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Tags Australia issues , christian persecution , Tim Costello

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Old 8th July 2019, 05:40 PM   #1
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Christians need to "suck it up" and "calm down"

Tim Costello: 'Christians need to calm down' and 'suck it up' over alleged persecution

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Baptist minister says there is no real risk of religious persecution in Australia compared with many other countries

The social justice advocate Tim Costello has called on his fellow Christians to “calm down” about their alleged persecution, amid a brewing political storm over how the government should act to protect against religious discrimination.

Costello, speaking in his new role as a senior fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity, also warned that the federal government should not try to legislate to cover “extreme” examples of competing rights, citing the high-profile Israel Folau case as an example.

The former chief advocate for World Vision Australia is backing the recommendations of the Ruddock review into religious discrimination, but has dismissed calls from conservative Coalition MPs for a religious freedom bill.

He said he did not see any evidence of the persecution of Christians in Australia, and said they needed to “suck it up”, just like Jesus.

“I don’t think there is a risk of persecution – Christians need to calm down,” Costello said.

“I would say to Christians if you want to see persecution, let me take you to places where there is persecution of Christians and other religious groups – let me take you to Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, and I will show you persecution.

“And if they read their Bibles, Jesus said the world will hate you and misunderstand you for following me, but to go on following, loving, serving – so I would say, just suck it up.

“Jesus didn’t go around demanding legislation to protect his rights. Jesus didn’t advocate for freedom of religion legislation.”
I met Tim Costello once when I was working in the aid and development sector, and he was CEO of World Vision Australia. If you're familiar with Australian politicians, he's Peter Costello's brother. Of all the Howard cabinet, he was one of the more reasonable. Tim also is pretty reasonable - during the scandal when World Vision America was accused of proselytising in return for aid, he made it clear that World Vision Australia was not engaging, and would not engage in such practices.
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Old 8th July 2019, 06:03 PM   #2
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I eagerly await Costello's condemnation here, for his blatant whataboutism.
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Old 8th July 2019, 07:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I eagerly await Costello's condemnation here, for his blatant whataboutism.
Do you think Christians are being persecuted in Australia?

No, wait, you don't have a great deal of knowledge of Australian culture. Let's ask whether you think Christians are being persecuted in your home country instead.
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Old 8th July 2019, 07:13 PM   #4
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sharing this with members of my church.
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Old 8th July 2019, 07:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Do you think Christians are being persecuted in Australia?



No, wait, you don't have a great deal of knowledge of Australian culture. Let's ask whether you think Christians are being persecuted in your home country instead.
Worse than in Australia, apparently.

But you're trying to distract from my point.
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Old 8th July 2019, 07:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Worse than in Australia, apparently.

But you're trying to distract from my point.
Of course. Your point is that it doesn't matter that Christians are genuinely being systematically persecuted in other countries; what's important is that they get special consideration and exemptions to laws that apply to everyone else here, just because they exist.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Of course. Your point is that it doesn't matter that Christians are genuinely being systematically persecuted in other countries; what's important is that they get special consideration and exemptions to laws that apply to everyone else here, just because they exist.
Arth - and I ask this in all sincerity - is there anything I could possibly say, to convince that my point was simply about the hypocrisy of "whataboutism!" on this forum?
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:33 PM   #8
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Conservatives agitate for religious freedom law but Coalition voters not on board – Essential poll

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Survey shows majority of Australians don’t want employers to be able to dictate what employees say outside of work

Conservatives within the Morrison government are campaigning for a religious freedom bill but less than half of Coalition voters argue that there should be stronger laws to protect people who express their religious views in public, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.

While only 44% of Coalition voters would back a proposal like the one now being sought by a group of rightwingers in the government, support for the idea across all the voting cohorts is even more tepid, with only 38% backing the move (16% strongly and 22% somewhat).

Clear majorities in the sample also agree with the statements “it is only right that people consider how what they say can affect others” (69%) and “people should not be able to argue religious freedoms to abuse others” (64%).

While the poll suggests Australians are reluctant to codify freedom of religious expression, the latest poll also indicates Australians feel constrained in what they can say and are concerned about the capacity of employers to dictate behaviour outside working hours.

A majority, 64%, agree that people now hesitate before saying what they really think because they are afraid of how others will react, and a majority, 58%, agree that employers should not have the right to dictate what their employees say outside of work.
People are saying that employers should not be able to say what their employees say outside of work, but somehow that does not apply to people employed by the Public Service.

The Australian Public Service Commission's social media guidelines make it clear that criticising the government, a department, a minister, or the Prime Minister on social media will almost always be considered a breach of the Public Service Code of Conduct, and could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Note: The above is intended as a statement of fact, and should not be interpreted as a criticism of any policy or policies of the Australian Public Service, any Australian Government department, or of any Minister or Ministers, including the Prime Minister.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Arth - and I ask this in all sincerity - is there anything I could possibly say, to convince that my point was simply about the hypocrisy of "whataboutism!" on this forum?
"Whataboutism" is, as Randi was fond of saying, a canard.

It is entirely appropriate to compare claims of Christians being persecuted in Australia to actual persecution in countries such as Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

I'm going to come out and say it. Christians are not being persecuted in Australia. Full stop. The Prime Minister and most of the members of the Government are Christian. Christian churches do not pay tax. Christian schools receive government funding. Christians constitute 52% of the Australian population.

Meanwhile Christians are being threatened, attacked, and killed in North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria. There are places where it is outright dangerous to practice Christianity. When someone can point to Australian Christians being subjected to systematic and continuing violence, then maybe I'll agree that Australian Christians are being persecuted.

Australian Christians are not being persecuted. Some of them are just being called out for being bigots. They need to suck it up.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
"Whataboutism" is, as Randi was fond of saying, a canard.

It is entirely appropriate to compare claims of Christians being persecuted in Australia to actual persecution in countries such as Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

I'm going to come out and say it. Christians are not being persecuted in Australia. Full stop. The Prime Minister and most of the members of the Government are Christian. Christian churches do not pay tax. Christian schools receive government funding. Christians constitute 52% of the Australian population.

Meanwhile Christians are being threatened, attacked, and killed in North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria. There are places where it is outright dangerous to practice Christianity. When someone can point to Australian Christians being subjected to systematic and continuing violence, then maybe I'll agree that Australian Christians are being persecuted.

Australian Christians are not being persecuted. Some of them are just being called out for being bigots. They need to suck it up.
Whatever.

Are you actually going to answer my question? Or just quote it and fly off on a tangent?
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Whatever.

Are you actually going to answer my question? Or just quote it and fly off on a tangent?
I did.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
"Whataboutism" is, as Randi was fond of saying, a canard.

It is entirely appropriate to compare claims of Christians being persecuted in Australia to actual persecution in countries such as Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I did.
No.

I asked you if you would accept that my point is about whataboutism.

I didnt ask you for an argument against it.

We still haven't resolved your earlier misunderstanding about my point. Please slow down, back up a couple steps, and acknowledge that your initial response to my first post was wildly off base.

And then please just answer my question.
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Old 8th July 2019, 09:00 PM   #13
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Yes, I accept that your point is about whataboutism.
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Old 8th July 2019, 09:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I eagerly await Costello's condemnation here, for his blatant whataboutism.

Actually this same thought occured to me. This is not to make any kind of comment on the (non-) persecution of Christians in Australia, but simply to reflect that Christians having a harsher time of it elsewhere is a probably a separate issue.

And -- apologies for the digress! -- this got me thinking about a thread I've just now commented on, about skepticism-for-the-heck-of-it. Mental muscle-flexing, as it were -- simply practicing our skepticism. We all do it, now and then, not just one single poster who always gets called out on it.
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Old 8th July 2019, 09:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Actually this same thought occured to me. This is not to make any kind of comment on the (non-) persecution of Christians in Australia, but simply to reflect that Christians having a harsher time of it elsewhere is a probably a separate issue.
While I don't disagree on the latter part, I feel that it is important to make Australian Christians aware that what they're experiencing here, and the circumstances that prompted the Ruddock review and the upcoming Religious Freedom bill, does not constitute persecution.

Gay people being allowed to get married does not persecute Christians. Israel Folau being disciplined for breaching an agreed Code of Conduct does not persecute Christians.

Assaulting and killing Christians for being Christians persecutes Christians. That happens elsewhere; it does not happen here.
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Old 8th July 2019, 09:26 PM   #16
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Agreed, to all of that. Christians aren't being persecuted in Australia, nor for that matter in the US.

Curtailment of the freedom to move one's fist into another man's nose cannot, in any shape of form, be thought of as persecution.
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Old 8th July 2019, 10:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Conservatives agitate for religious freedom law but Coalition voters not on board – Essential poll

People are saying that employers should not be able to say what their employees say outside of work, but somehow that does not apply to people employed by the Public Service.

The Australian Public Service Commission's social media guidelines make it clear that criticising the government, a department, a minister, or the Prime Minister on social media will almost always be considered a breach of the Public Service Code of Conduct, and could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Note: The above is intended as a statement of fact, and should not be interpreted as a criticism of any policy or policies of the Australian Public Service, any Australian Government department, or of any Minister or Ministers, including the Prime Minister.
Being an employer myself, I have a few things to say about this...

I argue that, as a business owner, I am entitled to

a. set a policy for my business that is inclusive of protected minorities, and
b. set standards of behavioural expectations for employees which includes them not making disparaging remarks towards protected minorities.

These policies and standards apply at all times, and are part of the employment contract. If you don't agree to them, then you don't get offered a job working for me.

These are not oppressive or overly burdensome conditions. All that is needed is for you to be a person of good character. From my perspective, being a bigoted homophobe like Israel Folau (whatever your stated reasons for you holding your beliefs, and however you dress them up) rules you out as a person of good character.

Now I keep hearing the spurious argument that Israel Folau was entitled to do what he likes in his own time, and that Rugby Australia wasn't or shouldn't be allowed to control what he did in public. That might apply to an ordinary employee, but Israel Folau was no ordinary employee. He was a walking advertisement for the sport of Rugby Union in Australia, an ambassador for that sport and a role model for young players. He had a responsibility to his employer, Rugby Australia for what he did in public. He was even the face of Gay Rugby in an advertising campaign a few years back, for which he was paid very handsomely.

http://www.kiis1011.com.au/news/isra...or-a-gay-event

All professional sportsmen, especially the high profile ones, represent their sport at all times, so they are in effect "at work" 24/7/365. That is part of the price you pay for having a million dollar a year contract to kick and throw around a ball. Now, if you don't like those conditions, you need to go find another profession.
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Old 9th July 2019, 12:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Being an employer myself, I have a few things to say about this...

I argue that, as a business owner, I am entitled to

a. set a policy for my business that is inclusive of protected minorities, and
b. set standards of behavioural expectations for employees which includes them not making disparaging remarks towards protected minorities.

These policies and standards apply at all times, and are part of the employment contract. If you don't agree to them, then you don't get offered a job working for me.
. . . . .
It is views like this that have conservatives agitating for religious protection laws.

As an employer, you have an absolute right to demand that your staff refrain from making public statements that might reflect on your business.

You have no right to censor what your staff might say as private citizens (even in a public forum) if your business is not identified.
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Old 9th July 2019, 06:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It is views like this that have conservatives agitating for religious protection laws.

As an employer, you have an absolute right to demand that your staff refrain from making public statements that might reflect on your business.

You have no right to censor what your staff might say as private citizens (even in a public forum) if your business is not identified.
What if you discover your employee is a white supremacist, an advocate of pederasty, an anti-Semite, a Swiss, or some other unwelcome thing? Even if the public doesn't know the KKK Nazi works for you, you now know your worker is sitting there chortling at the prospect of a new Holocaust. Do you still have to employ them now you know they're eyeing your twelve-year old and wishing your rabbi were gassed? Do you have to wait until they hate crime a customer and get your business trashed in the news before you can fire them?
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Old 9th July 2019, 06:17 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Australian Christians are not being persecuted. Some of them are just being called out for being bigots. They need to suck it up.
Exactly that is the worst kind of persecution to christians, our religious right built a whole movement because they got upset at having to admit blacks to their schools after all. Though they rewrote history to suddenly have started caring about abortion years after Roe V Wade.

Welcome to the club.
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Old 9th July 2019, 06:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What if you discover your employee is a white supremacist, an advocate of pederasty, an anti-Semite, a Swiss, or some other unwelcome thing? Even if the public doesn't know the KKK Nazi works for you, you now know your worker is sitting there chortling at the prospect of a new Holocaust. Do you still have to employ them now you know they're eyeing your twelve-year old and wishing your rabbi were gassed? Do you have to wait until they hate crime a customer and get your business trashed in the news before you can fire them?
The police union will force you to keep him on.
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Old 9th July 2019, 06:32 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Whatever.

Are you actually going to answer my question? Or just quote it and fly off on a tangent?
Arth did answer it through elaboration. Now he has gone out of his way, how about you show a bit of courtesy and explain your claim while addressing what he has said.
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Old 9th July 2019, 06:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I eagerly await Costello's condemnation here, for his blatant whataboutism.
It's not whataboutism because he's not excusing something, he's explaining that if people want to see what oppression and persecution actually looks like they should look at other countries.

It's like complaining that you are being unjustly persecuted and repressed only because you publicly declare that Jews are the scum of the earth and will be burn in hell for all eternity.
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Old 9th July 2019, 07:07 AM   #24
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It's always interesting to see minority groups, whether they are religious or ethnic, agitate against other minorities. It's like they simply don't realize how utterly exposed they are if they would succeed in diminishing public support for tolerance. Considering how marginalized genuinely religious Christian's are in most of the western world it wouldn't take much for public intolerance to strike back at them.

Like how some Muslims in the UK were protesting educating children about tolerance towards minorities, including LGBT individuals. They apparently don't realize how exposed they are to potential public hostility if they help make public persecution of minorities more accepted.
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Old 9th July 2019, 07:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
It's not whataboutism because he's not excusing something, he's explaining that if people want to see what oppression and persecution actually looks like they should look at other countries.
To me it seems like the same kind of thing, the same kind of argument.

Not that it's necessarily a problem. Arguments by comparison to other things isn't whataboutism. Pointing out special pleading as a rebuttal isn't whataboutism.

In this case, I think the guy has a valid point. It's a good argument, but it's not the whole argument. It's not the whole discussion.

For one thing, whatever injustice Australian Christians may be suffering cannot be excused by appealing to how much worse it is for other people in other places. I think we already agree on that. You say as much in your reply to me.

Second, such appeals should not be used to avoid discussing whatever injustice is actually happening in Australia. The argument by comparison can be used as a distraction. To me, that's just as much "whataboutism" as using it as an excuse. Maybe you see it differently, want a different word for it. That's fine. I'm not going to get into a slapfight over definitions. For me it's enough that you know how I see it and understand what I mean by the term.

Third, whatever injustice Australian Christians may be suffering can only be legitimately addressed in the context of Australian law and customs. Even though this guy has a good argument, it's beside the point. The problems faced by Australians in Australia cannot be solved by appeal to other problems faced by other people in other places. Far from ending the discussion, such appeals leave the actual discussion untouched.

I don't actually think you need to condemn this guy's "whataboutism" or whatever. Obviously you have justified his appeal to the other in this case. That's fine. I do hope that you might consider that other people making similar appeals might have similar justifications.
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Old 9th July 2019, 07:43 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
For one thing, whatever injustice Australian Christians may be suffering cannot be excused by appealing to how much worse it is for other people in other places. I think we already agree on that. You say as much in your reply to me.

Second, such appeals should not be used to avoid discussing whatever injustice is actually happening in Australia. The argument by comparison can be used as a distraction. To me, that's just as much "whataboutism" as using it as an excuse. Maybe you see it differently, want a different word for it. That's fine. I'm not going to get into a slapfight over definitions. For me it's enough that you know how I see it and understand what I mean by the term.

Third, whatever injustice Australian Christians may be suffering can only be legitimately addressed in the context of Australian law and customs. Even though this guy has a good argument, it's beside the point. The problems faced by Australians in Australia cannot be solved by appeal to other problems faced by other people in other places. Far from ending the discussion, such appeals leave the actual discussion untouched.
All of this presupposes that Christians in Australia are in fact experiencing injustice and/or religious persecution, when it seems to me that the main point being made by Costello is that they are not; his comment about persecution in other places is not the main thrust of his argument, simply an illustrating point. What injustice do you believe Australian Christians are facing, and what is your evidence for it?

Dave
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Old 9th July 2019, 07:59 AM   #27
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
All of this presupposes that Christians in Australia are in fact experiencing injustice and/or religious persecution, when it seems to me that the main point being made by Costello is that they are not; his comment about persecution in other places is not the main thrust of his argument, simply an illustrating point. What injustice do you believe Australian Christians are facing, and what is your evidence for it?
Presumably that's up to Australians to figure out for themselves. I hope they will do it not by appeal to other people in other places, but by examination of what Australian law and custom say about the treatment of religious Australians in the expression of their religion.

Certainly if you don't think Australian Christians are being treated unjustly, you can argue that point without appealing to the other. I'll leave it up to you.

Note that none of the arguments I've made here presuppose any persecution or injustice, nor do any of my arguments depend on proving that such has occurred. If that's a point you think needs debating, you'll have to look for someone else to debate it with.

With whom to debate it.

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Old 9th July 2019, 08:08 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Presumably that's up to Australians to figure out for themselves.
So you're purely criticising Costello for his choice of a subsidiary line of argument? If so, then there's no need to "eagerly await his condemnation," since you've delivered it yourself. But since his primary line of argument is that he "did not see any evidence of the persecution of Christians in Australia," one might think that his point was welcome on a skeptics' forum; he's rejecting a request for action on the basis of an absence of evidence for that course of action being necessary, which is kind of what we should be encouraging here.

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Old 9th July 2019, 08:24 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What if you discover your employee is a white supremacist, an advocate of pederasty, an anti-Semite, a Swiss, or some other unwelcome thing? Even if the public doesn't know the KKK Nazi works for you, you now know your worker is sitting there chortling at the prospect of a new Holocaust. Do you still have to employ them now you know they're eyeing your twelve-year old and wishing your rabbi were gassed? Do you have to wait until they hate crime a customer and get your business trashed in the news before you can fire them?
It shouldn't make a difference - unless you finally discover the name of your employee and it turns out to be Lucifer Morningstar.
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Old 9th July 2019, 08:28 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It shouldn't make a difference - unless you finally discover the name of your employee and it turns out to be Lucifer Morningstar.
Sounds like a risk to me. One day your employee finally acts on their beliefs and shoots up a kindergarten. It comes out that you, their employer, knew all about their white supremacy online posting. "Well, free speech, so I didn't think it was a problem." Will your business survive the backlash against that?
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Old 9th July 2019, 08:36 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What if you discover your employee is a white supremacist, an advocate of pederasty, an anti-Semite, a Swiss, or some other unwelcome thing? Even if the public doesn't know the KKK Nazi works for you, you now know your worker is sitting there chortling at the prospect of a new Holocaust. Do you still have to employ them now you know they're eyeing your twelve-year old and wishing your rabbi were gassed? Do you have to wait until they hate crime a customer and get your business trashed in the news before you can fire them?
I think the hilighted bit is actually a very different problem from the other ones.

For most political beliefs, people are able to live lives that don't actually comport with those stated beliefs. A communist can live in a capitalist society without trying to start a revolution. A Nazi can live next to a Jew without trying to kill him. I'm not suggesting that there's no danger in these beliefs, but generally speaking that danger emerges when that belief reaches a critical mass. Below a certain threshold, people who have these beliefs can and usually do hold them in check in order to get by in a society which doesn't accept those beliefs. If those beliefs are coupled with a serious mental instability (like schizophrenia or psychosis), all bets are off, but for the most part people will still stick within the confines of the law.

But sexual proclivities like pederasty and pedophilia are a different ball game. For the most part, people with these proclivities can't help themselves. They have to act on them. And the nature of that proclivity is such that they're going to act on them alone, they don't need fellow travelers.

What this means is that a pederast represents a greater risk than a Nazi who behaves himself does. So the question of what to do with one doesn't need to have the same answer. I'm not advocating for any particular answer to either one, just that I think they really are very different questions (whereas the question of what to do with a Nazi or a Stalinist are pretty equivalent).
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Old 9th July 2019, 08:39 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Sounds like a risk to me. One day your employee finally acts on their beliefs and shoots up a kindergarten. It comes out that you, their employer, knew all about their white supremacy online posting. "Well, free speech, so I didn't think it was a problem." Will your business survive the backlash against that?
Or how about they bring their discrimination into work, and now you have a huge liability and cost to pay off because you knew their manager was a nazi.
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Old 9th July 2019, 08:45 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
All of this presupposes that Christians in Australia are in fact experiencing injustice and/or religious persecution, when it seems to me that the main point being made by Costello is that they are not; his comment about persecution in other places is not the main thrust of his argument, simply an illustrating point. What injustice do you believe Australian Christians are facing, and what is your evidence for it?

Dave
This point needs repeating.

Whataboutism is when one says what about so and so, they do/did it too.

Using what someone does/did as a comparison is not whataboutism.

Now, if someone suffers and you discount it by saying it's nothing compared to the suffering of so and so, sometimes that is insensitive and sometimes it is a valid statement.

It is a valid statement here.

It's not a valid statement when, for example, someone says women who are discriminated against in a Western country shouldn't complain because they are outright slaves in another.
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Old 9th July 2019, 08:54 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It is views like this that have conservatives agitating for religious protection laws.

As an employer, you have an absolute right to demand that your staff refrain from making public statements that might reflect on your business.

You have no right to censor what your staff might say as private citizens (even in a public forum) if your business is not identified.
Assuming you mean in the USA, federally yes you can. The only federal protection employee's have is the Civil Rights act of 1964. Ie You cannot fire someone because you found it they were in a certain religion because they posted on facebook. Freedom of speech does not supersede the right to freedom of association with only very narrow exceptions in the private sector. Certain states may have more restrictive legislation though.

ETA: I popped your coordinates in google maps and see that you are indeed, not American. I have no clue on the laws in Oz.

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Old 9th July 2019, 09:16 AM   #35
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
So you're purely criticising Costello for his choice of a subsidiary line of argument?
Yes. I thought that much would be clear from my critique itself.

Quote:
If so, then there's no need to "eagerly await his condemnation," since you've delivered it yourself.
That was a bit of snark. I apologize if it muddied the waters for you. You'll note that I then went on to give Arcade22 a serious critique along the same lines. And I'd say that condemnation is too strong a word for it. Like how persecution may be too strong a word for whatever is actually going on in Australia.

Quote:
But since his primary line of argument is that he "did not see any evidence of the persecution of Christians in Australia," one might think that his point was welcome on a skeptics' forum; he's rejecting a request for action on the basis of an absence of evidence for that course of action being necessary, which is kind of what we should be encouraging here.
His argument is a comparative argument. He uses the word to describe other things that happen to other people in other places, and he doesn't see evidence of those things happening in Australia. Again, it's a fine argument and I don't condemn it. I do, however, think it's beside the point, since it doesn't actually address whatever actual injustices (if any) are occurring in Australia.

When Crocodile Dundee says, "that's not a knife, this is a knife," he's making a valid point, but the other guy is still in fact holding a knife.*

---

Also, his argument that Australian Christians should just suck it up (that is, endure), contains the seeds of a contradiction. If there is no injustice, there is nothing to endure. On the other hand, if there is something to endure, then there is an injustice to be endured. He can't argue that there's no injustice, and that Christians should endure it.

---

Also, Christians may be called upon by the principles of their religion to meekly and faithfully endure injustice. But Australians are called upon by the principles of civil society and liberal democracy to find and remedy injustice in their society. And matters of faith or no, Australian Christians have a responsibility to do this just the same as other Australians. This minister may be counseling his flock to endure as Christians, but they - and other Australians - can and should still seek a remedy.

The appeal to the practice of Christianity, by one Christian to another, cannot be used by other Australians to excuse or ignore whatever injustice those Christians are enduring.

And while it may be good for Christians to endure injustice, it is not good for Australia if they do not try to remedy it.

---

All in all, I'm not a big fan of his argument. It relies too heavily on comparison to the other ("whataboutism"). It relies too heavily on semantic arguments ("that's not persecution, this is persecution!"). It does not substantively examine whatever actual injustice is claimed, in the context of Australian law and custom. It too easily enables excuse or dismissal of whatever injustice might actually be occurring. And its form is in part self-contradictory.
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Old 9th July 2019, 09:19 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Or how about they bring their discrimination into work, and now you have a huge liability and cost to pay off because you knew their manager was a nazi.
You have a liability if they discriminate at work and you don't do something about it.

You have no liability if they keep their discrimination to themselves at work.
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Old 9th July 2019, 09:25 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Also, his argument that Australian Christians should just suck it up (that is, endure), contains the seeds of a contradiction. If there is no injustice, there is nothing to endure.
I'd take issue with that; there are other things than injustice to endure. For example, indifference, loss of moral authority and the increased popularity of other belief systems are all things Christians may feel uncomfortable with, and may find themselves having to endure, but none of them could reasonably be called injustices. And that, I think, is his actual argument; not that Christians in other places are suffering worse injustice, but that the things Christians are suffering in other places are actual injustices, whereas the things that Australian Christians are having to endure are not injustices at all. It's as if, in fact, Crocodile Dundee's assailant were holding a stick, and Mick pointed out that a stick is not in fact a knife.

Dave
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Old 9th July 2019, 09:36 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Assuming you mean in the USA, federally yes you can. The only federal protection employee's have is the Civil Rights act of 1964. Ie You cannot fire someone because you found it they were in a certain religion because they posted on facebook. Freedom of speech does not supersede the right to freedom of association with only very narrow exceptions in the private sector. Certain states may have more restrictive legislation though.

ETA: I popped your coordinates in google maps and see that you are indeed, not American. I have no clue on the laws in Oz.
I mean that you ought not have that right. What next? An employer telling their staff when they can have sex with their significant others?

The American "at will" employment laws are a little weird. You can't discriminate on the grounds of sex/race/religion when it comes to employing somebody but you can refuse to employ them simply because you don't like them.
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Old 9th July 2019, 09:41 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This point needs repeating.

Whataboutism is when one says what about so and so, they do/did it too.
Special pleading is a logical fallacy. Pointing out special pleading is not whataboutism. It's a legitimate rebuttal to a fallacious line of reasoning.

I think special pleading mostly comes up in support of another logical fallacy, the ad hominem. You purport to be outraged about a thing, but for years (or whatever) you let your outrage simmer, because it was Your Guy doing the thing. Then the Other Guy comes along, and suddenly your outrage blossoms. Not because you think the thing itself is so outrageous. If you did, you'd have been outraged long before the the Other Guy showed up. No, you're outraged now because it's the Other Guy's thing. You don't want to make excuses for the Other Guy the way you make excuses for Your Guy. So you deploy special pleading to bolster your ad hom.

Calling out the ad hom and the special pleading is not "whataboutism". In this case, the cries of "whataboutism!" are a smoke screen, to cover up the logical fallacies in your argument. The proper, rational response to a charge of special pleading is to present a reasoned argument that the case truly is special, or else present evidence that the pleading itself is consistent with your other pleas on the same subject. The proper response is not to handwave the charge with cries of "whataboutism!"

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Old 9th July 2019, 09:44 AM   #40
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I'd take issue with that; there are other things than injustice to endure. For example, indifference, loss of moral authority and the increased popularity of other belief systems are all things Christians may feel uncomfortable with, and may find themselves having to endure, but none of them could reasonably be called injustices. And that, I think, is his actual argument; not that Christians in other places are suffering worse injustice, but that the things Christians are suffering in other places are actual injustices, whereas the things that Australian Christians are having to endure are not injustices at all. It's as if, in fact, Crocodile Dundee's assailant were holding a stick, and Mick pointed out that a stick is not in fact a knife.
A very valid point. There are other things to endure. His actual argument may not be contradictory after all. Thank you for the solid rebuttal.
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