Freedom of thought and speech vs morality
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  1. #1

    Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    I'm sure that everyone here will agree that freedom of thought and speech is very important. I'm also sure that eve... well, most people here will agree that there are ideologies that caused an enormous amount of harm (nazism being the most commonly accepted example, communism and especially stalinism being another). Isn't there a contradiction here? How relative is freedom of thought and speech? Do ideologies that directly threaten freedom of thought and speech have to be censored to ensure survival of said freedom, or does that, on the contrary, directly lead to its destruction?

    Also, as always in political-ish threads, keep things civil and realistic, please. No illuminati, no insults.
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  2. #2

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Marshall View Post
    Do ideologies that directly threaten freedom of thought and speech have to be censored to ensure survival of said freedom, or does that, on the contrary, directly lead to its destruction?
    The paradox of tolerance is what you're looking for:

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Popper
    Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen View Post
    The paradox of tolerance is what you're looking for:
    Nice, thank you! I had never seen that, but came to that conclusion myself.
    It makes a lot of sense, but leads to another question, this one being more touchy: where's the limit, the "balance" secondpassing refers to? Someone certainly can manipulate whoever is necessary to manipulate in order to change the definition of "intolerants", and make a tolerant society become overly intolerant. Therefore, such societies are bound to fall and evolve* into intolerance, and a strong intolerance of ideas leads to authoritarianism in all cases (lack of opposition to governing power), creating an eternal cycle of democracy-authoritarianism for as long as a specific society exists, assuming that authoritarianism also always evolves* to a form of democracy. Consequently, the aforementioned balance would be necessary to find in order to maintain any form of "real" democracy**.


    *The word evolve here is not positive or negative, but only refers to a change in a society's system.
    **Real democracies being systems where the people in general have a voice that can and will be heard in a pacific manner, and where that voice is able to cause changes.
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  5. #5

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Marshall View Post
    It makes a lot of sense, but leads to another question, this one being more touchy: where's the limit, the "balance" secondpassing refers to? ]
    I think it's rather simple; I don't like pineapple pizza, so I can choose to never eat it, and to avoid gathering with those who eat it all day long, but I can't go from house to house shouting at people's faces so they stop eating it, invading pizza places and spitting on clients who are eating pineapple pizzas, demanding that people who like them can't live here, hiring some unskilled idiot instead of a way better candidate just because the latter eats pineapple pizza, suggesting that their houses should be taken and given to those who like "better" pizzas, or rallying others to attack them...

    As long as you aren't hurting anyone nor inciting others to do it, you should be free to say and do whatever you want. Once you start messing with other people, that's when you don't get to be tolerated anymore as you are clearly unfit to live in a tolerant society.
    Last edited by Sen; May 9th, 2020 at 11:23 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Marshall View Post
    I'm sure that everyone here will agree that freedom of thought and speech is very important. I'm also sure that eve... well, most people here will agree that there are ideologies that caused an enormous amount of harm (nazism being the most commonly accepted example, communism and especially stalinism being another). Isn't there a contradiction here? How relative is freedom of thought and speech? Do ideologies that directly threaten freedom of thought and speech have to be censored to ensure survival of said freedom, or does that, on the contrary, directly lead to its destruction?

    Also, as always in political-ish threads, keep things civil and realistic, please. No illuminati, no insults.
    Hypothetically, if you don’t allow at least some limited discourse on those themes, someone, in the future, is bound to make the same mistakes that led to the rise of those ideologies. The issue, I think, is that these ideologies will always be attractive to some people, to certain degrees. It may be that to some degree, these ideologies are only bad when taken to their logical extremes - against all moral feelings and respect for other people. So you could argue that it might make sense to outlaw such ideologies. As long as you teach people why they’re wrong. And you need to offer a bloody well detailed story of their rise and the mistakes they made, lest someone be tempted to repeat them again.
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  7. #7

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    I think it depends on the degree to which you ‘censor’ such ideologies: does that mean you’ll find it very difficult to find a job if you’re the proponent of such an ideology? Does it mean you’ll end up in jail?

    i suspect that the people who would support such an ideology are exactly the kind of people who would not be deterred by such threats. So, perhaps it might be better to outlaw them. You just need it crystal clear of what you’re outlawing. For instance, hypothetically, maybe from some certain perspective communism and nazism weren’t completely wrong (I’m not saying this is the case, I’m just saying it’s possible). You don’t want to ban healthy conservatism or a healthy left wing just because Hitler and Stalin were nut jobs (if you consider Hitler to be a conservative).
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  8. #8

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    It’s also the case that people who support such ideologies might be very well tempted to window dress them and present them in a seemingly respectable manner (or perhaps to switch to an equally perverse one that hasn’t been outlawed yet). So by outlawing them, maybe all you’re really doing is forcing their proponents to find a different murderous idea to uphold.
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  9. #9

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganelon View Post
    It’s also the case that people who support such ideologies might be very well tempted to window dress them and present them in a seemingly respectable manner (or perhaps to switch to an equally perverse one that hasn’t been outlawed yet). So by outlawing them, maybe all you’re really doing is forcing their proponents to find a different murderous idea to uphold.
    I think this literally happened to Hitler. Very early articles on Nazism described it as ‘similar to Leninism’. Communism, I suspect - though feel free to correct me if I’m wrong - was unpopular (illegal?) in post-war Germany. He quickly rebranded it as ‘national socialism’.
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  10. #10

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    I did find something. According to Wikipedia, Hitler changed his tactics after he was thrown in jail - he turned the Nazi party into a reactionary movement because the army and the government were anti-communist (but conservative).
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  11. #11

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Ugh why am I always so incoherent
    Ill try again.
    What does outlawing them really do? The leaders of an extremist movement are not deterred by punishment -these people are determined, at all costs, to seize power. Their ideology is simply a somewhat-respectable front for their profound hatred of humanity and complete disregard for human existence. By outlawing their ideology, all you’re doing is forcing them to find a new, equally murderous idea to rally behind. So clearly you're not outlawing them to stop the leaders - the leaders will stop at nothing to seize power. You’re concerned about the populace - who might be tempted to support the regime, however, according to the Wikipedia article on the iranian revolution, in most revolutions, less than 1% of the population rallies behind the revolutionaries.

    So what does outlawing it really do? Whoever forgets the past is bound to repeat the same mistakes in the future. I think that on the contrary, they should never be outlawed. And I think schools should teach exactly what was wrong with those ideologies, and exactly why they weren’t ‘imperfect’ applications of a grand idea (like people often say of communism). All ideas taken to their extremes become murderous beyond comprehension. What you need to teach people ismkoderation. These movements would never succeed if people understood why they were wrong, and how colossally catastrophic they were going to be. As apathetic as I think the average person is - think about it, were all staying our homes right now just because the government is telling us to- very few people are actually rebelling against the government to lessen the restrictions, or even attempting discourse to see if the lockdown is really still necessary. However, hypothetically let’s say the government randomly decided to start killing everyone over the age of 80. Nobody would support this.

    A less contrived example would be the following: imagine that someone suggests Jews are responsible for all the evils that have been wrought in the world. Of course nobody in their right mind would support such a politician - in the West, anyways. However - communism is far less controversial than fascism, even though it has been profoundly more murderous than fascism (not that fascism wasn’t murderous or that they wouldn’t have murdered people - they just didn’t have enough time or the resources to do so. And I’d say Hitler was probably significantly more intelligent than Stalin and knew he couldn’t just kill everyone who disagreed with him in Germany - he was at war. You cannot kill your officers in a time of war and expect to win the war easily). I find that this is baffling. ‘True’ communism has been tried. It sucked. Maybe a mild center-left ideology would work or some extent, but most certainly not communism.
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  12. #12

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Unrelated but if anyone is familiar with Jordan Peterson, when writing that wall
    of text I was mostly thinking about his views on totalitarianism. When I finished I promptly cleaned my room. 😂
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  13. #13

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    What. "Do ideologies that directly threaten freedom of thought and speech have to be censored to ensure survival of said freedom". How does one ensure the freedom of something they seek to destroy? There was no free speech in your examples. If you dissented from the status quo you were shot, they weren't covert about their intentions. If you mean an ideologue leader(s) being covert about their censorship of freedom of speech, I don't see how that is attainable without being obvious. A government recently tried to be coy about slipping in a law compelling speech and people lost their shit.

  14. #14

  15. #15

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Agree 100%. This happened in Canada and there was massive backlash against the government over it.
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  16. #16

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen View Post
    I think it's rather simple; I don't like pineapple pizza, so I can choose to never eat it, and to avoid gathering with those who eat it all day long, but I can't go from house to house shouting at people's faces so they stop eating it, invading pizza places and spitting on clients who are eating pineapple pizzas, demanding that people who like them can't live here, hiring some unskilled idiot instead of a way better candidate just because the latter eats pineapple pizza, suggesting that their houses should be taken and given to those who like "better" pizzas, or rallying others to attack them...

    As long as you aren't hurting anyone nor inciting others to do it, you should be free to say and do whatever you want. Once you start messing with other people, that's when you don't get to be tolerated anymore as you are clearly unfit to live in a tolerant society.
    100 % agreed. There's just one thing I'd like to point out: while this is rather simple, reality is not. The notion of "hurting others" can have multiple definitions and interpretations; a good example of this would be religious questions (e.g., can sikh people wear a knife all day everyday because it's part of their religion, or is that a threat to other people's security?).
    Oh and. I like your example xD
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganelon View Post
    Hypothetically, if you don’t allow at least some limited discourse on those themes, someone, in the future, is bound to make the same mistakes that led to the rise of those ideologies. The issue, I think, is that these ideologies will always be attractive to some people, to certain degrees. It may be that to some degree, these ideologies are only bad when taken to their logical extremes - against all moral feelings and respect for other people. So you could argue that it might make sense to outlaw such ideologies. As long as you teach people why they’re wrong. And you need to offer a bloody well detailed story of their rise and the mistakes they made, lest someone be tempted to repeat them again.
    Exactly, and that is one of the reasons why history is of great importance. However, I was talking about people who already support ideologies that could be qualified as "dangerous", ideologies that promote intolerance and/or authoritarianism, who are already "converted", so to speak.
    Hitler raised to power by convincing the masses because not many people realized what he could lead to, so you are right that schools should teach this better.

    Rumox, I was talking about tolerant societies, not about those who promote intolerant ideologies lol, there would be no debate whatsoever, it's either jail or executon in those cases. And again, what is "obviously unacceptable" is subject to interpretation; see my reply to Sen.
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  17. #17

  18. #18

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    I think you should read my last post. The one you quoted above has basically nothing to do with what I just said.
    I don't think there's any reason to restrict speech about crazy ideologies. Nobody in their right mind today would support a fascist, for instance.
    e.
    In Canada, it's illegal to refuse to refer to a transgender person by their pronoun. Not immortal, not "not" fad, ILLEGAL. As in, you can be fined or go to jail for doing that.
    There was a very huge controversy over that law - the professor I mentioned (Jordan Peterson) was basically reprimanded by faculty members for attacking the bill. A TA at a different university was also heavily criticised for showing a video of Peterson - because the faculty members in question were afraid they could be affected if someone broke the law. It's really fucking bad.

    I recently watched a video a girl made about this. She basically legally changed her gender to Male (even though she was most clearly a woman) within a day by just intimidating the people responsible for that, lol.

    Lastly, the best defence against this sort of thing is to properly cover it, not censor it. I have absolutely no doubts that nobody in Russia would've followed Lenin if they'd known what was to come.

    I'll give you another example. The French Revolution. After Robespierre, literally nobody wanted to hear about that bit ever again. France has only had one totalitarian uprising since then (the Paris Commune). I don't think people forget this sort of thing. And I think the real problem with revolutions isn't that people believe in the new leaders' ideology or whatever; its that people are complacent. They either believe that nobody is that insane, that its not really that dangerous, or they just simply don't give a crap. There's no antidote for the latter; for the former two, education. It's why I find the idea that communism isn't as vilified as it should be detestable and incredibly dangerous.

    At the risk of going full 1984, compelled speech leads to compelled thinking. It should be avoided at all costs.
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  19. #19

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Also, if you censor dangerous ideologies, the ideologues will just find a different ideology to latch onto.
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  20. #20

    Re: Freedom of thought and speech vs morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganelon View Post
    In Canada, it's illegal to refuse to refer to a transgender person by their pronoun. Not immortal, not "not" fad, ILLEGAL. As in, you can be fined or go to jail for doing that.
    Bro, you're either a straight up liar or extremely gullible. This isn't true in the slightest, and you won't find a single example of someone being fined or going to jail for that. Even fucking Fox News says this is wrong: https://www.foxnews.com/world/not-re...gender-pronoun

    You need to learn to think for yourself and stop listening to biased media and right-wing demagogues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganelon View Post
    I recently watched a video a girl made about this. She basically legally changed her gender to Male (even though she was most clearly a woman) within a day by just intimidating the people responsible for that, lol.
    I don't see your point with this; lying to doctors that you have ADHD to get adderall doesn't mean you have ADHD. It doesn't remove the legitimacy of people with ADHD.

    Also if you want to keep your alt-right views as hidden as possible you probably shouldn't admit to supporting Lauren Southern, who's been banned from the UK for stirring up hatred, supports white supremacy and creating an ethnostate, and supports the theory of there being an organized replacement of white people (probably by (((them))) of course, since she's a good friend of Richard Spencer).

    Before you accuse me of having a rude tone or whatever, keep in mind that as a Canadian I have to say I'm tired of people spreading right-wing lies and bullshit about my country and listening to proto-fascists who completely make things up about a place they hate just to stir up shit. Feel free to criticize your own country but don't slander mine if you don't have the decency and critical thinking skills to verify whatever you say, and don't champion the beliefs of our own disgraced and widely hated neo-Nazis if you don't know the first thing about the place they're trying to destroy.
    Last edited by oops_ur_dead; May 11th, 2020 at 02:35 AM.

 

 

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