really would call the whole thing off that such an outcome is possible.

    There is more to any given speech than the fact that someone is saying something. I think people are aware of this, and would propose it to our benefit to stop pretending otherwise.
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    There's a world of difference between someone calling you a faggot on the street and arguing with a bigot who thinks you deserve to burn forever in hell for being gay. Standing up against homophobia and bigotry isn't itself bigotry. It is the opposite of bigotry. That's why people are so sensitive to it here online. Because we call it out for what it is now. It's the 21st century now. If you want people to tolerate bigotry and religious homophobia and racism, build yourself a time machine and go back to the 1950's. I'm sure you'd feel right at home back then.

    Yes..years and decades of people I thought I knew suddenly launching into tirades about how terrible gay people are and how we are to blame for hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks and tsunamis. Years and years of having it pounded in your head that you are hated by God and deserve damnation simply for being gay. Years and years of being bullied in school for being a fag or a "puto". Ya think I'm a little sensitive about it? You have no idea.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  19. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Whatever you might think of another's views, there's always a chance for a grain of truth. I watched a video that offered an alternative history to WWII. Having grown up on popular perceptions about history, I never questioned what I thought I knew. The video challenged my beliefs and made me think about the story I had been given. It was an opportunity to view an alternative to my own bias ideas.

    Bigotry, homophobia, sexism, whatever your label might be...simply because we don't agree on the topics doesn't mean the discussion shouldn't take place. We have addressed a variety of sorted issues without interruption. Why should anything else be off the table?
  20. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    That's a steaming pile of horseshit
  22. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

  23. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    No you weren't.

    You're nothing but a lier.

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