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> I think pretty much everyone reasonable agrees that "kill the _INSERT GROUP_" is intolerant

I don´t know why but every time I read a sentence that starts with "I think pretty much everyone reasonable agrees that ..." I get the feeling that the person saying it haven´t really thought things through and does not see how vastly more complex the world is than they assume.

Think about it this way: what if in the mind of the person making that claim, it is one of self-defense and self-preservation? is it still intolerant?

Here is an example: As someone who grew up in the middle east, I heard people out in the open say things like: "Jews ought to be killed off" or "the imperialist American fucks deserve whatever happens to them" and if you ask them why they believe and say such evil shit, the answer in some way, shape or form always comes back to: they invaded our land, killed our ancestors and are threatening to do the same to us now, and hence we are not being intolerant but rather, we are just trying to defend ourselves (tribalism in other words).

You and I can agree that it is despicable and disgusting that people think that way. But in their minds, you are the unreasonable one. What you call intolerance to them is not that at all.

Take away: Perspectives matter in the world; and if you make a hard/deterministic rule based on a subjective understanding of an issue followed by projecting it as "what reasonable people should think", you will always get into some shady edge cases that cannot be resolved by the deterministic rule that you initially set because the world is not made up of a bunch of you:s.

You and I probably agree on what is intolerant/tolerant in most cases. However, other people who do not have the same cultural and moral upbringing might disagree with us. Hence the parent´s comment: "I can easily see people disagreeing on what is and is not intolerant"




I'm sorry, can you be specific: why shouldn't we burn 8chan to the ground? Which other sites do you want to preserve that would get swept up by our censorship run amok?

I'm gathering from your example that you're trying to preserve the rights of a bunch of middle easterners to say things like "kill the jews", and not understanding why you think that's permissible.

I mean, the El Paso shooter genuinely believes that the US is under invasion by mexicans too. Everyone has opinions. The point is that some opinions are just wrong. This is like morality 101. You aren't entitled to kill folks, no matter how much you want to. And you aren't entitled to egg other folks on to kill folks either.


> I'm gathering from your example that you're trying to preserve the rights of a bunch of middle easterners to say things like "kill the jews"

You seem to have extracted the wrong conclusion from the post made because you are thinking in identitarian terms.

> The point is that some opinions are just wrong. This is like morality 101. You aren't entitled to kill folks, no matter how much you want to. And you aren't entitled to egg other folks on to kill folks either.

You are 100% right, some opinions are wrong. But the point is: who´s to judge which ones are right and which one are wrong? I assume that you, in your infinite wisdom, find yourself to be of such a high caliber that all of humanity should use what is obvious to you as the "gold standard"? You took your inherited moral values from your culture, and projected them as the natural and obvious conclusion we should all reach. Now if that isn´t arrogance, I don´t know what is. And I am not trying to be offensive here, this is what your comment indicates. And that is what you should have gathered from the previous comment.

The funny thing is, I agree with you completely here. Again, you and I would probably agree on 99% in terms of what we deem "moral" because both you and I have inherited the those values from our cultures. However, you are in a sense dictating that the moral values you inherited are infinitely more superior than all the others. I mean you are making deterministic statements about subjective issues while calling those who dare not agree "unreasonable" without considering for a second that other people that live in other parts of the world might have different views.

Let me put it in a different way: I am not defending group X´s right to say or do Y. No matter the group. I hate identity politics beyond belief. I am merely rejecting the notion that YOU are reasonable enough to make claim as to what people should or shouldn´t be able to say. Because just as you think yourself to be the wise and saintly moral crusader that you are, others think the same about themselves. Soon enough HN user "bjross" will be writing the exact opposite of what you are writing while claiming that he/she is the moral authority on the subject.

It isn´t that I am defending the evil doers; it´s that I am opposing your (proposed) evil which I think is far worse as it leads down a slippery slope like which the world have seen many times before.


> who´s to judge which ones are right and which one are wrong?

Who's to judge that anything is wrong? Murder, theft etc.? In the end, we must organize a society. If you don't like thinking of society's judgment -- made through whatever institutions it creates -- as universal moral rulings, think of them as organizational rules. If you kill someone under certain conditions, society puts you in jail, and the word "wrong" is used for those things society deems jail-worthy (and probably beyond that, too). In this case, society does decide what opinions are right or wrong in the correctness sense, only what ideas can be detrimental to its own survival to a degree that justifies enforcement. Who decides where is that line? The same institutions that decide the penalty for reckless driving.


So those with power to enforce their ideals on society get to decide morality then?


Well, normally morality is "decided" by a social process, which also shapes the rules, so they don't often diverge by much. But my point is to separate the two issues: society decides the rules; who "decides" morality is another discussion.


Freedom of speech is the social process that works because ideas can be aired and then opposed or supported. Free conversations are where extremes can be moderated. Driving ideas or words underground where they cannot be easily heard or clearly countered is a path to authoritarianism.


Your argument is not very meaningful because freedom of speech means something very different in the US and in, say, France, and both of these different things can be said to "work well". I, too, agree that freedom of speech is very important, but can have a completely different opinion on whether 8chan should be shut down, because what I mean by freedom of speech is different from what you mean, and I believe neither of us means the freedom to say anything, at any place, in any medium, and in any time or circumstance. We just differ on the degree to which we limit that freedom, or whose freedoms we value.

Any freedom is some compromise. If a society has two people or more, then either one person is allowed to, say, enslave the other, in which case the society isn't totally free, or not, in which case the society also isn't totally free. So there is no such thing as absolute freedom, and whenever we say freedom we actually mean some point on a spectrum. We could argue over what that reasonable point is, but absolute freedom is something that can't exist. So instead of speaking in absolutes, let's acknowledge that we're arguing over a favorite compromise.


That social process is exactly why freedom of speech matters.


Isn't that obvious, based on society's dysfunction alone?

It's not a moral principle. It's an explanation of where we find ourselves. This doesn't mean we shouldn't keep striving for a just society, but we don't live in a just society.


The question is how ? how can you have a just society that everyone will agree upon ? Unless we are invent some kind of eugenics or brain wash mechanism so that everyone has the same believe, same way of thinking then its impossible.

Or maybe we can develop really advance VR so that make possible for everyone to live in their own ideal socity.


We don't all have to agree on everything all the time. You strive in a direction by moving in that direction, there is no end point, no destination, no way to "complete" the process. There doesn't have to be. Life is messy like that, even when people are generally healthy and happy and kind to each other.


The problem is which direction is it? Because whatever direction it is is ultimatley subjective.


Sure, but all meaning and interpretation of life, all ideas on what is right, and so on, are subjective. There is nothing wrong with that, since it's not like objectivity actually exists on the other side of the scale. When it comes to moral questions, what is "objectively right" simply doesn't apply, and isn't needed.

If everybody simply stuck to treating others how they would want to be treated, we'd live in a much better world already, even if it wasn't "perfect", and even if there were disagreements, and it all still always subject to constant learning and reflection.

Our main problems don't stem from out confusion about what we think is right (and by "we" I mean each of us as the individuals that actually exist, not as a collective abstraction), but from wanting what we think is right for ourselves, while having double standards for others, and rationalizations for those.


How is your system practically work ? For example, do you prefer 8chan to be banned ?


It's not my system, it's reality, there is no objective morality, and even where people agree on many things, they don't have the exact same opinions and reasons for having them, and so on. That's at all not contingent on me giving you a satisfying answer on such a tricky question about a site I don't even know.


How could it ever possibly be otherwise, are people going to enforce morality they don't believe in?


I expect so. It's reasonable[0] to believe there are policement and judges who will arrest and sentence you for drug use, thus enforcing the law, while not believing the law is right.

[0] I know there are such policemen, I extrapolate to expect there are likeminded judges too.


That itself, is a morality fwiw, plus plenty of cops absolutely do not enforce laws they feel are wrong/stupid/pointless.


And they definitely don’t enforce laws equally....


Who's to judge that anything is wrong? Murder, theft etc.?

How many people would think that it was okay for the government to steal private property in the border states under the concept of “imminent domain” if it meant that the wall could be built?

Yes imminent domain is theft. The government rarely pays the fair market value.


> ... universal moral rulings, think of them as organizational rules

Sure. Slavery was moral, or if I disagree with it, I'll accept it as an organisational rule instead. Ditto apartheid, ditto the way many mid-eastern countries treat women.


Society must come to some decision, at any given point in time, about what to do if X does Y; are they punished? if so, how? Morality is a more complex subject, that, of course, heavily interacts with the decision I mentioned. My point was merely that while the two are intertwined, they are not necessarily the same, and regardless of where one stands on some moral question, there necessarily must be (and there is) some rule about what to do when X does Y. You can equivocate on some moral question, but you cannot equivocate on a law (although a judicial system can infuse it with some nuance). So when a particular society legislates a law, you don't necessarily have to take it as if that particular society has settled a universal moral question.


I see what you're saying, but - and I mean this constructively - you can take a rather roundabout way of saying it which fogs your meaning.

Anyway...

> So when a particular society legislates a law, you don't necessarily have to take it as if that particular society has settled a universal moral question

Point taken, but laws can be plain immoral, even evil. Laws should be as moral as possible. Laws without a moral backing would seem to be meaningless.

But lets put that aside, let's take your intended point that laws are an attempt to formalise morality, and lets also assume morality is what we'd call moral (not oppressing women/minorities/certain religions/etc). You say

> but you cannot equivocate on a law

but you damn well can! In the UK the definition of theft involves intent. From wiki "[...] if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it"

It's all about intent. It's the crux of it IIRC (and I did a short course in law). A lot of law is about intent. I hit a person in the face. Deliberate? I get spanked. Genuine unavoidable accident? I get let off. Intent is central. It is very equivocable.

In our case, which of 8chan's members are in it for pure lulz, and which because they really want to start a race war. Hard to tell intent.

Still sounds like the world is a cleaner place without them lot.


> but you damn well can!

That's not equivocation, it's what I called nuance, and mentioned the judiciary's role in managing it. With ethics you can say, "this is a hard question," and leave it at that; with the law, you must decide. The judge or jury must ultimately decide whether to punish the possible thief or not, and if so, how -- say, by making a decision on intent, perhaps taking degrees into account. Either society decides to shut 8chan down or not; "it's complicated" isn't an option (I mean, it may well be, but a decision must be reached). So whatever ethics is at play, and however complicated it is, a decision on action must be and is made.

And BTW, not every offense must have criminal intent. Traffic violations, for example, do not (in the jurisdictions I know). Murder, as it is defined in many jurisdictions, requires intent, but even without it killing is often a very serious offense (e.g. you can kill through an intent to endanger, and you can kill through negligence, and you'll end up in prison for both).


> Sure. Slavery was moral, or if I disagree with it,

I think you mean that slavery was legal. Most people would hold that it was never moral. Some people hold these same beliefs now about some of our current behaviors toward other animals: they're legal but not moral.


Well, for me our current behavior towards animal is moral. Moral is subjective after all. Just like slavery it ultimately decided by who can force the other (physically or persuasively) to follow their morality.


> Moral is subjective after all

This statement is not as self-evident as you seem to believe. Philosophers and ethicists have been debating it for millennia.


Then what is your argument againts it? I provided attitude towards animal as an example.

>Philosophers and ethicists have been debating it for millennia

Thats even more strengthen my position that morality is subjective.


You provided your opinion. That's it.

So OK, I'll do the same: I disagree that morality is subjective.

Edit: so if I disagree that the world is round, that shows that it's flat?


Right, that show that it is subjective.

>so if I disagree that the world is round, that shows that it's flat?

No, it just show that you disagree that the world is round


You're pointing out that people disagree about what's "reasonable", the takeaway being that since "reasonableness" is subjective, a rule based on whether something is reasonable won't work "because the world is not made up of a bunch of you:s".

But just because people disagree about something doesn't mean it's purely subjective. Some things have an objective truth value but people will still disagree on it, because people get things wrong sometimes. Objectively wrong. All the time, in fact.

You're right that neither "ajross" nor "bjross" should be the moral authority who dictates the moral values. That's because they're almost certainly wrong about some things. You're almost certainly wrong about some things. I'm definitely wrong about some things, and I really hope I find out as much as I can about what I'm wrong about as soon as I can.

Therefore it would be a bad system to set up any one person as the moral authority. Instead, we want a system such that over time, the objectively better views dominate and the objectively worse views shrink in influence.

A total free-for-all where anyone can say anything and any kind of engagement will help promote those views, like 8chan or Gab, is clearly not such a system. You don't think a careful implementation of "tolerating anything but intolerance" could possibly be such a system, and is in fact a "far worse evil"? What rules do you think there should be, or do you think a free-for-all with no rules is the only way to not lead down the "slippery slope"?


Perhaps what would help in understanding the views espoused by OP (which I find very helpful) is to consider the idea of justifiable homicide. In France, when the police kill knife wielding maniacs, it seems to be black and white, however when cops in USA kill a mentally unstable person in self defense, the line gets murky. It gets completely greyed out when Mesa PD kills an innocent for not being able to follow contradictory commands. Where do YOU draw the line? What about moving the line to China and the Muslim minoritities being ethnically wiped? Talk to a Han Chinese on the street and see if they see it your way? Same with Palestine and Israel. The world is not black and white.


What in the world are you talking about?

Of course the world is not black and white, there are shades of grey. That is completely orthogonal to subjectivity vs objectivity. Just because a situation is grey and no one can agree on which shade of grey it is, doesn't mean the situation doesn't objectively have a shade. It can just mean humans are fallible and can't see perfectly, so we're all wrong to some degree about the correct shade. But there could still be a correct shade.

Separately, every single example you brought up is black-and-white. If a "knife-wielding maniac" were in the process of killing random innocents and police don't have a way of nonlethally restraining them, then of course the police are justified in killing them. If a cop in the USA or anywhere was in mortal danger and had no way of nonlethally restraining their attacker, then killing their attacker is justified regardless of the mental health of their attacker. If an innocent isn't following contradictory commands and isn't threatening anyone's life, of course it isn't justified to kill them, what are you talking about?! There is nothing grey about the fact that failing to follow contradictory commands by police should clearly not be punishable by death?!?!!

I'm sure there are tons of Han Chinese on the street who think concentration camps for Muslims in China is acceptable, just like there are tons of Americans on the street who think concentration camps for Muslims in America is acceptable, just like there were tons of Americans on the street who thought that internment camps for Japanese-Americans were acceptable, tons of Palestinians who think all Jews are invaders who should be wiped out, tons of Jews who think all Palestinians are suicide-bombers who should be wiped out.

Those people are wrong. Those examples are not shades of grey and not subjective, lots of people disagree because lots of people are wrong.

I'm also wrong about lots of things, I should not be dictator of the world, and neither should anyone else. That's why we need a system with rules set up so that the more wrong ideas shrink in influence and the less wrong ideas spread in influence.


You mention "objective truth value" and "Objectively wrong", which the parent comment says " But the point is: who´s to judge which ones are right and which one are wrong?"

Sure, we can say 1 + 1 = 2, and that's objectively correct. But in terms of morality what is "objectively right" and "objectively wrong"? Moral objectively usually comes from some base assumption that has to be made. Whether its the existence of a higher being, happiness meter, or utilitarianism.

"Instead, we want a system such that over time, the objectively better views dominate and the objectively worse views shrink in influence." According to history, I wouldn't really say this is guaranteed either, but that's my opinion.


Judgement can be made based on reviewing the effects of decisions over time. We need a dynamic system of laws and legal review that is capable of correcting for mistakes and adapting to new challenges.

I agree that we do need a system, that not tolerating intolerance is a good basic principle, and that such a system can be functional. I don’t think it can ever be perfect, because people aren’t perfect, but it can be a lot better than nothing.


Measurements and reviews are only valuable relatively to some goal(s). The question is how to decide on those goals objectively.


> "But the point is: who's to judge which ones are right and which one are wrong?"

I address this. In fact, I explicitly say I agree. No one can be trusted to make that judgment. Hence, the need for a system that doesn't place absolute trust in anyone.

> "we want a system such that [...]" [...] I wouldn't really say this is guaranteed either

What? You wouldn't say what is guaranteed? You wouldn't say it's guaranteed that we want such a system?


The system has already exist, that is the one who can force (persuasively or physically) other their rightness get to decide. In this case cloudflare has the power to decide whether 8chan is allowed or not in their platform.

If you think they are wrong then you have to gain power to be more powerful than them to override it (by gaining mass support, government support or any other means).

I don't think it's possible to have any other system.


Yes, and part of that system can be a culture among those in power of tolerating anything but intolerance.

My comment was an explanation of why advocating such a culture, as part of this system, is not an "evil [...] far worse [than "kill the jews"]".


>Sure, we can say 1 + 1 = 2, and that's objectively correct

even that can't be objectively correct because it based on agreed upon the definition of 1, definition of 2, definition of + and the axiom.


Agreed. A couple of examples to illustrate this: in boolean arithmetic, 1+1=1, in modular (2) arithmetic, 1+1=0.


> who´s to judge which ones are right and which one are wrong

We have the power to decide. This is what the companies dropping 8chan are doing: using their power to stand up to something they view as morally wrong. Most people are happy to take your money regardless of your politics, but endorsement of domestic terrorism isn't worth the abstract philosophical consideration. If you take a moment to empathize with your fellow humans and consider the horrific suffering wrought by ideologies endorsed by 8chan, it's very easy to come to the conclusion that 8chan deserves to be destroyed.


I don´t buy what you just said. And here is why:

If you want to use your platform for good, you do good no matter the time. You do your patriotic duty and we´ll all clap and cheer you on. However ISIS and right wing extremest sites have been protected by CF for years and nothing has been done so far. It´s not like CF went on a cleaning spree and dropped hundreds of shady clients that are faaaaaar worse and much much nastier than 8chan. This wasn´t a "do good / patriotic moment". This was a timely and coordinated decision (together with patreon) which leads me to speculate that it could be one of two things: either it´s mere PR move and I despise that type of behavior as it could easily be hijacked by echo chambers among other things, or it could be something far more malicious which others have speculated enough on so I won´t bother mentioning.

That said, if you are of the opinion that "A service provider has the right to deny service to a client that it subjectively deems to have a bad effect on society", then I´d like to know in case you´d make that same argument for the Bakery/gay wedding case. If not, then what is the difference really as the same argument could be easily made in both cases?


> If you want to use your platform for good, you do good no matter the time.

Why? It's a business not a "platform for good"

> It´s not like CF went on a cleaning spree and dropped hundreds of shady clients that are faaaaaar worse and much much nastier than 8chan

So what? Maybe recent events struck a personal chord with the owners and they said "fuck it, we don't need their businesses, it's one small thing we can do to offer our support to the victims". If they're hosting "much nastier" customers than 8chan then it's fair to ask them to do better or call out their hypocrisy and ask them to rectify the situation.

> this wasn´t a "do good / patriotic moment".

I never said it was.

> I´d like to know in case you´d make that same argument for the Bakery/gay wedding case

I followed this case closely and my views on it are complex. It's not as simple as most people like to suggest. In short, I think the SCOTUS made the right ruling specifically because of the reasoning put forth by Kennedy in the majority opinion; in particular, that the colorado commissions board demonstrated a hostility towards religion in their application of the state anti-discrimination laws. The opinion even goes as far as to say that the ruling could have went the other way if the commission had more evenly applied the anti-discrimination laws in past cases. Further, I agree with the reasoning that suggests forcing the baker to create a bespoke cake-to-order is a form of artistic expression and should be protected by the first amendment and that his speech should not be compelled. However, the baker in this case specifically argued that homosexuals should be prohibited even from purchasing pre-made off-the-shelf cakes that were not made-to-order. This clearly crosses the line into discrimination of a protected class, so in my view he ultimately got away on a technicality, but the SCOTUS had no choice.

> either it´s mere PR move and I despise that type of behavior

If it's "a mere PR move" then who cares? CF is a private businesses and it's their prerogative to operate their business in a fashion that is beneficial to their PR image.


>However, the baker in this case specifically argued that homosexuals should be prohibited even from purchasing pre-made off-the-shelf cakes that were not made-to-order. This clearly crosses the line into discrimination of a protected class, so in my view he ultimately got away on a technicality

If political ideology was a protected class, would you be opposed to Cloudfare dropping 8chan?


I reject the idea that political ideology should be a protected class, but if it were, I would still support CF in this case since this ban was in response to acts of violence endorsed and enacted by the 8chan community, not as a blanket ban on all white supremacist content.


EDIT: Rewrote the comment a few times.

It wasn't enacted by the 8chan community, it was enacted by the shooter only. And endorsed, well, I have seen many people on Reddit and Twitter who say that all Republicans are evil and should be killed, yet when Steve Scalise was shot, they weren't banned for their support of terrorism and assassination. The same principles you apply to your side should be applied to the other side.


> It wasn't enacted by the 8chan community

It was enacted by a member of the community and other members of the community voiced support for the acts before, during, and after the attacks.

> I have seen many people on Reddit and Twitter who say that all Republicans are evil and should be killed

You can find anyone saying anything anywhere on the internet, but it's very obvious to anyone who has actually used 8chan that it's a particularly toxic community that is generally friendly to violent ideologies.


I have a sneaking suspicion that some three letter agencies (US + Allied nations) have asked Cloudflare not to take ISIS and the like off the Internet.

Why? Because given the technical sophistication of NSA,GHCQ etc vs the average extremist manic in the wild, it is the easiest honeypot there could be to catch all the extremist flies. Click a Like button on FB ISIS page.. Gotcha; watch a ISIS video served through the CDN.. Gotcha; Have any sort of ingress,egress data flow from any of the ISIS content... Gotcha


That may certainly be the case. In fact, I sure hope so tbh. But who knows at this point really. The decisions seems so arbitrarily made. One could easily argue that the same agency should have asked CF to do the same with 8chan. But we get this asymmetrical decision making which leaves us wondering.... why?!


Based on the aforementioned hypotheses, I think it’s reasonable to posit that a three letter agency has concluded that since 8chan has become “internet famous”, it’s unfettered yet monitored existence is now worse in aggregate than pushing its members further underground.

Whereas foreign terrorists are always worth monitoring.


It does seem arbitrary but I think the answer might be far more mundane than conspiratorial; There is simply no legal authority to hoover up the data of and trace back to american citizens for 8chan type websites.

I don't know man, even if the NSA, FBI etc couldn't give a shit about the legal implications, Cloudflare as a public company and it's officers would have legal liability if they violated the law.

Wild conjecture I know :)


> If not, then what is the difference really as the same argument could be easily made in both cases?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_group


It sounds like you're proposing something akin to cultural relativism. The foundations of American democracy are definitively not in cultural relativism, but in cultural absolutism:

"All mean are created equal, etc etc".

Now, we've often failed to live up to those words in the past, but it's an (ideally) constantly-improving process. Regardless, it's much, much more desirable than some anarchical cultural relativism where everyone does what they damn well please.


>However, you are in a sense dictating that the moral values you inherited are infinitely more superior than all the others. I mean you are making deterministic statements about subjective issues while calling those who dare not agree "unreasonable" without considering for a second that other people that live in other parts of the world might have different views.

There is virtually no moral judgment that every person will agree on. So what? Just because morality is ultimately subjective, society should completely avoid making any kind of judgments regarding it? Frankly I don't care that every person, including those committing terrible acts, view themselves as morally correct. I have my own values that I obviously believe are superior, and I will make an effort to impose them on society. I assume that everyone else is doing the same thing. I hope that the "best" views will become the most common.


That is the perfect call for individualism there is. You try to push your ideas down someone else´s throat and they try to do the same. You´ll find no objection here. I am more than happy to live under such a framework. In fact, I think it would make for a much better world under the right conditions.

That said however, you are missing a lot of nuances imo if you think that this form of "every man for himself" is how the west currently operates.


Exactly! Saying that one moral code must be "superior" for we to push for it is injecting universalism (in the form of a single ladder of moral codes) into the discussion, which is exactly what we moral relativists do not find credible.


This a very well articulated comment, I wish I could have this conversation with the two of you over drinks. Maybe this should be a feature of hacker news.


If you ever find yourself anywhere near Stockholm hit me up! I am available for beer´s and a chat anytime :D


"But the point is: who´s to judge which ones are right and which one are wrong? "

Judges. That's literally what judges do.


> This is like morality 101. You aren't entitled to kill folks, no matter how much you want to. And you aren't entitled to egg other folks on to kill folks either.

So no death penalty? No military intervention in countries which have not attacked yours? And shutdown any site/radio/TV that try to talk about it?

I don't want to know your thoughts about those particular subject, just want to show what sort of situation you can get into when arguing for criteria to limit freedom of speech.

What about monitoring these forums possibly with keyword recognition, and enforce laws such as the ones against invitation to violence?


> why shouldn't we burn 8chan to the ground?

Because it's pointless? People that have feelings and drives that make them do heinous things won't stop having them, and won't stop seeking others having them and discussing them. They'd just publish their manifests on other places. There are tons of public places. Let's say next psycho creates a Github account and publishes the next psychotic rant as Github repo. Now we have to burn Github to the ground? Or only if there are three such psychos that know how to set up a Github account?

> The point is that some opinions are just wrong.

True enough. The problem here is that somehow you think you can always tell which ones, and that you will wield the power to do it. The experience shows neither are true - you probably hold lots of wrong opinions without knowing it, and the power to exclude wrong opinions from polite society probably will be not in your hands. The best way to check every law would be "what if my worst enemy was in charge of implementing it?". If you're still OK with it - then it's a good law. Otherwise you're assuming Powers That Be would always agree with you - and that's a dangerous thing to assume.


You aren't entitled to kill folks, no matter how much you want to. And you aren't entitled to egg other folks on to kill folks either.

Try telling that to the US military. Or cops.

And it if you step back a bit you'll see that it is _obvious_(!) that the person you are replying to is exactly NOT saying that it is permissible to massacre Jews. S/he is pointing out that "obviousness" is an ill-defined criterion which can let any old genocidal predjudice slip through.


There are rules of engagement... and they are generally followed.


Sucking on that rapidly dwindling pacifier may lull your conscience for a short while ... but it won't last for long.


We’re taking about rules fir governing a society. The military is for dealing with threats from outside a society, so it’s not relevant.

Cops in the US do not have impunity. They may sometimes get away with too much, but they can and do go to jail for murder. There have been a few cases I could name off the top of my head in the last few years, but I’m sure many more are findable with little effort.


A few cases over years? US cops kill over 1000 people every year (https://killedbypolice.net/), so a few prosecutions is more like bad luck than real punishment.


FYI "some opinions are just wrong" is a judgement, and it might make life easier to understand that what you consider "wrong" is your subjective _opinion_ :)

I totally don't mean that in a condescending way, just sharing my thoughts from my own experiences!

When you say that the El Paso shooter believed that the US is under invasion, that was his incorrect belief, not a "wrong opinion". The opinion would be that he thinks he's justified to try to kill those people.


"I think all right thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired... I'm certainly not! And I'm sick and tired of being told that I am." - Graham Chapman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxhaunU2AxY


Now that is some George Carlin level word play. If you haven´t watch this routing, you owe it to yourself to watch it.

https://youtu.be/HEeDRUZIDq8


Usually whenever I see people evoke the paradox of tolerance they draw more attention to the authority of Popper compared to the nature of it being a paradox. It defers the question of what is tolerant, which depends on perspective as you rightly point out.


Arguments of authority are my favorites. It literally takes you 2 seconds to see through the person you are talking to and you can safely assume that they haven´t thought about the problems facing them long enough.


> You and I can agree that it is despicable and disgusting that people think that way. But in their minds, you are the unreasonable one. What you call intolerance to them is not that at all.

Don’t you think it’s despicable that we don’t think this way?

We’re there, killing their wives, children and friends. We’re destroying the infrastructure. But we don’t even have any particularly strong feelings about it. It’s just what’s economically and politically expedient...


> Perspectives matter in the world; and if you make a hard/deterministic rule based on a subjective understanding of an issue followed by projecting it as "what reasonable people should think", you will always get into some shady edge cases

Disagreement has been corner stone of any community. It is healthy in some sense, and might even be required for progress of humankind altoghter. That said...

> What you call intolerance to them is not that at all.

If ignorance, short sightedness, revenge, hatered, jealousy, wickedness is behind a thought or an action, we can universally agree to it being inferior and defective.

Like the OP said, moral and philosophical education along with ability to independently think sets reasonable people apart from others, and I agree.


> moral and philosophical education along with ability to independently think

That's a fairly good description of Machiavelli.


I agree with most of your points here, but I am not sure I see how this really amounts to an objection to Popper's proposed prescription. Nearly everything is contested by someone, even things as mundane as who is at fault in a motor accident. And yet, we have largely workable, if imperfect, ways to resolve such disagreements, so that everyone can get on with life. So the real objection has to be along the lines of: there is no practical set of procedures that would allow us to resolve the problems of intolerant speech and behavior in a reasonably effective way.

More philosophically, however, one important way to take on the problem of subjectivism is to use something like Rawl's veil of ignorance, or Sherner's fairness principle:

“The Fairness Principle: When contemplating a moral action, imagine that you do not know if you will be the moral doer or receiver, and when in doubt err on the side of the other person.”


Not going to lie, I hold an an insane level of disdain toward Rawl´s Veil of ignorance for many reasons that I don´t want to get into right now. That said, the following sentence - I think - is one of the most important ones that I wish more people would pay very close attention to:

> ... And yet, we have largely workable, if _imperfect_, ways to resolve such disagreements, _so that everyone can get on with life_

I agree with you on the first part but disagree on the reasoning behind it.

I have a framework that I personally use when I think about topics such as this one. It has helped me understand a fair bit about social organizations in general as I see it applied everywhere I look. I´ll write the gist of it down here and you tell me what you think:

1. There are two types of solutions to problems: deterministic solutions (100% perfect solutions that can be algorithmically spelled out) and heuristics (good enough shortcuts that have x% error margin and y% efficiency - What you called imperfect solutions).

2. We desperately want to find as many deterministic solutions we possibly can to any and all problems that we face. And where we fail to do so, heuristics are brought in to help us, as best as possible, approximate that "deterministic/perfect/ideal".

3. Heuristics are things like religion, moral frameworks, political systems, language, etc. - Notice that none of them is deterministic in any way, shape or form. They are all imperfect. However, they are rule-sets that are more or less ambiguous that helps us navigate most of the problem space with relatively low effort. But the trade-off here is that heuristics break at the edges - free speech vs. hate speech is a clear example of a failure in the heuristic.

4. It is important to note that all heuristics have some error rate. If they did not, they´d be deterministic solutions. So whatever heuristic you want to use to solve a given problem, Popper´s, Rawl´s or otherwise, you have to always make sure to take the errors that might emerge into account. The error rate is far more important than most people realize as it is the determining factor for how successful/effective the heuristic is going to be in society.

5. When suggesting alternatives to an existing heuristic because of some apparent flaws - such as replacing our current understanding and notion of intolerance by Popper´s take on the matter - the new heuristic that you propose that should overwrite the old one must have a smaller margin of error. Otherwise, why even bother? in fact, if this isn´t the case, you risk making things worse rather than better.

6. Iterate on the process until you come up with better and better heuristics that increasingly approximates the deterministic solution (lower error rate over time until you reach the holy grail of 99.999999...%).

7. Every once in a while, as humanity is traversing its path, some heuristics will be replaced by deterministic answers. Ex: science replaces religion when it comes to describing the natural world -> moving from heuristic religious interpretation of the natural world to a more deterministic approach.

This is how society betters itself over time. It is an iterative process that replaces old systems with newer ones that are less prone to errors. My beef with Rawl´s, Pooper (as I call him) and most of the other thinkers that people read in 1st year college class is that the heuristics they paint are already far inferior than the ones that we currently have. But unfortunately, the academic class (read teachers) cannot see that because they lack a good framework for assessing the effectiveness/error rates of a given heuristic.


This is great if you can agree on the goal and the measure. It seems like that is more the issue.


Exactly. I think that a lot of what is plaguing society right now is, in spite of how techno-sophisticated we have become, is in a sense a measurement problem.


It's not clear to me how you can say that a new heuristic is "far inferior", nor how you can say that the academics lack a good framework but you presumably don't. How do you know what a good framework would look like?

I would agree that it's a measurement problem in the sense that we don't even know what or how to measure it. But your analysis is silent on what an error is so I'm not really sure what you think you have gained by it.


Your point would stand only if these new heuristics are truly "new" when in fact, they are actually pretty old, tried and debunked at this point. And we actually do know what we want to measure and we have that as a goal but our methodology/framework isn´t all that good just yet (we currently use a form of bruteforce).

> It's not clear to me how you can say that a new heuristic is "far inferior", nor how you can say that the academics lack a good framework but you presumably don't. How do you know what a good framework would look like?

It isn´t that I have something that they don´t have. It´s far more sinister than that. And here is my argument:

The best tool we have at the moment is: you play it (any given set of ideas) out in the real world and look at the consequences in terms of elevating/reducing the amount of suffering that is at the basis of the human condition - after all, that is the end goal of political heuristics. Popper´s and Rawl´s ideas are not "new" in the sense that they have been extensively tried in the past. They were murderous beyond belief but somehow that is always forgotten and never accounted for as linguistics is used to disguise the actual end-result of the experiment by saying that "they have not been tested at all" or that "these are new cutting edge ideas".

As an example, we can take a look at communism. The total body count that was produced under communistic regimes would probably make for a giant mountain that would take months to climb. Yet somehow you always hear the slogan "that wasn´t real communism" as a rebuttal to the inherit evil of said set of ideas. If you pay close attention, parse the ideas given and see if they have previously tried or not, you can most often tell that the vast majorities of proposed changes are new reformulations of old and debunked shit.

Example: Marxism views the world as a battle between two groups, the rich and the poor. 3rd wave feminism views the world as a battle group between men and women. This is an over-simplification obviously but what I am hoping to demonstrate here is that it is the same old wolf in sheep´s clothing. We don´t need to replay that experiment to know where it will end up. This is the best we can do at the moment. Am I happy with this methodology of evaluating ideas? hell no. But we have no mechanism that performs any better. And as for the academic class, heck, it is they that purposefully spread these reformulations to the younger generations by actively reworking old debunked ideas as their own "new" takes on how the world ought to be - which is why I tend to believe that academia (especially the social "sciences") is far more sinister than first meets the eye.

Note: I used marxism/communism here as an example just for convenience. I could have just as easily used the Veil of Ignorance or the argument of intolerance to demonstrate that same principle. They have been tried many times before and they were incredibly counter-productive. In spite of what most people think, the modern form of western societies can be seen as a function of the set of most effective ideas that have been tested to date (effective = generate the most amount of reduction in overall human suffering). It isn´t perfect (it´s a heuristic after all) but in comparison to all other tried and tested set of ideas, it is the best we can do atm. Besides, even in the west, small variations of these ideas are currently being tried within each nation state. It is a process that takes time but as these experiments unfold, we will learn something new and converge on a better solution once one is found.


Have you considered that, rather that having some kind of sinister intent, other people simply have a different opinion on whether a particular idea is new or just a reworking, whether a previous idea is applicable to a current context, etc, etc?

To go way back up to your original post I kind of agree with you on subjectivity but I really don't see how you're then arguing that your framework demonstrates that Rawls etc have been 'debunked'.


That's kind of like the procedure for getting people to cut food in half fairly. One person cuts and the other chooses.


But in these cases there is a blurring of bad national policy with an entire group of people unconnected to it. This is very dangerous.

For example, there maybe those who dislike Israel and even want war. But to then say "all Jews are evil" is incorrect. Most don't even live there to control policy. Of those that do, many object to policy. It's like saying some terrorists are Muslim so all Muslims are evil. Or that North Korea is dangerous therefore all Koreans are dangerous. Or America does some bad things therefore all Americans should die. It's all obviously incorrect.

You can have a reason to want to fight a _country_ but there can never be a reason to annihilate a complex, nuanced group because of their skin color or religion etc. There can be reasons for war (which is bad enough) but there can never be reasons for genocide. Americans might have reason to hate Japan after Pearl Harbor but to lock up all Japanese inside the country is obviously wrong.

More generally, there can be very good reason to stop a group organized around an action (eg Neo-Nazis). But to say "all whites must die" (because all Neo-Nazis are white) is obviously an incorrect expansion.

Unfortunately, it's a common blurring that exploitative leaders take advantage of. Today some Western leaders foment hate against all Muslims and some Islamic leaders foment hate against all Jews. In the past it was other groups. It is these leaders that are the danger.


>It's like saying some terrorists are Muslim so all Muslims are evil.

Where is the thresh hold the judgment is made at and will we consistently apply it to all groups? I can think of examples of groups that are reviled by most, yet who have members who don't desire directly evil policies. Some desire forms of what may qualify as oppression that are even seen by the majority as acceptable when you swap out certain groups.


From the POV of someone who says that, the evil actions of Israel are not a fluke, but an inevitable result of the nature of Jewish people, just like genocidal colonialism is seen as the result of the nature of white people, etc. They see themselves as frogs talking about scorpions, to put it in fabulistic terms, and the fact that a particular specimen hasn't stung is no evidence that it's harmless.

To someone like me, who believes quite intuitively that humans are generally the same everywhere, it's hard to grasp, but I don't see how I can prove it's objectively wrong.


> think about it this way: what if in the mind of the person making that claim, it is one of self-defense and self-preservation? is it still intolerant?

Yes.

It may be understandable, I get it, I have the same angry impulses as most human beings and it's very easy to feel antagonists should be simply disposed with. But that doesn't distinguish it from being intolerant.

Even if there's a genuine existential threat, indulging an intolerant response means you (1) you cut off the possibility for negotiation, and the remaining choices are victory or your own tribe's annihilation (2) it's not like the one source of antagonism/conflict is really just the other tribe, and once you build into individual minds and your tribe the idea and support for this kind of total solution, it's likely to get used again even if/after you "win."

I don't expect everyone, especially among populations that have been part of generational conflicts where they already feel they're facing an existential threat, to just sing kumbaya. Maybe it's an important descriptive point to say "not everyone can agree genocide should't be tolerated in valued discourse," but it's not a good normative point. We should be trying to get to the point where genocide is beyond the pale, where people can more finely articulate that many aspects of middle eastern policy at the state or tribal level are unacceptable for a humane civilization without kneecapping any chance for improvement, and in general where we can shape discourse it should be steered away from tribalism.

Or I guess we could always try to kill everybody who believes in genocide.


I grew up in the middle east and I still live in the middle east and I never heard anyone say kill da Jews or da imperialists because those kinds of wacky statements can only be conjured up by a Westerner with preconceived notions about what middle easterners are and pretends to be one on the internet for argument points.


I've thought about this before and respect the open-mindedness. How do you justify words purely meant to harm others and not express ideas, like the n-word?


If you think that the n-word is only used to harm others then I assume you haven't listened to any late 20th and 21st century music. Context matters. That said, its use to racially insult people is shameful and not something I support.


That's a great point, I didn't think about that. It seems like it might be difficult to prove whether or not people had an intent to harm when you allow this kind of speech though.


Do you feel that speech intended to harm should be prevented by prior restraint?


Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUvdXxhLPa8

It will answer your question and make you laugh at the same time. 2 birds 1 stone!


That really got me thinking, thank you so much!


Your example illustrates something called "moral disengagement"[1] and it's the same thought-process used by a lot of people to justify their reprehensible views. Interestingly, the people who seem to be most "immune" to moral disengagement are individuals with high empathy. Fortunately, empathy is a skilled that can be taught and learned.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_disengagement


well maybe, since the US is finding this really really tricky for some reason, look at what other countries have done around hate speech.... because, you know, it didn't end civilization as we know it, we are all still free ( in fact, in terms of freedom many countries, with hate speech laws, rank better than the US ). It's bizzare that in a country where the kid who goes on a mass shooting, could engage in hate groups online, but until a couple of years ago would have been banned from getting a kinder eggs, coz ya know, it could of hurt him.


I'm pretty confident it is the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it. Check back in 50-200 years I guess.




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