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Old 2008-12-31, 05:20   Link #61
Mueti
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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
Eventually racists will all grow irrelevant.
Yep, at the latest when their race is the only one left. Problem solved, yay for racism. Sheesh...
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Old 2008-12-31, 05:25   Link #62
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
Eventually racists will all grow irrelevant. They are noticeable simply because there is demand for them.
That makes no sense whatsoever. Unless there's some kind of slave market where racist slaves are popular or something...
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Old 2008-12-31, 05:46   Link #63
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
That makes no sense whatsoever. Unless there's some kind of slave market where racist slaves are popular or something...
You actively trying to pull the horse don't make sense either.
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Old 2008-12-31, 11:10   Link #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
That would be because then, it wouldn't be yelling fire that's forbidden, but causing a panic. The law would look exactly like the other laws.

What you're trying to say, I think, is that we should allow free speech but place punishment on, say, lynching. (Which isn't really the same as your confusing spiel about consequences. Everything has consequences, including consequences.) By the same token, drunk driving should be allowed and there should be no speed limits. It's causing car accidents that should be forbidden, right?
No, I can't find a law that says if you cause panic you go to jail. If every time someone does that something happens to them then sure. Once again, it's the severity of the panic that has to be taken into account, which you can theorize but can't measure until after the action itself.

Once again, if I go 41 mph in a 40 mph area, no cop is going to stop me, even though I "broke" the law. It's the severity of the action that has to be taken into account. Drunk driving is definitely allowed, sure. The cop sitting in his car doesn't know it's drunk driving. He stops drivers when he thinks people might get hurt, which doesn't have anything to do with drunk driving. But then you might say that there must be general "laws" in place. Well, they're more like guidelines, which is why every drunk driver doesn't get the same punishment.

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I personally feel that imprudent actions should be punished even if you luck out this timeand don't cause anything bad.
I also feel that the imprudent actions should be punished. That's completely different from forbidding someone to perform imprudent actions. No one "lucks out." If the communist party can get on the ballot in the US, I wonder why this comedian got into trouble. Also, society depends on the stupid and the ignorant. If everyone were smart, then we wouldn't have people doing the dirty work for us. Who then would be janitors/construction workers if everyone had a doctorate of some kind?

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But what if there are enough anti-semites to keep him afloat, or even well-off? What if, doing nothing, we send the message that it's ok to be anti-semite? For anti-semites to gather and unite and spread their hate and misinformation?
Why do we think anti-semitism is bad? Why do you think Hitler could get away with hating the Jews? We think anti-semitism is bad because many people think it's bad, not because a selected few holds the power to punish those who hate the Jews. If there are enough anti-semites to keep him afloat, then in my opinion, anti-semitism wouldn't be such a big problem.

Last edited by KholdStare; 2008-12-31 at 12:16. Reason: conventions etc...
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Old 2008-12-31, 12:10   Link #65
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Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
Why do we think anti-semitism is bad? Why do you think the Hitler could get away with hating the Jews? We think anti-semitism is bad because many people think it's bad, not because a selected few holds the power to punish those who hate the Jews. If there are enough anti-semites to keep him afloat, then in my opinion, anti-semitism wouldn't be such a big problem.
This is a lovely opinion. Every law is based on popular opinion of what is "right". Look at ancient civilizations, Greece and rome, to be specific. Heterosexuality was looked at as something dirty and undesirable back then. It was popular opinion. These things change over time. Eventually, the same can and will happen regarding taboos.
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Old 2008-12-31, 13:12   Link #66
iLney
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
As TRL said, moving isn't always an option. Especially when you'd pretty much have to move to a whole different country. It also begs the question of where to move to.
It used to be "America"
Quote:
And I agree on one point: Freedom of Speech, on its own, is not a problem. If everything else is perfect, hate speeches won't find purchase. But reality is cruel: everything else is imperfect. We have plenty of problems which won't go away with a snap of the fingers. A government can hope some censorship of the most radical (in the government point of view, you can look at China for examples: there, even a plead to get one's home back is considered radical), most violent opinions will at least quell some of the aggravating factors.
The question is how imperfect it is. I believe that if the fault is minor enough, so will be the effect of a speech.

By taking away the freedom of speech in certain circumstances, the government either acknowledges the problem and does its best to tackle it, or simply crushes any opposition to its policy.

And a "radical" speech also either demonstrates the speaker's vicious intention or begs for some necessary reform since the country is really heading to a dangerous direction.

However, of the two devils in both scenario, the lesser one is the latter's. Why? Because once the government succeeds in doing something once, it'll repeat, of which there is no doubt.

Furthermore, there are many "tricks" for the government to discourage the speaker's legally.
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Old 2008-12-31, 14:02   Link #67
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Freedom of speech is perfectly fine, as long as the speaker do not possess a malicious and vicious intention. At the same time, making jokes about committing violence such as bombing places should be prohibited. Freedom of speech is a human right, but it should not be abused.
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Old 2008-12-31, 14:29   Link #68
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
No, I can't find a law that says if you cause panic you go to jail. If every time someone does that something happens to them then sure. Once again, it's the severity of the panic that has to be taken into account, which you can theorize but can't measure until after the action itself.
While an stupid prank like yelling "fire" (or at least activating the fire alarms - I'm not sure about the actual yelling, and I'm not a lawyer) can get compounded by it having unfortunate consequences, it is, in and of itself, illegal. You seem to think it shouldn't be. That's a defensible point of view, I guess. But the fact that laws are built in such a way that they allow for circumstances to affect the outcome doesn't make, say, murder or any other offense, legal. Even if the punishment is supposed to be in a range and the exact amount is decided in a court.

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Once again, if I go 41 mph in a 40 mph area, no cop is going to stop me, even though I "broke" the law.
We've got automated radars that will give you a ticket, though. Heck, I'm not sure you won't get stopped. Depends on how bored the policemen are.

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It's the severity of the action that has to be taken into account.
That's one factor, yes. It doesn't make driving at 41mph legal, though. Merely tolerated for practical reasons.

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Drunk driving is definitely allowed, sure. The cop sitting in his car doesn't know it's drunk driving. He stops drivers when he thinks people might get hurt, which doesn't have anything to do with drunk driving.
So your point of view is that it's legal as long you're not caught? Not a very useful one, since then everything is allowed. Except getting caught, of course. Which stretches the definition of "allowed" past its breaking point.

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But then you might say that there must be general "laws" in place. Well, they're more like guidelines, which is why every drunk driver doesn't get the same punishment.
The punishment is adjusted to take circumstances into account. But what's illegal remains so, even if the punishment ends up being merely symbolic. Or even if you're not caught. Or if you're let go because the legal system is too busy to deal with you.

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I also feel that the imprudent actions should be punished. That's completely different from forbidding someone to perform imprudent actions.
No, it really isn't. It's impossible to physically keep people from murdering each other. In the immense majority of cases, you can only punish after the fact. It still remains "forbidden".

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No one "lucks out." If the communist party can get on the ballot in the US, I wonder why this comedian got into trouble.
Different history, different culture, different laws. Or do you believe the American legal system is some kind of measure of absolute good? Not only the best, but the only perfect system, applicable in all places and at all times? Get real.

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Also, society depends on the stupid and the ignorant. If everyone were smart, then we wouldn't have people doing the dirty work for us. Who then would be janitors/construction workers if everyone had a doctorate of some kind?
Meaning it's in society's interest to keep the stupid and ignorant peaceful, rather than letting them whip themselves into a rioting frenzy.


Quote:
Why do we think anti-semitism is bad? Why do you think Hitler could get away with hating the Jews? We think anti-semitism is bad because many people think it's bad, not because a selected few holds the power to punish those who hate the Jews. If there are enough anti-semites to keep him afloat, then in my opinion, anti-semitism wouldn't be such a big problem.
Wait. Are you trying to tell me that the wrongness of anti-semitism is just a matter of popularity? That the Nazis were right to kill people because Hitler was democratically elected? That it'd be ok to send people to death camps, based solely on their race or religion, if such an ideology were to make a return into the mainstream? Is that what you're telling me?

Well, I can see that we have radically different worldviews. You see, I don't think popularity has anything to do with the rightness or wrongess of an idea. I'm ok with people holding unpopular ideas, like "Jar Jar was a good character". I'm not ok with genocide, no matter how popular it becomes.

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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
It used to be "America"
When was that? At the time of the witch trials? The McCarthy era?

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The question is how imperfect it is. I believe that if the fault is minor enough, so will be the effect of a speech.

By taking away the freedom of speech in certain circumstances, the government either acknowledges the problem and does its best to tackle it, or simply crushes any opposition to its policy.
It's not actually an either/or situation.

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And a "radical" speech also either demonstrates the speaker's vicious intention
Which becomes a rallying point for all the other vicious people around.
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or begs for some necessary reform since the country is really heading to a dangerous direction.

However, of the two devils in both scenario, the lesser one is the latter's. Why? Because once the government succeeds in doing something once, it'll repeat, of which there is no doubt.
Not supported by history. There has been some censorship since forever, and we can still pretty much say whatever we want about the government. Even the sale of voodoo dolls of the president is covered (though he managed to have the courts forbid the sale of the needles that went with it).

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Furthermore, there are many "tricks" for the government to discourage the speaker's legally.
What tricks would that be?


And actually, here, censorship doesn't protect the government's action. You can pretty much say whatever you want about it. It protects communities. You can say that the government is misguided, made up of fools, and that it's leading the country to ruin. Hell, it's practically a national sport. You can't say that we should just instate death camps for Jaws/Arabs/gays. Morality aside, it keeps the tension between communities below the point where they set our cities on fire. Sure, you could say it'd be better if we just taught them better and nobody was even tempted to say such things. While you're at it, wish for total employment, a cure for cancer, and topless dancers at every street corner, why don't you?
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Old 2008-12-31, 15:04   Link #69
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
When was that? At the time of the witch trials? The McCarthy era?
Yes Up until WWI and maybe WWII. Until now, the we hasn't completely lost our charm yet.
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It's not actually an either/or situation.
Why?
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Which becomes a rallying point for all the other vicious people around.
Which is a good thing for the government.... Of course if it does not consist of only apes. The hardest thing is to get the wolf out of its lair, now you have it. What else to expect?
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Not supported by history. There has been some censorship since forever, and we can still pretty much say whatever we want about the government. Even the sale of voodoo dolls of the president is covered (though he managed to have the courts forbid the sale of the needles that went with it).
This is irrelevant.
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What tricks would that be?
Assigning one traffic police to the said speaker and his life will be miserable. That is the simplest of tricks
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And actually, here, censorship doesn't protect the government's action. You can pretty much say whatever you want about it. It protects communities. You can say that the government is misguided, made up of fools, and that it's leading the country to ruin. Hell, it's practically a national sport.
Those are just trashtalks, for they, if what you said were true, indite neither actions nor solutions whatsoever. They are just 'harmless' speeches.

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You can't say that we should just instate death camps for Jaws/Arabs/gays.
And who's gonna do it? Only the one who has the authority to censor possesses the capacity to achieve that feat. Again, if both the people and their government are inclined to such, the country will be in serious trouble.
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Morality aside, it keeps the tension between communities below the point where they set our cities on fire. Sure, you could say it'd be better if we just taught them better and nobody was even tempted to say such things. While you're at it, wish for total employment, a cure for cancer, and topless dancers at every street corner, why don't you?
The tension is always there. Forbidding them to speak only helps stretching the string. If they are at the point where they are willing to resort to extreme violence, even the slightest of the most ridiculous form of provocations would result in the same thing.

The best way to reduce crime is to increase the quality of life not employing more police.
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Old 2008-12-31, 16:21   Link #70
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
Yes Up until WWI and maybe WWII. Until now, the we hasn't completely lost our charm yet.
What if you were Black? Atheist? Gay?

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Why?
Because you can both be repressive and address the problems that cause discontent in the first place.

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Which is a good thing for the government.... Of course if it does not consist of only apes. The hardest thing is to get the wolf out of its lair, now you have it. What else to expect?
To not let him have a large number of followers?

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This is irrelevant.
You're the one who tried to make a slippery slope argument that any censorship would lead to the government censoring political opponents and kill democracy.


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Assigning one traffic police to the said speaker and his life will be miserable. That is the simplest of tricks
A dumb one, too. He could - truthfully! - claim harassment and garner even more followers against "the police state". Also, what if he doesn't drive?

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Those are just trashtalks, for they, if what you said were true, indite neither actions nor solutions whatsoever. They are just 'harmless' speeches.
Well, it goes without saying that the solution is to riot and burn cars - another national sport. Season's about to open.


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And who's gonna do it? Only the one who has the authority to censor possesses the capacity to achieve that feat. Again, if both the people and their government are inclined to such, the country will be in serious trouble.
It doesn't take the government to organize gangs and assault the targets of hate. And don't forget that said targets will also form their own gangs in response.

It doesn't take the government to send discontented youths to terrorist training camps so they can come back and blow up people.

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The tension is always there. Forbidding them to speak only helps stretching the string.
No, it really doesn't. While enforced civility isn't the same as actual respect, it at least lets everyone stay peaceful without losing face.

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If they are at the point where they are willing to resort to extreme violence, even the slightest of the most ridiculous form of provocations would result in the same thing.
No. Resorting to violence after repeated, constant provocations (which you think should be legal) isn't the same as resorting to violence after "the slightest of the most ridiculous form of provocations".

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The best way to reduce crime is to increase the quality of life not employing more police.
Increase quality of life how? We would if we could, but we of course do our best to have as good a country as we can, but there are limits. And one of those things we do is to silence the morons asking people to light the country on fire, whether directly or by provoking them with hostility.
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Old 2008-12-31, 17:15   Link #71
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What if you were Black? Atheist? Gay?
Of all the places, America was still the best back then. Most importantly, there were chances everywhere. And unlike what you think, even then America was not hell on Earth for the said subjects.

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Because you can both be repressive and address the problems that cause discontent in the first place.
Try to put yourself in their shoes before stating it. One only speaks out when he can not put up with it anymore. There are pacifists and ,unfortunately, hawks. Plus, history teaches us that in order to get something done from a government one usually has to choose the rough way. There are exceptions though. However, the tendency is what I just suggested.

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To not let him have a large number of followers?
If there are that many wolves in an area, maybe it is the wrong place to herd and raise sheep after all?

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You're the one who tried to make a slippery slope argument that any censorship would lead to the government censoring political opponents and kill democracy.
No, I didn't. I considered both ends of each scenario (there are 4 in total) while you only considered one of the four. How is that a slippery slope? Censorship may or not lead to dictatorship. Likewise, a sentimental speech may or may not indite violence. What I suggested was that the devil of free speech was the lesser one.
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A dumb one, too. He could - truthfully! - claim harassment and garner even more followers against "the police state". Also, what if he doesn't drive?
It doesn't matter. Occasionally asking for one's identity while the subject is in a hurry is quite fun don't you think. And as I said, that is the simplest of harassment.

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Well, it goes without saying that the solution is to riot and burn cars - another national sport. Season's about to open.
"The president is a pig. Let's burn some cars." Hmm, there is something missing.

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It doesn't take the government to organize gangs and assault the targets of hate. And don't forget that said targets will also form their own gangs in response.
There are police, are there not? If even that won't do, then good luck...

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It doesn't take the government to send discontented youths to terrorist training camps so they can come back and blow up people.
One doesn't blow himself because he gets a parking ticket. Besides, if the government cannot keep track of the flow of terrorism and a considerable amount of people want to blow thing up for no reason (just as you suggested), the country is screwed anyway.


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No, it really doesn't. While enforced civility isn't the same as actual respect, it at least lets everyone stay peaceful without losing face.
No tension? Are you referring to the riot in Paris? There was no tension? Wow, that's news.

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No. Resorting to violence after repeated, constant provocations (which you think should be legal) isn't the same as resorting to violence after "the slightest of the most ridiculous form of provocations".
A single drop of water can make a tank overflow if the tank has no means of draining in the first place. When there are water flowing in, maybe it is a good time to start fixing the tank?
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Increase quality of life how? We would if we could, but we of course do our best to have as good a country as we can, but there are limits. And one of those things we do is to silence the morons asking people to light the country on fire, whether directly or by provoking them with hostility.
No policy would satisfy everyone, I recognize that. However if a policy benefits 50% of the people in a region while lets the other 50% suffer, that won't do and dire consequences are inevitable. And as you out it, there are limits, that applies to the people too. If they decide to resort to violence, it means either you don't care about them enough or they are at their limits already. Whatever it is, I believe it is not the first time that group ever proposes their demand.
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Old 2008-12-31, 19:05   Link #72
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Originally Posted by Mueti View Post
Yep, at the latest when their race is the only one left. Problem solved, yay for racism. Sheesh...
There is only one left. We killed off the neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago. Though people seem to think that others having a different skin color or different looking eyes makes them a different race. It doesn't.
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Old 2008-12-31, 19:42   Link #73
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@Anh Minh: Sorry, but I don't have time to play your quoting wars.

Yes, it's only illegal if you get caught. Believe it or not, it's always been that way, no matter if you like it or not. Heck, it's not only that. All you have to do is prove to court that your prosecutor have insufficient evidence to find you guilty.

Therefore, punishments are not only symbolic, since they decide whether or not an action is illegal. It seems that you do not get it. If I scream "Fire" randomly outside, people will look at me weird but that's it. That's the difference. If it's illegal to yell Fire, then no matter the severity of my actions, I would get punished. Of course we can't physically keep people from murdering each other, but if it were illegal to kill, then manslaughter would receive the same sentense as murder. An eye for an eye, no matter what, would be a law that forbids. Firing a gun at a robber in self defense and not going to jail would be actions and consequences.

And yes, I seem to think that "right" or "wrong" depends on popularity, and apparently I'm not the only person in this thread who thinks so either. I'm racking my brains right now but I can't think of something that is "right" but "unpopular." Did the majority of WWII Germans support anti-semitism? Maybe, maybe not, but enough for Hitler to remain in power. It may be wrong, but Germans were looking for someone to blame for their loss in WWI, and the rich Jewish merchants were definitely handy, even if not for the exact reasons Hitler hate them. Don't tell me you won't admit that the reason anti-semitism is unpopular nowadays is because the majority of the world frowns upon hating the Jews.

And not only do we have vastly different worldwide views, but you seem to live in a completely different world. For example, I live in a metropolis famous for its disputed use of road cameras, and we don't get tickets by going over 1 mph. Everything is weighted, and the severity of your actions (I can't emphasize that enough) affects if you get a ticket or not. If you go over 2 mph in a school zone (17 mph in 15 mph zone), then you get a ticket, but if you go 67 mph in a 65 mph zone, no one is going to send you a ticket, although the cameras will catch you.
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Old 2008-12-31, 20:01   Link #74
escimo
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
We have censorship here. We're still in a democracy. (Where, by the way, the President needs the popular vote to get elected. Just saying.) You see, when I say censorship, I don't mean "censorship of whatever the current government doesn't like". There are limits on what we censor - basically, hate speeches. What you're doing is either a straw man or a slippery slope argument.
I'm a bit late with my reply. Sorry about that.
I think the question how this is conducted. The black marker treatment is what I fear. Many countries have legislation against hate speech. You can go public but if it's considered so you'll face the music. I have no problem with that. However if you're not allowed to go public with it I can see two obvious options where that's going to lead.

1. Someone speaks out about why this or that got censored. This statement gets published and inevitably sparks peoples interest what was the this or that to begin with and as it is the internet era, it will come out. Thus the original subject gets far more mileage out of the whole mess than it would have if it just wouldn't have been censored in the first place.
2. Someone tries to speak out but gets the same black marker treatment.
Well that option is somewhat self-explanatory. Now were censoring commentary concerning censorship not hate speech.

Pre-censorship is in my opinion a real bogeyman because making it functional will inevitably lead to a situation very much like the one in China. Governmentally regulated media. No more IRC, no more discussion forums, no more internet as we know it.

Every journey starts with a single step. And that's the first step of a journey I'd rather not take.

Pretty much all of the western world is ruled by fear nowadays. And fear is a powerful tool to be used when it's in one's interests to strip people of their liberties. Tools are there and surely the motivation is there as well. I'd just rather not swallow anything without chewing.
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Old 2008-12-31, 23:03   Link #75
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Originally Posted by escimo View Post
Pre-censorship is in my opinion a real bogeyman because making it functional will inevitably lead to a situation very much like the one in China. Governmentally regulated media. No more IRC, no more discussion forums, no more internet as we know it.
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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
...when I am powerful enough, I can say whatever I want without regard for the fallout. If I can crush those who might react negatively to my words, then what is there to worry about? So in a repressive society, it is the power who exercises "freedom of speech"

and when these P.C. scumbags attain this power, their "inoffensive" viewpoint is the only one left unchallenged.
This is where idealism hits the solid wall of harsh reality.

I hate to break it to you guys, but as far as any editorial media is concerned, self-censorship is a norm. Reports that seem, to me, to be based on sound editorial judgement can often seem like "politically correct" motherhood statements to others, especially when these individuals have their own pet agendas to pursue.

This is where intimate knowledge of the ground becomes crucial, because you'd then be able to read between the lines to catch what is actually being reported.

The idea of a cowed press in some countries, while justified, is also at best only a layman's impression, and at worst, an uninformed opinion. Speaking for Singapore alone, the idea that journalists here are snivelling cowards waving little red books that detail what they can or cannot say is actually an insult to the professionalism of many individuals.

As I've said before, words convey ideas that can have unpleasant consequences. Weighing the possibilities, judging the right moment to discuss certain ideas — all these come as part and parcel of responsible journalism.

Even in AnimeSuki, for example, you'd not get away with racial hate speech by pleading "freedom of expression". Why then do we expect anything different for media that have to cover sensitive topics on politics, race or religion?
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Old 2009-01-01, 00:22   Link #76
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Originally Posted by Mueti View Post
From my experience, this absolutely doesn't work. Such people are stunningly resistant when it comes to reason. Ignorance begets confidence.
Oh god. This is so true. Some people had developed a true arrogance to facts and reasoning that no matter what can be explained to them in facts and true statements, their personal feelings on the matter cannot be argued.

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
As the popular saying goes: Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
But they can still charge you of attempted assault ^^

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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
When you deprive your population of the right to "create chaos", they will never mature enough to outgrow it. The chaotic phase is normal. It's like children playing.
This also go side to side with a saying I once heard, which is similar to this one. "Deprivation of any source will always keep humans to attain this loss"
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Old 2009-01-01, 04:42   Link #77
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
Of all the places, America was still the best back then. Most importantly, there were chances everywhere. And unlike what you think, even then America was not hell on Earth for the said subjects.


Try to put yourself in their shoes before stating it. One only speaks out when he can not put up with it anymore.
No.People speak out when their desire to do so is greater than their fear of consequences. That's why rudeness is so common on the internet. So if you decrease the consequences, you'll get more people speaking out, which will increase the tensions, which will increase the desire to speak out, and so on.

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There are pacifists and ,unfortunately, hawks. Plus, history teaches us that in order to get something done from a government one usually has to choose the rough way.
Depends what you mean by "rough way". Generally, in democracies, being popular is enough. And, as I've already written, the government isn't what worries me.

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There are exceptions though. However, the tendency is what I just suggested.


If there are that many wolves in an area, maybe it is the wrong place to herd and raise sheep after all?
Yeah, I think you've taken your metaphor too far. People are neither wolves nor sheep. They're people. Civil unrest, riots... It's not cause by "wolves". It's cause by people. Some of which are leaders. Most of whom are followers.

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No, I didn't. I considered both ends of each scenario (there are 4 in total) while you only considered one of the four. How is that a slippery slope?
How am I supposed to take "Because once the government succeeds in doing something once, it'll repeat, of which there is no doubt.", if not "if the government gets the legal power to censor hate speech, it'll use that foothold to get the power to censor political opposition"? That is a slippery slope argument.

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Censorship may or not lead to dictatorship. Likewise, a sentimental speech may or may not indite violence. What I suggested was that the devil of free speech was the lesser one.
For my own country, I'd actually tend to agree. Not because I'm particularly afraid of the government abusing its censorship power, but because I think we ought to be civilized enough to take a few assholes abusing their freedom of speech without going up in flames. However, that's not a position I'd hold as absolute, regardless of circumstances.

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It doesn't matter. Occasionally asking for one's identity while the subject is in a hurry is quite fun don't you think. And as I said, that is the simplest of harassment.
And as I said, it'd have the counter-productive effect of making him more popular, more legitimate, so, yeah, it matters.

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"The president is a pig. Let's burn some cars." Hmm, there is something missing.
It's a cultural thing.

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There are police, are there not? If even that won't do, then good luck...
How irresponsible. It's like saying that hygiene at a food plant doesn't matter because there are doctors. The best way to deal with a gang war isn't to throw everyone involved into our already overcrowded jails. It's to not have it at all.


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One doesn't blow himself because he gets a parking ticket.
Who knows why those guys blow themselves up?
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Besides, if the government cannot keep track of the flow of terrorism and a considerable amount of people want to blow thing up for no reason (just as you suggested), the country is screwed anyway.
Large amount? How many people blew up in London's trains? Four? If even one percent of the followers go that far, all it takes is 400 followers. In a country of several tens of millions.


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No tension? Are you referring to the riot in Paris? There was no tension? Wow, that's news.
What I'm saying is that people insulting each other, covered by "freedom of speech" will only increase tensions instead of, as you claim, decrease them by letting off some steam.

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A single drop of water can make a tank overflow if the tank has no means of draining in the first place. When there are water flowing in, maybe it is a good time to start fixing the tank?
Letting people claim that the holocaust never happens is not a good way of "draining water".

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No policy would satisfy everyone, I recognize that. However if a policy benefits 50% of the people in a region while lets the other 50% suffer, that won't do and dire consequences are inevitable. And as you out it, there are limits, that applies to the people too. If they decide to resort to violence, it means either you don't care about them enough or they are at their limits already. Whatever it is, I believe it is not the first time that group ever proposes their demand.
Their demand not to be publicly insulted by hate speeches?

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Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
@Anh Minh: Sorry, but I don't have time to play your quoting wars.

Yes, it's only illegal if you get caught. Believe it or not, it's always been that way, no matter if you like it or not. Heck, it's not only that. All you have to do is prove to court that your prosecutor have insufficient evidence to find you guilty.
Yeah, I think we're working under different definition of "illegal".

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Therefore, punishments are not only symbolic, since they decide whether or not an action is illegal. It seems that you do not get it. If I scream "Fire" randomly outside, people will look at me weird but that's it. That's the difference. If it's illegal to yell Fire, then no matter the severity of my actions, I would get punished. Of course we can't physically keep people from murdering each other, but if it were illegal to kill, then manslaughter would receive the same sentense as murder. An eye for an eye, no matter what, would be a law that forbids. Firing a gun at a robber in self defense and not going to jail would be actions and consequences.
Laws are seldom (never?) written as simplistically as "yelling fire is forbidden!". I don't even know where you got your "no matter what"? How is that significant?

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And yes, I seem to think that "right" or "wrong" depends on popularity,
Different definitions of right and wrong, too.

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and apparently I'm not the only person in this thread who thinks so either.
Must be a great comfort to you, considering your mentality. Though I have to ask... who else in this thread commented on that topic?

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I'm racking my brains right now but I can't think of something that is "right" but "unpopular."
Being gay. Being atheist. If not "right", they at least aren't "wrong". Despite the unpopularity.

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Did the majority of WWII Germans support anti-semitism? Maybe, maybe not, but enough for Hitler to remain in power. It may be wrong, but Germans were looking for someone to blame for their loss in WWI, and the rich Jewish merchants were definitely handy, even if not for the exact reasons Hitler hate them. Don't tell me you won't admit that the reason anti-semitism is unpopular nowadays is because the majority of the world frowns upon hating the Jews.
"Anti-semitism is unpopular because the majority of the world dislikes it".? Circular logic.

And, while the reasons it's unpopular may be historical and not entirely rational, the reasons it's wrong are different.

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And not only do we have vastly different worldwide views, but you seem to live in a completely different world. For example, I live in a metropolis famous for its disputed use of road cameras, and we don't get tickets by going over 1 mph.
We do.

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Everything is weighted, and the severity of your actions (I can't emphasize that enough) affects if you get a ticket or not. If you go over 2 mph in a school zone (17 mph in 15 mph zone), then you get a ticket, but if you go 67 mph in a 65 mph zone, no one is going to send you a ticket, although the cameras will catch you.
Yes, laws take circumstances and severity into account (5km/h over isn't the same as 50). Court decisions can also be affected by popular opinion or the crowding of prisons. So? How is that relevant?


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Originally Posted by escimo View Post
I'm a bit late with my reply. Sorry about that.
I think the question how this is conducted. The black marker treatment is what I fear. Many countries have legislation against hate speech. You can go public but if it's considered so you'll face the music. I have no problem with that. However if you're not allowed to go public with it I can see two obvious options where that's going to lead.

1. Someone speaks out about why this or that got censored. This statement gets published and inevitably sparks peoples interest what was the this or that to begin with and as it is the internet era, it will come out. Thus the original subject gets far more mileage out of the whole mess than it would have if it just wouldn't have been censored in the first place.
2. Someone tries to speak out but gets the same black marker treatment.
Well that option is somewhat self-explanatory. Now were censoring commentary concerning censorship not hate speech.
Black markers? For something to be taken down by the government, someone has to complain. And then an inquiry has to be opened. It can take days.

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Pre-censorship is in my opinion a real bogeyman because making it functional will inevitably lead to a situation very much like the one in China. Governmentally regulated media. No more IRC, no more discussion forums, no more internet as we know it.

Every journey starts with a single step. And that's the first step of a journey I'd rather not take.

Pretty much all of the western world is ruled by fear nowadays. And fear is a powerful tool to be used when it's in one's interests to strip people of their liberties. Tools are there and surely the motivation is there as well. I'd just rather not swallow anything without chewing.
What TRL said. It's not the government which does the "censoring", there.
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Old 2009-01-01, 11:06   Link #78
KholdStare
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You see, at least you agree that we have different definitions of right and wrong. However, your arguments are mostly about technicalities. For example, you said, "Yes, laws take circumstances and severity into account." I completely agree and call that consequences, even though you may call it something completely different. I also see that as different from laws that completely forbids. Of course laws are seldom written to be so simplistic, but if yelling Fire is such a problem, then there would be a law saying "Yelling Fire in a theatre will result in a sentence of x," but there isn't. I also place "censorship" in this category, which is why I think all censorship is wrong. And yes, there are laws in countries that are absolute, such as if you commit adultery, then x happens to you no matter the circumstances, even rape. Yes, we should have the freedom to express, as in the case of the comedian. He got arrested for the consequences of his actions, and that's what we should be discussing. If there were a law saying, "No comments can be made that are racist, sexist, etc...," then that's censorship.

Oh, you mentioned something about the popular opinion affecting the court. For you that may be blasphemy but that goes right along with my "opinion" of popularity deciding right or wrong, so no problem there.

And you're right that being gay is currently somewhat unpopular. However, just like suffrage and civil rights, I think it's moving in the "right" direction, so I can only keep hoping. Homosexuality used to be a "condition" and now gay marriages are voted on (and barely beaten too), so to a liberal like me that's a good step. I've never had any problem with atheism (or heard anything about it being unpopular), but that's just maybe from where I live.

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And, while the reasons it's unpopular may be historical and not entirely rational, the reasons it's wrong are different.
That doesn't matter... Remember, in my "opinion," the reasons something is right or wrong depends on popularity. As popularity changes, the reasons for right and wrong changes. Yes, this is a radical view, but to me it's true. If I lived in that time in Germany, then I might also say that the Jews exploiting WWI war conditions to make profit is "wrong;" who knows?
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Old 2009-01-01, 12:27   Link #79
WanderingKnight
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Umm, yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater is banned not for some idealistic reason, but for a practical one. It has little to do with freedom of speech and more with preventing damage to other people. I always cringe at the idea that banning such a situation equals to restricting your freedom of speech. It's more akin to actually hurting people, which is illegal enough.

Otherwise, everyone's entitled to insult whoever they want on any basis. And it's great that they are. However, everyone else is entitled to think those who insult other people with no basis at all are idiots. And with good measure.

There are gray areas, of course, which involve similar cases to the crowded theater situation, when someone says something that will knowingly lead to actual, physical damage to other people--but then again, I don't think that has anything remotely to do with freedom of speech.
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Old 2009-01-01, 12:46   Link #80
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
You see, at least you agree that we have different definitions of right and wrong. However, your arguments are mostly about technicalities. For example, you said, "Yes, laws take circumstances and severity into account." I completely agree and call that consequences, even though you may call it something completely different.
Let's add "consequences" to the list of words we have completely different definitions for. At this point, I don't even feel like asking what you mean by that.

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I also see that as different from laws that completely forbids. Of course laws are seldom written to be so simplistic, but if yelling Fire is such a problem, then there would be a law saying "Yelling Fire in a theatre will result in a sentence of x," but there isn't. I also place "censorship" in this category, which is why I think all censorship is wrong.
Make up your mind. Is wrongness decided by popularity, or not? Because I assure you, the ban on hate speech isn't particularly unpopular, here.

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And yes, there are laws in countries that are absolute, such as if you commit adultery, then x happens to you no matter the circumstances, even rape.
Badly written laws in undemocratic countries, maybe.

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Yes, we should have the freedom to express, as in the case of the comedian. He got arrested for the consequences of his actions, and that's what we should be discussing.
He wasn't arrested, and it wasn't about "consequences". It was about him doing something purportedly illegal. (Not to mention in bad taste and disrespectful, but the courts can't punish him for that.)

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If there were a law saying, "No comments can be made that are racist, sexist, etc...," then that's censorship.
Laws aren't written that way.

Here's the text, if it interests you:
http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jopdf/...06803&pageFin=

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Oh, you mentioned something about the popular opinion affecting the court. For you that may be blasphemy but that goes right along with my "opinion" of popularity deciding right or wrong, so no problem there.

And you're right that being gay is currently somewhat unpopular. However, just like suffrage and civil rights, I think it's moving in the "right" direction, so I can only keep hoping. Homosexuality used to be a "condition" and now gay marriages are voted on (and barely beaten too), so to a liberal like me that's a good step.
Why is that? After all, homosexuality, being unpopular, has to be wrong. Isn't that how you see things?
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