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Old 26th March 2019, 05:22 PM   #1
Cavemonster
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"Marketplace of Ideas"?

Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
I find that a really good way to reduce corruption and increase civic integrity and accountability is to take a very corrupt city and then make its populace and particularly its leaders and governmental figures increasingly comprised of African-Americans.

Really tends to stem the flow of the corruption, bring it down to a mere drip at most.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably their shared history of oppression that has made them have a particularly keen understanding of the importance of civic institutions functioning in a transparent and even-handed way. Also, they have the vast and august body of African law and history to draw upon and let's be honest, more than any other factor it is probably their raw nobility as a people.
There is a certain philosophy on the marketplace of ideas that's popular in a lot of places and in fact is part of the underlying idea behind the rules of this very forum.

The main gist of it is that no idea or viewpoint is so ugly or dangerous that it ought to be prohibited, even in privately owned discussion spaces.

This viewpoint goes on to argue that its more than slavish devotion to the idea of free speech or fear of a slippery slope but is in fact a positive good to air these ideas in public spaces. Supposedly this allows terrible ideas to be debated publicly where truth and logic will of course win the day! There is often an accompanying claim that absent this public airing these ideas will somehow fester underground and their believers will become worse.

I disagree with all of that. I think that the "marketplace of ideas" just gives more exposure and recruitment to bad ideas and allows people tentatively embracing them to find compatriots and strengthen their grasp on these ugly beliefs. It isn't logic or truth that wins the day, but rhetoric and emotion. The same ideas that fueled the Nazis, slavery and a good chunk of the most horrific things in human history really do not need to be debated over and over again. That merely gives the impression that they're up for debate.

It seems a very mild expectation of civil human society to say we've settled some very basic things.
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Old 26th March 2019, 05:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I think that the "marketplace of ideas" just gives more exposure and recruitment to bad ideas and allows people tentatively embracing them to find compatriots and strengthen their grasp on these ugly beliefs. It isn't logic or truth that wins the day, but rhetoric and emotion.
I agree and I think that Bigfoot believers shouldn't be allowed to say anything on the Internet.
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Old 26th March 2019, 07:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I agree and I think that Bigfoot believers shouldn't be allowed to say anything on the Internet.
Lets just start with the white nationalists. Not many people have been murdered in the name of Bigfoot.
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Old 26th March 2019, 09:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I disagree with all of that. I think that the "marketplace of ideas" just gives more exposure and recruitment to bad ideas and allows people tentatively embracing them to find compatriots and strengthen their grasp on these ugly beliefs. It isn't logic or truth that wins the day, but rhetoric and emotion. The same ideas that fueled the Nazis, slavery and a good chunk of the most horrific things in human history really do not need to be debated over and over again. That merely gives the impression that they're up for debate.
I have to agree with this. There are certainly any number of examples where a certain ideas, by virtue of being allowed to proliferate unchecked in the "free marketplace of ideas", has contributed nothing but misery to the human condition, even directly costing lives. Anti-vaxxers' "right to be heard" has predictably resulted and continues to result in dead and hospitalized children and its thought leaders pointedly are okay with that. White supremacy and the "great replacement" delusion have cultivated a growing and increasingly deadly terrorism threat with worldwide reach.

The fact that people are able to, and do, freely argue with and rebut these malignant viewpoints has not stopped them from proliferating, or killing. The notion that good people with "better" arguments is all that's need to defeat bad people with toxic ideas, is a failure.
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Old 26th March 2019, 09:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I have to agree with this. There are certainly any number of examples where a certain ideas, by virtue of being allowed to proliferate unchecked in the "free marketplace of ideas", has contributed nothing but misery to the human condition, even directly costing lives. Anti-vaxxers' "right to be heard" has predictably resulted and continues to result in dead and hospitalized children and its thought leaders pointedly are okay with that. White supremacy and the "great replacement" delusion have cultivated a growing and increasingly deadly terrorism threat with worldwide reach.

The fact that people are able to, and do, freely argue with and rebut these malignant viewpoints has not stopped them from proliferating, or killing. The notion that good people with "better" arguments is all that's need to defeat bad people with toxic ideas, is a failure.
It could also be that you are just simply mistaken about which side is morally right, has the "better" ideas and is more perceptive about the facts and future trends.

That's part of the danger of shutting other people up. Sometimes you're wrong about them being wrong.
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Old 26th March 2019, 10:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
It could also be that you are just simply mistaken about which side is morally right, has the "better" ideas and is more perceptive about the facts and future trends.
This is of course true as a theoretical generalization, although it can be ruled out when discussing specific cases; as it is with the two examples I previously mentioned for instance.
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Old 27th March 2019, 05:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
It could also be that you are just simply mistaken about which side is morally right, has the "better" ideas and is more perceptive about the facts and future trends.

That's part of the danger of shutting other people up. Sometimes you're wrong about them being wrong.
No, we can be absolutely correct that anti-vaxxers are wrong. The "great replacement"/racist folk are just as wrong.
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Old 27th March 2019, 07:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
There is a certain philosophy on the marketplace of ideas that's popular in a lot of places and in fact is part of the underlying idea behind the rules of this very forum.

The main gist of it is that no idea or viewpoint is so ugly or dangerous that it ought to be prohibited, even in privately owned discussion spaces.

This viewpoint goes on to argue that its more than slavish devotion to the idea of free speech or fear of a slippery slope but is in fact a positive good to air these ideas in public spaces. Supposedly this allows terrible ideas to be debated publicly where truth and logic will of course win the day! There is often an accompanying claim that absent this public airing these ideas will somehow fester underground and their believers will become worse.

I disagree with all of that. I think that the "marketplace of ideas" just gives more exposure and recruitment to bad ideas and allows people tentatively embracing them to find compatriots and strengthen their grasp on these ugly beliefs. It isn't logic or truth that wins the day, but rhetoric and emotion. The same ideas that fueled the Nazis, slavery and a good chunk of the most horrific things in human history really do not need to be debated over and over again. That merely gives the impression that they're up for debate.

It seems a very mild expectation of civil human society to say we've settled some very basic things.
If you ignore the basic fact you mentioned that it actually increases the spread of this crap, and makes the communities more tight knit, for sure.

Look at other things that get banned because "people can't handle them", as just one example, do you think anyone really thinks cannibal holocaust is a great film? No but the fact it was "banned" at one point, makes sure it is in the collection of 90 per cent of film buffs.

Tale a step back to high school. Are you old enough to remember any c.ds being banned? How well did that work out for them?

Go back a step further, to public schools, did the virtual pet bans work? What about the yo-yo bans? Comic books?

But no, this is the one time banning something you can't really ban will work.
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Old 27th March 2019, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
If you ignore the basic fact you mentioned that it actually increases the spread of this crap, and makes the communities more tight knit, for sure.

Look at other things that get banned because "people can't handle them", as just one example, do you think anyone really thinks cannibal holocaust is a great film? No but the fact it was "banned" at one point, makes sure it is in the collection of 90 per cent of film buffs.

Tale a step back to high school. Are you old enough to remember any c.ds being banned? How well did that work out for them?

Go back a step further, to public schools, did the virtual pet bans work? What about the yo-yo bans? Comic books?

But no, this is the one time banning something you can't really ban will work.
I'd suggest the mods split this thread.

I created my post as a direct response to another posters argument that was loosely related to this case, but further discussion would only be a detail in this thread. I'm happy to discuss further in a new thread.
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Old 27th March 2019, 08:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
If you ignore the basic fact you mentioned that it actually increases the spread of this crap, and makes the communities more tight knit, for sure.

Look at other things that get banned because "people can't handle them", as just one example, do you think anyone really thinks cannibal holocaust is a great film? No but the fact it was "banned" at one point, makes sure it is in the collection of 90 per cent of film buffs.
I highly doubt that 90 percent of film buffs actually own a copy of Cannibal Holocaust; I would be surprised even even close to half did. It's more the point that everyone knows of the film.

But never mind; the argument is a non-sequitur. NAMBLA is essentially banned from public presence anywhere except its own website, and yet nobody is sympathetic to NAMBLA's message except NAMBLA members.

Banning items like toys, books, or objets d'art is not analogous to deplatforming and shunning an ideology. The people who do own copies of "Cannibal Holocaust" did not buy it because the fact that it was banned by someone convinced them it was a good and worthy movie to own; they bought it because "you can't tell me what I can or can't own". The same attitude doesn't transfer well to ideologies because people don't subscribe to ideologies the way they buy copies of a movie. In theory it might be true that "you can't tell me what I can or can't believe", but nobody who thinks NAMBLA is awful is going to support their message anyway out of spite for others who don't like it, save perhaps internet trolls/contrarians.
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Old 27th March 2019, 09:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I disagree with all of that. I think that the "marketplace of ideas" just gives more exposure and recruitment to bad ideas and allows people tentatively embracing them to find compatriots and strengthen their grasp on these ugly beliefs. It isn't logic or truth that wins the day, but rhetoric and emotion. The same ideas that fueled the Nazis, slavery and a good chunk of the most horrific things in human history really do not need to be debated over and over again. That merely gives the impression that they're up for debate.
Ok but how do you then deal with unwanted ideas without it blowing up in your face at some point?
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Old 27th March 2019, 09:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok but how do you then deal with unwanted ideas without it blowing up in your face at some point?
I've asked that the mods split this topic so as not to derail this thread. I will happily discuss any related ideas in the new thread.
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Old 27th March 2019, 10:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I have to agree with this. There are certainly any number of examples where a certain ideas, by virtue of being allowed to proliferate unchecked in the "free marketplace of ideas", has contributed nothing but misery to the human condition, even directly costing lives. Anti-vaxxers' "right to be heard" has predictably resulted and continues to result in dead and hospitalized children and its thought leaders pointedly are okay with that. White supremacy and the "great replacement" delusion have cultivated a growing and increasingly deadly terrorism threat with worldwide reach.

The fact that people are able to, and do, freely argue with and rebut these malignant viewpoints has not stopped them from proliferating, or killing. The notion that good people with "better" arguments is all that's need to defeat bad people with toxic ideas, is a failure.
And who decides what is allowable and what is not? Who Will Watch The Watchers?
I will tell you exactly how it will end up. The people in power will decide that ay idea that threatens their power is dangerous and should be banned.
It really scares me that the ideologues on both the left and right in this country want to attack free speech. It's the same old story, "Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee.
I admit that allowing racist ideas a open hearing hurts society, but attacking Freedom of Speech will do any more.
I do not see any difference between some Left Wing Philosopher saying he should be allowed to decide what is permitted speech and what is not,and some Right Wing Religious fanatic doing so. The hell with them both.
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Old 27th March 2019, 10:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok but how do you then deal with unwanted ideas without it blowing up in your face at some point?
You can't. Period.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:10 AM   #15
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Free speech and the marketplace of ideas

To avoid derailing the other thread, I've copied my response to Skeptic Tank here.

Anyone wanting to discuss what I posted, please do so here.

Quote:
There is a certain philosophy on the marketplace of ideas that's popular in a lot of places and in fact is part of the underlying idea behind the rules of this very forum.

The main gist of it is that no idea or viewpoint is so ugly or dangerous that it ought to be prohibited, even in privately owned discussion spaces.

This viewpoint goes on to argue that its more than slavish devotion to the idea of free speech or fear of a slippery slope but is in fact a positive good to air these ideas in public spaces. Supposedly this allows terrible ideas to be debated publicly where truth and logic will of course win the day! There is often an accompanying claim that absent this public airing these ideas will somehow fester underground and their believers will become worse.

I disagree with all of that. I think that the "marketplace of ideas" just gives more exposure and recruitment to bad ideas and allows people tentatively embracing them to find compatriots and strengthen their grasp on these ugly beliefs. It isn't logic or truth that wins the day, but rhetoric and emotion. The same ideas that fueled the Nazis, slavery and a good chunk of the most horrific things in human history really do not need to be debated over and over again. That merely gives the impression that they're up for debate.

It seems a very mild expectation of civil human society to say we've settled some very basic things.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:17 AM   #16
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The "Marketplace of Ideas" is a good and valid concept. If an idea can't survive debate, it probably isn't worthwhile.

Problem the people who like it the most are sad edgelords who think "Lookit me making a big show of it only when in reference to the most wrong, dangerous, and hateful ideas out there makes me cool" or who think "I'm somehow doing the world a service by pretending we have to have the same discussions over and over."
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:20 AM   #17
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Skeptic tank thinks his ideas are good. You think your ideas are good. The issue is which ones are the bad ideas .
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:29 AM   #18
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Even the most accommodating marketplace kicks you out if you shout 'fire' to start a panic.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:30 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The "Marketplace of Ideas" is a good and valid concept. If an idea can't survive debate, it probably isn't worthwhile.
The part I have a problem with is the underlying assumption that worthwhile ideas will do well in debate and dumb and destructive ideas won't.

Public debate, the popularity and spread of ideas has little to do with logic and more to do with effective rhetoric, emotional attachments etc.

The "market" value of ideas has a very loose relation to factual truth, moral goodness or levels of help or harm.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Skeptic tank thinks his ideas are good. You think your ideas are good. The issue is which ones are the bad ideas .
Do you believe we should throw up our hands in all questions where disagreement occurs or just this one?
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:35 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
Do you believe we should throw up our hands in all questions where disagreement occurs or just this one?
I'm surprised you think recognizing ideas are not objectively good or bad is throwing one's hands up.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:40 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
To avoid derailing the other thread, I've copied my response to Skeptic Tank here.

Anyone wanting to discuss what I posted, please do so here.
Ok so here's my question again: how do you ensure that limits on unwanted speech don't come back to bite you in the ass?

Like, now you get to decide which speech is allowed, but what happens when your neighbor gets the stick?
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:41 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I'm surprised you think recognizing ideas are not objectively good or bad is throwing one's hands up.
Objective is a high bar.

Societies hold values. There exist zero societies without values and rules in play based on those values. Values are inherently subjective.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok so here's my question again: how do you ensure that limits on unwanted speech don't come back to bite you in the ass?

Like, now you get to decide which speech is allowed, but what happens when your neighbor gets the stick?
Well we all agree on what is a good idea, so it is just a matter of making sure people with the stick agree that only good ideas are up for discussion.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:44 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
Objective is a high bar.

Societies hold values. There exist zero societies without values and rules in play based on those values. Values are inherently subjective.
Going back to original post, that means in Nazi society, Nazi ideas are the good ideas, and non fascist ideas do not need to be debated over and over again.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:44 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
The part I have a problem with is the underlying assumption that worthwhile ideas will do well in debate and dumb and destructive ideas won't.

Public debate, the popularity and spread of ideas has little to do with logic and more to do with effective rhetoric, emotional attachments etc.

The "market" value of ideas has a very loose relation to factual truth, moral goodness or levels of help or harm.
Sounds like you are about to give up on democracy and opt for an ‘enlightened despotism ‘.

I say, we have a bit of faith in our citizenry and keep fighting the good fight. We may never have a final victory but we can win many battles and keep advancing.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:47 AM   #27
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Look we can all agree that no one who matters ever was harmed by nazis radicalizing on the internet. Right?
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:48 AM   #28
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One problem is who gets to decide which ideas are to be prohibited and not allowed into the 'marketplace' of ideas. Another is determining how these ideas will be prohibited. Sometimes, the solution is worse than the problem it was supposed to solve. I think this is one of those cases.

Let the nazis, white supremacists, flat earthers, truthers, and fans of the Chicago Bears express their opinions just like the rest of us.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:54 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Look we can all agree that no one who matters ever was harmed by nazis radicalizing on the internet. Right?
They are normally harmed by the bullets fired by Nazis, and not the radicalization itself.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:59 AM   #30
Cavemonster
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok so here's my question again: how do you ensure that limits on unwanted speech don't come back to bite you in the ass?

Like, now you get to decide which speech is allowed, but what happens when your neighbor gets the stick?
We can't ensure that. whether we're talking about government censorship or facebook's latest policy. And that's a problem. But we should look at those risks as a realistic balance sheet rather than a deal breaker.

And let me clarify that I'm not even necessarily talking about government enforced censorship. I'm more saying that a faith in the marketplace of ideas and the sanctity of free speech shouldn't stop us from realistically looking at the pros and cons of how we deal with speech in lots of settings, including the rules of online message boards.

When electricity was rising in popularity, opponents of the new technology came forward with some serious risks. It could burn down a house! People could be electrocuted! etc etc. All of their risks were real, but we find that we prefer living with electricity and all that it makes possible and living with some level of those risks.

So let's look realistically at the risks of abuse of limits on speech.

For one thing, I don't think speech is really that different from other actions.

We limit people's motion in a million ways from jaywalking laws to private property protections. We limit the things you can own- you can't have a nuclear bomb or a million species of wild animals. We limit what you can build- you can't build a house that doesn't meet regulations etc etc etc.

And yet, we're not that concerned that allowing the general principles of regulation in all those areas is such a slippery slope that we'd better not go there at all.

And really we're not entirely virginal on limiting speech. We've had obscenity laws forever. We have laws about truth in advertising (and that often difficult concept of "truth" can be it's own slippery slope). We have defamation law. We consider some utterances harrassment or threats.

And we don't have to look to dystopian counterfactuals to imagine what might happen with stricter speech controls than we have in the US. Germany makes it illegal to deny the Holocaust or praise Hitler. The UK has has stricter regulation of speech on a number of grounds. Both have had such policies for a while and haven't become apocalyptic hellholes. They may have some government action that some people here don't like, but they haven't slid down those slopes yet. They may not really be so slippery.

To some people, free speech is an end in itself. I don't hold that value, I don't think free speech is much different than freedom of movement. If we can handle crosswalks and traffic laws, we can probably survive making it uncool to be a Nazi.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:01 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sounds like you are about to give up on democracy and opt for an ‘enlightened despotism ‘.

I say, we have a bit of faith in our citizenry and keep fighting the good fight. We may never have a final victory but we can win many battles and keep advancing.
Should the government be able to regulate what tobacco companies say about their products?
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:01 PM   #32
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Sometimes there are monsters in the room.

The monsters don't get any bigger if you turn on the lights.

But once you do, you can see what you're dealing with, and decide how you want to handle it.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Going back to original post, that means in Nazi society, Nazi ideas are the good ideas, and non fascist ideas do not need to be debated over and over again.
You're right, there's no such thing as a good idea! Let's throw our hands up and never discuss the value or impact of ideas again!

You go first.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:05 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
They are normally harmed by the bullets fired by Nazis, and not the radicalization itself.
Ah so you want massive gun control now.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:05 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post

And let me clarify that I'm not even necessarily talking about government enforced censorship. I'm more saying that a faith in the marketplace of ideas and the sanctity of free speech shouldn't stop us from realistically looking at the pros and cons of how we deal with speech in lots of settings, including the rules of online message boards.

When electricity was rising in popularity, opponents of the new technology came forward with some serious risks. It could burn down a house! People could be electrocuted! etc etc. All of their risks were real, but we find that we prefer living with electricity and all that it makes possible and living with some level of those risks.

So let's look realistically at the risks of abuse of limits on speech.

For one thing, I don't think speech is really that different from other actions.
If we exclude that, then there isn't really a marketplace of ideas.You could say this place, but nothing we do here will ever matter. People are not going out and engaging with different views. Humans interact with their circle, it is probably like minded, and they are engaging with ideas that already survived your values criteria.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:06 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Sometimes there are monsters in the room.

The monsters don't get any bigger if you turn on the lights.

But once you do, you can see what you're dealing with, and decide how you want to handle it.
Metaphors aside, social media and online discussion are powerful recruiting tools for violent extremists. And normalizing their core ideas in slightly less extreme spaces are part of that process.

The recent New Zealand shooter got a lot of his talking points on 8chan. (EDIT: I believe. It may have been another chan or chan related site)

If by turning on the lights, you mean to make the distinction between allowing public discussion and disallowing it, I think a strong argument can be made that turning on the lights CAN make the monsters bigger.
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Last edited by Cavemonster; 27th March 2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:08 PM   #37
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Sometimes there are monsters in the room.

The monsters don't get any bigger if you turn on the lights.

But once you do, you can see what you're dealing with, and decide how you want to handle it.
The thing is that these networks really do make people into bigger nazis and push them to violence. Remember how the OK hand gesture was supposed to be some big joke about fooling people into thinking you are a nazi? Then the guy who just murdered 50 people is doing it. Clearly this means he is not a nazi and was really just a troll killing those people for the LOLZ! Totally changes everything when you understand that.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:11 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
Should the government be able to regulate what tobacco companies say about their products?
You just said we were not necessarily discussing government enforced censorship.
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:15 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
You just said we were not necessarily discussing government enforced censorship.
Yes and?
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Old 27th March 2019, 12:17 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
Yes and?
Yeah, good luck with that.
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