"New York Philosophy" Message Board › Free Speech Meetup Pre-discussion.

Free Speech Meetup Pre-discussion.

Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 178
I think it would be good to carry out pre-meetup conversation here, for those of us not on twitter. It would be greaty appreciated if someone who is following the twitter conversation would copy it to this thread.

On the meetup event, I posted "My blog on political correctness, the biggest threat to free speech in the western countries: http://bit.ly/L83m99&...­

Kevin replied: "@Bill - Sometimes, in the echo chambers of our minds, we get carried away. It's natural, and you're only human. So before I respond, I'd like to allow 24 hours for you to re-read what you've written, and alter it to reflect what you really, actually, truly believe. As befits a group that debates matters philosophical, please do not assume that I'll give you the benefit of any doubt.

Back on Friday at about this time,
Kevin"

@Kevin: I posted that on my blog 2 months ago, and I've been thinking about it a lot. I don't see how 24 hours of additional reflection is going to make any difference. Also bear in mind that you have communicated absolutely nothing except that you vehemently disagree.
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 179
An opinion in the NYT this week arguing that the US should adopt laws banning "hate speech": http://nyti.ms/MpsCrM...­
William C.
user 16367121
New York, NY
Post #: 3
My opinion is that the U.S. should not adopt laws on banning "hate speech".
If other countries want to ban "hate speech" that is their sovereign right.
However just because they do does not necessarily mean that we should do it.
I do not think that their should be laws banning "hate speech" unless there is a compelling reason or reasons to have such laws.

What are the compelling reasons to adopt "hate speech" laws?

It appears to me that the laws that currently exist in the United States have served us fairly well.

So why are new laws banning "hate speech" being advocated now?

Other countries have passed laws banning hate speech. Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand as well as Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

In Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia there are "hate speech" laws.

I recall that in Canada their "hate speech" law was used to ban the posting of a verse from the Bible on a billboard that was declared to be "hate speech" against homosexuals.

Which of the laws should the U.S. "adopt"?

I have heard speech against the "%1" that at least comes close to "hate speech".

Pastor Terry public burning of Qurans could certainly "offends the dignity" of Muslims.

The burning of the American flag certainly would "offend the dignity" of many Americans.



If I say that "The 1%" are evil, greedy capitalist who reduce "the 99% of human beings to a commodity and wage slavery." hate speech. Does such a statement mean that ALL of the "1%"? If I were a member of the "1%" this certainly could "offend my dignity". If I were George Soros or Warren Buffet I could view this as an "offense against my dignity."

If I say that ALL of the "1%" are "vulture" capitalist is that "hate-offensive" speech?

What if I say that MOST of the "1%" are "vulture" capitalist?

If I say that "The 1% should be hunted down, killed or imprisoned." It would be clear to me that this is "hate speech." Clearly this would be considered "hate speech." Both Repugnicans and Demoncrats use such ads.

Then there is the problem of "attack ads" in politics. They certainly could be classified as being "offensive to human dignity."

There are "other" problems with the subject of free speech.

This Meetup is going to be very...interesting and passionate. I suspect that the human dignity of people attending would probably be offended.

However I doubt-hope that the offended parties will not be reduced to....fisticuffs.

"Have A Thinking Day And May Reason Guide Us".[/color] Especially at this Meetup. wink
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 180
The NYT article totally fails to establish that "hate speech" is a big problem in the US, sufficient to motivate changing the constitution. The thesis of my blog post is that "hate speech" is much less of a problem in our society than is the censorship of so-called "hate-speech" that we already have.
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 181
A Muslim from Brooklyn was just sentenced to 12 years for the online advocation of violence against, among others, the creators of 'South Park':

http://news.yahoo.com...­
Kevin T
user 26476282
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 72
@Bill - I didn't say I disagree with your viewpoint; I said that the blog posting was incorrect.

#1 - In your posting on the event, you said that PC was "the biggest threat to free speech in western countries". Are you saying that the shushing of racist or race-sensitive comments in Europe is the biggest threat to free speech there? I would have thought that a conservative would place more blame on the explicit socialism in many governments, the Napoleanic codes in France that place the burden of proof on the accused, and the explicit and direct censorship in places like Germany (where it's a felony to deny the holocaust). And then there's the totalitarianism and worse in much of South America.

Or did you mean just the US, and not including Western Europe and the rest of the Americas?

#2 - The blog posting complains that the left has adopted strategies from the right, such as name-calling (cf. Rush), ad hominem attacks (cf. Rush and Glenn), and refusal to listen (cf. Fox Friends, Congress, TP). The author seemed to imply that these strategies are specific to the left, when there is overwhelming contrary evidence. This strikes me as more than a clerical error.

#3 - The blog posting implies that the left turns everything into a racial issue. But every time I swing a cat, I hit a leftie who believes that economic injustice is the root of all evil. Or discrimination against women in the workplace. Or anti-gay practices and legislation. Or xenophobic cops (cf. Arizona). Or union-bashing (cf. Walker recall attempt). Or English-centrism. Or lower taxes. Or ...

For all of these, the left is very explicitly trying to squelch opposing viewpoints (the right is too, of course), so racism seems to be an odd place to place the sole burden of censorship.

#4 - The post says "once liberals had bestowed upon themselves the authority to censor, that power has corrupted them and they are abusing it across the board.". But earlier, the post said, correctly, that censorship is difficult to achieve, and that the left had therefore switched to other strategies. So the blog post makes two mutually-exclusive claims, without apparent sarcasm or irony. Plus, one of the claims is preposterous (because neither the left nor the right can cause the government to control the press, i.e. to censor) and the other claim applies to both the left and the right (using incivility to sway impressionable minds).

#5 - In general, the blog posting works almost perfectly if the roles are switched (liberal <=> conservative, rich <=> racist, etc.). Which conflicts with the posting's stated intent of advocating views that are specifically conservative, and are not just indications of the nation's discourse becoming generally nasty.

...

In the end, the post isn't really expressing a conservative viewpoint at all, despite it saying that it does. What the post is really doing is complaining that the left and the right are both trying to control the national discourse, using strategies and tactics that are neither particularly conservative nor liberal. Neither side is winning conclusively, because the populace swings back and forth a bit (else, Obama wouldn't have gotten elected, and TP wouldn't have kicked butt in 2010).

I could go on, but we should probably save a bit for Tuesday.

Enjoy,
Kevin
Kevin T
user 26476282
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 73
In case it's not obvious, I am responding specifically to the comment on the event, and to the posting to which it refers. Please don't assume that anything that I've written expresses my own political viewpoint.
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 182
Kevin,

That's a hell of a disclaimer you posted: "Please don't assume that anything that I've written expresses my own political viewpoint.". It's gets real close to saying "I don't necessarily mean anything I say.".

When I said "western countries", OF COURSE I was not referring to Latin America. Latin America fits in the category of "third world". By "western countries" I mean the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. This is a common usage.

The German laws against questioning the Nazi holocaust are wrong, but they are not as significant an impediment to free speech as political correctness, because, as I demonstrate in my blog article, PC extends its reach into many more topics.

You cited Arizona's anti-immigration bill. I don't know what planet you live on, but if you think that it is possible to express an opinion in favor of Arizona's action without getting called a "racist" by any liberals in earshot, your experience is very different from mine.

You cited "lower taxes" as something that can be discussed without fear of liberal name-calling. I personally favor higher taxes, but those advocating lower taxes are generally advocating that that end be achieved by dismantling the social safety net, which immediately leads to liberal accusations of being "racist" against poor minorities.

You need to look up the word "censor". The dictionary definition of it does NOT limit it to an agent of a government. It can refer to anyone who succeeds in excluding points of view from the debate without actually refuting them. Yes, it is difficult to get the US government to censor speech, but as I explained, liberals achieve censorship through other means.

As for #5, I'm not sure how you would switch "liberal" to "conservative" in my post and make a very convincing case. The only rude names that conservatives call people are "socialist" or "communist". They wore out "communist" in the early '50's and it hasn't worked very well since then. Liberals don't lose much sleep over the prospect of being publicly called "socialist". In most of the country, calling someone "racist", on the other hand, still has plenty of bite. I think the whole problem that I'm complaining about can be addressed if society treats accusations of "racism" or "bigotry" by liberals the way we eventually took accusations of "communism" by Joseph McCarthy 60 years ago.

You said "In the end, the post isn't really expressing a conservative viewpoint at all, despite it saying that it does.". Where did my post say it was expressing a "conservative" viewpoint? I am not a conservative; I voted for Obama, gave him money a couple of months ago, and plan to vote for him next time.

You haven't really addressed the thrust of the article, you've nitpicked and nibbled around the edges of it. Yes, perhaps I said "all" when I should have said "most", perhaps I said "racism" where I should have said "various forms of unfair discrimination". But you really haven't explained what provoked the extreme hostility of your post on Thursday at 9:10am.

-- Bill
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 183
Kevin,

In #3, you say "The blog posting implies that the left turns everything into a racial issue.". Read it again, it said "Unfortunately, liberals then make every issue THEY CAN into a racial issue.". I did not say they make EVERY issue into a racial issue.

-- Bill
A former member
Post #: 1
I’m not really seeing much liberal censorship of conservative views, nor am I seeing much conservative censoring of liberal views. What I am seeing, on both sides of the fence, is a lot desire to censor, spiced with hefty doses of name calling (again on both sides), but little in the way of censorship success.

I think that instead, we’re seeing more of a breakdown in any sort of dialogue as both sides look mainly to preach to their respective choirs, energize their respective bases, or whatever else you call it. We might even consider that both sides have largely given up on trying to persuade and seek instead to monetize by espousing views most likely to appeal to their audiences in the hope of attracting more ad-supported page views, viewing time, listening time, etc.

We in the NY area tend to perceive a liberal bias in the media (and I expect it could be proven by empirical study, if it hasn’t already been) mainly because the population here being what it is, it simply pays to take that stance. Elsewhere, where the population differs, you see different slants. In other words, I think the modern media is more likely to follow, rather than to lead. Maybe Rupert Murdoch will someday acquire the NY Times and test this notion by switching its editorial tone and disclosing the financial impact. (Actually, though, if Murdoch were to every buy NY Times, it would make business sense for him to leave editorial as is in order to better diversify his currently conservative-leaning media portfolio).

Back to the original censorship theme, I’m just not seeing it. Speakers of all stripes seem quite adept today at brushing off verbal barbs (even the “racist” label) and saying what they want to say.
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