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Freedom of Speech/Inclusion/Tolerance etc.


BomberPat

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1 minute ago, Carbomb said:

Not engaging does do nothing, and to be honest, I'm fine with that, if the opposite "something" of that is ideas like that getting a foothold. Sometimes "nothing" is the best thing to do.

 

I'm sorry but I refuse to believe that.

If people did nothing we would never achieve anything.

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40 minutes ago, Loki said:

Universities seem like the perfect ground to restate the case on racism, sexism, paedophilia, Islamophobia, Holocaust denial. ¬†If you are confident of the truth, then putting that up agÔĽŅainst the lies in a public forum should be a walk in the park.ÔĽŅÔĽŅ

No, because again, it's presenting it as the other side of the debate when there is no debate.

A holocaust denier isn't arguing in good faith. Affording them a platform to sow doubt on established fact is unnecessary because the debate has been had and the debate has been won.

Putting them on a platform to have the argument suggests there is an argument to be had. It gives them publicity they don't deserve, it legitimizes it as a "two sides" issue (the same thing we see today with climate change deniers being given platforms in the name of "balance", as if giving equal time to a theory supported by 1% as to that supported by 99% is balance), and it allows them to sow distrust. 

Because if someone is arguing something as inarguable as the historical truth of the holocaust, they are not doing so in good faith. You are not going to win them round with evidence and reason, and they know it. What they're going to do is plant the suggestion that, hey, maybe there's something to this. 


It's not about telling people "this is wrong" without telling them why. Again, I just read Deborah Lipstadt's book on holocaust denial, how it operates, what it hopes to achieve, and its history. Why it's wrong is all right there, out in the public domain. The holocaust deniers have had every right to reply and, for the most part, have failed to do so because they are in the wrong. We don't owe them the privilege of a platform or publicity to refute established fact.

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As you say - educational establishments should absolutely be the place for productive discourse on highly contentious issues but, I hate to say it, it seems to be the 'acceptance' and 'tolerance' brigade that is preventing that from happening.

Or, to put it another way, academics and students engaging in academic practice are the best equipped to recognise when a theory isn't supported by evidence, and when a viewpoint doesn't hold weight. Universities are better equipped than perhaps anyone to make the judgement that somebody's ideas aren't worth providing a platform for, because the weighing and assessing of ideas is what we do.

The concept that an idea, an ideology or a theory is somehow an unknown until the moment that its propagator stands on stage to recite it to an audience and "debate" it is ridiculous. If a leading member of a neo-Nazi party was invited to speak to my students, I would boycott it and suggest that they all do as well. Because this hypothetical neo-Nazi would already be a known figure, his work already out there for them to judge, long before he ever sets foot on that particular stage. 

Edited by BomberPat
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7 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

I'm sorry but I refuse to believe that.

If people did nothing we would never achieve anything.

I did say "sometimes", not "every time". Of course doing nothing every time is wrong.

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16 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

 it seems to be the 'acceptance' and 'tolerance' brigade that is preventing that from happening.

It's always a brigade, isn't it?  It's a word when used in this context is so loaded.  That's why I flip it and use the inflammatory language against those who use it, such as the Leave Brigade, or the Union / St George Flag waving brigade.  It's used as a thinly veiled insult most of the time.  Swarms is another.

Regarding Shapiro being grilled, it's right, he isn't used to being challenged like that.  Of course the biggest example of this is Farage, when given facts that he can't soundbite his way out of, he gets angry.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

I did say "sometimes", not "every time". Of course doing nothing every time is wrong.

Never said you said 'every time':)

So, genuine question, when is the right time to do something? You say that those preaching violence and hate should just go away and debate it among themselves somewhere yet the dude in that article was actively promoting violence and hate and had we just said 'Go to your little room with your like minded friends and leave us alone' then, yes, phew, they are no longer around us and we don't have to be upset by them BUT we will just have to deal with it again later when they come back - by actually doing something like the woman in the documentary did it becomes phew, I need never have to worry about it from this person ever again.

Has it changed the world? Fuck no. Has it helped even just a teeny tiny bit by changing the way that one person thinks? Yes. Is it the solution to everything? Of course not - but not engaging with someone because you don't like what they are saying/potentially could say is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and loudly going 'Lalala, I'm not listening to you!' It's ultimately a fruitless exercise that benefits no-one.
 

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2 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

It's always a brigade, isn't it?  It's a word when used in this context is so loaded.  That's why I flip it and use the inflammatory language against those who use it, such as the Leave Brigade, or the Union / St George Flag waving brigade.  It's used as a thinly veiled insult most of the time.  Swarms is another.

Regarding Shapiro being grilled, it's right, he isn't used to being challenged like that.  Of course the biggest example of this is Farage, when given facts that he can't soundbite his way out of, he gets angry.

 

 

Right - so give him the platform. Expose him as an idiot. Fight bigotry and lies with facts and logic. 
Can't do that if he isn't allowed to speak in the first place. 
 

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2 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

Right - so give him the platform. Expose him as an idiot. Fight bigotry and lies with facts and logic. 
Can't do that if he isn't allowed to speak in the first place. 

And how many people will think "Actually, I've changed my mind about him and what he said based upon statistical facts", and how many will think "He's right, the lefty media establishment are biased, he's great when he goes on there and shows them up, he's only saying what everyone thinks".

Deplatforming works, time and again.  We live in a post fact world, opinions count for more.

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12 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

Never said you said 'every time':)

So, genuine question, when is the right time to do something? You say that those preaching violence and hate should just go away and debate it among themselves somewhere yet the dude in that article was actively promoting violence and hate and had we just said 'Go to your little room with your like minded friends and leave us alone' then, yes, phew, they are no longer around us and we don't have to be upset by them BUT we will just have to deal with it again later when they come back - by actually doing something like the woman in the documentary did it becomes phew, I need never have to worry about it from this person ever again.


Has it changed the world? Fuck no. Has it helped even just a teeny tiny bit by changing the way that one person thinks? Yes. Is it the solution to everything? Of course not - but not engaging with someone because you don't like what they are saying/potentially could say is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and loudly going 'Lalala, I'm not listening to you!' It's ultimately a fruitless exercise that benefits no-one.
 

Hmmm, forum not letting me split posts again for some reason.

1st paragraph:

I think you've misunderstood me here. 

Those who preach violence should be arrested. It's an extension of making threats. Those preaching hatred that we know is wrong but falls short of violence should be excluded from public platforms; they can find their own ways to expound their views. 

As to those supposedly making arguments that preach things like self-segregation, I didn't say "go away and debate it amongst themselves", I said they can take themselves off to a studio for debate - as in a TV studio where they can be challenged.

 

2nd paragraph:

It's not like "sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalala'" at all. If someone advocates killing someone for no reason, does condemning the idea outright as evil the moment it leaves their mouths equate to "sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalala'?" Of course not. Because we know killing is wrong.

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7 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

Hmmm, forum not letting me split posts again for some reason.

1st paragraph:

I think you've misunderstood me here. 

Those who preach violence should be arrested. It's an extension of making threats. Those preaching hatred that we know is wrong but falls short of violence should be excluded from public platforms; they can find their own ways to expound their views. 

As to those supposedly making arguments that preach things like self-segregation, I didn't say "go away and debate it amongst themselves", I said they can take themselves off to a studio for debate - as in a TV studio where they can be challenged.

 

2nd paragraph:

It's not like "sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalala'" at all. If someone advocates killing someone for no reason, does condemning the idea outright as evil the moment it leaves their mouths equate to "sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalala'?" Of course not. Because we know killing is wrong.

Carbomb: I've already said that it's not a one size fits all situation
If its an illegal activity such as killing or incitement to violence etc. then of course arrests should be made.
 
Houchen: I've said that discussion/engagement etc is not a solution that works in all instances, but neither is deplatforming. Sure, it makes the person go away but it moves them somewhere else. It doesn't change their views or stop them. Maybe nothing will - but isn't it worth trying? 



 

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Was discussing the university thing the other day. Firstly I'm certain there are times people have gone a little overboard with suggesting certain people shouldn't speak in universities.

However one thing I've noticed whenever people start talking about "students should hear from a variety of opinions/backgrounds" is half the time it's encouraging speakers who wish to silence the variety of backgrounds and cultures that already exist (but exist in small numbers) in the university. It kinda suggests everyone studying at the university is fairly similar and thus need all their ideas of alternate viewpoints to come from outside. If you are a Muslim student, or a trans student or someone who belongs to any other marginalised group and the university books Milo Yiannopoulos or someone who equates all followers of Islam to extremists (actual attempted speaker at my local one recently) it further creates an environment where your very right to exist seems to be up for debate.  If you're already feeling pretty othered that's not exactly conducive to adding your opinion and perspective to seminars/lectures/etc

Universities are already pretty overrun with certain groups of people, yet we mostly discuss whether or not some external voices (voices that tend to be more white men) should be part of the learning experience rather than first considering how to cultivate the diversity within (and I'm pretty sure step 1 isn't "DEBATE THE ALT RIGHT")

Dunno if that quite makes sense, still figuring it out. Just felt like an omission when these conversations occur when discussing universities 

Edited by organizedkaos
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12 minutes ago, organizedkaos said:

Was discussing the university thing the other day. Firstly I'm certain there are times people have gone a little overboard with suggesting certain people shouldn't speak in universities.

However one thing I've noticed whenever people start talking about "students should hear from a variety of opinions/backgrounds" is half the time it's encouraging speakers who wish to silence the variety of backgrounds and cultures that already exist (but exist in small numbers) in the university. It kinda suggests everyone studying at the university is fairly similar and thus need all their ideas of alternate viewpoints to come from outside. If you are a Muslim student, or a trans student or someone who belongs to any other marginalised group and the university books Milo Yiannopoulos or someone who equates all followers of Islam to extremists (actual attempted speaker at my local one recently) it further creates an environment where your very right to exist seems to be up for debate.  If you're already feeling pretty othered that's not exactly conducive to adding your opinion and perspective to seminars/lectures/etc

Universities are already pretty overrun with certain groups of people, yet we mostly discuss whether or not some external voices (voices that tend to be more white men) should be part of the learning experience rather than first considering how to cultivate the diversity within (and I'm pretty sure step 1 isn't "DEBATE THE ALT RIGHT")

Dunno if that quite makes sense, still figuring it out. Just felt like an omission when these conversations occur when discussing universities 

Agreed if that is all universities are booking. If it is majority alt-right speakers then absolutely there is a lack of balance and an agenda there that needs questioning.

However banning someone like Germaine Greer, for example, because she made a statement that trans-women are not 'real women' because they have had the benefit of male privilege at some point in their life - you can absolutely hate that she said that and yes, no doubt the trans community are rightly sick of being told what they are and are not by people who think they know better, but at the same time should those who may have been offended by what Greer said and want to discuss it directly with her not have the choice to do so? Even those who did agree with her? Again - not talking about 'promoting hate' or illegal activity, but someone who is clearly intelligent and made a very controversial and contentious statement about trans women. I would argue a university is EXACTLY the type of place Germaine Greer SHOULD be allowed to speak at because of the amount of contrasting views and opinions that would be provided. 
 

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31 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

Carbomb: I've already said that it's not a one size fits all situation
If its an illegal activity such as killing or incitement to violence etc. then of course arrests should be made.

OK, but where does the debate extend, and what's the proposed outcome? 

Example: misogynist speaker publicly espouses the curtailment of women's rights. Says that women shouldn't have the vote, shouldn't have maternity leave, etc. Everything short of advocating physical violence against women, which means he can't be arrested. What he's arguing for is accepted as wrong, by and large, by society now. Why should he be given any kind of platform?

Compare to someone advocating the legalisation of paedophilia. He's not arguing that people should go out and rape children right now, he's calling for legalisation so that so that adults can rape children in future and not have it called rape. But we know what he's arguing for is accepted as wrong by almost the whole of society now. And the curtailment of women's rights is just as illegal as paedophilia is. 

So: why give either figure a platform? Why is it that we accept that certain things should be ring-fenced, with no scope for debate, yet people still argue for things such as racism and misogyny?

 

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42 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

Houchen: I've said that discussion/engagement etc is not a solution that works in all instances, but neither is deplatforming. Sure, it makes the person go away but it moves them somewhere else. It doesn't change their views or stop them. Maybe nothing will - but isn't it worth trying? 

Can you give an example where deplatforming hasn't worked?  No it won't change their views but I don't think anything will, but debating the undebatable feeds the fire and will lead to their views being given a wider audience and thus more recruits.

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