• Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    I believe that philosophy is originally defined as the love of knowledge.
    So following from this, censorship or sentiment appears to have no place in philosophy, as well as personal bias.
    Knowledge does not equate to preferences or sentiment.

    Let's take an inflammatory/racist claim such as "Chinese people are inferior to Europeans"

    Should this claim be discussed or censored? I feel that philosophy is the last place anywhere where claim should be censored or criticised politically.

    I feel that philosophy has often been ruined by bias, personal prejudice, censorship among other things.
    Philosophers are the people in the best position to criticise public discourses and not to become enmeshed in them.
  • RogueAI
    620
    "I feel that philosophy is the last place anywhere where claim should be censored or criticised politically."

    I'm sure there are good utilitarian/consequentalist arguments for why ""Chinese people are inferior to Europeans"" should be censored here.
  • Apollodorus
    1.3k
    I wouldn't say the Chinese are inferior to Europeans. In some respects they may even be superior. However, my personal impression so far is that The Philosophy Forum does have a leftist-atheistic, pro-Marxist and pro-China slant.

    So, "woke" and "PC" is probably not far of the mark.
  • Judaka
    1.3k

    This forum doesn't mod politically, you can make racist arguments here without being modded. Mods will actually call you and your comments racist and not mod you. I think this is a quality issue, if your thread is low-quality, inflammatory and hateful then it's not going to produce a good discussion anyway. How can "Chinese people are inferior to Europeans" produce a good discussion? Standards are good for producing the best environment for discussing philosophy, I'm not in favour of just allowing people to post garbage because "censorship is bad".
  • tim wood
    7k
    Let's take an inflammatory/racist claim such asAndrew4Handel
    All X is Y,

    This is either a premise, and if it is may need to be supported with good reason or good evidence or both with the rest of the argument, best provided alongside. Or it's a conclusion, and if that then needing the entire argument with appropriate support.

    Presented by itself, however, it is an exercise in bad form, and depending on content, bad taste, ignorance, bad or ill will, or anything that correctly characterizes abuse of reason and acceptable forms of argument.

    And what @Judaka said:
    Standards are good for producing the best environment for discussing philosophy, I'm not in favour of just allowing people to post garbage because "censorship is bad".Judaka
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    How can "Chinese people are inferior to Europeans" produce a good discussion?Judaka

    I didn't say it would create a good discussion. You could make a good discussion about notions of ethnicity, the history of certain nations progresses/achievements failures. Philosophy is not about "Good" discussion" but about examining claims.

    The controversial book "The Bell curve" made claims endorsing racism. I just made up a random potential topic but race and ethnicity debates have a long history. The only way to counter these claims is intense discussion.

    I think philosophy can lead to uncomfortable conclusions (for example I am an antinatalist who thinks it is unethical to have children).

    Two issues on here I think are interfered with by some degree of conformity/ideology/censorship are transgender issues and The Middle East/Islam/Jews. Other issues which are less pronounced are religion/atheism/science. Outside of this forum there are many groups claiming that discussions about their claims is an assault. That by mere disagreement you are physically/mentally assaulting them.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    Presented by itself, however, it is an exercise in bad form, and depending on content, bad taste, ignorance, bad or ill will, or anything that correctly characterizes abuse of reason and acceptable forms of argument.tim wood

    I grew up spending the first seventeen years of my life being told I would got to hell if I wasn't a born again Christian and then being rejected for being Gay.

    Why would a forum on the internet designed for debating reality need to defend people against other peoples opinions?

    You can switch the computer off if you don't like what you are reading. I take offense, as a victim of unrelenting childhood abuse at people equating comments on the internet that they choose to read to genuine assaults on an individual by the people in their lived lives.

    I am not saying this forum practices censorship but I feel that based on peoples statements they are in the throes of PC and Wokeness.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    I'm sure there are good utilitarian/consequentalist arguments for why ""Chinese people are inferior to Europeans"" should be censored here.RogueAI

    How could you discuss this if the topic was censored?

    Also why should we be Utilitarian?

    I am not claiming this forum censors people but I think people censor themselves to the latest public ideology. I would not start a thread like that if I wanted to, because I know how it would be received. So we are self censoring the quest for knowledge based on current social norms.
  • skyblack
    164
    I believe that philosophy is originally defined as the love of knowledge.Andrew4Handel

    No. philosophy was originally defined as the love of wisdom, not love of knowledge. Wisdom and knowledge aren't the same.
  • skyblack
    164
    I feel that philosophy has often been ruined by bias, personal prejudice, censorship among other things Philosophers are the people in the best position to criticise public discourses and not to become enmeshed in them.Andrew4Handel

    The above is a bias.not substantiated by evidence.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    The above is a bias.not substantiated by evidence.skyblack

    If philosophers were unable to critique discourse what would be the point of them?

    The whole point is not to accept any claim but dissect it. (Which apparently doesn't happen here?)

    Say for example someone says "Women are inferior to men". Anyone anywhere can disagree to this with or without evidence. But the point of philosophy is to analyse the nature of the claim being made. Not to virtue signal or win an argument.

    I would not be interested in Philosophy if I took ANY claim for granted.
  • tim wood
    7k
    When you go to concerts do you hum or sing along with the orchestra, or rattle candy wrappers or whisper loudly to people near you? Of course you do not. And it's worth thinking for a moment about why not. The enterprise is a collective effort. Those who participate are credited with knowing how to participate. And when the collective efforts are cooperative and complimentary good things happen.

    Sometimes people can't handle it, and they should stay away. Is TPF any different?

    In my opinion, TPF can handle a lot. But it all really works best if form and other standards are observed, as much as possible. Nor do I think it's the site's business to protect people in the ordinary way of things; although it certainly is at some point. But moderating discussions to facilitate quality seems both right and good. And to be sure, this seems a pretty hands-off place. As to personal matters, those are personal until they're not. You might benefit from some good advice, but this not the place to get it.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k


    My problem is not with The Philosophy Forum but with the general restriction of debate in society which also manifests here.

    But in a general point I am concerned that all philosophy is undermined by social strictures and ideologies.
  • skyblack
    164
    If philosophers were unable to critique discourse what would be the point of them?

    The whole point is not to accept any claim but dissect it. (Which apparently doesn't happen here?)

    Say for example someone says "Women are inferior to men". Anyone anywhere can disagree to this with or without evidence. But the point of philosophy is to analyse the nature of the claim being made. Not to virtue signal or win an argument.

    I would not be interested in Philosophy if I took ANY claim for granted.
    Andrew4Handel

    A critique should come with a reasoning. Like my previous critique showed what was lacking in your quoted post.

    I haven't been here long enough to know what happens here, other than what i have personally witnessed. I hadn't said a word about this previously but now i will mention it as an example. My posts were moved to the lounge and one of them deleted in what clearly seemed like a retaliatory action or perhaps a controlling attempt. I contacted one of the mods and received a rather lame and silly answer, that he or she cannot back up by any evidence. Rather, the evidence of the posts in TPF provides contrary evidence to the explanation that was given to me. I did not say a word to anyone and since then i have not posted a single topic in the main page and have continued posting in the lounge.

    Your latest response to me lists what should and could happen, but my previous post was based on what actually happens. That is, you posted a biased assertion unsubstantiated by evidence.
  • tim wood
    7k
    Fair enough and understood. Small point, philosophy, I think, has never enjoyed the freedom we would all like to think it should have. But most of us at least at the moment won't have to drink hemlock.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    Small point, philosophy, I think, has never enjoyed the freedom we would all like to think it should havetim wood

    When I did my degree I knew Philosophers had incredible biases. It is puzzling because my study into philosophy (I feel) freed me of biases.

    I can play devils advocate.

    I think that paid Philosopher's nowadays get paid based on ideology/conformity.

    Questions posed in my course books were like "Is reality a dream/ of course not" They mentioned philosophical scepticism and completely dismissed it with no good reason.

    i.e "some people held this opinion but you'd be deranged to hold it."
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    That is, you posted a biased assertion unsubstantiated by evidence.skyblack

    NO. It is a definitional assertion that Philosophy cannot function under bias.
  • Possibility
    2.2k
    I believe that philosophy is originally defined as the love of knowledge.
    So following from this, censorship or sentiment appears to have no place in philosophy, as well as personal bias.
    Knowledge does not equate to preferences or sentiment.

    Let's take an inflammatory/racist claim such as "Chinese people are inferior to Europeans"

    Should this claim be discussed or censored? I feel that philosophy is the last place anywhere where claim should be censored or criticised politically.

    I feel that philosophy has often been ruined by bias, personal prejudice, censorship among other things.
    Philosophers are the people in the best position to criticise public discourses and not to become enmeshed in them.
    Andrew4Handel

    First of all, I believe that philosophy is originally defined as the love of wisdom, which is not identical to knowledge. Wisdom is inclusive of recognising and structuring a lack of knowledge, and so philosophical discussions would identify the context of personal bias and ignorance that motivates such a claim as “Chinese people are inferior to Europeans”, rather than admit it into philosophical discussion as it stands.

    Censorship comes down to recognising this as a legitimate claim, and I think a claim like this has no place in philosophical discussion except as an example of bias or personal prejudice (as it is here). If anyone is making such a claim themselves within a philosophical discussion, then they can expect it to be criticised and summarily dismissed.

    Wisdom does not equate to preferences or sentiment either, but is nevertheless conscious of them as structural conditions for both knowledge and its lack.
  • skyblack
    164
    NO. It is a definitional assertion that Philosophy cannot function under bias.Andrew4Handel

    Ideally yes. So be careful of posting biased statements without evidence, was the point of my initial post.
    If you didn't get it then it's ok, there is no point in creating a strawman, is there? I will let you carry on with others. Thanks.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    (...)philosophical discussions would identify the context of personal bias and ignorance that motivates such a claim as “Chinese people are inferior to Europeans”, rather than admit it into philosophical discussion as it stands.Possibility

    The History of Philosophy has been rife with racism, sexism, misogyny, nationalism , pro slavery sentiment, elitism xenophobia etc. So you seem to have just delegitimized all of philosophy.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    Ideally yes. So be careful of posting biased statements without evidence, was the point of my initial post.
    If you didn't get it then it's ok, there is no point in creating a strawman, is there? I will let you carry on with others. Thanks
    skyblack

    I am sorry a thread of yours ended up in the lounge. I am not a mod here.
  • Possibility
    2.2k
    The History of Philosophy has been rife with racism, sexism, misogyny, nationalism , pro slavery sentiment, elitism xenophobia etc. So you seem to have just delegitimized all of philosophy.Andrew4Handel

    Philosophy’s history may be rife with bias and limited thinking, but that doesn’t mean that this is what philosophy is. I see it as a work in progress to develop awareness of the lack of knowledge that limits our capacity for wisdom, and to continually restructure our methodologies to at least account for our limitations, if not strive beyond them.

    So I don’t believe I’m delegitimising all of philosophy at all, just placing all claims within the context of wisdom - which is what I believe ‘doing philosophy’ is.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    One of my favorite quotes is from John Milton, Areopagitica, from memory: "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the Earth, so truth be in the field. We do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple. For whoever knew the truth to be put to the worse than in a free and open encounter."

    I love that quote, but I also believe there must be education such that observers might understand the grapple. Without that ability, there is a danger that brings to mind another consideration: While the United States does not have clean hands, and I know that, we have nevertheless shed a lot of blood in what I believe are righteous causes. For a country that talks a good game about honoring her dead, this Memorial Day has me thinking that I have little patience to listen to shit from fascists or racists. And it's not simply a matter of me tuning them out or changing the channel. I want to see them shunned, banned, marginalized, pushed back under the fridge and into the darkness where they belong. They will always be with us, but we don't have to give them time or a platform.
  • tim wood
    7k
    Amen. From a man who apparently knows who enemies are, and what they are.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    I think this is good juncture to compare science and philosophy.

    Imagine science found a cure for cancers that involved using the remains of aborted foetuses with the eggs of near extinct bird.

    Is this a cure for cancer? Yes. Is it ethically problematic? Yes? Science doesn't cater to or rely on feelings.

    Facts are not eradicated by feelings. I think censorship increases prejudice by making censored ideas seem more tantalizing.

    As far as I am aware I have never tried to censor anyone ever in my life and have always been willing to interact with people with beliefs I may hold abhorrent.

    In the UK where I live giving increased coverage to the BNP (The British National Party) completely undermined them and lead to their rapid decline.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    Censorship and murder of anyone criticising the official line has been the hall mark of genocidal dictatorships.

    I expect almost no one here has ever lived under such a regime and are using censorship in a comparatively shallow egregious manner.

    Free speech regimes allow ideas and claims to be freely debated the law only stepping in when threats to persons are made.
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    Ah, another right wing prejudiced poster complaining about quality because not enough people agree with him. Whatever snowflake.
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    I expect almost no one here has ever lived under such a regime and are using censorship in a comparatively shallow egregious manner.Andrew4Handel

    Censorship is the suppression of ideas before they can be disseminated. The ideas that are supposedly being censored by the "left wing woke pc brigade" are widely circulated and have a lot of, often fervent, adherents. There is simply no comparison to a totalitarian regime. "Canceled" people get hours of airtime on media dedicated to their creed, or at least the creed that's opposed to whoever canceled them.

    There is a problem with "cancel culture", but the problem is not it's suppression of ideas. The ideas are all out there. The problem is that our societies are splitting up into narrowly defined camps who are increasingly less able to reach common ground, leaving exile the only option to deal with opposing voices.

    This is a wider social issue that's not limited to "the left" though.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    Ah, another right wing prejudiced posterBenkei

    I am a British gay left wing, mixed race pro-Israeli antinatalist agnostic who thinks property is theft. please direct me to my "right wing comments"

    I have never voted for The conservatives here or any right wing party.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.7k
    Whatever snowflake.Benkei

    How have you managed to sink to this level?
  • bert1
    792
    Let's take an inflammatory/racist claim such as "Chinese people are inferior to Europeans"

    Should this claim be discussed or censored?
    Andrew4Handel

    Any thread with that as its subject should probably be deleted. Not just because it is offensive but because it is ludicrous. If there were some kind of credible scientific study or something which said something interesting along these lines (which presumably there isn't), that might be worth a discussion. But even then it's not really philosophy and would be better on a social science or biology forum or something. If a post is philosophically uninteresting AND inflammatory/offensive why on earth would we want it on here? We don't have threads seriously arguing about the flatness of the earth, or geocentrism, or other obvious nonsense. If people want to post something offensive, it needs to at the very least be interesting in some way, and well argued.
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