• DingoJones
    1.4k
    That's why lots of people will criticise you like the hard right; you share their rejection that certain beliefs about minorities ought to be abandoned.TheWillowOfDarkness

    Like what?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    The idea, for example, that certain ways of thinking about others ought to be avoided. I mean this in the serious moral sense. Many "modern progressives", for example, hold we ought to avoid/stop think about minorities in certain ways-- use of stereotypes, beliefs the bon't belong, thoughts they fall outside the "natural" order, etc.-- in a serious moral sense. They hold people ought to be shamed for those beliefs.

    In this respect, your motive is exactly aligned with the hard right. You want to to stop the "modern progressive" making this situation a social reality. You want a society in which people can "think whatever they want," where one's beliefs and speech about others, isn't subject to a "shouldn't" or "you ought not" sanction.

    The society you want to produce is like the hard right in this respect: one without the moral obligation to hold certain respectful beliefs about the minorities. You, along with the hard right, are in direct opposition to the social moves "modern progressives" want to make to reduce discrimination against these minorities. You'd rather a society in which the hard right are free to get away with whatever the want, so long as they don't cross a certain line of physical action.
  • DingoJones
    1.4k


    Nah, you are conflating my distaste for authoritarianism and thought policing and my thoughts on minorities. One might say I disagree with the methods, but not the goal.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    I don't think you do, at least if your argument against "thought policing" is of the usual form, that is, directed at any serious moral demand upon what we think about others.

    The "SJW" point is what we think about others and discrimination are tied together. We can't have people thinking "minorities don't belong as much" without those people having a basic foundation which grows into discriminatory action towards minorities. The very idea itself is a discrimination-- "These people (my group) have more value than others (minorities) here"-- against minorities.

    If our goal is to tackle these discriminations, part of our goal is to recognise thoughts like these are damaging and false, that individuals ought not be thinking them. The "SJW" point is without taking what people think or believe about others, any one will be free to discriminate a they wish in these respect. (as is the case in the "centrist" liberal society which the progressives have been opposing).

    We have to be able to say, "No, that is a thought we ought not have about others."
  • Isaac
    1.7k
    It is possible to believe in free speech and at the same time believe that speech has consequences. If we want to have zero limits on speech, it seems to me we have to accept that a certain amount of collateral damage may occur as a result of all that free speech.Bitter Crank

    Yes, the key word there is 'accept'. I'm trying to establish what people think to 'accept' should constitute. If I disagree that homosexuals should be allowed to sit in parliament, and I (and my mob) heckle, swear and yell at them every time they go in to speak, if I speak out against them at every opportunity, am I 'accepting' them doing so simply by virtue of the fact that I'm making no attempt to physically restrain them. It seems like an odd use of the word to me.

    So I'm trying to get at where people draw the line. For me, the reason I posted in the first place was that the discussion had turned to what was 'wrong' with SJW's. Not 'what about the position they hold is wrong', what is actually wrong with them. And their heckling a professor for his views on Halloween costumes was cited as an example.

    But if we're in favour of free speech, and accepting of collateral damage, then this must surely go both ways. If the free expression of the students in wearing whatever they want at Halloween is not to be infringed upon by verbal instruction even if it may cause collateral damage, then the free expression of those who (for their own bizarre reason) think that the Christakises should be sacked for their views must also not be infringed upon by verbal instruction (even in an Internet forum). And if the collateral damage from that is that they lose their jobs, then so what. We just accepted that there must be such collateral damage.

    So what starts out as an absolutist stance quickly turns into just a series of complicated questions. Exactly how much power do your words need to have before it is your duty to refrain from using them to influence others? Exactly what strength of collateral damage outweighs how much free expression?

    The point of all this is that somewhere between an expression of disapproval on an internet forum and a verbal request that someone should be removed from their job is the line people in favour of free speech seem to think is OK. Afterall, apart from a single accusation of spitting, absolutely all the actions around the Christakis affair were speech based. Even the threats. So what does it mean for free speech to be unopposed?
  • Isaac
    1.7k
    I have a problem with people wanting to control others to that extent, where they're in favor of them losing their jobs, etc.Terrapin Station

    OK, so can you pin down the 'extent', or is it just a gut feeling? People engaging in racist language, in my opinion, want to control others to an unacceptable extent. They want, by their use of pejorative terms, to create an environment where minority ethnic groups find themselves unable to find work, get a property, freely move around without fear.

    So if I, hypothetically, thought that professorswould be who ignored racial insults in Halloween dress were, by doing so, creating such an environment, where the ability of ethnic minority groups to find work etc were constrained, I would be no less right in speaking out against such control.

    And yet, that speaking out is exactly what you cited as being 'wrong'.

    Basically, it seems like the real debate is hidden behind free-speech, and I think that's a shame because free-speech in general is a far more esoteric matter than the more empirical matter of who is constrained by what.

    The debate about the Chistakises is not about free-speech or free expression at all. Both sides were freely speaking and freely expressing their views, if that's what it were about there'd be no debate, move on, nothing to see here.

    What it was really about is power. Who has the power to constrain student's dress choice simply using their words? Who has the power to cause a professor to step down simply by using words?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    The "control" you object to is to prevent the unjust from violating the just rights of others.Dfpolis

    You mean preemptively? Because no one's rights are being violated simply because someone says something, or dresses a particular way, etc. Not that I really frame anything in terms of rights, but I'm just sayin'.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    OK, so can you pin down the 'extent'?Isaac
    I've done that many times already. I'm talking about where you want the person to lose their job, lose anything like their shelter, healthcare, etc., more or less lose their ability to make a living, to be imprisoned --anything like that.
  • Isaac
    1.7k


    Ah, my mistake. I wasn't clear enough. I meant 'extent' as in the extent to which some action inexorably leads to the restrictions you speak about.

    Demanding someone is sacked does not inexorably lead to them being sacked. It requires the employer to cave to social pressure, and yet you've said that merely applying that pressure is something you disapprove of, because of its intention to get someone sacked - have I got that right so far?

    Wearing a 'racist' Halloween costume, among others doing the same, does not inexorably lead to ethnic minorities being unable to find work, housing etc, it requires that potential employers and landlords cave to social pressure. But in this case, you disapprove of those who disapprove of this behaviour.

    Now obviously the first example leads more inexorably to its freedom-quashing conclusion than the second. But it is not a binomial thing, and arguments still need to be raised in each case. One student yelling "sack him" might less inexorably lead to an actual sacking than a thousand people dressed in 'racist' costume might inexorably lead to a state of affairs where ethnic minorities find their choices severely restricted.

    All of this argument, I think, would lead to the conclusion that a mass of people calling for some professor's resignation is worse than a few people dressed in inappropriate Halloween costume. Which is the same conclusion you reach, I think. But the philosophical point is that, haven't we ultimately just reached it by looking at the consequences of what people are doing and deciding that, because the consequences are bad, the action is bad. I mean couldn’t we just cut out the bit about free speech entirely and just say people shouldn't do stuff that causes bad things to happen?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Ok whatever you say. I don't get you with these one lined sentences. If you don't like the answer so be it but I cannot do more beyond something like what you're saying.Anaxagoras

    In my opinion, one of the worst things about boards like this is that people can type posts if not of unlimited length, at least a couple thousand words long. We wind up with rambling, unfocused posts that introduce a plethora of issues. The vast majority of those issues wind up being overlooked, and points and questions that people bring up are regularly overlooked. I've always preferred a chat format for discussions because of this, and also because of the direct, focused, extended back and forth of chat. In my opinion it's easier to make progress in chat--at least the progress of understanding other persons' views (which of course doesn't imply agreeing with their views).

    At any rate, I wasn't clear on what your question was. Or were you simply commenting on the brevity of my post?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Ah, my mistake. I wasn't clear enough. I meant 'extent' as in the extent to which some action inexorably leads to the restrictions you speak about.Isaac

    It seems that you're still focusing on speech. I'm not saying anything about speech. My problem with SJWs is that they want--they WANT to control people to that extent.
  • Isaac
    1.7k
    It seems that you're still focusing on speech. I'm not saying anything about speech. My problem with SJWs is that they want--they WANT to control people to that extent.Terrapin Station

    Well I thought so, but that point seemed to have been dismissed (or perhaps just lost) it was the point I made in my first post (I think) that this then relies, for one's judgement, on a factor the truth value of which is completely unavailable to the person making the judgment. What people want to achieve by their speech.

    How do we know the people wearing silly Halloween costumes don't want to bring about a society in which ethnic minorities have their choices restricted by social pressure in exactly the same way. They're just doing it more subtly and relying on numbers rather than loudness. But what they want is the same type of control over the freedom of others.

    But perhaps the main point I wanted to make is that it is still the outcome of the act you're judging, which means the act itself (speech in this case) seems irrelevant. If it brings about a bad outcome, it's a bad act. If it brings about a good outcome, it's a good act. I don't get why people feel the need to generalise to some entire class of actions (like speech) and declare them all good (or at least not bad enough to warrant restriction) sensu lato. What's wrong with simply judging the outcome of each act?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    How do we know the people wearing silly Halloween costumes don't want to bring about a society in which ethnic minorities have their choices restricted by social pressure in exactly the same way.Isaac

    The way that we know that SJWs want to control people's ability to make choices in the ways I noted is that they say as much, and they laud when people are fired, and so on.

    So the way we'd know that in the case you present is if they say as much, if they laud someone (who?--we're not talking about targeting any specific person usually) being fired because of it, etc.

    But perhaps the main point I wanted to make is that it is still the outcome of the act you're judging, which means the act itself (speech in this case) seems irrelevant.Isaac

    I'm not judging speech, though. My problem isn't at all with any speech. My problem is with how people want other people to be treated--namely controlled, so that particular choices (such as speech choices) aren't practically available to them, because the consequences of making those choices is too severe. I don't like people controlling other people in general. I agree it's necessary in some situations--with really violent criminals, say, but even there I don't agree with how we handle that. I don't agree with a bunch of stuff re the legal system, there are tons and tons of laws I'd just get rid of (I think we should reward legislators who remove laws, not who create more), I don't agree with the way the prison system is set up, etc. I have a problem with people who want to control other people in these significant ways.

    A lot of folks express such sentiments with having a problem with various things being illegal, but making something illegal is just one way to express control over others. There are social means of exerting control that are just as significant as imprisoning someone. My issue is with control. Whether we achieve that control legally or some other way is irrelevant in my view.
  • DingoJones
    1.4k


    The method is authoritarian. I do not think anyone should be able to police anyone else's thoughts on anything.
    The goal, people should get along and not discriminate against minorities or anyone else, seems like a good one, but the “discriminate” must be an action, not a thought.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    It seems that you're still focusing on speech. I'm not saying anything about speech. My problem with SJWs is that they want--they WANT to control people to that extent.Terrapin Station

    The social/political order is always about control, whether it is those who are in control or those who want to be in control or those who simply want to bring about change. Using the term SJW to discredit a group or individual is a form of control, a way of dismissing out of hand whatever it is that one says or stands for . Pointing only to extreme cases is a form of control - as if fighting for social justice is extremism.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Using the term SJW to discredit a group or individual is a form of controlFooloso4

    I specified what I'm referring to. I'm referring to things like people losing their freedom (by being imprisoned), losing their job, not being able to rent/buy a home, etc.
  • Isaac
    1.7k
    So the way we'd know that in the case you present is if they say as muchTerrapin Station

    Yeah, I was more thinking about how we'd know in the other case that they didn't want to control people, in order to judge it harmless, but I presume you'd take their word for it, maybe?

    My problem is with how people want other people to be treated--namely controlled, so that particular choices (such as speech choices) aren't practically available to them,Terrapin Station

    Absolutely. My point is, that describes SJW's no more than it could be argued to describe the halloween costume wearers. Their actions indicate (it may be claimed) that they secretly want whites to maintain a certain privilege, even if only small, over other ethnic groups and use ridicule to achieve this end. Or maybe its just a professor using misogynistic language because he wants to maintain a society where women have certain choices restricted. My point is loads of people take action to influence society in the direction they want it to go, and that direction very often involves restricting serious choices for some group of people.

    Just arguing powerfully in favour of one position on an Internet forum could theoretically have an influence on society which ends up restricting someone's freedom. It won't actually, of course. But the reason it won't isn't because it is in some category of behaviour which is immune from such effects by virtue of its properties alone. It won't because of the entirely contextual facts about society which make it vanishingly unlikely.

    All of this means that it is the sociological and psychological facts about the society within which actions are taken which determine if those actions might foreseeably result in the loss of someone's freedom. Although I don't agree with them, it's my understanding that the reason why SJW's want to oppose certain speech acts is exactly because they have carried out what they believe is an assessment of the sociological and psychological facts about the society we are in, and have determined that, in that context, such speech acts will have the consequences you state you wish to avoid.

    That being so, they are wrong (if they are wrong) not on a matter of principle, but on matters of fact ie that society is not arranged the way they claim, such that these acts they wish to oppose won't actually have the effect they fear. Facts such as these are best determined empirically
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k


    Yes, but the issue of SJW goes beyond what you have specified. We might agree that such actions are wrong but still not understand what is at issue. Not everyone who might identify with SJW condones such extreme actions. There is, however, a deliberate attempt in some quarters to discredit any attempt to promote social justice by labeling it extremism based on examples like those you point to.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    Sure, there are enough bad apples, though.
  • Dfpolis
    907
    The "control" you object to is to prevent the unjust from violating the just rights of others. — Dfpolis

    You mean preemptively? Because no one's rights are being violated simply because someone says something, or dresses a particular way, etc. Not that I really frame anything in terms of rights, but I'm just sayin'.
    Terrapin Station

    The Social Justice Movement is not a movement against free speech or free expression -- unless it is expression as part of criminal action. In characterizing it so, you demonstrate that you do not understand what social justice is.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    What if a patient was admitted into your hospital and said that they didn't want any black doctors operating on them? Would it be right to refuse the patient service and kick them out of your hospital? Would you give them what they want?
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    What if a patient was admitted into your hospital and said that they didn't want any black doctors operating on them? Would it be right to refuse the patient service and kick them out of your hospital? Would you give them what they want?Harry Hindu

    Yes and no. Giving the patient what they want in this instance would go against the Hippocratic oath especially if there aren't any available doctors. However we would give the patient the option to leave AMA (Against Medical Advice) usually this advice is accompanies with telling the patient if they do not get the recommended treatment (in this case surgery) they will die.
  • Banno
    6.6k
    you mean like being able to choose medical care when they need it? Can't have that. Medicine is for people with money.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    you mean like being able to choose medical care when they need it? Can't have that. Medicine is for people with money.Banno

    Not sure what you're referring to re "you mean," but in any event, I agree with your criticism here.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    What if a patient was admitted into your hospital and said that they didn't want any black doctors operating on them? Would it be right to refuse the patient service and kick them out of your hospital? Would you give them what they want?Harry Hindu
    I've never come across that particular prejudice, thank goodness. But I recall a scene in a US sitcom years ago (I can't remember which one) in which a character, who was not Jewish, was taken into hospital and then freaked out upon learning that he was to be operated on by Dr Armstrong. He reasoned that all the best American surgeons are Jewish, so Dr Armstrong, presumed to not be Jewish because of his name, could not be any good.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    So the hospital would only have black doctors available? Sounds like a racist hospital to me.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    What if a patient was admitted into your hospital and said that they didn't want any black doctors operating on them? Would it be right to refuse the patient service and kick them out of your hospital? Would you give them what they want?Harry Hindu

    One is free to refuse treatment. If the only doctors available are black then the hospital is under no obligation to provide a doctor for this patient who is not black. If other doctors are available then the patient's wishes should be honored. His prejudice is not a good reason to refuse to provide treatment.
  • Anaxagoras
    349


    “So the hospital would only have black doctors available? Sounds like a racist hospital to me.”

    Did you smoke hashish before you wrote that?

    I said in the previous post:

    “Yes and no. Giving the patient what they want in this instance would go against the Hippocratic oath especially if there aren't any available doctors. However we would give the patient the option to leave AMA (Against Medical Advice) usually this advice is accompanies with telling the patient if they do not get the recommended treatment (in this case surgery) they will die.”

    As I stated in the bold, when it comes to saving one’s life, hospitals will accompany only so much. If you’re dying or needed a life saving procedure and you’re asking something as ridiculous as the following:

    “What if a patient was admitted into your hospital and said that they didn't want any black doctors operating on them? Would it be right to refuse the patient service and kick them out of your hospital? Would you give them what they want?”
    — Harry Hindu

    If you’re about to die or needed a serious procedure most hospitals will not accommodate a racist especially if in fact there are no other available specialists. If you value your racial prejudice more than your life hospitals will definitely make you sign a waiver against medical advice if you choose to leave.

    That is like someone saying don’t give me blood from a Latino if I need a blood transfusion. Heck you might as well not get blood at all. It has nothing to do with a hospitals racism, it has something to do with something that is insignificant.

    Now, a hospital may offer you a different surgeon to perform but it also depends on the doctors that work at said facility. I’m not going to assume you’re of ethnic Indian origin but I just find the question quite odd coming from someone with Hindu being the last name, after a faith in a country of people who had to endure White European colonialism.
  • NOS4A2
    1.6k


    When it comes to political leans I do define myself as a progressive/liberal, and with that being said, I do believe in social justice. Although I advocate this daily both socially and professionally, I am not extreme and I do not force others to share in my worldview. But I notice that for some, especially conservative thinkers, SJW seems to be considered something bad, almost like a curse word. I wonder, what is wrong with advocating for minority and women's rights, fighting against equality, racism, sexism and the like? Why is being a social justice warrior bad?

    It is sort of a meaningless phrase. Justice suffices enough to address injustice. The “social” aspect is the problem, as social inequalities are not always unjust. Used as it is as an excuse for discrimination and redistribution, social justice is often unjust in practice.
  • Benkei
    2.2k
    The “social” aspect is the problem, as social inequalities are not always unjust. Used as it is as an excuse for discrimination and redistribution, social justice is often unjust in practice.NOS4A2

    Have you read aristotle? He is the first advocate of social justice.
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