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Other Discussions => Off Topic => Current Events / Political Discussion => Topic started by: JSD on November 11, 2015, 12:11:36 AM

Title: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: JSD on November 11, 2015, 12:11:36 AM
Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y


Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: JSD on November 11, 2015, 12:13:27 AM
If someone could embed these videos I would appreciate it with a TP or two. Also, please advise me on how to do it. After almost 8 years on this site, the simple copy paste of a youtube link to embed has now changed.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Denis998 on November 11, 2015, 12:19:37 AM
If someone could embed these videos I would appreciate it with a TP or two. Also, please advise me on how to do it. After almost 8 years on this site, the simple copy paste of a youtube link to embed has now changed.
the site might still be broken.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 12:24:59 AM
The war on Halloween concerns me about as much as the war on Christmas.


Super easy to tell minority students they should "just look away," or else take on the responsibility of confronting their peers in the majority.  How would it feel to be one of those students, I imagine? 

I'm guessing the Yale official has no idea what it's like for a black student at a historically white university to see peers walking around in black face.  Or how it must feel to see an official at that school, an official who is supposedly tasked with making those students feel at home, tell them, basically, to "deal with it"? 

I certainly don't know what that's like.

Do you?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 11, 2015, 12:52:41 AM
Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y

Pretty sure that's also free speech
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 12:59:18 AM
Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y

Pretty sure that's also free speech

The students at Mizzou were physically keeping a journalist out from documenting an event. They weren't just voicing disagreements with the reporter; they were physically not allowing the reporter to do his job. Hence, they were infringing upon his right to free speech.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: JSD on November 11, 2015, 01:03:51 AM
Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y

Pretty sure that's also free speech

Not when you get physical.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Smokeeye123 on November 11, 2015, 01:04:18 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Kuberski33 on November 11, 2015, 01:17:30 AM

The students at Mizzou were physically keeping a journalist out from documenting an event. They weren't just voicing disagreements with the reporter; they were physically not allowing the reporter to do his job. Hence, they were infringing upon his right to free speech.
They were doing it at a state university one basically funded by the taxpayers in an area where the public is allowed to go. Totally misguided.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 01:18:49 AM
It's extremely concerning, but it's not surprising. It's like everything else with this crowd: tolerance always, unless you disagree with me.

All of it is extremely hypocritical anyways. These people are equating harmless generalizations with racism, when in fact these are two separate concepts that are not always necessarily connected. Generalizing information into "alike concepts" is a natural process of human reasoning and thinking. It only becomes racist and morally wrong when there are pejorative, derogatory, or discriminatory elements to it. Yet, this is generally the MO of all of these types of "racism" claims where they highlight differing incidences of some racist behavior, generalize to it a whole group, then claim there's a "systematic" prejudice (see police racism and brutality).

And the letter at Yale can't really just be boiled down to "look away". Rather, it was a call for students rather than college administrators to decide for themselves what they deemed as appropriate, and it went even further to encourage dialogue with those individuals who "offended" them. So it was a call for students to govern themselves rather than relying on college administrators, and boiling it down to "look away" doesn't do the letter justice.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: JSD on November 11, 2015, 01:20:25 AM
The war on Halloween concerns me about as much as the war on Christmas.


Super easy to tell minority students they should "just look away," or else take on the responsibility of confronting their peers in the majority.  How would it feel to be one of those students, I imagine? 

I'm guessing the Yale official has no idea what it's like for a black student at a historically white university to see peers walking around in black face.  Or how it must feel to see an official at that school, an official who is supposedly tasked with making those students feel at home, tell them, basically, to "deal with it"? 

I certainly don't know what that's like.

Do you?

There was an e-mail by the professor in response to a regulatory Halloween e-mail. The professor basically said, "No, I'm not regulating what these kids wear they can wear what they want" It's not like a dozen kids were walking around with black face as your post suggests.

Anyway, not super easy, the professor, and most freedom lovers, wouldn't support a disparaging costume,  but there is a greater point, you can't stop someone from doing things and saying stuff that offends you in the real world (At least for now), why should you be able to stop freedom at Yale?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 01:21:02 AM
Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y

Pretty sure that's also free speech

The students at Mizzou were physically keeping a journalist out from documenting an event. They weren't just voicing disagreements with the reporter; they were physically not allowing the reporter to do his job. Hence, they were infringing upon his right to free speech.
It was even worse. The woman in the video was actually an assistant communications professor at the school. That had to be pretty embarrassing for her.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 01:23:28 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord

Exactly. This was mainly an issue in liberals, but now conservative Christians are starting to jump on the "offended" bandwagon and use it to their advantage.

Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them. This is one of the dangers of this radicalized PC that is so rampant nowadays, and it's a really dangerous precedent to set for the future.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 01:25:40 AM
Here's an even more concerning issue: Mizzou is now getting the police force involved and asking students to report "hateful speech"

http://www.mediaite.com/online/university-of-missouri-police-ask-students-to-report-hurtful-speech/
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ImShakHeIsShaq on November 11, 2015, 01:26:35 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord

LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: freshinthehouse on November 11, 2015, 01:38:33 AM
LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 01:44:26 AM
LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.
Not as many Christians are concerned over those star buck cups as people may think. What Christians do worry about is when high school coaches get fired for saying a prayer after a game.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Kuberski33 on November 11, 2015, 01:47:32 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord
I just have a big issue where it seems so many people are easily offended and no one wants to dare offend.  Take a look at human history - we're always in conflict.  We've been killing each other as long as humans have existed, there's always been 'bullying' because the strong sometimes try to take advantage of the weak and those not so great human traits like envy, jealousy, greed etc will never disappear.

There's a lot of bad crap in the world...its not going away in any of our lifetimes. And yes, some people suck.  Accept that, proceed accordingly and stop being so sensitive. 

With the Missouri thing I just wonder whether racism was the intent - or was  it some drunken idiot that did something stupid and others seized upon it because it fit their agenda?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kraidstar on November 11, 2015, 02:20:49 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord
I just have a big issue where it seems so many people are easily offended and no one wants to dare offend.  Take a look at human history - we're always in conflict.  We've been killing each other as long as humans have existed, there's always been 'bullying' because the strong sometimes try to take advantage of the weak and those not so great human traits like envy, jealousy, greed etc will never disappear.

There's a lot of bad crap in the world...its not going away in any of our lifetimes. And yes, some people suck.  Accept that, proceed accordingly and stop being so sensitive. 

With the Missouri thing I just wonder whether racism was the intent - or was  it some drunken idiot that did something stupid and others seized upon it because it fit their agenda?

people standing up for themselves in the face of discrimination is not "soft," as you previously wrote. so why are you so sensitive about it? do you sympathize with the people they are protesting?
the protesters are toughing it out just the way they should be. they have every right to push back.
and i don't see why it bothers you that the protesters are bothered by other people who are bothered by them.
just accept it, it's not going to change.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 11, 2015, 02:47:48 AM
LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.
Not as many Christians are concerned over those star buck cups as people may think. What Christians do worry about is when high school coaches get fired for saying a prayer after a game.

Because they'd lose it if a Muslim coach wanted to say a prayer after his own game.  If a few kids on a mostly Christian football team feel pressured to say a Christian prayer, can they really speak out against it in that context? 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Rakulp on November 11, 2015, 02:54:48 AM
Below is a link to a Bloom County cartoon for years ago...my apologies, as I can't seem to make it show up on it's own, so you'll have to click it.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y28/morningstar1/offensitivity50.jpg

Back when that cartoon came out, I thought it was appropriate...and more so in today's world for situations like these. 

Rak

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 03:02:41 AM
Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 03:39:21 AM


And the letter at Yale can't really just be boiled down to "look away". Rather, it was a call for students rather than college administrators to decide for themselves what they deemed as appropriate, and it went even further to encourage dialogue with those individuals who "offended" them. So it was a call for students to govern themselves rather than relying on college administrators, and boiling it down to "look away" doesn't do the letter justice.

I think there are situations where encouraging students to engage in a dialogue, instead of flatly banning conduct that could be considered offensive, could be a useful learning opportunity.

On the other hand, I don't think there's much to be gained by asking students, especially minority students who are already doing their best just to fit in at a historically white school, to attempt to "engage in a dialogue" with fellow students who are just being jerks (for lack of a more appropriate term I can't use on these forums). 

Going out in black face on Halloween is just being a jerk.  I don't think that needs to be protected.  There's no dialogue there.  It's just daring somebody to punch you in the face, or making somebody feel bad about the fact that they're not in a position to punch you in the face.


Point being, there's nuance here.  The administration of a school, like Yale, could take a hard-line stance against flagrantly offensive costumes without suspending any student who wears something that offends somebody else.  As always, the solutions to problems don't need to be all or nothing.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 03:41:07 AM
Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


Few extreme viewpoints bother me, and frankly scare me in the dogmatism they inspire, than Zionism.


I often wonder when it will be that we will finally look back on this era and realize that in so staunchly supporting Israel we endorsed and perpetuated a regime not unlike the one in Apartheid-era South Africa.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 03:46:53 AM

Anyway, not super easy, the professor, and most freedom lovers, wouldn't support a disparaging costume,  but there is a greater point, you can't stop someone from doing things and saying stuff that offends you in the real world (At least for now), why should you be able to stop freedom at Yale?


Lots of things that aren't illegal in the real world are banned for students at universities, for a whole host of reasons.

The simplest one being that a university is supposed to be a place to learn.  And yes, that should involve coming up against viewpoints different than your own and being challenged on them.  But it also means feeling safe and respected, by the administration of the school if not your peers.  It's meant to be a place where you can focus on learning, not confronting your peers about how outrageously ignorant and insensitive they are. 


I imagine students at Yale aren't allowed to create posters with swastikas on them and post them in the hallway, for example.  That's a restriction of free speech.  Where's the outrage about that?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: JSD on November 11, 2015, 04:17:43 AM

Anyway, not super easy, the professor, and most freedom lovers, wouldn't support a disparaging costume,  but there is a greater point, you can't stop someone from doing things and saying stuff that offends you in the real world (At least for now), why should you be able to stop freedom at Yale?


Lots of things that aren't illegal in the real world are banned for students at universities, for a whole host of reasons.

The simplest one being that a university is supposed to be a place to learn.  And yes, that should involve coming up against viewpoints different than your own and being challenged on them.  But it also means feeling safe and respected, by the administration of the school if not your peers.  It's meant to be a place where you can focus on learning, not confronting your peers about how outrageously ignorant and insensitive they are. 


I imagine students at Yale aren't allowed to create posters with swastikas on them and post them in the hallway, for example.  That's a restriction of free speech.  Where's the outrage about that?

A swastika affixed inside a private dwelling is different than students walking around on public property in a Halloween costume.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 04:27:31 AM
Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


Few extreme viewpoints bother me, and frankly scare me in the dogmatism they inspire, than Zionism.


I often wonder when it will be that we will finally look back on this era and realize that in so staunchly supporting Israel we endorsed and perpetuated a regime not unlike the one in Apartheid-era South Africa.

I haven't bothered to specifically check, but I would guess that the efforts Israel's Public Relations department has put in brainwashing Western populations exceeds even Apartheid South Africa, who, as all similar states do, relied on effective propaganda for political survival. Considering that there are still otherwise intelligent people who call Nelson Mandela a "terrorist" (btw, the same logic equating justified resistance, a divine right in our constitution, with terrorism could also be used to call the Founding Fathers "terrorists" for instigating the American Revolution against Britain), I don't think anti-Palestinian sentiment will disappear from the Western political conversation any time soon.

Until things like blanket labeling of Guantanmo detainees as terrorists stop becoming casual occurrences and start becoming offensive moments in Presidential debates, the political tide will not turn on Israel. The first step is reversing the dehumanization of Muslims.

Also concerning: as the brutality of Western military forces and IDF increase both in frequency and in magnitude in Middle Eastern combat zones, it will be harder for the Western media to black out. That doesn't mean they will stop trying to black it out. How far will they go to ensure the integrity of their propaganda?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 08:28:13 AM

Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y

Pretty sure that's also free speech
No, trying to remove someone from public space is in fact against Missouri law. So is assault (that's what we call restraining and pushing someone).

The most disturbing part about this were not the students though (because, college). It is the fact that a professor and a campus administrator were involved in said lawbreaking/harassment. These people are a disgrace to academia.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: csfansince60s on November 11, 2015, 09:07:21 AM
I love the marketplace of ideas that this board often presents. While I don't always agree with some arguments, they usually make me think more in depth about things and often give me a different perspective that is very much appreciated. When I first saw the video below (my first exposure to the Yale issue), my take and concerns were a little different than what the OPs video of the same protest

Here is another youtube video of the same confrontation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IEFD_JVYd0

Also. not sure if Christakis' wife's (and co-master of Silliman) letter is done justice (that's a popular word nowadays) distilled down to a 1/2 a sentence in the OP. It's long but may be worth a read. Judge for yourself. I apologize for it's length, but wanted to share it as it changed my perception of the Yale incident.

Quote
Dear Sillimanders:

Nicholas and I have heard from a number of students who were frustrated by the mass email sent to the student body about appropriate Halloween-wear. I’ve always found Halloween an interesting embodiment of more general adult worries about young people. As some of you may be aware, I teach a class on “The Concept of the Problem Child,” and I was speaking with some of my students yesterday about the ways in which Halloween – traditionally a day of subversion for children and young people – is also an occasion for adults to exert their control.

When I was young, adults were freaked out by the specter of Halloween candy poisoned by lunatics, or spiked with razor blades (despite the absence of a single recorded case of such an event). Now, we’ve grown to fear the sugary candy itself. And this year, we seem afraid that college students are unable to decide how to dress themselves on Halloween.

I don’t wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation, and other challenges to our lived experience in a plural community. I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense. I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.

It seems to me that we can have this discussion of costumes on many levels: we can talk about complex issues of identify, free speech, cultural appropriation, and virtue “signalling.” But I wanted to share my thoughts with you from a totally different angle, as an educator concerned with the developmental stages of childhood and young adulthood.

As a former preschool teacher, for example, it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably “appropriative” about a blonde-haired child’s wanting to be Mulan for a day. Pretend play is the foundation of most cognitive tasks, and it seems to me that we want to be in the business of encouraging the exercise of imagination, not constraining it. I suppose we could agree that there is a difference between fantasizing about an individual character vs. appropriating a culture, wholesale, the latter of which could be seen as (tacky)(offensive)(jejeune)(hurtful), take your pick. But, then, I wonder what is the statute of limitations on dreaming of dressing as Tiana the Frog Princess if you aren’t a black girl from New Orleans? Is it okay if you are eight, but not 18? I don’t know the answer to these questions; they seem unanswerable. Or at the least, they put us on slippery terrain that I, for one, prefer not to cross.

Which is my point. I don’t, actually, trust myself to foist my Halloweenish standards and motives on others. I can’t defend them anymore than you could defend yours. Why do we dress up on Halloween, anyway? Should we start explaining that too? I’ve always been a good mimic and I enjoy accents. I love to travel, too, and have been to every continent but Antarctica. When I lived in Bangladesh, I bought a sari because it was beautiful, even though I looked stupid in it and never wore it once. Am I fetishizing and appropriating others’ cultural experiences? Probably. But I really, really like them too.

Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense – and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes – I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people’s capacity – in your capacity – to exercise self-censure, through social norming, and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you? We tend to view this shift from individual to institutional agency as a tradeoff between libertarian vs. liberal values (“liberal” in the American, not European sense of the word).

Nicholas says, if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.

But – again, speaking as a child development specialist – I think there might be something missing in our discourse about the exercise of free speech (including how we dress ourselves) on campus, and it is this: What does this debate about Halloween costumes say about our view of young adults, of their strength and judgment?

In other words: Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It’s not mine, I know that.

Happy Halloween.

 

Yours sincerely,

Erika
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 09:10:51 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord

Exactly. This was mainly an issue in liberals, but now conservative Christians are starting to jump on the "offended" bandwagon and use it to their advantage.

Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them. This is one of the dangers of this radicalized PC that is so rampant nowadays, and it's a really dangerous precedent to set for the future.

"starting"?  Liberals and conservatives of all sorts have had their share of sacred cows for a loooooong time now, and they tend to get very upset when someone messes with them.  See any story in the past 30 years about someone disrespecting an American flag.  Or the annual "War on Christmas" nonsense that's been getting trotted out for at least a decade or so now.

Very little about any of this is new; we have a much greater ability to communicate and spread information without major media to serve as a middleman, and the targets have shifted as they always do.  But the tendency to overreact to seemingly trivial offenses has been around since at least the Romans.  And so has the fact that these overreactions are generally indicative of a deeper source of animosity and mistrust.  It's more fruitful to try and figure out what's underlying these specific types of responses and how legitimate it might be than to just make the classic blanket statements about how society's going downhill or start lining up one's own overreaction by declaring it a "war".


Quote
Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them.

Again I think this tendency's been around forever, but this is one I think is actually increasing, precisely because of our new sources of communication (mainly online).  It's been found that the human mind struggles to think of people as individuals as we interact with more of them; ~150's been estimated as a typical cap.  When you interact with more and more people as we can now, you're more motivated to stereotype them because it's overwhelming to treat everyone as a separate individual.  Most places online if you get into a discussion on a controversial topic you'll have people attacking you for all kinds of things you never said; eventually you realize it's because they're talking to the stereotype instead of the person.  This seems difficult to fix because it's mainly a human brain problem.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheTruthFot18 on November 11, 2015, 09:16:12 AM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord

Exactly. This was mainly an issue in liberals, but now conservative Christians are starting to jump on the "offended" bandwagon and use it to their advantage.

Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them. This is one of the dangers of this radicalized PC that is so rampant nowadays, and it's a really dangerous precedent to set for the future.

Two on-point posts in a row Jpot.

I went to a VERY liberal private school here in Mass. And even in the early 2000's I don't recall the "offended" bandwagon and PC police state. This seems to have come out of nowhere.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 09:19:19 AM
FWF - you mean humans aren't suddenly different than they were back in "the good ol' days?"

(https://i.imgflip.com/tz5bl.jpg)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mef730 on November 11, 2015, 09:22:08 AM
tl;dr: Censorship is wrong.

First, no one's free speech was violated. The First Amendment prohibits the making of a law to inhibit free speech. It doesn't matter who funded the school, it was not a First Amendment violation.  The Mizzou incident, however, may be considered assault, depending on the interpretation (IANAL.). The students had the right to assemble, not to go after the reporter.

I consider the Bill of Rights to be sacred. I don't necessarily agree with all the interpretations of it, but it forms the basis for a civilized society. Among those ten amendments, I consider the First to be the most significant (followed closely by 4-6). We are not a society that censors. If students want to assemble and protest, they have every right to do so. But that journalist has a right to be there.

I am a Penn grad and was at the school during the "water buffalo" incident:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_buffalo_incident

To say that it was embarrassing is an understatement. It was humiliating that a top liberal arts school not only "prosecuted" a student because they didn't like what he said but also that he faced such a kangaroo court. If he hadn't had Alan Kors, one of the top professors at the university, to defend him, I don't know what would have happened.

Side note: The student involved ran for student government the next year by plastering the ridiculous letter that the administration had sent him all over campus. He won.

I don't like a lot of what people say. I've listened (and responded to) antisemitic, racist, homophobic etc. speech. I find it hateful. But I would never deny anyone the right to make that speech. I'm a liberal Jew. Did I like the fact that the KKK could march in Skokie? Absolutely not. Did the ACLU do the right thing by defending them? Absolutely. The best thing that Skokie could do would be to rally citizens against the hateful speech and show the numbers of those who opposed the KKK.

Oh, on Israel, since that seems to be where we've gone: I'm a strong supporter of Israel, but when I hear things like people saying that criticism of Israel (or any other country) shouldn't be allowed, I get very, very nervous.

Bottom Line: Speech is powerful, but our right to use it is even greater. And it's shameful that a new wave of censorship is coming from universities. Those students should be out there protesting to maintain their rights, not shut them down.

In any case, to those of you who have made it this far, thank you for reading.

Mike
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: brundlenye the sciencefly on November 11, 2015, 09:22:13 AM
The war on Halloween concerns me about as much as the war on Christmas.


Super easy to tell minority students they should "just look away," or else take on the responsibility of confronting their peers in the majority.  How would it feel to be one of those students, I imagine? 

I'm guessing the Yale official has no idea what it's like for a black student at a historically white university to see peers walking around in black face.  Or how it must feel to see an official at that school, an official who is supposedly tasked with making those students feel at home, tell them, basically, to "deal with it"? 

I certainly don't know what that's like.

Do you?

You just became my favorite person on this entire board. I need to figure out how to give TPs so I can give them all to you
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Kuberski33 on November 11, 2015, 09:22:36 AM
people standing up for themselves in the face of discrimination is not "soft," as you previously wrote. so why are you so sensitive about it? do you sympathize with the people they are protesting?
the protesters are toughing it out just the way they should be. they have every right to push back.
and i don't see why it bothers you that the protesters are bothered by other people who are bothered by them.
just accept it, it's not going to change.
I'm not speaking to the Missouri protest specifically.  I'm talking in general how everyone seems to walk on egg shells when it comes to offending people - witness the Starbucks thing as yet another example or any typical day on Facebook when everyone's offended by something.  I agree, accepting others opinions and right to express themselves is key.  It just seems to me that too many seem to be fine with free speech - as long as its the 'right' free speech. The MO students who protested have every right to express themselves.  And anyone who disagrees with their position has a right to express disagreement without being labeled racists by the pc crowd.

The only personal position I have - without knowing the backstory - is I find it real curious that it toppled a school president.  I'd love to know whether this was the tip of the iceberg involving this pres - or a stand-alone incident.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheTruthFot18 on November 11, 2015, 09:28:19 AM
Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


Few extreme viewpoints bother me, and frankly scare me in the dogmatism they inspire, than Zionism.


I often wonder when it will be that we will finally look back on this era and realize that in so staunchly supporting Israel we endorsed and perpetuated a regime not unlike the one in Apartheid-era South Africa.

While I don't think we need to support Israel anymore, they are far from an Apartheid-era South Africa.

Unlike South Africa, many current Arab states are willing and have a longer history of peacefully working with Israel. Iran seems to be the only state who wants them wiped off the map along with some hardcore Sunni sects. Most Arabs and Muslims don't have a real problem with Israel outside of Palestinians and the above mentioned hardliners. More along the lines of our rivalry/hate of the Russians and vice versa but ask most American and Russian citizens and they'll say the same thing as a Muslim or Israeli Jew: it's just politics.**

**From my own experience of questioning many Muslim and Russian friends/coworkers on the subject.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 09:40:53 AM
LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.
Not as many Christians are concerned over those star buck cups as people may think. What Christians do worry about is when high school coaches get fired for saying a prayer after a game.

Because they'd lose it if a Muslim coach wanted to say a prayer after his own game.  If a few kids on a mostly Christian football team feel pressured to say a Christian prayer, can they really speak out against it in that context?
Students did join the coach, but it was their decision. No one was pressuring the students to say a prayer. Also, it's almost always atheists that protest in these situations. Most Christians that I know would respect other groups who wanted to pray in public.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 11, 2015, 09:41:58 AM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 09:43:30 AM
Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


Few extreme viewpoints bother me, and frankly scare me in the dogmatism they inspire, than Zionism.


I often wonder when it will be that we will finally look back on this era and realize that in so staunchly supporting Israel we endorsed and perpetuated a regime not unlike the one in Apartheid-era South Africa.

While I don't think we need to support Israel anymore, they are far from an Apartheid-era South Africa.

Unlike South Africa, many current Arab states are willing and have a longer history of peacefully working with Israel. Iran seems to be the only state who wants them wiped off the map along with some hardcore Sunni sects. Most Arabs and Muslims don't have a real problem with Israel outside of Palestinians and the above mentioned hardliners. More along the lines of our rivalry/hate of the Russians and vice versa but ask most American and Russian citizens and they'll say the same thing as a Muslim or Israeli Jew: it's just politics.**

**From my own experience of questioning many Muslim and Russian friends/coworkers on the subject.

I really, really don't want to narrow this debate to the Israel-Palestine issue, so this is the last thing I'll say about it, but:

One of the most effect pieces of propaganda sold by Western governments and bought by Western people is that those who label Israel an apartheid state are talking about Israeli Jews and Arabs as a whole. This is not true. The apartheid state exists between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. It's a very important distinction.

Also, perhaps the greatest success of the American war machine is convincing people Iran wants Israel obliterated and as soon as they get the nuke, they'll use it against Israel. 1) if you read the honest translation of Ahmadinejad, he says he wants the Zionist regime wiped "from the pages of history," I believe. Thus, Israel can exist, but its apartheid system cannot. Kinda like most agree that the Nazi regime of Germany should have been destroyed, not that Germany the land and the people should be blown to shreds. 2) if Iran even ever gets a nuke, they'd have to have a death wish to use it against Israel. The whole country would be blasted to another dimension before their own nuke was even stopped. Sorta like how North Korea has a nuke, and probably the world's most mentally insane political leader, but they still haven't tried using it against America. Iran wants a nuke because some pretty belligerent neighboring countries have one.

Cheers to everyone but particularly CelticsBlog mods, who allow us to have these sorts of debates on a regular basis with dangerous potential for a blowup between participants.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: footey on November 11, 2015, 09:45:19 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/college-is-not-for-coddling/2015/11/10/6def5706-87db-11e5-be39-0034bb576eee_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Good read by Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post this morning.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 11, 2015, 09:45:22 AM
Let's just try keep this thread on topic for the time being.  Feel free to start a different thread on the Isreal topic, though.  Both are interesting discussions.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Fafnir on November 11, 2015, 09:45:38 AM
I'm much more concerned with corporate and government actions with regards to free speech than that professor, who immediately backed off the next day or so. I agree that her apology statement was stilted.

People get super weird and scary in crowds sometimes. Which in part is why outrage of the day is a thing, crowd mentality.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 09:48:23 AM
Let's just try keep this thread on topic for the time being.  Feel free to start a different thread on the Isreal topic, though.  Both are interesting discussions.

Oh man, you guys would have to moderate 24/7 to make sure that one stays cool.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 11, 2015, 09:50:16 AM
Let's just try keep this thread on topic for the time being.  Feel free to start a different thread on the Isreal topic, though.  Both are interesting discussions.

Oh man, you guys would have to moderate 24/7 to make sure that one stays cool.


Probably.  More concerned about keeping this one on topic, to be honest.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 10:06:53 AM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: manl_lui on November 11, 2015, 10:12:30 AM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.

that starbucks "controversy" is stupid...people are getting so worked up over something so small, so irrelevant...even saying Merry Christmas at a Target is offensive now
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 10:14:09 AM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.

I don't really get this. You hold more of a moderate stance than most that would agree with you, but I still don't understand the last thing you said. It's not like by "removing Christmas" they're saying "screw Christmas." In this hypothetical they're not even replacing Christmas with another non-Christian holiday. They're remaining neutral. How is that justifiable, unless you believe Christianity is the superior and ultimate religion (not saying you do)? Seems to be a case of getting angry over what was not said, rather than getting angry over what was said or done.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 10:40:01 AM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.

I don't really get this. You hold more of a moderate stance than most that would agree with you, but I still don't understand the last thing you said. It's not like by "removing Christmas" they're saying "screw Christmas." In this hypothetical they're not even replacing Christmas with another non-Christian holiday. They're remaining neutral. How is that justifiable, unless you believe Christianity is the superior and ultimate religion (not saying you do)? Seems to be a case of getting angry over what was not said, rather than getting angry over what was said or done.
Whatever you said went right over my head.

The only thing of importance that I said was, I would object if a local franchise was forced to remove Christmas references. I would probably also object if they were forced to remove holiday references for other religions also.

I think it's very unfair to imply I was getting angry and taking a position that Christians are superior. But then again I'm not sure I correctly understood your reply so I apologize if that wasn't your intention.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 10:42:17 AM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.
You realize Starbucks is still actively selling their Christmas blend coffee, right? And that the "holiday cheer" on the cups has been pretty nondescript for years (there have been snowmen, nutcrackers, kids in sleighs, and just stylized holiday elements). Not to mention that they didn't even have holiday cups until 1997, I'm guessing there was no Christmas before that.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 11, 2015, 10:53:11 AM
My biggest complaint is that Starbucks sells their Thanksgiving blend, by far their best blend (won't argue this) for about a two week window before going straight to their Christmas blend.

Walking into Starbucks this week & they're already in full holiday mode. It's Nov 11th.   I don't want your [dang] Christmas blend yet! 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 10:56:06 AM
My biggest complaint is that Starbucks sells their Thanksgiving blend, by far their best blend (won't argue this) for about a two week window before going straight to their Christmas blend.

Walking into Starbucks this week & they're already in full holiday mode. It's Nov 11th.   I don't want your [dang] Christmas blend yet!
My biggest complaint is that Starbucks (like much other US coffee roasters) appear to have no idea how to roast coffee. Some of that bitter crap they pass for espresso is really hard to stomach.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Evantime34 on November 11, 2015, 11:36:19 AM
I am shocked that people care so much about Starbucks not having Merry Christmas on their cups. It seems that this is a case of Starbucks going out of their way to be too politically correct. Do people of other religions really care if it says Merry Christmas on their starbucks cup? I doubt it.

My only complaint is that we are discussing Christmas celebrations before Thanksgiving. I think it should be a law that no Christmas/holiday advertisements should be made until after Thanksgiving.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 11:48:43 AM
I am shocked that people care so much about Starbucks not having Merry Christmas on their cups. It seems that this is a case of Starbucks going out of their way to be too politically correct. Do people of other religions really care if it says Merry Christmas on their starbucks cup? I doubt it.

The thing is, I don't think they've EVER had "Merry Christmas" on their cups.  It's all just generic holiday/winter imagery, and they went with plain red this year. 

It's also weird to talk about a private business being "too politically correct" when A.  They're just trying to be as inclusive as possible because they are for-profit and would like to maximize those profits by selling coffee to as many people as possible, and B. There's only one party that's demanding the other side change their language to avoid offending them, and it's not Starbucks or non-Christians.


My only complaint is that we are discussing Christmas celebrations before Thanksgiving. I think it should be a law that no Christmas/holiday advertisements should be made until after Thanksgiving.

I'm annoyed by it too, but ironically a law like this would be a lot closer to a "war on free speech" than anything cited in the thread so far.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 11, 2015, 11:50:42 AM
I am shocked that people care so much about Starbucks not having Merry Christmas on their cups. It seems that this is a case of Starbucks going out of their way to be too politically correct. Do people of other religions really care if it says Merry Christmas on their starbucks cup? I doubt it.

The thing is, I don't think they've EVER had "Merry Christmas" on their cups.  It's all just generic holiday/winter imagery, and they went with plain red this year. 

It's also weird to talk about a private business being "too politically correct" when A.  They're just trying to be as inclusive as possible because they are for-profit and would like to maximize those profits by selling coffee to as many people as possible, and B. There's only one party that's demanding the other side change their language to avoid offending them, and it's not Starbucks or non-Christians.

Pretty much. 

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 11:52:43 AM
I'll amend that a little to specify that it's not "Christians" as a group demanding those changes, it's just a very vocal minority.  Most of the Christians I know think this is incredibly petty and stupid, and that seems to be a typical reaction nation-wide.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mef730 on November 11, 2015, 12:01:11 PM
My only complaint is that we are discussing Christmas celebrations before Thanksgiving. I think it should be a law that no Christmas/holiday advertisements should be made until after Thanksgiving.

While I am 100% in favor of free speech and free expression, this might be a censorship cause that I could back. Seriously, people, it's just tacky.

Mike
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on November 11, 2015, 12:12:27 PM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.

I don't really get this. You hold more of a moderate stance than most that would agree with you, but I still don't understand the last thing you said. It's not like by "removing Christmas" they're saying "screw Christmas." In this hypothetical they're not even replacing Christmas with another non-Christian holiday. They're remaining neutral. How is that justifiable, unless you believe Christianity is the superior and ultimate religion (not saying you do)? Seems to be a case of getting angry over what was not said, rather than getting angry over what was said or done.
Whatever you said went right over my head.

The only thing of importance that I said was, I would object if a local franchise was forced to remove Christmas references. I would probably also object if they were forced to remove holiday references for other religions also.

I think it's very unfair to imply I was getting angry and taking a position that Christians are superior. But then again I'm not sure I correctly understood your reply so I apologize if that wasn't your intention.

I was trying to understand how your last sentiment fit with your otherwise pretty moderate post. I didn't read your post carefully enough to see that you would be upset if Starbucks faced social or business pressure to tone down the Christmas theme. I can understand why that would rub you the wrong way.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 12:20:41 PM
The Starbucks thing has to be one of the most asinine things I've read in a while.  People are really getting worked up about a [dang] coffee cup?  My god.  Who gives a [dang].

The Mizzou incident with the journalist getting threatened by the professor was troubling.  She looks absolutely awful there.  Thought her apology yesterday was pretty empty.  If that thing wasn't caught on tape, she wouldn't have been showing any remorse.
I feel disappointed that they opted to remove the holiday cheer from their cups, but it's their decision to. The only way I could ever see this as an issue is if a franchise owner was told specifically by Starbucks to remove references to Christmas from their stores. But then again they are representing the brand so it would be hard to back that one also, but I probably would object in that situation.
You realize Starbucks is still actively selling their Christmas blend coffee, right? And that the "holiday cheer" on the cups has been pretty nondescript for years (there have been snowmen, nutcrackers, kids in sleighs, and just stylized holiday elements). Not to mention that they didn't even have holiday cups until 1997, I'm guessing there was no Christmas before that.
I didn't. I haven't been to a Starbucks in sometime but if one was closer, I wouldn't be offended by the red cups. I think you can be disappointed without being offended.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 12:54:37 PM
My biggest complaint is that Starbucks sells their Thanksgiving blend, by far their best blend (won't argue this) for about a two week window before going straight to their Christmas blend.

Walking into Starbucks this week & they're already in full holiday mode. It's Nov 11th.   I don't want your [dang] Christmas blend yet!

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b7/a6/a3/b7a6a31822dcf7683b00c9170a464654.jpg)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 01:05:19 PM


And the letter at Yale can't really just be boiled down to "look away". Rather, it was a call for students rather than college administrators to decide for themselves what they deemed as appropriate, and it went even further to encourage dialogue with those individuals who "offended" them. So it was a call for students to govern themselves rather than relying on college administrators, and boiling it down to "look away" doesn't do the letter justice.

I think there are situations where encouraging students to engage in a dialogue, instead of flatly banning conduct that could be considered offensive, could be a useful learning opportunity.

On the other hand, I don't think there's much to be gained by asking students, especially minority students who are already doing their best just to fit in at a historically white school, to attempt to "engage in a dialogue" with fellow students who are just being jerks (for lack of a more appropriate term I can't use on these forums). 

Going out in black face on Halloween is just being a jerk.  I don't think that needs to be protected.  There's no dialogue there.  It's just daring somebody to punch you in the face, or making somebody feel bad about the fact that they're not in a position to punch you in the face.


Point being, there's nuance here.  The administration of a school, like Yale, could take a hard-line stance against flagrantly offensive costumes without suspending any student who wears something that offends somebody else.  As always, the solutions to problems don't need to be all or nothing.

See, I disagree with this. Having some libertarian-leanings toward me, I always err on the side of freedom. College and university campuses are supposed to be the pinnacle of free exchange of ideas and speech, and being the supposed future leaders of tomorrow, I think it's important to have students rely on dialogue and cooperation to fix their issues, especially ones that are as questionable in nature as the "cultural appropriation" argument against Halloween.

Also, I think your perception on the matter is being skewed by the narrative of black face. I didn't see any mention of anyone utilizing "blackface" or anything like that; rather, I think they were more talking about dressing up like Native Americans, Eskimos, etc. I could see where blackface is offensive, but I truly think the arguments were more focused on the generalized attire of certain populations, i.e. Native Americans, Eskimos, etc.

Besides, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has already ruined blackface for everybody when Mac used blackface to play Murtaugh in their Lethal Weapon remakes lol
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 01:12:19 PM
I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord

Exactly. This was mainly an issue in liberals, but now conservative Christians are starting to jump on the "offended" bandwagon and use it to their advantage.

Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them. This is one of the dangers of this radicalized PC that is so rampant nowadays, and it's a really dangerous precedent to set for the future.

"starting"?  Liberals and conservatives of all sorts have had their share of sacred cows for a loooooong time now, and they tend to get very upset when someone messes with them.  See any story in the past 30 years about someone disrespecting an American flag.  Or the annual "War on Christmas" nonsense that's been getting trotted out for at least a decade or so now.

Very little about any of this is new; we have a much greater ability to communicate and spread information without major media to serve as a middleman, and the targets have shifted as they always do.  But the tendency to overreact to seemingly trivial offenses has been around since at least the Romans.  And so has the fact that these overreactions are generally indicative of a deeper source of animosity and mistrust.  It's more fruitful to try and figure out what's underlying these specific types of responses and how legitimate it might be than to just make the classic blanket statements about how society's going downhill or start lining up one's own overreaction by declaring it a "war".


Quote
Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them.

Again I think this tendency's been around forever, but this is one I think is actually increasing, precisely because of our new sources of communication (mainly online).  It's been found that the human mind struggles to think of people as individuals as we interact with more of them; ~150's been estimated as a typical cap.  When you interact with more and more people as we can now, you're more motivated to stereotype them because it's overwhelming to treat everyone as a separate individual.  Most places online if you get into a discussion on a controversial topic you'll have people attacking you for all kinds of things you never said; eventually you realize it's because they're talking to the stereotype instead of the person.  This seems difficult to fix because it's mainly a human brain problem.

Yeah, I should've specified in the year 2015. Obviously the conservative Christian crowd has utilized a similar type of argument for a long time now, but it seems to be a new type of "offensive" argument that has erupted ever since the Confederate flag issue earlier this year, which is what I was primarily referring to in the liberal crowd.

Thanks for adding the second part, too, because I was making that same sort of argument earlier in the thread. Generalizations are a natural part of human reasoning, because that's the easiest way for our brains to categorize pieces of information. Thus, generalizations in themselves aren't necessarily morally wrong or bad. It's when pejorative or derogatory elements are added to those generalizations that make it wrong, or of course when one places an individual in a generalized group and prescribes upon them qualities or beliefs that aren't necessarily held by the individual. I think a lot of people confuse these things today and consider any type of generalizing concept bad, while inevitably generalizing other concepts themselves.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 01:13:23 PM
I often feel that much of what I see derogatorily labeled as "PC Culture" could also be fairly labeled "Don't Be A Jerk" culture.



If it seems like stuff that didn't used to count as "being a jerk," is being called that now, maybe it's because the people that were hurt or offended by the behavior in the past didn't feel empowered to speak up about it.

I think there's value in questioning why people are saying a particular speech of behavior needs to be shut down, instead of there being a "dialogue," or just appreciating the value of diverse viewpoints and modes of expression, that sort of thing.

But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 01:31:59 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean you'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

I think "privilege" gets overused in some circles, especially when it just winds up looking like the exact reverse of what I've just described, but the tendency to just outright disregard the perspectives and experiences of other groups seems like a pretty prominent example of privileged thinking.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 01:35:23 PM
Thanks for adding the second part, too, because I was making that same sort of argument earlier in the thread. Generalizations are a natural part of human reasoning, because that's the easiest way for our brains to categorize pieces of information. Thus, generalizations in themselves aren't necessarily morally wrong or bad. It's when pejorative or derogatory elements are added to those generalizations that make it wrong, or of course when one places an individual in a generalized group and prescribes upon them qualities or beliefs that aren't necessarily held by the individual. I think a lot of people confuse these things today and consider any type of generalizing concept bad, while inevitably generalizing other concepts themselves.

I think one of the reasons why political discussions here are on average so much more respectful and thoughtful than in any other context I've seen online is exactly because the smaller user base means we all "know" each other to some extent.  Gives us a stronger sense of the nuances of individuals' opinions, instead of just tossing them in a liberal/conservative/libertarian/socialist box and yelling at a mental caricature of "those people".

...plus we're all Celtics fans, which makes us just a little bit classier and smarter than the unwashed masses.  :)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 01:39:49 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.
Just because you're bothered doesn't mean you're right. It's a fairly simple concept which proves to be amazingly nebulous to millenials, time and time again.

And speaking about millenials, the hunger striker down in Missouri is the son of a top business executive. Talk to me more about privilege, please.

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/columns/joe-holleman/mizzou-hunger-strike-figure-from-omaha-son-of-top-railroad/article_20630c03-2a68-5e63-9585-edde16fe05f3.html
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 01:40:01 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean they'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

I think "privilege" gets overused in some circles, especially when it just winds up looking like the exact reverse of what I've just described, but the tendency to just outright disregard the perspectives and experiences of other groups seems like a pretty prominent example of privileged thinking.


This is a good middle-ground, I think. I think the overall term "privilege" is more of an arbitrary, theoretical concept than anything practical in nature, and it is incredibly overused by many who just take it at face-value without even suggesting any real, practical situations that it might actually apply to.

That said, as fallible, finite human beings, we all have limited perspectives, so to categorically dismiss others' experiences as false is illogical in nature. Ethically, I think there should be some sort of sensitivity towards others' experiences and perceptions, but that very sensitivity is also limited by the fundamental, deontological rights granted to individuals in this country, i.e. free speech.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 02:10:58 PM

Just because you're bothered doesn't mean you're right. It's a fairly simple concept which proves to be amazingly nebulous to millenials, time and time again.


Sure, I suppose that's true.  But what relevance does being "right," have here, exactly?

Just because you can't understand why particular actions or words bother somebody else doesn't mean you shouldn't respect that person's feelings.

Ask yourself -- what if they are legitimately upset by this thing they called me out on?  Is it really such a burden for me to change my behavior?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 11, 2015, 02:17:16 PM

I think "privilege" gets overused in some circles, especially when it just winds up looking like the exact reverse of what I've just described, but the tendency to just outright disregard the perspectives and experiences of other groups seems like a pretty prominent example of privileged thinking.

Well, "white, straight, upper middle class male" is the default setting in our culture, and has been for a while.  That's the "normal" perspective, which often gets conflated with "reasonable."

The tendency, I believe, is to think something along the lines of, "I'm a reasonable person, I didn't intend to do anything offensive, and I can't understand why you would be so bothered by it, so you must be simply making a fuss for no good reason."


Now, as Koz points out, that might actually be true.  Sometimes people make a fuss over something for no good reason.

Other times, it just doesn't seem like a "good reason," because try as you might, you can't actually put yourself in that other person's place and appreciate why they are upset about it.

For me, the shift in my thinking on this is when I realized that the conflict here is between focusing on "Well, I think I'm right," instead of focusing on "This person has been upset by my actions."

Being "right" shouldn't be more important than making sure you don't actually hurt other people.


It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own. 

This is a really good insight.  It's really easy to invalidate another person without meaning to --one of the easiest ways to accidentally disrespect another person in a fundamental way.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 11, 2015, 02:30:38 PM

Just because you're bothered doesn't mean you're right. It's a fairly simple concept which proves to be amazingly nebulous to millenials, time and time again.


Sure, I suppose that's true.  But what relevance does being "right," have here, exactly?

Just because you can't understand why particular actions or words bother somebody else doesn't mean you shouldn't respect that person's feelings.

Ask yourself -- what if they are legitimately upset by this thing they called me out on?  Is it really such a burden for me to change my behavior?
It would help to have some specific examples, so we can debate this, instead of all these generalizations that are going back and forth on.

Regarding your prior posts on another thread, I agreed with a lot of what you wrote until you started assigning blame to everyone.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 02:40:45 PM

I think "privilege" gets overused in some circles, especially when it just winds up looking like the exact reverse of what I've just described, but the tendency to just outright disregard the perspectives and experiences of other groups seems like a pretty prominent example of privileged thinking.

Well, "white, straight, upper middle class male" is the default setting in our culture, and has been for a while.  That's the "normal" perspective, which often gets conflated with "reasonable."

The tendency, I believe, is to think something along the lines of, "I'm a reasonable person, I didn't intend to do anything offensive, and I can't understand why you would be so bothered by it, so you must be simply making a fuss for no good reason."


Now, as Koz points out, that might actually be true.  Sometimes people make a fuss over something for no good reason.

Other times, it just doesn't seem like a "good reason," because try as you might, you can't actually put yourself in that other person's place and appreciate why they are upset about it.

For me, the shift in my thinking on this is when I realized that the conflict here is between focusing on "Well, I think I'm right," instead of focusing on "This person has been upset by my actions."

Being "right" shouldn't be more important than making sure you don't actually hurt other people.


It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own. 

This is a really good insight.  It's really easy to invalidate another person without meaning to --one of the easiest ways to accidentally disrespect another person in a fundamental way.

Ethically, this isn't necessarily sound. The principle of nonmaleficence only extends so far, and generally obligations of autonomy trump harms of this nature, especially the abstract harm of merely being "offended."

How is this any different than the gay marriage argument? Most proponents of gay marriage (including me) argued the "harm principle" for the legitimacy of gay marriage, because it literally doesn't affect or harm anybody outside of the two parties being married. The same logical reasoning applies here. There is no right to "not be offended." Hell, this country would be a pretty boring place if people weren't allowed to do things that might possibly offend other people. Thus, there is no ethical or legal imperative to avoid offending other parties, because A) there is no moral or legal right to not be offended, B) the harm principle exclusively gives citizens the right to any act that does not harm others, and C) the principle of autonomy overrules any abstract conception of harm from offense.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 02:46:35 PM
It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own. 

This is a really good insight.  It's really easy to invalidate another person without meaning to --one of the easiest ways to accidentally disrespect another person in a fundamental way.

Thanks, but note that "calling out privilege" often falls into this trap too.  That's one of the reasons that while I respect the concept of being oblivious to one's own socio-economic advantages, I think it's far too often used as an implement to turn the tables and invalidate the perspectives of members of traditionally advantaged groups. 

You can't begin an interaction from either side of an issue by disrespecting the legitimacy of the other person's perspective and expect to make much headway.  Even if the other party is in fact wrong.   That's not a way to begin a dialogue among equals, it's a way to open a lecture from the enlightened to the ignorant.  That's why I'm onboard with the concept but dislike how it often gets applied.  Though seeing how it's used does work as yet another example of how the intrinsic differences between groups are greatly exaggerated in our perceptions.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 11, 2015, 02:50:09 PM
This thread is surprisingly the most level headed political discourse I've ever seen on the Internet.  I'm impressed
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 03:06:06 PM

Just because you're bothered doesn't mean you're right. It's a fairly simple concept which proves to be amazingly nebulous to millenials, time and time again.


Sure, I suppose that's true.  But what relevance does being "right," have here, exactly?

Just because you can't understand why particular actions or words bother somebody else doesn't mean you shouldn't respect that person's feelings.

Ask yourself -- what if they are legitimately upset by this thing they called me out on?  Is it really such a burden for me to change my behavior?
I don't have to care about everything that someone may be "legitimately upset" about. Neither should anyone else for that matter. The instant gratification generation doesn't seem to understand that the world isn't going to tiptoe around their fragile feelings. Maybe they don't like that -- but there is and will always be perfectly legal stuff that some people won't like.

I, for one, get pretty upset when folks that believe in an imaginary being (from a book that was written 1,500 years ago to hold the unwashed medieval masses in their rightful place, no less) get to shape life in the 21st century with their ridiculously antiquated world views. This, however, doesn't mean have a realistic expectation that it's appropriate for them to apologize, shut up, or disappear.

Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 11, 2015, 03:12:24 PM

Just because you're bothered doesn't mean you're right. It's a fairly simple concept which proves to be amazingly nebulous to millenials, time and time again.


Sure, I suppose that's true.  But what relevance does being "right," have here, exactly?

Just because you can't understand why particular actions or words bother somebody else doesn't mean you shouldn't respect that person's feelings.

Ask yourself -- what if they are legitimately upset by this thing they called me out on?  Is it really such a burden for me to change my behavior?
I don't have to care about everything that someone may be "legitimately upset" about. Neither should anyone else for that matter. The instant gratification generation doesn't seem to understand that the world isn't going to tiptoe around their fragile feelings. Maybe they don't like that -- but there is and will always be perfectly legal stuff that some people won't like.

I, for one, get pretty upset when folks that believe in an imaginary being (from a book that was written 1,500 years ago to hold the unwashed medieval masses in their rightful place, no less) get to shape life in the 21st century with their ridiculously antiquated world views. This, however, doesn't mean have a realistic expectation that it's appropriate for them to apologize, shut up, or disappear.

Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 03:15:17 PM
This thread is surprisingly the most level headed political discourse I've ever seen on the Internet.  I'm impressed
I've always been impressed by the quality of discussion we get on CB on worldly issues. Of course, there's a good core of people that have here for 10+ years, I think -- so the tenor of the interaction is different from what you'd get on a random sports board.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheTruthFot18 on November 11, 2015, 03:19:40 PM
Quote
Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

Much more ideal population for earth. 

Resources can replenish in normal times and my 7 mile commute won't take 45 minutes.  ;D
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 03:20:12 PM
However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..
Me, or Pho?

I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


Quote
Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

Much more ideal population for earth. 

Resources can replenish in normal times and my 7 mile commute won't take 45 minutes.  ;D
It must be more now. That's the number books hammered in my head when I was a kid -- I guess I'm officially old.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ChainSmokingLikeDino on November 11, 2015, 03:32:47 PM

Just because you're bothered doesn't mean you're right. It's a fairly simple concept which proves to be amazingly nebulous to millenials, time and time again.


Sure, I suppose that's true.  But what relevance does being "right," have here, exactly?

Just because you can't understand why particular actions or words bother somebody else doesn't mean you shouldn't respect that person's feelings.

Ask yourself -- what if they are legitimately upset by this thing they called me out on?  Is it really such a burden for me to change my behavior?
I don't have to care about everything that someone may be "legitimately upset" about. Neither should anyone else for that matter. The instant gratification generation doesn't seem to understand that the world isn't going to tiptoe around their fragile feelings. Maybe they don't like that -- but there is and will always be perfectly legal stuff that some people won't like.

I, for one, get pretty upset when folks that believe in an imaginary being (from a book that was written 1,500 years ago to hold the unwashed medieval masses in their rightful place, no less) get to shape life in the 21st century with their ridiculously antiquated world views. This, however, doesn't mean have a realistic expectation that it's appropriate for them to apologize, shut up, or disappear.

Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.


Though, why go through the world not making an effort or having the awareness to not actively, or even unintentionally, make it displeasurable and more difficult for others?

For all your generalizations of a younger generation (which I am not part of) the same generalizations could easily be thrown back at you: "I had some hard times/experiences and [dang]ed if you kids should as well."

That isn't true, but when the counter argument is that the world can be a cruel place, why not instead of throwing one's hands up and accepting it enact change that maybe makes it a better place for all people?

Obviously that is pie-in-the-sky to some degree, the world will still be cruel, but personally what is the stubbornness in not doing one's part to make it slightly less cruel?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 11, 2015, 03:36:07 PM
However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..
Me, or Pho?

I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


Quote
Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

Much more ideal population for earth. 

Resources can replenish in normal times and my 7 mile commute won't take 45 minutes.  ;D
It must be more now. That's the number books hammered in my head when I was a kid -- I guess I'm officially old.

I was just pointing out that there are plenty of legal things that aren't tolerated by the bulk of citizens in a particular society.  TP to you if you tell me how to just quote the part of your post addressed to me, and also do what you did where you have two people's quotes in the same box.  Im old too after all.  4 billion sounded pretty good.  What is bty are we at 7 bil. yet?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 11, 2015, 03:38:00 PM
I often feel that much of what I see derogatorily labeled as "PC Culture" could also be fairly labeled "Don't Be A Jerk" culture.

  It could also be fairly labeled "attack people who don't hold all of your opinions" culture. For instance, there would be plenty of objections if people here made remarks about minorities that took on the tone and tenor of many of the remarks that you see here about conservative, relatively affluent white men. There's no inherent difference between the comments made, but one target's more socially acceptable than the other in the PC culture. There's no differentiation based on whether you're a jerk or not.

If it seems like stuff that didn't used to count as "being a jerk," is being called that now, maybe it's because the people that were hurt or offended by the behavior in the past didn't feel empowered to speak up about it.

  Some of that's the case, much of it is people that are hyper vigilant about comments that could possibly be construed as offensive when no such meaning was meant.

But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

  On one hand this is somewhat true, on the other hand there's no end to the number of things that everyone does that nobody at all will object to. Hence the thread title.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 03:39:38 PM
Quote
Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

Much more ideal population for earth. 

Resources can replenish in normal times and my 7 mile commute won't take 45 minutes.  ;D
It must be more now. That's the number books hammered in my head when I was a kid -- I guess I'm officially old.

You became officially old the second you started talking about how kids these days are soft and coddled :P
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 11, 2015, 03:40:57 PM
Quote
Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

Much more ideal population for earth. 

Resources can replenish in normal times and my 7 mile commute won't take 45 minutes.  ;D
It must be more now. That's the number books hammered in my head when I was a kid -- I guess I'm officially old.

You became officially old the second you started talking about how kids these days are soft and coddled :P

I thought the moment I became old was when I stopped being able to sleep through the night without having to wake up to pee.  That's a road where there is no turning back, sadly.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: dreamgreen on November 11, 2015, 03:43:50 PM
Most Americans are soft and need to grow thicker skin.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 03:44:43 PM
Quote
Life is tough. You share a planet with 4 billion other human beings, and their goal in life is not to please you.

Much more ideal population for earth. 

Resources can replenish in normal times and my 7 mile commute won't take 45 minutes.  ;D
It must be more now. That's the number books hammered in my head when I was a kid -- I guess I'm officially old.

You became officially old the second you started talking about how kids these days are soft and coddled :P

I thought the moment I became old was when I stopped being able to sleep through the night without having to wake up to pee.  That's a road where there is no turning back, sadly.

I became officially old when I realized sitting down was becoming more of a controlled fall.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mef730 on November 11, 2015, 03:44:53 PM

I was just pointing out that there are plenty of legal things that aren't tolerated by the bulk of citizens in a particular society.  TP to you if you tell me how to just quote the part of your post addressed to me, and also do what you did where you have two people's quotes in the same box.  Im old too after all.  4 billion sounded pretty good.  What is bty are we at 7 bil. yet?

It's actually not that hard and, if I can do it, anyone can. When you press Quote, you'll need 3 things:

1) The first should be everything in the brackets of the person you want to quote. So when I quoted you, I quoted everything from "[quote author" to "date=1447274167]." That whole line tells the system what quote we're taking.

2) Erase everything else except the text you wanted to quote.

3) At the end, put "[/quote]" which tells the system that the quote is over.

Mike
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 03:47:25 PM
I was just pointing out that there are plenty of legal things that aren't tolerated by the bulk of citizens in a particular society.  TP to you if you tell me how to just quote the part of your post addressed to me, and also do what you did where you have two people's quotes in the same box.  Im old too after all.  4 billion sounded pretty good.  What is bty are we at 7 bil. yet?
Once you quote a post you can edit the quote to just keep the relevant parts. Just make sure you end up with a set of quote tags that close properly.

Two people's quote in the same box -- while you're writing your message, scroll down and use the Insert Quote button of the post you want to add.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 11, 2015, 03:48:09 PM

I was just pointing out that there are plenty of legal things that aren't tolerated by the bulk of citizens in a particular society.  TP to you if you tell me how to just quote the part of your post addressed to me, and also do what you did where you have two people's quotes in the same box.  Im old too after all.  4 billion sounded pretty good.  What is bty are we at 7 bil. yet?

It's actually not that hard and, if I can do it, anyone can. When you press Quote, you'll need 3 things:

1) The first should be everything in the brackets of the person you want to quote. So when I quoted you, I quoted everything from "[quote author" to "date=1447274167]." That whole line tells the system what quote we're taking.

2) Erase everything else except the text you wanted to quote.

3) At the end, put "
" which tells the system that the quote is over.

Mike
[/quote]

Thank you!  TP before I even officially try it...
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 11, 2015, 03:48:44 PM
I was just pointing out that there are plenty of legal things that aren't tolerated by the bulk of citizens in a particular society.  TP to you if you tell me how to just quote the part of your post addressed to me, and also do what you did where you have two people's quotes in the same box.  Im old too after all.  4 billion sounded pretty good.  What is bty are we at 7 bil. yet?
Once you quote a post you can edit the quote to just keep the relevant parts. Just make sure you end up with a set of quote tags that close properly.

Two people's quote in the same box -- while you're writing your message, scroll down and use the Insert Quote button of the post you want to add.

Oh TP to you too missed this post...
EDIT:  Shucks just missed a chance to combine two quotes...at least I know how to edit.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 11, 2015, 03:53:41 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean you'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

   The odds probably aren't that sharply against it. If you're disagreeing with their experience it's frequently the case that they're describing a situation involving a white, straight male. Why would they have more of an idea of that person's perspective than you would of a minority's perspective?

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 11, 2015, 03:58:42 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean you'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

   The odds probably aren't that sharply against it. If you're disagreeing with their experience it's frequently the case that they're describing a situation involving a white, straight male. Why would they have more of an idea of that person's perspective than you would of a minority's perspective?

It's pretty easy to tell other people to lighten up.  It's much harder to be told.  The odds are always against knowing what's going on in someone's else head..
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 11, 2015, 04:01:47 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean you'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

   The odds probably aren't that sharply against it. If you're disagreeing with their experience it's frequently the case that they're describing a situation involving a white, straight male. Why would they have more of an idea of that person's perspective than you would of a minority's perspective?

Because the bolded bit is something you pulled out of thin air and not the quote?  And omitted the second bit where I do mention that scenario and argue that it's the same problem reversed?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 04:04:23 PM
Because the bolded bit is something you pulled out of thin air and not the quote?  And omitted the second bit where I do mention that scenario and argue that it's the same problem reversed?
Yes, the odds are so sharp that we pay an entire profession to give us an outside perspective of our problems.

 ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 04:11:33 PM
I often feel that much of what I see derogatorily labeled as "PC Culture" could also be fairly labeled "Don't Be A Jerk" culture.

  It could also be fairly labeled "attack people who don't hold all of your opinions" culture. For instance, there would be plenty of objections if people here made remarks about minorities that took on the tone and tenor of many of the remarks that you see here about conservative, relatively affluent white men. There's no inherent difference between the comments made, but one target's more socially acceptable than the other in the PC culture. There's no differentiation based on whether you're a jerk or not.

If it seems like stuff that didn't used to count as "being a jerk," is being called that now, maybe it's because the people that were hurt or offended by the behavior in the past didn't feel empowered to speak up about it.

  Some of that's the case, much of it is people that are hyper vigilant about comments that could possibly be construed as offensive when no such meaning was meant.

But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

  On one hand this is somewhat true, on the other hand there's no end to the number of things that everyone does that nobody at all will object to. Hence the thread title.

Very astute observation. TP.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 11, 2015, 04:14:07 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean you'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

   The odds probably aren't that sharply against it. If you're disagreeing with their experience it's frequently the case that they're describing a situation involving a white, straight male. Why would they have more of an idea of that person's perspective than you would of a minority's perspective?

It's pretty easy to tell other people to lighten up.  It's much harder to be told.  The odds are always against knowing what's going on in someone's else head..

  I'm making the assumption that, if a person's describing their experiences and their feelings about it, you'd have an inkling about what's going on in their head.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 11, 2015, 04:21:10 PM
But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

I'm consistently perplexed by the tendency of other white, straight males (like myself) to hear racial/sexual minorities and women describe their experiences and just flatly say, "nope, you're wrong, that's not the way it is".  It's basically telling someone your characterization of their personal experiences trumps their own.  It doesn't mean you'll always be wrong - sometimes an outsider's perspective really is more accurate - but gosh, how do they not realize the odds are sharply against that?

   The odds probably aren't that sharply against it. If you're disagreeing with their experience it's frequently the case that they're describing a situation involving a white, straight male. Why would they have more of an idea of that person's perspective than you would of a minority's perspective?

Because the bolded bit is something you pulled out of thin air and not the quote?  And omitted the second bit where I do mention that scenario and argue that it's the same problem reversed?

  Sorry, I made the assumption that if you were going to tell someone describing an experience "that's not how it is" that you'd base that comment on having some insight into the situation.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ChainSmokingLikeDino on November 11, 2015, 04:44:07 PM
I often feel that much of what I see derogatorily labeled as "PC Culture" could also be fairly labeled "Don't Be A Jerk" culture.

  It could also be fairly labeled "attack people who don't hold all of your opinions" culture. For instance, there would be plenty of objections if people here made remarks about minorities that took on the tone and tenor of many of the remarks that you see here about conservative, relatively affluent white men. There's no inherent difference between the comments made, but one target's more socially acceptable than the other in the PC culture. There's no differentiation based on whether you're a jerk or not.

If it seems like stuff that didn't used to count as "being a jerk," is being called that now, maybe it's because the people that were hurt or offended by the behavior in the past didn't feel empowered to speak up about it.

  Some of that's the case, much of it is people that are hyper vigilant about comments that could possibly be construed as offensive when no such meaning was meant.

But if you're a member of the majority -- and this is something I've struggled to learn to do, myself -- I think you need to be willing to be persuaded and respect when somebody tells you a behavior bothers them, especially if that person speaks from a perspective you can't fully understand because of your privilege.

  On one hand this is somewhat true, on the other hand there's no end to the number of things that everyone does that nobody at all will object to. Hence the thread title.

Very astute observation. TP.

Except for the inherent difference of the history of this country, particularly as pertaining to race, class, gender, sexuality, and a myriad of other issues where the assumption of equal ground and equality touted here, and often in these discussions, is no more than a fantasy.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 04:52:16 PM
Except for the inherent difference of the history of this country, particularly as pertaining to race, class, gender, sexuality, and a myriad of other issues where the assumption of equal ground and equality touted here, and often in these discussions, is no more than a fantasy.
Yup, so the gloves are off when it comes to your run-of-the-mill white male making more than the average, but the hunger-striking kid of an executive with net worth or $8 million or more needs "safe space".

All because of stuff that likely happened before either of the two was born. Sounds legit.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 11, 2015, 05:03:39 PM
However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..
Me, or Pho?

I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


Well, in an ethical discussion, the law isn't necessarily relevant -- the law itself may or may not be ethical.

I think Phosita's point isn't that you don't have the legal right to be a jerk.

He's saying that if you get an indication that what you are doing is harmful (even if simply 'emotionally' / 'psychologically' harming) someone, a non-jerk person (i.e., an ethical person) would assess the necessity of doing said action.

Note - even an ethical person might still decide to continue the action, if all things considered, he finds it necessary (For example, if my breathing offends you, too bad.).   But if he doesn't find it necessary, an ethical person would probably stop.

A jerk would not stop - and in fact, a jerk would probably not even bother to make the assessment.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ChainSmokingLikeDino on November 11, 2015, 05:26:44 PM
Except for the inherent difference of the history of this country, particularly as pertaining to race, class, gender, sexuality, and a myriad of other issues where the assumption of equal ground and equality touted here, and often in these discussions, is no more than a fantasy.
Yup, so the gloves are off when it comes to your run-of-the-mill white male making more than the average, but the hunger-striking kid of an executive with net worth or $8 million or more needs "safe space".

All because of stuff that likely happened before either of the two was born. Sounds legit.

Eh, this is going to go out of bounds for the board, and really any rational, productive discussion, in a matter of posts so probably best not to debate this. Suffice to say, I disagree, and think the terms you use to describe the situation are pretty unflattering towards intended objectives.

Besides the class issues doesn't it seem possible there are race issues as well, that, no matter the class of that one particular student (who perhaps also had the means to be the public face of this issue, thanks to wealth, etc, that some fellow students didn't, that this served the community who lacked the volume of this voice) could have experienced? It is this utterly uncharitable position, mentioned by others, that rankles. The inability to say "there are others who have had experiences I can't imagine." And rather than having empathy and trying to have understanding, and act in this better way, instead dismissing them. This is what I stated earlier as to that even though the world is cruel and unjust, one shouldn't just throw their hands up and say we all have it hard, quit whining. But to understand the difference of those difficulties and experiences, even if you could never experience them (thankfully), and work towards not perpetuating them.

To put on level grounds any brushback rich, straight white males may be currently facing and the persecution minorities, LBGT, the poor have faced for centuries here in America is a false equivalency and only acts (and is used by many) to further separate and perpetuate persecutions.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 11, 2015, 05:46:26 PM
And rather than having empathy and trying to have understanding, and act in this better way, instead dismissing them. This is what I stated earlier as to that even though the world is cruel and unjust, one shouldn't just throw their hands up and say we all have it hard, quit whining. But to understand the difference of those difficulties and experiences, even if you could never experience them (thankfully), and work towards not perpetuating them.
Oh, we had this conversation with Pho in another thread, where he claimed that despite empathy and understanding, every white (male?) in the country is still culpable for white privilege. Apparently this argument doesn't extend to rich-railroad-executive-daddy privilege in the same manner.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 10:10:52 PM
Here's just another little lovely story of people freaking out about something trivial.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a49135/target-obsessive-christmas-disorder-sweatshirt/
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 11, 2015, 11:38:16 PM
And then there's this little beautiful piece of irony!

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/11/mizzou-demonstrators-segregate-white-allies-to-form-black-only-healing-space/
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ChainSmokingLikeDino on November 12, 2015, 02:12:18 AM
And rather than having empathy and trying to have understanding, and act in this better way, instead dismissing them. This is what I stated earlier as to that even though the world is cruel and unjust, one shouldn't just throw their hands up and say we all have it hard, quit whining. But to understand the difference of those difficulties and experiences, even if you could never experience them (thankfully), and work towards not perpetuating them.
Oh, we had this conversation with Pho in another thread, where he claimed that despite empathy and understanding, every white (male?) in the country is still culpable for white privilege. Apparently this argument doesn't extend to rich-railroad-executive-daddy privilege in the same manner.

I guess your flippant response is kind of something? I don't even know. I took a tiny bit of time to reply with something substantive and, shockingly, you replied with condescending derision.

When the simple idea of being receptive to the difference of other people's experiences is met with such obstinace  stubbornness, and outright dismissal,  we'll,  why do you think people are frustrated and fed up?

You think you're frustrated by a reply on a message board? imagine dealing with these attitudes every day in interaction after interaction.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ChainSmokingLikeDino on November 12, 2015, 02:30:01 AM
Like, why not be nice? You're putting  so much more effort and time into making yourself feel persecuted and attacked, when it isn't even happening, when that  energy could be used to listen to others. It is such a waste and so frustrating. The slightest brush back on established comforts and you'd rather retreat to defensiveness and antagonism than listen to others.

You aren't being persecuted. Just hear about others experiences. There's no harm there. It won't kill you or bankrupt you,  it really isn't harmful. What is this bad stuff you think is going to happen in the scenario you've inaginef
D?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics4ever on November 12, 2015, 06:35:01 AM
As a veteran who defended our country, I think we have never been truly free.   We don't have it bad,  mind you but total freedom equals chaos.  I don't see how we are going to survive as a country with the nanny state mentality that young kids have.  How did it get to this?

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 12, 2015, 07:39:17 AM
And rather than having empathy and trying to have understanding, and act in this better way, instead dismissing them. This is what I stated earlier as to that even though the world is cruel and unjust, one shouldn't just throw their hands up and say we all have it hard, quit whining. But to understand the difference of those difficulties and experiences, even if you could never experience them (thankfully), and work towards not perpetuating them.
Oh, we had this conversation with Pho in another thread, where he claimed that despite empathy and understanding, every white (male?) in the country is still culpable for white privilege. Apparently this argument doesn't extend to rich-railroad-executive-daddy privilege in the same manner.

  It should though, they just haven't made the connection yet. White males who derive no benefit from their status and do nothing to oppress minorities are culpable merely because they participate in a system in which inequality exists. Minorities also participate in the system, so they're culpable as well. It's a fairly inescapable conclusion.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 12, 2015, 07:46:45 AM
Like, why not be nice? You're putting  so much more effort and time into making yourself feel persecuted and attacked, when it isn't even happening, when that  energy could be used to listen to others.

  Somewhat ironic, considering how much time and effort many of those other people put into making themselves feel persecuted and attacked.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 08:45:23 AM
Like, why not be nice? You're putting  so much more effort and time into making yourself feel persecuted and attacked, when it isn't even happening, when that  energy could be used to listen to others.

  Somewhat ironic, considering how much time and effort many of those other people put into making themselves feel persecuted and attacked.


"Those other people"?


Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 12, 2015, 09:33:51 AM
When the simple idea of being receptive to the difference of other people's experiences is met with such obstinace  stubbornness, and outright dismissal,  we'll,  why do you think people are frustrated and fed up?
I'm NOT going to be receptive to the idea that I am in any way responsible for the wrongs of folks I don't know, and for suffering I didn't cause. You're free not to like that. You're not, however, free to break the law and harass/threaten/assault me.

You aren't being persecuted.
I never said I am. Fabricating persecution is other people's domain.

http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/11/mizzou-students-hallucinate-kkk-on-campus/

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 01:25:26 PM
However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..
Me, or Pho?

I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


Well, in an ethical discussion, the law isn't necessarily relevant -- the law itself may or may not be ethical.

I think Phosita's point isn't that you don't have the legal right to be a jerk.

He's saying that if you get an indication that what you are doing is harmful (even if simply 'emotionally' / 'psychologically' harming) someone, a non-jerk person (i.e., an ethical person) would assess the necessity of doing said action.

Note - even an ethical person might still decide to continue the action, if all things considered, he finds it necessary (For example, if my breathing offends you, too bad.).   But if he doesn't find it necessary, an ethical person would probably stop.

A jerk would not stop - and in fact, a jerk would probably not even bother to make the assessment.

There's a huge difference between not doing the act you've deemed "harmful," and forcing others to not do it (for example, canceling Halloween).

That's the whole point, YOU'RE the one who determined whether or not the act is okay.  You can determine for yourself what's okay and control yourself accordingly, but who is supposed to determine/decide for everybody what's okay or not?  You can't make everybody happy.

This is stuff the founding fathers figured out hundreds of years ago without twitter and the internet and lightbulbs, etc, yet some people still can't accept it today?

I could decide that posts in the CE forum are sometimes psychologically/emotionally harmful to me, but are you going to stop posting there since it's not necessary to your survival?  Or would it be easier if I just stopped reading the post that hurts me and forgot about it?  (The fact that Celticsblog brought back the CE forum points toward the latter).
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 12, 2015, 01:56:05 PM
Like, why not be nice? You're putting  so much more effort and time into making yourself feel persecuted and attacked, when it isn't even happening, when that  energy could be used to listen to others.

  Somewhat ironic, considering how much time and effort many of those other people put into making themselves feel persecuted and attacked.


"Those other people"?

  The post I quoted spoke of "others". I was basically writing "those others" to refer to them, but I didn't realize adding the word "people" would be an issue.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Smokeeye123 on November 12, 2015, 02:35:23 PM
I wanna be clear that I have no problem with students or people protesting racism and discrimination, but when I see news story and media attention given to Starbucks cups, and the Obsessive Christmas Disorder shirt at target I want to rage. On a similar line,I read a post on twitter from a feminist that parents shouldn't call their child he or she and should call their baby 'babyself' until they can articulate their gender. That is where I draw the line. I'm pro gay and transgender rights, but when I can't call my son a boy or use male pronouns it gets ridiculous.

These things are real too that babyself tweet had like 1500 favorites on twitter and wasn't a joke. People are insane.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 12, 2015, 02:37:02 PM
I wanna be clear that I have no problem with students or people protesting racism and discrimination, but when I see news story and media attention given to Starbucks cups, and the Obsessive Christmas Disorder shirt at target I want to rage. On a similar line,I read a post on twitter from a feminist that parents shouldn't call their child he or she and should call their baby 'babyself' until they can articulate their gender. That is where I draw the line. I'm pro gay and transgender rights, but when I can't call my son a boy or use male pronouns it gets ridiculous.

These things are real too that babyself tweet had like 1500 favorites on twitter and wasn't a joke. People are insane.

That's a new one I haven't heard.    That's utterly insane.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 12, 2015, 03:16:01 PM
I wanna be clear that I have no problem with students or people protesting racism and discrimination, but when I see news story and media attention given to Starbucks cups, and the Obsessive Christmas Disorder shirt at target I want to rage. On a similar line,I read a post on twitter from a feminist that parents shouldn't call their child he or she and should call their baby 'babyself' until they can articulate their gender. That is where I draw the line. I'm pro gay and transgender rights, but when I can't call my son a boy or use male pronouns it gets ridiculous.

These things are real too that babyself tweet had like 1500 favorites on twitter and wasn't a joke. People are insane.

That's a new one I haven't heard.    That's utterly insane.

  It's the way of the world. Sooner or later gender-based pronouns will be called hate speech.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:21:30 PM


However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..

Right.

There's a lot of "false dichotomy" tendency in this discussion.


Either we just tell everybody to toughen up and not expect anybody else to care about their feelings, or we engage in an effort to police every type of speech or behavior that could possibly be interpreted as offensive.

Definitely no middle ground there, right?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:25:01 PM
I wanna be clear that I have no problem with students or people protesting racism and discrimination, but when I see news story and media attention given to Starbucks cups, and the Obsessive Christmas Disorder shirt at target I want to rage. On a similar line,I read a post on twitter from a feminist that parents shouldn't call their child he or she and should call their baby 'babyself' until they can articulate their gender. That is where I draw the line. I'm pro gay and transgender rights, but when I can't call my son a boy or use male pronouns it gets ridiculous.

These things are real too that babyself tweet had like 1500 favorites on twitter and wasn't a joke. People are insane.

That's a new one I haven't heard.    That's utterly insane.

  It's the way of the world. Sooner or later gender-based pronouns will be called hate speech.


The use of pronouns is one of the biggest thing I struggle with in relation to transgender activism -- like, even being generous, what portion of the population is transgender?  It's a very small number, right? 

Our entire language is built on gender distinctions.  I think it's unrealistic to expect people to completely change the way they talk in general just to allow for the possibility that there could be an issue with gender identity.

Once somebody self-identifies a certain way, I fully encourage making every effort to respect that self-identification. But until then, I think we've got to be able to use basic words like "he" and "she."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:34:25 PM

There's a huge difference between not doing the act you've deemed "harmful," and forcing others to not do it (for example, canceling Halloween).

Who ever talked about cancelling Halloween?  I believe the original idea here was that people should not wear costumes that they have every reason to believe will be offensive to their peers.

I think it's pretty simple -- don't go out in black face on Halloween.  Don't put on a big sombrero and a blanket and wear a fake mustache and say you've dressed up as a "Mexican."


Quote

I could decide that posts in the CE forum are sometimes psychologically/emotionally harmful to me, but are you going to stop posting there since it's not necessary to your survival?  Or would it be easier if I just stopped reading the post that hurts me and forgot about it?  (The fact that Celticsblog brought back the CE forum points toward the latter).

Some people don't have the luxury of just "walking away" or "avoiding" the behaviors and representations that hurt or bother them, because our popular culture is permeated with those behaviors and representations.

And that's the point of efforts like these, I think -- to say, "Hey, you may not realize it, but this stuff disrespects who I am as a person and I don't find it funny.  It's messed up that this is considered normal and acceptable."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ilikesports17 on November 12, 2015, 03:41:12 PM
There is no constitutional right not to be offended.

That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:41:45 PM


I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


There is no constitutional right not to be offended.


Well, just to be clear, when you talk about "Constitutional rights," you're talking about you're right to be free from action by the government.

So, sure, the government can't arrest you for being a jerk, at least not insofar as "being a jerk" involves speech (though there are exceptions to that, even).

You also, as pointed out above, don't have a "right" to not be exposed to offensive behavior by your peers.

At the same time, the Constitution doesn't prevent your fellow citizens from calling you out on your behavior and ostracizing you for it.   The "marketplace of ideas," after all, absolutely allows for a public consensus that certain kinds of behavior are repugnant and unacceptable.  The Constitution simply prevents us from throwing people in jail for repugnant behaviors that are limited to speech and expression.

I don't think anybody in the thread has suggested there be a law against saying offensive words.  So the Constitution is mostly irrelevant here.  Maybe it's relevant, going back to the original example, when you're talking about what a school might or might not do to restrict the behavior of its students.  But Yale is a private institution, so the Constitution doesn't apply to that example, either.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ilikesports17 on November 12, 2015, 03:48:31 PM


I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


There is no constitutional right not to be offended.


Well, just to be clear, when you talk about "Constitutional rights," you're talking about you're right to be free from action by the government.

So, sure, the government can't arrest you for being a jerk, at least not insofar as "being a jerk" involves speech (though there are exceptions to that, even).

You also, as pointed out above, don't have a "right" to not be exposed to offensive behavior by your peers.

At the same time, the Constitution doesn't prevent your fellow citizens from calling you out on your behavior and ostracizing you for it.   The "marketplace of ideas," after all, absolutely allows for a public consensus that certain kinds of behavior are repugnant and unacceptable.  The Constitution simply prevents us from throwing people in jail for repugnant behaviors that are limited to speech and expression.

I don't think anybody in the thread has suggested there be a law against saying offensive words.  So the Constitution is mostly irrelevant here.  Maybe it's relevant, going back to the original example, when you're talking about what a school might or might not do to restrict the behavior of its students.  But Yale is a private institution, so the Constitution doesn't apply to that example, either.
Actually constitutional rights have been upheld in schools in the past. If Yale kicks a kid out for saying mean things it could feasibly face legal action.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:52:19 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: brundlenye the sciencefly on November 12, 2015, 03:53:49 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."

omg all the tps
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 12, 2015, 03:55:44 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."
Yeah, like for example, that bunch of _____ down in MO that occupied public area, invented threats against themselves, demanded that people care about their "safe space" while simultaneously shouting "we don't care about your job", harassed, threatened, and assaulted fellow students... But somehow that's not a thing to talk about, right?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:55:52 PM

Actually constitutional rights have been upheld in schools in the past. If Yale kicks a kid out for saying mean things it could feasibly face legal action.

I think you're right, but this gets a little bit complicated when we're talking about extending Constitutional restrictions to private institutions.

My point is just that the Constitution doesn't really have anything to do with a discussion about societal norms.  The Constitution doesn't prevent your peers from calling you out for your behavior.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 03:59:06 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."
Yeah, like for example, that bunch of _____ that occupied public area, invented threats against themselves, demanded that people care about their "safe space" while simultaneously shouting "we don't care about your job", harassed, threatened, and assaulted fellow students... But somehow that's not a thing to talk about, right?

The Mizzou thing?  I was mystified by that, to be honest.  I really don't understand why they were so emphatic about keeping out journalists.  You certainly don't have a right to privacy when you're protesting in a public space like that.

I'm definitely not defending that.

That said, I feel like there must be some nuance there I don't know about -- what happened in the past that made the Concerned  Student 1950 people so wary of media types?  Was it just a zealous conviction against "white media," much like we see with Republican candidates railing against "liberal media," or was there an actual incident that sparked it?

I really have no idea.  I was confused by that whole thing.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: sahara on November 12, 2015, 04:06:42 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."
Yeah, like for example, that bunch of _____ down in MO that occupied public area, invented threats against themselves, demanded that people care about their "safe space" while simultaneously shouting "we don't care about your job", harassed, threatened, and assaulted fellow students... But somehow that's not a thing to talk about, right?

And they segregated their "safe spaces" by the color of their skin now.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ilikesports17 on November 12, 2015, 04:10:08 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."
Yeah, like for example, that bunch of _____ that occupied public area, invented threats against themselves, demanded that people care about their "safe space" while simultaneously shouting "we don't care about your job", harassed, threatened, and assaulted fellow students... But somehow that's not a thing to talk about, right?

The Mizzou thing?  I was mystified by that, to be honest.  I really don't understand why they were so emphatic about keeping out journalists.  You certainly don't have a right to privacy when you're protesting in a public space like that.

I'm definitely not defending that.

That said, I feel like there must be some nuance there I don't know about -- what happened in the past that made the Concerned  Student 1950 people so wary of media types?  Was it just a zealous conviction against "white media," much like we see with Republican candidates railing against "liberal media," or was there an actual incident that sparked it?

I really have no idea.  I was confused by that whole thing.
Which is why "most" is key.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 04:12:02 PM
I wanna be clear that I have no problem with students or people protesting racism and discrimination, but when I see news story and media attention given to Starbucks cups, and the Obsessive Christmas Disorder shirt at target I want to rage. On a similar line,I read a post on twitter from a feminist that parents shouldn't call their child he or she and should call their baby 'babyself' until they can articulate their gender. That is where I draw the line. I'm pro gay and transgender rights, but when I can't call my son a boy or use male pronouns it gets ridiculous.

These things are real too that babyself tweet had like 1500 favorites on twitter and wasn't a joke. People are insane.

That's a new one I haven't heard.    That's utterly insane.

  It's the way of the world. Sooner or later gender-based pronouns will be called hate speech.

http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2015/02/chris-paul-accused-sexism-criticism-nba-female-referee/
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 12, 2015, 04:12:13 PM
The Mizzou thing?  I was mystified by that, to be honest.  I really don't understand why they were so emphatic about keeping out journalists.  You certainly don't have a right to privacy when you're protesting in a public space like that.

I'm definitely not defending that.

That said, I feel like there must be some nuance there I don't know about -- what happened in the past that made the Concerned  Student 1950 people so wary of media types?  Was it just a zealous conviction against "white media," much like we see with Republican candidates railing against "liberal media," or was there an actual incident that sparked it?

I really have no idea.  I was confused by that whole thing.
Yeah. I really mostly got worked up about this when I saw a professor and a campus administrator shoving a student photographer away from public space (its function is apparently protected by a law in MO), and threatening him with "muscle". As someone who spend a good amount of time as a part of academia, I thought that was really disgraceful. Also, the kid showed phenomenal poise, given the situation.

So far, the more I follow it, the more it seems like a bunch of kids used a racial incident to oust an unpopular president. The only validated fact is that some drunk kid called a black student the N- word (raise your hand if you haven't been drunk and dumb in college). That kid has been removed from campus and  there is a procedure against him, but it was somehow turned into a case of "systemic opression". The other alleged incidents (swastika drawn in turd, and KKK on campus) have so far either been unsubstantiated, or proven a fabrication. I can see why they don't want media types they haven't vetted in there.

And all of this is being spearheaded by a former football player who comes from a family worth millions. That whole thing is wrong on so many levels, and yet it's enough to slap #BlackLivesMatter on top of it, and all can be ignored.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 12, 2015, 04:15:46 PM
http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2015/02/chris-paul-accused-sexism-criticism-nba-female-referee/
This is the dumbest thing ever.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 04:19:46 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."

Except this isn't ethically sound. There's no ethical mandate to change your behaviors with good intentions that some, but not others, may find offensive. Only radical ethical relativists and subjectivists, which are few in number, can actually accept a radical principle like this, because virtually every component of speech would be subject to universal approval then. That's asinine.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 04:22:53 PM
The Mizzou thing?  I was mystified by that, to be honest.  I really don't understand why they were so emphatic about keeping out journalists.  You certainly don't have a right to privacy when you're protesting in a public space like that.

I'm definitely not defending that.

That said, I feel like there must be some nuance there I don't know about -- what happened in the past that made the Concerned  Student 1950 people so wary of media types?  Was it just a zealous conviction against "white media," much like we see with Republican candidates railing against "liberal media," or was there an actual incident that sparked it?

I really have no idea.  I was confused by that whole thing.
Yeah. I really mostly got worked up about this when I saw a professor and a campus administrator shoving a student photographer away from public space (its function is apparently protected by a law in MO), and threatening him with "muscle". As someone who spend a good amount of time as a part of academia, I thought that was really disgraceful. Also, the kid showed phenomenal poise, given the situation.

So far, the more I follow it, the more it seems like a bunch of kids used a racial incident to oust an unpopular president. The only validated fact is that some drunk kid called a black student the N- word (raise your hand if you haven't been drunk and dumb in college). That kid has been removed from campus and  there is a procedure against him, but it was somehow turned into a case of "systemic opression". The other alleged incidents (swastika drawn in turd, and KKK on campus) have so far either been unsubstantiated, or proven a fabrication. I can see why they don't want media types they haven't vetted in there.

And all of this is being spearheaded by a former football player who comes from a family worth millions. That whole thing is wrong on so many levels, and yet it's enough to slap #BlackLivesMatter on top of it, and all can be ignored.

TP. The whole situation was a giant mess, and it's absolutely astounding that none of these people see the hypocritical nature of their arguments, i.e. generalizing isolated incidents to represent a whole population or "systematic oppression."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 12, 2015, 04:38:44 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."

Except this isn't ethically sound. There's no ethical mandate to change your behaviors with good intentions that some, but not others, may find offensive. Only radical ethical relativists and subjectivists, which are few in number, can actually accept a radical principle like this, because virtually every component of speech would be subject to universal approval then. That's asinine.

I didn't read what he said as as a suggestion to automatically change anything.  He said listen and be ready, and he's applying it everyone I assume.  Nothing earth shattering there.  I'm sure he'd agree if that you are asininely told to stop doing something then by all means keep doing it..
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 12, 2015, 05:11:10 PM
The Mizzou thing?  I was mystified by that, to be honest.  I really don't understand why they were so emphatic about keeping out journalists.  You certainly don't have a right to privacy when you're protesting in a public space like that.

I'm definitely not defending that.

That said, I feel like there must be some nuance there I don't know about -- what happened in the past that made the Concerned  Student 1950 people so wary of media types?  Was it just a zealous conviction against "white media," much like we see with Republican candidates railing against "liberal media," or was there an actual incident that sparked it?

I really have no idea.  I was confused by that whole thing.
Yeah. I really mostly got worked up about this when I saw a professor and a campus administrator shoving a student photographer away from public space (its function is apparently protected by a law in MO), and threatening him with "muscle". As someone who spend a good amount of time as a part of academia, I thought that was really disgraceful. Also, the kid showed phenomenal poise, given the situation.

So far, the more I follow it, the more it seems like a bunch of kids used a racial incident to oust an unpopular president. The only validated fact is that some drunk kid called a black student the N- word (raise your hand if you haven't been drunk and dumb in college). That kid has been removed from campus and  there is a procedure against him, but it was somehow turned into a case of "systemic opression". The other alleged incidents (swastika drawn in turd, and KKK on campus) have so far either been unsubstantiated, or proven a fabrication. I can see why they don't want media types they haven't vetted in there.

And all of this is being spearheaded by a former football player who comes from a family worth millions. That whole thing is wrong on so many levels, and yet it's enough to slap #BlackLivesMatter on top of it, and all can be ignored.

I have former colleagues currently at Missouri and there's a lot more to it than the narrative here.  This has been building up for quite a while along a lot of different fronts.  Other notable incidents included kicking off the semester by eliminating health insurance for grad students, and announcing this via email with literally 12 hours' notice.  They also discovered in pushing back against this that no one had even bothered to read the annual grad student feedback survey for 12 straight years.  And, under pressure from the state legislature, they severely restricted students' abilities to use Planned Parenthood and other services, then under even more pressure from the student body, hastily returned them later.  There have also been multiple votes of no confidence from faculty as the admins were basically non-responsive to their issues as well.

This is a good timeline from the student newspaper:  http://www.themaneater.com/special-sections/mu-fall-2015/

It only covers this semester but these issues have been developing for the past couple of years as the admins were detached and dismissive of campus issues, which just fed the fire. The uproar over the response to racial climate complaints was just the straw that broke the camel's back once it became a national story.  But the specific incidents were the jumping-off points for the protests; the underlying issues had been festering for a long time.  The gist I get is that they had pretty much alienated the vast majority of the student body, faculty, and staff by the time this stuff broke.


...that said, keeping a reporter out of a public space is fairly abhorrent.  It looks like the professor involved has resigned.  But the people doing that are a fraction of those opposed to Wolfe and Loftin.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 12, 2015, 05:14:21 PM
...and to avoid making a single wall of text post, while I'm sympathetic to the concerns of the protestors, and Wolfe/Loftin leaving seems richly deserved, I have no idea how campus administrators are supposed to police something as nebulous as the social climate. 

You can give people training to say, "don't call people racial slurs, don't be pricks to them because of their race, and don't dress up like caricatures of other races", you can punish people when it happens, but there's no way whatsoever to preemptively eliminate that kind of behavior.  Especially when some of the perpetrators may not even be part of the university.  It seems preposterous. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 05:29:00 PM


You can give people training to say, "don't call people racial slurs, don't be pricks to them because of their race, and don't dress up like caricatures of other races", you can punish people when it happens, but there's no way whatsoever to preemptively eliminate that kind of behavior.  Especially when some of the perpetrators may not even be part of the university.  It seems preposterous.

All true, but I think as an administrator at a school it's important that you choose your actions carefully to convey your appreciation of how serious an issue it is for the students affected.

While you can't prevent students (and non-students) from coming to your school and being racist (or just plain insensitive or obnoxious), you can choose to make your focus teaching students not to be jerks, as opposed to sending out the message that minority students need to learn to deal with it. 

Put another way, if part of the mission of a school administrator is to teach students how to live in a diverse community, the core of that effort should be to teach students not to be dicks to one another, not that they need to learn to not be bothered when their peers act like dicks.


And my understanding is that a big part of these protests at places like Mizzou is about lack of diversity in hiring and a lack of attention to the increased difficulty that minority students face at those universities.  That's definitely not something those students should have to accept.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 05:31:57 PM

There's a huge difference between not doing the act you've deemed "harmful," and forcing others to not do it (for example, canceling Halloween).

Who ever talked about cancelling Halloween?  I believe the original idea here was that people should not wear costumes that they have every reason to believe will be offensive to their peers.

I think it's pretty simple -- don't go out in black face on Halloween.  Don't put on a big sombrero and a blanket and wear a fake mustache and say you've dressed up as a "Mexican."


Quote

I could decide that posts in the CE forum are sometimes psychologically/emotionally harmful to me, but are you going to stop posting there since it's not necessary to your survival?  Or would it be easier if I just stopped reading the post that hurts me and forgot about it?  (The fact that Celticsblog brought back the CE forum points toward the latter).

Some people don't have the luxury of just "walking away" or "avoiding" the behaviors and representations that hurt or bother them, because our popular culture is permeated with those behaviors and representations.

And that's the point of efforts like these, I think -- to say, "Hey, you may not realize it, but this stuff disrespects who I am as a person and I don't find it funny.  It's messed up that this is considered normal and acceptable."

Well, the OP mentioned it.  Not sure about the accuracy.

Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

In response to an email where a professor said this regarding cultural costumes:

Quote
Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious…a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?

Even if the OP meant just banning certain costumes, my point is the same.

It reminds me of how people are criticizing Stephen Curry's daughter for inappropriate behavior, just because the 2 year old was a little obnoxious during the interview.  Everybody is over-sensitive.

My question is, who decides what's offensive, what's not, and where the line's drawn?  No dressing like Pocahontas because it disrespects Indians?  Can't dress like a German beer wench? Can't dress as a gypsy?  Viking?  Can't wear a toga because it disrespects Greeks?  No dressing like a witch because it disrespects the wiccan religion?  No dressing like a jedi because people put jedi as their religion?

I strongly question why you say our culture is "permeated" with offensive/harmful behavior, especially to point where those behaviors are "normal and acceptable."  If I were to repeat some of the offensive stuff that's said on Family Guy or Southpark in public, it would be far from normal and accepted, in fact I'd likely be hated and beaten up.  Does that mean these shows should be taken off the air because they are insensitive and offensive?

Same with the Halloween thing.  Context matters.  Try to go to class in black-face any other day of the year and see what happens.  Halloween is a once in a year celebration where the goal is to have fun.  Same as how someone goes to a comedian or watches Family Guy to have fun.  Just because possibly insensitive things have a place in our culture, doesn't mean those things are "normal and acceptable."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 12, 2015, 06:12:48 PM

There's a huge difference between not doing the act you've deemed "harmful," and forcing others to not do it (for example, canceling Halloween).

Who ever talked about cancelling Halloween?  I believe the original idea here was that people should not wear costumes that they have every reason to believe will be offensive to their peers.

I think it's pretty simple -- don't go out in black face on Halloween.  Don't put on a big sombrero and a blanket and wear a fake mustache and say you've dressed up as a "Mexican."


Quote

I could decide that posts in the CE forum are sometimes psychologically/emotionally harmful to me, but are you going to stop posting there since it's not necessary to your survival?  Or would it be easier if I just stopped reading the post that hurts me and forgot about it?  (The fact that Celticsblog brought back the CE forum points toward the latter).

Some people don't have the luxury of just "walking away" or "avoiding" the behaviors and representations that hurt or bother them, because our popular culture is permeated with those behaviors and representations.

And that's the point of efforts like these, I think -- to say, "Hey, you may not realize it, but this stuff disrespects who I am as a person and I don't find it funny.  It's messed up that this is considered normal and acceptable."

Well, the OP mentioned it.  Not sure about the accuracy.

Yale Professor being verbally attacked by an angry mob for not banning Halloween. Suggested to those who were offended by a costume to "Look away" basically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI

In response to an email where a professor said this regarding cultural costumes:

Quote
Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious…a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?

Even if the OP meant just banning certain costumes, my point is the same.

It reminds me of how people are criticizing Stephen Curry's daughter for inappropriate behavior, just because the 2 year old was a little obnoxious during the interview.  Everybody is over-sensitive.

My question is, who decides what's offensive, what's not, and where the line's drawn?  No dressing like Pocahontas because it disrespects Indians?  Can't dress like a German beer wench? Can't dress as a gypsy?  Viking?  Can't wear a toga because it disrespects Greeks?  No dressing like a witch because it disrespects the wiccan religion?  No dressing like a jedi because people put jedi as their religion?

I strongly question why you say our culture is "permeated" with offensive/harmful behavior, especially to point where those behaviors are "normal and acceptable."  If I were to repeat some of the offensive stuff that's said on Family Guy or Southpark in public, it would be far from normal and accepted, in fact I'd likely be hated and beaten up.  Does that mean these shows should be taken off the air because they are insensitive and offensive?

Same with the Halloween thing.  Context matters.  Try to go to class in black-face any other day of the year and see what happens.  Halloween is a once in a year celebration where the goal is to have fun.  Same as how someone goes to a comedian or watches Family Guy to have fun.  Just because possibly insensitive things have a place in our culture, doesn't mean those things are "normal and acceptable."

You could go to class every day of the year as a German beer wench or in any of the other costumes you list above (maybe not gypsy) with no problem.  So you have acknowledged there is a difference with the black face costume, which brings it back to the line and who decides.  I can tell you that as a white male I want no responsibility for deciding which black (or white or anyone) people might be offended by those costumes and which not. So I wouldn't argue against that particular sensitivity. I do know that there's a history there that I'm not too well versed in and that not all that much time has gone by relatively speaking. And I also know that black people aren't responsible for any increase in the general sensitvity of human beings. 

Regarding the offensive parts of Family Guy and Southpark.  Those shows provide a context.  If you could repeat the offensive parts in public as brilliantly as the shows you'd have no problem most likely (except that public space is inherently more dangerous than your living room so choose the space wisely).
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 06:17:33 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."

Except this isn't ethically sound. There's no ethical mandate to change your behaviors with good intentions that some, but not others, may find offensive. Only radical ethical relativists and subjectivists, which are few in number, can actually accept a radical principle like this, because virtually every component of speech would be subject to universal approval then. That's asinine.

I didn't read what he said as as a suggestion to automatically change anything.  He said listen and be ready, and he's applying it everyone I assume.  Nothing earth shattering there.  I'm sure he'd agree if that you are asininely told to stop doing something then by all means keep doing it..

You might have missed the point of jpotter's post.  Yes, you can listen to people and be ready to change your behavior accordingly, but all your doing is changing your opinion from "that's okay" to "that's not okay."  It's still an OPINION so it's ridiculous to tell other people what they can and can't do based off of somebody's (anybody's) opinion.  Nothing will ever be universally agreed upon.

How is it any different than a vegetarian who is offended by people eating animals?  Can they force their opinions onto the country and stop everyone from eating meat?  Are you personally going to stop eating animals simply because people find it offensive, and it's not necessary to your survival?  Are you a jerk or a ____ if you don't, because you don't care about their feelings and don't care how offended they are?

Indians think it's offensive to eat a cow.  Does America have to stop eating cows due to the feelings/opinions of a minority?  I'm truly very sorry that dressing up like Tiger Woods for Halloween offends people, and so I won't do it.  But I'm simply not a fan of censorship.  The next step might as well be to start arresting anyone who says, "I don't like black people."  It will help us stop racism right?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 06:24:00 PM

My question is, who decides what's offensive, what's not, and where the line's drawn?  No dressing like Pocahontas because it disrespects Indians?  Can't dress like a German beer wench? Can't dress as a gypsy?  Viking?  Can't wear a toga because it disrespects Greeks?  No dressing like a witch because it disrespects the wiccan religion?  No dressing like a jedi because people put jedi as their religion?


Well, I think it's the people who are hurt or disrespected by a given type of behavior who decide if it's offensive.

It's kind of like asking, who decides if something hurts?  If I trip and fall into you, and you break your ankle as a result, who decides if that hurts?  Me?  You?

It would be a different question to ask, "Who decides who is at fault?"  But whether or not I'm at fault, I should probably apologize for causing you pain, and try to avoid doing so in the future, at the very least, right?


Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 06:26:24 PM


You might have missed the point of jpotter's post.  Yes, you can listen to people and be ready to change your behavior accordingly, but all your doing is changing your opinion from "that's okay" to "that's not okay."  It's still an OPINION so it's ridiculous to tell other people what they can and can't do based off of somebody's (anybody's) opinion.  Nothing will ever be universally agreed upon.

Right, but for me it's not a question of opinion but a question of the effect my actions have on others.

I try my best not to hurt or upset other people when I act.  If I do something that hurts somebody else, and somebody lets me know about that, the least I can do is listen and give them a real opportunity to convince me that I should try not to do the same thing in the future.

Doesn't mean I will be persuaded (e.g. I'll keep eating meat even though folks at PETA find it very upsetting), but I think it's my responsibility to at least give it some thought and not assume my viewpoint is infallible.


And no matter if I think I was right or wrong, if I think my actions legitimately hurt somebody else, I should probably apologize for it, even if I still think I was in the right and I don't plan on changing my behavior.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 06:29:43 PM
The next step might as well be to start arresting anyone who says, "I don't like black people."  It will help us stop racism right?

Want me to run down the list, here?  Straw man, red herring, slippery slope, etc.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 12, 2015, 06:32:49 PM
I don't like treading on free speech, but I also don't like deciding for others what they should or shouldn't find offensive. 

With regard to the PC extremists, I am not really concerned.  I consider it a temporary correction gone occasionally awry.   I am OK with being expected to think twice before saying something that may be offensive to someone.  The over-reactions on either side will balance out eventually. 

BTW, the societal "correction" is to reverse the first 200 years of American society in which apartheid was legally sanctioned, women had minimal rights, and there was no social consequence for blatant prejudice or discrimination by those in power against those without.   This was America when I was a kid – not just America in the 1800’s.   
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 06:50:14 PM

My question is, who decides what's offensive, what's not, and where the line's drawn?  No dressing like Pocahontas because it disrespects Indians?  Can't dress like a German beer wench? Can't dress as a gypsy?  Viking?  Can't wear a toga because it disrespects Greeks?  No dressing like a witch because it disrespects the wiccan religion?  No dressing like a jedi because people put jedi as their religion?


Well, I think it's the people who are hurt or disrespected by a given type of behavior who decide if it's offensive.

It's kind of like asking, who decides if something hurts?  If I trip and fall into you, and you break your ankle as a result, who decides if that hurts?  Me?  You?

It would be a different question to ask, "Who decides who is at fault?"  But whether or not I'm at fault, I should probably apologize for causing you pain, and try to avoid doing so in the future, at the very least, right?


Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

No, no, no, no. As I've previously stated two or three times already (that you just so happen to coincidentally ignore), there is no ethical mandate to not offend others. The burden should be on the one who takes offense to either A) lighten up or B) avoid being around that person. In America, we value individual rights and individual autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I'm well-intentioned, don't find it offensive, and you're the only one who takes offense? That's your cross to bear, not mine.

In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard, but it's the fundamental tactic that underlies all of these overly-PC fascists. Perhaps dressing up as Pocahontas is honoring the noble character she displayed, or maybe perhaps it is honoring a noble people. But since the perspective you're working from *wants* to see racism and "cultural appropriation" due to a reliance on confirmation bias, that's what you see. Perhaps it's the perspective of the offended party that needs to change, because I see no necessary causal link that connects dressing up as Pocahontas with "making light of genocide" and oppression.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 06:55:35 PM


You might have missed the point of jpotter's post.  Yes, you can listen to people and be ready to change your behavior accordingly, but all your doing is changing your opinion from "that's okay" to "that's not okay."  It's still an OPINION so it's ridiculous to tell other people what they can and can't do based off of somebody's (anybody's) opinion.  Nothing will ever be universally agreed upon.

Right, but for me it's not a question of opinion but a question of the effect my actions have on others.

I try my best not to hurt or upset other people when I act.  If I do something that hurts somebody else, and somebody lets me know about that, the least I can do is listen and give them a real opportunity to convince me that I should try not to do the same thing in the future.

Doesn't mean I will be persuaded (e.g. I'll keep eating meat even though folks at PETA find it very upsetting), but I think it's my responsibility to at least give it some thought and not assume my viewpoint is infallible.


And no matter if I think I was right or wrong, if I think my actions legitimately hurt somebody else, I should probably apologize for it, even if I still think I was in the right and I don't plan on changing my behavior.

But you just admitted it's a question of opinion, not a question of effect.  The effect of your actions is upsetting either a vegetarian or an African American.  The only difference is the African American persuaded us to agree with his opinion that we should stop offending him, while the vegetarian did not.  Is this because we're hypocritical?  Is this because we're more scared of a group of offended African Americans beating us up than a group of offended vegetarians?  Honestly, I have no clue.

I'll never assume my viewpoint is infallible, but you also can't assume someone else's viewpoint is infallible.  Who is to say they aren't wrong for being offended?  Are you saying the person getting offended always chooses what's offensive or not?  Are you saying the vegetarian is wrong but the African American is right?  Or just that you don't care about the vegetarian because you don't find their opinion/offense as important?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: rocknrollforyoursoul on November 12, 2015, 06:57:00 PM
As a veteran who defended our country, I think we have never been truly free.   We don't have it bad,  mind you but total freedom equals chaos.  I don't see how we are going to survive as a country with the nanny state mentality that young kids have.  How did it get to this?

First of all, thank you for your service to us and to our country. We wouldn't have our freedoms without people like you.

To answer your question, we have to go back in history quite a bit—as I'm sure you know, major cultural changes don't happen overnight, and in this case you have to go back at least as far as the turn of the 20th century and the beginnings of modern progressivism.

A key figure at this time was President Woodrow Wilson, who incorporated many tenets of progressivism into his work as president, such as integrating the ideas of an expanded federal government with fewer limits on it, and a "reinterpretation" of the Declaration and the Constitution—moving from the idea that constitutional principles are permanent and a defense against our inherent selfishness, to the idea that government can and should "change with the times" and be whatever people want it to be at any given time—essentially, a permanent standard of right was to be replaced by multiculturalism and moral relativism.

He also disliked the idea of "separation of powers," even though that's a founding principle of our country, and sought to make the presidency a position of broad authority to enact change. For example, he wanted to bypass the constitutionally given authority of the Senate while trying to bring America into the League of Nations. He also wanted America to be run by the "intellectual élite."

Another key figure is FDR, who (knowingly or not) took Wilson's ideas of expanded, bureaucratic government to another level. Many people credit his New Deal programs with helping bring America out of the Great Depression, but there are some who believe that his ideas exacerbated and extended it, and that the country would've come through the Great Depression sooner had he not done what he did. There may have been some good aspects to the New Deal, but essentially it fostered the notions that government can and should take care of people, and that those in government "know better" than everyone else, which is a page right out of Wilson's playbook.

Then came the '60s. Despite the good of the black civil rights movement, this decade is perhaps best summed up in the words of a former boss of mine who's a member of that generation: "Jason, my generation ruined it for yours, and I'm sorry."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 06:57:23 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."

Except this isn't ethically sound. There's no ethical mandate to change your behaviors with good intentions that some, but not others, may find offensive. Only radical ethical relativists and subjectivists, which are few in number, can actually accept a radical principle like this, because virtually every component of speech would be subject to universal approval then. That's asinine.

I didn't read what he said as as a suggestion to automatically change anything.  He said listen and be ready, and he's applying it everyone I assume.  Nothing earth shattering there.  I'm sure he'd agree if that you are asininely told to stop doing something then by all means keep doing it..

"So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior" if that is not a call to change behavior, then I don't know what is. He's implying that limited perspectives can't see the whole truth of a matter, which is of course true, and this might mean offending people with differing perspectives, which we should then try to accommodate. But as I've said *many times already* there is no ethical mandate to not offend others, especially in cases that are only questionably offensive.

Of course, this doesn't hold in self-evident cases, such as blatant claims of racism and sexism, since they're unethical positions to hold by themselves, but stuff like using gender-specific pronouns and dressing up like Pocahontas are not things that we necessarily must change out of an ethical duty to not offend others.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 12, 2015, 06:59:26 PM
What's wrong with saying that a person can dress like Pocahontas and that a person can be offended by it.  If the person wants to dress in a way that someone finds offensive, they still can. And they don't have to apologize for it.   I wouldn't do it, but you should have a right to.  You should also have the right to express that you find something offensive. 

It's also possible that talking, rather than screaming and protesting in either direction, would help the offended person see that the offender meant no offense, or, help the offender see why the person was offended.  Both sides could lighten up.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 07:08:14 PM
What's wrong with saying that a person can dress like Pocahontas and that a person can be offended by it.  If the person wants to dress in a way that someone finds offensive, they still can. And they don't have to apologize for it.   I wouldn't do it, but you should have a right to.  You should also have the right to express that you find something offensive. 

It's also possible that talking, rather than screaming and protesting in either direction, would help the offended person see that the offender meant no offense, or, help the offender see why the person was offended.  Both sides could lighten up.

That's pretty much what I said. I said there should be no apology, and the burden should be on the offended party not on the "offending" party.

Your second point is spot on, too. However, the times these things clash is always an emotional point. I would venture to say that 99% of these types of things could be resolved through calm dialogue between the two parties.

EDIT: Also, let me ask you this. You say that you wouldn't do it (meaning dress as something that is offensive to something else), but what if your costume or whatever is something that you believe has no business being offensive? For example, let's say you dress your three year old boy up as a cop for Halloween, but someone comes up to you and says they find it offensive due to "police brutality" or some other nonsense. Would you make your child take it off?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 07:11:07 PM


That being said most of this could be solved by people following the "don't be a ****" rule

I agree.

With the add-on:

"and remember that it's possible to be an _____ even if your intentions were good and what you did seemed innocent enough to you.   So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior, especially if those talking to you speak from a perspective that's very different than your own."

Except this isn't ethically sound. There's no ethical mandate to change your behaviors with good intentions that some, but not others, may find offensive. Only radical ethical relativists and subjectivists, which are few in number, can actually accept a radical principle like this, because virtually every component of speech would be subject to universal approval then. That's asinine.

I didn't read what he said as as a suggestion to automatically change anything.  He said listen and be ready, and he's applying it everyone I assume.  Nothing earth shattering there.  I'm sure he'd agree if that you are asininely told to stop doing something then by all means keep doing it..

"So be ready to listen and be persuaded to change your behavior" if that is not a call to change behavior, then I don't know what is. He's implying that limited perspectives can't see the whole truth of a matter, which is of course true, and this might mean offending people with differing perspectives, which we should then try to accommodate. But as I've said *many times already* there is no ethical mandate to not offend others, especially in cases that are only questionably offensive.

Of course, this doesn't hold in self-evident cases, such as blatant claims of racism and sexism, since they're unethical positions to hold by themselves, but stuff like using gender-specific pronouns and dressing up like Pocahontas are not things that we necessarily must change out of an ethical duty to not offend others.

Yup, no where does it say we have the right to be happy.

We do have the right to pursue happiness.

Know the best way to pursue happiness?  Don't look or listen to things that make you unhappy.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 07:22:03 PM
No, no, no, no. As I've previously stated two or three times already (that you just so happen to coincidentally ignore), there is no ethical mandate to not offend others. The burden should be on the one who takes offense to either A) lighten up or B) avoid being around that person. In America, we value individual rights and individual autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I'm well-intentioned, don't find it offensive, and you're the only one who takes offense? That's your cross to bear, not mine.


"There is no ethical mandate to not cause pain to other people.  The burden should be on the one who feels pain, to either (a) develop a higher pain tolerance or (b) avoid being around other people who cause you pain.  In America, we value individual rights and autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I happen to break your ankle, and you're the only one who feels pain?  That's your broken ankle, not mine."


What underpins your entire argument is the implication that people who are offended by the behavior of others are making a claim that is on some level frivolous.  This is why it is so easy for you to suggest that such claims be disregarded.  Those who are offended simply need to learn not to be offended.  That's their problem.

Do I think there are people who will find a reason to be offended by all manner of things, and expect other people to change?  Definitely.  By no means am I saying any potential slight or offense should be accommodated. 

But the possibility that somebody might have a frivolous reason to be offended by something you do does not mean you should ignore entirely whether or not your behavior offends other people.  It's not all or nothing, right?  I don't know why these issues so often turn into all-or-nothing propositions.


For me, what changed the way I looked at "political correctness" issues is when I stopped placing so much emphasis on intention and focused instead on effects.  Because frankly, who cares what your intentions are, if your actions hurt other people.  The people you hurt don't care. 

Talking about what you should and should not say or do to avoid offending other people isn't about you or whether or not you're a good or bad person.  It's about learning to take the people around you into consideration when you choose to act and speak, because you actually give two flips about how other people feel, and you're not entirely self-absorbed.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 07:25:37 PM

BTW, the societal "correction" is to reverse the first 200 years of American society in which apartheid was legally sanctioned, women had minimal rights, and there was no social consequence for blatant prejudice or discrimination by those in power against those without.   This was America when I was a kid – not just America in the 1800’s.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/HyDAt79JnlY4M/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 07:35:36 PM

My question is, who decides what's offensive, what's not, and where the line's drawn?  No dressing like Pocahontas because it disrespects Indians?  Can't dress like a German beer wench? Can't dress as a gypsy?  Viking?  Can't wear a toga because it disrespects Greeks?  No dressing like a witch because it disrespects the wiccan religion?  No dressing like a jedi because people put jedi as their religion?


Well, I think it's the people who are hurt or disrespected by a given type of behavior who decide if it's offensive.

It's kind of like asking, who decides if something hurts?  If I trip and fall into you, and you break your ankle as a result, who decides if that hurts?  Me?  You?

It would be a different question to ask, "Who decides who is at fault?"  But whether or not I'm at fault, I should probably apologize for causing you pain, and try to avoid doing so in the future, at the very least, right?


Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

No, no, no, no. As I've previously stated two or three times already (that you just so happen to coincidentally ignore), there is no ethical mandate to not offend others. The burden should be on the one who takes offense to either A) lighten up or B) avoid being around that person. In America, we value individual rights and individual autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I'm well-intentioned, don't find it offensive, and you're the only one who takes offense? That's your cross to bear, not mine.

In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard, but it's the fundamental tactic that underlies all of these overly-PC fascists. Perhaps dressing up as Pocahontas is honoring the noble character she displayed, or maybe perhaps it is honoring a noble people. But since the perspective you're working from *wants* to see racism and "cultural appropriation" due to a reliance on confirmation bias, that's what you see. Perhaps it's the perspective of the offended party that needs to change, because I see no necessary causal link that connects dressing up as Pocahontas with "making light of genocide" and oppression.

I disagree with this point of view.  The fact is that this country was built in large part on the enslavement and mistreatment of black people by white people.  That's an unfortunate fact that can't be undone.  As NeuroticGuy points out, it's only been roughly fifty years since apartheid was officially made illegal in the United States.

White people who were born within the last fifty years may feel no responsibility for the sins of their ancestors.  And, I guess they shouldn't.  Nobody on this blog ever enslaved anyone or refused to serve anyone because of that person's race, and we can't undo what's been done in the past.

What we can do, however, is recognize that our racist history makes for a society that to this day has some real issues around race and power that haven't just gone away because we want them to. 

If you are a white person who somehow accidentally insults a black person by wearing black face on halloween, you have no legal obligation to apologize for that, to stop wearing black face, to feel any remorse for your insensitivity.  As you say, you may not even have an ethical responsibility to have any concern over whether you've offended someone.

You may say; "Screw you!!! It's a free country, I'm free to express myself!!!"  But, why?  Why would a decent person behave that way?

I don't blame myself for any wrong doings committed by past white Americans, but if black people have a tendency to be "easily offended," I understand the tendency to take offense at a society that's only just in very recent years decided that everyone actually deserves to be treated as full human beings, a concept that our society is still in the process of adjusting to. 

 


Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 07:40:44 PM

You may say; "Screw you!!! It's a free country, I'm free to express myself!!!"  But, why?  Why would a decent person behave that way?

I don't blame myself for any wrong doings committed by past white Americans, but if black people have a tendency to be "easily offended," I understand the tendency to take offense at a society that's only just in very recent years decided that everyone actually deserves to be treated as full human beings, a concept that our society is still in the process of adjusting to.

(http://replygif.net/i/1157.gif)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 07:57:17 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 08:03:40 PM
No, no, no, no. As I've previously stated two or three times already (that you just so happen to coincidentally ignore), there is no ethical mandate to not offend others. The burden should be on the one who takes offense to either A) lighten up or B) avoid being around that person. In America, we value individual rights and individual autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I'm well-intentioned, don't find it offensive, and you're the only one who takes offense? That's your cross to bear, not mine.


"There is no ethical mandate to not cause pain to other people.  The burden should be on the one who feels pain, to either (a) develop a higher pain tolerance or (b) avoid being around other people who cause you pain.  In America, we value individual rights and autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I happen to break your ankle, and you're the only one who feels pain?  That's your broken ankle, not mine."


What underpins your entire argument is the implication that people who are offended by the behavior of others are making a claim that is on some level frivolous.  This is why it is so easy for you to suggest that such claims be disregarded.  Those who are offended simply need to learn not to be offended.  That's their problem.

Do I think there are people who will find a reason to be offended by all manner of things, and expect other people to change?  Definitely.  By no means am I saying any potential slight or offense should be accommodated. 

But the possibility that somebody might have a frivolous reason to be offended by something you do does not mean you should ignore entirely whether or not your behavior offends other people.  It's not all or nothing, right?  I don't know why these issues so often turn into all-or-nothing propositions.


For me, what changed the way I looked at "political correctness" issues is when I stopped placing so much emphasis on intention and focused instead on effects.  Because frankly, who cares what your intentions are, if your actions hurt other people.  The people you hurt don't care. 

Talking about what you should and should not say or do to avoid offending other people isn't about you or whether or not you're a good or bad person.  It's about learning to take the people around you into consideration when you choose to act and speak, because you actually give two flips about how other people feel, and you're not entirely self-absorbed.

Pho, you're better than that. Everyone here knows this is a case of faulty reasoning and a false analogy. This is a false analogy comparing physical harm with whatever you want to describe being offended as. In fact, your whole argument is debunked in the first sentence, because
there is in fact an ethical mandate to not cause pain to others. It's called the principle of non-maleficence, so this analogy can't even get off of the ground....

Putting words in my mouth, eh? Where did I say that you could not consider their perspective about possibly offending them or that it's an all or nothing proposition? Nowhere, this is just you repeating your same talking points over and over. Of course you consider the other person's perspective. This is prior to what I've been arguing. However, if you consider it and still believe that there's nothing wrong with what you're doing, then, as I've said several times now, there's no ethical mandate to change your own philosophy to appease and not offend others. Plain and simple.

The problem is, not many people take this type of utilitarian/consequentialist outlook like you do, though. In fact, the majority of people and serious ethicists agree that motives, intentions, and duties are much more relevant to ethical decision-making than consequences or effects.Also, it's funny that you talk about limited, fallible perspectives and then argue for a focus on effects, because guess what is subject to limited, fallible perspectives - effects! Further, guess what one of the main criticisms against utilitarianism and consequentialism and your type of ethical reasoning is - its tendency to justify self-evidently unethical actions, such as cruel medical experimentation, killing an individual to harvest his organs to save five others, and, yes you guessed it, even slavery! So I find it quite humorous that you take this position.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 08:06:17 PM
http://nativeappropriations.com/2011/10/open-letter-to-the-pocahotties-and-indian-warriors-this-halloween.html

This is an informative example.

Some quotes that illustrate what I've said previously:

Quote
I already know how our conversation would go. I’ll ask you to please not dress up as a ****ized version of my culture for Halloween, and you’ll reply that it’s “just for fun” and I should “get over it.” You’ll tell me that you “weren’t doing it to be offensive” and that “everyone knows real Native Americans don’t dress like this.” You’ll say that you have a “right” to dress up as “whatever you [dang] well please.”

Quote
You don’t have to worry about the vast majority of your people living in poverty, struggling with alcoholism, domestic violence, hunger, and unemployment caused by 500+ years of colonialism and federal policies aimed at erasing your existence. You don’t walk through life everyday feeling invisible, because the only images the public sees of you are fictionalized stereotypes that don’t represent who you are at all. You don’t know what it’s like to care about something so deeply and know at your core that it’s so wrong, and have others in positions of power dismiss you like you’re some sort of over-sensitive freak.

Quote
I know you’re going to scoff at my over-sensitivity. But I’m telling you, from the bottom of my heart, that you’re hurting me. And I would hope that would be enough.

Quote
I just can’t understand, how after hearing, first-hand, that your choice is hurtful to another human being, you’re able to continue to celebrate with your braids and plastic tomahawk.

Quote
I am not in a position of power. Native people are not in positions of power. By dressing up as a fake Indian, you are asserting your power over us, and continuing to oppress us.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 08:08:19 PM

Pho, you're better than that. Everyone here knows this is a case of faulty reasoning and a false analogy. This is a false analogy comparing physical harm with whatever you want to describe being offended as. In fact, your whole argument is debunked in the first sentence, because
there is in fact an ethical mandate to not cause pain to others. It's called the principle of non-maleficence, so this analogy can't even get off of the ground....

Putting words in my mouth, eh? Where did I say that you could not consider their perspective about possibly offending them or that it's an all or nothing proposition? Nowhere, this is just you repeating your same talking points over and over. Of course you consider the other person's perspective. This is prior to what I've been arguing. However, if you consider it and still believe that there's nothing wrong with what you're doing, then, as I've said several times now, there's no ethical mandate to change your own philosophy to appease and not offend others. Plain and simple.

The problem is, not many people take this type of utilitarian/consequentialist outlook like you do, though. In fact, the majority of people and serious ethicists agree that motives, intentions, and duties are much more relevant to ethical decision-making than consequences or effects.Also, it's funny that you talk about limited, fallible perspectives and then argue for a focus on effects, because guess what is subject to limited, fallible perspectives - effects! Further, guess what one of the main criticisms against utilitarianism and consequentialism and your type of ethical reasoning is - its tendency to justify self-evidently unethical actions, such as cruel medical experimentation, killing an individual to harvest his organs to save five others, and, yes you guessed it, even slavery! So I find it quite humorous that you take this position.

My eyes .... my eyes ... they're ... bleeding ....

(http://static3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/No+offense+you+actually+look+okay+_be8465309452442a09ad639785d8f8f3.jpg)


You keep repeating this same thing over and over, that there is "no ethical mandate not to cause pain to others."


What are you even talking about?  Did I miss this section of the Ethical Guidebook from God?

To put it simply, like Celtics18 did, sure, you can live that way, but what kind of person does that?

Either you give a dang about other people, or you don't.  This isn't that complex.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 12, 2015, 08:10:25 PM
What's wrong with saying that a person can dress like Pocahontas and that a person can be offended by it.  If the person wants to dress in a way that someone finds offensive, they still can. And they don't have to apologize for it.   I wouldn't do it, but you should have a right to.  You should also have the right to express that you find something offensive. 

It's also possible that talking, rather than screaming and protesting in either direction, would help the offended person see that the offender meant no offense, or, help the offender see why the person was offended.  Both sides could lighten up.

That's pretty much what I said. I said there should be no apology, and the burden should be on the offended party not on the "offending" party.

Your second point is spot on, too. However, the times these things clash is always an emotional point. I would venture to say that 99% of these types of things could be resolved through calm dialogue between the two parties.

EDIT: Also, let me ask you this. You say that you wouldn't do it (meaning dress as something that is offensive to something else), but what if your costume or whatever is something that you believe has no business being offensive? For example, let's say you dress your three year old boy up as a cop for Halloween, but someone comes up to you and says they find it offensive due to "police brutality" or some other nonsense. Would you make your child take it off?

I get to decide what I think is nonsense and of course sometimes there is no logical connection and I have to just move on and decide the cost-benefit of the situation.

But for the most part, I try very hard to live by a specific tenet that is one Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood." If someone claimed I was doing something offensive that my immediate reaction was to deny, I hope that I would lighten up and try to understand the other perspective.  I believe that is a better way to live than to presume that my perspective (or initial reaction) is the only one that matters.   What I find is that even if I end up disagreeing with someone's ideas, I can usually (though not always, to my regret) at least understand and validate the other perspective.  This usually increases the probability that the other person will be open to understanding my perspective.  The result is usually respectful, non-marginalizing discourse in which common ground can be found and alignment can occur.  Dismissing another's point of view out of hand is a recipe for divisiveness -- Congress and our political parties are doing a great job modeling that approach.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 12, 2015, 08:12:54 PM

I get to decide what I think is nonsense and of course sometimes there is no logical connection and I have to just move on and decide the cost-benefit of the situation.

But for the most part, I try very hard to live by a specific tenet that is one Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood." If someone claimed I was doing something offensive that my immediate reaction was to deny, I hope that I would lighten up and try to understand the other perspective.  I believe that is a better way to live than to presume that my perspective (or initial reaction) is the only one that matters.   What I find is that even if I end up disagreeing with someone's ideas, I can usually (though not always, to my regret) at least understand and validate the other perspective.  This usually increases the probability that the other person will be open to understanding my perspective.  The result is usually respectful, non-marginalizing discourse in which common ground can be found and alignment can occur.  Dismissing another's point of view out of hand is a recipe for divisiveness -- Congress and our political parties are doing a great job modeling that approach.


This is pretty much a perfect post.


Try, listen, understand, validate.  You've said it better than I could.  So much better.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: ChainSmokingLikeDino on November 12, 2015, 08:24:42 PM
I think hardcore ethicists actually know the least about ethics. Go read some Stanley Cavell.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 08:25:38 PM

My question is, who decides what's offensive, what's not, and where the line's drawn?  No dressing like Pocahontas because it disrespects Indians?  Can't dress like a German beer wench? Can't dress as a gypsy?  Viking?  Can't wear a toga because it disrespects Greeks?  No dressing like a witch because it disrespects the wiccan religion?  No dressing like a jedi because people put jedi as their religion?


Well, I think it's the people who are hurt or disrespected by a given type of behavior who decide if it's offensive.

It's kind of like asking, who decides if something hurts?  If I trip and fall into you, and you break your ankle as a result, who decides if that hurts?  Me?  You?

It would be a different question to ask, "Who decides who is at fault?"  But whether or not I'm at fault, I should probably apologize for causing you pain, and try to avoid doing so in the future, at the very least, right?


Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

No, no, no, no. As I've previously stated two or three times already (that you just so happen to coincidentally ignore), there is no ethical mandate to not offend others. The burden should be on the one who takes offense to either A) lighten up or B) avoid being around that person. In America, we value individual rights and individual autonomy, so why is the burden on me if I'm well-intentioned, don't find it offensive, and you're the only one who takes offense? That's your cross to bear, not mine.

In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard, but it's the fundamental tactic that underlies all of these overly-PC fascists. Perhaps dressing up as Pocahontas is honoring the noble character she displayed, or maybe perhaps it is honoring a noble people. But since the perspective you're working from *wants* to see racism and "cultural appropriation" due to a reliance on confirmation bias, that's what you see. Perhaps it's the perspective of the offended party that needs to change, because I see no necessary causal link that connects dressing up as Pocahontas with "making light of genocide" and oppression.

I disagree with this point of view.  The fact is that this country was built in large part on the enslavement and mistreatment of black people by white people.  That's an unfortunate fact that can't be undone.  As NeuroticGuy points out, it's only been roughly fifty years since apartheid was officially made illegal in the United States.

White people who were born within the last fifty years may feel no responsibility for the sins of their ancestors.  And, I guess they shouldn't.  Nobody on this blog ever enslaved anyone or refused to serve anyone because of that person's race, and we can't undo what's been done in the past.

What we can do, however, is recognize that our racist history makes for a society that to this day has some real issues around race and power that haven't just gone away because we want them to. 

If you are a white person who somehow accidentally insults a black person by wearing black face on halloween, you have no legal obligation to apologize for that, to stop wearing black face, to feel any remorse for your insensitivity.  As you say, you may not even have an ethical responsibility to have any concern over whether you've offended someone.

You may say; "Screw you!!! It's a free country, I'm free to express myself!!!"  But, why?  Why would a decent person behave that way?

I don't blame myself for any wrong doings committed by past white Americans, but if black people have a tendency to be "easily offended," I understand the tendency to take offense at a society that's only just in very recent years decided that everyone actually deserves to be treated as full human beings, a concept that our society is still in the process of adjusting to.

Let me first say that Pho is the only one who brought up blackface. It was not in any of the articles of the Yale situation or any of the other recent situations. However, it keeps getting brought up because it's a seemingly obvious violation that shouldn't be tolerated. I can definitely see where blackface would be offensive, though I don't necessarily think that every case of blackface is necessarily ethically questionable.

But we'll just have to agree to disagree. I honestly think the racial component in America is way overblown by the media. I don't think I have any type of "white privilege" or any nonsense like that necessarily puts me in a better position to succeed than someone like Ben Carson, Michael Brown, or Marcus Smart. And I especially don't think that moral culpability can be extended to anything outside of the individual.

But if I am well-intentioned and I truly and honestly don't dress my daughter up as Pocahontas to  "make light of genocide" or oppression but rather to satisfy her need to be one of her heroes from a Disney movie, I could give a Flying F what anyone else takes offense to with that. If they're offended by that, it's because of their own perspective on the matter, not mine. This isn't to say that I can dress as the KKK (a morally evil group in itself) while being ethically justified, because I don't think that you can. However, letting my child dress as Pocahontas for Halloween is in no way, shape, or form an offensive act to any rational individual who is not hell-bent on starting a race-war.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 08:39:40 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.

Second, the story of Pocahontas is history, and though the Disney version was not exactly the real story behind it, it was meant to be a kid's movie and provide young girls with a good role model to imitate. DO YOU REALLY THINK MY DAUGHTER HAS GENOCIDE OR OPPRESSION IN MIND WHEN SHE WANTS TO DRESS UP AS POCAHONTAS FOR HALLOWEEN?

Third, another false equivalency I see. No, a German kid cannot ethically wear a star of David armband, because that is OBVIOUSLY associated and connected with the Holocaust. But dressing as Pocahontas has no obvious association with the genocide and oppression of their people. Rather, people dress up as Pocahontas because she is glorified as a hero in our culture to our youth. By this ridiculous logic, you would virtually have no costume to wear, because you could link some potential bad thing that happened in time to any costume that you can imagine. This is just pure non-sense.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 08:45:55 PM

Pho, you're better than that. Everyone here knows this is a case of faulty reasoning and a false analogy. This is a false analogy comparing physical harm with whatever you want to describe being offended as. In fact, your whole argument is debunked in the first sentence, because
there is in fact an ethical mandate to not cause pain to others. It's called the principle of non-maleficence, so this analogy can't even get off of the ground....

Putting words in my mouth, eh? Where did I say that you could not consider their perspective about possibly offending them or that it's an all or nothing proposition? Nowhere, this is just you repeating your same talking points over and over. Of course you consider the other person's perspective. This is prior to what I've been arguing. However, if you consider it and still believe that there's nothing wrong with what you're doing, then, as I've said several times now, there's no ethical mandate to change your own philosophy to appease and not offend others. Plain and simple.

The problem is, not many people take this type of utilitarian/consequentialist outlook like you do, though. In fact, the majority of people and serious ethicists agree that motives, intentions, and duties are much more relevant to ethical decision-making than consequences or effects.Also, it's funny that you talk about limited, fallible perspectives and then argue for a focus on effects, because guess what is subject to limited, fallible perspectives - effects! Further, guess what one of the main criticisms against utilitarianism and consequentialism and your type of ethical reasoning is - its tendency to justify self-evidently unethical actions, such as cruel medical experimentation, killing an individual to harvest his organs to save five others, and, yes you guessed it, even slavery! So I find it quite humorous that you take this position.

My eyes .... my eyes ... they're ... bleeding ....

(http://static3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/No+offense+you+actually+look+okay+_be8465309452442a09ad639785d8f8f3.jpg)


You keep repeating this same thing over and over, that there is "no ethical mandate not to cause pain to others."


What are you even talking about?  Did I miss this section of the Ethical Guidebook from God?

To put it simply, like Celtics18 did, sure, you can live that way, but what kind of person does that?

Either you give a dang about other people, or you don't.  This isn't that complex.

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child. Again, who is the one who said there is no ethical mandate to not cause *pain* to others? You, because I wouldn't say such an asinine, incorrect thing being a professional ethicist. What I'm talking about is I'm poking all kinds of holes in your argument that you fail to seem to grasp...
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 08:47:00 PM
I think hardcore ethicists actually know the least about ethics. Go read some Stanley Cavell.

Makes sense

(http://rs118.pbsrc.com/albums/o92/quipfan/kids-clint-eastwood-grumpy-old-man-gran-torino_zpsxuilmxlz.gif~c200)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 12, 2015, 08:47:16 PM
However, there is a line.  Even you would admit there's a line.  This thread is about where that line is.  I think you've gone a little abstract here..
Me, or Pho?

I'm really not all that abstract. The line is mostly written in the law of the land, and the law says that being a jerk is everyone's constitutional right.


Well, in an ethical discussion, the law isn't necessarily relevant -- the law itself may or may not be ethical.

I think Phosita's point isn't that you don't have the legal right to be a jerk.

He's saying that if you get an indication that what you are doing is harmful (even if simply 'emotionally' / 'psychologically' harming) someone, a non-jerk person (i.e., an ethical person) would assess the necessity of doing said action.

Note - even an ethical person might still decide to continue the action, if all things considered, he finds it necessary (For example, if my breathing offends you, too bad.).   But if he doesn't find it necessary, an ethical person would probably stop.

A jerk would not stop - and in fact, a jerk would probably not even bother to make the assessment.

There's a huge difference between not doing the act you've deemed "harmful," and forcing others to not do it (for example, canceling Halloween).

That's the whole point, YOU'RE the one who determined whether or not the act is okay.  You can determine for yourself what's okay and control yourself accordingly, but who is supposed to determine/decide for everybody what's okay or not?  You can't make everybody happy.

This is stuff the founding fathers figured out hundreds of years ago without twitter and the internet and lightbulbs, etc, yet some people still can't accept it today?

I could decide that posts in the CE forum are sometimes psychologically/emotionally harmful to me, but are you going to stop posting there since it's not necessary to your survival?  Or would it be easier if I just stopped reading the post that hurts me and forgot about it?  (The fact that Celticsblog brought back the CE forum points toward the latter).

Apparently, you didn't read this part of my post:
Quote
... would assess the necessity of doing said action.

Note - even an ethical person might still decide to continue the action, if all things considered, he finds it necessary
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 08:51:04 PM
What's wrong with saying that a person can dress like Pocahontas and that a person can be offended by it.  If the person wants to dress in a way that someone finds offensive, they still can. And they don't have to apologize for it.   I wouldn't do it, but you should have a right to.  You should also have the right to express that you find something offensive. 

It's also possible that talking, rather than screaming and protesting in either direction, would help the offended person see that the offender meant no offense, or, help the offender see why the person was offended.  Both sides could lighten up.

That's pretty much what I said. I said there should be no apology, and the burden should be on the offended party not on the "offending" party.

Your second point is spot on, too. However, the times these things clash is always an emotional point. I would venture to say that 99% of these types of things could be resolved through calm dialogue between the two parties.

EDIT: Also, let me ask you this. You say that you wouldn't do it (meaning dress as something that is offensive to something else), but what if your costume or whatever is something that you believe has no business being offensive? For example, let's say you dress your three year old boy up as a cop for Halloween, but someone comes up to you and says they find it offensive due to "police brutality" or some other nonsense. Would you make your child take it off?

I get to decide what I think is nonsense and of course sometimes there is no logical connection and I have to just move on and decide the cost-benefit of the situation.

But for the most part, I try very hard to live by a specific tenet that is one Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood." If someone claimed I was doing something offensive that my immediate reaction was to deny, I hope that I would lighten up and try to understand the other perspective.  I believe that is a better way to live than to presume that my perspective (or initial reaction) is the only one that matters.   What I find is that even if I end up disagreeing with someone's ideas, I can usually (though not always, to my regret) at least understand and validate the other perspective.  This usually increases the probability that the other person will be open to understanding my perspective.  The result is usually respectful, non-marginalizing discourse in which common ground can be found and alignment can occur.  Dismissing another's point of view out of hand is a recipe for divisiveness -- Congress and our political parties are doing a great job modeling that approach.

Again, I don't see anything that you just said as incompatible with what I said. In fact, I feel like we're saying the exact same things, just with a different focus.

As I explained to Pho, I never said to ignore another perspective. My whole argument was aimed at the next step of that logical progression. And as I previously said in response to you, I think most of these disagreements of offense would be solved with civil dialogue between the two parties.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 12, 2015, 09:13:33 PM
Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

  I'd assume that I could also go up to someone in traditional Muslim garb that they're offending me (because of 9/11) and expect them to stop wearing the offensive clothing? Would the same hold true for anyone wearing traditional clothing from any country that's ever killed a significant number of Americans?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 12, 2015, 09:22:58 PM
What's wrong with saying that a person can dress like Pocahontas and that a person can be offended by it.  If the person wants to dress in a way that someone finds offensive, they still can. And they don't have to apologize for it.   I wouldn't do it, but you should have a right to.  You should also have the right to express that you find something offensive. 

It's also possible that talking, rather than screaming and protesting in either direction, would help the offended person see that the offender meant no offense, or, help the offender see why the person was offended.  Both sides could lighten up.

That's pretty much what I said. I said there should be no apology, and the burden should be on the offended party not on the "offending" party.

Your second point is spot on, too. However, the times these things clash is always an emotional point. I would venture to say that 99% of these types of things could be resolved through calm dialogue between the two parties.

EDIT: Also, let me ask you this. You say that you wouldn't do it (meaning dress as something that is offensive to something else), but what if your costume or whatever is something that you believe has no business being offensive? For example, let's say you dress your three year old boy up as a cop for Halloween, but someone comes up to you and says they find it offensive due to "police brutality" or some other nonsense. Would you make your child take it off?

I get to decide what I think is nonsense and of course sometimes there is no logical connection and I have to just move on and decide the cost-benefit of the situation.

But for the most part, I try very hard to live by a specific tenet that is one Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood." If someone claimed I was doing something offensive that my immediate reaction was to deny, I hope that I would lighten up and try to understand the other perspective.  I believe that is a better way to live than to presume that my perspective (or initial reaction) is the only one that matters.   What I find is that even if I end up disagreeing with someone's ideas, I can usually (though not always, to my regret) at least understand and validate the other perspective.  This usually increases the probability that the other person will be open to understanding my perspective.  The result is usually respectful, non-marginalizing discourse in which common ground can be found and alignment can occur.  Dismissing another's point of view out of hand is a recipe for divisiveness -- Congress and our political parties are doing a great job modeling that approach.

Again, I don't see anything that you just said as incompatible with what I said. In fact, I feel like we're saying the exact same things, just with a different focus.

As I explained to Pho, I never said to ignore another perspective. My whole argument was aimed at the next step of that logical progression. And as I previously said in response to you, I think most of these disagreements of offense would be solved with civil dialogue between the two parties.

Not sure why you seem to think I am trying to disagree with you.  I was responding to a question you put to me as to whether I would ask my child to take off a costume if someone was offended by it.   My response was, essentially, that I hope I would try to see another's perspective before reacting that their point of view is nonsense.  Not suggesting you'd respond otherwise.  Just responding to your question.   If someone were offended by my child's costume I probably wouldn't have my child take it off (I would try to protect my child from having a disappointing night) but I doubt I'd save the costume for next year.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 12, 2015, 09:24:21 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 12, 2015, 09:24:38 PM

Pho, you're better than that. Everyone here knows this is a case of faulty reasoning and a false analogy. This is a false analogy comparing physical harm with whatever you want to describe being offended as. In fact, your whole argument is debunked in the first sentence, because
there is in fact an ethical mandate to not cause pain to others. It's called the principle of non-maleficence, so this analogy can't even get off of the ground....

Putting words in my mouth, eh? Where did I say that you could not consider their perspective about possibly offending them or that it's an all or nothing proposition? Nowhere, this is just you repeating your same talking points over and over. Of course you consider the other person's perspective. This is prior to what I've been arguing. However, if you consider it and still believe that there's nothing wrong with what you're doing, then, as I've said several times now, there's no ethical mandate to change your own philosophy to appease and not offend others. Plain and simple.

The problem is, not many people take this type of utilitarian/consequentialist outlook like you do, though. In fact, the majority of people and serious ethicists agree that motives, intentions, and duties are much more relevant to ethical decision-making than consequences or effects.Also, it's funny that you talk about limited, fallible perspectives and then argue for a focus on effects, because guess what is subject to limited, fallible perspectives - effects! Further, guess what one of the main criticisms against utilitarianism and consequentialism and your type of ethical reasoning is - its tendency to justify self-evidently unethical actions, such as cruel medical experimentation, killing an individual to harvest his organs to save five others, and, yes you guessed it, even slavery! So I find it quite humorous that you take this position.

My eyes .... my eyes ... they're ... bleeding ....

(http://static3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/No+offense+you+actually+look+okay+_be8465309452442a09ad639785d8f8f3.jpg)


You keep repeating this same thing over and over, that there is "no ethical mandate not to cause pain to others."


What are you even talking about?  Did I miss this section of the Ethical Guidebook from God?

To put it simply, like Celtics18 did, sure, you can live that way, but what kind of person does that?

Either you give a dang about other people, or you don't.  This isn't that complex.

Correct me if I'm completely wrong, but I'm pretty sure he said there WAS an ethical mandate against causing pain to others (thus refuting your original point).  There isn't however one against offending others (meaning you shouldn't "feel bad" if you made someone feel offended) simply because anybody can feel offended about "anything."

I can feel offended about people who use the word banana.  That doesn't mean I can tell people not to use the term "banana," even if 99% of the population agrees with me.  It would infringe on their right to free speech/the right to express themselves, regardless whether I believed it, a small group believes it, or 99% of the population.

There is however an ethical mandate against "harming" others (at least physical pain, as described in your broken ankle [failed] analogy).  Even if you wanted to extend this to psychological harm, I would look towards intent first and foremost.  If someone dressed as their childhood hero as a form of tribute (whether it be Woods, Smart, or Pocahontas), I don't see why that should cause the respective nationality psychological harm.  If it caused them "minor discomfort," I would say deal with it, because as far as I'm concerned (know nothing of ethics) that's not a huge deal.

On the other hand, if a known racist at your school, who has possibly even made racist comments towards you, dressed in blackface on Halloween in a mocking manner to display African Americans as "lower" (the same way blackface was originally used in theater and thus why it's taboo in today's society) then that's a completely different story.

Obviously the intent matters.  You're looking at it in an ends justify the means viewpoint.  If someone feels offended, you automatically try to change your behavior to not offend them, (even if it shouldn't be considered offensive) but if someone doesn't feel offended (even if your behavior might be offensive) that's okay?  It's the effect/result right?  Like he said, that's the same viewpoint people viewed slavery with.  They thought the "result" of slavery was that African Americans had shelter, meals, medicine, and the ability to repopulate/diversify that they never would have had in Africa.  Meanwhile, their actual intent was completely selfish (running their plantation and making more money for less work).
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 09:26:57 PM
What's wrong with saying that a person can dress like Pocahontas and that a person can be offended by it.  If the person wants to dress in a way that someone finds offensive, they still can. And they don't have to apologize for it.   I wouldn't do it, but you should have a right to.  You should also have the right to express that you find something offensive. 

It's also possible that talking, rather than screaming and protesting in either direction, would help the offended person see that the offender meant no offense, or, help the offender see why the person was offended.  Both sides could lighten up.

That's pretty much what I said. I said there should be no apology, and the burden should be on the offended party not on the "offending" party.

Your second point is spot on, too. However, the times these things clash is always an emotional point. I would venture to say that 99% of these types of things could be resolved through calm dialogue between the two parties.

EDIT: Also, let me ask you this. You say that you wouldn't do it (meaning dress as something that is offensive to something else), but what if your costume or whatever is something that you believe has no business being offensive? For example, let's say you dress your three year old boy up as a cop for Halloween, but someone comes up to you and says they find it offensive due to "police brutality" or some other nonsense. Would you make your child take it off?

I get to decide what I think is nonsense and of course sometimes there is no logical connection and I have to just move on and decide the cost-benefit of the situation.

But for the most part, I try very hard to live by a specific tenet that is one Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood." If someone claimed I was doing something offensive that my immediate reaction was to deny, I hope that I would lighten up and try to understand the other perspective.  I believe that is a better way to live than to presume that my perspective (or initial reaction) is the only one that matters.   What I find is that even if I end up disagreeing with someone's ideas, I can usually (though not always, to my regret) at least understand and validate the other perspective.  This usually increases the probability that the other person will be open to understanding my perspective.  The result is usually respectful, non-marginalizing discourse in which common ground can be found and alignment can occur.  Dismissing another's point of view out of hand is a recipe for divisiveness -- Congress and our political parties are doing a great job modeling that approach.

Again, I don't see anything that you just said as incompatible with what I said. In fact, I feel like we're saying the exact same things, just with a different focus.

As I explained to Pho, I never said to ignore another perspective. My whole argument was aimed at the next step of that logical progression. And as I previously said in response to you, I think most of these disagreements of offense would be solved with civil dialogue between the two parties.

Not sure why you seem to think I am trying to disagree with you.  I was responding to a question you put to me as to whether I would ask my child to take off a costume if someone was offended by it.   My response was, essentially, that I hope I would try to see another's perspective before reacting that their point of view is nonsense.  Not suggesting you'd respond otherwise.  Just responding to your question.   If someone were offended by my child's costume I probably wouldn't have my child take it off (I would try to protect my child from having a disappointing night) but I doubt I'd save the costume for next year.

My bad. I was responding to too many posts at the same time. TP!
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 12, 2015, 09:36:19 PM
Dang. This being overly offended fad is crazy. Hopefully it doesn't last long otherwise everyone is going to be at each other's throats.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 09:38:06 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.   
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 12, 2015, 09:39:21 PM
Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

  I'd assume that I could also go up to someone in traditional Muslim garb that they're offending me (because of 9/11) and expect them to stop wearing the offensive clothing? Would the same hold true for anyone wearing traditional clothing from any country that's ever killed a significant number of Americans?

You woudn't tell a person to stop wearing their traditional clothing because you'd have respect for their right to wear their own traditional clothing.  If they knew it was offending you, they'd have a choice as to whether to continue to wear it.  In your hypothetical, they probably would continue to wear it because it is their cultural clothing and probably important to them.  On the other hand, the person dressing as an Indian on halloween might choose not to continue wearing it because the costume may have little importance to them -- it's just a one night costume.  Or, they could decide wear it every day just to purposely offend. That would show 'em.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 12, 2015, 09:49:53 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.
You are incorrectly assuming, that people who don't agree with your perspective that something should be done, don't also find the pocahontas example rude and insensitive.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Big333223 on November 12, 2015, 09:52:00 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

This is a long piece but I thought it got to the heart of the current issue.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 12, 2015, 09:53:23 PM
Dang. This being overly offended fad is crazy. Hopefully it doesn't last long otherwise everyone is going to be at each other's throats.

It's partly about people being overly offended.  It's also about people getting mad at people who are overly offended.   Bottom line, it's about a political and social debate that seeks to highlight what we don't like about each other rather than to identify common ground.   In today's climate, those who try to find common ground are smothered and dismissed by those who want to vilify the other side.   Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidates are Americans and I don't believe any of them are evil (not sure about Ted Cruz, but otherwise, I am sure).  They are able to find common ground if they want to.  They choose not to.     
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 09:57:10 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

EDIT: But again in a liberal, pluralistic society, it is extremely important to allow differing individuals to have differing conceptions of the good. Where perhaps the Native Americans put much more value and emphasis on their cultural heritage and sensitivity, perhaps the girl in the outfit values honesty, fidelity, and courageousness much more than sensitivity to others. In essence, this commitment to the tolerance of differing conceptions of the good is a strategy of embracing diversity in itself.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 10:03:26 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically, or, at the very least, rudely, arrogantly, and lacking sensitivity.

 

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 10:04:15 PM
Dang. This being overly offended fad is crazy. Hopefully it doesn't last long otherwise everyone is going to be at each other's throats.

It's partly about people being overly offended.  It's also about people getting mad at people who are overly offended.   Bottom line, it's about a political and social debate that seeks to highlight what we don't like about each other rather than to identify common ground.   In today's climate, those who try to find common ground are smothered and dismissed by those who want to vilify the other side.   Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidates are Americans and I don't believe any of them are evil (not sure about Ted Cruz, but otherwise, I am sure).  They are able to find common ground if they want to.  They choose not to.   

I read an article last night that said this exact same thing. It pointed to statistics showing that conservatives and liberals dislike each other much more now than they did in 1980, and this dislike and vilification of the opposing viewpoint is growing at a rapid pace.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 10:09:52 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question, e.g. privileged black kids who are sons of multimillionaire railroad executives or other minorities whose ancestors have undeniably been discriminated against but the individual claiming offense themselves has not.

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.

But like I said, being ethical doesn't necessarily mean the person is a rather likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic person.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 10:13:20 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.

But like I said, being ethical doesn't necessarily mean the person is a rather likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic person.

And who cares about being "likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic" as long as you can prove to those who study Ethics for a living that you aren't being unethical?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 12, 2015, 10:21:33 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 12, 2015, 10:23:57 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 12, 2015, 10:39:20 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 12, 2015, 10:48:35 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

This is a long piece but I thought it got to the heart of the current issue.

This is an excellent and disturbing article.  Disturbing because it's very hard to think
of a corrective measure given the prevalence of social media, along with the intensifying dislike and vilifying of the other side (as mentionedbetween dems and repubs).  And disturbing because of the "vindictive" and militant nature of the "victims".

I do not see the black face costume issue in the same light as many of the examples in the article of various sensitivities.  Asians in this country have not dealt with what blacks have dealt with.  In black white issues there is quite often more than just "offense" taken, but genuine fear.  This week there was  an email sent to Berkeley high school that used the N word and promised a hanging on a specific date.  Not at all comparable to feelings of offense generated by black face costumes, but in a climate like that it doesn't take much to trigger great fear.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 10:50:15 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.

(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/45/45dadbd9551fa0faa1b84d1023b0b038279608fd1274725f104df76ddd7ce5e7.jpg)

Seriously, though, I don't know if you're just messing around or what, because the very title of this thread is an embodiment of what I'm arguing, i.e. individual autonomy (right to free speech) overriding any possible harms that speech brings with it. I mean this is codified in law, which is based on the moral law, and the very topic we're discussing, so it's very strange that you think you can even argue something like this...

And, yeah, it's written in logic and the relevant literature. And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature." The fact that we have a Constitutional amendment explicitly granting us a right to free speech, which is based on the ethical principle of the right to individual autonomy, justifies this claim without doubt. End of story.

There are many other different examples from law of autonomy trumping possible harms, e.g. freedom of religion, right to bear arms, etc., and there are many other applied ethical instances that autonomy trumps harms, e.g. elective surgery, live organ donation, physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, etc.

So try again, Slick...
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 10:54:23 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.

(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/45/45dadbd9551fa0faa1b84d1023b0b038279608fd1274725f104df76ddd7ce5e7.jpg)

Seriously, though, I don't know if you're just messing around or what, because the very title of this thread is an embodiment of what I'm arguing, i.e. individual autonomy (right to free speech) overriding any possible harms that speech brings with it. I mean this is codified in law, which is based on the moral law, and the very topic we're discussing, so it's very strange that you think you can even argue something like this...

And, yeah, it's written in logic and the relevant literature. And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature." The fact that we have a Constitutional amendment explicitly granting us a right to free speech, which is based on the ethical principle of the right to individual autonomy, justifies this claim without doubt. End of story.

There are many other different examples from law of autonomy trumping possible harms, e.g. freedom of religion, right to bear arms, (right to wear a Pocahontas outfit or paint my face black), etc., and there are many other applied ethical instances that autonomy trumps harms, e.g. elective surgery, live organ donation, physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, etc.

So try again, Slick...
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 10:55:44 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.

But like I said, being ethical doesn't necessarily mean the person is a rather likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic person.

And who cares about being "likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic" as long as you can prove to those who study Ethics for a living that you aren't being unethical?

Come on, man, you know it's about more than just being likable, sensitive, and kind.

The Constitutional right to free speech is based on this very ethical paradigm, so it's not just about being ethical - it's also about practicing your God-given rights that our legal system protects.

Why is it that we have to be kind and sensitive and empathetic to those views that we don't agree with? How come the same isn't being said of the offended party? Why shouldn't they have to be sensitive and kind to my views and perspective, too? Are my beliefs and perspectives not as valuable as theirs?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 12, 2015, 10:59:50 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

I'm so sick of this Cain-supremacist society.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 12, 2015, 10:59:50 PM
So I've wasted enough time in this thread the last several days, but I'm going to leave y'all with a little present. Matt Walsh: he's not always right, but he's hardly ever wrong, if you know what I mean!  ;)

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/dear-walmart-someone-insulted-me-in-one-of-your-stores-your-ceo-must-now-resign/
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 12, 2015, 11:32:14 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.

But like I said, being ethical doesn't necessarily mean the person is a rather likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic person.

And who cares about being "likable, kind, sensitive, or empathetic" as long as you can prove to those who study Ethics for a living that you aren't being unethical?

Come on, man, you know it's about more than just being likable, sensitive, and kind.

The Constitutional right to free speech is based on this very ethical paradigm, so it's not just about being ethical - it's also about practicing your God-given rights that our legal system protects.

Why is it that we have to be kind and sensitive and empathetic to those views that we don't agree with? How come the same isn't being said of the offended party? Why shouldn't they have to be sensitive and kind to my views and perspective, too? Are my beliefs and perspectives not as valuable as theirs?

Sure, your beliefs an perspectives are valuable too. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 12:01:11 AM
So I've wasted enough time in this thread the last several days, but I'm going to leave y'all with a little present. Matt Walsh: he's not always right, but he's hardly ever wrong, if you know what I mean!  ;)

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/dear-walmart-someone-insulted-me-in-one-of-your-stores-your-ceo-must-now-resign/
That's brilliant.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 01:17:12 AM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.

(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/45/45dadbd9551fa0faa1b84d1023b0b038279608fd1274725f104df76ddd7ce5e7.jpg)

Seriously, though, I don't know if you're just messing around or what, because the very title of this thread is an embodiment of what I'm arguing, i.e. individual autonomy (right to free speech) overriding any possible harms that speech brings with it. I mean this is codified in law, which is based on the moral law, and the very topic we're discussing, so it's very strange that you think you can even argue something like this...

And, yeah, it's written in logic and the relevant literature. And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature." The fact that we have a Constitutional amendment explicitly granting us a right to free speech, which is based on the ethical principle of the right to individual autonomy, justifies this claim without doubt. End of story.

There are many other different examples from law of autonomy trumping possible harms, e.g. freedom of religion, right to bear arms, etc., and there are many other applied ethical instances that autonomy trumps harms, e.g. elective surgery, live organ donation, physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, etc.

So try again, Slick...

Actually, no.  As I gave you a very specific example.  You are 100% wrong.  There are numerous laws codified by society that infringe on your precious free speech.  Safety laws such as those to preventing situations such as the theatre scenario or inciting to riot.  Laws against libel & fraud, intellectual property laws, and many others directly go against free speech.  All these laws and more are to protect from various types of harm, from the physical and financial all the way to the intangible, that can be caused by unrestrained 'free speech'. 

For example:  Even if I publicly state I have no intention of profiting from a particular IP, as long as I control the rights to it, you cannot publish, implement or otherwise make use of it without my license.   In that case, there is no obvious physical or property 'harm' being prevented by that law other than infringement on my sense of ownership.   That is an intangible harm "of that nature".

Clearly, modern society doesn't share your view.

Try again, Slick.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 01:24:05 AM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 02:17:36 AM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.

(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/45/45dadbd9551fa0faa1b84d1023b0b038279608fd1274725f104df76ddd7ce5e7.jpg)

Seriously, though, I don't know if you're just messing around or what, because the very title of this thread is an embodiment of what I'm arguing, i.e. individual autonomy (right to free speech) overriding any possible harms that speech brings with it. I mean this is codified in law, which is based on the moral law, and the very topic we're discussing, so it's very strange that you think you can even argue something like this...

And, yeah, it's written in logic and the relevant literature. And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature." The fact that we have a Constitutional amendment explicitly granting us a right to free speech, which is based on the ethical principle of the right to individual autonomy, justifies this claim without doubt. End of story.

There are many other different examples from law of autonomy trumping possible harms, e.g. freedom of religion, right to bear arms, etc., and there are many other applied ethical instances that autonomy trumps harms, e.g. elective surgery, live organ donation, physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, etc.

So try again, Slick...

Actually, no.  As I gave you a very specific example.  You are 100% wrong.  There are numerous laws codified by society that infringe on your precious free speech.  Safety laws such as those to preventing situations such as the theatre scenario or inciting to riot.  Laws against libel & fraud, intellectual property laws, and many others directly go against free speech.  All these laws and more are to protect from various types of harm, from the physical and financial all the way to the intangible, that can be caused by unrestrained 'free speech'. 

For example:  Even if I publicly state I have no intention of profiting from a particular IP, as long as I control the rights to it, you cannot publish, implement or otherwise make use of it without my license.   In that case, there is no obvious physical or property 'harm' being prevented by that law other than infringement on my sense of ownership.   That is an intangible harm "of that nature".

Clearly, modern society doesn't share your view.

Try again, Slick.

Do you know how to read? Do you know what the words "always" and "of this nature" mean? It's like I'm having to repeat myself three times like I do with my kids.

So, once again, precious, I'll restate what I put: "And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature."

So, to reiterate, just because you can come up with some examples in law where free speech (autonomy) is justifiably overridden by obligations or concerns of harm (non-maleficence), it takes nothing away from my statement, because I never claimed that autonomy ALWAYS overrides non-maleficence, especially in the law. Thus, for every explicit exception to freedom of speech that you can state, there are thousands of other practical instances where harms OF THIS NATURE, i.e. "harms" of offense taken, are justifiably overridden by obligations of autonomy.

Thus, to prove this in the exact scenario that we were discussing, legally there is no such law requiring me to A) not offend others and B) not wear costumes that offend others. Hell, I can use "hurtful or hateful speech" without breaking any laws, as admitted by the fascists at Mizzou. (http://www.mediaite.com/online/university-of-missouri-police-ask-students-to-report-hurtful-speech/) The reason there is no law prohibiting such things is because of my right to the freedom of speech (autonomy) and the fact that the law does not recognize any individual right to not be offended by others. And where do you think these laws (or lack of laws) are based? It's based in the ethical obligations of autonomy necessarily overriding obligations of non-maleficence OF THIS NATURE, i.e. taking offense to others' actions.

So what now, Slick? Obviously, "modern society" does agree with this view, you know because of the whole concept of American individualism and everything. This is unequivocally an accurate assessment of the exact example we were debating, i.e. wearing a costume that some may find offensive. Legally, it's sound because there's no law against offending others, and there's no crime committed in any way, shape, or form. It is within my individual rights to allow my daughter to wear a standard Pocahontas costume, no matter how much offense someone else takes to it. This is obvious.

Additionally, this is unequivocally an ethically justified venture as well, because it's a simple ethical assessment using the normative framework of principlism. No rational, self-respecting ethicist could make the argument that my daughter's autonomy should be infringed due to some abstract concerns of offensiveness.

P.S. - if you're going to reply, please actually read the post fully. I'm getting tired of having to respond to posts that aren't logically consistent with the comment that they're addressing.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 02:24:35 AM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

And the fact that you want to take this drastic reductionist account of moral agency being attributable throughout generations, in addition to comparing it to debt that outlives the person who accrued it, clearly shows that you have a very elementary understanding of moral agency, moral culpability, and moral decision-making.

EDIT: Basically, you're trying to make a secularized version of original sin, which just isn't an acceptable, attractive, or compelling position.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 02:49:07 AM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.



Seriously, though, I don't know if you're just messing around or what, because the very title of this thread is an embodiment of what I'm arguing, i.e. individual autonomy (right to free speech) overriding any possible harms that speech brings with it. I mean this is codified in law, which is based on the moral law, and the very topic we're discussing, so it's very strange that you think you can even argue something like this...

And, yeah, it's written in logic and the relevant literature. And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature." The fact that we have a Constitutional amendment explicitly granting us a right to free speech, which is based on the ethical principle of the right to individual autonomy, justifies this claim without doubt. End of story.

There are many other different examples from law of autonomy trumping possible harms, e.g. freedom of religion, right to bear arms, etc., and there are many other applied ethical instances that autonomy trumps harms, e.g. elective surgery, live organ donation, physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, etc.

So try again, Slick...

Actually, no.  As I gave you a very specific example.  You are 100% wrong.  There are numerous laws codified by society that infringe on your precious free speech.  Safety laws such as those to preventing situations such as the theatre scenario or inciting to riot.  Laws against libel & fraud, intellectual property laws, and many others directly go against free speech.  All these laws and more are to protect from various types of harm, from the physical and financial all the way to the intangible, that can be caused by unrestrained 'free speech'. 

For example:  Even if I publicly state I have no intention of profiting from a particular IP, as long as I control the rights to it, you cannot publish, implement or otherwise make use of it without my license.   In that case, there is no obvious physical or property 'harm' being prevented by that law other than infringement on my sense of ownership.   That is an intangible harm "of that nature".

Clearly, modern society doesn't share your view.

Try again, Slick.

Do you know how to read? Do you know what the words "always" and "of this nature" mean? It's like I'm having to repeat myself three times like I do with my kids.

So, once again, precious, I'll restate what I put: "And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature."

So, to reiterate, just because you can come up with some examples in law where free speech (autonomy) is justifiably overridden by obligations or concerns of harm (non-maleficence), it takes nothing away from my statement, because I never claimed that autonomy ALWAYS overrides non-maleficence, especially in the law. Thus, for every explicit exception to freedom of speech that you can state, there are thousands of other practical instances where harms OF THIS NATURE, i.e. "harms" of offense taken, are justifiably overridden by obligations of autonomy.

Thus, to prove this in the exact scenario that we were discussing, legally there is no such law requiring me to A) not offend others and B) not wear costumes that offend others. Hell, I can use "hurtful or hateful speech" without breaking any laws, as admitted by the fascists at Mizzou. (http://www.mediaite.com/online/university-of-missouri-police-ask-students-to-report-hurtful-speech/) The reason there is no law prohibiting such things is because of my right to the freedom of speech (autonomy) and the fact that the law does not recognize any individual right to not be offended by others. And where do you think these laws (or lack of laws) are based? It's based in the ethical obligations of autonomy necessarily overriding obligations of non-maleficence OF THIS NATURE, i.e. taking offense to others' actions.

So what now, Slick? Obviously, "modern society" does agree with this view, you know because of the whole concept of American individualism and everything. This is unequivocally an accurate assessment of the exact example we were debating, i.e. wearing a costume that some may find offensive. Legally, it's sound because there's no law against offending others, and there's no crime committed in any way, shape, or form. It is within my individual rights to allow my daughter to wear a standard Pocahontas costume, no matter how much offense someone else takes to it. This is obvious.

Additionally, this is unequivocally an ethically justified venture as well, because it's a simple ethical assessment using the normative framework of principlism. No rational, self-respecting ethicist could make the argument that my daughter's autonomy should be infringed due to some abstract concerns of offensiveness.

P.S. - if you're going to reply, please actually read the post fully. I'm getting tired of having to respond to posts that aren't logically consistent with the comment that they're addressing.

Holy crap.  You are a piece of work.  I read your post fully.  But you aren't saying anything other than to confuse value statements with assertions of absolute fact.    Repeating your mantra like a parrot doesn't make it a truism.  Nor does loud, colorful shouting with fonts and colors.  "Of this nature" is now a convenient box that you will shrink ever so tightly so as to hide within, I guess.

As far as I can tell, the "nature" of harms of offense is that they are an intangible harm.    I gave you a specific example of how the law can protects against an intangible harm through intellectual property rights.   Laws against libel and defamation also trump free speech, often against 'intangible' harm.

Obscene speech, as defined by the Supreme Court, can be abridged by law as is child ****ography.  The latter obviously has a tangible harm aspect but the former could be argued is purely a matter of intangible offense.

If you want to further constrain your definition of harms "of this nature" to only be harms of offense caused by 'hate speech', as directed towards historically disadvantaged groups, then sure - that type of speech is protected, assuming it is itself not pure obscenity.

But then that gets to the limits of the law, not necessarily what is the definition of what is ethical.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 02:53:47 AM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

And the fact that you want to take this drastic reductionist account of moral agency being attributable throughout generations, in addition to comparing it to debt that outlives the person who accrued it, clearly shows that you have a very elementary understanding of moral agency, moral culpability, and moral decision-making.

EDIT: Basically, you're trying to make a secularized version of original sin, which just isn't an acceptable, attractive, or compelling position.

No, what all this shows is that instead of addressing the question, you are only able to resort to ad hominem attacks.   Not surprising.

Oh well.  Good night.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 13, 2015, 09:33:02 AM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

  This seems to be a fairly random rant that's unrelated to what I posted.

  In any case, though, the "debt" that you speak of doesn't exist in the sense that the mortgage debt does, for a myriad of reasons that you're probably aware of. Just like it doesn't really exist for descendants of anyone else who was ever wronged in the history of the world. Surely you're aware of this?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 12:03:15 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

  This seems to be a fairly random rant that's unrelated to what I posted.

  In any case, though, the "debt" that you speak of doesn't exist in the sense that the mortgage debt does, for a myriad of reasons that you're probably aware of. Just like it doesn't really exist for descendants of anyone else who was ever wronged in the history of the world. Surely you're aware of this?

I'll try to explain it in simpler terms.

Let's say you were the proud owner of something of value.
Now, someone comes along and takes it from you by force.  Brutally.
You are not powerful enough to take it back so they keep it from you.
How do you feel about that?

You have a child.  He is aware of what happened.   He would like to get the thing back.
But he is also not powerful enough.
How do you think he should feel?

You die.   Nothing has changed yet.
How should your child feel about this?

He has your grandchild.
How should they feel?

How many generations before you think they should 'move on'?   Is there a formulae?  A guidebook?

My point is that there is no guidebook.  There is no formulae.  For some folks, the resentment may disappear before a generation is gone.  For others it may linger for many, many ages.

Do you want someone other than your decendants deciding for them when they should just forget about it?

Are you okay with the descendants of those who wronged you telling your decedents they should just "get over it"?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 13, 2015, 01:00:32 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

  This seems to be a fairly random rant that's unrelated to what I posted.

  In any case, though, the "debt" that you speak of doesn't exist in the sense that the mortgage debt does, for a myriad of reasons that you're probably aware of. Just like it doesn't really exist for descendants of anyone else who was ever wronged in the history of the world. Surely you're aware of this?

I'll try to explain it in simpler terms.

Let's say you were the proud owner of something of value.
Now, someone comes along and takes it from you by force.  Brutally.
You are not powerful enough to take it back so they keep it from you.
How do you feel about that?

You have a child.  He is aware of what happened.   He would like to get the thing back.
But he is also not powerful enough.
How do you think he should feel?

You die.   Nothing has changed yet.
How should your child feel about this?

He has your grandchild.
How should they feel?

How many generations before you think they should 'move on'?   Is there a formulae?  A guidebook?

My point is that there is no guidebook.  There is no formulae.  For some folks, the resentment may disappear before a generation is gone.  For others it may linger for many, many ages.

Do you want someone other than your decendants deciding for them when they should just forget about it?

Are you okay with the descendants of those who wronged you telling your decedents they should just "get over it"?

Excellent!!  TP
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 01:49:13 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

  This seems to be a fairly random rant that's unrelated to what I posted.

  In any case, though, the "debt" that you speak of doesn't exist in the sense that the mortgage debt does, for a myriad of reasons that you're probably aware of. Just like it doesn't really exist for descendants of anyone else who was ever wronged in the history of the world. Surely you're aware of this?

I'll try to explain it in simpler terms.

Let's say you were the proud owner of something of value.
Now, someone comes along and takes it from you by force.  Brutally.
You are not powerful enough to take it back so they keep it from you.
How do you feel about that?

You have a child.  He is aware of what happened.   He would like to get the thing back.
But he is also not powerful enough.
How do you think he should feel?

You die.   Nothing has changed yet.
How should your child feel about this?

He has your grandchild.
How should they feel?

How many generations before you think they should 'move on'?   Is there a formulae?  A guidebook?

My point is that there is no guidebook.  There is no formulae.  For some folks, the resentment may disappear before a generation is gone.  For others it may linger for many, many ages.

Do you want someone other than your decendants deciding for them when they should just forget about it?

Are you okay with the descendants of those who wronged you telling your decedents they should just "get over it"?

First, this is a different claim than the original (false) claim you made regarding the "ethical" nature of inter-generational guilt by employing the naturalistic fallacy of "might makes right." Nobody is saying Americans should tell them when to "get over it." We're just saying it's not going to infringe upon our individual rights --> just like we're not going to infringe upon their individual rights of when to "get over it," though of course you only see one set of rights there.

Do you realize how impractical this is? Right of conquest was used by every single civilization that has ever existed since the dawn of man. This was how you expanded empires and made your civilization grow. If you tried to put moral culpability on every single civilization that ever took something, e.g. land, animals, weapons, etc., from somebody else through the use of force, you'd find that virtually no civilization is without blame.

Even Native Americans did this with differing tribes warring with each other. So, using this reductionist, revisionist type of history, differing Native American tribes should hate each other as much as they hate European-Americans.

You could literally take this back to the beginning of recorded human history, which is just an unreasonable position to take. In fact, I don't see many people (outside of Jews) arguing for an expanded territory of Israel, because they were the original settlers of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Should we remove all Palestinians from the Jews' traditional homeland? Should we remove the Dome of the Rock given it's original significance for Judaism and Christianity? Should Jewish people still resent basically all of the Western world, outside of Americans, and the Middle East since at one time or another they took advantage of the Jewish people? This is just an untenable position to have.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 01:53:30 PM
Are you okay with the descendants of those who wronged you telling your decedents they should just "get over it"?
If you can provide no specific instance of how you or your family has been wrong and you have to resort to a generic "because slavery" argument, the expiration line we're discussing here has long been crossed.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 02:17:06 PM
JPotter,

Let's say a young white woman decides she want to be Pocahontas for Halloween because she thinks it will be a cute outfit.  Perfectly innocent.  This young woman then reads the blog by the Native American woman that Pho posted.  She takes it into account, kinda gets where the writer is coming from, but decides, "the heck with it, I'm going to be Pocahontas anyway, because it's a cute outfit and it's what I wanted to wear, and I'm sick of all this political correctness."

Is she being unethical? I don't know.  But, I do think she's being rude, stupid, and insensitive.  And, furthermore, at that point, now armed with the knowledge that what she thought was an innocent Halloween costume is deeply offensive to at least some of those with Native American heritage, I now start to question her motives as well.

All of a sudden that halloween costume isn't as innocent anymore.  Now, there's a thumbing her nose aspect to what started as just a good time with a fun outfit. 

This is the point being made here.  There seems to be a lot of putting your hands over your ears and going, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you.  There's nothing offensive about it.  I'm not trying to be offensive!! I didn't do anything wrong.  I didn't commit genocide against your ancestors.  I can wear what I want for Halloween, dang it!!!"

To me it seems like a pointless exercise in taking offense at people taking offense over legitimate issues.

So I think many people conflate the term "ethical" with virtues like kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and concepts of that nature.

As you said, I don't think it's an unethical action, because she wasn't purposefully out to harm or offend to provoke those populations. On the other hand, after learning about these sensitivities, if she decides to wear the costume to try and tick some people off, then I do think she is acting unethically. However, as your example currently states, I just think she places more value on the "cuteness" property of the outfit over the potentially offensive properties of the outfit.

Though she doesn't act unethically or wrongly here, you can definitely say that she's probably not very kind, sensitive, or empathetic, especially if she's going to be around people that she knows will take offense to that outfit. However, she also doesn't act unethically in the situation, because she's entitled to the same freedom of thought and autonomy as the people who take offense to this issue, especially given the fact that she's causing no harm.

She is causing harm, though.  If you read the blog post provided by Pho this becomes abundantly clear.  It's possible that she has no knowledge that she's causing this harm initially, but once she becomes aware that she is, and decides to wear the costume anyway, well, then she's behaving unethically.

Two things.

First, I don't believe "being offended" is an actual harm, especially for abstract concerns that may or may not even affect the person in question

It would seem awfully convenient to choose to believe that.
Quote

Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case.


Two assertions, supported by ... what?  Belief?

Individual freedom outweighs the obligation to do no harm?  And this is written in stone somewhere?  Did we all sign a contract agreeing to this?

My autonomy to walk across the surface of the earth outweighs my obligation not to tramp on your flowers?  Oh, wait - most societal laws disagree.

My autonomy to speak freely allows me to yell, "FIRE!!!" in a crowded theatre, because that outweighs my obligation to not cause harm, right?  Oh wait, again, societal laws disagree.



Seriously, though, I don't know if you're just messing around or what, because the very title of this thread is an embodiment of what I'm arguing, i.e. individual autonomy (right to free speech) overriding any possible harms that speech brings with it. I mean this is codified in law, which is based on the moral law, and the very topic we're discussing, so it's very strange that you think you can even argue something like this...

And, yeah, it's written in logic and the relevant literature. And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature." The fact that we have a Constitutional amendment explicitly granting us a right to free speech, which is based on the ethical principle of the right to individual autonomy, justifies this claim without doubt. End of story.

There are many other different examples from law of autonomy trumping possible harms, e.g. freedom of religion, right to bear arms, etc., and there are many other applied ethical instances that autonomy trumps harms, e.g. elective surgery, live organ donation, physician-assisted suicide, passive euthanasia, etc.

So try again, Slick...

Actually, no.  As I gave you a very specific example.  You are 100% wrong.  There are numerous laws codified by society that infringe on your precious free speech.  Safety laws such as those to preventing situations such as the theatre scenario or inciting to riot.  Laws against libel & fraud, intellectual property laws, and many others directly go against free speech.  All these laws and more are to protect from various types of harm, from the physical and financial all the way to the intangible, that can be caused by unrestrained 'free speech'. 

For example:  Even if I publicly state I have no intention of profiting from a particular IP, as long as I control the rights to it, you cannot publish, implement or otherwise make use of it without my license.   In that case, there is no obvious physical or property 'harm' being prevented by that law other than infringement on my sense of ownership.   That is an intangible harm "of that nature".

Clearly, modern society doesn't share your view.

Try again, Slick.

Do you know how to read? Do you know what the words "always" and "of this nature" mean? It's like I'm having to repeat myself three times like I do with my kids.

So, once again, precious, I'll restate what I put: "And once again, someone either doesn't know how to read or they don't necessarily care about giving an accurate assessment of what I said, because I never said that autonomy always trumps non-maleficence. I said it trumps "any potential harms of this nature."

So, to reiterate, just because you can come up with some examples in law where free speech (autonomy) is justifiably overridden by obligations or concerns of harm (non-maleficence), it takes nothing away from my statement, because I never claimed that autonomy ALWAYS overrides non-maleficence, especially in the law. Thus, for every explicit exception to freedom of speech that you can state, there are thousands of other practical instances where harms OF THIS NATURE, i.e. "harms" of offense taken, are justifiably overridden by obligations of autonomy.

Thus, to prove this in the exact scenario that we were discussing, legally there is no such law requiring me to A) not offend others and B) not wear costumes that offend others. Hell, I can use "hurtful or hateful speech" without breaking any laws, as admitted by the fascists at Mizzou. (http://www.mediaite.com/online/university-of-missouri-police-ask-students-to-report-hurtful-speech/) The reason there is no law prohibiting such things is because of my right to the freedom of speech (autonomy) and the fact that the law does not recognize any individual right to not be offended by others. And where do you think these laws (or lack of laws) are based? It's based in the ethical obligations of autonomy necessarily overriding obligations of non-maleficence OF THIS NATURE, i.e. taking offense to others' actions.

So what now, Slick? Obviously, "modern society" does agree with this view, you know because of the whole concept of American individualism and everything. This is unequivocally an accurate assessment of the exact example we were debating, i.e. wearing a costume that some may find offensive. Legally, it's sound because there's no law against offending others, and there's no crime committed in any way, shape, or form. It is within my individual rights to allow my daughter to wear a standard Pocahontas costume, no matter how much offense someone else takes to it. This is obvious.

Additionally, this is unequivocally an ethically justified venture as well, because it's a simple ethical assessment using the normative framework of principlism. No rational, self-respecting ethicist could make the argument that my daughter's autonomy should be infringed due to some abstract concerns of offensiveness.

P.S. - if you're going to reply, please actually read the post fully. I'm getting tired of having to respond to posts that aren't logically consistent with the comment that they're addressing.

Holy crap.  You are a piece of work.  I read your post fully.  But you aren't saying anything other than to confuse value statements with assertions of absolute fact.    Repeating your mantra like a parrot doesn't make it a truism.  Nor does loud, colorful shouting with fonts and colors.  "Of this nature" is now a convenient box that you will shrink ever so tightly so as to hide within, I guess.

As far as I can tell, the "nature" of harms of offense is that they are an intangible harm.    I gave you a specific example of how the law can protects against an intangible harm through intellectual property rights.   Laws against libel and defamation also trump free speech, often against 'intangible' harm.

Obscene speech, as defined by the Supreme Court, can be abridged by law as is child ****ography.  The latter obviously has a tangible harm aspect but the former could be argued is purely a matter of intangible offense.

If you want to further constrain your definition of harms "of this nature" to only be harms of offense caused by 'hate speech', as directed towards historically disadvantaged groups, then sure - that type of speech is protected, assuming it is itself not pure obscenity.

But then that gets to the limits of the law, not necessarily what is the definition of what is ethical.

Sigh. I'm not sure why you're getting butt-hurt over me using differing text colors, bold text, and exaggerated text. Differing text colors allows me to respond to different arguments within a post, and bold and exaggerated text allows me to emphasize certain parts of an argument. Maybe you should stop reading too much into these things, or maybe I'm just a pig throwing around "microaggressions" everywhere.  ::)

So, to review your errors of this post:

1) No. Again, I'm not confusing "value statements with assertions of absolute fact." I'm a professional ethicist, and this is simply a true statement within my field. Again, this is just highlighted in the fact that A) there's no ethical or legal precedent to not offend others and B) the right to free speech and autonomy allows me to wear an outfit of Native Americans that might offend others without being legally punished. There is just how it is, and I have no clue why you are not registering this. I'm sorry if you do not like it, but this is just how it is...

2) Again, perhaps you should read the entire context of the conversation before responding. Here's the context since apparently you're incapable of taking it into consideration:

"Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case."

In this context, obviously "of this nature" refers specifically to being offended by the dress/costume of another. This is the only type of situation that I've been arguing for free speech and autonomy overriding cases of non-maleficence this entire time. You are the only one who tried to expand this idea to other cases of libel, intellectual property rights, etc. Obviously there are other cases where obligations of nonmaleficence override obligations of autonomy, but, once again, you are the only person who has been talking about those instances. And, as has already said many times, one cannot be legally punished (nor ethically to blame as you admitted in another post) for offending others with a costume, so, yes, obligations to individual freedoms, autonomy, and right to free speech can and do override obligations of nonmaleficence and harm of this nature and in this context that we are discussing it in.

Though, once again, you'll probably ignore any of this context and talk about areas that support your argument (confirmation bias for everyone!), though they don't logically follow as criticisms of my argument since I never went into that area. Thus, I think my dialogue with you has exceeded its utility at this point.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 02:40:59 PM
What is a professional ethicist anyhow?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 02:52:20 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 02:55:32 PM
Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

  I'd assume that I could also go up to someone in traditional Muslim garb that they're offending me (because of 9/11) and expect them to stop wearing the offensive clothing? Would the same hold true for anyone wearing traditional clothing from any country that's ever killed a significant number of Americans?

Tell you what, if they invade our country and force us all to go live in Alaska after 99% of us are dead and they've erased our culture, then yes, you can reasonably call them out if they dress up as you or your ancestors for Halloween.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 02:57:51 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
Speaking about your examples, the fact that there are laws against libel and intellectual property, and no law against being offended should tell you something.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 02:59:52 PM
What is a professional ethicist anyhow?

Pretty much any profession or position that deals mainly with the education, implementation, and/or compliance of ethical practices and standards throughout the organization. So, some common examples would be university professors (especially those who perform their research in ethical issues), clinical bioethicists, business ethicists, and those professionals who regulate ethics and compliance at their organization.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 03:02:02 PM
What I find interesting about the "Well hey, it wasn't me who killed your ancestors, that was a long time ago, I shouldn't have to bear any responsibility for that," point of view, is that it dovetails nicely with a major part of what bothers people who belong to oppressed minority groups -- i.e. that a fact of their birth, over which they have no control, has an effect on how other people treat them and how they are forced to interact with other people.

So, you see, when white people say, "Hey, that's not fair, I shouldn't bear some kind of responsibility for something I had no control over," I think the response from people in disadvantaged groups is along the lines of well, welcome to the world.  We all have to deal with that.  About time you started taking on some of it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 03:05:27 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
Speaking about your examples, the fact that there are laws against libel and intellectual property, and no law against being offended should tell you something.

Well, the laws against libel and intellectual property are primarily economically motivated, so I don't think it's necessarily relevant to this discussion.

In any case, as I've tried to clarify all along, I'm not really concerned with what the law is when it comes to this issue.  The law embodies an aspect of our ethical values as a society, that's true, but there are ways of policing behavior aside from, you know, policing.  We have all kinds of unwritten laws about what is and is not acceptable behavior, and all kinds of unwritten rules about how we deal with people who exhibit unacceptable behavior.  Ask Michael Richards about that.

So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 03:06:45 PM
What I find interesting about the "Well hey, it wasn't me who killed your ancestors, that was a long time ago, I shouldn't have to bear any responsibility for that," point of view, is that it dovetails nicely with a major part of what bothers people who belong to oppressed minority groups -- i.e. that a fact of their birth, over which they have no control, has an effect on how other people treat them and how they are forced to interact with other people.
So you're pretty much saying they don't really want to end discrimination, they just want to be on top for a round.

That's wonderful. It's also completely rotten and I'm not "taking on" any of it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 03:09:23 PM
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.
No, it's exactly what it means, in fact.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 03:15:06 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.

It's not surprising that you take a relativistic tone here. That's pretty much the standard stance taken by many undergrads just entering college that I've taught who have never studied ethics. So it's funny that you pretty much acknowledge that this stuff is over your heard and that you're not familiar with these concepts, but you still seem to question it, even when, as Koz pointed out, it's pretty obvious that there are ethical and legal precedents supporting my argument.

Like you said, many different philosophers over the years have articulated differing points of view of what it means to be an ethical person. However, not all of them are equal to each other, and the professional ethical literature does agree on many, many points. What I have been arguing the entire time is that there is pretty much an overall consensus on this matter, and that consensus is that obligations of autonomy (the ethical analog to the law's individual right/freedom) override any harms of this nature of taking offense to someone else's dress.

So, yes, I'm very justified in telling you what the ethical literature agrees is our very basic obligations to each other. In fact, how do you think the Constitution was drafted if there was no major agreement on normative principles and policies or if there was hardly any agreement on citizens' ethical obligations to each other?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 03:18:13 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
Speaking about your examples, the fact that there are laws against libel and intellectual property, and no law against being offended should tell you something.

Well, the laws against libel and intellectual property are primarily economically motivated, so I don't think it's necessarily relevant to this discussion.

In any case, as I've tried to clarify all along, I'm not really concerned with what the law is when it comes to this issue.  The law embodies an aspect of our ethical values as a society, that's true, but there are ways of policing behavior aside from, you know, policing.  We have all kinds of unwritten laws about what is and is not acceptable behavior, and all kinds of unwritten rules about how we deal with people who exhibit unacceptable behavior.  Ask Michael Richards about that.

So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.

I'm sorry, but that is just unequivocally wrong and not sound in any type of logical or ethical reasoning. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the American philosophy.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 03:19:23 PM
In what world does dressing as Pocahontas equate to making light of genocide or oppression?! That might literally be the most asinine thing I have ever heard

We killed their people and took their land, we erased their culture and replaced it with a caricatured version of that culture that we made up ourselves, and now for fun we use cartoonish representations of their ancestors as mascots for our sports teams and on Halloween we dress up as those same caricatures of their ancestors, just because we feel like having fun.

You don't see how that might be offensive?


How would you feel about a German youth dressing up as a Jew for Halloween, with a Star of David armband and everything?

Last post responding to you on this thread, because obviously your ego cannot grasp the concept of the simple facts that are being spelled out right before you.

First, I didn't do a dang thing to their ancestors, and neither did you nor anyone else on this blog. So I cannot be held morally responsible for something that happened when my great, great, great, great grandfather had not even been born yet, which means that I should not necessarily be associated with those moral atrocities.


Ah ...  the convenience of not inheriting intangibles like 'guilt'.  It just vanishes with the death of generations, right?

Your father killed my father and took his land.
You now live on the wealth of land that was taken from my ancestors.
I am powerless to take it back.
You parade your victory in front of me, every day, with symbols such as the mascot of the NFL team in the nation's capital, but without 'bad intention', because, after all you weren't alive and/or don't remember what your father did to my people.
I am offended, but that doesn't matter.  Because I have no power.
My being offended would only matter if I had the power to effect change.

Ethical conclusion: Might makes right, baby!

This is a good post, but you left out the next step - if you ever do acquire the power to effect change, you shouldn't use it, because that makes you the real villain.


And, in fairness, the picture gets a lot muddier when somebody's father took your father's land, then generations later a bunch of other people who fall into the same vague demographic category moved to that land.  They may still benefit from the initial crime, but the connection to it becomes a lot more abstract.

  Who's to say that your father didn't chase an earlier occupant off the land hundreds of years ago? Is the assumption that no native american (or native american tribe) ever took land from anyone else? Because if that's not true, the land wasn't really theirs to begin with.

Ah yes, so might does make right, indeed.

How many generations does it take to vacate the debt?  Five?  Ten?  A hundred?  One?

Do you have a mortgage?   Do you have children?  If you died tomorrow, would that debt vanish?  Probably not.  It would be paid off out of your overall estate (which hopefully includes life insurance for paying off the mortgage), leaving the children with the balance.

Clearly, the bank has the power to claim what was theirs!

  This seems to be a fairly random rant that's unrelated to what I posted.

  In any case, though, the "debt" that you speak of doesn't exist in the sense that the mortgage debt does, for a myriad of reasons that you're probably aware of. Just like it doesn't really exist for descendants of anyone else who was ever wronged in the history of the world. Surely you're aware of this?

I'll try to explain it in simpler terms.

Let's say you were the proud owner of something of value.
Now, someone comes along and takes it from you by force.  Brutally.
You are not powerful enough to take it back so they keep it from you.
How do you feel about that?

You have a child.  He is aware of what happened.   He would like to get the thing back.
But he is also not powerful enough.
How do you think he should feel?

You die.   Nothing has changed yet.
How should your child feel about this?

He has your grandchild.
How should they feel?

How many generations before you think they should 'move on'?   Is there a formulae?  A guidebook?

My point is that there is no guidebook.  There is no formulae.  For some folks, the resentment may disappear before a generation is gone.  For others it may linger for many, many ages.

Do you want someone other than your decendants deciding for them when they should just forget about it?

Are you okay with the descendants of those who wronged you telling your decedents they should just "get over it"?

First, this is a different claim than the original (false) claim you made regarding the "ethical" nature of inter-generational guilt by employing the naturalistic fallacy of "might makes right."

My sarcasm was clearly lost on you.  I apologize.   This (how people do or should deal with issues that propagate through generations) is not a claim.  It is a question.

Although, "Might makes right" is probably a practical truism.   If you have the power to make things right for yourself, you can.

Quote
Do you realize how impractical this is? Right of conquest was used by every single civilization that has ever existed since the dawn of man. This was how you expanded empires and made your civilization grow. If you tried to put moral culpability on every single civilization that ever took something, e.g. land, animals, weapons, etc., from somebody else through the use of force, you'd find that virtually no civilization is without blame.

How impractical what is?  Again, I'm not making a claim and I'm not giving instruction.  I'm asking a question.

One you haven't answered.  That's okay.  I don't claim to know the answer either.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 03:22:04 PM
Are you okay with the descendants of those who wronged you telling your decedents they should just "get over it"?
If you can provide no specific instance of how you or your family has been wrong and you have to resort to a generic "because slavery" argument, the expiration line we're discussing here has long been crossed.

LOL -- you are amusing.

Next, time, don't duck so fast that you miss the point so completely.  But thanks for the useful contribution!
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 03:22:32 PM
Quote from: PhoSita
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.

I'm sorry, but that is just unequivocally wrong and not sound in any type of logical or ethical reasoning. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the American philosophy.


So, you're a guy who knows philosophy, right?  I imagine you're familiar with logic.

Could you kindly refrain from the appeals to authority and actually address, with a reasoned argument, what it is about what I've said that's wrong?

Or you can keep on saying "That completely goes against what THE ETHICS and THE PHILOSOPHY say!"  But don't expect me (or really anybody else, frankly) to be convinced.


I don't particularly care what "the literature" says my obligation is to you.  I do care what seems right to me, and what seems right to people in my community.  And we can talk about why those things are what they are, and why maybe they should be different.  But I might read Nietzsche and decide I don't have an ethical responsibility to anybody but myself.  It doesn't mean other people should want anything to do with me if I decide to try and become an Uber Mensch.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 03:31:22 PM
What I find interesting about the "Well hey, it wasn't me who killed your ancestors, that was a long time ago, I shouldn't have to bear any responsibility for that," point of view, is that it dovetails nicely with a major part of what bothers people who belong to oppressed minority groups -- i.e. that a fact of their birth, over which they have no control, has an effect on how other people treat them and how they are forced to interact with other people.
So you're pretty much saying they don't really want to end discrimination, they just want to be on top for a round.

That's wonderful. It's also completely rotten and I'm not "taking on" any of it.


No, here's what I'm saying:

The idea that you can live in this world and have other people interact with you based entirely on who you are independent of history, or what you look like, or what your name is, and so on ... that's privilege.  That's just not the world we live in.  You just think it is because it hasn't affected you negatively in a way that you've noticed.



Quote from: kozlodoev
Quote from: PhoSita
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.

No, it's exactly what it means, in fact.

OK, let me be clear in my terms.

When I say "responsibility," what I mean is -- what you need to do in order to be a part of our society. 

Plenty of behaviors are allowed under the law that other people will dislike you for doing, and rightly so.

It's not illegal for you to stand on the street corner yelling the N word at every single black person you see.  You won't be arrested for doing that. 

Does that mean you don't have any responsibility not to do that?  Legally, yes.  If you want other people to regard you as a person worthy of being a part of their community, then probably not.  You probably do bear some responsibility not to act that way.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 03:36:03 PM
Quote from: PhoSita
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.

I'm sorry, but that is just unequivocally wrong and not sound in any type of logical or ethical reasoning. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the American philosophy.


So, you're a guy who knows philosophy, right?  I imagine you're familiar with logic.

Could you kindly refrain from the appeals to authority and actually address, with a reasoned argument, what it is about what I've said that's wrong?

Or you can keep on saying "That completely goes against what THE ETHICS and THE PHILOSOPHY say!"  But don't expect me (or really anybody else, frankly) to be convinced.

 ::) Cute. I mean I've obviously done that, but remember you said " you had no idea what the heck I was talking about."

All you have to do is scroll through the past couple of pages. I've consistently used reasoned arguments to debunk these things that you guys are claiming, yet since they're apparently over your heard and you aren't familiar with these concepts, I'm afraid I've run out of ideas. It seems this has become an exercise in futility with you, because every single time I use a reasoned argument you just ignore it and try to argue something else. Quite frankly, this is hilarious to me given the fact that you are just consistently ignoring arguments that prove you wrong. But that's pretty much your MO, right?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 13, 2015, 03:45:10 PM
Going back to your examples, imagine that a white person went out on Halloween dressed as Pocahontas and a Native American person walked up to her and said, "I wanted to let you know that your costume is offensive to me because it makes light of the genocide of my ancestors and systemic oppression of myself and my community."

Yeah, I think that'd be fair.  We can't change the fact that the people who colonized this land and founded our country committed genocide against the natives living here, but it's not asking very much that we don't dress up like those same people our forefathers killed for fun, right?

  I'd assume that I could also go up to someone in traditional Muslim garb that they're offending me (because of 9/11) and expect them to stop wearing the offensive clothing? Would the same hold true for anyone wearing traditional clothing from any country that's ever killed a significant number of Americans?

Tell you what, if they invade our country and force us all to go live in Alaska after 99% of us are dead and they've erased our culture, then yes, you can reasonably call them out if they dress up as you or your ancestors for Halloween.

   So since nothing anywhere close to that drastic happened to slaves, their descendants have no right to complain about such things?

  Because once you start trying to craft your thresholds to fit your favorite groups and exclude everyone else you've lost the battle, especially when thousands of innocents killed doesn't approach your criteria.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 03:45:50 PM

All you have to do is scroll through the past couple of pages. I've consistently used reasoned arguments to debunk these things that you guys are claiming, yet since they're apparently over your heard and you aren't familiar with these concepts, I'm afraid I've run out of ideas.

You say, "consistently used reasoned arguments," and yet all I see you consistently doing is appealing to authority (a nebulous "ethics," "literature," or your own "professional" authority), or using ad hominems like "apparently over your head."

So I agree ... I'm also out of ideas.  I don't know how to dialogue with you on these things, since you seem about as willing to consider opposing viewpoints, and as caustic in your obnoxious derision of those viewpoints, as Ann Coulter.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 13, 2015, 03:51:17 PM
What I find interesting about the "Well hey, it wasn't me who killed your ancestors, that was a long time ago, I shouldn't have to bear any responsibility for that," point of view, is that it dovetails nicely with a major part of what bothers people who belong to oppressed minority groups -- i.e. that a fact of their birth, over which they have no control, has an effect on how other people treat them and how they are forced to interact with other people.
So you're pretty much saying they don't really want to end discrimination, they just want to be on top for a round.

  That's pretty much it in a nutshell. The same way there's only concern over certain people getting offended and disinterest when it happens to others. It's not the behavior that concerns people, it's which people are targets and which people are victims.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 13, 2015, 03:51:56 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
I remember you telling all of us that you were an attorney, implying that you understood the law better, when we were arguing over what religious rights should be afforded to state clerks. So why are you now objecting when someone is basically doing the same thing but in a different context?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 03:53:40 PM

   So since nothing anywhere close to that drastic happened to slaves, their descendants have no right to complain about such things?

  Because once you start trying to craft your thresholds to fit your favorite groups and exclude everyone else you've lost the battle, especially when thousands of innocents killed doesn't approach your criteria.

You're right, trying to craft it to specific examples does expose the argument to the kind of response you just made.

I apologize for not more properly responding to the hypothetical you posed, anyway.  My response was not on-point.  That's my fault.


The example you gave fails, for me, not because 9/11 is a very poor analogy to the genocide of the Native Americans (or to slavery), but because, in my view, there's a very major difference in kind in a crucial part of your example.

Telling a white person not to dress up as a Native American versus telling a Muslim not to dress up in their traditional cultural garb.  I'm sure you see the difference.

You might be offended by a Muslim wearing a hijab, for example.  And if you had relatives in the World Trade Center, I wouldn't blame you.  But I think in that situation we'd want to examine what it is you'd be asking the Muslim person to do if you wanted them not to wear that. 

Indeed, I think precisely what makes the Halloween example so offensive is what sets it apart from your example.  The white person casually dons the identity of the oppressed group, for fun, and then casually takes it off at the end of the night.  This is a way of flaunting privilege, and it also treats the identity and history of a group of people -- a group of people who have suffered genocide, oppression, discrimination, and so on, for hundreds of years -- is something that can be easily boiled down to a Halloween costume, and that the pain that people has suffered isn't something you even need to consider when turning them into, literally, a cartoon.

Whereas the Muslim person is simply being him or herself.  And that might remind you of how you have been hurt by people who are similar to that person.  But it's a very different thing to ask the Muslim person to change who they are, not simply change their costume, for your sake.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 03:59:28 PM
Quote from: PhoSita
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.

I'm sorry, but that is just unequivocally wrong and not sound in any type of logical or ethical reasoning. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the American philosophy.


So, you're a guy who knows philosophy, right?  I imagine you're familiar with logic.

Could you kindly refrain from the appeals to authority and actually address, with a reasoned argument, what it is about what I've said that's wrong?

Or you can keep on saying "That completely goes against what THE ETHICS and THE PHILOSOPHY say!"  But don't expect me (or really anybody else, frankly) to be convinced.


I don't particularly care what "the literature" says my obligation is to you.  I do care what seems right to me, and what seems right to people in my community.  And we can talk about why those things are what they are, and why maybe they should be different.  But I might read Nietzsche and decide I don't have an ethical responsibility to anybody but myself.  It doesn't mean other people should want anything to do with me if I decide to try and become an Uber Mensch.

HAHAHAHAHA this is the last time I'll indulge you, because it is now *quite* clear you're out of your league and over your head here.

1) I'm a semi-Nietzsche scholar with several presentations, theses, and articles written about his philosophy. He definitely has some valid arguments in some of his works, but nobody seriously takes his ethical claims seriously nowadays. He gave a made-up account of human history without citing any real references or sources supporting his claim to create a nihilistic interpretation of morality. He also was an anti-semite who pretty much blamed the Jews for all teh evils in history to this point. In effect, the vast majority of his philosophy was self-referentially incoherent and contradictory, because his view of perspectivism is totally contradictory to his ideas of Ubermensch, the eternal recurrence, and even perspecitivism itself! Anyone who uses the Ubermensch concept as a reason to not have ethical obligations to others is narcissistic and incredibly out of touch with reality.

2) You're either advocating for nihilism (the lack of any real morality) or relativism/subjectivism. As I've said many times, these aren't real positions that any but the most radical people accept as real meta-ethical positions. But what's even more hilarious is that you've been prescribing this type of behavior as a normative truth, i.e. what people ought to be doing to live in a society. For example, you said:

 "So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society."

BUT THAT'S CONTRADICTORY IN ITSELF. It doesn't matter if you're a nihilist, relativist, or subjectivist, it doesn't make sense to advocate that position then claim there are normative responsibilities of this nature. That just shows you have no idea what you're talking about.

3) Finally, the fact that you categorically deny the overall experts in ethical matters and the "relevant literature" again shows you have no idea what you're talking about. These are people that have spent decades studying ethics, yet you feel that you know more than them by not caring what the agreed consensus says about ethical obligations. That is just supremely arrogant and incredibly ignorant all at the same time.

So, yeah, I'm not sure what else can be gained from this conversation, because you obviously don't know what you are talking about...
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:00:20 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
I remember you telling all of us that you were an attorney, implying that you understood the law better, when we were arguing over what religious rights should be afforded to state clerks. So why are you now objecting when someone is basically doing the same thing but in a different context?

You're right, I did reference my legal education when we were discussing a legal topic.  That's a fair point.

I don't think I wielded that statement in quite the same way, though -- as if to say, well, my opinion is worth more than yours.  Or as a method of handwaving holes in my reasoning, or a lack of responsiveness to a point that others had made.

If that is how it came across, I apologize. 

One question I'd pose, though -- is an "ethicist" analogous in the context of discussing what is and is not permissible behavior to a "lawyer" in the context of discussing what is legal, or a "doctor" in the context of discussing medicine?

It seems to me than an "ethicist," or a philosophy professor, if you like, is highly trained in discussing these kinds of problems.  Grappling with arguments.  Referencing different ways that similar arguments have been made in the past.  But we don't have a "Code of Ethics," in the same way that we have a Criminal Code, or a Constitution, or Grey's Anatomy.  Though admittedly those "authorities" change over time based on discussions / debates / arguments like the one we're having here.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 04:01:58 PM

Sigh. I'm not sure why you're getting butt-hurt over me using differing text colors, bold text, and exaggerated text. Differing text colors allows me to respond to different arguments within a post, and bold and exaggerated text allows me to emphasize certain parts of an argument. Maybe you should stop reading too much into these things, or maybe I'm just a pig throwing around "microaggressions" everywhere.  ::)

No butt-hurt here.  Just pointing out that shouting doesn't make your points any more worthwhile.   You must be young.  Us old timers complain about ALL CAPS POSTS either.  Habit, I guess.
Quote


1) No. Again, I'm not confusing "value statements with assertions of absolute fact." I'm a professional ethicist, and this is simply a true statement within my field.
Professional ethicist == ?   Make money off being ethical?  Make money off telling people how to be ethical?  Make money arguing ethics on a blog?

Quote

Again, this is just highlighted in the fact that A) there's no ethical or legal precedent to not offend others and B) the right to free speech and autonomy allows me to wear an outfit of Native Americans that might offend others without being legally punished. There is just how it is, and I have no clue why you are not registering this. I'm sorry if you do not like it, but this is just how it is...
'Never argued that you couldn't legally wear something others found offensive and hateful.  So long as it is not obscene (because then you might not).
Quote

"Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case."

In this context, obviously "of this nature" refers specifically to being offended by the dress/costume of another. This is the only type of situation that I've been arguing for free speech and autonomy overriding cases of non-maleficence this entire time. You are the only one who tried to expand this idea to other cases of libel, intellectual property rights, etc. Obviously there are other cases where obligations of nonmaleficence override obligations of autonomy, but, once again, you are the only person who has been talking about those instances. And, as has already said many times, one cannot be legally punished (nor ethically to blame as you admitted in another post) for offending others with a costume, so, yes, obligations to individual freedoms, autonomy, and right to free speech can and do override obligations of nonmaleficence and harm of this nature and in this context that we are discussing it in.
Okay, so you did want to make it a very tight little box within which to hide yourself.  Okay.  Have fun in there.

My only points way back when, were that freedom of speech is not unlimited in the law - though I will grant that it does allow hate speech (based on the political content interpretation by the SCOTUS) - and we should also keep in mind that our society views freedom of speech different than some others.  I wouldn't bank on the legal system protecting ones ability to offend with a costume in all parts of the world.   Laws, while being the codified expression of a given societies ethics, are not, in fact really ethics after all, right?  Otherwise they would be universal everywhere, right? 

Or are ethics also not absolute?  Are they situational?  You apparently are the only professional qualified to declare which is the case.

The 'law' allowed all kinds of nice nasty things to be done to various people over the years.   Then the laws changed.  Were those actions 'ethical' at the time they were legal but not so much later on?

Your position seems to build down to this:  Being under no obligation to not offend someone, one can choose to do something offensive for one's own purposes, despite being aware that it might offend someone.

Does that make one ... selfish?  Insensitive?  A jerk? Is being a jerk ethical?   Is it in one's best interest to be a jerk?

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:02:28 PM

HAHAHAHAHA this is the last time I'll indulge you, because it is now *quite* clear you're out of your league and over your head here.

Funny, you've said that many times now, and yet you keep responding ....


In any case, we're in agreement, there is nothing really to be gained from trying to talk to another another on this.

I can only hope that you do not interact with students of philosophy in the way you've interacted with other people in this thread.  If you have, I imagine you've turned off quite a few potential students of the subject -- which is worthy of pursuit.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 04:03:25 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
I remember you telling all of us that you were an attorney, implying that you understood the law better, when we were arguing over what religious rights should be afforded to state clerks. So why are you now objecting when someone is basically doing the same thing but in a different context?

It's his MO. See the "Yeah, but..." comment to your post below.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 04:04:18 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
Speaking about your examples, the fact that there are laws against libel and intellectual property, and no law against being offended should tell you something.

Not quite right.  The law allows one to offend with 'hate speech'.  But not with, say, obscenity or defamation.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 04:05:00 PM

HAHAHAHAHA this is the last time I'll indulge you, because it is now *quite* clear you're out of your league and over your head here.

Funny, you've said that many times now, and yet you keep responding ....


In any case, we're in agreement, there is nothing really to be gained from trying to talk to another another on this.

I can only hope that you do not interact with students of philosophy in the way you've interacted with other people in this thread.  If you have, I imagine you've turned off quite a few potential students of the subject -- which is worthy of pursuit.

Ignorance of one's own ignorance is something philosophers don't take too well in others. Kind of ingrained in us since Socratic times. Now I'm done.  ;)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:05:24 PM

1) I'm a semi-Nietzsche scholar with several presentations, theses, and articles written about his philosophy. He definitely has some valid arguments in some of his works, but nobody seriously takes his ethical claims seriously nowadays. He gave a made-up account of human history without citing any real references or sources supporting his claim to create a nihilistic interpretation of morality. He also was an anti-semite who pretty much blamed the Jews for all teh evils in history to this point. In effect, the vast majority of his philosophy was self-referentially incoherent and contradictory, because his view of perspectivism is totally contradictory to his ideas of Ubermensch, the eternal recurrence, and even perspecitivism itself! Anyone who uses the Ubermensch concept as a reason to not have ethical obligations to others is narcissistic and incredibly out of touch with reality.

This is precisely the point I was making.  A person following that philosophy might think he's right, because he's following a code he believes in -- and after all, under his own philosophy, he's the only authority that matters -- but he shouldn't expect anybody else to think of him as anything but a selfish nincompoop.


So yeah, I guess I do know a little bit.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:07:46 PM


Or are ethics also not absolute?  Are they situational?  You apparently are the only professional qualified to declare which is the case.

What certification program do ethicists utilize, I wonder?  Do they get a title after their name, like M.D.? Where can I look up my local ethicist to give me a professional opinion on whether I am a good person?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:08:28 PM

HAHAHAHAHA this is the last time I'll indulge you, because it is now *quite* clear you're out of your league and over your head here.

Funny, you've said that many times now, and yet you keep responding ....


In any case, we're in agreement, there is nothing really to be gained from trying to talk to another another on this.

I can only hope that you do not interact with students of philosophy in the way you've interacted with other people in this thread.  If you have, I imagine you've turned off quite a few potential students of the subject -- which is worthy of pursuit.

Ignorance of one's own ignorance is something philosophers don't take too well in others. Kind of ingrained in us since Socratic times. Now I'm done.  ;)

Socrates was well known for asking questions of others with whom he disagreed to attempt to show them the ways in which they were ignorant.

Fair to say that's not your particular method of discourse.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:10:05 PM
Quote from: jpotter

1) No. Again, I'm not confusing "value statements with assertions of absolute fact." I'm a professional ethicist, and this is simply a true statement within my field.


What in the world does this mean?  A "true statement" in the field of ethics? 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 04:14:47 PM
The idea that you can live in this world and have other people interact with you based entirely on who you are independent of history, or what you look like, or what your name is, and so on ... that's privilege.  That's just not the world we live in.  You just think it is because it hasn't affected you negatively in a way that you've noticed.
I don't condone people being treated differently because of the color of the skin they're born with. This includes not allowing to be treated differently myself, regardless of what you think about my ancestors. It's no different. If you really want to live in a post-racial society, there's no other way to do it.


Quote from: PhoSita
OK, let me be clear in my terms.

When I say "responsibility," what I mean is -- what you need to do in order to be a part of our society. 

Plenty of behaviors are allowed under the law that other people will dislike you for doing, and rightly so.

It's not illegal for you to stand on the street corner yelling the N word at every single black person you see.  You won't be arrested for doing that. 

Does that mean you don't have any responsibility not to do that?  Legally, yes.  If you want other people to regard you as a person worthy of being a part of their community, then probably not.  You probably do bear some responsibility not to act that way.
Oh no, I understood you just right the first time, and that's still not how it works. There is no abstract worthiness test for being a part of society -- there's a bright line test and it's called the law of the land. That's why we put people in jail, that's why felons don't vote, and that's why we don't have a law mandating people to be "nice".
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 04:15:09 PM
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.
No, it's exactly what it means, in fact.

Only if you believe the term, "any responsibility" is exactly equivalent with "legal responsibility".

Do you?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 04:17:53 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
Speaking about your examples, the fact that there are laws against libel and intellectual property, and no law against being offended should tell you something.

Well, the laws against libel and intellectual property are primarily economically motivated, so I don't think it's necessarily relevant to this discussion.

In any case, as I've tried to clarify all along, I'm not really concerned with what the law is when it comes to this issue.  The law embodies an aspect of our ethical values as a society, that's true, but there are ways of policing behavior aside from, you know, policing.  We have all kinds of unwritten laws about what is and is not acceptable behavior, and all kinds of unwritten rules about how we deal with people who exhibit unacceptable behavior.  Ask Michael Richards about that.

So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.

I'm sorry, but that is just unequivocally wrong and not sound in any type of logical or ethical reasoning. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the American philosophy.

Qualifier noted, though I think you probably meant, "American legal system", not the "American philosophy" -- or is "American philosophy" codified up somewhere so we can all compare?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 13, 2015, 04:19:18 PM

Sigh, it's like arguing with a child.


This is funny, because I was thinking the same thing.

It's like you just took a philosophy class and decided you're The Authority on The Ethics.

Tell me, professional ethicist, how many different philosophers over the years have articulated a point of view on what it means to be an ethical person?  And yet you're in here, deigning to tell me what "ETHICS," writ large, say people are and are not obligated to do?

Frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about.
I remember you telling all of us that you were an attorney, implying that you understood the law better, when we were arguing over what religious rights should be afforded to state clerks. So why are you now objecting when someone is basically doing the same thing but in a different context?

You're right, I did reference my legal education when we were discussing a legal topic.  That's a fair point.

I don't think I wielded that statement in quite the same way, though -- as if to say, well, my opinion is worth more than yours.  Or as a method of handwaving holes in my reasoning, or a lack of responsiveness to a point that others had made.

If that is how it came across, I apologize. 

One question I'd pose, though -- is an "ethicist" analogous in the context of discussing what is and is not permissible behavior to a "lawyer" in the context of discussing what is legal, or a "doctor" in the context of discussing medicine?

It seems to me than an "ethicist," or a philosophy professor, if you like, is highly trained in discussing these kinds of problems.  Grappling with arguments.  Referencing different ways that similar arguments have been made in the past.  But we don't have a "Code of Ethics," in the same way that we have a Criminal Code, or a Constitution, or Grey's Anatomy.  Though admittedly those "authorities" change over time based on discussions / debates / arguments like the one we're having here.
That sounds good and there is some truth to that but most lawyers will only master the law they practice. Same idea with doctors who specialize in different areas. So unless you directly practice that kind of law, then I would say you are doing the same thing as Jpotter.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:19:37 PM


Qualifier noted, though I think you probably meant, "American legal system", not the "American philosophy" -- or is "American philosophy" codified up somewhere so we can all compare?

I imagine he's got the literature in his office that he discusses with colleagues in his field.

It's all over our heads, though.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:23:00 PM
That sounds good and there is some truth to that but most lawyers will only master the law they practice. Same idea with doctors who specialize in different areas. So unless you directly practice that kind of law, then I would say you are doing the same thing as Jpotter.

That's a fair point.  Though again, as I recall, when we were discussing the law re: Kim Davis, the point was to say, look, you keep referencing the Constitution, I've studied the Constitution, and I don't think the First Amendment does what you think it does in this situation.  I'm sure that I was pressed on that, and then actually made an argument to that effect.

Different, I think, than saying, "Well, I'm a lawyer, and I can tell you the agreed upon truth in my field is ___.  Therefore, you're wrong."


What irks me is how it seems that the "ethicist" authority is being used in the same way a doctor might say to you, "Look, I can't walk you through all of the clinical studies and testing, but I can tell you that a consensus of experts in my field agree this is the best treatment for your condition."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 13, 2015, 04:31:14 PM
That sounds good and there is some truth to that but most lawyers will only master the law they practice. Same idea with doctors who specialize in different areas. So unless you directly practice that kind of law, then I would say you are doing the same thing as Jpotter.

That's a fair point.  Though again, as I recall, when we were discussing the law re: Kim Davis, the point was to say, look, you keep referencing the Constitution, I've studied the Constitution, and I don't think the First Amendment does what you think it does in this situation.  I'm sure that I was pressed on that, and then actually made an argument to that effect.

Different, I think, than saying, "Well, I'm a lawyer, and I can tell you the agreed upon truth in my field is ___.  Therefore, you're wrong."


What irks me is how it seems that the "ethicist" authority is being used in the same way a doctor might say to you, "Look, I can't walk you through all of the clinical studies and testing, but I can tell you that a consensus of experts in my field agree this is the best treatment for your condition."
Right. That's what I'm saying you did which is very similar to what you called JPotter out for.

Anyways, how about all this nit picking going on?  :)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on November 13, 2015, 04:32:35 PM

   So since nothing anywhere close to that drastic happened to slaves, their descendants have no right to complain about such things?

  Because once you start trying to craft your thresholds to fit your favorite groups and exclude everyone else you've lost the battle, especially when thousands of innocents killed doesn't approach your criteria.

You're right, trying to craft it to specific examples does expose the argument to the kind of response you just made.

I apologize for not more properly responding to the hypothetical you posed, anyway.  My response was not on-point.  That's my fault.


The example you gave fails, for me, not because 9/11 is a very poor analogy to the genocide of the Native Americans (or to slavery), but because, in my view, there's a very major difference in kind in a crucial part of your example.

Telling a white person not to dress up as a Native American versus telling a Muslim not to dress up in their traditional cultural garb.  I'm sure you see the difference.

You might be offended by a Muslim wearing a hijab, for example.  And if you had relatives in the World Trade Center, I wouldn't blame you.  But I think in that situation we'd want to examine what it is you'd be asking the Muslim person to do if you wanted them not to wear that. 

Indeed, I think precisely what makes the Halloween example so offensive is what sets it apart from your example.  The white person casually dons the identity of the oppressed group, for fun, and then casually takes it off at the end of the night.  This is a way of flaunting privilege, and it also treats the identity and history of a group of people -- a group of people who have suffered genocide, oppression, discrimination, and so on, for hundreds of years -- is something that can be easily boiled down to a Halloween costume, and that the pain that people has suffered isn't something you even need to consider when turning them into, literally, a cartoon.

Whereas the Muslim person is simply being him or herself.  And that might remind you of how you have been hurt by people who are similar to that person.  But it's a very different thing to ask the Muslim person to change who they are, not simply change their costume, for your sake.

  First of all, you're getting way too caught up in the particulars of the discussion. It's very unlikely that if someone who was offended by a halloween costume saw someone dressed in native american clothing on another day they'd shrug it off because it wasn't the holiday.

  Beyond that, though, your description of someone wearing a costume as " white person casually dons the identity of the oppressed group, for fun, and then casually takes it off at the end of the night.  This is a way of flaunting privilege, and it also treats the identity and history of a group of people -- a group of people who have suffered genocide, oppression, discrimination, and so on, for hundreds of years"... is a pretty warped view of what's happening. What if the costume's meant to be an indian from before we went to war with them, the person liked or admired something about those people and the costume's meant as something of a tribute? How much sway should your (fairly deliberate) misinterpretation of the situation hold over things?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:34:59 PM
That sounds good and there is some truth to that but most lawyers will only master the law they practice. Same idea with doctors who specialize in different areas. So unless you directly practice that kind of law, then I would say you are doing the same thing as Jpotter.

That's a fair point.  Though again, as I recall, when we were discussing the law re: Kim Davis, the point was to say, look, you keep referencing the Constitution, I've studied the Constitution, and I don't think the First Amendment does what you think it does in this situation.  I'm sure that I was pressed on that, and then actually made an argument to that effect.

Different, I think, than saying, "Well, I'm a lawyer, and I can tell you the agreed upon truth in my field is ___.  Therefore, you're wrong."


What irks me is how it seems that the "ethicist" authority is being used in the same way a doctor might say to you, "Look, I can't walk you through all of the clinical studies and testing, but I can tell you that a consensus of experts in my field agree this is the best treatment for your condition."
Right. That's what I'm saying you did which is very similar to what you called JPotter out for.

Anyways, how about all this nit picking going on?  :)

Heh.

Well, I apologize that I worded my post, wherever it occurred in that particular discussion, so as to come across that way.  It wasn't my intention, but I appreciate how that must have been frustrating and annoying for you, and I'm sure it didn't further the discussion.  I'll try not to do it in the future.

:)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 04:36:28 PM
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.
No, it's exactly what it means, in fact.

Only if you believe the term, "any responsibility" is exactly equivalent with "legal responsibility".

Do you?
The fact that I may choose not to offend people doesn't mean that if I do, I should illegally be subject to forceful limitations to my freedom of expression and harassment/assault. That is all. I have no idea what sort of abstract other "responsibility" you may have in mind.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 04:38:01 PM
Anyways, how about all this nit picking going on?  :)
What do you know, I lived to see KR come in and be the voice of reason...  8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 04:39:35 PM

Sigh. I'm not sure why you're getting butt-hurt over me using differing text colors, bold text, and exaggerated text. Differing text colors allows me to respond to different arguments within a post, and bold and exaggerated text allows me to emphasize certain parts of an argument. Maybe you should stop reading too much into these things, or maybe I'm just a pig throwing around "microaggressions" everywhere.  ::)

No butt-hurt here.  Just pointing out that shouting doesn't make your points any more worthwhile.   You must be young.  Us old timers complain about ALL CAPS POSTS either.  Habit, I guess.
Quote


1) No. Again, I'm not confusing "value statements with assertions of absolute fact." I'm a professional ethicist, and this is simply a true statement within my field.
Professional ethicist == ?   Make money off being ethical?  Make money off telling people how to be ethical?  Make money arguing ethics on a blog?

Quote

Again, this is just highlighted in the fact that A) there's no ethical or legal precedent to not offend others and B) the right to free speech and autonomy allows me to wear an outfit of Native Americans that might offend others without being legally punished. There is just how it is, and I have no clue why you are not registering this. I'm sorry if you do not like it, but this is just how it is...
'Never argued that you couldn't legally wear something others found offensive and hateful.  So long as it is not obscene (because then you might not).
Quote

"Second, but even if it would be considered a harm of some type, it's pretty uncontroversial that obligations to autonomy outweigh any potential harm of this nature. Thus, the ethical obligation to respect individual autonomy outweighs the ethical obligation of non-maleficence (do no harm) in this case."

In this context, obviously "of this nature" refers specifically to being offended by the dress/costume of another. This is the only type of situation that I've been arguing for free speech and autonomy overriding cases of non-maleficence this entire time. You are the only one who tried to expand this idea to other cases of libel, intellectual property rights, etc. Obviously there are other cases where obligations of nonmaleficence override obligations of autonomy, but, once again, you are the only person who has been talking about those instances. And, as has already said many times, one cannot be legally punished (nor ethically to blame as you admitted in another post) for offending others with a costume, so, yes, obligations to individual freedoms, autonomy, and right to free speech can and do override obligations of nonmaleficence and harm of this nature and in this context that we are discussing it in.
Okay, so you did want to make it a very tight little box within which to hide yourself.  Okay.  Have fun in there.

My only points way back when, were that freedom of speech is not unlimited in the law - though I will grant that it does allow hate speech (based on the political content interpretation by the SCOTUS) - and we should also keep in mind that our society views freedom of speech different than some others.  I wouldn't bank on the legal system protecting ones ability to offend with a costume in all parts of the world.   Laws, while being the codified expression of a given societies ethics, are not, in fact really ethics after all, right?  Otherwise they would be universal everywhere, right? 

Or are ethics also not absolute?  Are they situational?  You apparently are the only professional qualified to declare which is the case.

The 'law' allowed all kinds of nice nasty things to be done to various people over the years.   Then the laws changed.  Were those actions 'ethical' at the time they were legal but not so much later on?

Your position seems to build down to this:  Being under no obligation to not offend someone, one can choose to do something offensive for one's own purposes, despite being aware that it might offend someone.

Does that make one ... selfish?  Insensitive?  A jerk? Is being a jerk ethical?   Is it in one's best interest to be a jerk?

This is what I'm saying, you should've read my post more carefully to know that was the only instance I was talking about lol And please know, me using bold text and that kind of stuff isn't me yelling; rather, it's me trying to highlight the important part of the text that I'm emphasizing.

We both agree that freedom of speech isn't unconditional, and like we've both said many times, obviously obligations of autonomy don't always override obligations of nonmaleficence. It would be wrong and illogical of me to argue for autonomy always overriding nonmaleficence.

But in this case it does. Also, acting ethically doesn't always mean acting nice or not being a jerk. In fact, a lot of times they go hand-in-hand. For example, if you see your friend steal something out of an old lady's purse at a store, you have an ethical obligation to try and stop him or tell the lady. To your friend, this will look like you not being nice or being a jerk. It really just depends upon the perspective involved. Many times, especially in cases with three or more parties, there will always be a party viewing the ethical action/actor as being a jerk. It's just harder to see in the case we've been discussing due to there really only being two parties involved.

Also, I think there's a faulty conception of "ethics" on this thread, especially by one particular individual. Ethics are not relative or subjective; otherwise, the discipline of normative ethics wouldn't exist. Our Western conception of ethics is actually pretty well agreed-upon in most facets, though; however, that doesn't necessarily mean it's always applied to instances the exact same way. And though our Western conception of morality isn't necessarily universal in all regards, there are many ethical principles that are shared globally. This is from a notion of "common morality," and it's even embedded in the UNESCO "Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights." http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=31058&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Outside of a couple of religious sects/governments, this situation is pretty much universally agreed upon, because as the Declaration states "The autonomy of persons to make decisions, while taking responsibility for those decisions and respecting the autonomy of others, is to be respected."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 04:44:34 PM
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.
No, it's exactly what it means, in fact.

Only if you believe the term, "any responsibility" is exactly equivalent with "legal responsibility".

Do you?
The fact that I may choose not to offend people doesn't mean that if I do, I should illegally be subject to forceful limitations to my freedom of expression and harassment/assault. That is all. I have no idea what sort of abstract other "responsibility" you may have in mind.

This one:
re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
rəˌspänsəˈbilədē/
noun
the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
"women bear children and take responsibility for child care"
synonyms:   authority, control, power, leadership
"a job with greater responsibility"
the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
"the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders"
synonyms:   blame, fault, guilt, culpability, liability
"they denied responsibility for the bomb attack"
the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.

Not all uses of the word responsibility have to do with what the law requires.

You can choose to or not to take on many responsibilities that the law does not compel you to.   There are potential non-legal consequences to those choices.

For example, a member of a church is not required by the law to attend his church services but his social contract with being in that church (a 'society' subset, if you will) imposes that responsibility.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 13, 2015, 04:48:59 PM
Where has D.o.s. been? I can't believe he hasn't jumped in on this thread by now.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:50:38 PM

  First of all, you're getting way too caught up in the particulars of the discussion. It's very unlikely that if someone who was offended by a halloween costume saw someone dressed in native american clothing on another day they'd shrug it off because it wasn't the holiday.

That's a fair point.  That it is a costume is really the point, not that it happens on a holiday.

Quote from: BballTim

  Beyond that, though, your description ... is a pretty warped view of what's happening. What if the costume's meant to be an indian from before we went to war with them, the person liked or admired something about those people and the costume's meant as something of a tribute? How much sway should your (fairly deliberate) misinterpretation of the situation hold over things?

I'd say that my interpretation of it isn't really the point.  How it affects people of Native American heritage -- how they interpret it -- that's more relevant. 

I'd hazard a guess that they probably don't care what time period the character you're pretending to be is from, they just care about an oppressor dressing up as one of them, without taking on any of the burden that comes with that identity.


I think you make a good point to ask, well, what if the costume is worn in tribute?  What if it's meant to be respectful, to honor the character or the group?  That gets us back to the question of intention, which I think is the point on which this topic turns for many people.

What I say to that point is this --

Racial and cultural identity are a big deal in our society.  For many people, that racial and cultural identity is the most important characteristic upon which they are judged, the biggest factor in how they are treated by other people, and the thing that plays the largest role in determining the path they take in life.  It's a big deal.

And it is for white people, too.  But because white people, the vast majority of the time, benefit from that identity rather than being disadvantaged by it, don't experience it that way.  White people, in America, generally aren't made aware of their own racial and cultural identity, because it is the "default" setting. 

It's not surprising that white people find the idea of dressing up as members of another race exciting or fun, for that reason.  Become a different person!  Look different!  Look interesting!  It's not necessarily a disrespectful or callous act. 

But I think the reason many people find it offensive is because white people don't have to take on the burden of discrimination and disadvantage that comes with that identity when they simply wear it as a costume.  Even when it's not a costume, but an identity they try to assume -- e.g. when surbuban white kids dress like black hip hop artists -- still, because they are white they get to enjoy the "cool" and "fun" aspects of that identity, without any of the disadvantages. 

And what that says to people who do carry that burden, I think, is that white people don't get it.  They don't understand that just being black, or brown, or whatever, in this country, is fundamentally different than being white, and the difference is by and large a negative.

So, intention isn't really the point.  It's ignorance, I guess.  And it usually trivializes a whole group of people, a culture, and a history, because it all gets boiled down to pop culture signifiers.

And that might not matter, on its own.  If I dress up as a doctor, or a nurse, I'm doing the same thing.  I'm ignorant of what it's like to be a doctor.  I dont' know how hard that is.

But then couple it with a history of discrimination and oppression.  It takes on a different tone.  You live with this reality, you're judged based on your identity and treated differently every day of your life, but to me this is just a costume.  This is just fun. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:51:06 PM
Where has D.o.s. been? I can't believe he hasn't jumped in on this thread by now.

I'd love to see his take on this stuff, but he's "NCE," I'm afraid.  I haven't seen him around in a while, in general, actually.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:54:16 PM

Quote from: mmmmm
Only if you believe the term, "any responsibility" is exactly equivalent with "legal responsibility".

Do you?

The fact that I may choose not to offend people doesn't mean that if I do, I should illegally be subject to forceful limitations to my freedom of expression and harassment/assault. That is all. I have no idea what sort of abstract other "responsibility" you may have in mind.

Are you in a relationship, Koz?  If so, do you have certain agreements with your partner about what is and is not acceptable?

For instance, is it cool for you to leave dirty dishes in the sink?  Do you get chided for forgetting to close the shower curtain after you take a shower? 

Those are some examples that are relevant to me. 

Even if those things don't apply to you, indulge me and pretend they do.  Would you agree you have a "responsibility" to try and comply with the wishes of your partner, provided you are actually interested in maintaining a happy relationship?

What word would you use, if not?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: SHAQATTACK on November 13, 2015, 04:54:45 PM
According to my wife

Their is no Freedom of speech in our house

There is what she thinks .....and ...well what I think doesn't hold much water

I'm inclined to listen  ... :D

Or else.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 04:59:15 PM
According to my wife

Their is no Freedom of speech in our house

There is what she thinks .....and ...well what I think doesn't hold much water

I'm inclined to listen  ... :D

Or else.

 ;D
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 13, 2015, 05:01:40 PM
That sounds good and there is some truth to that but most lawyers will only master the law they practice. Same idea with doctors who specialize in different areas. So unless you directly practice that kind of law, then I would say you are doing the same thing as Jpotter.

That's a fair point.  Though again, as I recall, when we were discussing the law re: Kim Davis, the point was to say, look, you keep referencing the Constitution, I've studied the Constitution, and I don't think the First Amendment does what you think it does in this situation.  I'm sure that I was pressed on that, and then actually made an argument to that effect.

Different, I think, than saying, "Well, I'm a lawyer, and I can tell you the agreed upon truth in my field is ___.  Therefore, you're wrong."


What irks me is how it seems that the "ethicist" authority is being used in the same way a doctor might say to you, "Look, I can't walk you through all of the clinical studies and testing, but I can tell you that a consensus of experts in my field agree this is the best treatment for your condition."
Right. That's what I'm saying you did which is very similar to what you called JPotter out for.

Anyways, how about all this nit picking going on?  :)

Heh.

Well, I apologize that I worded my post, wherever it occurred in that particular discussion, so as to come across that way.  It wasn't my intention, but I appreciate how that must have been frustrating and annoying for you, and I'm sure it didn't further the discussion.  I'll try not to do it in the future.

:)
Your mocking tone offended me and I'm now retreating to my safe place.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 05:03:22 PM

Quote from: mmmmm
Only if you believe the term, "any responsibility" is exactly equivalent with "legal responsibility".

Do you?

The fact that I may choose not to offend people doesn't mean that if I do, I should illegally be subject to forceful limitations to my freedom of expression and harassment/assault. That is all. I have no idea what sort of abstract other "responsibility" you may have in mind.

Are you in a relationship, Koz?  If so, do you have certain agreements with your partner about what is and is not acceptable?

For instance, is it cool for you to leave dirty dishes in the sink?  Do you get chided for forgetting to close the shower curtain after you take a shower? 

Those are some examples that are relevant to me. 

Even if those things don't apply to you, indulge me and pretend they do.  Would you agree you have a "responsibility" to try and comply with the wishes of your partner, provided you are actually interested in maintaining a happy relationship?

What word would you use, if not?
That's all nice and dandy. None of it serves of a justification why social "responsibilities" extend in any form or shape beyond what we felt necessary to put into law.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 05:07:04 PM
Quote from: PhoSita
Heh.

Well, I apologize that I worded my post, wherever it occurred in that particular discussion, so as to come across that way.  It wasn't my intention, but I appreciate how that must have been frustrating and annoying for you, and I'm sure it didn't further the discussion.  I'll try not to do it in the future.

:)
Your mocking tone offended me and I'm now retreating to my safe place.

I was actually being sincere, though.  But you can do with my apology what you will.   ;)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 05:08:53 PM

That's all nice and dandy. None of it serves of a justification why social "responsibilities" extend in any form or shape beyond what we felt necessary to put into law.

So, if I follow you, then you don't think anybody should make any negative judgments about anything you do so long as you comply with the law?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 05:10:19 PM

Also, I think there's a faulty conception of "ethics" on this thread, especially by one particular individual.

You say, "faulty".  I think some may say, "different".    Words can have more than one meaning.

You are using the word to refer to a formal derivation of moral principles, per your study and understanding.

I think most lay people would use the word "ethical" to simply mean what they perceive to be 'right or wrong'.

The latter is not necessarily "faulty" or any less correct than the former. 

In fact, given that it is statistically more likely that any two persons using the word in communication meaning the later, that definition may be more statistically accurate, if not technically so.


Quote

Ethics are not relative or subjective; otherwise, the discipline of normative ethics wouldn't exist.
LOL - somewhere, a solipsist convinced himself just now that, since he cannot perceive of normative ethics, they do not exist.   He would, of course, not be aware of that.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 05:13:04 PM

That's all nice and dandy. None of it serves of a justification why social "responsibilities" extend in any form or shape beyond what we felt necessary to put into law.

So, if I follow you, then you don't think anybody should make any negative judgments about anything you do so long as you comply with the law?
I think no-one should suffer forceful and illegal repercussions because someone was "offended". These include but are not limited to censoring, harassment, and assault. I thought that's what we were talking about here, not about the fact that next door Joe may hate me if I dress as a redneck for Halloween.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 06:20:28 PM

That's all nice and dandy. None of it serves of a justification why social "responsibilities" extend in any form or shape beyond what we felt necessary to put into law.

So, if I follow you, then you don't think anybody should make any negative judgments about anything you do so long as you comply with the law?
I think no-one should suffer forceful and illegal repercussions because someone was "offended". These include but are not limited to censoring, harassment, and assault. I thought that's what we were talking about here, not about the fact that next door Joe may hate me if I dress as a redneck for Halloween.

OK, so I guess this gets us back to the alleged perpetration of a "war against free speech."  Do we know of any "forceful or illegal repercussions" suffered by people engaging in behavior considered by others to be offensive?

My sense of this has been that we're talking about the general proliferation of an atmosphere, or culture, of "political correctness" that militates, through public and private social pressure, against certain types of behavior and expression.

Some people decry the rise of "PC culture," others suggest it's part of becoming more sensitive and aware of the perspectives and experiences that are all part of a diverse society.


I'd have a problem with somebody trying to pass laws restricting what people can and cannot wear for Halloween, or as a costume in general.  But that's not what we're talking about, right?

One of the examples in the original post was a controversy at Yale over what the university's policy was with respect to potentially offensive costumes worn by students and their guests.  While that's an area that can get fuzzy / complicated with respect to whether or not the First Amendment applies, it's not exactly a legal issue.  Indeed, I thought the controversy at Yale was over what an administrator put in a letter to the student body, i.e., what a school official was presenting as Yale's stance on the matter, not so much what Yale's disciplinary rules are or are not.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 13, 2015, 06:32:50 PM
I'd have a problem with somebody trying to pass laws restricting what people can and cannot wear for Halloween, or as a costume in general.  But that's not what we're talking about, right?
No, we're talking about forcing people not to do stuff in the absence of any legal basis to do so.

Indeed, I thought the controversy at Yale was over what an administrator put in a letter to the student body, i.e., what a school official was presenting as Yale's stance on the matter, not so much what Yale's disciplinary rules are or are not.
No, it was actually about the wife of one of the Yale dorm masters (professor stationed in a student dormitory), who put forth a fairly innocuous message suggesting that perhaps it's ok to be offended from time to time. As a result, the students are attempting to force her husband out of his master position, because they didn't feel homey enough.

It's beyond ridiculous, really. Even Obama weighed in on the coddling issue.

Quote
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/15/obama-says-liberal-college-students-should-not-be-coddled-are-we-really-surprised/
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 13, 2015, 06:42:21 PM
Quote from: PhoSita
So just because there isn't a law against, say, offending other people, doesn't mean a member of our society does not bear any responsibility to avoid offending others.  Except, I suppose, to the extent that person has no interest in being a part of our society.

I'm sorry, but that is just unequivocally wrong and not sound in any type of logical or ethical reasoning. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the American philosophy.


So, you're a guy who knows philosophy, right?  I imagine you're familiar with logic.

Could you kindly refrain from the appeals to authority and actually address, with a reasoned argument, what it is about what I've said that's wrong?

Or you can keep on saying "That completely goes against what THE ETHICS and THE PHILOSOPHY say!"  But don't expect me (or really anybody else, frankly) to be convinced.


I don't particularly care what "the literature" says my obligation is to you.  I do care what seems right to me, and what seems right to people in my community.  And we can talk about why those things are what they are, and why maybe they should be different.  But I might read Nietzsche and decide I don't have an ethical responsibility to anybody but myself.  It doesn't mean other people should want anything to do with me if I decide to try and become an Uber Mensch.

Logic is all I've been trying to show you since I entered the thread.

It's illogical to tell people they shouldn't offend others, because every person has the right to be offended by ANYthing they want.  Logically, it's impossible to universally decide what's offensive and what's not.

Rather, people have to decide that for themselves, and police themselves.  It's impossible to police other people's opinions.

You've admitted yourself that you police your behaviors based on whether or not the views/arguments of the offended person persuade you.  So far your personal opinions/conclusions have ranged from "no, it's wrong" regarding an offended African American, "maybe" regarding an offended Native American, and "yes, it's okay" regarding an offended vegetarian/Hindu.

So you might consider yourself an ethical person, and not a jerk/____, however, someone else who feels differently and has been persuaded by the views of a vegetarian, has every right to consider you a jerk/____.  That person can still think you're a jerk/unethical person for eating animals even you tell them, "But I listened to that viewpoint with the mindset that my views aren't infallible!!!  It simply didn't persuade me, so it doesn't matter if I'm offending you."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 06:47:44 PM

You say, "faulty".  I think some may say, "different".    Words can have more than one meaning.

You are using the word to refer to a formal derivation of moral principles, per your study and understanding.

I think most lay people would use the word "ethical" to simply mean what they perceive to be 'right or wrong'.

The latter is not necessarily "faulty" or any less correct than the former. 



Quote from: jpotter

Ethics are not relative or subjective; otherwise, the discipline of normative ethics wouldn't exist.

LOL - somewhere, a solipsist convinced himself just now that, since he cannot perceive of normative ethics, they do not exist.   He would, of course, not be aware of that.


Even if you look at ethics as a "formal derivation of moral principles," at any given time there isn't some great big book of ethics etched into the stars, or something like that.  So when we talk about ethics, I think we're talking about a human effort to define what people -- whether we mean academics or lay people -- should consider to be right and wrong.  That's different, of course, than what people actually do think is right or wrong; that'd be sociology.  So there is an appeal to reason, in an attempt to be objective and universal, at work.

That said, like all types of philosophy, we can strive towards the Truth and the Good, but we can never say that we have definitively discovered the genuine article.  Otherwise, why discuss it?  If there's a codification of right and wrong out there somewhere, just send me the Amazon link and I'll order the book.  But as far as I know, that book doesn't exist, unless you believe that's what The Bible is for.


Some people are more educated in the discussion of this topic than others.  Some people even make it their profession to know as much about the arguments that have been made in this topic, to evaluate those arguments, and to make these arguments themselves.  That is not the same thing as "knowing" what the right answer is.  Extremely intelligent people argue for the wrong thing all of the time, and the consensus about what seems to be true, even in physical science, often changes, sometimes radically.

I'm not a professional ethicist.  I merely took some philosophy classes in college.  It's been a while, but I recall reading a number of theories that were persuasive and for the most part internally coherent and sound, that nonetheless urged conclusions that I could not countenance.  I imagine jpotter33 has encountered more than a few such theories himself, like the aforementioned Nietzsche.  I'd guess that for each such theory, at one point in time, there was a large group of very intelligent people who regarded it as the definitive authority on the subject.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 07:02:53 PM


It's illogical to tell people they shouldn't offend others, because every person has the right to be offended by ANYthing they want.  Logically, it's impossible to universally decide what's offensive and what's not.

Rather, people have to decide that for themselves, and police themselves.  It's impossible to police other people's opinions.

It's definitely true that it's impossible to police people's opinions.  And you almost certainly cannot entirely avoid ever offending anybody.  And you probably wouldn't want to.  Many of the most important efforts for change throughout history have offended lots and lots of people.

It doesn't follow, however, that you shouldn't care about how people feel. And people's feelings are separate from their opinions. 

You can't be sure to avoid ever hurting anybody's feelings, either.  As you point out, I might hurt the feelings of a vegan by sitting down and eating meat.  And I might sit and listen to them, and make an effort to hear them out, and still decide that I'm going to keep eating meat.  And that might bother them a lot.  They would be free, in that situation, to think I'm a jerk.  And hopefully I'd at least apologize, because it'd matter to me that I hurt their feelings, even if I didn't think it would be reasonable of me to do anything different.  At the very least, I'd probably try not to be too obvious about eating meat in front of them.  That seems like the minimum of what I could do.

But I think there's a big difference between trying your best not to be a jerk to other people and occasionally failing (and hearing other people out when you do), versus deciding well, you can't please everybody, and just continuing to live the way that seems right to you, no matter what some other people with a different perspective than yours might say or feel.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 13, 2015, 07:08:26 PM
In other words, what I'm saying is that if it's illogical to avoid offending people, I don't see why I have a "responsibility" to avoid offending people.  I'm still going to try to avoid it, but if I do offend someone (such as a vegetarian) that doesn't mean I'm not doing my part for society or that I've failed in my responsibilities.

I certainly don't think that given the fact I eat meat, I have "no interest in being a part of our society."  I also don't think you have no interest in being part of our society even though you eat meat (despite the contradictions in your arguments).
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mgent on November 13, 2015, 07:12:26 PM


It's illogical to tell people they shouldn't offend others, because every person has the right to be offended by ANYthing they want.  Logically, it's impossible to universally decide what's offensive and what's not.

Rather, people have to decide that for themselves, and police themselves.  It's impossible to police other people's opinions.

It's definitely true that it's impossible to police people's opinions.  And you almost certainly cannot entirely avoid ever offending anybody.  And you probably wouldn't want to.  Many of the most important efforts for change throughout history have offended lots and lots of people.

It doesn't follow, however, that you shouldn't care about how people feel. And people's feelings are separate from their opinions. 

You can't be sure to avoid ever hurting anybody's feelings, either.  As you point out, I might hurt the feelings of a vegan by sitting down and eating meat.  And I might sit and listen to them, and make an effort to hear them out, and still decide that I'm going to keep eating meat.  And that might bother them a lot.  They would be free, in that situation, to think I'm a jerk.  And hopefully I'd at least apologize, because it'd matter to me that I hurt their feelings, even if I didn't think it would be reasonable of me to do anything different.  At the very least, I'd probably try not to be too obvious about eating meat in front of them.  That seems like the minimum of what I could do.

But I think there's a big difference between trying your best not to be a jerk to other people and occasionally failing (and hearing other people out when you do), versus deciding well, you can't please everybody, and just continuing to live the way that seems right to you, no matter what some other people with a different perspective than yours might say or feel.

So you'd have no problem with someone dressing in blackface or as a Native American, so long as they say sorry to everyone who feels offended?

Are you really sorry for your actions if you continue doing them?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 07:22:31 PM
I'd have a problem with somebody trying to pass laws restricting what people can and cannot wear for Halloween, or as a costume in general.  But that's not what we're talking about, right?
No, we're talking about forcing people not to do stuff in the absence of any legal basis to do so.


OK, but what do you mean by forcing?


Quote from: kozlodoev
Indeed, I thought the controversy at Yale was over what an administrator put in a letter to the student body, i.e., what a school official was presenting as Yale's stance on the matter, not so much what Yale's disciplinary rules are or are not.

No, it was actually about the wife of one of the Yale dorm masters (professor stationed in a student dormitory), who put forth a fairly innocuous message suggesting that perhaps it's ok to be offended from time to time. As a result, the students are attempting to force her husband out of his master position, because they didn't feel homey enough.



I disagree with that characterization.

Quote
I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious... a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people's capacity—in your capacity ­ to exercise self­censure, through social norming, and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you?


I think what upset students about it is that here you have a white woman telling young students of color, for whom the spectacle of their classmates dressing up in racist costumes -- often, yes, in blackface -- is more than just "a little bit obnoxious," "a little bit in appropriate" -- that what they're getting worked up about is not really a big deal.

Furthermore, she tells the students, essentially, that it's not the university's job to make sure their peers don't do obnoxious or inappropriate things.  Indeed, students of color, it is your job to call them out!  It's your job to be the racism police!  Because I'm sure, students of color in a predominantly white space don't spend enough of their time feeling like they have to bear the responsibility for telling their white peers that they're being racist.

So again, I think I understand why that set people off.

And the other thing is, she talks about how universities should be a "safe space" for maturation and learning, but what she overlooks is that this works both ways.  Students of color should feel like their school is a safe place where their basic identity is fundamentally respected, and here they have somebody associated with the school, a white person, telling them that the school, in fact, really ought to protect the right of their peers to be insensitive and disrespectful towards them.


Now, I don't necessarily think it's right to force this woman and her husband out of Yale.  Nor do I think the correct solution for universities is to discipline students who dress up in offensive or merely problematic costumes.   

My point is just that I don't think the students at Yale are asking to be "coddled," nor do I think this an instance of some insidious plague of close-mindedness.  But I definitely think the letter came from a place of privilege, was poorly thought out, and failed to give credence to the experience of students of color at Yale.


Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: tazzmaniac on November 13, 2015, 07:24:50 PM


It's illogical to tell people they shouldn't offend others, because every person has the right to be offended by ANYthing they want.  Logically, it's impossible to universally decide what's offensive and what's not.

Rather, people have to decide that for themselves, and police themselves.  It's impossible to police other people's opinions.

It's definitely true that it's impossible to police people's opinions.  And you almost certainly cannot entirely avoid ever offending anybody.  And you probably wouldn't want to.  Many of the most important efforts for change throughout history have offended lots and lots of people.

It doesn't follow, however, that you shouldn't care about how people feel. And people's feelings are separate from their opinions. 

You can't be sure to avoid ever hurting anybody's feelings, either.  As you point out, I might hurt the feelings of a vegan by sitting down and eating meat.  And I might sit and listen to them, and make an effort to hear them out, and still decide that I'm going to keep eating meat.  And that might bother them a lot.  They would be free, in that situation, to think I'm a jerk.  And hopefully I'd at least apologize, because it'd matter to me that I hurt their feelings, even if I didn't think it would be reasonable of me to do anything different.  At the very least, I'd probably try not to be too obvious about eating meat in front of them.  That seems like the minimum of what I could do.

But I think there's a big difference between trying your best not to be a jerk to other people and occasionally failing (and hearing other people out when you do), versus deciding well, you can't please everybody, and just continuing to live the way that seems right to you, no matter what some other people with a different perspective than yours might say or feel.
A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 07:29:32 PM

So you'd have no problem with someone dressing in blackface or as a Native American, so long as they say sorry to everyone who feels offended?

Are you really sorry for your actions if you continue doing them?

So let's say a white person dresses up in black face.  They go out on the street on Halloween.  At least one person calls them out, stops them, explains to them why that's really offensive.  Let's pretend the white person, miraculously, doesn't get beaten up.


Let's say they listen, they legitimately consider the reasons put forth, and they conclude that nonetheless, it doesn't make sense for them to change their behavior, then apologize and continue on their merry way.

Well, I think I'd respect that person's willingness to stop, consider, and have a dialogue about what they were doing.  And then I'd seriously question the reasoning that led them to the conclusion that it was OK for them to continue anyway.

I don't think I have a bright line rule for you on that part of this process, though.  I don't think I can articulate for you a maxim that says when a person should and should not say, "OK, you're right, what I did was wrong.  I'm sorry, I won't do it again." 

Not saying such a maxim doesn't exist (hey jpotter33), I just don't know it.  But I do believe that having the dialogue and making a genuine effort to listen and understand is going to work out pretty well, more often than not.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 13, 2015, 07:30:18 PM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 13, 2015, 08:14:43 PM
In other words, what I'm saying is that if it's illogical to avoid offending people,
That statement, as worded, hasn't been supported by anything in this thread.  Did you mean to say, "it is illogical to require one to avoid offending people"?
Quote
I don't see why I have a "responsibility" to avoid offending people.  I'm still going to try to avoid it,
Why?  Why are you going to try to avoid it?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 13, 2015, 08:50:42 PM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
Well that would be a poor choice for that white person. He probably could expect a couple of things. The first being a punch in his face. The second, his peers thinking much less of him, unless they are trash as well.

If people are stupid enough to offend someone or even worse, harass them, they probably will end up on the wrong side of it eventually.

I do think that if a person is repeatedly harassing certain people by offending them, that person should probably be cited for public disorderly conduct. But for single cases that do not escalate, how could you possibly police them, unless the person was caught on video?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: tazzmaniac on November 13, 2015, 10:54:29 PM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
From a free speech perspective, saying the N word (or other racial slurs) ought to be allowed.  Personally if I heard anyone, regardless of their race, using racial slurs, I'd think it was low class and I would avoid associating with them.  That includes a black person using the N word to another black person. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 13, 2015, 11:23:31 PM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
From a free speech perspective, saying the N word (or other racial slurs) ought to be allowed.  Personally if I heard anyone, regardless of their race, using racial slurs, I'd think it was low class and I would avoid associating with them.  That includes a black person using the N word to another black person.

Why are you so against the use of that word?  Isn't it to avoid offending people that the word has become taboo?

I think there are some societal norms and values that aren't necessarily legal ones that ought to be upheld.  What's wrong with adding the scot white people dressing in costumes as either Native Americans or black people  to that list of things that are simply too offensive from a societal standpoint to be acceptable?

Are we really taking something of value away from anyone (white people) by saying that as a society this is not something we find acceptable behavior?

I guess some would make the "slippery slope" argument; Where will it end?  Personally, I think we are a reasonable enough society that we won't go too far with it.  And I don't think asking white people to not dress as oppressed groups of people is going to far.  I think it's a reasonable request. 

Aw shucks, I guess I won't be able to wear my Geronimo costume next Halloween!!  Boy, my civil liberties sure are being infringed upon!!
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 13, 2015, 11:34:26 PM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
From a free speech perspective, saying the N word (or other racial slurs) ought to be allowed.  Personally if I heard anyone, regardless of their race, using racial slurs, I'd think it was low class and I would avoid associating with them.  That includes a black person using the N word to another black person.

Why are you so against the use of that word?  Isn't it to avoid offending people that the word has become taboo?

I think there are some societal norms and values that aren't necessarily legal ones that ought to be upheld.  What's wrong with adding the scot white people dressing in costumes as either Native Americans or black people  to that list of things that are simply too offensive from a societal standpoint to be acceptable?

Are we really taking something of value away from anyone (white people) by saying that as a society this is not something we find acceptable behavior?

I guess some would make the "slippery slope" argument; Where will it end?  Personally, I think we are a reasonable enough society that we won't go too far with it.  And I don't think asking white people to not dress as oppressed groups of people is going to far.  I think it's a reasonable request. 

Aw shucks, I guess I won't be able to wear my Geronimo costume next Halloween!!  Boy, my civil liberties sure are being infringed upon!!
Ok and are we going to arrest a 10 year old dressed as Pocahontas, who doesn't understand why the costume is oppressive, or is there going to be an age clause? And if there is an age clause, it will sound a bit odd that after 18 years of age, you are no longer legally allowed to offend someone.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on November 14, 2015, 01:45:05 AM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
From a free speech perspective, saying the N word (or other racial slurs) ought to be allowed.  Personally if I heard anyone, regardless of their race, using racial slurs, I'd think it was low class and I would avoid associating with them.  That includes a black person using the N word to another black person.

Why are you so against the use of that word?  Isn't it to avoid offending people that the word has become taboo?

I think there are some societal norms and values that aren't necessarily legal ones that ought to be upheld.  What's wrong with adding the scot white people dressing in costumes as either Native Americans or black people  to that list of things that are simply too offensive from a societal standpoint to be acceptable?

Are we really taking something of value away from anyone (white people) by saying that as a society this is not something we find acceptable behavior?

I guess some would make the "slippery slope" argument; Where will it end?  Personally, I think we are a reasonable enough society that we won't go too far with it.  And I don't think asking white people to not dress as oppressed groups of people is going to far.  I think it's a reasonable request. 

Aw shucks, I guess I won't be able to wear my Geronimo costume next Halloween!!  Boy, my civil liberties sure are being infringed upon!!
Ok and are we going to arrest a 10 year old dressed as Pocahontas, who doesn't understand why the costume is oppressive, or is there going to be an age clause? And if there is an age clause, it will sound a bit odd that after 18 years of age, you are no longer legally allowed to offend someone.

Nobody is advocating for arresting anyone.  You've misunderstood my point.  I don't think it should be illegal, I just think it should be widely considered socially unacceptable.

Just like I think the use of the N word by white people should be, and luckily has become, socially unacceptable. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 14, 2015, 03:37:51 PM

A vegan's opinions and feelings are no more important than a meat eater's.  They both should be allowed to eat what they want without having to justify their choices or being berated about them.

OK, maybe, but what about the feelings of a white person on whether saying the N word is offensive, versus the opinion of a black person?
From a free speech perspective, saying the N word (or other racial slurs) ought to be allowed.  Personally if I heard anyone, regardless of their race, using racial slurs, I'd think it was low class and I would avoid associating with them.  That includes a black person using the N word to another black person.

Why are you so against the use of that word?  Isn't it to avoid offending people that the word has become taboo?

I think there are some societal norms and values that aren't necessarily legal ones that ought to be upheld.  What's wrong with adding the scot white people dressing in costumes as either Native Americans or black people  to that list of things that are simply too offensive from a societal standpoint to be acceptable?

Are we really taking something of value away from anyone (white people) by saying that as a society this is not something we find acceptable behavior?

I guess some would make the "slippery slope" argument; Where will it end?  Personally, I think we are a reasonable enough society that we won't go too far with it.  And I don't think asking white people to not dress as oppressed groups of people is going to far.  I think it's a reasonable request. 

Aw shucks, I guess I won't be able to wear my Geronimo costume next Halloween!!  Boy, my civil liberties sure are being infringed upon!!
Ok and are we going to arrest a 10 year old dressed as Pocahontas, who doesn't understand why the costume is oppressive, or is there going to be an age clause? And if there is an age clause, it will sound a bit odd that after 18 years of age, you are no longer legally allowed to offend someone.

Nobody is advocating for arresting anyone.  You've misunderstood my point.  I don't think it should be illegal, I just think it should be widely considered socially unacceptable.

Just like I think the use of the N word by white people should be, and luckily has become, socially unacceptable.
Ok I apologize. I may had been clumping you with others who seemed to be mandating that certain costumes needed to be banned. The only way I could imagine enforcing a rule like that is to fine people or arrest them.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 14, 2015, 05:32:52 PM

Also, I think there's a faulty conception of "ethics" on this thread, especially by one particular individual.

You say, "faulty".  I think some may say, "different".    Words can have more than one meaning.

You are using the word to refer to a formal derivation of moral principles, per your study and understanding.

I think most lay people would use the word "ethical" to simply mean what they perceive to be 'right or wrong'.

The latter is not necessarily "faulty" or any less correct than the former. 

In fact, given that it is statistically more likely that any two persons using the word in communication meaning the later, that definition may be more statistically accurate, if not technically so.


Quote

Ethics are not relative or subjective; otherwise, the discipline of normative ethics wouldn't exist.
LOL - somewhere, a solipsist convinced himself just now that, since he cannot perceive of normative ethics, they do not exist.   He would, of course, not be aware of that.

I'm not making a semantic argument by saying that there's a faulty conception of ethics on this blog. Rather, I'm saying the meta-ethical underpinnings of many people's conception of moral philosophy, i.e. "ethics," is faulty. There seems to be a pretty severe notion that there is no such thing as objective or shared morality, or at least there are pretty heavy relativistic/subjectivist leanings among some here. This is clearly evident in quotes like: "What in the world does this mean?  A "true statement" in the field of ethics?"

But this is just far from reality, because there are many, many "true statements" that are objectively and globally true. There is in fact a shared, global morality that every morally serious code is agreeable to, and generally this shared morality is based on a deontological, human rights framework that provides a limit to ethically acceptable options. In fact, this is the very framework for UNESCO's "Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights," and this Declaration acts as the global list of ethical principles and obligations that are universally shared.

So just because the concept of moral philosophy is more variable than say law or medicine, does not mean there is no shared morality that can be implemented globally. The vast, vast majority of the world agrees upon probably 80% of the values and principles that make up the ethical framework guiding moral philosophy today (even more if you discount the religious aspects of moralities); however, it is the application of these values and principles where moral disagreement really becomes visible. I won't get into the actual moral epistemological aspects of "true statements in the field of ethics," because that's an incredibly abstract field that is out of the scope of this thread. However, what this does show is that there are certain ethical statements that can be made that apply objectively and globally to all serious moral codes worldwide. As I've been saying, the ethical statement of obligations of autonomy overriding obligations to these types of nonmaleficence are fairly uncontroversial statements across most (secular) moral codes, because it's a part of the shared morality that pervades all serious moral codes.

As for your second remark, there are many, many logical issues with the acceptance of ethical relativism and/or ethical subjectivism. However, I've always thought that the most convincing argument against these types of positions is their implications. For example, here are a couple of implications of accepting ethical relativism and/or subjectivism:
1) There was nothing morally wrong with the Nazi's actions in the Holocaust (cultural relativism);
2) There was nothing morally wrong with ISIS' actions last night in Paris or with extremist Islamic terrorism as a whole (cultural relativism);
3) Ted Bundy's acts were not morally wrong (individual subjectivism);

As humans, we have a strong intuitive sense that strongly suggests that all of these things are inherently morally wrong and disgusting. However, being a relativist or subjectivist, there is nothing suggesting that any of things are wrong unless they deviate from the code generated by their self or their culture. Thus for these people, if a personal or cultural code suggests that rape, murder, and thievery area all acceptable positions, then it is morally acceptable to perform these actions, i.e. justifying Nazis, ISIS, Ted Bundy, etc., which is an absolutely disgusting and untenable position for any rational person to take.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Roy H. on November 17, 2015, 06:57:56 PM
The President is right on here:

http://www.vox.com/2015/11/17/9750654/obama-missouri-yale-political-correctness

I don't know how sincere he is, but the words are good.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 17, 2015, 07:08:18 PM
The President is right on here:

http://www.vox.com/2015/11/17/9750654/obama-missouri-yale-political-correctness

I don't know how sincere he is, but the words are good.
Thanks for sharing.

That's a tough position for Obama to take. +1 for Obama.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 17, 2015, 11:11:45 PM
A student at Yale has some thoughts about free speech (http://yalerecord.org/2015/11/16/if-our-free-speech-isnt-in-jeopardy-then-why-wont-my-ta-let-me-spend-all-of-class-yelling-****-brian-at-brian/) to shed some additional perspective on this topic.

(NSFW / children due to language)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on November 18, 2015, 03:13:58 PM
A student at Yale has some thoughts about free speech (http://yalerecord.org/2015/11/16/if-our-free-speech-isnt-in-jeopardy-then-why-wont-my-ta-let-me-spend-all-of-class-yelling-****-brian-at-brian/) to shed some additional perspective on this topic.

(NSFW / children due to language)
Well it looks like a black lives matter demonstration, marched into a college library at Dartmouth, and used your supposed example. The demonstrators were yelling F U to white people for being white. One girl was pinned to the wall and was told F U you white rich bit$&.

In other news, black lives matter supporters have been tweeting FU to Paris, upset that the tragedy in Paris took the attention away from them.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 18, 2015, 03:29:21 PM
A student at Yale has some thoughts about free speech (http://yalerecord.org/2015/11/16/if-our-free-speech-isnt-in-jeopardy-then-why-wont-my-ta-let-me-spend-all-of-class-yelling-****-brian-at-brian/) to shed some additional perspective on this topic.

(NSFW / children due to language)
Well it looks like a black lives matter demonstration, marched into a college library at Dartmouth, and used your supposed example. The demonstrators were yelling F U to white people for being white. One girl was pinned to the wall and was told F U you white rich bit$&.

In other news, black lives matter supporters have been tweeting FU to Paris, upset that the tragedy in Paris took the attention away from them.

This little experiment in turning the PC tables upside down might add another 20 pages this thread.  Back to the ethics debates. What is proper ethical protocol in the case of a purposeful thought experiment where no real harm is intended (of course no believes the FU to Paris is based on real mal intent...it is a boundary testing exercise).  So, should we tell the victims (non physical ones) Brian and others, to lighten up?  It's just an experiment and don't take it serious?  Walk away and ignore it? 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 18, 2015, 03:54:51 PM
A student at Yale has some thoughts about free speech (http://yalerecord.org/2015/11/16/if-our-free-speech-isnt-in-jeopardy-then-why-wont-my-ta-let-me-spend-all-of-class-yelling-****-brian-at-brian/) to shed some additional perspective on this topic.

(NSFW / children due to language)
Well it looks like a black lives matter demonstration, marched into a college library at Dartmouth, and used your supposed example. The demonstrators were yelling F U to white people for being white. One girl was pinned to the wall and was told F U you white rich bit$&.

In other news, black lives matter supporters have been tweeting FU to Paris, upset that the tragedy in Paris took the attention away from them.

This little experiment in turning the PC tables upside down might add another 20 pages this thread.  Back to the ethics debates. What is proper ethical protocol in the case of a purposeful thought experiment where no real harm is intended (of course no believes the FU to Paris is based on real mal intent...it is a boundary testing exercise).  So, should we tell the victims (non physical ones) Brian and others, to lighten up?  It's just an experiment and don't take it serious?  Walk away and ignore it?

Pho's link isn't working for me. Can someone post a different one or give me a phrase to Google so I can find the actual article that's being talked about. Thanks.

EDIT: Nevermind, I found it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 18, 2015, 04:11:03 PM
Re: Dartmouth

Quote
“The tactics, tone, and words of the Black Lives Matter protesters eerily mirrored everything they claim to stand against,” writes The Review. “The long list of their clear oversteps should spark a moment of reckoning for every honest onlooker, and especially those who have sympathized with their movement to this point.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/16/black-lives-matter-protesters-berate-white-student/


I can't fathom what the people behind this demonstration were thinking. 

If somebody wanted to undermine the movement by paying people to pose as protesters, I don't think they could have thought up a better plan of action than what the protesters did in the Dartmouth library.

There is a place for anger and disruption in activism.  I don't doubt that sometimes it is necessary to jar people from their cocoon of privilege.  There is never cause for for violence, and certainly not for blatant abuse and disrespect. 

I just can't think of a justification for the Dartmouth demonstration.  I'd be fascinated to read some kind of defense of it, because all I can ask is, "What were they thinking?"


I agree with many of the ideas behind the Black Lives Matter movement, but it really seems like there's a lack of perspective or intelligent planning evident in a lot of the actions they take.


Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 18, 2015, 04:32:38 PM
Here's a good article of a Harvard law professor echoing some of the sentiments shared within this thread, i.e. this tolerance/diversity via intolerance type of mindset.

http://www.businessinsider.com/alan-dershowitz-thinks-student-protesters-dont-want-true-diversity-in-colleges-2015-11
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: mmmmm on November 18, 2015, 05:11:13 PM
The above has a link to another interesting article on this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/harvard-law-student-discusses-racism-protests-at-yale-2015-11

Quote
Bill Barlow, a third-year law student at Harvard, wrote an op-ed calling certain Yale protesters "fascists."

"This recent movement of university students to use administrative procedures to punish speech with which they disagree should be called by its rightful name: proto-fascism," Barlow wrote in the Harvard Law Record.

Quote
Barlow went on to explain that while Yale protesters had the right to disagree with their opponents, the tactics they were using to silence opposition crossed the line.

And he put together a chart to help students figure out if a protest tactic is fascist or not. It included these examples:

  • Calling for people to be fired for expressing their beliefs — Fascist. You are (1) calling for reprisals (2) for people expressing what they believe.
  • Organizing a protest against an editorial you disagree with — Not Fascist. You are condemning a belief you disagree with, but not trying to punish the speaker for saying it.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: rocknrollforyoursoul on November 18, 2015, 05:36:07 PM
I found this relevant:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-of-the-college-crybullies-1447458587 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-of-the-college-crybullies-1447458587)
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 18, 2015, 05:44:08 PM
What do tolerance and diversity look like, exactly, though?

If a university, in the name of tolerance and diversity, takes the stance that a KKK rally and a Black Lives Matter protest have equal right to take place on campus, does that really promote tolerance and diversity?

Distinguish that from, say, allowing both a pro-life and a pro-choice rally on campus.


What are the examples of "calling for people to be fired for expressing their beliefs"?

The Yale letter re: Halloween seems like an example.  In that case, I didn't feel, personally, that the person involved deserved to be fired, but then, I'm not a student of color at Yale. 

Speaking generally, I think it's understandable that students might push for a school administrator to be fired / replaced if they felt that administrator did not appreciate their perspective on problems at the school, or have their interests as students at heart.  That's not punishing somebody for their beliefs, it's expressing a belief that the person is bad at his or her job.


For example, if a school administrator says, "I don't think we have a problem with racism on this campus, and I don't think we need to take any extra measures as a school to make students of color feel more welcome and supported here," that's an expression of belief.  But it's also an indication of how that administrator sees conditions on campus. 

If you are a student on that campus and you disagree with those statements, you might feel pretty strongly that the administrator needs to be replaced with somebody who shares your concerns.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 18, 2015, 05:59:09 PM
More perspectives:


Quote from: Conor Friedersdorf
I called the Yale activists intolerant because it was not enough for them to protest an email that they found wrongheaded; it was not enough to fully air their grievances in multiple public forums and at the home of its author; it was not enough for Nicholas and Ericka Christakis to listen attentively to student critiques and to express heartfelt regret that the email hurt feelings; rather, the student activists demanded that the couple renounce the substance of their beliefs, or else face public shaming and an effort to remove them from their position. Never mind that Christakis believed what she wrote. She had to reverse her position, or else.

That is what I believe to be intolerant: a refusal to agree to disagree, however passionately and impolitely; a rejection of the notion that earnest differences held by people of good faith are not cause for punishment, even if they are mistaken, or unwittingly insensitive, or give offense; a stance that amounts to “error has no rights.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-constructive-criticism-that-yales-activists-are-denied/416133/


Quote from: Roxane Gay
It is seductive in theory: Why not let people indulge their basest whims? Why not encourage unchecked curiosity?

Christakis did, however, intentionally misread the letter the Intercultural Affairs Committee sent; the committee did not prohibit anything, nor did it suggest that it wanted to. The organization simply offered suggestions to create for Yale students a better world than the one we live in. Christakis, on the other hand, suggests we take our arguments out of their real-world context—eliding real people in the process—and instead move them into the realm of the theoretical, where no one can feel hurt.

In the real world, though, we have to question the cost of the transgression Christakis argues for so eloquently, and who will pay the price. For some, these matters are engaging intellectual exercises. For others, they are matters of dignity, emotional wellbeing, and safety. Hundreds of Yale students have not taken kindly to Christakis’s suggestions, protesting her words and calling for the resignations of both her and her husband Nicholas, Silliman College’s master—the principal faculty member “responsible for the physical well being and safety” of students in his residence hall. Neither faculty member should resign or even apologize, but the students are well within their rights to protest the troubling spirit of Christakis’s email.

https://newrepublic.com/article/123431/student-activism-serious-business


Roxane Gay, it should be noted, is a person of color, while Conor Friedersdorf is not.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 18, 2015, 06:00:10 PM

For example, if a school administrator says, "I don't think we have a problem with racism on this campus, and I don't think we need to take any extra measures as a school to make students of color feel more welcome and supported here," that's an expression of belief.  But it's also an indication of how that administrator sees conditions on campus. 

If you are a student on that campus and you disagree with those statements, you might feel pretty strongly that the administrator needs to be replaced with somebody who shares your concerns.

Sure, you can feel that way.  You might not be right, though. 

And, to me at least, it certainly doesn't entitle you to raise a mob to get the administrator fired under possibly false pretense just because you don't like the way they're doing things.

There are certainly instances where protests are just.   However, I also think there is plenty of "foot stomping, I want my things my way and will do anything to get it" going on also in society not just college campuses.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 18, 2015, 06:07:03 PM

For example, if a school administrator says, "I don't think we have a problem with racism on this campus, and I don't think we need to take any extra measures as a school to make students of color feel more welcome and supported here," that's an expression of belief.  But it's also an indication of how that administrator sees conditions on campus. 

If you are a student on that campus and you disagree with those statements, you might feel pretty strongly that the administrator needs to be replaced with somebody who shares your concerns.

Sure, you can feel that way.  You might not be right, though. 

And, to me at least, it certainly doesn't entitle you to raise a mob to get the administrator fired under possibly false pretense just because you don't like the way they're doing things.

There are certainly instances where protests are just.   However, I also think there is plenty of "foot stomping, I want my things my way and will do anything to get it" going on also in society not just college campuses.

I agree with you to some extent.  In the example I gave, I think students have every right to protest and advocate to have the administrator replaced.  But I'm not sure I would agree with that protest rising to the level of "We're going on a hunger strike until you leave office because we MUST have our way."

At the same time, the student who went on a hunger strike at Mizzou clearly felt this was of vital importance, perhaps even life or death.  How can I, a white person, question the student's motives?  I have no idea what it must be like to be in that student's position.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 18, 2015, 06:07:48 PM
More from Roxane Gay:

Quote
I attended Yale from 1992 to 1994. While I was there, I understood that, as a black woman, I was regarded as a usurper on hallowed Ivy grounds. Either I was a scholarship student or a New Haven local—no one could believe that I was there, like the others, simply to learn. It was not uncommon to be the target of racial slurs, to be the subject of whispered discussions about affirmative action, and to tolerate microaggressions on a daily basis. Campus police made a sport of asking me and other black students, to show our student identification cards. My experience was in no way unique.

The currents protests are symbolic of a far more complex problem: a troubled racial climate on Yale’s campus that has persisted for many years. In truth, most predominantly white campuses across the country are similarly plagued. I have spent most of my adult life on college campuses in one role or another, as both student and instructor; regardless of campus, the racial climates were always tense, at best. I am not surprised by what is happening at Yale. I am not surprised by the Mizzou protesters, or by the fervor of their commitment.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 18, 2015, 06:17:49 PM

For example, if a school administrator says, "I don't think we have a problem with racism on this campus, and I don't think we need to take any extra measures as a school to make students of color feel more welcome and supported here," that's an expression of belief.  But it's also an indication of how that administrator sees conditions on campus. 

If you are a student on that campus and you disagree with those statements, you might feel pretty strongly that the administrator needs to be replaced with somebody who shares your concerns.

Sure, you can feel that way.  You might not be right, though. 

And, to me at least, it certainly doesn't entitle you to raise a mob to get the administrator fired under possibly false pretense just because you don't like the way they're doing things.

There are certainly instances where protests are just.   However, I also think there is plenty of "foot stomping, I want my things my way and will do anything to get it" going on also in society not just college campuses.

I agree with you to some extent.  In the example I gave, I think students have every right to protest and advocate to have the administrator replaced.  But I'm not sure I would agree with that protest rising to the level of "We're going on a hunger strike until you leave office because we MUST have our way."

At the same time, the student who went on a hunger strike at Mizzou clearly felt this was of vital importance, perhaps even life or death.  How can I, a white person, question the student's motives?  I have no idea what it must be like to be in that student's position.

Sure.  But it's also fair to point out that some protests can be misguided.  Obviously, its important to that individual.  However, there's also a chance that student isn't totally educated on the topic or just flatout wrong or just using this as a "look at me, we're going to get this adminstrator thrown out no matter to get my way" thing.   

It's fair to question any person's motives. Black, white, yellow, whatever.  This helps us establish opinions on matters.   Maybe your opinion doesn't carry much stock, if any, on a matter but it's still an opinion.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 18, 2015, 06:28:06 PM


It's fair to question any person's motives. Black, white, yellow, whatever.  This helps us establish opinions on matters.   Maybe your opinion doesn't carry much stock, if any, on a matter but it's still an opinion.

I agree, but I also think that when you express doubts or criticisms of somebody else's motives or methods, it's important to recognize if that person comes from a perspective that is fundamentally different than your own.

That's why I say, the hunger strike thing seems over the top to me, but I'm neither black nor a student at Mizzou.

I think that could have gone a long way in the situation with Christakis at Yale. 


Also, I can't help feeling that some of the backlash against the #StudentBlackOut movement might be a simple case of a fear of an exercise of black power.  Black students organizing and exerting political influence in a way that forces education institutions to change hiring / firing practices and schoolwide policies ... oh yes, we have to rebrand this as a violation of Free Speech!  Sort of like calling union organizers socialists.

My guess is that the students at Mizzou don't particularly care what the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal think about their methods, they just care that their methods have yielded tangible results.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on November 18, 2015, 06:30:04 PM


It's fair to question any person's motives. Black, white, yellow, whatever.  This helps us establish opinions on matters.   Maybe your opinion doesn't carry much stock, if any, on a matter but it's still an opinion.

I agree, but I also think that when you express doubts or criticisms of somebody else's motives or methods, it's important to recognize if that person comes from a perspective that is fundamentally different than your own.



Well, yeah, that's what I was trying to illustrate there about "not carrying much stock".
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 18, 2015, 06:30:52 PM
Re: Dartmouth

Quote
“The tactics, tone, and words of the Black Lives Matter protesters eerily mirrored everything they claim to stand against,” writes The Review. “The long list of their clear oversteps should spark a moment of reckoning for every honest onlooker, and especially those who have sympathized with their movement to this point.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/16/black-lives-matter-protesters-berate-white-student/


I can't fathom what the people behind this demonstration were thinking. 

If somebody wanted to undermine the movement by paying people to pose as protesters, I don't think they could have thought up a better plan of action than what the protesters did in the Dartmouth library.

There is a place for anger and disruption in activism.  I don't doubt that sometimes it is necessary to jar people from their cocoon of privilege.  There is never cause for for violence, and certainly not for blatant abuse and disrespect. 

I just can't think of a justification for the Dartmouth demonstration.  I'd be fascinated to read some kind of defense of it, because all I can ask is, "What were they thinking?"


I agree with many of the ideas behind the Black Lives Matter movement, but it really seems like there's a lack of perspective or intelligent planning evident in a lot of the actions they take.

Self-righteousness, anger and youth are a hell of a cocktail. 

I agree - I'm sympathetic in general to the issues Black Lives Matter talk about, though I think a lot of the grievances are so vague and nebulous that it's extremely easy to cast much too wide of a net.  But this, and some other recent events, is crass and appalling and is a complete embarrassment to more reasonable members of the movement.  This is how movements get marginalized and sputter out. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: bostonsportsforlife on November 18, 2015, 07:26:53 PM
This #Studentblackout hashtag today is absurd. Gotta hand it to the protesters for making something as good as eliminating racism into a whacko movement that is essentially black supremacy.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 19, 2015, 12:22:24 PM
This #Studentblackout hashtag today is absurd. Gotta hand it to the protesters for making something as good as eliminating racism into a whacko movement that is essentially black supremacy.

I'm reminded of discussions I've read / heard about the concept of "constructive anger" versus "destructive anger."

It is understandable that a lot of people in this country would be angry about the way things are.  There are useful, constructive ways to turn that anger into positive change.  There are also plenty of ways for that anger to just derail a movement and stand in the way of disseminating a message.

The incident at Dartmouth seems like a good example of that.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 19, 2015, 01:25:24 PM
More from Roxane Gay:

Quote
I attended Yale from 1992 to 1994. While I was there, I understood that, as a black woman, I was regarded as a usurper on hallowed Ivy grounds. Either I was a scholarship student or a New Haven local—no one could believe that I was there, like the others, simply to learn. It was not uncommon to be the target of racial slurs, to be the subject of whispered discussions about affirmative action, and to tolerate microaggressions on a daily basis. Campus police made a sport of asking me and other black students, to show our student identification cards. My experience was in no way unique.

The currents protests are symbolic of a far more complex problem: a troubled racial climate on Yale’s campus that has persisted for many years. In truth, most predominantly white campuses across the country are similarly plagued. I have spent most of my adult life on college campuses in one role or another, as both student and instructor; regardless of campus, the racial climates were always tense, at best. I am not surprised by what is happening at Yale. I am not surprised by the Mizzou protesters, or by the fervor of their commitment.
That's wonderful. It was also 20 years ago, so I'm not sure how relevant it is today. But to each their own.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 19, 2015, 01:36:25 PM
More from Roxane Gay:

Quote
I attended Yale from 1992 to 1994. While I was there, I understood that, as a black woman, I was regarded as a usurper on hallowed Ivy grounds. Either I was a scholarship student or a New Haven local—no one could believe that I was there, like the others, simply to learn. It was not uncommon to be the target of racial slurs, to be the subject of whispered discussions about affirmative action, and to tolerate microaggressions on a daily basis. Campus police made a sport of asking me and other black students, to show our student identification cards. My experience was in no way unique.

The currents protests are symbolic of a far more complex problem: a troubled racial climate on Yale’s campus that has persisted for many years. In truth, most predominantly white campuses across the country are similarly plagued. I have spent most of my adult life on college campuses in one role or another, as both student and instructor; regardless of campus, the racial climates were always tense, at best. I am not surprised by what is happening at Yale. I am not surprised by the Mizzou protesters, or by the fervor of their commitment.
That's wonderful. It was also 20 years ago, so I'm not sure how relevant it is today. But to each their own.


Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.

Ms. Gay has also taught as a professor on a number of college campuses, so I'd guess she has a sense of how things are right now at universities.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 19, 2015, 01:45:20 PM
Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.
Well, things have certainly changed, since any wacko with a keyboard can now reach millions of people on the Internet in an instant. However, the evidence that things are really bad and/or have gotten worse is perhaps anecdotal at best.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 19, 2015, 01:57:42 PM
Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.
Well, things have certainly changed, since any wacko with a keyboard can now reach millions of people on the Internet in an instant. However, the evidence that things are really bad and/or have gotten worse is perhaps anecdotal at best.

Well, my landlady, who is 72 and black, and an activist, says things are worse, as in horrible right now.  Of course, this too is not proof. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 19, 2015, 02:42:32 PM
Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.
Well, things have certainly changed, since any wacko with a keyboard can now reach millions of people on the Internet in an instant. However, the evidence that things are really bad and/or have gotten worse is perhaps anecdotal at best.

Well, my landlady, who is 72 and black, and an activist, says things are worse, as in horrible right now.  Of course, this too is not proof.

Political violence is at an all time low.  Crime in this country is at a low.  There haven't been any major wars in 70 years.  People just want to be negative
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: wiley on November 19, 2015, 02:56:21 PM
Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.
Well, things have certainly changed, since any wacko with a keyboard can now reach millions of people on the Internet in an instant. However, the evidence that things are really bad and/or have gotten worse is perhaps anecdotal at best.

Well, my landlady, who is 72 and black, and an activist, says things are worse, as in horrible right now.  Of course, this too is not proof.

Political violence is at an all time low.  Crime in this country is at a low.  There haven't been any major wars in 70 years.  People just want to be negative

At her age, she may be partly coming at it from an angle of common courtesy among strangers not quite matching what it once was...I think she'd agree not to go back in time with regards to racial issues.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 19, 2015, 03:16:59 PM
Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.
Well, things have certainly changed, since any wacko with a keyboard can now reach millions of people on the Internet in an instant. However, the evidence that things are really bad and/or have gotten worse is perhaps anecdotal at best.

I don't know if there are statistics available for the kind of behaviors that Ms. Gay noted in the quote above, but are you really going to suggest that there is only anecdotal evidence that things in this country are bad for people of color?

If by "things" you mean racist attitudes and behaviors, I'm skeptical that things aren't as bad as they were back then, but I don't have statistics for you, and I can't speak from personal experience about how things were for black people in 1992.

If you mean "things" in general, I'd suggest you look up some statistics re: incarceration, poverty, employment, education, etc.  It's hard to argue things aren't bad for some very easy to define portions of the population.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 19, 2015, 04:01:35 PM
Is there any reason to think things have changed significantly in 20 years?  If anything it seems like today things could be worse.
Well, things have certainly changed, since any wacko with a keyboard can now reach millions of people on the Internet in an instant. However, the evidence that things are really bad and/or have gotten worse is perhaps anecdotal at best.

I don't know if there are statistics available for the kind of behaviors that Ms. Gay noted in the quote above, but are you really going to suggest that there is only anecdotal evidence that things in this country are bad for people of color?

If by "things" you mean racist attitudes and behaviors, I'm skeptical that things aren't as bad as they were back then, but I don't have statistics for you, and I can't speak from personal experience about how things were for black people in 1992.

If you mean "things" in general, I'd suggest you look up some statistics re: incarceration, poverty, employment, education, etc.  It's hard to argue things aren't bad for some very easy to define portions of the population.
I decided to pick one (sorry, no time for more), in this particular case -- education. Seems relevant to the topic at hand, too. High school and college completion rates for blacks were noticeably lower in 1990 (10+ percentage points below the national average), and virtually indistinguishable from national average in 2014.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/historical/tabA-2.xlsx
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 20, 2015, 12:33:58 PM
Folks have completely lost their minds. It's about time to tell them to go fly a kite, I think.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34883289
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 20, 2015, 12:42:10 PM
Folks have completely lost their minds. It's about time to tell them to go fly a kite, I think.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34883289

I don't like this kind of effort because I think it's motivated somewhat by an idea that we can forget about negative things that we did as a country in the past by retroactively censoring individual people who were involved with those things at a high level.  Segregation being the example here.

It's one thing to suggest -- hey, maybe we shouldn't have a national holiday dedicated to a guy whose major contribution to the history of our continent was kicking off genocide, mass rape, and slavery of natives.  It's another to suggest we should rename things we've dedicated to one of our presidents -- a president who did some important things -- because he was in favor of segregation at a time when it would have been politically idiotic for him to come out against it.

On the other hand, I guess I kind of agree with the idea of taking Andrew Jackson's face off the $20 and replacing him with somebody who wasn't an architect of the Trail of Tears, among other things.  So I guess my feelings aren't entirely consistent.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 20, 2015, 12:48:35 PM

I decided to pick one (sorry, no time for more), in this particular case -- education. Seems relevant to the topic at hand, too. High school and college completion rates for blacks were noticeably lower in 1990 (10+ percentage points below the national average), and virtually indistinguishable from national average in 2014.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/historical/tabA-2.xlsx


http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tgb.asp


This doesn't have statistics for the early 90s, so not useful for a then-versus-now comparison.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on November 20, 2015, 12:57:54 PM
Folks have completely lost their minds. It's about time to tell them to go fly a kite, I think.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34883289

I'm as liberal as all get out and this really bothers me.  It's holding people to a standard in the past that was alien to them, although segregation is clearly a terrible thing.  History is important for perspective and to learn lessons from and actions like this obscure that purpose.

What is really bothering me though is this: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/trump-close-mosques-216008
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 20, 2015, 01:04:15 PM
Folks have completely lost their minds. It's about time to tell them to go fly a kite, I think.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34883289

I'm as liberal as all get out and this really bothers me.  It's holding people to a standard in the past that was alien to them, although segregation is clearly a terrible thing.  History is important for perspective and to learn lessons from and actions like this obscure that purpose.


I agree with this.

The counter, I think, would be to ask -- what about when we alter our judgment of a historical figure, not through the lens of our moral standards, but through the lens of the moral standards of a different group of people extant in that time period whose perspective has not been adequately considered until now because they were marginalized or oppressed at the time?

Example of what I mean: Christopher Columbus probably thought the way he and his men treated the natives of Hispaniola was acceptable (though many of his contemporaries were horrified by his actions).  Do you think the natives felt that way? 

Andrew Jackson probably felt that the Trail of Tears was right and good (just as Trump seems to think rounding up illegal immigrants and marching them to the Mexican border would be right and good).  Apparently many people supported Jackson's position.  How do you think the Cherokee felt about it?

I'm not trying to suggest a right or wrong answer.  I just don't think it's a simple issue.

The Woodrow Wilson example bothers me, though.  Was he an active advocate for segregation?  Did segregation expand, or entrench, as a result of his actions as President?  Or is the issue simply that he expressed his agreement or support for segregation?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 20, 2015, 01:08:22 PM
The Woodrow Wilson example bothers me, though.  Was he an active advocate for segregation?  Did segregation expand, or entrench, as a result of his actions as President?  Or is the issue simply that he expressed his agreement or support for segregation?
http://www.bu.edu/professorvoices/2013/03/04/the-long-forgotten-racial-attitudes-and-policies-of-woodrow-wilson/

I don't have much love for revisionist history, though. George Washington owned slaves for 5+ decades, so what are we going to do about it?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on November 20, 2015, 01:44:30 PM
The Woodrow Wilson example bothers me, though.  Was he an active advocate for segregation?  Did segregation expand, or entrench, as a result of his actions as President?  Or is the issue simply that he expressed his agreement or support for segregation?
http://www.bu.edu/professorvoices/2013/03/04/the-long-forgotten-racial-attitudes-and-policies-of-woodrow-wilson/

I don't have much love for revisionist history, though. George Washington owned slaves for 5+ decades, so what are we going to do about it?

Maybe the question in these cases is, what is more significant in the historical analysis, the fact that George Washington owned slaves, or the role he played in the American Revolution and as the first President?

His status as a slave owner bears mentioning, but should it overshadow the other things?

Same with Woodrow Wilson.  What is the bigger part of his legacy, not just to the majority who write history, but to all people?


Quote
Wilson is widely and correctly remembered — and represented in our history books — as a progressive Democrat who introduced many liberal reforms at home and fought for the extension of democratic liberties and human rights abroad.  But on the issue of race his legacy was, in fact, regressive and has been largely forgotten.

The bolded is what I feel is most important in this situation.  We shouldn't erase the name from history books.  We should remind people of his entire legacy, instead of allowing the "whitewashing," so to speak, of history.  Taking his name off of buildings at Princeton won't accomplish that.  The worst thing we can do with history is forget it.


Thanks for linking that article.  Sounds like Wilson wasn't just a supporter of segregation, but a fairly active proponent of it, at least within Washington.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: rocknrollforyoursoul on November 20, 2015, 03:23:53 PM
The Woodrow Wilson example bothers me, though.  Was he an active advocate for segregation?  Did segregation expand, or entrench, as a result of his actions as President?  Or is the issue simply that he expressed his agreement or support for segregation?
http://www.bu.edu/professorvoices/2013/03/04/the-long-forgotten-racial-attitudes-and-policies-of-woodrow-wilson/

I don't have much love for revisionist history, though. George Washington owned slaves for 5+ decades, so what are we going to do about it?

Maybe the question in these cases is, what is more significant in the historical analysis, the fact that George Washington owned slaves, or the role he played in the American Revolution and as the first President?

His status as a slave owner bears mentioning, but should it overshadow the other things?

Same with Woodrow Wilson.  What is the bigger part of his legacy, not just to the majority who write history, but to all people?


Quote
Wilson is widely and correctly remembered — and represented in our history books — as a progressive Democrat who introduced many liberal reforms at home and fought for the extension of democratic liberties and human rights abroad.  But on the issue of race his legacy was, in fact, regressive and has been largely forgotten.

The bolded is what I feel is most important in this situation.  We shouldn't erase the name from history books.  We should remind people of his entire legacy, instead of allowing the "whitewashing," so to speak, of history.  Taking his name off of buildings at Princeton won't accomplish that.  The worst thing we can do with history is forget it.


Thanks for linking that article.  Sounds like Wilson wasn't just a supporter of segregation, but a fairly active proponent of it, at least within Washington.

I think most of us can look back at Wilson's segregationism as a bad thing; the part of his legacy that's had a more significant impact is his liberalism. Here's something I posted much earlier in this thread, in response to someone else, but I think it bears repeating:

As a veteran who defended our country, I think we have never been truly free.   We don't have it bad,  mind you but total freedom equals chaos.  I don't see how we are going to survive as a country with the nanny state mentality that young kids have.  How did it get to this?

First of all, thank you for your service to us and to our country. We wouldn't have our freedoms without people like you.

To answer your question, we have to go back in history quite a bit—as I'm sure you know, major cultural changes don't happen overnight, and in this case you have to go back at least as far as the turn of the 20th century and the beginnings of modern progressivism.

A key figure at this time was President Woodrow Wilson, who incorporated many tenets of progressivism into his work as president, such as integrating the ideas of an expanded federal government with fewer limits on it, and a "reinterpretation" of the Declaration and the Constitution—moving from the idea that constitutional principles are permanent and a defense against our inherent selfishness, to the idea that government can and should "change with the times" and be whatever people want it to be at any given time—essentially, a permanent standard of right was to be replaced by multiculturalism and moral relativism.

He also disliked the idea of "separation of powers," even though that's a founding principle of our country, and sought to make the presidency a position of broad authority to enact change. For example, he wanted to bypass the constitutionally given authority of the Senate while trying to bring America into the League of Nations. He also wanted America to be run by the "intellectual élite."

Another key figure is FDR, who (knowingly or not) took Wilson's ideas of expanded, bureaucratic government to another level. Many people credit his New Deal programs with helping bring America out of the Great Depression, but there are some who believe that his ideas exacerbated and extended it, and that the country would've come through the Great Depression sooner had he not done what he did. There may have been some good aspects to the New Deal, but essentially it fostered the notions that government can and should take care of people, and that those in government "know better" than everyone else, which is a page right out of Wilson's playbook.

Then came the '60s. Despite the good of the black civil rights movement, this decade is perhaps best summed up in the words of a former boss of mine who's a member of that generation: "Jason, my generation ruined it for yours, and I'm sorry."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 23, 2015, 11:07:53 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/12011556/Ottawa-University-suspends-free-yoga-classes-because-of-cultural-issues.html?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook

Yoga is now cultural appropriation. This one takes the cake, in my opinion.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: fairweatherfan on November 24, 2015, 12:03:18 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/12011556/Ottawa-University-suspends-free-yoga-classes-because-of-cultural-issues.html?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook

Yoga is now cultural appropriation. This one takes the cake, in my opinion.

Eh, I've literally heard people argue (online) that eating Mexican food is cultural appropriation.  It's always funny how if you go far enough left or far enough right you wind up in a lot of similar places, just with different rationales.  In this case maintaining a kind of de facto cultural segregation to maintain "purity".

I'm just waiting for someone to troll these folks by pointing out that attending a university is appropriating European culture.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on November 24, 2015, 01:09:52 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/12011556/Ottawa-University-suspends-free-yoga-classes-because-of-cultural-issues.html?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook

Yoga is now cultural appropriation. This one takes the cake, in my opinion.
Had to double check it's not the Onion. Alas -- just Canada.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 25, 2015, 10:23:39 PM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/24/clinton-says-she-will-discontinue-use-of-phrase-illegal-immigrant-a-poor-choice-of-words/

Some more ridiculous PC, "I'm offended" non-sense. Apparently, using the word "illegal" before immigrants is offensive now, even though they're exactly that, i.e. illegal immigrants...
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on November 30, 2015, 08:20:14 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/11/30/university-president-rebukes-self-absorbed-narcissistic-students.html?intcmp=hphz04

Excellent response by the University President.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Neurotic Guy on November 30, 2015, 08:53:51 PM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/24/clinton-says-she-will-discontinue-use-of-phrase-illegal-immigrant-a-poor-choice-of-words/

Some more ridiculous PC, "I'm offended" non-sense. Apparently, using the word "illegal" before immigrants is offensive now, even though they're exactly that, i.e. illegal immigrants...

Are you offended that people take offense to something that doesn't offend you?  The things that bug you (generally speaking) aren't any more or less nonsensical than the things that bug others.   It's a matter of having your own perspective and we are all entitled to have one.

There are lots of things that bother other people that don't bother me (using the term "illegal" or "undocumented" doesn't bother me).  It doesn't bother me when others voice a differing point of view as long as they are willing to have civil conversation about it.  It's hard to work out differences if they aren't voiced.   I embrace "PC" perspectives -- often voices unheard or marginalized in the past.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on December 08, 2015, 07:51:19 PM
Principle writes offensive words about Christian white men and keeps job.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/08/maine-school-official-apologizes-for-post-about-white-christian-men-with-guns/?intcmp=hpbt2

Do I dare say there is a double standard at play here?

Even so, I still accept his apology. Hopefully it was sincere and he can go about his life.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on December 10, 2015, 09:39:58 AM
Principle writes offensive words about Christian white men and keeps job.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/08/maine-school-official-apologizes-for-post-about-white-christian-men-with-guns/?intcmp=hpbt2

  He seems to be apologizing because the comment became public, not because he made the comment.

Do I dare say there is a double standard at play here?

  Knock me over with a feather.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BDeCosta26 on December 10, 2015, 10:14:33 AM
In America, you can dress up in Nazi Uniforms and parade down and protest for white supremacy in the town square, or you can protest against homosexuality near dead soldiers funerals. I'm not all that concerned about "losing" our freedom of speech.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ed Hollison on December 11, 2015, 04:48:59 PM
I've been seeing this forum topic pop up in recent weeks on the right-hand side of the forum page, and thought I'd take a look. I felt compelled to chime in.

First and foremost, I've written on this topic on my own site if anyone's interested. It comes at the issue from a Bahai perspective (that is, from a religious angle), but I hope it's relevant to anyone and everyone:

http://fruittreeblog.com/2015/08/25/when-did-we-all-get-so-sensitive/

There are some other things I've been reading on this topic which I thought I'd share. One is Conor Friedsdorf, who writes for The Atlantic. His most recent piece is excellent, but he's been on point for a while:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/what-student-activists-can-learn-from-bygone-free-speech-fights/419178/

Lastly, I'm currently reading a 20-year-old piece on this subject written by Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard professor. Most people know Gates as the guy who got arrested in his own home by Cambridge police a few years back and ended up having a beer with the officer at the White House. But Gates is extremely balanced on the topic of race in particular, and when and where curbs on hate speech are valid and when they're not. Kinda dense, but here's the piece (starts on p. 17):

https://books.google.com/books?id=xfITCgAAQBAJ&pg=PP4&lpg=PP4&dq=henry+louis+gates+let+them+talk&source=bl&ots=pi5qnlgU3N&sig=6b-Z6Lzp9QOIMHNn4DhzqFVi6Xk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiGpN2kiM3JAhUGSCYKHax-BsEQ6AEIMzAF#v=onepage&q=henry%20louis%20gates%20let%20them%20talk&f=false

In general, yes I'm concerned. There should be a way for us to engage in dialogue while both a) being careful not to offend others, and b) simultaneously being adult enough not to kick and scream when we feel offended.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 11, 2015, 04:58:57 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/12011556/Ottawa-University-suspends-free-yoga-classes-because-of-cultural-issues.html?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook

Yoga is now cultural appropriation. This one takes the cake, in my opinion.

Eh, I've literally heard people argue (online) that eating Mexican food is cultural appropriation.  It's always funny how if you go far enough left or far enough right you wind up in a lot of similar places, just with different rationales.

I read an article recently that made that point.  If you look around and realize your rationale follows a similar logic to that of the most radical people on the other side, that's when you should probably do some reconsidering.

Truly out-there examples like the ones you cite are especially bothersome because that's inevitably what people will think of when they see any discussion about "cultural appropriation."  It undermines the entire topic, even though there are situations where it's a legitimate thing to bring up (see: Iggy Azalea).

Cultural appropriation is a complex thing though.  It's not easy to say where to draw the line sometimes.  We live in a diverse society and blending cultures often yields new and interesting results.  I don't think it makes sense to tell people they can't participate in other cultures, or even take elements of different cultures and mix them together.  It seems me the best answer is one of respect and recognition. 

The worst examples of cultural appropriation, to me, seem to be instances where somebody has taken something and profited from doing so without really respecting or giving credit to the source.  The most obvious instance of that is when a white artist will adopt the style, mannerisms, and speech of black artists and enjoy much greater success than black artists do with the same kind of material (again: Iggy Azalea).


I'd say like with the yoga example ... if you're worried about cultural appropriation, maybe spend some time at the beginning of class learning about the history of yoga.  Where it comes from, how it's evolved.  Invite guest speakers or guest instructors who are part of that culture to come in.  Spreading the culture across racial / ethnic lines shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.  But white washing something so that it becomes a part of our culture without any reference or reverence for where it came from is not ideal.  Cancelling the class seems like a stupid response to that concern, which may be well-intentioned and even have some merit to it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on December 11, 2015, 05:08:25 PM
In America, you can dress up in Nazi Uniforms and parade down and protest for white supremacy in the town square, or you can protest against homosexuality near dead soldiers funerals. I'm not all that concerned about "losing" our freedom of speech.
Right and that person can also get punched square in their face for their stupidity.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 11, 2015, 05:14:38 PM
In America, you can dress up in Nazi Uniforms and parade down and protest for white supremacy in the town square, or you can protest against homosexuality near dead soldiers funerals. I'm not all that concerned about "losing" our freedom of speech.
Right and that person can also get punched square in their face for their stupidity.

Well, that's actually against the law, but somebody might do it anyway.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: KeepRondo on December 11, 2015, 05:36:19 PM
In America, you can dress up in Nazi Uniforms and parade down and protest for white supremacy in the town square, or you can protest against homosexuality near dead soldiers funerals. I'm not all that concerned about "losing" our freedom of speech.
Right and that person can also get punched square in their face for their stupidity.

Well, that's actually against the law, but somebody might do it anyway.
It would also be easy with social media, to take a video of the idiot and let it go viral.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on December 15, 2015, 02:03:40 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/world/asia/thailand-lese-majeste-tongdaeng.html

Just a reminder of the immense value of free speech in a free society. Apparently, a Thai man faces up to 37 years in prison for insulting the monarchy..... specifically the king's dog.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 17, 2015, 01:09:46 PM
http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-learned-this-semester-at-yale/

Quote
Student movements at Yale and other schools across the country are decrying the imbalance Hobbs describes. White students like myself are rarely aware of our own consciousness—and our own culture—when we enter into an intellectual discussion. When we speak from our experience, we do not have to recognize the consciousnesses of students of color. Those students of color, though, have to recognize both their own consciousness and those of their white peers.

Quote
Yet instead of dealing with the political issues that they raise, critics on the right (and some on the left) have psychologized these movements, painting their leaders as whining children. They say that student protesters are acting from individual feelings, using muddled thinking, shouting down neutral civil discourse, and concerned with neither ideas nor politics. Or, that students are concerned with politics, but with the wrong, dangerous kind—ego-centric and driven by identity.

But students of color are not separatists practicing identity politics. Their kind of politics does not exclude allies or abandon universal ethics. The demand is simply that we allow students of color to share more than just a fragment of their world.

Quote
Students of color are not imagining hurt. They are not creating false history. They are not exaggerating pain. They want white people to understand how reflexively resistant we are to surrendering our American narrative. It is a narrative that disconnects us from our past and obscures our present. It lets us honor slaveholders and supremacists, glamorize emancipation—and dismiss angry, passionate, visceral voices of dissent as childish drivel. We ought to want no part of it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Sixth Man on December 17, 2015, 01:20:13 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/world/asia/thailand-lese-majeste-tongdaeng.html

Just a reminder of the immense value of free speech in a free society. Apparently, a Thai man faces up to 37 years in prison for insulting the monarchy..... specifically the king's dog.

After the coup against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, the new leader, General Pran-Ocha, has recast Thailand as a modern totalitarian state in which there is no right to free speech nor free assembly.  His is a rule by fiat.

There are not many countries which are failed states on the level of Thailand, which is now the new "sick man of Asia." 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Sixth Man on December 17, 2015, 01:22:52 PM
http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-learned-this-semester-at-yale/

Quote
Student movements at Yale and other schools across the country are decrying the imbalance Hobbs describes. White students like myself are rarely aware of our own consciousness—and our own culture—when we enter into an intellectual discussion. When we speak from our experience, we do not have to recognize the consciousnesses of students of color. Those students of color, though, have to recognize both their own consciousness and those of their white peers.

Quote
Yet instead of dealing with the political issues that they raise, critics on the right (and some on the left) have psychologized these movements, painting their leaders as whining children. They say that student protesters are acting from individual feelings, using muddled thinking, shouting down neutral civil discourse, and concerned with neither ideas nor politics. Or, that students are concerned with politics, but with the wrong, dangerous kind—ego-centric and driven by identity.

But students of color are not separatists practicing identity politics. Their kind of politics does not exclude allies or abandon universal ethics. The demand is simply that we allow students of color to share more than just a fragment of their world.

Quote
Students of color are not imagining hurt. They are not creating false history. They are not exaggerating pain. They want white people to understand how reflexively resistant we are to surrendering our American narrative. It is a narrative that disconnects us from our past and obscures our present. It lets us honor slaveholders and supremacists, glamorize emancipation—and dismiss angry, passionate, visceral voices of dissent as childish drivel. We ought to want no part of it.

I've never found a whinier group of people than American Caucasian males.  :laugh:
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ed Hollison on December 17, 2015, 01:51:34 PM
This issue of "whiny-ness" is not at all unique to any demographic group. It is endemic to America. (Do other countries have the same problem? I don't know.) But I absolutely do believe that there is a rising sense of entitlement; a tendency to freak out at the concept of "No"; and an inability to accept criticism. In other words, we are conveniently closing out painful truths from our individual lives because we can not accept them.

The other day I saw an ad for Pizza Hut's "No compromise" pizza deal. What the f*** does compromising have to do with pizza?, I asked. Obviously the principle here is that Pizza Hut wants to signal quality/quantity. But keep in mind that marketing and advertising execs do tons of research on these tag lines. The proliferation of these types of messages -- Taco Bell had a commercial recently where a guy lamented sharing his nachos, wanting them all for himself -- should tell you something about the research conclusions that these advertisers are coming to. They know what resonates with consumers.

I know every generation complains about the next generation. I sound a bit "get off my lawn"-ish. But the typical response to this type of thing is to embrace a particular political movement/party/candidate. But it has nothing to do with politics. It is a character issue that each of us has to deal with.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 17, 2015, 02:20:28 PM
I don't know about a general culture of entitlement, Ed.

I'd just say that it's a sign of power to be able to dismiss a political protest movement you don't like as "whiny." 

Not speaking specifically about you, Ed, but how the student protest movements have been labeled by conservatives.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on December 17, 2015, 02:58:18 PM
Not speaking specifically about you, Ed, but how the student protest movements have been labeled by conservatives.
It's interesting that you both decry labeling and label everyone who dares to dislike the righteous indignation of students as a conservative, in the same sentence. I'd wager that a good amount of moderate liberals are pretty exasperated by the all the nonsense.

I mean, what's next, a motion to demolish the monument of notable slave owner George Washington in DC?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on December 17, 2015, 02:59:25 PM
http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-learned-this-semester-at-yale/

  If you read the whole article, you have to get a kick out of the guy going to prison and telling the inmates they don't get angry enough when people do things they don't find offensive. That's certainly helpful.

Quote
Student movements at Yale and other schools across the country are decrying the imbalance Hobbs describes. White students like myself are rarely aware of our own consciousness—and our own culture—when we enter into an intellectual discussion. When we speak from our experience, we do not have to recognize the consciousnesses of students of color. Those students of color, though, have to recognize both their own consciousness and those of their white peers.

Quote
Yet instead of dealing with the political issues that they raise, critics on the right (and some on the left) have psychologized these movements, painting their leaders as whining children. They say that student protesters are acting from individual feelings, using muddled thinking, shouting down neutral civil discourse, and concerned with neither ideas nor politics. Or, that students are concerned with politics, but with the wrong, dangerous kind—ego-centric and driven by identity.

But students of color are not separatists practicing identity politics. Their kind of politics does not exclude allies or abandon universal ethics. The demand is simply that we allow students of color to share more than just a fragment of their world.

Quote
Students of color are not imagining hurt. They are not creating false history. They are not exaggerating pain. They want white people to understand how reflexively resistant we are to surrendering our American narrative. It is a narrative that disconnects us from our past and obscures our present. It lets us honor slaveholders and supremacists, glamorize emancipation—and dismiss angry, passionate, visceral voices of dissent as childish drivel. We ought to want no part of it.

  The article was, on the whole, very eloquent and passionate. That in itself, however, doesn't in itself add a lot of substance to the subject matter, which is (at least somewhat) how excited we should get that people who died well before anyone currently walking the earth was born didn't subscribe to modern views on equal rights. It's a shame, but it's not really a surprise and doesn't really impact things beyond that. That's not, by the way, a resistance to the surrendering of a narrative, it's an understanding of the fact that racism was bad, and bringing up the fact that individual people who lived 200 years ago were racist doesn't change that.

  By the way, is this a universal standard that we're applying to people? For instance, if MLK was less supportive of homosexuals than people currently are, will there be a movement to remove his name from every building it adorns? Would these people at Yale support such a movement?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on December 17, 2015, 03:04:54 PM
If you read the whole article, you have to get a kick out of the guy going to prison and telling the inmates they don't get angry enough when people do things they don't find offensive. That's certainly helpful.

Quote
“You do whatever you want, and if I think you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, I’ll let you know,” Mac said.
Word. It's kind of sad when the voice of reason in all of this is a 20-odd year old inmate.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on December 19, 2015, 03:44:58 PM
And it goes on and on and on! Apparently, now food is being described as "insensitive" and  "culturally inappropriate." Seriously, try to read this without laughing:

"Students at an ultra-liberal Ohio college are in an uproar over the fried chicken, sushi and Vietnamese sandwiches served in the school cafeterias, complaining the dishes are “insensitive” and “culturally inappropriate.” Gastronomically correct students at Oberlin College — alma mater of Lena Dunham — are filling the school newspaper with complaints and demanding meetings with campus dining officials and even the college president.

General Tso’s chicken was made with steamed chicken instead of fried — which is not authentically Chinese, and simply “weird,” one student bellyached in the Oberlin Review. Others were up in arms over banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches served with coleslaw instead of pickled vegetables, and on ciabatta bread, rather than the traditional French baguette Worse, the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one student, “disrespectful” of her culture.

Oberlin’s black student union joined in the fray this month by staging a protest outside Afrikan Heritage House, an on-campus dorm. The cafeteria there wasn’t serving enough vegan and vegetarian options and had failed to make fried chicken a permanent feature on the Sunday night menu, the school newspaper reported. Those students started a petition that also recommends the reduction of cream used in dishes, because “black American food doesn’t have much cream in it,” according to the Review."

There are more awesome little nuggets within the articles, too, such as this:

"The Oberlin College Black Student Union has released a list of 50 “Institutional Demands” for the school, including one that orders it to pay black students who organize protests $8.20 per hour for doing so.


The 14-page document opens with this nice buzzword salad:


Oberlin College and Conservatory is an unethical institution From capitalizing on massive labor exploitation across campus, to the Conservatory of Music treating Black and other students of color as less than through its everyday running, Oberlin College unapologetically acts as [sic] unethical institution, antithetical to its historical vision.


“This institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy,” it continues.


Other demands on the list include one for the “establishment of special, segregated black-only ‘safe spaces’ across campus” and a “40 percent increase in the number of black students in the school’s jazz department by 2022.”

http://nypost.com/2015/12/18/pc-students-at-lena-dunhams-college-offended-by-lack-of-fried-chicken/

http://www.barstoolsports.com/barstoolu/oberlin-college-students-protest-the-cafeteria-food-not-being-culturally-accurate-enough-demand-to-be-paid-an-hourly-wage-for-their-protesting/?utm_campaign=SFFB&utm_source=BarstoolFB&utm_medium=Socialflow

http://louderwithcrowder.com/lena-dunhams-oberlin-college-the-cafeteria-is-racist/

EDIT: The Hinduism-beef deal might be a legitimate issue, though, if it was billed as a traditional religious Hindi meal.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on December 20, 2015, 01:10:55 PM
Worse, the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one student, “disrespectful” of her culture.

  You'd think the person would have to be French to take such an attitude.

  Some people go to college to learn things, some people go to college to have their minds molded. Oh well.

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 20, 2015, 01:18:11 PM


  If you read the whole article, you have to get a kick out of the guy going to prison and telling the inmates they don't get angry enough when people do things they don't find offensive. That's certainly helpful.


It is an amusing moment in the article when this hyper educated white kid realizes he's much more passionate about this stuff than the inmates of color who have been affected by this system of oppression in ways he never has or will.  Yet he understands the workings of that system better than they will.

Kind of a, "Wait, what am I doing?" moment.  Always good to have, even if you are pretty sure you're in the right.



As for the "insensitive foods" thing ... seems similar to the "yoga is cultural appropriation" thing to me.  Misguided.  Casts a bad light on legitimate movements for cultural respect / sensitivity / inclusivity.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 20, 2015, 01:21:24 PM

It's interesting that you both decry labeling and label everyone who dares to dislike the righteous indignation of students as a conservative


Well, I'd say that pushback against progressive political movements is, by definition, conservative.  Attach whatever value to that word you want.  Some see it as a good thing.

Used to be that "liberal" and "conservative" were just descriptors, not epithets.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 20, 2015, 01:32:40 PM
That Oberlin college thing reads like an Onion article, though.  No doubt.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: hwangjini_1 on December 20, 2015, 02:08:22 PM

It's interesting that you both decry labeling and label everyone who dares to dislike the righteous indignation of students as a conservative


Well, I'd say that pushback against progressive political movements is, by definition, conservative.  Attach whatever value to that word you want.  Some see it as a good thing.

Used to be that "liberal" and "conservative" were just descriptors, not epithets.
they are also quite culture-specific. what passes for the "left" in the US has virtually no credibility as being leftist in most places in the world. the political spectrum in the US is extremely narrow and only seems diverse because we are born, raised, and operate within that narrow system of political views.

ask anyone in the US to define communism or fascism and they will usually be puzzled that those ideologies are very different. they are also often dumbfounded to learn that the US system of politics is closer to fascism than communism is.

get greek666 into this conversation if you want to read fundamentally different political views.  ;D

it's a big world in many ways.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on December 20, 2015, 02:52:26 PM


  If you read the whole article, you have to get a kick out of the guy going to prison and telling the inmates they don't get angry enough when people do things they don't find offensive. That's certainly helpful.


It is an amusing moment in the article when this hyper educated white kid realizes he's much more passionate about this stuff than the inmates of color who have been affected by this system of oppression in ways he never has or will.  Yet he understands the workings of that system better than they will.

  To a certain extent it's a good example of why we frequently see some of the over the top behavior on college campuses that are being discussed in this thread. It's an environment that's somewhat removed from reality, where impressionable minds meet strongly slanted, generally homogeneous viewpoints.

 The reality is that he doesn't really understand the workings of that system better than they will, he's got a lot of knowledge about the theory of the system. He can tell you why there might be an interpretation of something that could be construed as offensive, but not whether that thing was meant to be or should be seen as offensive.  That seems to be a fairly pervasive stance that IMO seems to be doing a lot more harm than good. I just don't see a lot of benefit to training people to be more adept at spotting possible offense, no matter how obscure, in things that weren't at all meant to be offensive.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 20, 2015, 03:02:06 PM
I just don't see a lot of benefit to training people to be more adept at spotting possible offense, no matter how obscure, in things that weren't at all meant to be offensive.

As with most things, I think there's a balance to be struck. 

Teaching people to think critically and keep an open mind is a good thing.  I think there's a lot of value in an effort to be more considerate of perspectives that have historically fallen to the wayside.  And in general, I don't see a problem with teaching people to give a [dang] about the problems and feelings of people who are very different than them.


That said, you can take it too far.  Like you said, if you go looking for reasons to be offended, even when hardly anybody out there -- who might actually be affected by it on a more than theoretical level -- has suggested it's a problem, then you might just be stirring up a cause for the sake of having a cause.


There have been plenty of times when I've encountered people who seem "causey" and it feels to me like they're just getting riled up about a social justice issue for the sake of having a social justice issue to get riled up about.  When that happens, I feel like at the least I should try and take a moment to consider whether they might have a point that maybe I just don't appreciate right away. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 21, 2015, 01:12:14 PM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on December 21, 2015, 03:58:22 PM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409

  Because, for the truly PC, trying to control what people say and what they wear isn't good enough, you also have to try and control what people eat. Does anyone know  if there's a constitutional amendment that could be repealed in pursuit of this goal? Any help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on December 21, 2015, 04:00:06 PM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409

  Because, for the truly PC, trying to control what people say and what they wear isn't good enough, you also have to try and control what people eat. Does anyone know  if there's a constitutional amendment that could be repealed in pursuit of this goal? Any help would be appreciated.

That has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read (the story, not your post).
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 21, 2015, 04:12:19 PM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409

  Because, for the truly PC, trying to control what people say and what they wear isn't good enough, you also have to try and control what people eat. Does anyone know  if there's a constitutional amendment that could be repealed in pursuit of this goal? Any help would be appreciated.

I'm not sure if you got the point of what I posted.

Kevin Arnovitz Tweeted:

"Shot selection."

As in:

Pick your battles.


I dunno if "General Tso's Chicken" is really a problem, but if it is, I have to think we've got bigger ones to tackle. 

That said, I seem to recall the college cafeteria serving fried chicken and cornbread as part of Black History Month ....
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on December 21, 2015, 04:17:39 PM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409

  Because, for the truly PC, trying to control what people say and what they wear isn't good enough, you also have to try and control what people eat. Does anyone know  if there's a constitutional amendment that could be repealed in pursuit of this goal? Any help would be appreciated.

I'm not sure if you got the point of what I posted.

Kevin Arnovitz Tweeted:

"Shot selection."

As in:

Pick your battles.


I dunno if "General Tso's Chicken" is really a problem, but if it is, I have to think we've got bigger ones to tackle. 

That said, I seem to recall the college cafeteria serving fried chicken and cornbread as part of Black History Month ....

That's funny that you said that, because I think one of the groups at Oberlin actually demanded fried chicken be a part of the regular menu in the cafeteria, which I'm guessing they're associating with African-American culture. I'll have to look at it a bit closer, but I remember that being one of their demands based on some type of argument like that.

EDIT: The demand was fried chicken on the Sunday-night menu and less cream in the food due to African-American culture not utilizing cream as much in their food.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: PhoSita on December 21, 2015, 04:22:23 PM


That's funny that you said that, because I think one of the groups at Oberlin actually demanded fried chicken be a part of the regular menu in the cafeteria, which I'm guessing they're associating with African-American culture. I'll have to look at it a bit closer, but I remember that being one of their demands based on some type of argument like that.

Fantastic.

Like I posted previously, the Oberlin College thing reads like an Onion article.  Couldn't have planned it out better than if some conservative news organization paid a bunch of college students to raise a silly fuss over a non-issue to create a straw man about how college students are whiny and oversensitive.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Sixth Man on December 21, 2015, 05:18:11 PM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409

  Because, for the truly PC, trying to control what people say and what they wear isn't good enough, you also have to try and control what people eat. Does anyone know  if there's a constitutional amendment that could be repealed in pursuit of this goal? Any help would be appreciated.

I'm not sure if you got the point of what I posted.

Kevin Arnovitz Tweeted:

"Shot selection."

As in:

Pick your battles.


I dunno if "General Tso's Chicken" is really a problem, but if it is, I have to think we've got bigger ones to tackle. 

That said, I seem to recall the college cafeteria serving fried chicken and cornbread as part of Black History Month ....

Pho, there is a fascinating documentary from 2014 titled "The Search For General Tso."  I highly recommend it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3576038/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3576038/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: BballTim on December 23, 2015, 09:40:07 AM
https://twitter.com/kevinarnovitz/status/679000367741329409

  Because, for the truly PC, trying to control what people say and what they wear isn't good enough, you also have to try and control what people eat. Does anyone know  if there's a constitutional amendment that could be repealed in pursuit of this goal? Any help would be appreciated.

That has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read (the story, not your post).

  Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on December 23, 2015, 11:26:43 AM
Again, the most natural result of this type of indiscriminate "righteous outrage" will be that the public will simply start tuning those folks out. Which is a pity, because it will ultimately affect their ability to bring attention to legitimate issues. Shot selection indeed.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: kozlodoev on December 23, 2015, 11:33:16 AM

It's interesting that you both decry labeling and label everyone who dares to dislike the righteous indignation of students as a conservative


Well, I'd say that pushback against progressive political movements is, by definition, conservative.  Attach whatever value to that word you want.  Some see it as a good thing.

Used to be that "liberal" and "conservative" were just descriptors, not epithets.
Well, it used to be that people realized that pushback against a radically progressive position doesn't necessarily make you a conservative, it just makes you less radical.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 02:13:53 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/?tid=sm_fb

Well, we're back at it again! Apparently, writing "Vote Trump" is now a "microaggression" and is making students feel "scared" and "unsafe" at their campus. As many of you know, I'm an ardent opponent of Trump, but this is just absolute non-sense. I am so ashamed to be a part of such an entitled, soft generation. Life is going to be really tough for these people if they're "offended" by something as ordinary as a political stance.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on March 24, 2016, 02:20:49 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/?tid=sm_fb

Well, we're back at it again! Apparently, writing "Vote Trump" is now a "microaggression" and is making students feel "scared" and "unsafe" at their campus. As many of you know, I'm an ardent opponent of Trump, but this is just absolute non-sense. I am so ashamed to be a part of such an entitled, soft generation. Life is going to be really tough for these people if they're "offended" by something as ordinary as a political stance.

Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous.  That's nothing more than over-sensitivity by the students. 

 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: indeedproceed on March 24, 2016, 02:26:15 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/?tid=sm_fb

Well, we're back at it again! Apparently, writing "Vote Trump" is now a "microaggression" and is making students feel "scared" and "unsafe" at their campus. As many of you know, I'm an ardent opponent of Trump, but this is just absolute non-sense. I am so ashamed to be a part of such an entitled, soft generation. Life is going to be really tough for these people if they're "offended" by something as ordinary as a political stance.

Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous.  That's nothing more than over-sensitivity by the students. 

 

We had a bunch of protests in my neck of the woods when it seemed like every college was protesting something a few months ago.

For the first time in my life I had no idea what they were really mad about. I had a real issue empathizing or sympathizing with their 'demands'.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ilikesports17 on March 24, 2016, 02:49:13 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/?tid=sm_fb

Well, we're back at it again! Apparently, writing "Vote Trump" is now a "microaggression" and is making students feel "scared" and "unsafe" at their campus. As many of you know, I'm an ardent opponent of Trump, but this is just absolute non-sense. I am so ashamed to be a part of such an entitled, soft generation. Life is going to be really tough for these people if they're "offended" by something as ordinary as a political stance.

Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous.  That's nothing more than over-sensitivity by the students. 

 

We had a bunch of protests in my neck of the woods when it seemed like every college was protesting something a few months ago.

For the first time in my life I had no idea what they were really mad about. I had a real issue empathizing or sympathizing with their 'demands'.
I could be completely off here, but I think that this generation is no less delusional or soft than many others.

The difference for me is that these protests are given legitimacy by a) social media/ the internet
and b) the fact that for some reason authority figures are caving to them.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on March 24, 2016, 03:52:30 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/?tid=sm_fb

Well, we're back at it again! Apparently, writing "Vote Trump" is now a "microaggression" and is making students feel "scared" and "unsafe" at their campus. As many of you know, I'm an ardent opponent of Trump, but this is just absolute non-sense. I am so ashamed to be a part of such an entitled, soft generation. Life is going to be really tough for these people if they're "offended" by something as ordinary as a political stance.

Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous.  That's nothing more than over-sensitivity by the students. 

 

We had a bunch of protests in my neck of the woods when it seemed like every college was protesting something a few months ago.

For the first time in my life I had no idea what they were really mad about. I had a real issue empathizing or sympathizing with their 'demands'.
I could be completely off here, but I think that this generation is no less delusional or soft than many others.

The difference for me is that these protests are given legitimacy by a) social media/ the internet
and b) the fact that for some reason authority figures are caving to them.

This is certainly a big issue nowadays. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 04:05:16 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ilikesports17 on March 24, 2016, 04:16:47 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 04:31:24 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

Young people protest.  It's what they do. 

If you ask me, people are being too sensitive to these kids' sensitivity. 
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Ilikesports17 on March 24, 2016, 04:41:39 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

Young people protest.  It's what they do. 

If you ask me, people are being too sensitive to these kids' sensitivity.
I'm not sure if this post is meant as a rebuttal to what I've been saying, but that's pretty much my point. I don't think this generation protests more than any others.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 04:50:37 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

Young people protest.  It's what they do. 

If you ask me, people are being too sensitive to these kids' sensitivity.
I'm not sure if this post is meant as a rebuttal to what I've been saying, but that's pretty much my point. I don't think this generation protests more than any others.

I agree.  I went to college in the late '80s/early '90s, and as I recall it we were always protesting something.  Ironically, the rap against my generation from older generations was that we were too apathetic and didn't protest enough.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on March 24, 2016, 04:57:19 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/?tid=sm_fb

Well, we're back at it again! Apparently, writing "Vote Trump" is now a "microaggression" and is making students feel "scared" and "unsafe" at their campus. As many of you know, I'm an ardent opponent of Trump, but this is just absolute non-sense. I am so ashamed to be a part of such an entitled, soft generation. Life is going to be really tough for these people if they're "offended" by something as ordinary as a political stance.

Seems like you contradict yourself. You say you're ardently opposed to Trump, presumably for the same reason(s) most are: his social conservatism tends to be extreme and at times, offensive and dangerous. Then you go on to criticize those who feel unsafe around his supporters and people spouting his ideas. This seems to be disingenuous. If you oppose Trump, you likely agree with the idea that his ideas are dangerous and should thus understand why someone would feel uncomfortable with them.

Ironically, Trump has raised a great issue in American and Western culture: that of fake or "faux" objectivity, or political correctness. You seem to be suggesting that because Trump is exercising his free speech, it's unfair to label his speech as dangerous. I disagree. Trump's right to free and honest speech is pointless if I, you, or others can't subsequently offer a similarly honest perspective on why he's a racist moron.

It makes total sense to me why detractors, particularly minorities and other historically marginalized groups, would feel uncomfortable or even unsafe on a campus in which they're intermingling with Trump supporters. They have the right to discourage public support for Trump just as Trump has the right to discourage dissidents from showing up to his rallies. It would only be a problem if an authoritative body stepped in and chose one side over the other. Otherwise, I don't see much of a problem.

edit: I encourage you to watch this video -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnUWU5DS6kU. The video is not directly relevant to the conversation we're having, but I think it should inform you on what I'm trying to get at when I say "disingenuous" and "faux objectivity." I'm not sure if what I said above makes any sense at all, so I'm hoping if it didn't, it will after watching the video.

second edit: I'll try to provide some more clarity. Here's the long story short: If you think Trump's deportation plan, ban on Muslim immigration and other policy proposals are dangerous, it's dishonest to suggest that you wouldn't then in conclusion feel unsafe or uncomfortable with him as President.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Roy H. on March 24, 2016, 05:00:44 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on March 24, 2016, 05:12:55 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 05:30:28 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Roy H. on March 24, 2016, 05:34:16 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree. The current generation undoubtedly has less responsibility and more coddling than any other generation in U.S. History.  Protesters in the past rallied about segregation, voting rights, etc.  Today, these protests are because somebody else's free speech hurt their feelings.  Today's social just warriors are equal to any hypocrite in human history: they preach tolerance for everybody's viewpoint, so long as it is in lockstep (goose step?) with their own.

As much as I hate Trump, I understand the backlash against the totalitarianism of the politically correct.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Donoghus on March 24, 2016, 05:35:20 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

My guess is that the kids protesting Nixon in '68 & '72 weren't doing it by running to the administration & asking for free counseling & "safe spaces".
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 05:37:26 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree. The current generation undoubtedly has less responsibility and more coddling than any other generation in U.S. History.  Protesters in the past rallied about segregation, voting rights, etc.  Today, these protests are because somebody else's free speech hurt their feelings.  Today's social just warriors are equal to any hypocrite in human history: they preach tolerance for everybody's viewpoint, so long as it is in lockstep (goose step?) with their own.

As much as I hate Trump, I understand the backlash against the totalitarianism of the politically correct.

That is such an excellent line. TP.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 05:40:12 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

My guess is that the kids protesting Nixon in '68 & '72 weren't doing it by running to the administration & asking for free counseling & "safe spaces".

The whole notion of a "safe space" on a college campus, which is supposed to be the epitome of a space for the free exchange of ideas, is just beyond hilarious to me.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: saltlover on March 24, 2016, 05:40:38 PM
This feels like everyone making a mountain out of a molehill on both sides.  Really, what should posters here care about what kids protest about at college campuses?  I know when I was in school 15 years ago I protested tons of things.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren't.  Looking back, some of those things I'd still protest today, and some I would wonder why I wasted my time.

Let them be.  The sky is not falling, and kids today are not any more spoiled or soft than they were 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago.  They have different life experiences that make different things important, and when you're 15-22 or so, everything you think is important is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER WE HAVE TO FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!  But that's it.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 05:41:27 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 05:44:15 PM
This feels like everyone making a mountain out of a molehill on both sides.  Really, what should posters here care about what kids protest about at college campuses?  I know when I was in school 15 years ago I protested tons of things.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren't.  Looking back, some of those things I'd still protest today, and some I would wonder why I wasted my time.

Let them be.  The sky is not falling, and kids today are not any more spoiled or soft than they were 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago.  They have different life experiences that make different things important, and when you're 15-22 or so, everything you think is important is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER WE HAVE TO FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!  But that's it.

There's an inherent danger in allowing this younger generation to think that they don't have to tolerate, respect, or even be in the presence of opposing ideologies, though, which is absolute lunacy in the melting pot/salad bowl that is America. That is why America has become so partisan and divided as it is. These "tolerance junkies" are doing anything but promoting tolerance, and they're just increasing the tendency to vilify and demonize those with opposing ideologies as "unsafe" and "scary."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 05:48:42 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.

Naw, I'm more amused by the blatant hypocrisy that these students are blindly engaging in. And even if I was offended, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when you take that a step further and try to manipulate and change others' "conception of the good" that you've moved into troubled and unwarranted territory - thinking you have a right not to be offended.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: saltlover on March 24, 2016, 05:52:06 PM
This feels like everyone making a mountain out of a molehill on both sides.  Really, what should posters here care about what kids protest about at college campuses?  I know when I was in school 15 years ago I protested tons of things.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren't.  Looking back, some of those things I'd still protest today, and some I would wonder why I wasted my time.

Let them be.  The sky is not falling, and kids today are not any more spoiled or soft than they were 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago.  They have different life experiences that make different things important, and when you're 15-22 or so, everything you think is important is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER WE HAVE TO FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!  But that's it.

There's an inherent danger in allowing this younger generation to think that they don't have to tolerate, respect, or even be in the presence of opposing ideologies, though, which is absolute lunacy in the melting pot/salad bowl that is America. That is why America has become so partisan and divided as it is. These "tolerance junkies" are doing anything but promoting tolerance, and they're just increasing the tendency to vilify and demonize those with opposing ideologies as "unsafe" and "scary."

I'm sorry, but not tolerating or respecting alternate ideologies has very much been a problem of every generation in American history.  Welcome to the club, kids.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 05:56:09 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.

Naw, I'm amused by the blatant hypocrisy that these students are blindly engaging in. And even if I was offended, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when you take that a step further and try to manipulate and change others' "conception of the good" that you've moved into troubled territory.

The kids have a right to protest and write letters to their school and even ask for meetings with their administrators regarding their feelings about Trump, or whatever else they want to protest.  Personally, I agree with them that Trump is scary.

I don't begrudge them their protest one bit.  I still don't see any evidence that these students were trying to suppress the thoughts and ideas of others.  They were just expressing their own, which, of course, they have the right to do.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 06:07:37 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.

Naw, I'm amused by the blatant hypocrisy that these students are blindly engaging in. And even if I was offended, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when you take that a step further and try to manipulate and change others' "conception of the good" that you've moved into troubled territory.

The kids have a right to protest and write letters to their school and even ask for meetings with their administrators regarding their feelings about Trump, or whatever else they want to protest.  Personally, I agree with them that Trump is scary.

I don't begrudge them their protest one bit.  I still don't see any evidence that these students were trying to suppress the thoughts and ideas of others.  They were just expressing their own, which, of course, they have the right to do.

In the very strictest sense of the word, sure, they have a right to "express an objection to what someone has said or done." But in the common usage of the word, that is not really a protest as much as it is a political rally or something against a certain candidate.

But as seen in Yale and Mizzou, we all know that these types of things hardly ever stop at expressing an objection, too. They want concrete actions to be applied to limiting the speech or expression of those around them who hold opposing views, such as "safe spaces."

To me, if they're scared by Trump, then we're not doing a proper job in education getting these kids ready for the real world. There's much more to be afraid of in the real world than some rhetoric by a primary candidate who is trying to appeal to large masses of his base, most of which he's probably not even serious about anyways. I teach a lot of military students in college education where this issue comes up regularly, and even the most liberal students are just shaking their heads at this stuff, because they know what really scary stuff looks like. Most of the kids on these campuses, especially these more elite schools like Emory University and Yale, are extremely "privileged" students, e.g. the millionaire's son at Mizzou who felt "disadvantaged" due to the color of his skin, so as with most of these issues on college campuses, this seems to be a whole lot to do about nothing.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 06:38:05 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.

Naw, I'm amused by the blatant hypocrisy that these students are blindly engaging in. And even if I was offended, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when you take that a step further and try to manipulate and change others' "conception of the good" that you've moved into troubled territory.

The kids have a right to protest and write letters to their school and even ask for meetings with their administrators regarding their feelings about Trump, or whatever else they want to protest.  Personally, I agree with them that Trump is scary.

I don't begrudge them their protest one bit.  I still don't see any evidence that these students were trying to suppress the thoughts and ideas of others.  They were just expressing their own, which, of course, they have the right to do.

In the very strictest sense of the word, sure, they have a right to "express an objection to what someone has said or done." But in the common usage of the word, that is not really a protest as much as it is a political rally or something against a certain candidate.

But as seen in Yale and Mizzou, we all know that these types of things hardly ever stop at expressing an objection, too. They want concrete actions to be applied to limiting the speech or expression of those around them who hold opposing views, such as "safe spaces."

To me, if they're scared by Trump, then we're not doing a proper job in education getting these kids ready for the real world. There's much more to be afraid of in the real world than some rhetoric by a primary candidate who is trying to appeal to large masses of his base, most of which he's probably not even serious about anyways. I teach a lot of military students in college education where this issue comes up regularly, and even the most liberal students are just shaking their heads at this stuff, because they know what really scary stuff looks like. Most of the kids on these campuses, especially these more elite schools like Emory University and Yale, are extremely "privileged" students, e.g. the millionaire's son at Mizzou who felt "disadvantaged" due to the color of his skin, so as with most of these issues on college campuses, this seems to be a whole lot to do about nothing.

Well, as I said earlier, I am scared by Trump too.  I must not have been educated very well either.

That aside, you seem to agree that based on what's been reported so far the kids at Emory don't seem to have overstepped any bounds in exercising their own rights to free speech.

I understand if you feel they are being overly sensitive, but that doesn't equate to "a war on free speech" to quote the thread title.

Yale and Missouri don't seem all that relevant, other than to give you a basis to now generalize any college protest as ridiculous, because "well, look at Yale and Missouri."
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Dino Pitino on March 24, 2016, 06:58:12 PM
Quote
The sky is not falling, and kids today are not any more spoiled or soft than they were 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago.

You are wrong. About the kids today. The sky is not yet falling, you're right about that. But the kids today are way more spoiled and soft. Soft doesn't even describe it. They've been gaslit with entitlement since birth and continue to gaslight themselves to the point where every discomfort is traumatic. The generation before them was spoiled and soft, too, but not quite as grotesquely. The generations before that were progressively less and less spoiled and soft, until you get to the point when teenagers were functionally and emotionally more mature than most thirty- and forty-somethings today. It is NOT a general phenomenon of youth. It's cultural degeneration.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 07:01:51 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.

Naw, I'm amused by the blatant hypocrisy that these students are blindly engaging in. And even if I was offended, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when you take that a step further and try to manipulate and change others' "conception of the good" that you've moved into troubled territory.

The kids have a right to protest and write letters to their school and even ask for meetings with their administrators regarding their feelings about Trump, or whatever else they want to protest.  Personally, I agree with them that Trump is scary.

I don't begrudge them their protest one bit.  I still don't see any evidence that these students were trying to suppress the thoughts and ideas of others.  They were just expressing their own, which, of course, they have the right to do.

In the very strictest sense of the word, sure, they have a right to "express an objection to what someone has said or done." But in the common usage of the word, that is not really a protest as much as it is a political rally or something against a certain candidate.

But as seen in Yale and Mizzou, we all know that these types of things hardly ever stop at expressing an objection, too. They want concrete actions to be applied to limiting the speech or expression of those around them who hold opposing views, such as "safe spaces."

To me, if they're scared by Trump, then we're not doing a proper job in education getting these kids ready for the real world. There's much more to be afraid of in the real world than some rhetoric by a primary candidate who is trying to appeal to large masses of his base, most of which he's probably not even serious about anyways. I teach a lot of military students in college education where this issue comes up regularly, and even the most liberal students are just shaking their heads at this stuff, because they know what really scary stuff looks like. Most of the kids on these campuses, especially these more elite schools like Emory University and Yale, are extremely "privileged" students, e.g. the millionaire's son at Mizzou who felt "disadvantaged" due to the color of his skin, so as with most of these issues on college campuses, this seems to be a whole lot to do about nothing.

Well, as I said earlier, I am scared by Trump too.  I must not have been educated very well either.

That aside, you seem to agree that based on what's been reported so far the kids at Emory don't seem to have overstepped any bounds in exercising their own rights to free speech.

I understand if you feel they are being overly sensitive, but that doesn't equate to "a war on free speech" to quote the thread title.

Yale and Missouri don't seem all that relevant, other than to give you a basis to now generalize any college protest as ridiculous, because "well, look at Yale and Missouri."

I'm not going to argue with you, because there's no point in it if you're going to try and draw some sort of massive distinction between the situations of Yale/Mizzou and Emory.

We both agree that them just raising their concerns is not an issue, because it's not really keeping with the trend of what "protests" are considered nowadays, i.e. that's just a political rally. Then again, I think we also both agree/suspect that it's not going to just stop there, and they're going to push for non-Trump "safe spaces" or some other BS like that that will inherently involve shutting down some sort of speech that they don't agree with.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 07:05:23 PM
Quote
The sky is not falling, and kids today are not any more spoiled or soft than they were 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago.

You are wrong. About the kids today. The sky is not yet falling, you're right about that. But the kids today are way more spoiled and soft. Soft doesn't even describe it. They've been gaslit with entitlement since birth and continue to gaslight themselves to the point where every discomfort is traumatic. The generation before them was spoiled and soft, too, but not quite as grotesquely. The generations before that were progressively less and less spoiled and soft, until you get to the point when teenagers were functionally and emotionally more mature than most thirty- and forty-somethings today. It is NOT a general phenomenon of youth. It's cultural degeneration.

That hasn't been my experience. 

I'm curious what it is that has led you to you findings?
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Celtics18 on March 24, 2016, 07:08:58 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

You seem very offended.  I hope you get the irony in that.

Naw, I'm amused by the blatant hypocrisy that these students are blindly engaging in. And even if I was offended, there's nothing wrong with that. It's when you take that a step further and try to manipulate and change others' "conception of the good" that you've moved into troubled territory.

The kids have a right to protest and write letters to their school and even ask for meetings with their administrators regarding their feelings about Trump, or whatever else they want to protest.  Personally, I agree with them that Trump is scary.

I don't begrudge them their protest one bit.  I still don't see any evidence that these students were trying to suppress the thoughts and ideas of others.  They were just expressing their own, which, of course, they have the right to do.

In the very strictest sense of the word, sure, they have a right to "express an objection to what someone has said or done." But in the common usage of the word, that is not really a protest as much as it is a political rally or something against a certain candidate.

But as seen in Yale and Mizzou, we all know that these types of things hardly ever stop at expressing an objection, too. They want concrete actions to be applied to limiting the speech or expression of those around them who hold opposing views, such as "safe spaces."

To me, if they're scared by Trump, then we're not doing a proper job in education getting these kids ready for the real world. There's much more to be afraid of in the real world than some rhetoric by a primary candidate who is trying to appeal to large masses of his base, most of which he's probably not even serious about anyways. I teach a lot of military students in college education where this issue comes up regularly, and even the most liberal students are just shaking their heads at this stuff, because they know what really scary stuff looks like. Most of the kids on these campuses, especially these more elite schools like Emory University and Yale, are extremely "privileged" students, e.g. the millionaire's son at Mizzou who felt "disadvantaged" due to the color of his skin, so as with most of these issues on college campuses, this seems to be a whole lot to do about nothing.

Well, as I said earlier, I am scared by Trump too.  I must not have been educated very well either.

That aside, you seem to agree that based on what's been reported so far the kids at Emory don't seem to have overstepped any bounds in exercising their own rights to free speech.

I understand if you feel they are being overly sensitive, but that doesn't equate to "a war on free speech" to quote the thread title.

Yale and Missouri don't seem all that relevant, other than to give you a basis to now generalize any college protest as ridiculous, because "well, look at Yale and Missouri."

I'm not going to argue with you, because there's no point in it if you're going to try and draw some sort of massive distinction between the situations of Yale/Mizzou and Emory.

We both agree that them just raising their concerns is not an issue, because it's not really keeping with the trend of what "protests" are considered nowadays, i.e. that's just a political rally. Then again, I think we also both agree/suspect that it's not going to just stop there, and they're going to push for non-Trump "safe spaces" or some other BS like that that will inherently involve shutting down some sort of speech that they don't agree with.

No, I don't agree or suspect they'll ask for "safe spaces" where the word Trump may not be uttered.

That would be weird.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on March 24, 2016, 07:10:25 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

To no fault of your own (I assume you're an older gentleman, however old), you are very disconnected with today's youth if you think we feel more entitled than any previous generation. And you are certainly perceiving today's youth through an unfair, biased, "older" perspective that you wouldn't if you were younger, which is understandable, I guess. Just because you don't understand the troubles young people face today doesn't mean you have to generalize us as weak or soft, though. And you should recognize that the "weak" quip is one that has been repeatedly used by elderly generations throughout history.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: Dino Pitino on March 24, 2016, 07:32:33 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

To no fault of your own (I assume you're an older gentleman, however old), you are very disconnected with today's youth if you think we feel more entitled than any previous generation. And you are certainly perceiving today's youth through an unfair, biased, "older" perspective that you wouldn't if you were younger, which is understandable, I guess. Just because you don't understand the troubles young people face today doesn't mean you have to generalize us as weak or soft, though. And you should recognize that the "weak" quip is one that has been repeatedly used by elderly generations throughout history.

Well, I'm not disconnected .... I'm almost forty, but I've recently worked with dozens of 18-25 year olds. I'm related to dozens to teenagers. I often read about your generation, in the overwrought words of your own generation. You guys don't just feel entitled. You are entitled. My generation's pretty bad, too. The generation before mine isn't much better. Those elderly generations aren't just complaining emptily. They're right. Increasing convenience and abundance and leisure breeds increasing impatience and decadence and narcissism. It happens. It's ultimately not your fault. Not that your generation would ever in a million years take responsibility for it, anyway. Most of the "troubles" that American youth have pouted and whined about for the last 40 years would be bitterly laughed at by the youth of pretty much every other civilization on earth before then. Your quality of life is The Easiest Any Humans Have Ever Had It. Your struggles are mostly unreal.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: TheFlex on March 24, 2016, 07:38:47 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."

To no fault of your own (I assume you're an older gentleman, however old), you are very disconnected with today's youth if you think we feel more entitled than any previous generation. And you are certainly perceiving today's youth through an unfair, biased, "older" perspective that you wouldn't if you were younger, which is understandable, I guess. Just because you don't understand the troubles young people face today doesn't mean you have to generalize us as weak or soft, though. And you should recognize that the "weak" quip is one that has been repeatedly used by elderly generations throughout history.

Well, I'm not disconnected, you condescending brat. I'm almost forty, but I've recently worked with dozens of 18-25 year olds. I'm related to dozens to teenagers. I often read about your generation, in the overwrought words of your own generation. You guys don't just feel entitled. You are entitled. My generation's pretty bad, too. The generation before mine isn't much better. Those elderly generations aren't just complaining emptily. They're right. Increasing convenience and abundance and leisure breeds increasing impatience and decadence and narcissism. It happens. It's ultimately not your fault. Not that your generation would ever in a million years take responsibility for it, anyway. Most of the "troubles" that American youth have pouted and whined about for the last 40 years would be bitterly laughed at by the youth of pretty much every other civilization on earth before then. Your quality of life is The Easiest Any Humans Have Ever Had It. Your struggles are mostly unreal.

Yikes. Sorry to offend you.
Title: Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
Post by: jpotter33 on March 24, 2016, 07:43:37 PM
As far as I could tell from that article, the protesters at Emory weren't actually making any demands.  So there was nothing for the administration to "cave to" other than just listening to them.

From my perspective, that seems like a reasonable thing for the grown ups to do under those circumstances.
From what I've read the university has offered councilling to all affected (completely fair in my mind), organized several meetings with angry students/student groups (fair again)
And promised to determine who made the markings(seems a bit much)

Also, it more that this protest has gained legitimacy via Yale and Mizzou.

At what point are kids told to just deal with it?  Even free counseling and the administration holding meetings both gives this nonsense legitimacy and wastes resources.

It makes me want to hire an airplane to fly a "Trump 2016" banner non-stop over Emory, just to see the students curl up into the fetal position. I loathe Trump, but at some point these kids need to grow a set. My father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers were all serving in foreign wars in their late teens / early 20s. Now kids are traumatized because they see a Presidential candidate's name on the sidewalk.

Your grandfather was called soft by your great-grandfather's generation as well because your grandfather's generation, while in its adolescent or youthful stage, was naive, scared, weak, etc. just as all youth are. These are symptoms of youth. They are not symptoms of one generation vs. another.

I disagree with this just being a symptom of youth. And this isn't just a Trump thing. This is a much deeper issue with today's youth who feel that they have a right to not be "offended," whatever that word means, by differing viewpoints.

If you read the article, this is just the exact same stuff that happened at Yale and Mizzou, only with the focus on Trump now. These students are clamoring about diversity and tolerance, yet they're not tolerating viewpoints that are different than their own. They think that they have the right to only hear what they want to hear, which is wrong. It's this whole notion of "tolerance, except when I disagree with you."