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Forums - Politics Discussion - The USA and the paradox of tolerance


What's your opinion on the free speech policy on the USA?

Free speech should be pri... 15 50.00%
Intolerant speech should not be tolerated 15 50.00%
LuccaCardoso1 said:

Karl Popper described, in 1945, the paradox of tolerance, stating that a society with limitless tolerance will eventually become an intolerant one and that, in order to maintain a healthy tolerant society, intolerance shouldn't be tolerated.

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

That was more than 70 years ago, but it somehow fits perfectly with today's USA. The unlimited free speech policy is just absurd. The USA, a "developed" country where you can legally be racist, and where you can legally be a nazi. Because of this, it's becoming increasingly polarized and extremists are becoming more and more common by the day. And that never ends well.

What do you think? Do you agree with the USA's 100% free speech policy or do you think they should maybe change that?

Freedom of speech is not 100% unlimited in the USA.  There are laws against incitement to violence, which sounds pretty in line with what Karl Popper is talking about in that quote. 

I cannot overstate how much I think that criminalizing dissent is not in the best interest of my country, despite how tempting it may be to criminalize dissenting to the notion that slavery was bad and blacks were unhappy to be slaves.  But I can't vote in your poll because it's too binary.  Freedom of speech shouldn't be prioritized over, say, stopping people from causing stampedes that kill people by falsely and maliciously shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, to use the hackneyed example. 

I also disagree that the deteriorating political situation is due to freedom of speech, and particularly not due to the problems you cite.  I think the bigger problem is the fragmenting of the national discussion—people tune in exclusively to people saying what they want to hear, except occasionally they listen to someone they hate to remind themselves of what they hate and get even more riled up against them.  They're in the "bubble" where they don't have to hear anything that could make them doubt their beliefs.  Simultaneously to this, and perhaps either as a result or a cause or both, there is a decline in respect for the truth.  Facts are equated with opinions, science is "just a theory", and a guy who literally can't stop himself from bullshitting is elected President.  I'd rather have a liar:  a liar cares about the truth. 

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No one is actually hurt by racism. It's shitty behavior for sure but if someone wants to be racist let them.

edit: Giving authorities the the ability to police speech and say what is and what is not OK is not good, especially when the same kind of speech is OK is directed at one but not OK when directed at another.

Last edited by melbye - on 29 August 2018

LuccaCardoso1 said:
pokoko said:

So ... what?  You want people to be arrested if they think that?  Prison?  Fined?  Expand upon this more, please.

It's impossible (and the things that would make it possible are pretty immoral) to arrest someone because of what they think, but if someone goes on Twitter, for example, and writes "I hate Obama because he's black" (that's a grotesque simplification, but you get the point), that person should, at least, be fined.

Will that go both way though? So for example, Sarah Jeong should be fined? Maybe more since she's a repeat offender?

LuccaCardoso1 said:
Snoorlax said:

I think anybody can have his or her personal views and express them appropiately as long as they don't spread hate, violence or discrimination.

Like if i said I don't like being around Muslims because i don't agree with their religion. Should i be fined or arrested? No that's just a closed minded opinion but with all the right to have as long as i don't harass nor attack anyone.

Islam is a set of ideas. Being black is nothing more than your skin colour. You can disagree with Islam, but it's impossible to disagree with being black because there's nothing to disagree with.

Islam is a Middle-Eastern Abrahamic religion, derived from the exact same historical context as Christianity and Judaism.
Anyone who criticizes Islam/Muslims but supports Christianity/Christians or Judaism/Jews is to put bluntly... A Hypocrite.

With that in mind, Freedom of Religion is generally a right given to those in Western Nations and should thus be respected, but that also comes with it an implied right to criticize said Religions... And as an ardent Atheist, I highly encourage everyone to do so in an equal and respectful manner.

--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Jicale said:
LuccaCardoso1 said:

It's impossible (and the things that would make it possible are pretty immoral) to arrest someone because of what they think, but if someone goes on Twitter, for example, and writes "I hate Obama because he's black" (that's a grotesque simplification, but you get the point), that person should, at least, be fined.

Will that go both way though? So for example, Sarah Jeong should be fined? Maybe more since she's a repeat offender?

Sure. But I doubt she'll do that ever again, as she said she regretted taking that tactic of counter-trolling.


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LuccaCardoso1 said:
pokoko said:

That would be quite interesting in a country with 300 million people.  Probably have to hire thousands of new judges just for social media, not to mention specialized law enforcement officers to hunt down these criminals.  What about forums?  Life, if someone said that here, would the FBI subpoena VGC records and IP providers? 

Very interesting. 

I don't see how creating more jobs is a bad thing.

In Brazil, it's illegal to insult someone based on their skin colour, ethnicity, religion or nationality. There are almost 210 million people living in Brazil. In the EU, it's against the law to incite hate or violence against people based on their skin colour, ethnicity or nationality. There are more than 500 million people in the EU. Population should not be a problem in the implementation of a similar law in the USA.

It's against the law in Europe to tweet that you hate someone because of skin color?  That was your example.

Tolerance does not include intolerance. The same as the freedom to live does not include the freedom to get killed. Absolute tolerance and absolute freedom work as great as as an absolute free market.

You gotta have rules, man.

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It’s a complicated issue. I believe it should be illegal to invade and exploit other countries resources. What white people did to native Americans, Africans, Palestinians, and on and on is reprehensible. What the Jews did to the Germans and vice a versa is truly an obvious example of powerful groups preying on differences with full legal support.

Having an opinion is fine. Expressing it is fine too. Legally invading countries for oil and poppy fields is not fine. Installing puppet governments in South America who borrow from the world bank at outrageous interest only to forfeit all resources is not fine. Support for dictators who kidnap and murder suspects is not fine.

What is fine is feeling best around your own race. It’s ok for a person to say they would rather have predominantly friends who match their own ethnicity. As long as they don’t use their solidarity and unity to exploit those who are being divided by diversity. Should a group be able to walk around like the kkk shouting violent slurs? Fuck no. They should get greifed. But should and an individual be able to say they are uncomfortable around cultures they don’t fit into and attract only those that they do? Yes it’s their liberty.

LuccaCardoso1 said:
OhNoYouDont said:

You would support a fine for somebody saying something you do not agree with? Time to grow up, seriously mate.

It's not about agreeing or not. You can say you hate Obama because of what he did, you just can't say it's because he's black. There's no discussing in racism, it's not something you agree or disagree with. Racism is just objectively wrong.

First things first - something being objectively wrong is a non-starter. Maybe you're religious and you embrace divine command theory, or perhaps you're just fundamentally ignorant on the topic. Either way, the metaethical framework matters, and you're not going to find some universal agreement on moral oughts. I'm not even convinced moral realism is true, let alone a particular deontological or consequentialist approach is tenable.

Secondly, if someone is racist what purpose does it serve to censor them? They are still a racist and saying the same things you find objectionable behind closed doors. Out of sight, out of mind mentality?

I absolutely believe in our country's 100% free speech policy. To suggest otherwise is not only wrong IMO, it's actually dangerous and sets a horribly dangerous precedent. Who gets to decide what speech is acceptable?This leads to a MASSIVE gap in power, which, unchecked, can lead to oppressive governments.

To criminalize speech would essentially be the epitome of intolerance, would it not? Obviously there are horrible, mean-spirited ideas, but I completely believe in the free market of ideas to let people come to their own conclusions, and let the market play out organically, much like in capitalism. Natrually, the horrible ideas will sink to the bottom while the great, highly supported ideas will rise to the top.

The ONLY exceptions shuold be direct threats to a person or their safety (ie crying bomb on a airplane or threatening to kill somebody).

It's also funny how you mention Nazis - even though putting restrictions on free speech is actually quite a Fascist/Nazi attribute, is it not?


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