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Philosophy
7 January 2020
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Beatlebug
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meanmistermustard said

Folk use the free speech argument as a way to justify their right to say whatever they like, obviously it's wrong but they do. That's what I meant.  

But people do have the right to say whatever they like. It doesn't mean they necessarily should say certain things, like things that are hurtful or false, but they do have the right. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Starr Shine? said
Public nudity is legal in various areas so to use it as an example along side hate speech is flawed.  

It's also illegal in various areas, so I think my point stands that making public nudity illegal doesn't necessarily conflict with free speech.

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7 January 2020
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Though it should be noted that the limits of free speech are set in different places in the UK and US.

Here hate speech is a criminal offence that can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment.

A group like the Westboro Baptist Church would be arrested within moments of pulling out their placards here if they used the same messages and language that is protected in the US because the US has placed its limits on free speech in a different place.

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7 January 2020
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I prefer to use the term harassment since hate speech can mean speaking an unpopular opinion whereas harassment means forcing your opinion on someone who just wants to be left alone. In the case of the Westboro Baptist Church, while what they do is certainly wrong on so many levels, they're non-violent and make sure to stay within the limits of free speech so they shouldn't be prosecuted. Instead, we should mock them whenever we see them protesting by getting a piece of paper and writing God Hates The Westboro Baptist Church or something similar. Since you have free speech and they're opposed to political violence, they won't force you to put the sign down. However, if they trespass, threaten, or unprovocatively insult individuals, then it's no longer free speech and they should be prosecuted.

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7 January 2020
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I have mixed thoughts on Ricky Gervais' speech... it's pretty clear that the guy can be very, very funny when he isn't directing his ire at already downtrodden groups like trans people, which he spends far too much time doing, making him come across as mean-spirited and out of touch. As a general rule, I think comedians should punch up rather than punch down.

I also like that he called out the Hollywood liberal elite for their hypocritical virtue signalling that has no real substance (examples of this include Beyonce preaching feminism whilst producing her beauty products in Asian sweatshops full of women who earn starvation wages, and people like Ellen Degeneres who love to be woke and politically correct then behind the scenes cosy up with war criminals like George W. Bush), but the general message of 'celebrities shouldn't talk about politics' is wayyyyyy off in my opinion. 

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@Dark Overlord  said
I prefer to use the term harassment since hate speech can mean speaking an unpopular opinion whereas harassment means forcing your opinion on someone who just wants to be left alone. In the case of the Westboro Baptist Church, while what they do is certainly wrong on so many levels, they're non-violent and make sure to stay within the limits of free speech so they shouldn't be prosecuted. Instead, we should mock them whenever we see them protesting by getting a piece of paper and writing God Hates The Westboro Baptist Church or something similar. Since you have free speech and they're opposed to political violence, they won't force you to put the sign down. However, if they trespass, threaten, or unprovocatively insult individuals, then it's no longer free speech and they should be prosecuted.

But they are not "harassment" laws, they are laws brought in to specifically address hate speech (verbal or written), making against the law "communication that is hateful, threatening, or abusive, and targets a person on account of disability, ethnic or national origin, nationality (including citizenship), race, religion, sexual orientation, or skin colour."

WBC were used because they illustrate the difference between the limits set on free speech between the UK and US. I was making the point that the placards they use legally in the US would break the law in the UK. While both countries are proud (and I would say, largely, rightly) of their histories on free speech, something that always needs to be taken account is how the limits of free speech differ from country to country.

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8 January 2020
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For all the comments, I went on youtube and watched the Ricky Gervais speech.  Time well spent.  I then searched for old clips of his (along with Stephen Merchant's) creation, The Office, which had originally come over as a BBC import.  For cutting-edge humor in the early 2000's, nothing came close to the brilliance of this show.

8 January 2020
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Heath said
For all the comments, I went on youtube and watched the Ricky Gervais speech.  Time well spent.  I then searched for old clips of his (along with Stephen Merchant's) creation, The Office, which had originally come over as a BBC import.  For cutting-edge humor in the early 2000's, nothing came close to the brilliance of this show.

Fantastic show. I love the US one more, but the UK one is unrivalled in how beautifully uncomfortable its humour is. 

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8 January 2020
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^have you SEEN Scott’s Tots

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8 January 2020
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I find the hate speech laws in the UK appalling. The concept of hate speech, in general, is completely superfluous to me. RN is correct in that they're not harassment laws -- therefore they are infringing on free speech. And I know the argument is that people use this argument to excuse their bigotry, but I think you all know me well enough to know that I'm not bigoted, I just try to stand on principle, and this means standing up for the speech rights of people whose speech I find abhorrent -- whatever side they're on.

I would contest the claim that Ricky Gervais spends too much time punching down at trans people. I don't follow his comedy that closely, but I don't think he attacks downtrodden trans people as a rule; I'm pretty sure he was specifically talking about one individual who is well-known to have predatory habits and be a general scumbag, not ALL TRANS PEOPLE. One shitty trans person does not all trans people shitty make, because, believe it or not, trans people are individuals. And if this person was to be considered an ambassador of the trans community, then the community has some serious issues.

For another thing, the trans movement is far more powerful than you might think: loads of people have been 'cancelled' over perceived transphobic statements, including literal trans people such as Natalie Wynn aka ContraPoints and other LGBT people like Mike Harlow (who was banned from Twitter), and a woman recently lost her job for making statements (not even on the job) deemed transphobic (IIRC she made some tweets saying that sex is immutable, although I'm pretty sure she had also said she was fine with referring to someone by whatever name/pronouns out of respect if they asked nicely, which doesn't even sound that transphobic to me). There are also anecdotal cases of doctors being afraid to not diagnose people with gender dysphoria, for fear of accusations of transphobia and negative professional repercussions (which is especially worrying because it leads to misdiagnoses, and people later end up having to detransition). So, in a way, you could argue that he is punching up by attacking political correctness -- although Ricky himself is pretty safe because he's an established comedian with lots of money, but not everyone is so privileged.

But Beatlebug, I hear you cry, being cancelled on social media is not nearly as bad as being kicked out of your house because you're trans! Sure, but being kicked out of one's house is not a universal experience of trans people. Neither is harassing people who disagree with trans ideology into silence a universal trait of trans people, but it is nevertheless carried out on behalf of trans people as a group, despite the fact that trans people are not a monolith.

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8 January 2020
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I remember reading about that woman who lost her job, but since I’m not trans I don’t think I’m exactly qualified to declare whether or not her statements were transphobic. 

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50yearslate said
I remember reading about that woman who lost her job, but since I’m not trans I don’t think I’m exactly qualified to declare whether or not her statements were transphobic.   

You don't have to be trans to know when something is hateful to specific aspects of a person's identity. Anyway, plenty of non-trans people have no problem slinging accusations of transphobia around like they're garlands at Christmas. Getting offended on behalf of people pisses me off to no end, but so does refusing to state an opinion on a matter just because you don't belong to some specific group. If you don't know enough about the subject, or you do, then that's all that should matter.

I also have some issues with the '-phobia' suffix being attached to words that signify prejudice and discrimination, but that's a rant for another time

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8 January 2020
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Also it is not crime to speak on something that you don’t know about. If you say something stupid or offensive, hopefully somebody else will call you out and you can learn and improve. 

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8 January 2020
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Ron Nasty said
But they are not "harassment" laws, they are laws brought in to specifically address hate speech (verbal or written), making against the law "communication that is hateful, threatening, or abusive, and targets a person on account of disability, ethnic or national origin, nationality (including citizenship), race, religion, sexual orientation, or skin colour."

I can see where you're coming and your country's law is written well enough where there must be malicious intent, excluding groups like PETA who subconciously make offensive comments. However, those laws could be used in a way that makes publicly expressing a specific opinion illegal, which is censorship.

WBC were used because they illustrate the difference between the limits set on free speech between the UK and US. I was making the point that the placards they use legally in the US would break the law in the UK. While both countries are proud (and I would say, largely, rightly) of their histories on free speech, something that always needs to be taken account is how the limits of free speech differ from country to country.

They're definitely a good example. As for your later point, how does the UK have a good history of free speech. After all, the founding fathers made free speech a top priority because they had just fought a war against a tyrannical government that would've done horrible things to them if they dared criticize the king.

Beatlebug said
I would contest the claim that Ricky Gervais spends too much time punching down at trans people. I don't follow his comedy that closely, but I don't think he attacks downtrodden trans people as a rule; I'm pretty sure he was specifically talking about one individual who is well-known to have predatory habits and be a general scumbag, not ALL TRANS PEOPLE. One shitty trans person does not all trans people shitty make, because, believe it or not, trans people are individuals. And if this person was to be considered an ambassador of the trans community, then the community has some serious issues.

The only thing i could find in his speech that could be considered critical of transgender people is when he was talking about athletes taking steroids and saying "i think we all know who would win". If that's what Quarryman's talking about then i 100% agree with Ricky because if trans women competed against cis women in sports, cis women could get seriously hurt and trans men can cheat their way to the top. I know the LGBT+ community wants equality but men are biologically stronger than women and while getting a sex change reduces some of that strength, it doesn't reduce it enough where it's a fair fight.

But Beatlebug, I hear you cry, being cancelled on social media is not nearly as bad as being kicked out of your house because you're trans! Sure, but being kicked out of one's house is not a universal experience of trans people. Neither is harassing people who disagree with trans ideology into silence a universal trait of trans people, but it is nevertheless carried out on behalf of trans people as a group, despite the fact that trans people are not a monolith.

But that homeless 16 year old trans girl doesn't have the kind of voice someone like Mike Pence has so there's a good chance we won't even know about her and she'll end up in prison while Mike Pence and his friends go on criticizing the LGBT+ community.

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8 January 2020
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Dark Overlord said

But that homeless 16 year old trans girl doesn't have the kind of voice someone like Mike Pence has so there's a good chance we won't even know about her and she'll end up in prison while Mike Pence and his friends go on criticizing the LGBT+ community.  

How will she end up in prison? From stealing to survive, or something? That point is somewhat tenuous without further elaboration.

Also, how is that a point? Comparing some homeless 16 year old to Mike Pence is not entirely fair. There are plenty of advocates for LGBT people, at least as many as there are anti-LGBT advocates; I'd go so far as to say it's more mainstream to say 'don't kick your trans kid out' than it is to say 'kick your trans kid out'. I also think there's plenty about the LGBT+ community that can be criticized.

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The majority of homeless youth end up getting arrested at least once for things like stealing food to survive and honestly i can't blame them as prison is often better than being homeless, especially if you're a child who's not ready for independence.

http://www.juvjustice.org/site.....ressed.pdf

Also, while i do agree there are many problems with the LGBT+ community, the religious right is far from a rarity. In June 2019, CBS News and Reuters both determined that about 28% of Americans still oppose same sex marriage. While still technically a minority, it's certainly still common enough to be a problem for many LGBT+ people who have highly religious parents

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^Oh, okay. I thought that might be what you were getting at.

I don't really have a problem if 28% of Americans oppose same-sex marriage; I imagine that number will go down over time unless something really culturally drastic occurs. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly a problem for individuals who become estranged from their family members because those family members disapprove of their sexuality and life choices, but same-sex marriage is legal and here to stay so I think we're doing mostly okay. There's also some nuance, as not every single person who disapproves of same-sex marriage is necessarily going to be a gay-bashing Westboro Baptist Church type of evangelical who cuts off their gay family member.

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Beatlebug said

50yearslate said

I remember reading about that woman who lost her job, but since I’m not trans I don’t think I’m exactly qualified to declare whether or not her statements were transphobic.   

You don't have to be trans to know when something is hateful to specific aspects of a person's identity.

I think a person who has experienced such hate is better at identifying that than I am. 

Anyway, plenty of non-trans people have no problem slinging accusations of transphobia around like they're garlands at Christmas. Getting offended on behalf of people pisses me off to no end, but so does refusing to state an opinion on a matter just because you don't belong to some specific group. If you don't know enough about the subject, or you do, then that's all that should matter.

And I’m saying that I don’t know enough about the subject to make a worthwhile contribution. If y’all are having a conversation about proper boat maintenance, I’m not going to pop in with my preferred technique because I don’t know a thing about boat maintenance. If y’all are debating whether a dog is cuter than a polar bear and I don’t know what a polar bear looks like, my opinion will mean nothing. I don’t have experience or knowledge that is relevant to this particular issue, so I’m not going to take a side.

I also have some issues with the '-phobia' suffix being attached to words that signify prejudice and discrimination, but that's a rant for another time

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8 January 2020
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50yearslate said
^have you SEEN Scott’s Tots

  

Very good point. I couldn't finish the episode the first time I triedpaul-mccartney

Beatlebug said

I would contest the claim that Ricky Gervais spends too much time punching down at trans people.

In a recent tweet, he referred to trans women as "some men [who] have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonise an entire sex". Yes I'm aware that Gervais has defended himself on this point by saying he's not transphobic, no I don't care, if your words are functionally and consequentially indistinguishable from those of transphobes, then what is the difference? 

For another thing, the trans movement is far more powerful than you might think

Powerful in woke online spaces, and in certain Western liberal cities, but in the vast majority of the world trans people have little to no protection legally, let alone counting all the abuse and intolerance they are likely to experience from family and friends. The 'cancelling' people like Contra and J.K Rowling have faced from some aspects of the community is nothing compared to the enormity of the intolerance, both social and institutional, they face, and they do not have any significant governmental representation to remedy this. Even in relatively welcoming countries like the US, trans people face regular attempts to push back on their legal rights. 

Basically, the unruly twitter mob which attacked Contra (which was awful, by the way, as demonstrated in her excellent recent video on cancelling) might seem enormous in online culture, but remember that in the wider world it is an extremely specific niche making up a tiny part of the general population, and that the vast majority of people hold opinions faaaaar behind the current level of community discourse wokeness, if they even hold tolerant opinions whatsoever. 

So, in a way, you could argue that he is punching up by attacking political correctness

Isn't the purpose of political correctness to protect downtrodden communities? The 'PC brigade' usually rolls out to protest against people saying offensive things about ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ+ people etc, not to protect billionaires or the establishment. Besides, it's not like the political correctness pertaining to trans rights is enforced by the US establishment right now given that the party that dominates 3/4 parts of government mostly doesn't believe in their existence.

But Beatlebug, I hear you cry, being cancelled on social media is not nearly as bad as being kicked out of your house because you're trans! Sure, but being kicked out of one's house is not a universal experience of trans people.

... And neither is being cancelled on social media for transphobes? Do you think it not being a universal experience negates the fact that LGBTQ+ (particularly trans) homelessness is a huge issue? Are you actually trying to make the case that people who are critical of 'trans ideology' face worse intolerance than trans people themselves do just for existing? There is a ton of data on the horrendous discrimination and intolerance trans people face on a daily basis, not just online by a twitter mob, but in their real lives, including serious bodily harm leading up to murder. With regards to people losing their jobs for being critical of trans ideology, studies have shown that over a quarter (26%) of trans individuals had lost a job due to their status, so I'd love to see data confirming anywhere near that level of response to the likes of Gervais. By your own admission, the issues you are bringing up are anecdotal.

Besides, all this is completely ignoring the fact that it's a false equivalency to compare people being attacked for their identity than for their own horrible behaviour. Getting someone fired for being openly homophobic, to draw a comparison, is very different to getting someone fired for being gay. 

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I understand where you're coming from but there's a difference between being a white knight and being an ally/critic:

A white knight is someone who proposes ideas on behalf of a group they're not part (for the most part) of that doesn't affect them in any way despite said group being generally opposed to the idea. For example, i used to favor dropping the T in LGBT because i thought it was homophobic to compare the 2 groups but since most LGB people would prefer to keep it the way it is, i've since renounced that belief.

An ally/critic is someone who either supports or opposes an idea from a group they're not part of (for the most part) that affects them in some way. For example, i oppose slavery reparations because no one alive now is responsible for slavery because everyone who was alive at the time is dead and therefore, you'd be making people pay for a crime they didn't commit.

As you can see, the difference between the 2 is that white knights propose ideas to a problem that doesn't affect them in any way whereas allies promote ideas supported by the group in question and critics critique ideas that negatively affect them in some way. While no one likes a white knight, that doesn't mean we have to stay silent on an issue just because we're not part of the group in question.

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Are you responding to Beatlebug or me, @Dark Overlord ?

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