• Christoffer
    486
    Some individual has to know this, and has to note it--that is, make a claim about it and so on, in order for us to take any action with respect to it, correct?Terrapin Station

    Has to know what? That the spectrometer has that as its definition of blue? Here's another definition of pure math #0000ff.
    If you see it like #0000ff and the spectrometer sees #00ff00, then based on the facts about how the cones and rods in our eyes work and how they are processed in the brain, we can conclude there is something wrong.

    We can move on to talk about the nature of perception, but that wasn't the point of the argument. This example was part of the argument you ignored because... whataboutism.

    So once again, please form an argument to answer what this topic is about rather than irrelevant nitpicks about other topics. The example was about the deduction of something a priori, that a specific color is something defined and if suddenly experienced differently, it's not proven as an error of the senses by opinion, but by deducing where something is wrong. The one who said it was blue or the one who said it was green.

    Answers have been given to your previous questions.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    Has to know what?Christoffer

    The stuff in quotation marks. "There's a definition of blue by measuring the spectrum of light bouncing from that blue pen. The spectrum shows its green. You are wrong, it is green"
  • Christoffer
    486
    I think you are missing the point, the fact is that regardless of who is actually right, people will disagree even after going through your proposed tests of wrongness. When they do, an additional
    appeal to what is objectively right isnt going to solve anything. The appeal that must be made is to an objective standard of some kind that functions in spite of peoples feelings about their rightness/wrongness. That way, no one can force their own standard on anyone else based on how convinced they are of the argument. For freedom of speech its the same reason that freedom of religion necessitates the seperation of church and state. Its a safeguard against when the process you are describing fails, and it does often fail. If it didnt, I would agree with you 100%.
    DingoJones

    It's not a proposed test of wrongness, it's a test of whether the opinion has solid grounds outside of the emotional reaction to something. If you test the opinion expressed, to those points, you are deducing whether it's based on someone hating black people out of an emotional response to what they perceive as unknown, i.e racism, or if they have a comment about a statistic that is predominant about black people, therefore a constructive thing to express in order to keep a dialectic about the problems the statistic points at.

    If the method can pinpoint when someone is essentially talking out of their ass and when they have a solid and reasonable argument as the basis for their opinion, it's the closest I've yet to see answering where to balance between free speech and restrictions of harmful speech.

    If you are trying to find an objective "to end all" standard, I think that's a simplified way of looking at something that is always evolving and changing. If you develop a standard of what is right and what is wrong you are creating a doctrine to follow rather than a method to constantly find the best answer.
    The method I proposed does not say if someone is right or wrong, it points to if the reason they are saying it is unsupported by anything other than an emotional opinion. Anyone with little knowledge of psychology knows that emotional foundation for an opinion rarely has any valid merit of being constructive. It might point to a problem, but the opinion is rarely right when tackling complex questions. In terms of racism, emotional opinions are probably never correct, valid or of any value to constructive discussions. They will feed racism, divisions between people etc. If you use the method I proposed you can see which opinions that has value to discuss and be passed through free speech and which ones to discard as emotional outbursts that feed the problem.

    The method demands serious deconstruction of opinion to find it's validity within free speech. I'm of course talking about opinions that might look like harmful speech because that is where the line gets hard to pinpoint what is and what is not free speech.
  • Christoffer
    486
    The stuff in quotation marks. "There's a definition of blue by measuring the spectrum of light bouncing from that blue pen. The spectrum shows its green. You are wrong, it is green"Terrapin Station

    I'm done answering these vague questions. Write an argument against what I've been saying on the topic. I'm done wasting time on your lazy dialectics.
  • DiegoT
    318
    colours are not objective measures of anything, but subjective experiences. What is green or not depends on the observer, and this has been proven: https://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/its-not-easy-seeing-green/
    Also:

    https://www.sciencealert.com/humans-didn-t-see-the-colour-blue-until-modern-times-evidence-science

    It has also been proven that some individuals have tetrachromatism, that is, they have somehow recover the much wider range of colours we enjoyed when we were reptiles.

    Not just colours; everything we experience is partly affected by sensorial stimuli, partly by the contents of our mind, and partly by the context, including our own actions. Both squares are exactly the same shade of grey, if we look closer at the pixels; but if we look closer, there is no cylinder on a checkered mat. Both experiences are equally real; and mutually exclusive. The intention of the observer will determine one or the another, in a given moment.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/af/Gray_square_illusion.png
  • DingoJones
    723


    Ok, I understand all that, it doesnt address the failure of the process that necessitates the exclusion of exactly the kinds of things people call hate speech. You are familiar with the tragedy of the commons? As long as someone is able to ban certain opinions or expression of them, no matter how right they may be, someone will use that power to oppress. The worst atrocities in modern times emerge from this, and thats why free speech is do important. Besides, restricting what opinions people can express doesnt change thise opinions. The KKK wore hoods, they hid. I want my racists and crazies right in the open where I can see them. Shout your hate to the heavens at your discretion, so I know where to start looking when there is a lynching.
  • Christoffer
    486
    Ok, I understand all that, it doesnt address the failure of the process that necessitates the exclusion of exactly the kinds of things people call hate speech. You are familiar with the tragedy of the commons? As long as someone is able to ban certain opinions or expression of them, no matter how right they may be, someone will use that power to oppress. The worst atrocities in modern times emerge from this, and thats why free speech is do important. Besides, restricting what opinions people can express doesnt change thise opinions. The KKK wore hoods, they hid. I want my racists and crazies right in the open where I can see them. Shout your hate to the heavens at your discretion, so I know where to start looking when there is a lynching.DingoJones

    I'm not sure if you've read everything I've written in this forum thread, but I've pointed out examples of totalitarian states using restrictions as means of power and how the method doesn't give power to them, it rather takes it away from them. Be careful of false dilemma fallacies. The method doesn't restrict in a way that can be used as a tool of power, because if you argue through the method that someone should be restricted in their opinion and they then present an argument for why they expressed the opinion and it is a solid argument that falls in line of being constructive free speech, then you cannot use the tool of restriction as a means of power. The only way for someone to use restriction as a way to oppress and have power over others is if they restrict speech through their made-up reasons, not rational reasons.

    The whole reason there is a discussion about restrictions is based on the common "Unlimited tolerance leads to intolerance". I agree I want to see the racists out in the open, but unrestricted free speech can also lead to manipulation of the population. It wasn't racists out in the open that built up the general populations opinions on Jews in Nazi-Germany, it was years of pointing them out as vermin that manipulated people into accepting the atrocities they went through. The way Trump is talking about Muslims and immigrants, totally breaking point four of my list, has changed how many act around immigrants. As someone who doesn't live in US, but has been there, it's easier to see the shift between a trip years ago and today. Not by the racists, but by how the general tension and day to day life looks like. I've seen it here in Sweden as well, how people were in defense of people in poverty but after the rise of right-wing populists who win votes by pushing fear and breaking all the points on my list, the general population has become colder against those in poverty. I've seen people who aren't racists who're slowly been shifting from trying to help the poor, to ignore them because they think the poor are criminals. When questioning them about why they shifted their point of view, they cannot pinpoint the reason, they "just know".

    This is why unrestricted free speech can be truly destructive because keeping racists in the open demands that everyone is intelligent enough to not be manipulated by these people. The obvious ones are obvious, but some of them know how to manipulate. This is why populism has been growing so much because they use "freedom of speech" as their defense against anyone who criticizes their opinions. And because there is this idea about unrestricted freedom of speech, their voices has manipulated so many that a large portion of the world is infected by this manipulation of the population.

    Unrestricted freedom of speech can lead to massive manipulation of the population by those who hide behind freedom of speech. As you said, the KKK hid behind hoods, but what happens when they hid behind freedom of speech and you cannot do anything to battle their manipulation of people desperate to find a black sheep for their problems? If you had a method to pinpoint when they are manipulating, when they don't have reasonable or rational opinions and through that be able to pierce their defense of hiding behind free speech, without restricting free speech. Isn't that a powerful weapon against the populism and growing common racism and polarization we see right now?
  • Christoffer
    486
    colours are not objective measures of anything, but subjective experiences. What is green or not depends on the observer, and this has been provenDiegoT

    I think you stumbled into a line of arguments that wasn't about this specifically. It was an example to a point about deduction outside of opinion based on emotion and sensory experiences. I suggest you read all my previous posts.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    I'm done answering these vague questions.Christoffer

    I wouldn't say you ever started. Of course, the problem is that you are finding something very simple to be vague. No need for me to diagnose that. I just need to stop wasting time on this board
  • DiegoT
    318
    I have read all your previous posts, but I could only bother to clarify one of the errors they contain.
  • DingoJones
    723


    Disagree completely, I think you have it backwards on a few fronts and you still havent addressed what ive said, you’ve just referenced some other posts that support what you’ve said. I'm not going to look them up but I understand your argument above.
    When you put in the restrictions on speech to prevent people being manipulated by hate speech, you also install the means for others to use those restrictions to suppress whatever speech they choose. Its simply not a good idea for some people to have the power over other people to control what they are allowed to say. Again, all you will do is get the manipulation speeches being done in private, which is arguably worse. No, the best way to fight hate speech is with other speech, to point out the hate speech for what it is. This actually fits with the view you hold already about good argument and reason winning out.
    Restricting free speech (to a certain extent, im not a free speech absolutist like Terrapin) is about control. That control might be fine in the hands if someone who truly has everyones best interest at heart (although I doubt it, as even the best intentioned person can be wrong) but the exact same logic and method can be used by bad actors with other, more nefarious interests at heart and has.
  • Christoffer
    486
    I have read all your previous posts, but I could only bother to clarify one of the errors they contain.DiegoT

    I do not disagree with what you wrote about color perception, it was merely a way to define my point. Maybe crude in its formulation, but it was not specifically about colors and perception, but about deduction. The idea that there is a certain scientific baseline for color and if the perception is way off, there might be something way off with the sensory observation of that color compared to the baseline of human biology. Maybe it was a bad example, but if you read behind the lines, I think the point was about something else entirely.
  • Christoffer
    486
    I'm not going to look them up but I understand your argument above.DingoJones

    From what I remember, I referenced my previous posts in this thread. If you didn't read those then I don't really know why you argue against me since my points have been argued clearly before this in this very thread. I won't repeat myself out of someone else's laziness in order to counter an argument I already countered. If that is the way you like to keep the dialectic I believe you are more interested in just pointing out your opinion rather than actually discussing the topic.

    When you put in the restrictions on speech to prevent people being manipulated by hate speech, you also install the means for others to use those restrictions to suppress whatever speech they choose.DingoJones

    You haven't understood a word about the method I described earlier. What you are saying is falling in line of a false dilemma fallacy ignoring the nuances of what I've been saying.

    Restricting free speech (to a certain extent, I'm not a free speech absolutist like Terrapin) is about control.DingoJones

    No, it's not. Only if your intention is control. If your intention is to promote well-being for the self and others while keeping the freedom of the individual you measure and calculate the methods according to those parameters. You straw man my argument into a binary idea of restrictions being just about control, nothing of what I said points to it being about control.

    That control might be fine in the hands of someone who truly has everyone's best interest at heart (although I doubt it, as even the best intentioned person can be wrong) but the exact same logic and method can be used by bad actors with other, more nefarious interests at heart and has.DingoJones

    You misunderstand or intentionally misunderstand the method I proposed to make that argument. As I said, the method also makes it impossible for those trying to restrict free speech as a form of power, to be able to control free speech. In what way can a person use my method to do this? Give me an example and we can create a dialectic to improve the method further.
  • DingoJones
    723
    You misunderstand or intentionally misunderstand the method I proposed to make that argument. As I said, the method also makes it impossible for those trying to restrict free speech as a form of power, to be able to control free speech. In what way can a person use my method to do this? Give me an example and we can create a dialectic to improve the method further.Christoffer

    They can fail to reason, or both parties could have equally valid arguments. I do not think it avoids the problem at all really, since its still going to rely upon making arguments.

    No, it's not. Only if your intention is control. If your intention is to promote well-being for the self and others while keeping the freedom of the individual you measure and calculate the methods according to those parameters. You straw man my argument into a binary idea of restrictions being just about control, nothing of what I said points to it being about control.Christoffer

    You arent listening. Someones intention WILL be control, your method is a mechanism they WILL use. Also, it isnt necassary. Free speech solves the problem better than your method. The two combined might be even better still. Just apply your method via free speech and thats a social policy I can behind.
    I am not straw-manning you, perhaps if you are not too frustrated we could start there. Restricting someone's speech is control. You are controlling what they say, or not saying. The irony is that you have straw-manned me here, since I didnt say it was ONLY about control. Of the things that your argument is about, control is one. Thats what I mean.


    You haven't understood a word about the method I described earlier. What you are saying is falling in line of a false dilemma fallacy ignoring the nuances of what I've been saying.Christoffer

    Thats because, as I pointed out, your method is not accounting for its inevitable failure. People will fail to reason but still be equally convinced they are right. We need to safeguard against this, free speech is the best way to do that.
  • DiegoT
    318
    I do not disagree with what you wrote about color perception, it was merely a way to define my point. Maybe crude in its formulation, but it was not specifically about colors and perception, but about deduction. The idea that there is a certain scientific baseline for color and if the perception is way off, there might be something way off with the sensory observation of that color compared to the baseline of human biology. Maybe it was a bad example, but if you read behind the lines, I think the point was about something else entirely.Christoffer

    It was not a bad example; we need to use concrete images and situations to make abstract ideas more conveyable. My point was that, while true reality exists, it´s not for us humans to know, as all acts of knowing are active representations that say as much about us than about the phenomenon, if not more. Thus, to establish a permanent, unique, universal meaning to an action of communication (not just literal speech, but ALL OUR ACTIONS and inactions are acts of communication and expression) can only be done by imposing by force the meaning generated from a given subjective (individual o collective) observer. Rationality does not prevent that; Logic and Mathematics is only a lingua franca that humans can use to communicate among ourselves and with Nature. What is derived from rational experimentation and debate is not "the truth" but objective knowledge. Objective means shared: some information is given shape, turn into "an object" so that it can be pass on. But shared representations about reality are never reality; they are only the standpoint of a collective observer, no matter how numerous.
    A majority of people interpreting similarly an action can impose, by force, their meaning on the rest of society. But that is not truth, it´s only a mirror that give us light, but reflected and modelled after the observer.
    The democratic alternative is to use reason, individual experience and social communication to make a "mirror" large enough to reflect phenomena with a maximum influence of nature and a minimum influence of personal or collective minds in the output. But this is only possible if all communications are allowed, even "wrong" ones, so far as they are not in fact part of a procedure to commit real crimes, such as personal death threats or pointing out who should be killed.

    Your concept of speech acts as efficient causes of future crimes are probably based on your current lack of knowledge of how chaotic systems work, how the individual psyche works, and the complexity of the network of mutual interactions that human behaviour is inmersed in. No offence!
  • Pattern-chaser
    968
    Now what do you do?Terrapin Station

    Roll a dice? Seriously, what can you do if there is no justified logical conclusion, but you need (for whatever reasons) one? Or maybe you/we can change our aims so that we don't need this decision...? The options seem limited.
  • Pattern-chaser
    968
    ...you incredibly seem to be assuming that we're all going to agree if we just, well, whatever aside from simply stipulating that we must agree...Terrapin Station

    I think I'm assuming that if we must reach agreement, for whatever purposes, it's a matter of accepting that we must agree, and then doing so. It's not the "stipulating" that's forcing our agreement, it's our need or desire for one, and the practical and pragmatic realisation that agreement is the only way of achieving it. In your text above, I suggest you replace "stipulating" with "accepting".

    Or we could agree not to agree.... :chin:
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.2k
    I'm not sure what definition of nihilism you'd be using (especially so that it would be "destructive").Terrapin Station

    in the Nietzschian sense. Take the following comment for example:


    We don't all agree though. Not at all.

    So someone has to make the decisions about what counts and what doesn't, etc.

    Who gets to make those decisions and why do they get to make them? (And what do we do with the folks who don't agree with those decisions?)
    Terrapin Station


    Now the logic you are applying to allow a free speech absolutist position, could be applied to any topic or subject.

    Why do we have any laws at all and not anarchism? Why have any sort of protection for free speech?

    Who gets to make those decisions and why do they get to make them?

    We have the same problem here with anything. The conclusions appear to turn your argument against itself.


    Destructive in the sense that it leads to anarchy.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k


    So, for one, you seem to be taking me to be suggesting that "Who gets to make the decisions and why do they get to make them" is something that he'd not be able to answer. I was sincerely asking to see what his answer would be (at which point, for whatever reasons, he decided to act as if no one would be making decisions, etc.--they'd somehow make themselves).

    Re laws in general, I'm basically a minarchist. I'm a minarchist because I don't believe that anarchy is possible. Under anarchy, someone/some group is going to take control via organized force, and then it's no longer anarchy.

    My basic approach to law is to keep especially punitive laws as minimal as possible, with the aim of avoiding more laws/more control of others. That's the gist of minarchism.

    That more or less puts me in the Libertarian camp, in the sense of the U.S. Libertarian party. However, I don't agree with their approach to economics. I think it's too important to make sure that everyone has food, shelter, health care, education, etc. as they desire. So I take a (very idiosyncratically) socialist approach to the economy. Hence I describe myself as a libertarian socialist.

    In any event, I'm definitely a "nihilist" on many things, in the sense that I realize that things like values (ethical, aesthetic, etc.), meaning, etc. are not to located in the objective world.
  • Athena
    294
    Is there agreement that cause and effect has nothing to do with morals?
  • ZhouBoTong
    200
    @Bitter Crank - I have been reading this forum for years (thank you everyone for your contributions), and I finally disagree with you on something; so I will attempt to contribute without making a complete fool of myself.

    You ended your comment with the following:
    Maybe Tom, Dick, or Harry did paw Betsy 10 years ago, but what does that have to do with his job as a faceless functionary at XYZ corporation?

    Is there anything that Tom, Dick, or Harry could have done 10 years ago that would matter? From your comment, it seems only some type of business fraud would matter to XYZ Corp. What if he murdered someone 10 years ago? Probably a dumb example because he would belong in jail. But what about something less extreme? What if they raped somebody and got out of prison early for good behavior? How about a child abuser?

    As those are probably ridiculously ungenerous examples, I guess I will just get to my point. If I own corp XYZ, I am aware that millions of people can fulfill the role of "faceless functionary". So yes, if they groped someone 10 years, that is an easy "on to the next candidate." Now I would assume there are some legal problems as you probably need cause to fire such a person. But that is different from the philosophical (hypothetical? not sure this is correct use of philosophical?) position of "of course I want to find someone better than the groper." And to be clear, I do not mean "better" at their job. You are right, that could not effect their work at all. I just prefer not to work with such a person...

    ...I may have just understood your point. Are you suggesting that all humans are flawed, and if I knew anyone well enough, I would know of flaws that disqualify them? Hmmmm, never mind, I know at least a few people (maybe I should say a couple, certainly limited) who have never done anything that could be considered as bad as groping (assuming I draw a line that forgives behaviors before a certain age).


    I apologize if I interrupted the current exchange while referring to a post that is a few days old. Please do not hesitate to ignore this and continue :) If I even make the cut, I guess the whole post might be deleted as gibberish.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    Welcome. I'm glad you took a step past reading and wrote something.

    Is there anything that Tom, Dick, or Harry could have done 10 years ago that would matter?ZhouBoTong

    Indeed there are things that could, would, and should matter 10 years later.

    Let's say that Tom was being considered for a job in a bank, and had been convicted of embezzlement 10 years earlier. That would be a fatal problem for his application.

    Let's say that Dick was being considered for a job in a bank as a security guard, and had an arrest for assault and battery. He paid a fine, no jail time. Security guard? Minor assault? Might be an advantage. Hire him.

    Let's say that Harry was being considered for a job as loan officer. 10 years ago in college a woman accused him of attempting to force her to have sex with him. There was no police investigation, the college took no action after a cursory investigation, They were both 18 years old at the time. The bank has no idea what happened, except the record on social media revived by @me2. Apparently it wasn't very serious; the college or the police would probably have acted if a claim of rape had been made, especially if an exam showed that he had raped her. However, none of that happened.

    I say it should be ignored because they were both juveniles at the time, both capable of misinterpreting the other's signals. No rape occurred. The woman didn't accuse him of attempted rape, but attempted sex (somewhat different). He has no criminal record; he has an excellent employment record since graduation (3.9 gpa). This ghost from his past is too tenuous to worry about. Hire him.

    In the context of #me2, women (or men) can make an accusation of merely inappropriate behavior that is usually unsubstantiated or unwitnessed, and expect that everyone should believe the veracity of their accusation. No, sorry. Unsupported accusations are not good enough. Coming forward and accusing someone of unpleasant or criminal behavior that happened 10 or 20 years ago when the claim can not now be investigated by more than hearsay evidence is not fair. Now, some events that happened in the past can be investigated. If a rape investigation was made, the evidence (tissue sample) probably still exists. If someone murdered someone 10 or 20 years ago and was not previously accused but now has been, police can usually make some kind of investigation and either find evidence or no evidence.

    The standards that are being applied in all sorts of situations in response to statements or actions which may be in fact innocuous often border on hysteria. Institutions are SO concerned about negative publicity that they sometimes go to quite unjust extremes to distance themselves from someone who said the wrong thing, or the right thing in the wrong way... etc.
  • ZhouBoTong
    200
    @Bitter Crank

    I agree with everything on false allegations (and most of everything else). And unquestionably there are some confusing aspects of #me2. For example, as far as I can tell, many (most?) relationships (especially for younger people) begin with a #me2 moment that in that instance both people are OK with...that may be changing in the era of me2, but slowly.

    But there is one other aspect to this (which may have nothing to do with what you were talking about?). I will use a personal example to illustrate:

    About 20 years ago, I dressed up as the General Lee (the car from Dukes of Hazzard) for Halloween. Now at the time, I did not even consider that there was anything wrong with that. However, I now know that the car is named after a hero of the confederacy. The car also has the symbol of the confederacy on it (the confederate flag). Now while the confederacy was about more than slavery and racism, those were certainly two defining aspects. Now if I was to be fired (or not hired) someday because a photo surfaced showing me dressed in orange with a confederate flag; I would think it fair to terminate me based on the implication that I might not work well with other races.

    My example clearly does nothing to address false accusations, but I think it does show that even a minor incident (if known to be true), can be enough to just try the next person - Well I guess it "shows" to me, hopefully it makes sense to others?
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    I would think it fair to terminate me based on the implication that I might not work well with other races.ZhouBoTong

    I don't much like southerners as a group, never had any sympathies for the Confederacy, believe reconstruction was too mild and ended too soon, etc. But the fact of the matter is, the Confederacy is part of American History, and so is Robert E. Lee. The car from the Dukes of Hazard, though, can hardly embody anything significant about American History, Lee, or the Confederacy.

    If you were fired or not hired because you once dressed up as a car which, in the TV series had the confederate flag on its roof and was called the General Lee, then I think the personnel department at the firm to which you applied should probably be examined for psychiatric disorders.

    Really, there is something quite neurotic in the obsession some people have with statuary, names, and symbols here and in other countries. That would go for people who feel they owe allegiance to the long-gone Confederacy as well as people who are enraged by seeing the symbol.

    I believe in achieving social justice, but social justice isn't about symbols, statuary, and names. It's about the fair distribution of material resources and the opportunity to make desired economic choices and pursue opportunities.
  • ZhouBoTong
    200
    @Bitter Crank
    Really, there is something quite neurotic in the obsession some people have with statuary, names, and symbols here and in other countries. That would go for people who feel they owe allegiance to the long-gone Confederacy as well as people who are enraged by seeing the symbol.
    -@Bitter Crank

    Dang, the world must be really infuriating these days as everyone seems to be increasingly suffering this neurosis :)

    As someone who does not really understand words being offensive (I think it is attached to my inability to read emotions), I am fairly confident I understand what you are getting at. But even though I am rarely offended, I have always been aware of actions or words that highly offend others. Here is an example of where my head is at on this sort of issue:

    As a history student I remember learning about the treatment of Native Americans in the modern age. There was a decent amount of research and effort put into the answer to the question "what should we call these people." Indians? Native Americans? Indigenous Americans, First Peoples, etc. Most students immediately say, "Indians? That's not appropriate." But actually a few tribes prefer to be called Indians (kind of owning the term). Some prefer Native Americans. Others are horribly offended by "Indian" or "Native". So what is right? Whatever the hell they want to be called. Now, they can't get too mad when I am wrong the first time, but if I was friends with, or worked with them and on the first day they said I should call them First Peoples (on the rare instance that I actually need to refer to their ethnicity), can't I make that effort? Similarly, if black Americans are reminded of terrible truths every time they see a confederate flag, I don't mind not showing these flags (but of course we still teach it in history class). I guess you would respond that I am just talking about common courtesy, not some legal issue one should be fired over? - fair enough I suppose

    I guess I would need to do some research; how many Germans feel their freedoms are severely limited because they can't have Nazi flags?

    I believe in achieving social justice, but social justice isn't about symbols, statuary, and names. It's about the fair distribution of material resources and the opportunity to make desired economic choices and pursue opportunities
    - @Bitter Crank

    I certainly admit, that if this is accomplished it is problem solved. In fact, we could still fire people for nonsense reasons, but it wouldn't matter because there would be another job waiting or some other form of safety net...In my mind we only worry about these people being fired because we all MUST make a living. But if that MUST were gone, who cares if someone is fired? If they really enjoyed that job, surely they can still pursue similar efforts? Possibly in a more rewarding environment with people that are less easily offended?

    Thanks for helping me clarify my thoughts, I can't find much wrong with your ideas, but I am not quite sold either.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    I can't find much wrong with your ideas, but I am not quite sold either.ZhouBoTong

    Fair enough.

    I once over heard some black workers discussing terms: "We used to be called niggers, then it was negroes, then it was blacks, then it was African Americans. I don't know what we'll be called next." True story.

    Some people use the term "aboriginal" for Australia's 'first people' and for Canada's 'first people'. Indians, redskins, native Americans, American Indian, etc. I try to use whatever term people seem to prefer. Niggers and redskins is pretty clearly not a good choice.

    Hair, the musical. You familiar with it?

    Bear in mind this very popular musical is from the 1960s, a much different time than now.



    Here are the lyrics:

    I'm a
    Colored spade
    A nigger
    A black nigger
    A jungle bunny
    Jigaboo coon
    Pickaninny mau mau
    Uncle Tom
    Aunt Jemima
    Little Black Sambo
    Cotton pickin'
    Swamp guinea
    Junk man
    Shoeshine boy
    Elevator operator
    Table cleaner at Horn & Hardart
    Slave voodoo
    Zombie
    Ubangi lipped
    Flat nose
    Tap dancin'
    Resident of Harlem
    And president of
    The United States of Love
    President of
    The United States of Love
    (and if you ask him to dinner you're going to feed him:)
    Watermelon
    Hominy grits
    An' shortnin' bread
    Alligator ribs
    Some pig tails
    Some black eyed peas
    Some chitlins
    Some collard greens
    And if you don't watch out
    This boogie man will get you
    Booooooooo!
    Booooooooo!
    So you say . . .

    I've heard some of those words used to reference blacks - but not recently.
  • ZhouBoTong
    200
    I try to use whatever term people seem to prefer.
    -@Bitter Crank

    That is exactly what I understood to be the correct option.

    So I guess I just have to decide how authoritarian I want to be when others can't be bothered to make such an effort :chin:

    And thanks for the dos of 60s culture. No, I was not familiar with Hair, the musical; but nice to learn about the musical that defined rock musicals :)
  • TogetherTurtle
    200
    My view has always been this: If you are objectively correct, you can prove it. If you can't, you aren't. I don't think governments or any authority for that matter should have a say in the words that can come out of people's mouths, simply because for one, that is a huge amount of power you are putting in already untrustworthy people, (That wasn't a jab at any party in particular, more all of them) and two, it stifles a sort of evolution of the general consensus.

    What I mean by "evolution of the general consensus" is this. Let's take something (relatively) harmless as an example. While untrue, a lot of the time commercials will tell you that a product has 20% fewer calories or is a fat-free option. Usually, they can make these claims either because they downsized the product or used substitutes for certain ingredients that do the same thing. These products are not more healthy for you, and will most likely just cost more, however, the general consensus is that these products are better for you.

    The corporations that make these products make a lot of money through these admittedly pretty scummy business practices, so they have a large interest in keeping the public uninformed. The government only helps these corporations by doing studies that make these options look good by extension, (reports on obesity rates, for example) and educating elementary school children about how fats and sugars can be bad in excessive amounts, and so they grow up to make the connection that they should buy these "healthy" products for their health. So, the obesity rate stays the same, corporations get more money for less product, and since the government only had good things to say about these scummy businesses and their activities, the general consensus is that they are good, even though really nothing has changed.

    So, since the people with all the power decided that these new products are good, and no one can talk about how bad they are since the government put in a good word for them, we are stuck at an impasse. You may think that this is silly, but try to tell your mother that her fat-free Yoplait yogurt isn't actually better for her and you would have a very hard time convincing her.

    So, I think that the job of a government should be to allow all people (even if they are not generally agreed with) to speak. Violence should not be tolerated under any circumstances, no matter the side, (even if they are generally agreed with). At least to me, telling a group of people that they can't talk, even if their beliefs are scientifically inaccurate, is just subjugation. Sure they are wrong, but you should have to prove that first, or getting rid of the ignorant can easily be used as an excuse of the simply ambitious.

    Besides, if you're really right, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. If you can't defend yourself on an even playing field then you deserve to lose.

    I understand that we don't always have an even playing field, but perhaps that should be a goal we strive for. Letting everyone say what they want no matter how rude or outlandish may hurt a lot of feelings, but that will just make our ideologies stronger, compared to cowering behind legislation and hoping that our ideas don't get outpaced by the people living in the shadows. For the sake of everything we hold to be true, we need to challenge everything we hold to be true, because if those ideas don't hold up when they are really challenged, we get to die with them.
  • ZhouBoTong
    200
    @TogetherTurtle@DingoJones

    I tried to respond to a few specifics to reduce the length. I may have taken things out of context and deserve to be soundly corrected if so (to prepare I know the first quote is out of context, but I feel it helps to show where our views clash).

    Also, I am not sold on imposing speech regulations, but I am responding with some of my thoughts that cause me to lean that way.

    that is a huge amount of power you are putting in already untrustworthy people.
    @TogetherTurtle

    I think it important to remember that this "power" does not disappear if we do not give it to government. I prefer to choose to give that "power" to a selected group (that could very well include, dumb or shady people), rather than continue to the play the game of winner take all (until Adam Smith winner take all was accomplished by military power, more recently economic power is the best way to take over) and hope the winner is benevolent.

    Violence should not be tolerated under any circumstances
    - @TogetherTurtle

    Does a bank foreclosing on a family, which leads to homelessness, count as violence? Could there be such a thing as economic violence? Not all definitions of violence include physical force. How about if I call Susie a doo-doo head? Safe to say that people should not be harmed by words, but equally safe to say that people regularly are harmed by words. Is harm violence?

    If you can't defend yourself on an even playing field then you deserve to lose.
    @TogetherTurtle

    I disagree here. I am NOT going to use words like intelligence in this case, because that is a whole 'nother mess. However, if we were to measure all humans by there ability to "defend {them}self on an even playing field", 49% would be below average and therefor they likely DO NOT have the ability to "defend {them}self on an even playing field" (those who are above average would be better at defending themselves). What about children? Or varying levels of upbringing and education? Is a level playing field even remotely possible? - I just noticed you did address the level playing field thing, so just ignore those last couple questions

    I understand that we don't always have an even playing field, but perhaps that should be a goal we strive for.
    - @TogetherTurtle
    Indeed, while reaching it may be impossible, simply striving will have great benefits.

    For the sake of everything we hold to be true, we need to challenge everything we hold to be true, because if those ideas don't hold up when they are really challenged, we get to die with them.
    - @TogetherTurtle

    I really like the sound of that. A bit poetic, but still, well said.

    However, we are on a philosophy forum. That is who we are. How many of this type of conversation have you had with "normal" people? (sorry on the use of "normal", I can't think of the right word for the 99% of people who can't be bothered to put 5 minutes of thought into this sort of thing) You can see they are actually in pain as their ideas are challenged.
    Personally, I only have 1 friend that enjoys critically analyzing their own worldview. Everyone else is just waiting for Fox News, or MSNBC, to validate their opinion. Sorry, bit of a rant. But hopefully the point is made that the vast majority of the population is very unlikely to "challenge everything they hold true."

    ZBT
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