Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
softwareNerd

Hate Speech: a crime in Europe

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Is this kind of justification valid from an Objectivist perspective?
If one provides the right context, Kant's statement can be read as being perfectly good. However, no Objectivist would say that Objectivism can only work if everyone agrees with Objectivism. How can one justify Objectivism via a show of hands. Of course, it is impractical to think that a country will have a political system like that suggested by Objectivism if over 90% of the people think altruism is good and that the government must take from the rich and give to the poor.

The problem with civil-rights laws is that they are a form of the government imposing its view of what is rational. It is pretty clear to me and you that a landlord who does not let his home to a gay person or to a black person primarily because of his own prejudice is irrational. However, it is his home, and nobody has a right to rent it without his consent. He did something to end up owning that home. if he wishes to set it on fire to placate the Easter God (assuming he damages nobody else) he should be free to go ahead with his irrationality. One can make a case for the government stepping in when a person is mentally ill, but not when he is irrational. it does not matter if his irrationality has an impact on others -- that is not the test. The test is whether the impact actually violates their rights.

Edited by softwareNerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The maxim is useful in testing broad moral statements for universal applicability. The Objectivist view on individual rights (including when force is justified) certainly passes that test. I think passing this test is necessary, but I don't think it is sufficient to justify a given position. I don't know enough to say much more than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A racist couldn’t say “If everybody agrees with racism, then a racist government will work for everyone”. They can’t say this because a racist government clearly wouldn’t work for racial minorities. Whereas an Objectivist could say: “If everyone agrees with Objectivism, then an Objectivism government will work for everyone.”

This kind of reasoning was used by Kant:

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.

I think that if Kant heard your line of reasoning above, he would vehemently disagree. If he heard you claim that that was a lot like his reasoning, he would point out that by "without contradiction" he didn't mean "it works". His reasoning (the universe in which he wanted to avoid contradictions) was purposefully divorced from the reality in which you would like your ideas to "work". Kant considered your reality and your ambitions to make things "work" inferior to the higher dimension of pure reason he was operating in.

To be a little more specific, Kant dismissed any kind of reasoning that is based on empirical evidence and seeks to determine how to best achieve our ends (in your case, a political system that works (presumably you mean that it works in the sense that we can all live in peace), in favor of his categorical imperative (the one you quoted above) is a rule humans choose without any justification, as they should.

Clearly, saying that "it works" is a justification, and not something Kant would've approved of (well, he would've kinda approved of it, because he did approve of reason to some extent - he considered it good - but he wouldn't have considered it right, worthy of praise or the highest moral principle). If we tried to fit Objectivist Ethics into Kant's universe, it would be a hypothetical imperative (a system of reasoning that seeks to achieve the goal of living according to our nature, through the study of reality), something far less important than following his fabricated absolutes by being altruistic and without regard to reason, reality or consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The maxim is useful in testing broad moral statements for universal applicability. The Objectivist view on individual rights (including when force is justified) certainly passes that test. I think passing this test is necessary, but I don't think it is sufficient to justify a given position. I don't know enough to say much more than that.

I think that statement would only be true for a maxim that is modified, and interpreted to mean something other than what Kant intended it to mean. "without contradiction" should be modified to "without conflict, here in the real world, where objective principles are in fact possible" (a fact Kant denied, and claimed that any such reasoning would be subjective).

P.S. The reason why I'm replacing contradiction with conflict is because, if we are operating in the real world, we already know that contradictions don't exist. Saying that our ideas can't lead to "contradictions" isn't saying much.

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I tried reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason once but the book got sun-bleached as it sat neglected under the rear window of my car. So I remain ignorant about Kant, and I'll take your word for it.

It is pretty common to hear the question as Kate presented it. I don't know if this is due to a misreading of Kant or due to something else. For what it's worth, if it is a misreading, I think it's a genuinely useful one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: I almost forgot to remind you that people don't even agree on what is and isn't racist. Would you like me to give a few examples of how contemporary and academic views of racism could lead to anti-racism laws that you might find abhorrent?

I'm listening to my favorite radio show right now, counting the times they would've been arrested in Britain for broadcasting this. I'm into double digits, and it's only been 20 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybsror-eo24

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SapereAude, if 90% of the population are homophobic in a free society you may well have found yourself in the above situation permanently without a job through no fault of your own. Doesn't this bother you?

What you are missing here is that I could never be "permanently without a job through no fault of my own".

There are many things I could do that would not involve using coercion against others, including ceasing to exist. But the easier would be to be very, very closeted.

Unhappy, yes. Inconvenient, yes and more still.

But you need to learn what principles are Kate, and why they are so important.

Let us turn the tables.

In the USA, it is being bandied about by politcians that perhaps employers screening for and not hiring convicted felons is discriimination and that convicted felons need to become a protected class that you cannot show bias against in hiring. This is not a hypothetical scenario, Kate, this is really happening.

Now, what if I were to be forced to hire a person who was accused of gross crimes against women, or a bigoted killer of gays, or violent rapist?

I would burn my business to the ground before I would comply.

As I would not prefer someone to do to me I would not do unto anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-19910865

The law is changing after Christmas - according to "The One Show" (a magazine style TV show) the law will be clarified to emphasis that someone who is enacting a sustained campaign of insulting abuse will be prosecuted whereas someone who just insults will not.

Update on having the right to insult people in the UK - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9734919/Lets-do-away-with-this-insult-to-free-speech.html

There is a vote tomorrow in parliament to amend the Public Order Act. Will post results here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the article Kate posted:

In a letter to me [this is the author of this legislative initiative speaking], dated December 6, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, explained that:

“Having now considered the case law in greater depth, we are unable to identify a case in which the alleged behaviour leading to conviction could not be characterised as 'abusive’ as well as 'insulting’. I therefore agree that the word 'insulting’ could be safely removed without the risk of undermining the ability of the CPS to bring prosecutions.”

So, according to the Crown Prosecution Service, removing the word "insulting" will change absolutely nothing. It's just more Newspeak: changing a word, to absolutely no effect in the real world, is supposedly the solution to the problem.

The actual solution to the problem would be clarifying that there is no such thing as "abusive" speech when directed towards anyone who isn't your captive but in fact free to not listen to you. Furthermore, it should be clarified that a criminal threat involves the physical means and the provable intent to carry out a physical assault against someone, not the empty promise shouted out in anger or as a joke online. Furthermore, it should be clarified that people have the right to hate speech, or any other expression of hatred towards anything and anyone, and that this right may not be infringed upon by the government. Then they should pass a law forbidding the government from restricting speech in any way, shape or form.

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the article Kate posted:

So, according to the Crown Prosecution Service, removing the word "insulting" will change absolutely nothing. It's just more Newspeak: changing a word, to absolutely no effect in the real world, is supposedly the solution to the problem.

Whether it will affect prosecutions is one thing, but it has affected people in other ways. From the article:

The law, in its current form, has been used to arrest gay activists, Christian preachers and a student who called a police horse “gay”. A critic of Scientology was summoned under Section 5. And a young man who said “woof” to a dog was actually convicted, although a court later cleared him.

The actual solution to the problem would be clarifying that there is no such thing as "abusive" speech when directed towards anyone who isn't your captive but in fact free to not listen to you. Furthermore, it should be clarified that a criminal threat involves the physical means and the provable intent to carry out a physical assault against someone, not the empty promise shouted out in anger or as a joke online. Furthermore, it should be clarified that people have the right to hate speech, or any other expression of hatred towards anything and anyone, and that this right may not be infringed upon by the government. Then they should pass a law forbidding the government from restricting speech in any way, shape or form.

What about speech that constitutes non-physical harassment? Eg following someone around for months repeating "Jesus loves you". There should surely be restrictions on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether it will affect prosecutions is one thing, but it has affected people in other ways. From the article:

What about speech that constitutes non-physical harassment? Eg following someone around for months repeating "Jesus loves you". There should surely be restrictions on this.

Perhaps on the 'following around', but not if say your boss/coworker/neighbor started every sentence with those words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether it will affect prosecutions is one thing, but it has affected people in other ways. From the article:

The law, in its current form, has been used to arrest gay activists, Christian preachers and a student who called a police horse “gay”. A critic of Scientology was summoned under Section 5. And a young man who said “woof” to a dog was actually convicted, although a court later cleared him.

According to your own article, everyone who was ever prosecuted was guilty of both insulting and abusive speech. Look through some of the examples of people who have been prosecuted. You'll find that they've been prosecuted for exactly the kinds of "offenses" you're listing here.

There are plenty of examples even in this thread.

What about speech that constitutes non-physical harassment? Eg following someone around for months repeating "Jesus loves you". There should surely be restrictions on this.

There are. They're called property rights. You can't follow someone around on other people's property. Once they leave your property, or the property of people who allow you to behave like this, you can't tell them anything.

I dare you to try to follow me around to tell me things. You'll find that you will seldom get more than a few minutes of getting within earshot of me, a day. If you tried doing it in my apartment building, my workplace, my gym, or in my car, you would be in violation of private property rights and arrested for trespassing.

In fact, you'd be spending about 99% of the time standing on the street freezing to death, and the other 1% trying to catch up with me as I go to my car or enter a building, with my headphones on maximum volume. And when you did manage to make yourself heard, I wouldn't care. So, you see, I really don't need the government to protect me from what you have to say. Feel free to tell me anything, whenever and wherever you get a chance.

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If differences between human groups, that might or might not coincide with slight genetic distances, that is the concept of ethnicity, or nationality, was not such a well established taboo; someone might have suggested that, even if disagreeing with the Racist guy who wrote that linked and translated entry, he still has a point that might resonate with the Objectivist concept of Self Interest: that Finnish citizens are not gaining anything by inviting Somalis to live in Finland, but scarifying the only aspect of their society that makes them more valuable, homogeneity, for the sake of altruism and for avoiding conflict with the world's major player and their agendas, in the case of Finalnd the EU (a process of pure crystallized compromise also known as Finlandization)

But genetic differences amongst men are too much a taboo to even begin to suggest that. Instead we should lynch the Suomi guy a bit more for using the N word in every paragraph (did he not receive the official memo?!?!) and citing crime statistics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about speech that constitutes non-physical harassment? Eg following someone around for months repeating "Jesus loves you". There should surely be restrictions on this.

It should not be treated as speech. Repetition is noise. It should be treated as noise pollution. And it would be illegal and enforced, much like it's not legal to hook a megaphone to a car and advertise a brand of hair conditioner throughout town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it bother you that a country of cowards would be conquered by foreign invaders without a draft or that a country of moochers would descend into anarchy without a mandatory tax?

do you mean the cowards have no draft or the conquering invaders have no draft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tad you're picking on Oso's bad choice of the word draft. I understand his post as national responsibility much like individual responsibility (the moochers could pay taxes to raise a voluntary mercenary defensive army and systems)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on having the right to insult people in the UK - http://www.telegraph...ree-speech.html

There is a vote tomorrow in parliament to amend the Public Order Act. Will post results here.

Insulting someone in the UK is now not a crime - yay! - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21020737 It's pathetic that this had to be fought for and the Labour party's response:

"... shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper pressed the government to produce an "assessment of the impact of Section 5 of the Public Order Act on different groups, particularly on minority groups"."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Insulting someone in the UK is now not a crime - yay!

Yay! Oh, wait:

Since the attack [Note: "the attack" refers to the killing and attempted beheading of a British soldier by two Muslim terrorists, in London], a number of people have been charged by police after allegedly offensive messages were posted on social media websites.

These include a 22-year-old man from Lincoln, a 28-year-old man from London, a 23-year-old woman from Southsea, and a 19-year-old man from Woking.

Three men - two from Gateshead and one from Stockton - have been arrested by Northumbria Police on suspicion of posting racist tweets.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22664835

I guess insulting people is still a crime in the UK after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember kids, investigating hurt feelings on the Internet is more important than dealing with domestic terrorism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this one at Jihadwatch.

 

Turkish-Armenian blogger sentenced to Turkish prison for blasphemy


 

Istanbul (CNN) -- A Turkish-Armenian blogger vowed to appeal a day after an Istanbul court sentenced him to more than a year in prison for blasphemy.

 

...

 

According to Turkey's semi-official Anatolian Agency, Nisanyan received a one year and 45-day jail sentence for "openly denigrating the religious values held by a certain portion of the population."

 

Anatolian reported that Nisanyan's initial nine-month jail sentence was extended because "the crime was committed through the press."

 

...

 

On Wednesday, Nisanyan published an English translation of the passage in question from his September 2012 blog post:

 

"It is not 'hate crime' to poke fun at some Arab leader who, many hundred years ago, claimed to have established contact with Deity and made political, economic and sexual profit as a result. It is almost a kindergarten-level case of what we call freedom of expression," Nisanyan wrote.

 

Since the blog was published last year, Nisanyan said, prosecutors have taken him to court simultaneously for this passage in three separate courts across Turkey.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 
 
 
The case of a teenager who called a police horse "gay".
 
Case of someone calling Scientology a cult

The web-site for "Reform Section 5". From the site, it appears that the law has now been changed to remove "insults" from Section 5. Edited by softwareNerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man arrested in Britain, on suspicion of religious harassment, for quoting Winston Churchill in a speech. Good Churchill quote, btw., worth reading for that alone:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/quoting-winston-churchill-deemed-illegal-britain/#K4MttgIpHOqJaOOD.99 

As the assault on free speech continues within the U.S., freedom-loving Americans can look at our forebears in England as a devastating harbinger of what rampant leftism can cause.

Paul Weston, a political candidate and chairman of Liberty GB Party, found out how limited speech has become in the country during an address he made last weekend in Hampshire.

Perched on the steps of Winchester Guildhall Saturday, he recited a passage from a book by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. At the end of the 19th Century, Churchill penned a book called “The River War,” which included his take on Islam as a young soldier during the Anglo-Sudan War.

Weston merely recited Churchill’s words verbatim as part of his address, which included the assertion that “Mohammedanism” is a “militant and proselytizing faith,” and that no “stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

To be sure, Churchill’s account included a strong criticism of the faith. The response of Hampshire authorities, however, was a clear sign that any such speech will no longer be accepted. According to a local police spokesperson, Weston was arrested “on suspicion of religious/racial harassment.”

He was given an order to disperse “following complaints from members of the public,” which he reportedly dismissed.

A source within the Liberty GB party offered a statement following the arrest. “Six or seven officers arrived,” the spokesperson said.

“They talked with the people standing nearby, asking questions about what happened. The police had a long discussion with Mr. Weston, lasting about 40 minutes.”

Police then searched him and took him into custody, the source confirmed. Prior to his inquisition and arrest, Weston reportedly quoted the following passage:

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.lancashire.police.uk/about-us/news/save-a-life--surrender-your-knife

I wonder how long until Britain goes full out prison rules, and people start having to eat their dinners with plastic forks and knives.



Save a Life – Surrender Your Knife

LANCASHIRE Constabulary has joined forces with the ground-breaking national anti-knife crime campaign ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’, as the force’s knife amnesty comes to an end.
Since the amnesty began at the end of August, more than 800 knives have been handed in across the county – including swords, machetes and commando knives. The amnesty was extended for a further week owing to its success.
Lancashire officers have now given their backing to a national initiative designed to raise awareness of knife crime and encourage the surrender of dangerous weapons.
The British Ironwork Centre, which is coordinating the project, intends to use the collected knives to create a 20 feet high guardian angel sculpture in memory of those whose lives have so tragically been lost.
Despite the amnesty ending this week, police say people can continue to hand in any knife at any police station with a front counter as well being able to drop them into the designated bins.
Police are looking to keep the bins and extend the number of locations to include job centres, community centres and leisure centres. 
The “Save a Life, Surrender your Knife” campaign is creating and providing bespoke knife collection bins to be located in the cities around the UK.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Dowson said: “We are keen to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime and to reduce the number of families affected so we have decided to keep the knife bins indefinitely.
"While projects encouraging the surrender of knives are not a single solution to violence, they have an important role to play in inspiring communities to get behind education and preventative measures.
"Such campaigns show a desire to address local concerns and Lancashire Police is keen to throw our weight behind them in support.


"We are keen to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime and to reduce the number of families affected so we have decided to keep the knife bins indefinitely."


“We’ve been delighted with the response so far, but our communities have told us that they want an end to knife crime and that they want to work with us to make that happen."
In total, 340 knives have been handed in across Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and Skelmersdale. Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde, as well as North Lancashire, have seen a total of 150 weapons handed in, while 310 knives have been handed in in East Lancashire.
Among the weapons given up are machetes, swords, axes, a homemade blade screwed together with razor blades and large knives.  
Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, said: “The statue, which will represent the culmination of our project, will symbolise the nation’s stand against knife crime.  We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Lancashire Police in the on-going fight against knife crime”.
The charity project is already gaining huge momentum, receiving the backing of growing number of families whose lives have been tragically affected by knife crime, and of Terry Waite during his recent visit to the Centre.
The Lancashire knife amnesty, which started on Monday 25 August, officially ended on Tuesday 7th October 2014.
Knife bins are located outside of the following stations and continue to be accessible 24 hours a day:

  • Blackpool
  • Lancaster
  • Fleetwood
  • Morecambe
  • Burnley
  • Darwen
  • Nelson
  • Preston
  • Chorley
  • Skelmersdale
Following the end of the amnesty all knives will continue be surrendered anonymously – no names will be taken, and there will be no CCTV cameras recording.
Would you like to become a volunteer?
The British Ironwork Centre is appealing for support with this campaign throughout the UK. If you’d like to find out more about volunteering opportunities available please contact them directly on: [email protected]

 

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A garbage truck veered off the road in Glasgow hitting people, killing 6. Does not appear to be a crime; the driver probably had a seizure.

A 19-year old tweeted this: "So a bin lorry has apparently driven in 100 people in Glasgow eh, probably the most trash it's picked up in one day"

 

I suppose that's some kind of joke about Scots or about Glaswegians in particular.

 

Anyhow, the guy was arrested and then released on bail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×