• Hallucinogen
    39
    The Christchurch massacre has prompted me to post this. I'm genuinely trying to reason what really causes hatred in society, and trying to identify popular talking points are actually a delusion.

    In response to the massacre, journalists, both on Twitter and in newspapers, and regular Twitter users have begun calling for censorship of speech hostile towards Islam. I can post photographic examples if it doesn't violate the code of conduct, for example Dave Anthony, who has a blue check on Twitter, has called on his fellow comedians to censure Bill Maher in response to the attack. Mehdi Hasan called for Islamophobia to be "called out", with some people replying to him by posting a list of names of people to be censured, such as Rupert Murdoch, Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz and Katie Hopkins.
    The Guardian newspaper wrote: "Or will our leaders make more effort to call out all forms of racist hate wherever they are found?" (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/17/the-observer-view-on-the-christchurch-shootings-weve-been-too-slow-to-see-deadly-far-right-threat). I think it is safe to say that when attacks like these occur, whether it is Anders Bering Breivik or an Islamist terrorist attack, we are instantly awash in how it was all caused by hate speech that needs to be removed.

    I'm just not sure hate speech actually creates hatred. Sure, we're not just talking about hatred here but also violence, but the people calling for censorship believe that hate speech causes both hatred and violence.

    If somebody supports the idea of banning hate speech, I'd like to ask: if we ban all the speech you deem derogatory to others, but public signs of hatred still appear even after that (such as, swastikas smeared on the walls of toilets in feces, "vote Trump 2016" written in chalk on the floors of university campuses, racist graffiti, or smiling catholic school boys wearing Trump hats), then what will you propose after that? If banning the hate speech fails to remove discrimination and public signs of hatred, then what's the solution?

    Let me ask you one simple question: what would I have to say to you, to convince you to hate another group? What could I say to you, to convince you to hate Buddhists? Or Jews, or black people?
    If the answer to that is "nothing", we are on the same page.

    Still, it is possible that the unfortunately dim-witted in society may be swayed by the artful speech of a manipulator. I think they are the exception rather than the rule, and that the rest of society should hardly suffer a limitation in speaking rights purely because exceptionally dumb people exist.

    No, I think hatred is not created by speech. It's created by direct experiences with people who have conflicting interests with you, and who are not willing to compromise on those interests.
    Hate speech may have the effect of accentuating existing hatred, and it may give haters the impression that the rest of society is on their side if they violently attack, but I don't think many people grow a hatred for another group in their hearts that they don't actually encounter on a day-to-day basis merely due to hate speech.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    In response to the massacre, journalists, both on Twitter and in newspapers, and regular Twitter users have begun calling for censorship of speech hostile towards Islam. I can post photographic examples if it doesn't violate the code of conduct, for exampleHallucinogen

    You're not going to change anyone's opinions by placing prohibitions/sanctions, etc. on them. The only way to change opinions is to coax them into reasoning. That's not necessarily going to work, either, but it's the only thing that can work. To reason with them, the views have to be laid bare and then addressed.

    That's a problem on this board often enough. It can be difficult to get people to be forthright and articulate about their views. Prohibiting expression doesn't help in that regard obviously.

    If folks aren't forthright and articulate about their views, others can hardly address them and try to get them to reason about them so that they reach alternate conclusions.
  • Tzeentch
    320
    There's two sides to this.

    On one side, for someone to spread a message of hate, there must obviously be hate present to begin with.

    On the other side, the exchange of hateful messages creates echo chambers on the internet (as it is prone to do) which can send people 'down the rabbit hole'.

    Is trying to ban the spreading of hateful messages the answer? Probably not. Letting people spread their message at the very least gives people an outlet for their anger. If there is no outlet, they will only feel more powerless and be more prone to lash out violently, in the only way they think can still make an impact.

    Furthermore, banning 'hate speech' will only confirm their ideas about how society is rigged against them.

    As I've argued in another thread on this topic, I believe the causes of these massacres is a profound anger and feeling of powerlessness.
  • czahar
    59
    Furthermore, banning 'hate speech' will only confirm their ideas about how society is rigged against them.Tzeentch

    Good point, Tzeentch! The other problem that I see with banning hate speech is defining it in the first place. Yes, there are obvious cases -- e.g., the guy waving a swastika flag and calling for the extermination of the Jews -- but not all cases are so cut and dry. Peter Singer, for instance, has been accused of hate speech for his views on the disabled. A couple years ago, one of his events was protested by a group who claimed he was promoting eugenics.

    According to Daily Nous:

    What began as two conflicting defenses of free speech soon hindered discussion of any kind, as the Effective Altruists and protesters battled with the volume to deafening proportions. Protesters used a megaphone to read prepared text to the audience, and numerous audience members shouted back at them to leave.

    One protester even temporarily unplugged the adapter connecting Effective Altruism’s computer to the projector before fleeing out the side door of Cinecenta. The club was able to quickly start the video back up with a replacement adapter.

    All the while, Singer’s TED Talk and Q&A continued, and the room grew cacophonous. Shouts of support for Singer’s free speech were met with chants of “eugenics is hate”
    and “disabled lives matter,” and neither side showed any signs of backing down.

    (my emphasis)

    There is also the case of Maajid Nawaz -- who, according to the OP, is once again being targeted for Islamophobia, despite being Muslim. Years ago, Nawaz was accused of Islamophobia by the Southern Poverty Law Center. To the SPLC's credit, they eventually dropped their charges (which were absolutely ridiculous), but that does bring up the question of who is going to be in charge or deciding what hate speech is. Should Ayaan Hirsi Ali's views on Islam be considered hate speech? What about Milo Yiannopoulos infamous "feminism is cancer" slogan? Singer? Nawaz?

    And what will this do to the left? Will Antifa's calls for violence against "fascists" (a term that seems to include even non-violent Trump supporters) be considered "hate speech"?

    I want to know who this ban is going to be targeting.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    I think the only logical censorship is not to state the agenda, declarations or proclamations that terrorist make before or after a terrorist strike. The most foolish thing to do is afterwards for the media to put the terrorist on a pedestal, to the front cover and spread their ideas in their coverage of the news.This will only give rise to copycats. Hence for example Norway did the right thing by not giving Anders Breivik the ability of spreading is 'declarations for Europe'. It's not difficult to anticipate his objectives when he attacked a youth camp for young Social Democrats.
  • Valentinus
    504
    No, I think hatred is not created by speech. It's created by direct experiences with people who have conflicting interests with you, and who are not willing to compromise on those interests.Hallucinogen

    You may be precisely incorrect. My experience with people who hate each other as groups is that they have very little to do with each other, use mediators when forced to do so because of economic constraints, and know very little about why they live where they do and what makes that life possible.

    At the same time, hate speech is personal. You probably have experiences that confirm that observation. But we all can misunderstand our experiences.

    i cannot tell from your post which misunderstanding you are expressing.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    Hate speech, and/or incitement to violence (which is the crux of the point I guess?), most certainly can create hatred and violence. The problem we have is sorting out criticism from incitement. There are many instances where these have been conflated and it’s caused a great deal of problems.

    My view on this is fairly simplistic because I realise there are problems with distinguishing such “hate” or “incitement”. My view is that if people act in an insufferable manner in society then people should stadn up to them regardless of what the law says. The law is an ethical (public) guideline whilst our individual moral (personal) attitudes are our own to live by as we see fit alongside the generic law set out to give us all a common understanding.

    When people get arrested for calling a horse “gay” I think we can say that this is a problem.

    Generally speaking I see the fear of the evils others can commit as nothing more than a personal denial of the horrors we are capable - and when I say denial I mean not simply understanding that you can be driven to murder and torture other human beings, but that to truly face such a self-realisation and to hold that monster by the hand is not something any sane person would do without a damn good reason. If you want to know yourself though, and admittedly many people don’t, that road must be trod.

    Just like when we feel love for someone or observe in others, hatred works in the same manner. The disgust in such ideas that others possess is existent as disgust because on some level we are able to see ourselves doing the same as them and project that self-loathing onto others. How you may come around to facing this ordeal and coming to terms with it yourself I’ve no idea. I don’t think it is sensible to believe it can be abolished or you’re likely to fall blindly into the very horrors you’ve assumed you’ve annihilated from your own being.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    When people get arrested for calling a horse “gay” I think we can say that this is a problem.I like sushi

    WTF? Was a horse upset, frightened, or annoyed by being called gay? As in "I don't care what people do, so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!" (The attribution for this quote seems to be unclear.) Hey, some horses are queer, they're here, so get used to it.

    So, I guess from now on haters of homosexual horses will just have to shut the fuck up.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    I am much less certain than I used to be about what causes people to experience strong feelings of hatred, and what causes them to act upon those feelings.

    Speech alone isn't sufficient. Significantly negative experience with the hated group would seem to be required, in addition to other factors. Hatred needs peer assent and support. The hated group (hating a group is different than hating 1 person) is probably somewhat insular, or visibly 'different'. The insular Amish in a state could be the target of a hate group, while Norwegian or German farmers wouldn't be. The Amish farmers stand out, the Norwegian and German farmers are invisible background. (Some people do resent having to navigate around horse drawn equipment.)

    Being "different" helps a group become a target, if several other factors are present. Getting or having some special advantage that others don't have contributes to hate-targeting. Let's not forget TRADITION! The targeted group has probably been loathed for quite some time. Take the Jews in Germany before the National Socialist Party was conceived, let alone took power: Lots of people loathed Jews then, and had been loathing Jews for centuries. The Nazis did not invent antisemitism. What the Nazis did was fan the flames of hatred, and then pursue hatred to its extreme conclusion: just kill them all!

    But it doesn't seem possible just to pick some arbitrary group (Canadians, for example) and build a hate program against them.

    Moslems are not an arbitrary group (like Canadians). They are (I gather) new immigrants in places like Australia, just as they are in parts of the United States. They are somewhat insular (language, dress, religious customs, diet, etc.). The immigrants themselves are not terrorists, of course, but they are co-religionists with some terrorists 9/11, Islamic state, Boco Haram, etc.) I would imagine that for many people in England, IRA terrorists did little to improve the reputation of the Irish.

    Merely being admitted to a country can seem like an undeserved privilege to someone not inclined to like some group. Why and how did Minnesota go from zero to 80,000 Moslem Somalis in 30 years???

    So, in my view, it takes quite a bit to breed a fire-breathing hate group willing to perpetrate lethal violence. Policing speech is too easy, and leads to suppression of speech of many kinds that have nothing to do with hate (like calling a horse "gay" apparently).
  • CaZaNOx
    56
    But it doesn't seem possible just to pick some arbitrary group (Canadians, for example) and build a hate program against them.Bitter Crank

    I think this is a dangerous underestimation of psychological warfare and propaganda.

    F.e. You could take germans during WW1 and the forming an popularizing of the term Huns for germans associating them with barbarians. We can see that term being weaponized to create a certain image to legitimize the killing and fighting against. Other typical methods are associating groups with animals or "being dirty or plaguelike" in order to dehumanize them and legitmate violence.

    I think the key aspect is that the argument is not driven by factual assignments that are true and rather by analogies and dissortions and lies.
    There is a wide range of negative images that can be ascribed to canadians however I don't think I can really make it compelling since the images to triger an emotional response to make the mind more easily influenced torwards your bias is missing and it should be understood as process that takes it's time.

    However one could f.e. say that they are like dogs following their chinese overlords (insert documentary of chinese influence of canada) or that the friendly immage they portray is just to trick you to not look whats going on behind the scences (insert random despicable practice f.e. pedophila that is so reprehensible that it has to be hidden behind a smile further insert maybe a link to the cathlic church that also has a simular issue with a seemingly inocent image and further insert documentary of candian pedophiles and suggesting it is widespread or emphazises in the news that there was again an incident in canada).

    Repeting this over and over will do the trick.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    I think this is a dangerous underestimation of psychological warfare and propaganda.CaZaNOx

    I don't want to downplay the power of propaganda or psychological warfare methods. But I was trying to state this point clearly: that it is unclear to me how, exactly, people come to hate particular groups. I am not questioning the fact that they do--just that the individual psychological mechanisms aren't certain. The social function of media, propaganda, personal interaction, and so forth are more observable than the transactions inside people's heads.

    If one pays even some attention to world news, there is clearly a lot of inter-group friction -- some of it very abrasive -- going on between all sorts of groups. This is, of course, not new. Some people -- for reasons that are not clear to me -- are much more affected by this friction than others. "Friction-sensitive" people are more likely to engage in peace making or hate mongering,

    One of the advertent or inadvertent functions of media -- mass media, social media, whatever media, is to increase friction. Media seems to increase social friction by amplifying awareness of events. So, both white-supremacist ranting and anti-white-supremacist ranting both serve the same function: heightening friction.

    However one could f.e. say that they are like dogs following their chinese overlords (insert documentary of chinese influence of canada) or that the friendly immage they portray is just to trick you to not look whats going on behind the scences (insert random despicable practice f.e. pedophila that is so reprehensible that it has to be hidden behind a smile further insert maybe a link to the cathlic church that also has a simular issue with a seemingly inocent image and further insert documentary of candian pedophiles and suggesting it is widespread or emphazises in the news that there was again an incident in canada).CaZaNOx

    These are all great ideas, and we should try them out at once.

    But without some seriously abrasive interaction between Americans and Canadians (like, torpedoing canoes on boundary rivers and lakes, or cross-border shelling of villages from British Columbia, or the US threatening to seize Quebec to guarantee Francophone culture, vicious anti-Canadian riots in Houston, Texas, and so forth) I don't see propaganda alone creating solid hatred.
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    I'm just not sure hate speech actually creates hatred.Hallucinogen

    That is the problem, you don't.

    but the people calling for censorship believe that hate speech causes both hatred and violence.Hallucinogen

    The individual that caused 51 murders didn't just subscribe to an ideology or espouse hate, this individual put it into action. the continuous problem I see is that there are a lot of members of the non-targeted group making the same comments you're making.

    "vote Trump 2016" written in chalk on the floors of university campuses, racist graffiti, or smiling catholic school boys wearing Trump hatsHallucinogen

    I'm not in the least bit in support of Trump but how do you equate hate with a trump hate or the slogan Trump 2016?

    what would I have to say to you, to convince you to hate another group?Hallucinogen

    To believe that your ethnic group is superior to others, white supremacy is a fine example of this. You also need a group where you have conditioned the minds of people of your in-group to believe this to be true. This is something Hitler has done. He has taken the mythological rhetoric of ethnic superiority, and use his enemies to promote their ethnic inferiority. Taking "junk science" to further promote this rhetoric by conducting skewed research to validate confirmation bias. People of the in-group with no ability to reason for themselves and who lack any foundation of a college education are more likely than not to believe such rhetoric.

    What could I say to you, to convince you to hate Buddhists? Or Jews, or black people?
    If the answer to that is "nothing", we are on the same page.
    Hallucinogen

    What I just mentioned previously.

    Still, it is possible that the unfortunately dim-witted in society may be swayed by the artful speech of a manipulator.Hallucinogen

    This validated my paragraph which I just described.

    I think they are the exception rather than the rule, and that the rest of society should hardly suffer a limitation in speaking rights purely because exceptionally dumb people exist.Hallucinogen

    No. there are a lot of people which does not make them exceptions to the rule. this violent crime was promoted by white supremacy. White supremacy and systemic racism exist, and it continues to exist.

    No, I think hatred is not created by speechHallucinogen

    That is the problem, and your mistake. If I hate members of your group and use rhetoric to solidify this mindset and I convince others and I create a system where I can exploit you and people that look like you because of my hatred, my speech can definitely actualize itself into action.

    I think the one thing a lot of people especially Caucasians suffer from is empathy, and I say that because when it isn't you, it's not a problem. Very often some of you proclaim that such and such isn't harmful, well why don't you ask the 51 dead Muslims who died because some coward white guy decided to kill people to prove a point. This coward only demonstrated that Caucasians that think like him are intellectually deficient and incapable of making their voices heard in an academic setting. They are the very low IQ people who are inferior, the very same categorization they give to other people of color.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    I think hatred is not created by speech. It's created by direct experiences with people who have conflicting interests with you, and who are not willing to compromise on those interests.Hallucinogen

    It also can leap from an individual to a group that it is perceived an individual belongs to. For example, a lazy thinker might have a bad experience(s) with a Latino, for example, then make the mistake of attributing that bad experience(s) to Latinos in general.

    Also, the emotion of disgust can easily lead to hate. Sometimes we feel disgust for no good reason, and that can lead to hate if the feeling isn’t rationally analyzed. We should all get into the habit of analyzing our negative emotions lest they lead to poor judgements and decisions. Something I for one need to work on.
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    On the other side, the exchange of hateful messages creates echo chambers on the internet (as it is prone to do) which can send people 'down the rabbit hole'.Tzeentch

    Very often people think by vilifying "hate speech" you are prohibiting it. In my other thread I made the point that people forget that there are consequences to speech. I you hate me and use words that are insensitive, and I have poor impulse control, the result could be that your life is taken. That is not to say violence out to be the common denominator if someone insults you, but that physical reaction ought to be understood to be something that could potentially happen. I think in light of the recent situation, people want to prevent speech from getting out of had because hate speech is not a dialogue (as you say it creates echo chambers).

    Hate speech is not the exchanging of ideas, rather you're telling me an idea or worldview you have, and in response there is nothing productive I will share in return. I for one, loath hate speech. there is nothing beneficial of you (not you specifically) telling me how horrible "my people" are because you have some sort of animosity towards members of my group.
  • Squared
    1
    I've always believed that hatred is a mental health issue, and due to this, I don't believe that exclusion is the answer.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    To believe that your ethnic group is superior to others, white supremacy is a fine example of this. You also need a group where you have conditioned the minds of people of your in-group to believe this to be true. This is something Hitler has done. He has taken the mythological rhetoric of ethnic superiority, and use his enemies to promote their ethnic inferiority. Taking "junk science" to further promote this rhetoric by conducting skewed research to validate confirmation bias. People of the in-group with no ability to reason for themselves and who lack any foundation of a college education are more likely than not to believe such rhetoric.Anaxagoras
    Don't assume that university graduates didn't fall for national socialism in Germany. College and university educated, students especially, fall very easily to totalitarian nonsense, be it National Socialism or Marxism-Leninism, if the conditions are correct. When it's just hip to be so.

    What you are forgetting to mention, that was very crucial to the rise of Hitler, is that Germany lost the Great War. Yet the Allies didn't march to Berlin, hence the defeat wasn't so total to truly rethink everything as after WW2. Also Germany wasn't solely responsible for WW1 in the same way as with the sequel. Many Germans believed in the Dolchstoss myth. The hyperinflation of 1921-1923 can be at least partly blamed on war patriations. All this created a fertile ground for the bitterness to be exploited and the people accepting a truly radical change from the past, which otherwise would be crazy. And of course, when you are dealing with a totalitarian regime that truly wants to change the world by killing people, once in power there is stopping them by democratic means.

    I think the whole idea of the present "supremacy of a group" comes as a reaction to otherwise a negative self image where one thinks one's group is somehow subjugated or has fallen behind or lost it's lawful because losing one has lost one's own roots, be it race or religion or something. Thus asserting "the truth" that one is superior solves the problem.
  • Judaka
    393

    Hate speech does lead to hate, it's perhaps a pre-requisite to hate on a wider scale.

    For the Christchurch massacre, there were a few interpretations that were necessary the big one I suppose was that Muslims are a threat.

    This is important because it's not that they just dislike Muslims or disagree strongly with them, they consider them a risk to the culture of the West and western culture. Obviously, they think that's a terrifying prospect and someone needs to do something about it. Create a massacre to ward off Muslim immigrants who think they will be safe in the West. Who can fall prey to this kind of thinking? Is it only hateful people?

    Many respectable and noble people do feel they would die or kill to protect their countries and ideals and from any kind of threat. The hatred of Muslims may be a product of this interpretation of Muslims as a threat, wouldn't going around telling people that Muslims are a threat to Western culture, that they will destroy what you call home, going to increase the likelihood that some people feel that way? If they do, that may cause the hate of the Muslims or even then, they may not hate Muslims but still feel that something needs to be done to stop them.

    In Australia, the media often reinforces the interpretations that violence is done by cowards. King hits, shootings and domestic violence, you'll constantly see the media attacking the manhood of the perpetrators. Clearly, the Christchurch shooters did not see things that way, they saw themselves as heroes defending Western culture.

    People who may dislike Muslims but want to do things democratically or don't see violence as a viable solution could potentially be persuaded to change their perspective. I think that hate can be created out of many good things, good motivations or a desire to protect something. Twisting those good motivations and creating hate is not hard, only one or two interpretations need to change.

    Even if we know hate speech leads to hate, that doesn't necessarily mean we can just ban it. I do not trust others to ban it, I think they will misuse the power, I know they will and I would fight against any attempt to ban "hate speech" out of fear that one day it will be not hateful people who are being censored but anyone who has an unpopular or "undesirable" opinion.
  • Anaxagoras
    349


    No. The superiority mindset comes from the idea that in comparing one’s technologies against another’s, and by determining such technologies to be “out dated” leads to one form of a supremacist model. Another comes in the form of the supremacist model, perceiving one’s skin pigmentation to be a determinate of social worthiness.
  • whollyrolling
    427
    I have two questions before I even attempt to join this dialogue. How are we defining "hate"? How are we defining "hate speech"?
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