Free Speech - Jordan Peterson Debate Live 9:30 EST Saturday

by cofty 85 Replies latest social current

  • cofty
    cofty
    Please notice that you changed my example to something else.

    Yes I did. If Peterson is correct a hotel will be unable to fire a male receptionist who turns up in a dress and a beard claiming that this is his/her/they/Zi version of "gender expression". That would be a bad law.

    You believe that it should be legal to fire a fireman for coming out trans?

    No.

    For instance, suppose a female fireman comes out as a man, you believe it should be possible to fire that person?

    No absolutely not. Not unless something interferes with their ability to perform their duties.

    Again if Peterson is correct, the fireman/woman will be able to demand that they are referred to by made-up pronouns. They employer would be liable for the failure of other employees to comply. IF Peterson's interpretation is correct.

  • bohm
    bohm

    No absolutely not. Not unless something interferes with their ability to perform their duties.

    Again if Peterson is correct, the fireman/woman will be able to demand that they are referred to by made-up pronouns. They employer would be liable for the failure of other employees to comply. IF Peterson's interpretation is correct.

    Okay thanks for the clarification, I am glad we are discussing the issue of free speech rather than Petersons situation at his university.


    The thing is that in order to make it illegal (by federal law) to fire the fireman(woman), there has to be a law against it (which there already are in many places in Canada like Toronto). That law (C 16) has to use a phrase to describe the act of referencing a person by his preferred pronouns, and it also has to capture the situation where the female fireman is fired for other gender expressions such as having a beard, wearing a tie, etc. Since you can come up with many ways to discriminate against a transexual the phrase must be quite wide. In this case, they choose "gender identity and gender expression" as that phrase.

    At this point, we are already dictating what other people should say (plausibly, at least). For instance, we are now dictating that the employer can't systematically call his subordinate "he" if she identifies as a "she" (this remains to be tested in the courts but it would appear this would fall under harassment -- as I think it should, if there are laws about these kinds of things, because I can easily see that as being harassing behavior similar to referring to a gay man as "miss").

    This is where I am beginning to find Jordans points quite dubious. The thrust of his main objection is to the idea that he is being "forced" to use "made up words" and that is tied into the idea that Marxist are trying to control his language which he sees as an incursion on free speech.

    Well, if we agree that a boss can't systematically call a trans "he" if she identifies as "she", language is already being controlled: The person in question IS a "he", biologically, "she" IS a "he" traditionally, and Jordans language IS now being controlled according to non-traditional interpretation of a person's right (it is okay to be trans).

    Since Jordan seems to have no problem changing pronouns for real transexuals, then "language control" can't be his real point (again, a point can be made that we should not have such rules and a transsexual or gay man should just suck it up, however, I think that is for the Canadians to decide).

    Thus, what remains as his main point is specifically the use of words like "Xir". Here, Jordan is referring to tradition (it has always been "he" or "she") and the "Marxist" origins of the words which he think is bad.

    I think those arguments are very dubious. The argument from tradition seems to be exactly the same argument made against gay marriage (marriage has always been between a man and a woman) and has no real content. As for the Marxist bit, well, that theory that words are "tainted" seems pretty overthought, at the very least that means there are no arguments against pronouns which are not made-up by Marxists.

    That leaves the question of harm, which Peterson seems to believe is quite substantial.

    Now I happen to agree that the use of pronouns like Xir is quite ridiculous, but I fail to see the potential harm because the standards for harassment/hate crimes are very high. If I had to be convicted of harassing my neighbor based on his religious beliefs, I would have to do some pretty extreme things, and so we are back to a lot of hypotheticals (what if the receptionist turns up with a beard and a dress? What if a biological man want an egg transplant to overcome infertility?) which conflicts with other points made on this thread (there are less than 0.3% transexuals and in my experience, they struggle not to look ridiculous).

    The thing this brings me to is why should this be given so much attention as a free speech issue given, say, the current US president elect has said he will change libel laws to make it easier to sue newspapers that write bad stories about him? How does this compare against the crap happening in the arabic world?

  • cofty
    cofty

    Very interesting points Bohm thank you for your input.

    I enjoy forum conversations most when people explain with evidence and reason why I may be wrong. I appreciate it.

    I have often been accused on the forum of being unwilling to ever admit being wrong. It's not true. I just need reasons to convince me. Being in a minority of one isn't ever a reason.

    I will watch developments with interest.

    By the way I agree that Trump poses an egregious threat to free speech.

  • Simon
    Simon
    It would likely violate the 1st and 5th amendment, see for instance the UCLAs thoughts on the matter. The idea of creating and maintaining a database of citizens because of their religious views (or other ideas) is fundamentally unsound, but very likely also unconstitutional.

    What religious views? Seriously, where is the authoritative HQ of "Islam" that controls it? Are people "official members" of an official group? It's really not that easy to define is it once you think about it, there is plenty of disagreement about who is and isn't muslim even among "muslims" (a scenario that applies, in fact, to most religions)

    If any group wants to attack the US do they just declare themselves a religion and are then untrackable? Maybe the mafia should consider declaring themselves a faith as well, would probably make things easier for them.

    Who cares what the UCLA "think"? What matters ultimately is what the electorate vote for. All talk of rights any anything else is predicated on the notion that someone can decide what is and isn't OK: that is the government as the enforcer, via the supreme court as the arbiter, but ultimately controlled by the will of the people.

    Things are setup to prevent quick and sudden change of law and society (i.e. to make the laws reflect the longer-term wishes of the people) but the dog wags the tail, not the other way round. If the people wanted to disallow votes to minorities or women then it could happen, what is there that would prevent it? The constitution? It's just a piece of paper, already amended umpteen times and too vague to be useful - ultimately it's the supreme court that interprets it and decides what the law is.

  • Simon
    Simon

    No one can force anyone to call them he or she, whatever they are. The only recourse you have is to tell someone that they are being insulting and to cease talking to them.

    If they are in some official capacity or representing an organization or group then you can complain to them and hopefully they would take action if they thought it was actually an issue (not a frivolous complaint).

    Seriously, if someone calls you "she" and you're a man or "he" and you're a women, what do you do?

    Everything relies on community and the people around us, either those immediately in a conversation, those in a room, in the town or ultimately the country.

    What everyone else decides as acceptable is what is acceptable. When people thought slavery was OK then slavery was legally OK. Over time, people became more enlightened and the laws were changed to reflect public opinion which changed first.

    The problem with these people is that there is no public opinion on it. They are trying to enforce their whims on other people, and that should never fly. If it does, it's the kind of legislation that can and will produce resentment. Then, instead of the reasonable "he" and "she" that most people would be happy to use, you would instead see ugly slurs.

    The reason I suspect Jordan Peterson is right on this issue is because it appears the university is trying to do everything it can to deny even discussion of the issue. Preventing the espousing of ideas is rarely the sign of a solid argument.

    I hope the debate video is up online soon so we can judge it.

  • bohm
    bohm

    If any group wants to attack the US do they just declare themselves a religion and are then untrackable? Maybe the mafia should consider declaring themselves a faith as well, would probably make things easier for them.

    Who cares what the UCLA "think", what matters ultimately is what the electorate vote for. All talk of rights any anything else is predicated on the notion that someone can decide what is and isn't OK: that is the government, via the supreme court, ultimately controlled by the people.

    Well, Trump proposed a database of all Muslims (US citizens) and so you will have to ask him these questions as presumably the statement assumes they have an answer.

    In a democracy such as the US what fundamentally defines people's rights are the constitution. You are correct that the people can change the constitution to make something constitutional which formerly were not; You may feel such a database is a fine idea but I disagree. I think the creation of databases targeting people of a particular religious or political persuasion is one of the stepping stones into tyranny and thought-crime. I think it was wrong during WW2 when the Japanese were put into camps, I think it was wrong during the 50s under McCarthy and I think it would be wrong in 2017.

    No one can force anyone to call them he or she, whatever they are. The only recourse you have is to tell someone that they are being insulting and to cease talking to them.

    There is an inconsistency here. In the previous post, you said that "what matters ultimately is what the electorate vote for". The Canadian people have voted for a government that --with a very, very considerable margin-- voted for C 16. Thus, if you believe that what matters is what people have voted for (rather than some underlying principles), then there can be little more discussion if C 16 is right or wrong.

    The problem with these people is that there is no public opinion on it.

    The margin by which C16 was enacted would suggest otherwise.

    The reason I suspect Jordan Peterson is right on this issue is because it appears the university is trying to do everything it can to deny even discussion of the issue. Preventing the espousing of ideas is rarely the sign of a solid argument.

    How can they do "everything" to "deny discussion" and at the same time host a debate which is broadcasted on the internet?

  • Simon
    Simon
    In a democracy such as the US what fundamentally defines people's rights are the constitution. You are correct that the people can change the constitution to make something constitutional which formerly were not;

    You saved me the bother of explaining further why "the constitution" guarantees you nothing other than treatment as the majority want when the majority rule. What provides your rights is a functioning government beholden to the people, willing to adhere to it's own rules.

    You may feel such a database is a fine idea but I disagree. I think the creation of databases targeting people of a particular religious or political persuasion is one of the stepping stones into tyranny and thought-crime. I think it was wrong during WW2 when the Japanese were put into camps, I think it was wrong during the 50s under McCarthy and I think it would be wrong in 2017.

    And each time, it happens because it makes sense to do at the time. Internment of the Japanese is judged, like the bombings of Dresden or the Nuclear attacks on Japan with the luxury of hindsight. There was no guarantee at the time that the Japanese in America might not be a threat and if there were Islamic forces launching the scale of attacks that Germany and Japan did, there would be few people objecting to the rounding up and internment of muslims.

    They would be free to wave a copy of the constitution, it would do nothing.

    I'm not arguing for it or saying it's "right" or even a net benefit in the situation (taking things like "intelligence" into account). I'm just describing reality.

    There is an inconsistency here. In the previous post, you said that "what matters ultimately is what the electorate vote for". The Canadian people have voted for a government that --with a very, very considerable margin-- voted for C 16. Thus, if you believe that what matters is what people have voted for (rather than some underlying principles), then there can be little more discussion if C 16 is right or wrong.

    Yes, as long as the government listens to people. That is why this issue is important as it seems that some people's opposition to it is being silenced. Our system of government and any healthy democracy relies on people being free to voice their political opinion on issues. In fact, it is the only thing the "free speech" part of the constitution is meant to refer to. It's been subverted to the point that we're often unable to object but everyone claims the right to say every piece of ugly rhetoric imaginable.

    The margin by which C16 was enacted would suggest otherwise.

    I haven't seen the details on the vote. I suspect the majority of people don't pay enough attention until things arrive. This is often a failure of news reporting and also the representatives that people elect. The danger of democracy is a disengaged electorate as it allows extreme laws to be passed.

    How can they do "everything" to "deny discussion" and at the same time host a debate which is broadcasted on the internet?

    If you watch his interview (I think on The Rubin Report) he was silenced from talking about the issue so suggested they debate the principle of free speech. They didn't see the irony of allowing that debate to go ahead on the condition that he not mention any of the pronoun legislation.

    Free speech ... not at all as intended. Very insidious.

    How can democracy work if we cannot voice our objections to laws?

  • bohm
    bohm
    And each time, it happens because it makes sense to do at the time. Internment of the Japanese is judged, like the bombings of Dresden or the Nuclear attacks on Japan with the luxury of hindsight. There was no guarantee at the time that the Japanese in America might not be a threat and if there were Islamic forces launching the scale of attacks that Germany and Japan did, there would be few people objecting to the rounding up and internment of muslims. (..)
    I'm not arguing for it or saying it's "right" or even a net benefit in the situation (taking things like "intelligence" into account). I'm just describing reality.

    Okay I think we just have to disagree that the imprisonment of the Janese during WW2 or McCarthyrism was a good idea. With regards to the database, I am referring to Trumps suggestion of making a database of US Muslims now, today, sans any hypothetical attacks. I think that is a dangerous path to take and I think we will simply have to agree to disagree on that point.

    Our system of government and any healthy democracy relies on people being free to voice their political opinion on issues. In fact, it is the only thing the "free speech" part of the constitution is meant to refer to. It's been subverted to the point that we're often unable to object but everyone claims the right to say every piece of ugly rhetoric imaginable.

    I am not sure I understand the last two lines.

    I haven't seen the details on the vote. I suspect the majority of people don't pay enough attention until things arrive

    Well, it was passed by about 240 votes to 40..

    If you watch his interview (I think on The Rubin Report) he was silenced from talking about the issue so suggested they debate the principle of free speech. They didn't see the irony of allowing that debate to go ahead on the condition that he not mention any of the pronoun legislation.

    I am watching the debate and they are mentioning the relevant legislation again and again... Again, it is very difficult to see the university is doing their best to silence him.

  • Simon
    Simon
    Okay I think we just have to disagree that the imprisonment of the Janese during WW2 or McCarthyrism was a good idea. With regards to the database, I am referring to Trumps suggestion of making a database of US Muslims now, today, sans any hypothetical attacks. I think that is a dangerous path to take and I think we will simply have to agree to disagree on that point.

    When did I say it was a good idea? I'm just pointing out why things that seem crazy with the luxurious benefit of hindsight can seem more reasonable and not be questioned at the time or even be generally supported.

    Given that you have a group who, if they could, would almost certainly detonate a nuclear device in a major populated area of the US and they "hide" within a certain segment of the population. Does it really seem so outlandish to imagine that people wouldn't support such a database?

    Again, I'm commenting on the realities of public opinion and outcomes, not judging what is wise or right from an absolute moral point of view

    I am not sure I understand the last two lines.

    I meant that the notion of "free speech" is usually subverted to justify every obnoxious and vile utterance. The irony being that the one thing it was meant to cover, political expression and debate, is what is so often *not* allowed.

    Well, it was passed by about 240 votes to 40

    Whether something is passed or supported is not the measure of whether it is right and correct. Governments and legislators sometimes (often?) make mistakes and not every piece of legislation is judged correctly.


  • bohm
    bohm
    When did I say it was a good idea? I'm just pointing out why things that seem crazy with the luxurious benefit of hindsight can seem more reasonable and not be questioned at the time or even be generally supported.
    Again, I'm commenting on the realities of public opinion and outcomes, not judging what is wise or right from an absolute moral point of view

    Sorry, I misread you and I should have been more careful. I think we can easily agree that people can be swayed to support such a database, that seems to have already happened for a large fraction of the population. I am commenting on what is right from a moral standpoint. I think creating such a database now would be both dangerous (from a free-society point of view), morally wrong and inefficient.

    I meant that the notion of "free speech" is usually subverted to justify every obnoxious and vile utterance. The irony being that the one thing it was meant to cover, political expression and debate, is what is so often *not* allowed.

    I agree that the segment of the left I call the "crazy left" does exactly that, and it is very wrong. I also think the "crazy right" does the same (see Trumps calls for changing libel laws). I am not trying to draw a moral equivalence to excuse the "crazy left" as I do not think I have anything of consequence in common with them, however, I am right now more concerned about the "crazy right" as I think their view is being represented by the president-elect.

    Whether something is passed or supported is not the measure of whether it is right and correct. Governments and legislators sometimes (often?) make mistakes and not every piece of legislation is judged correctly.

    I agree, which is exactly my point regarding whatever changes Trump dreams of making to the constitution. I finished listening to the debate and the legal scholar who was defending the bill went to pains to point out that she did not want to argue it was a perfect law, she rather wanted to express what the bill in question said and did not say.

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