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> 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.




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