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Author Topic: A truly liberal response to those who wanted Eich out
scifibum
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Link

quote:
Much of the rhetoric that emerged in the wake of the Eich incident showed a worrisome turn toward intolerance and puritanism among some supporters of gay equality—not in terms of formal legal sanction, to be sure, but in terms of abandonment of the core liberal values of debate and diversity.

Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.

I agree with them. Much as I can easily sympathize with those who lashed out at Eich, it wasn't the right thing to do.

ETA: I'm particularly glad to see a couple of Silicon Valley executives putting their name on this.

[ April 22, 2014, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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JoshuaD
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I agree.

I don't know how I would feel if he had made a $1000 donation to the KKK, or to the New American Nazi Party Against Jews.

I tend to think that a CEO's private actions should be private, but there are probably a few places I'd be willing to bend that rule.

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scifibum
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I think it's inevitable that we will form prejudices about people based on their religion, politics, favorite sports teams (or lack thereof), what kind of car they drive, their weight, how attractive they are, etc.

What we do next is the more important consideration.

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Pete at Home
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Good thread.

Agreed with the distinction I think SciFi is making re prejudice.

Tolerance is not the absence of prejudice but the willingness to see past one's prejudice.

I'd say further that a society that browbeats people into pretending they have no prejudices is not a tolerant society. How can we overcome prejudices that we are not allowed to admit that we have?

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scifibum
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I know that it's offensive to opponents of SSM to compare it to something like supporting a white supremacy group or voting for racially segregated schools. But those latter things are interesting tests of the principles articulated by the statement I linked to in the OP.

When does evidence of offensive beliefs justify something other than criticism and debate?

When we talk about public office, it's almost a moot point. We vote them in or we vote them out, each voter's conscience is (ideally) matched up to an equal say in the outcome. The ONLY way to win is to appeal to the biggest share of voters.

When we talk about academic environments and corporations, it gets sticky. In the case of academia, there are ideals and traditions that it might be reasonable to uphold. In the case of a corporation, there's the almighty profit motive. Consumers have their free speech and choice. So it's a fertile test ground for what kinds of diversity will be tolerated.

It seems fairly obvious that open racism would disqualify someone from running a public university or a major corporation, but I'm having trouble articulating why that should be in a way that isn't at odds with the ideals of diversity and the free exchange of ideas. I'm not sure whether to expect that someone else can make that clear for me or not.

One possible answer is that race is a protected class, and it's reasonable to assume that avowed racial prejudice would be likely to translate to violations of the Civil Rights Act, but I'm not very convinced by that argument. I think someone could have a stellar track record of affirmative action, and yet if they avowed a belief that black people deserved a second class status in society, their career at the head of any major public organization would be over, and few would have a problem with that.

Please note I'm not trying to draw an equivalence between every odious view and opposition to SSM. (Further, I'm pretty sure I harbor some incorrect or offensive positions that are just as wrong as opposition to SSM is in my view, where I have yet to realize how wrong I am.)

It may just be that certain beliefs and practices have earned such wide disapproval that there's insignificant opposition to a punitive reaction to their demonstration. I suspect that reality is still somewhat at odds with those particular liberal ideals.

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Pete at Home
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the KKK is not just a white supremacist group, it is a terrorist.group. it would be.like comparing pro SSM folks tonal Qaeda. The issue isn't just "offensiveness.". The issue is that it's a false accusation and a blood libel that has already inspired hate crimes. It's effectively a solicitation of murder.

I don't understand how one could.speak against inflammatory speech on one hand and justiffy KKK comparisons on the other.

The american Nazi party likewise is a criminal organization and in some respects a violent although in the USA not as systematic as the KKK. .

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Pete at Home
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That last post of mine is not adequately responsive to sf's post and responds to some previous arguments by persons other than sf. I need to get to a computer to respond adequately to sf's last point.
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scifibum
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I think that comparisons to the KKK are meant to be dispositive tests of the concept that political beliefs should not lead to loss of economic opportunity or equivalent punishment, and I honestly think that "KKK" is meant to stand for "racism" in those comparisons.

I would agree that if you consider what the KKK does - not just what they believe - that the comparison is offensive. I still believe it tends to be made without the intention of equating prop 8 support to lynchings and such, but that implication is not remote, and so the comparison fails and is overly inflammatory. (I do trust/hope we are all reasonable enough not to murder anyone as a result.)

What the KKK does is more serious than an offensive belief, and is deserving of punitive responses.

The point of my longer post is that when I try to test racist beliefs against the principles outlined in that article, I am not sure that it's right to punish that sort of view - it's just less controversial.

But I agree with Pete that there's a crucial difference between comparing beliefs and comparing a belief to a terrorist organization.

(And none of this is meant to assert that opposition to SSM is equivalent to racism.)

ETA: But there's some food for thought in thinking about the actions of the pro-Prop 8 campaign - it wasn't a bare assertion of belief. But, again, comparing those actions to the actions of the KKK is inaccurate and inflammatory.

[ April 22, 2014, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Pete at Home
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The KKK does not, to my knowledge, have a common set of beliefs. What it has is a common set of enemies. Three KKK members might have three completely different reasons for hating blacks, Jews, etc. Originally they were neoconfederate but spread north and West.

If the Amish were racist or had other discriminatory beliefs would we be comparing SSM opponents to Amish? I suspect not. I think scary comparisons are used to evoke fear. These comparisons aren't meant to inform, but to frighten people out of rational capacity.

I don't. Mind discussing comparisons between racism and homophobia so long as it's an actual discussion. As long as we discuss and contemplate.contrasts as well as common points.

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JoshuaD
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My point in bringing up the KKK and American-Nazi party was to try to illustrate that, although I agree strongly with Scifi's original post, I have trouble making it an absolute statement.

We shouldn't oust CEOs because we disagree with relatively benign political opinions that they have (and yes, opposing SSM is relatively benign).

I don't think this extends to all ideas. It's a hard distinction, though. I know there are many in the SSM movement who see those who oppose it as extremely malevolent and evil. I think they are wrong, but how do we make the distinction?

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Pete at Home
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I understand. I brought up the Amish as an example of extreme beliefs (and even oppressive beliefs when it comes to treatment of women and gays) to show that the issue with the KKK and Nazi party isn't extremity of belief but actual threat. I doubt that eich would have been censured for contribution to the Amish even though they treat gays in their community far worse that anything likely to occur in Prop 8.

I certainly understand that you Joshua weren't making a moral equivalency. I'm simply exploring your question and trying to strip away non belief issues which arise with your specific chosen examples.

OTOH, prop 8 wasn't just an issue of belief but of political action. So if we broaden the question beyond mere belief, the KKK and neonazis do become a relevant contrast. Does that make sense?

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Seriati
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I think we have struck the wrong balance on protection of free speech with our rules prohibitting anonymous donations. It's tough to say, because they have been abused so much, but we've crossed to the point that even minor donations are being used to relentless target and intimidate people for what are supposed to be protected political expressions.

In this case, I think it's interesting you have an analogy to the KKK, because in fact, he could have donated to any number of hate organizations that actually attempt to suppress gay rights, but choose to donate on an issue that involves two conflicting moral views and arguably is not intentionally directed as hate speech. It's like claiming essentially that a donation to the NAACP since it involves racial preferences is the same thing as a donation to the KKK.

Our rights need a new kind of protection in a world where information is so accessible, so permanent and so easily abusable.

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DonaldD
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I see this whole situation as less a particular example of a new liberal orthodoxy and more as evidence of the ongoing radicalization of western but mostly US politics - basically the evolution of politics as a blood sport and modern lynching as a product of the twitterverse.

Basically, I blame the internet.

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Pete at Home
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"I don't think this extends to all ideas. It's a hard distinction, though. I know there are many in the SSM movement who see those who oppose it as extremely malevolent and evil. I think they are wrong, but how do we make the distinction"

I think the distinction lies in action and conduct. I can't think of any group that needs suppression whose conduct is entirely lawful.

The closest thing to a borderline case with that rule would be the westboro Baptist Church, where belief is hateful and conduct marginally lawful. But the hateful conduct there isn't their lawfully petitioning their legislators. And it's not like the WBC people actually work for a living, either, nor do they try to interact. No need to dig out their secret hatefulness. They wear it on their sleeves.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Seri: It's like claiming essentially that a donation to the NAACP since it involves racial preferences is the same thing as a donation to the KKK.
Please be clear: I wasn't drawing a parallel between the two.
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D.W.
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quote:
I can't think of any group that needs suppression whose conduct is entirely lawful.
Did someone unlawfully remove him from his job? His speech wasn't supressed. It did have negative consequences for him. This is a form of bullying to be sure but I don't think anything unlawful happened, did it?

Then again if money is speech, and his loss of job is loss of speech potential, then was there suppression?

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JoshuaD
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quote:
D.W.Then again if money is speech, and his loss of job is loss of speech potential, then was there suppression?
His speech wasn't suppressed, but he was punished for having a political view.

This is the sort of thing many liberals have worked hard to avoid. But for some reason, some liberals are now supporting it. (Many here are not). I think it's sad.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Seri: It's like claiming essentially that a donation to the NAACP since it involves racial preferences is the same thing as a donation to the KKK.
Please be clear: I wasn't drawing a parallel between the two.
I always enjoy your posts, but what you intend is not what you get when you bring up one of, if not the most, politically charged groups as an example, what you get is a mess. There's a reason use of Nazi's as argument on the net is an automatic loss, and the same logic extends to using the KKK as an example.

[ April 23, 2014, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Seriati ]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Seri:I always enjoy your posts...
Thank you, I always enjoy yours as well. [Smile]


quote:
Seri:...but what you intend is not what you get when you bring up one of, if not the most, politically charged groups as an example, what you get is a mess. There's a reason use of Nazi's as argument on the net is an automatic loss, and the same logic extends to using the KKK as an example.
It doesn't need to be that way. At least you and I can be more reasonable than that. [Smile]

I think the public was wrong to call for this man's dismissal.

Even if I was very much pro-SSM, I believe I would still think this. For the record, I am the definition of neutral on this topic; I can see both sides and I have no idea which one is more right.

So regarding this topic, I agree with the sentiment of the original post. That being said, I question the exact reasoning which gets to that sentiment:

quote:
Original Post:Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.
I question what the outside bounds are on our responsibility to respect different opinions. I wonder what ideas require suppression.

---

There was a book I found when I was a kid: Getting Even - The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks. It talked about how to get your neighbors arrested, how to get them in trouble with the EPA, how to make a smoke bomb that would cover a neighborhood, and how to otherwise take extraordinarily vengeful acts against people. As a kid it seemed rebellious and mischievous, so I thought it was the coolest.

When I got older, I burned that book as part of an art project titled "Burn Bad Books."

I don't think we should burn books, except when we should. I don't think we should burn Tom Sawyer or 1984 or Lolita or 50 Shades of Gray. But I do think I was right to burn this book.

---

As a matter of principle, I tend to believe the bounds of respect for differing political positions should be very wide. But I don't think the bounds are infinite.

I don't think this man should have been forced to quit for supporting Prop 8.

In perhaps the most extreme case, I do think, for example, if he had donated to Al-Qaeda, he should have been forced to quit (in addition to facing any legal repercussions.)

I brought up the Nazis and the KKK because I wanted extreme cases, which weren't illegal, to test the boundaries of that tolerance, and to try to uncover the actual set of rules and ideas that govern the sentiment which seem intuitively right to me.

I don't think we shouldn't oust CEOs for political opinions, except when we should.

I honestly don't know if we should be able to chase him from his job if he donated to the KKK.

It's clear to me that we shouldn't in the case of SSM, or even abortion. But I don't know where the line is. There is a line, and I brought up the KKK and the Nazis to try to find where that line is (and what the reasoning behind that line is).

What are your thoughts?

[ April 23, 2014, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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scifibum
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quote:
It's clear to me that we shouldn't in the case of SSM, or even abortion. But I don't know where the line is. There is a line, and I brought up the KKK and the Nazis to try to find where that line is (and what the reasoning behind that line is).
I also think this is an interesting question, and it's a bit troubling, to me, that I can't identify a line, but I am also not actually comfortable with the idea that every odious belief should be tolerated. I suppose it's a bit of a lesson in realism - there is not always a way to identify the correct application of principles.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Seri: It's like claiming essentially that a donation to the NAACP since it involves racial preferences is the same thing as a donation to the KKK.
Please be clear: I wasn't drawing a parallel between the two.
I always enjoy your posts, but what you intend is not what you get when you bring up one of, if not the most, politically charged groups as an example, what you get is a mess. There's a reason use of Nazi's as argument on the net is an automatic loss, and the same logic extends to using the KKK as an example.
Tangent: Godwin's law was an observation about an amusing tendency of long online debates. It is not a rule about who loses. </PSA>
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Pete at Home
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Seriati, If people want to run around at night in masks terrorizing and killing members of a suppressed group, a KKK comparison is fair. There are fair parallels between the Taliban's treament of women and the KKK treatment of blacks.

If someone promotes death camps for a minority, or calls for mass censorship of books by subversive writers, or creates a civil disturbance and uses that as a pretext to clamp down on civil rights, or declares that lawful speech and assembly of political opponents is "terrorism", well, analogies to Nazism are dead on.

But using Nazis and KKK as stand ins for "discrimination" demonstrates some seriously defective thinking.

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Pete at Home
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Joshua, the Nazis and the KKK have historically operated illegally. Look elsewhere for an example.of extreme legal behavior. Westboro Baptist Church is the ugliest example I can think of. Although I don't think that much of what they do should be legal ... it's a defect of law, a gross flaw in the civil rights compensation for attorney fees that basically sets up professional con job operations.
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JoshuaD
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Pete: What are your thoughts on the question I highlighted? What should be the dividing line between tolerance and suppression of contrary ideas?
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Pete at Home
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I have not seen any case where an idea needed to be suppressed. As best I can see, acoety can afford to tolerate any ideology as long as behaviors are checked.

Suppression of Nazi propaganda just makes it more attractive in Europe. Let them speak in the open forum where their ideas can be exploded and shredded in fair debate. As happened with JB here.

Make fair laws, enforce them, and let the marketplace of ideas take care of itself.

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hobsen
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Just now I looked over Andrew Sullivan's denunciation of Eich's treatment in the New York Times.

He led off with a quote referring to Eich's "thousands of dollars" contributed in opposing the right of couples to "same sex civil marriage" in California. So far as I recall, Eich donated $1000 to a campaign on which the two sides spent over a hundred million dollars in contributions reported to the state of California, not to mention the imputed value of thousands of hours contributed by Mormon volunteers who took their message to almost every street in California. And the marriages which took place were not only civil but religious; forbidding clergymen to marry same sex couples was beyond the power of California, once any such marriages were allowed. Anyway Eich's contribution to the passage of Proposition 8 was probably infinitesimal.

Another respondent made the interesting point that Eich's downfall came less at the hands of gay activists than at the hands of tech savvy professionals who have recently come to support gay marriage with the enthusiasm of recent converts. I suspect that is right, and that it marks a recent shift in opinion.

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Pete at Home
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perhaps another example might persuade me. I just can't think of ideas to be suppressed. Other than say WMD technical schematics.

Words which amount to sedition or incitement of violence may be suppressed, but those are unlawful actions, not ideas.

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Pete at Home
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Hobsen, I agree with your source that the Inquisition is not gay driven.

for years I have made the point on this forum that those who were turning same sex marriage into an inquisition argument are generally straight people who have a jihad against Christianity and are just using lgbt issues as a front to attack it, or to attack basic family ideals. Second nastiest are straights who are out to prove how open minded they are. Gays are generally much more tolerant that either of those crusading straight groups.

But the techies part of your source is a half-lie. The techies part was clear, but it wasn't techies that looked up the contribution in the first place. There are revenge groups dedicated to disseminating those hit lists.

This event makes me reverse all my support for campaign finance reform. If contribution lists are being turned into hit lists, then svrew it. I would rather live in a corporate bought out corrupt state, then in a revenge-driven hate state.

This use of donor lists makes the lists themselves a violation of the constitutional right to petition the government. Smooth move, ex lax. They just destroyed the constitutionality of campaign finance reform.

[ April 23, 2014, 07:01 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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DJQuag
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People still have the right to petition the government.

I'm not sure how giving money to a campaign to convince people to vote for P8 is petitioning the government, anyway.

But, even if for the sake of argument it is, or you are speaking to the larger issue of donating to specific politicians, then this right is not in danger.

What might happen, is that citizens might learn that someone has donated to a really odious cause or person, and they might choose not to associate themselves or their money with the donator. Which is fine. The right to petition the government is still there.

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DJQuag
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Yeah, I'm still completely okay with what happened to Eich.

Freedom of association, freedom of speech. Eich exercised both. So, unfortunately for him, did his customer base, and they chose to exercise those rights.

Actions have consequences. Even speech, if others find it objectionable, can have consequences. Most especially when a large part of your customer base finds it objectionable.

I agree that at some point, an action is so small that it would be silly to boycott. (But not immoral.) Most here obviously think that Eich's actions against marriage were that small. I'm on the fence about whether I personally would have boycotted Mozilla over the issue, but I understand why others would want to, and fully support their right to do so.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
This use of donor lists makes the lists themselves a violation of the constitutional right to petition the government. Smooth move, ex lax. They just destroyed the constitutionality of campaign finance reform.

That's absurd. The Constitution protects people from legal punishment for or restriction of protected actions. It does not, in any way, even implicitly, protect people from social repercussions of their public actions.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
I think the public was wrong to call for this man's dismissal.

The "public" did not. I suspect if you took a poll of the public, you'd find a vast majority didn't know who he was, and if you polled everyone about whether he should have lost his job over his stance on an Amendment that passed with a majority vote in CA, notwithstanding his established history in business (in which there was every evidence he was as anti-discrimination as any othe senior executive), you'd find a majority would have said he should not.

What we have is a media fueled which hunt. where any single non-orthodox (forgive the expression) view is a Scarlet letter from which no consequence no matter how disproportionate is too much. Imagine if the law of War operated on this principal, we could invade and replace the government of say Mexico if a single police officer crossed the border as a protest in favor of reunification. We could destroy any country that even had a tie to terrorism with nuclear fire, and since the started the wrong its justified. There is a such a lack of proportionality, such a disproportionate consequence on one person for something that a majority of voters of one of the largest states voted for and there is such a gross lack of even a modicum of embarrasment in the ends justify the means crowd (which never seems to think through how their opposite numbers might apply that same philosophy if we give up the rules of fair play).
quote:
Even if I was very much pro-SSM, I believe I would still think this. For the record, I am the definition of neutral on this topic; I can see both sides and I have no idea which one is more right.
I am not remotely neutral. I very much support SSM, I think its inevitable and its a shame that both parties don't clearly support it. However, I'm of the view that the Rule of Law is even more important (and before you ask, I think that on other issues as well that are more directly applicable to me).
quote:
I question what the outside bounds are on our responsibility to respect different opinions. I wonder what ideas require suppression.
No idea "requires" suppression, they require challenging. Everyone is committed to the first amenmdment in "general" but support drops off rapidly as you walk through examples. It's actually kind of embarrassing sometimes how little people things through.
quote:
When I got older, I burned that book as part of an art project titled "Burn Bad Books."

I don't think we should burn books, except when we should. I don't think we should burn Tom Sawyer or 1984 or Lolita or 50 Shades of Gray. But I do think I was right to burn this book.

Why? Is the knowledge imparted only something that can be used for wrong? Can it never be used to protect, or inspire? Can it not be used to train the guardian's? What makes the book "wrong" is the intent of its usage, not the knowlege it imparts, but that is something that we should be trained to understand.
quote:
As a matter of principle, I tend to believe the bounds of respect for differing political positions should be very wide. But I don't think the bounds are infinite.
Respect is not the correct word. I don't require you to respect the positions. I require that you respect the system, it is worthy of respect. And that means open challenges of ideas, not petty destruction and intimidation.
quote:
I brought up the Nazis and the KKK because I wanted extreme cases, which weren't illegal, to test the boundaries of that tolerance, and to try to uncover the actual set of rules and ideas that govern the sentiment which seem intuitively right to me.
But those cases are so morally loaded as to be useless. If you look at that first amendment question, support for the KKK for instance having a right to speak, often drops below 25%. That's so one sided as to be a direct threat to people even understanding what free speach is.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
I think the public was wrong to call for this man's dismissal.


The public did not. They asked him to apologize for the harm they felt he had done to them.

He eventually decided that he would rather step down than offer that apology or try to deal with people unwilling to do business with him because he did not apologize.
quote:
quote:
Original Post:Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.
I question what the outside bounds are on our responsibility to respect different opinions. I wonder what ideas require suppression.
People can say what they like, we, in turn can respond as we like, so long as we don't use direct physical force or abuse explicit positions of power to punish them. That includes, from a customer stand point, refusing to do business with someone who you feel is harmful to you.

quote:
As a matter of principle, I tend to believe the bounds of respect for differing political positions should be very wide. But I don't think the bounds are infinite.
Sure, but one can respect another's positions but still object to them, express pain caused by them, and even personally choose to refuse to associate with them- all of that is inherent to personal freedoms.

quote:
I don't think this man should have been forced to quit for supporting Prop 8.
It's good that he wasn't then.

quote:
I brought up the Nazis and the KKK because I wanted extreme cases, which weren't illegal, to test the boundaries of that tolerance, and to try to uncover the actual set of rules and ideas that govern the sentiment which seem intuitively right to me.
Tolerance of a KK member means that I acknowledge that they are legally allowed to believe or say what they want to say or identify as they want to identify. It does not mean that I surrender my right to argue that I believe they are wrong or to try to socially convince them to change their position. IT just means that I understand that I they have the right to choose to maintain or separate from that association on their own initiative, I cannot use legal force to make that decision on their behalf.

quote:
I don't think we shouldn't oust CEOs for political opinions, except when we should.
Sure, but we should absolutely factor in the political consequences of doing business with a a given person or company , particularly in light of the Supreme Court rulings that corporations have the same right as people to directly engage in political activity. The freedom to engage in public debate comes with all of the social downsides of doing so, including the freedom of others not to associate with you if they feel that your positions are directly toxic to them.

He spoke publicly on the matter of SSM, and the people doing business with him responded to what he said. No one with power over him forced him to do anything.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
This use of donor lists makes the lists themselves a violation of the constitutional right to petition the government. Smooth move, ex lax. They just destroyed the constitutionality of campaign finance reform.

That's absurd. The Constitution protects people from legal punishment for or restriction of protected actions. It does not, in any way, even implicitly, protect people from social repercussions of their public actions.
You aren't paying attention. If the lists are being used to single people out for private repercussions then having the GOVERNMENT compile the lists is unconstitutional. Yes you can persecute heretics within limits but you don't have the right to have the government provide you with a convenient little list of people with improper thoughts.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
I think the public was wrong to call for this man's dismissal.

The "public" did not. I suspect if you took a poll of the public, you'd find a vast majority didn't know who he was, and if you polled everyone about whether he should have lost his job over his stance on an Amendment that passed with a majority vote in CA, notwithstanding his established history in business (in which there was every evidence he was as anti-discrimination as any othe senior executive), you'd find a majority would have said he should not.

What we have is a media fueled which hunt. where any single non-orthodox (forgive the expression) view is a Scarlet letter from which no consequence no matter how disproportionate is too much. Imagine if the law of War operated on this principal, we could invade and replace the government of say Mexico if a single police officer crossed the border as a protest in favor of reunification. We could destroy any country that even had a tie to terrorism with nuclear fire, and since the started the wrong its justified. There is a such a lack of proportionality, such a disproportionate consequence on one person for something that a majority of voters of one of the largest states voted for and there is such a gross lack of even a modicum of embarrasment in the ends justify the means crowd (which never seems to think through how their opposite numbers might apply that same philosophy if we give up the rules of fair play).
quote:
Even if I was very much pro-SSM, I believe I would still think this. For the record, I am the definition of neutral on this topic; I can see both sides and I have no idea which one is more right.
I am not remotely neutral. I very much support SSM, I think its inevitable and its a shame that both parties don't clearly support it. However, I'm of the view that the Rule of Law is even more important (and before you ask, I think that on other issues as well that are more directly applicable to me).
quote:
I question what the outside bounds are on our responsibility to respect different opinions. I wonder what ideas require suppression.
No idea "requires" suppression, they require challenging. Everyone is committed to the first amenmdment in "general" but support drops off rapidly as you walk through examples. It's actually kind of embarrassing sometimes how little people things through.
quote:
When I got older, I burned that book as part of an art project titled "Burn Bad Books."

I don't think we should burn books, except when we should. I don't think we should burn Tom Sawyer or 1984 or Lolita or 50 Shades of Gray. But I do think I was right to burn this book.

Why? Is the knowledge imparted only something that can be used for wrong? Can it never be used to protect, or inspire? Can it not be used to train the guardian's? What makes the book "wrong" is the intent of its usage, not the knowlege it imparts, but that is something that we should be trained to understand.
quote:
As a matter of principle, I tend to believe the bounds of respect for differing political positions should be very wide. But I don't think the bounds are infinite.
Respect is not the correct word. I don't require you to respect the positions. I require that you respect the system, it is worthy of respect. And that means open challenges of ideas, not petty destruction and intimidation.
quote:
I brought up the Nazis and the KKK because I wanted extreme cases, which weren't illegal, to test the boundaries of that tolerance, and to try to uncover the actual set of rules and ideas that govern the sentiment which seem intuitively right to me.
But those cases are so morally loaded as to be useless. If you look at that first amendment question, support for the KKK for instance having a right to speak, often drops below 25%. That's so one sided as to be a direct threat to people even understanding what free speach is.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
This event makes me reverse all my support for campaign finance reform. If contribution lists are being turned into hit lists, then svrew it. I would rather live in a corporate bought out corrupt state, then in a revenge-driven hate state.

This use of donor lists makes the lists themselves a violation of the constitutional right to petition the government. Smooth move, ex lax. They just destroyed the constitutionality of campaign finance reform.

The lists were intended to remove corruption from the process, but when they allow for the insertion of intimidation instead they have failed in their purpose to make the debate more open. After this kind of thread and the "debate" on 501c(4)'s purpose being to "funnel dark money", I'm now of the view that we may need donor anonimity protection laws.

Making contributions to causes should not be free license for publication of every detail of your life, and consequent persecution by hate groups.

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D.W.
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Donor anonymity laws would be the perfect 1-2 punch to accompany recent lifting of donor restrictions. Protect their freedom of spending, err I mean speech, and then mask that they ever did so. Then you can safely pull the strings of government without any fear that someone will catch you at it. Fantastic.

I feel like a one man hate group against that outcome already.

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Seriati
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Or D.W. they could be designed to flow through a warehousing system that only let you contribute so much anonymously - like maybe five thousand dollars. I agree there is a public interest in ensuring that enough money to influence a politician doesn't flow from an anonymous source.

However, I'm still off put by "outrage" when we ignore things like "bundlers" who end up with ambassadorships and other payola, or where a corporation making a donation is evil but a labor union is not.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Or D.W. they could be designed to flow through a warehousing system that only let you contribute so much anonymously - like maybe five thousand dollars. I agree there is a public interest in ensuring that enough money to influence a politician doesn't flow from an anonymous source.

Which SCotUS struck down, twice over now, saying that free speech is better served though unlimited spending, so long as there's full disclosure sure of who's spending so that they can be socially be held accountable instead, per freedoms of association.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Donor anonymity laws would be the perfect 1-2 punch to accompany recent lifting of donor restrictions. Protect their freedom of spending, err I mean speech, and then mask that they ever did so. Then you can safely pull the strings of government without any fear that someone will catch you at it. Fantastic.

I feel like a one man hate group against that outcome already.

Last week I was a firm support of campaign finance reform. Now, Pyr's talk of "natural consequences" has firmply turned me.around. if losing one's life's work is the "natural consequence" of donating $1000 to a state voter initiative, it seems the only way to protect freedom to petition the government for redress is to stop sharing those names with the public.

Smooth move. Pyr, when you see CFR repealed, just remember that it's the natural consequence of arguments like yours.

[ April 24, 2014, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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