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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 9:37 am 
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jmcd wrote:
faiuwle wrote:
Sal, no one ever complains that they can't kick people out of their place of business because they are black, or women. Why is this different?
One difference is that one can be a gay in the closet in a way that you can't be black or female in the closet.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 11:46 am 
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zompist wrote:
And really, don't complain about the use of the word "oppression" and then fill your post with rhetorical invocations of "force" and "violence". If you want to talk about actual violence, it's all on the other side: it's the bigots who kill gays and lesbians and trans people, not the other way around.

But force and violence are matters of fact here. Law is force. And yeah, of course some bigots kill gays and lesbians and whatnot, but that doesn't mean that you can do anything to bigots: collective guilt is not a thing, and you can't just reduce things to "the bigots are the bad guys and therefore anything we do to them is justified For Great Justice"

Also you seem to be thinking I'm opposing the laws though I just said I -mostly- don't.

Quote:
Or is it only "untasteful hegemonic force" when we ask businesses to serve black people?

No, it's generally untasteful hegemonic force when we violently ban the other from nonviolently exercising their beliefs for the purpose of making our beliefs the universally accepted view. This is, in this case, justified, we both agree there, but that fact doesn't make it magically clean as a whistle, it's a dirty, untasteful and illiberal business. My problem with the "oppression" narrative is that it flattens the issue, it pretends it's as simple as "who is oppressing whom? yeah, they're the bad guys so whatever we do is perfectly fine". There's no clean way out here; this is a specific case of a more general dirty-all-around structure: it's a case very similar to genital mutilation: you can either be silent accomplice of the mutilation of kids's little genitals or you can be the paternalist imperial that comes in with force and tells them to act like civilized people or else. I mean, you could also ask nicely :P

And that one elects to do one or the other doesn't make the situation as clean and as moraly black and white as we would like to think

zompist wrote:
Again, I think people should pay attention to the framing. In this imagined situation-- a baker refusing service to a customer-- think about why you immediately sympathize with the baker, not with the custome

But it's not about whom you sympathize with, it's not about empathy, it's not about who we like more than whom. It's not about who your precious feelings tell you is the good guy and who your feelings tell you is the bad guy, man! come on, we can do better than having ethics be reduced to feelings and sympathies and who we like versus who we don't like. I think people should pay less attention to the framing and the emotions and the empathy and the who's the poor victim and "who is oppressing whom" and more attention to the facts and the reasons and the arguments and the facts of the matter.

faiuwle wrote:
You know there are plenty of religious Christians who would happily see Mark and Adam get married, and even marry them in their churches, right? Religion isn't the problem here.

Religion doesn't exist: their religion is -part of- the problem here. the religion of the therevadins in burma, or the unitarians and quakers and aglicans and episcopalians in vermont for that matter, clearly isn't.
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I don't see what this has to do with anything anyone has said. No one is talking about people going into business with each other.

no but the point is that it's not the same to force bigots to engage in short, low involvement and standarized interactions with people than to force them to engage in protracted, high involvement interactions with people. from selling you an apple to making you a custom cake to being your therapist to being your business partner to marrying you there's surely a point where you can't step in and force the bigot not to be a bigot, and the question lies in where exactly that point is no? I mean we can't have laws that say "people can't discriminate against fat guys, if a girl would sleep with X guy if he were thin then she shouldn't be allowed to not sleep with him simply for being fat"

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Make up your mind, man. Does it make philosophical sense to call people assholes, or not?

sure it does, did I say it didn't?
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Assuming all people have a shared aspect of humanity in them is that bad? You really believe that all religious people are evil unredeemable monsters? I don't think you're being the empathetic person you're pretending to be.

you're still doing it faiuwle: being a bigot doesn't mean the opposite of "having a shred of humanity" or "being an evil irredeemable monster". They just have beliefs about what is right and what is wrong that are not the same as yours: by comparison, would you be just as opposed to bakers refusing to sell certain services to, say, known pedophiles, or fascists, or white supremacists? I rather suspect not, because these are groups of people who are doing something unconscionable: well, from their perspective <which is wrong> homosexuals are also doing something unconscionable. That doesn't make them irredeemably evil, or without a shred of humanity: humanity is not coextensive with any one of your views, no matter how right you are about it.
<and who said anything about all religious people? plus I'm not pretending to be any sort of empathetic person: I'm actually, if you must know, with kant here in that empathy is a terrible basis for ethics, you're kinda straying into the land of the fellows of the straw>

I guess the tldr of my views here is that this is a situation of lesser of two evils, as opposed to a simple and straightforwards matter of "who is the bad guy here? the bigots. okay, so anything we do is justified"

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 12:25 pm 
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Quote:
But force and violence are matters of fact here. Law is force. And yeah, of course some bigots kill gays and lesbians and whatnot, but that doesn't mean that you can do anything to bigots: collective guilt is not a thing, and you can't just reduce things to "the bigots are the bad guys and therefore anything we do to them is justified For Great Justice"

The thing is, one person's liberty is another person's oppression.
One person's liberty to have a wedding cake is another person's oppression to make that cake. One person's liberty to refuse to make a wedding cake for a homosexual man is another person's oppression to be unable to buy that cake. One person's liberty to refuse to sell meat on Friday is another person's oppression to buy that meat. One person's liberty to buy a contraception pill is another person's oppression to be forced to sell that pill.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 5:02 pm 
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Torco wrote:
Quote:
Or is it only "untasteful hegemonic force" when we ask businesses to serve black people?

No, it's generally untasteful hegemonic force when we violently ban the other from nonviolently exercising their beliefs for the purpose of making our beliefs the universally accepted view. This is, in this case, justified, we both agree there, but that fact doesn't make it magically clean as a whistle, it's a dirty, untasteful and illiberal business.


For a guy who decries the sentiment behind "don't be an asshole" as too idealistic, you sure are squeamish about the idea that laws might actually have to be enforced sometimes.

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My problem with the "oppression" narrative is that it flattens the issue, it pretends it's as simple as "who is oppressing whom?


I thought you were a sociologist. Don't you think it's important who holds the social power in a situation?

Quote:
yeah, they're the bad guys so whatever we do is perfectly fine". There's no clean way out here; this is a specific case of a more general dirty-all-around structure: it's a case very similar to genital mutilation: you can either be silent accomplice of the mutilation of kids's little genitals or you can be the paternalist imperial that comes in with force and tells them to act like civilized people or else. I mean, you could also ask nicely :P


Dude, genital mutilation is wrong. It's not oppressive Western colonialism to say it's wrong. This is not a controversial issue. And it's not because of some nebulous determination of who the "bad guys" are.

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But it's not about whom you sympathize with, it's not about empathy, it's not about who we like more than whom. It's not about who your precious feelings tell you is the good guy and who your feelings tell you is the bad guy, man! come on, we can do better than having ethics be reduced to feelings and sympathies and who we like versus who we don't like. I think people should pay less attention to the framing and the emotions and the empathy and the who's the poor victim and "who is oppressing whom" and more attention to the facts and the reasons and the arguments and the facts of the matter.


beep boop I am a robot

Quote:
Religion doesn't exist: their religion is -part of- the problem here. the religion of the therevadins in burma, or the unitarians and quakers and aglicans and episcopalians in vermont for that matter, clearly isn't.


Then what did you mean when you said that religion is good for nothing except weddings and funerals?

Quote:
no but the point is that it's not the same to force bigots to engage in short, low involvement and standarized interactions with people than to force them to engage in protracted, high involvement interactions with people. from selling you an apple to making you a custom cake to being your therapist to being your business partner to marrying you there's surely a point where you can't step in and force the bigot not to be a bigot, and the question lies in where exactly that point is no? I mean we can't have laws that say "people can't discriminate against fat guys, if a girl would sleep with X guy if he were thin then she shouldn't be allowed to not sleep with him simply for being fat"


You seriously can't tell the difference between a professional and personal relationship?

Have you actually ever bought a cake, Torco? You don't have to be buddy-buddy with the baker. You describe the cake. You go away. You come back later to pick it up. There's really not a lot of extended interaction, here.

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Quote:
Make up your mind, man. Does it make philosophical sense to call people assholes, or not?

sure it does, did I say it didn't?


When you went off on a rant about me calling some people assholes?

Quote:
you're still doing it faiuwle: being a bigot doesn't mean the opposite of "having a shred of humanity" or "being an evil irredeemable monster". They just have beliefs about what is right and what is wrong that are not the same as yours:


That's exactly what I'm saying.

Quote:
by comparison, would you be just as opposed to bakers refusing to sell certain services to, say, known pedophiles, or fascists, or white supremacists?


Do you not understand the difference between discriminating against people based on their opinions versus discriminating against people based on who they are? In any case, as long as none of those guys was actively being an asshole and hadn't actually done anything they needed to be put in jail for, sure, make them a damn cake, I don't really care.

Quote:
I rather suspect not, because these are groups of people who are doing something unconscionable:


Are they? It's perfectly possible to hold those sorts of opinions and not act on them. Actions are far more important.

Quote:
<and who said anything about all religious people? plus I'm not pretending to be any sort of empathetic person: I'm actually, if you must know, with kant here in that empathy is a terrible basis for ethics, you're kinda straying into the land of the fellows of the straw>


You talked a lot about religious people previously, in this weird schizophrenic way where you shit all over them and then accused me of not having any empathy for them. And now you don't care about empathy? So if that's the case, it should be fine to ignore their perspectives on this issue, right? What are you even arguing for, here?

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:18 pm 
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zompist wrote:
Is Sal OK with...


While I knew you'd write this, I'll have to stop you there. What does any of this have to do with me? The fact that I acknowledge that some right-wing people are not absolutely insane has nothing to do with whether or not I think that they're right.

This is what irritates me most about conservatives like you, whether right-wing or left-wing: the need to always not just be right, but be unambiguously right, to assume that if doing X may be the right thing, that means that there can never be good reasons against X. Whereas the liberal position is to acknowledge that there can be valid concerns on both sides, different rights to balance, and then work out how best to balance them in the particular situation. Oppression doesn't become good when it's done in a good cause - it becomes a necessary evil, which can only be justified to the extent that it is necessary. And that requires an intellectually honest assessment of arguments on both sides, not kneejerk reactionnary dogpiling on anyone who even suggests that basic principles of morality and political justice might apply on the other side too even when not dissenting in actual recommendations.


A few general points:

- the argument that other religious people don't have a problem with gays, so nobody's religious freedom is being impeached... so? And some atheists aren't gay. What "every person belonging to group X thinks" is irrelevent - what matters is the specific people under discussion. "Christians" do not all believe the same things - Christians don't have fewer (or more) rights if they happen to disagree with other (even most) Christians. One reason America exists is precisely because the religious freedoms of some christians were being denied them by other christians

- these things don't happen, nobody ever gets prosecuted or shut down for not selling gay cakes.... well, that's just not true. There have been a number of prosecutions of bakers, and others of florists and similar service providers, in many countries, with crushing punishments applied - more than $100,000 in one case, for refusing to make one cake (ok the effect wasn't crushing because they raised the money through donations, but that's irrelevent to the justice of the sentence). In a UK case, the issue wasn't even a generic gay wedding cake, but specifically a cake with the slogan "we support gay marriage" written on it, and nobody asked whether the people trying to buy the cake were actually gay. [people have tried suing bakers for refusing to write "we do not support gay marriage", but have failed - so the state is deciding which forms of speech (or silence) are permissable and which are not; as an ironic twist, the state itself, at the time, did not permit gay marriage]. To me, even if you believe that there is a pressing policy need that justifies that sort of state coercion (and yes, destroying a family's livelihood is coercion), it must at least be admitted that that need involves overriding valid concerns regarding freedom of speech, association and labour. And where one valid need overrides another, there will always be some who, quite rationally and non-evilly, do not agree with the majority as regards the precise weighting of those needs, often due to a difference in personal experience

- but christians are the majority... so? Whether someone is in the majority or the minority is irrelevent to a consideration of their basic human rights. In any case, the sort of Christian who has a problem with this is clearly not in a majority, or else the laws wouldn't have been passed. It's comforting to think of the government stepping in to beat down the evil majority, but in a democracy that essentially never happens, because the government is the voice (and long arm) of the majority. The most that can be hoped for is that a local majority may be attacked by a national (or international) majority on behalf of some oppressed local minority. But that is still a majority stomping on a dissenting minority, and should bring with it all the concerns that that entails; it also inevitably raises questions of democratic legitimacy. Now again, that doesn't mean that imperialist central government, or international, policies are wrong. For instance, some forms of female genital mutilation constitute a fundamental evil, and western countries can at least theoretically be justified in compelling local people to abandon these practices. But it is naive and reactionnary to assume a blanket right to do so and to deny that this even raises valid moral questions.
It's also worth pointing out that the US is not the whole of the world. We are having the same issues in the UK, where Christians by any serious measurement are (quite a small) minority.

- "taking the majority's side".... morality is not a matter of picking the people you like the most and then always taking their side. But if you really need to calculate these things by Whose Side You're On... even Peter Fucking Tatchell is on the side of "religious liberty" in the great cake debate. ["In my view, it is an infringement of freedom to require businesses to aid the promotion of ideas to which they conscientiously object. Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas."]

- do shopkeepers have a right to ask questions?.... well, that's an interesting question, but it's also irrelevent. Because it's perfectly coherent to say that someone has a right to not associate themselves with a political message that they know they disagree with, without saying that they have a right to interrogate customers to gain further information before making their decision. Again, I'm not saying whether that's right or wrong, but the question of what shopkeepers can ask you is entirely separate from the question of what they can refuse point blank.

- but sometimes everyone is bigoted.... yes, and clearly the question of the availability of services from another artisan is at least potentially relevent to the question of how socially sub-optimal withholding of services by individual artisans should be dealt with.



But I guess it's pointless saying this, since one side of the debate has no interest in engaging in what anybody actually says, rather than ludicrous, simplistic caricatures.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:32 pm 
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I see, this is where we redefine "conservative" and "liberal" to mean whatever the hell we want so we can call each other names. I'll leave you to it. I don't know what you think atheists even have to do with this, either.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 7:29 pm 
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Salmoneus wrote:
zompist wrote:
Is Sal OK with...


While I knew you'd write this, I'll have to stop you there. What does any of this have to do with me?


Instead of freaking out because you made a moral argument and can't figure out why anyone would say your name, why not answer the damn question? Are you OK with every hotel in town having a policy that excludes blacks? Because that's what majority discrimination with religious backing looks like in practice.

Quote:
The fact that I acknowledge that some right-wing people are not absolutely insane has nothing to do with whether or not I think that they're right.
[/quote]

I'll have to stop you there, because you've just decided to make up shit instead of reading. Did I say anyone was absolutely insane? No, you just decided to pretend I did. Is this an effective strategy in your mind? "He'll surely be convinced if I ignore everything he actually said and respond to something I made up! It can't fail!"

As for moral absolutism, look in the damn mirror. You make up stories about bakers forced to make sculptures of gay sex, you refuse to look at the social context of the states where legislatures are enacting these ordinances, you don't think for two seconds about the results of your "right to association" on the human beings it victimizes, and your morality is supposed to be nuanced and empathetic?


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 8:24 pm 
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faiuwle wrote:
Dude, genital mutilation is wrong. It's not oppressive Western colonialism to say it's wrong. This is not a controversial issue. And it's not because of some nebulous determination of who the "bad guys" are.

Glad to see that we agree that genital mutilation is wrong. But why on earth is that not at least some form of "Western colonialism"? (I agree ofc that, depending on its implementation, it's not necessarily "oppressive"). It's surely Western: FGM tends, more or less, to be a non-Western thing (at least, extant among a certain subdivision thereof) and disapproval of it tends, though not exclusively so, to be Western. And it's surely colonialism (or "imperialism" or sth. but the two aren't very strictly distinguished by Kids These Days anyway), but not everything imposed by colonialism must be bad: it was colonialism when the Romans tried to impose paganism on the Christians, and it was also colonialism when different Romans later tried to impose Christianity on the pagans*; it was colonialism when European and Muslim powers forcibly extracted millions from sub-Saharan Africa and shipped them off as slaves, and it was also colonialism (of a sort) when the United States of America forcibly made the Confederate States of America free all of theirs; it was colonialism when Britain conquered India, and it was also colonialism when they ended the cruel practice of suttee. Etc etc etc.

I'm gonna go out on a little psychoanalytic limb here-- and forgive me, because I could be wrong-- but I think your reluctance to call it "Western colonialism" might be indicative of a little poor thinking? Because if you (and if not you, then at least many many other people) define "colonialism" not as a cluster of geopolitical practices which has good and bad aspects (like most things), but rather as "THAT EVIL THING THAT EVIL PEOPLE DO", then obviously it's gonna cause quite a bit of unpleasant cognitive dissonance for you to admit that you support a particular example of it. If, on the other hand, you admit that you support examples of Western colonialism that you agree with, then that might make you understand a bit more the motivations of people who support instances of it that you disagree with... and make your world-view just a teensy bit less manichaean. Just a thought.

No doubt you're already aware of the fact that the reason you don't believe in the Nivkh gods is because you were not raised among Nivkh. Well, perhaps the reason you also don't like FGM might be because you don't live in a Huntingtonian Civilization (hi Zayk!) which sees it as an effective and reverent way to protect innocent young girls from becoming lechers, adulteresses, and sluts? I'm not saying that you should stop believing anything because everything is a cultural construct or some other postmodernist bs (it's certainly not difficult to form a logical argument against FGM)-- I'm simply suggesting that you become a little comfortable with the idea that you hold certain beliefs because of bias. (For instance, I really, really, really, really don't want the beautiful, majestic, and fragile Siberian tiger to go extinct... but I honestly can't justify that for any other reason than "Durr I think they're purdy". Sure, they play a role in the ecosystem, but not one that wouldn't be filled by some other animal the moment they disappeared, and after learning about these things I'm not sure I believe in a "natural equilibrium of nature" anymore either. But I'm still gonna hope really hard that they don't go extinct!)

Are you getting me, or am I just rambling on about irrelevancies?


* - n.b. this example isn't to show that the later conversions were "good" contra the "bad" ones before, only that all of this stuff is relative. It occurs to me that this could be misunderstood, esp. since people have in the past misconstrued by avatar as meaning that I'm a Christian...

EDIT: This of course also applies to the gay cake thing.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 9:12 pm 
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You seem to be making a bunch of unwarranted assumptions about me. What gives you the idea that I'm not aware that if I had been raised in a different social context I'd have different opinions? I don't think I'm right because these happen to be the opinions I've always had, I've actually put thought into them over time and they've changed as I've acquired knowledge. And I could still be wrong, of course, since I surely don't know everything.

I used "colonialism" because it's a specific ridiculous claim I've seen regarding FGM. Specific, because "colonialism" has a specific meaning: that of one country colonizing, exerting political control over, and exploiting another place. So Britain conquering India (as well as a large number of other places), and European countries exploiting Africa are certainly colonialism. Probably Roman expansion would be colonialism too, though that's not what most people are referring to when they use the word. But I don't really see how the rest of your examples can be classed as "colonialism". Imperialism, maybe (except for freeing the slaves, which just seems kind of like you through it in randomly), but that's a different thing. Colonialism was bad because the specific thing that that word describes is bad, not because "colonialism" means "bad stuff". Anti-FGM is certainly Western, but not everything that is Western is colonialism, or imperialism, or bad. I'm sure some people who oppose FGM have imperialist attitudes about it, it's kind of inevitable really, but there are plenty of arguments against it that aren't imperialist.

As far as gay cake goes, I understand why these bakers feel the way they do. I do. I just think they're wrong. It's unreasonable to expect that you'll be able to convince everyone else of your opinion, so in the absence of that, it is best to do your best and make laws to stop the problem.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 11:05 pm 
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0) Should the government prohibit a progressive artist from refusing to paint a pro-Hitler mural?
1) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. artist from refusing to paint a pro-gay marriage Obergefell v. Hodges victory mural?
2) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. artist from refusing to paint a scene of two men getting married?
3) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. carpenter from refusing to make a custom-ordered cabinet decorated with pro-gay-marriage motifs?
4) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. baker from refusing to make a gay wedding cake?
5) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. baker from refusing to refuse to make a generic wedding cake for a gay marriage?
6) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. baker from refusing to sell a generic cake to a gay couple?
7) Should the government prohibit a Christian, Muslim, etc. barber from refusing to cut a gay couple's hair?

Presumably, everyone agrees that the answer to 0) is no. Many people, though certainly not all, would say the answer to 7) is yes. I would guess that a 'yes' to a question with a lower number implies a 'yes' to all questions with higher numbers. For people who answer no to 0) and yes to 7), what's the point at which your answers change from 'no' to 'yes', and why does it change there?

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 5:35 am 
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linguoboy wrote:
jmcd wrote:
faiuwle wrote:
Sal, no one ever complains that they can't kick people out of their place of business because they are black, or women. Why is this different?
One difference is that one can be a gay in the closet in a way that you can't be black or female in the closet.

Passing is a thing.
Yes, of course but I still think that some forms of passing are easier than others e.g. sexuality easier than gender.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 6:51 am 
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5 and below yes, 4 and above no. The bottom three does not require someone to endorse the group they don't agree with.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 8:04 am 
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mèþru wrote:
5 and below yes, 4 and above no. The bottom three does not require someone to endorse the group they don't agree with.

I think I agree on this.
I also think that the more personal activities become, the more someone has the right to their own feelings, opinions, and principles, even if we think they're odious or bigoted. If e.g. a person rents out their spare bedroom, and they don't want to share their roof with a nazi, a convicted felon, a Bee Gees fan, a gay couple, or a black person, I don't there should be laws to compel them. If we're talking about landlords owning several appartments, or about corporations, for me that changes the situation.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:43 am 
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Everybody who has suddenly become very concerned about religious freedom, what about these cases?

-- a Muslim group wishes to build a mosque in your neighborhood
-- a Muslim group wishes to build a mosque in the US near the NY World Trade Center
-- a Muslim wishes to speak Arabic in a public place
-- Muslims fleeing dictators and/or terrorists in Syria would like to move to your country
-- Muslims who think they'd like it here would like to move to your country
-- Muslims want to wear the traditional clothing of their countries in public places / schools

In the US, the people who think their religious liberty is restricted because a gay person might stumble into their bakery tend to be the very same people who oppose all these things.

This isn't to say you can't be highly sympathetic to that baker. But to look around for problems religious people face, and focus on completely imaginary cases (government-mandated pro-Hitler murals or gay sex cakes) rather than the actual problems of a real religious minority... well, it seems like a curious narrowing of focus.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:50 am 
Sumerul
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The biggest problem with the religion angle, is that the people claiming their religion has a prohibition against x, y or z, are typically the same people who on a personal level have problems with x, y or z. Perhaps for these people, their religion is actually where their morality comes from, and whatever their religion dictates, is what they vehemently believe is right.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 10:29 am 
Smeric
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Xephyr wrote:
after learning about these things I'm not sure I believe in a "natural equilibrium of nature" anymore either.
I tried following the link and got things about maths, not zoology like I expected.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 11:46 am 
Avisaru
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zompist wrote:
Everybody who has suddenly become very concerned about religious freedom, what about these cases?

-- a Muslim group wishes to build a mosque in your neighborhood
-- a Muslim group wishes to build a mosque in the US near the NY World Trade Center
-- a Muslim wishes to speak Arabic in a public place
-- Muslims fleeing dictators and/or terrorists in Syria would like to move to your country
-- Muslims who think they'd like it here would like to move to your country
-- Muslims want to wear the traditional clothing of their countries in public places / schools

Is your mental perception of the people who disagree with you in this thread such a ridiculous, unnuanced caricature that you think you're making some kind of point here? That the only reason anyone would disagree with you on this particular issue must be just because they hate Muslims and gays and cannot possibly be for the actual reasons they've stated, so that you can accuse them of holding prejudices they've shown zero evidence of holding? Come on, Zompist, surely you must be better than this! You once wrote a guide of sorts to online arguments, right-- I presume that "Accuse your opponents of holding the most exaggerated, extreme positions imaginable counter to your own" wasn't one of the tips included?

Yeah, some people in the US might get stumped by that "zinger". Some people-- but not anybody here (and I think you know this)... Who exactly are you talking to, then? Imaginary people? Because I believe that to "focus on completely imaginary cases... seems like a curious narrowing of focus."

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:03 pm 
Smeric
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Quote:
I thought you were a sociologist. Don't you think it's important who holds the social power in a situation?

<sighs> if I had a burger for everytime someone has said "you're a sociologist, how is it possible that you disagree with my random-guy-on-the-street views about how society works" I'd be about six kilos fatter than I am. Any sociologist worth his salt knows power is a complicated phenomenon. Also, groups are not "who", and there's no such a thing as "social" power as opposed to "non-social" power unless what you mean is like electricity: who holds social power in this situation? well, the state has a lot of it, anyway.

Quote:
beep boop I am a robot

if rationality is being a robot then beep boop indeed.

Quote:
For a guy who decries the sentiment behind "don't be an asshole" as too idealistic, you sure are squeamish about the idea that laws might actually have to be enforced sometimes.

read again, you didn't understand.
Quote:
Then what did you mean when you said that religion is good for nothing except weddings and funerals?

read again, you didn't understand.
Quote:
You seriously can't tell the difference between a professional and personal relationship?

read again, you didn't understand.
Quote:
When you went off on a rant about me calling some people assholes?

read again, you didn't understand.
Quote:
What are you even arguing for, here?

read again, it's all there.

Come on, faiuwle, I know you're cleverer than this. You don't even know what my position is, as you yourself have stated, and yet you go out of your way to express this kneejerk rejection of the most tengential points raised: could it be, just maybe, that you're not even disagreeing with my point but, rather, reacting against the fact that i'm not cheering on the leftist party line? [protip: I may not be cheering it on as unambiguously black and white trivially moral, I'm just stating that it's a dirty and untasteful, if necessary, business and that doing it under the delusion that it's not may not be the best idea, if you can process that level of nuance]

zompist wrote:
As for moral absolutism, look in the damn mirror. You make up stories about bakers forced to make sculptures of gay sex, you refuse to look at the social context of the states where legislatures are enacting these ordinances, you don't think for two seconds about the results of your "right to association" on the human beings it victimizes, and your morality is supposed to be nuanced and empathetic?

what is this obsession with empathy? also, I refer you to the fact -already stated, may I add- that the Great Cake Debate, and the more general case of forcing people to not discriminate as law, is not a phenomenon unique to Alabama or whetever, and that the US is not the world, regardless of what american television would suggest.

__________
as for the ideas

Quote:
Dude, genital mutilation is wrong. It's not oppressive Western colonialism to say it's wrong. This is not a controversial issue. And it's not because of some nebulous determination of who the "bad guys" are.

This is why I don't like "oppressive". while violence and coercion are words that are to some degree value-neutral fact-oriented, "oppressive" is entirely value-laden and tribalistic, since for something to be oppressive is the same as for it to be wrong. It certainly is interventionism for a large and powerful group to come in to a small and powerless group and tell them how to live and how not to live as well as which of their traditions they are allowed to continue and which they have to phase out or else. Whether it's imperialism, colonialism, cultural imperialism or whatever else are technicalities which don't matter. It's certainly violent [these people wish to continue their traditions, and we wish them not to, and many of us would much welcome guns be used to bolster our side of the argument]. Whether it's oppressive or not rests on no matter of fact at all but rather on whether we consider it justified or not. So oppression is just "that which we, the progressive tribe, don't like". Rational people have no need for such categories. the details of why it *is* western colonialism are excellently put by Xephyr.

faiuwle wrote:
As far as gay cake goes, I understand why these bakers feel the way they do. I do. I just think they're wrong. It's unreasonable to expect that you'll be able to convince everyone else of your opinion, so in the absence of that, it is best to do your best and make laws to stop the problem.

so whenever you fail to convince someone they they should do X the correct course of action is to have the nice people in the police force force them ? surely not

zompist, after listing a few things conservatives are generally concerned or inimical towards, said wrote:
In the US, the people who think their religious liberty is restricted because a gay person might stumble into their bakery tend to be the very same people who oppose all these things.

so what? so because these people have opinions we find distasteful it's okay for us to force them to do whatever we want them to ? again with the tribalism, man, "look, those people are Bad, so why are you being all empathetic towards them?". You're suggesting we force people to act against their conscience: it doesn't matter that they're Bad, we're still forcing tem to act against their conscience. it doesn't matter that what their conscience tells them is wrong, you're still suggesting we force people to act against their conscience. it doesn't even matter that it's the right thing to do in this case, that conclusion doesn't magically remove that it's *also* a distasteful instance of moral policing and supression of other people's views, and that it's a violent reaction to nonviolent transgressions. But, as Sal said, it's not enough to be right, you need to be so unambiguously right that there can never be good reasons against what you're right about. why? because there can only be two sides of an issue? because otherwise one is letting down one's side and thus helping the Bad Guys?

Incidentally this is why sympathy is a terrible basis for ethics: it lets the opposite of the better angels of our nature [the worse devils of our nature?] shift the question from what are the relevant facts here and how they affect how we should appproach this to who are the bad guys here? them? well fuck 'em then.
maybe Sal is right about the nature of this particular convo.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 1:14 pm 
Smeric
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Well bringing up the anti-gay vs. pro-religious-freedom* argument sure kicked up a shistorm. :P

*(And before you say it, yes I get that it's not necessarily only about religious freedom, but this is the only way I have ever seen it framed).


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 4:19 pm 
Sanno
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Xephyr wrote:
faiuwle wrote:
Dude, genital mutilation is wrong. It's not oppressive Western colonialism to say it's wrong. This is not a controversial issue. And it's not because of some nebulous determination of who the "bad guys" are.

Glad to see that we agree that genital mutilation is wrong. But why on earth is that not at least some form of "Western colonialism"?

Cev is entirely right here. Of course genital mutation is wrong, and of course it's a case of Western liberal values telling us it's wrong. How is this not "Western colonialism"? Suttee was wrong, and it's Western liberal values that stopped it. Similarly the end of the slave trade. Also foot-binding. Just because current Western liberal values insist that colonialism is Bad does not imply that it was wrong. (Utilitarian argument, no moral absolutes etc etc. We can refer to it as colonialism when we disapprove of its outcomes, but otherwise it's... what?)

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 4:44 pm 
Smeric
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Progress, my good man, progress. It requires the savages be civilized, and so they are For Great Justice.

white man's burden and so on

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 5:37 pm 
Avisaru
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Nort, what is even the difference between 4 and 5? A wedding cake is a wedding cake. It's not like there's a lot of room for doing weird shit with a wedding cake to the point where it is somehow specifically "gay".

Torco wrote:
Quote:
I thought you were a sociologist. Don't you think it's important who holds the social power in a situation?

<sighs> if I had a burger for everytime someone has said "you're a sociologist, how is it possible that you disagree with my random-guy-on-the-street views about how society works" I'd be about six kilos fatter than I am. Any sociologist worth his salt knows power is a complicated phenomenon.


So it's complicated, and thus doesn't matter? Is that what you're saying?

Quote:
Also, groups are not "who", and there's no such a thing as "social" power as opposed to "non-social" power unless what you mean is like electricity: who holds social power in this situation? well, the state has a lot of it, anyway.


Sorry, habit. Sometimes if you say "power" in the non-electrical (or magical) sense people try to claim you're making shit up.

Quote:
Quote:
beep boop I am a robot

if rationality is being a robot then beep boop indeed.


Ignoring emotions and empathy isn't rational; it's pretending that humans are robots. There is no hard and fast separation between thoughts and emotions, it's a false dichotomy. Ethics doesn't come from first principles.

Quote:
Quote:
For a guy who decries the sentiment behind "don't be an asshole" as too idealistic, you sure are squeamish about the idea that laws might actually have to be enforced sometimes.

read again, you didn't understand.


I read

Quote:
No, it's generally untasteful hegemonic force when we violently ban the other from nonviolently exercising their beliefs for the purpose of making our beliefs the universally accepted view. This is, in this case, justified, we both agree there, but that fact doesn't make it magically clean as a whistle, it's a dirty, untasteful and illiberal business.


Quote:
Quote:
Then what did you mean when you said that religion is good for nothing except weddings and funerals?

read again, you didn't understand.


I read

Quote:
that's only ever going to be achieved through the moral progress of civilization via the recession of irrational superstition from actually playing a role in people's lives to token belief and weddings-and-funerals religiosity [by far the best kind of religiosity if you ask me],


Quote:
Quote:
You seriously can't tell the difference between a professional and personal relationship?

read again, you didn't understand.


I read

Quote:
no but the point is that it's not the same to force bigots to engage in short, low involvement and standarized interactions with people than to force them to engage in protracted, high involvement interactions with people. from selling you an apple to making you a custom cake to being your therapist to being your business partner to marrying you


Quote:
Quote:
When you went off on a rant about me calling some people assholes?

read again, you didn't understand.


I read

Quote:
ffs this progressive mantra is annoying. No, ethics is not a simple matter of "don't be an asshole". "don't be an asshole" is just an empty platitude.


Quote:
Quote:
What are you even arguing for, here?

read again, it's all there.


Maybe if you wanted to say something other than what I read, you should have written what you meant? I know you're smarter than this, Torco!!!!

Quote:
You don't even know what my position is, as you yourself have stated, and yet you go out of your way to express this kneejerk rejection of the most tengential points raised: could it be, just maybe, that you're not even disagreeing with my point but, rather, reacting against the fact that i'm not cheering on the leftist party line?


Nah, I know what your point is, I just don't think you do. You're going for some sort of super edgy combination of solipsism and gold mean fallacy, where nothing is right or wrong and every argument is a naval-gazing monologue. Please, say something of substance that isn't "religious people are horrible and backwards". I'd much rather you actually objected to something I said.

Quote:
[protip: I may not be cheering it on as unambiguously black and white trivially moral, I'm just stating that it's a dirty and untasteful, if necessary, business and that doing it under the delusion that it's not may not be the best idea, if you can process that level of nuance]


No one is under the impression that we live in a utopia and that requiring laws to solve problems is the best of all possible worlds, if that's what you're suggesting. If that was all you meant to say, you've contributed no more to the conversation than stating the sky is blue, and if you're suggesting that some sort of lawless society would be better, I'm afraid I can't take you seriously.

Quote:
what is this obsession with empathy?


You brought up empathy yourself. You know, when you accused us of not seeing things from the religious people's perspective. You know what "empathy" means, right?

Quote:
This is why I don't like "oppressive". while violence and coercion are words that are to some degree value-neutral fact-oriented, "oppressive" is entirely value-laden and tribalistic, since for something to be oppressive is the same as for it to be wrong.


Have you considered that it could just be your personal reaction to the word "oppressive" that seems so tribalistic? Personally, referring to laws as "violence" mostly just makes me think of insane internet libertarians.

Quote:
It certainly is interventionism for a large and powerful group to come in to a small and powerless group and tell them how to live and how not to live as well as which of their traditions they are allowed to continue and which they have to phase out or else. Whether it's imperialism, colonialism, cultural imperialism or whatever else are technicalities which don't matter. It's certainly violent [these people wish to continue their traditions, and we wish them not to, and many of us would much welcome guns be used to bolster our side of the argument].


I'm pretty sure it is not just a simple matter of westerners wanting one thing and non-westerners wanting another thing, and that there are in fact people in places that practice FGM that also want it to end.

Quote:
Whether it's oppressive or not rests on no matter of fact at all but rather on whether we consider it justified or not. So oppression is just "that which we, the progressive tribe, don't like". Rational people have no need for such categories. the details of why it *is* western colonialism are excellently put by Xephyr.


I explained what colonialism means. This does not adhere to that definition. Anyone who would call the fucking civil war "colonialism", once again, cannot be taken seriously.

Quote:
faiuwle wrote:
As far as gay cake goes, I understand why these bakers feel the way they do. I do. I just think they're wrong. It's unreasonable to expect that you'll be able to convince everyone else of your opinion, so in the absence of that, it is best to do your best and make laws to stop the problem.

so whenever you fail to convince someone they they should do X the correct course of action is to have the nice people in the police force force them ? surely not


No, Torco, the police do not come and bust into your business and shut it down if you fuck up. You probably have to pay a fine, or maybe you just have to do the thing you were supposed to but didn't. It is not the end of the world. If we were talking about a different law, say, the one that says you can't murder people, would you find this so barbaric? Do you have a rubric for which laws are necessary for a functioning society and which are evil violent moral policing colonialism? Lots of people think some laws are unfair. Does that, by itself, mean they are?

Quote:
Incidentally this is why sympathy is a terrible basis for ethics: it lets the opposite of the better angels of our nature [the worse devils of our nature?] shift the question from what are the relevant facts here and how they affect how we should appproach this to who are the bad guys here? them? well fuck 'em then.
maybe Sal is right about the nature of this particular convo.


You yourself started out by asking us to have sympathy for our fellow man. What makes you think you can't appreciate other people's points of view and simultaneously consider facts?

Dewrad wrote:
Cev is entirely right here. Of course genital mutation is wrong, and of course it's a case of Western liberal values telling us it's wrong. How is this not "Western colonialism"?


Maybe the fact that it doesn't any type of colonization?

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 6:18 pm 
Sumerul
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I.e. it's not colonialism if I agree with it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 6:35 pm 
Avisaru
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faiuwle wrote:
Quote:
Whether it's oppressive or not rests on no matter of fact at all but rather on whether we consider it justified or not. So oppression is just "that which we, the progressive tribe, don't like". Rational people have no need for such categories. the details of why it *is* western colonialism are excellently put by Xephyr.


I explained what colonialism means. This does not adhere to that definition. Anyone who would call the fucking civil war "colonialism", once again, cannot be taken seriously.

That's because the South lost, and secession didn't succeed. You don't consider the CSA to be a separate country. Things could have worked out differently. The citizenry of the CSA certainly didn't support (much less choose) the policies which were imposed upon them at the end of the war. What does it matter to them whether those policies were imposed by a foreign country or by a """foreign""" """country"""? Just how thick do lines on a map need to be before identical policies across them become "colonialist"? Like, can you give me a pixel width?

Rotting Bones, in a previous discussion a while back, made a similar point about Hindu peasants of Tamil Nadu being oppressed by foreign Muslims in faraway Delhi versus foreign Christians in faraway London-- i.e. it's all the same to them. Whether we consider one place to be the "same country" as another now, in present day, has no bearing on how people felt about it 150 years ago. To repeat: countries are lines on a map. You are being essentialist.

(And if you still don't consider the Civil War to be colonialist, here's a clearer example for you to chew on: the Royal Navy African Squadron putting an end to the Arab slave trade along East Africa in the late 1800s. Good or not-good? Colonialist or not-colonialist?)

(and since I'm replying to you, I might as well respond to your earlier post as well)
faiuwle wrote:
What gives you the idea that I'm not aware that if I had been raised in a different social context I'd have different opinions? I don't think I'm right because these happen to be the opinions I've always had, I've actually put thought into them over time and they've changed as I've acquired knowledge.

What gives me the idea? Well, for one, the fact that immediately after averring that you're aware of your own regional biases, in the very next sentence you deny having any regional biases. For another, the fact that you say that the way you overcame regional biases is by "putting thought into them"-- perhaps, just maybe, people in other regions of the world have also "put thought into" the same issue and have come to completely different conclusions as you? What might explain this discrepancy? Are the two of you not using the same brain hardware?

Also, I listed 6 historical examples of colonialism in my earlier post. You replied by agreeing that 4 are colonialist, but denied that the other 2 are colonialist... the very 2 which are considered by us Moderns to have been "good" developments. And immediately thereafter you deny that you are defining "colonialist" strictly by whether you agree with it or not. Am I or am I not supposed to find this a little bit convenient? This is the part where I accuse you of not being as reflective as you ought.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:24 pm 
Avisaru
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Xephyr wrote:
That's because the South lost, and secession didn't succeed. You don't consider the CSA to be a separate country. Things could have worked out differently. The citizenry of the CSA certainly didn't support (much less choose) the policies which were imposed upon them at the end of the war. What does it matter to them whether those policies were imposed by a foreign country or by a """foreign""" """country"""? Just how thick do lines on a map need to be before identical policies across them become "colonialist"? Like, can you give me a pixel width?


There is no line thickness that would achieve that. You could say that the civil war was the Union enforcing its ideals on the CSA, or that it was straight up one country conquering another country, but you can't say it's colonialism *because there was no Union colony in the CSA*. I don't think this is hard.

Quote:
(And if you still don't consider the Civil War to be colonialist, here's a clearer example for you to chew on: the Royal Navy African Squadron putting an end to the Arab slave trade along East Africa in the late 1800s. Good or not-good? Colonialist or not-colonialist?)


Was there a colony involved? If not, it's not colonialism.

Quote:
faiuwle wrote:
What gives you the idea that I'm not aware that if I had been raised in a different social context I'd have different opinions? I don't think I'm right because these happen to be the opinions I've always had, I've actually put thought into them over time and they've changed as I've acquired knowledge.

What gives me the idea? Well, for one, the fact that immediately after averring that you're aware of your own regional biases, in the very next sentence you deny having any regional biases.


Nowhere did I say I have no regional biases. I specifically said that I probably did, but apparently you didn't read that part.

Quote:
For another, the fact that you say that the way you overcame regional biases is by "putting thought into them"-- perhaps, just maybe, people in other regions of the world have also "put thought into" the same issue and have come to completely different conclusions as you? What might explain this discrepancy? Are the two of you not using the same brain hardware?


Probably because different people have different experiences and start from different places?

Quote:
Also, I listed 6 historical examples of colonialism in my earlier post. You replied by agreeing that 4 are colonialist, but denied that the other 2 are colonialist... the very 2 which are considered by us Moderns to have been "good" developments. And immediately thereafter you deny that you are defining "colonialist" strictly by whether you agree with it or not. Am I or am I not supposed to find this a little bit convenient? This is the part where I accuse you of not being as reflective as you ought.


It's not an accident; after all, we pretty much view colonialism as being bad. It's far from the only bad thing, though, if that's what you mean.

Travis B. wrote:
I.e. it's not colonialism if I agree with it.


Funny enough, there are a lot of words for which that is true: murder, rape, slavery, etc. Are you suggesting that colonialism is the only word that refers to something I always disagree with, or that no words should refer to something I always disagree with?

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