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apple
08-22-2011, 04:35 PM
Person 1: It's really reprehensible that X says this or that.
Person 2: X has a right to his own opinions.

The problem is that this is a non-sequitur. The person in question did not dispute that X has a right to free speech, he only disapproved of it - which is his free speech right (much to the chagrin of Sarah Palin and others who believe the First Amendment is meant to protect them against criticism). Stating the obvious does not add anything to the debate. So don't.

Conservatives have a habit of doing this when the behavior of the religious lunatics who are in league with them is criticized. It is a neat way to divert attention from the substance of the matter, namely, that they are using their free speech rights to do something that is not respectable. Instead of debating the substance of the matter, the interlocutor of the conservative will be forced to affirm the obvious, and waste valuable time in the process. In the meantime, the substance is completely forgotten, and the conservative's objective is achieved: their loony allies have once again escaped from legitimate and reasonable criticism.

AemJeff
08-22-2011, 04:51 PM
Person 1: It's really reprehensible that X says this or that.
Person 2: X has a right to his own opinions.

The problem is that this is a non-sequitur. The person in question did not dispute that X has a right to free speech, he only disapproved of it - which is his free speech right (much to the chagrin of Sarah Palin and others who believe the First Amendment is meant to protect them against criticism). Stating the obvious does not add anything to the debate. So don't.

Conservatives have a habit of doing this when the behavior of the religious lunatics who are in league with them is criticized. It is a neat way to divert attention from the substance of the matter, namely, that they are using their free speech rights to do something that is not respectable. Instead of debating the substance of the matter, the interlocutor of the conservative will be forced to affirm the obvious, and waste valuable time in the process. In the meantime, the substance is completely forgotten, and the conservative's objective is achieved: their loony allies have once again escaped from legitimate and reasonable criticism.

Even when I agree with you, I usually think you've expressed yourself too broadly, or with overly-strong language, with off-putting fervor or some combination of the above. What are you calling reprehensible? Can you make a case that what you object to is simply false? Is it truly beyond the pale (e.g. racist speech), or could somebody make a legitimate (or at least plausible) case that your judgment on a particular matter is idiosyncratic? I sympathize with what you're saying here to a certain extent, but sometimes how an idea is framed, or phrased, is going to affect how effective it'll be as rhetoric.

sugarkang
08-22-2011, 06:59 PM
Person 1: It's really reprehensible that X says this or that.
Person 2: X has a right to his own opinions.

The problem is that this is a non-sequitur. The person in question did not dispute that X has a right to free speech, he only disapproved of it ...

It's not a non-sequitur. The missing piece is implied:
"X has a right to his own opinions without being bullied, berated and marginalized."

miceelf
08-22-2011, 07:19 PM
It's not a non-sequitur. The missing piece is implied:
"X has a right to his own opinions without being bullied, berated and marginalized."

This assumes one of two things:
1) no opinion, no matter how apparently reprehensible, is actually reprehensible.
2) The right to one's own opinions does not include the right to have an opinion about others' opinions.

I don't think either one of these is correct.

It leads to some strangeness, in an otherwise reasonable person. For example, you resist labeling people bigoted or racist if there's even a whiff of a possibility that one actually isn't bigoted or whathaveyou.
But at the same time, you berate to the point of bullying and or marginalizing, people who have a different working definition of "racism" than you do. I understand you think you're protecting a "victim" of the (apparently almost always false) accusation of bigotry), but this also has the effect of doing what you decry: belittling people for their opinions. You just disagree with them about what opinions deserve such treatment.

apple
08-22-2011, 07:35 PM
Even when I agree with you, I usually think you've expressed yourself too broadly, or with overly-strong language, with off-putting fervor or some combination of the above. What are you calling reprehensible? Can you make a case that what you object to is simply false? Is it truly beyond the pale (e.g. racist speech), or could somebody make a legitimate (or at least plausible) case that your judgment on a particular matter is idiosyncratic?

Well, the issue is whether "X has a right to hold these opinions" is a correct response, even if my views are idiosyncratic. Let's suppose that my views are idiosyncratic. Then my interlocutor could easily argue that, instead of coming with such a ridiculous non-sequitur.

I sympathize with what you're saying here to a certain extent, but sometimes how an idea is framed, or phrased, is going to affect how effective it'll be as rhetoric.

That may be true, I recognize that I have lots of off-putting fervor, but that's not really what my point was about. Regardless of how effective what person 1 said would be in convincing person 2 and others, how legitimate is it to respond to people by defending another person's opinion by saying that he has a "right" to hold that opinion, when this right was never questioned to begin with?

apple
08-22-2011, 07:39 PM
It's not a non-sequitur. The missing piece is implied:
"X has a right to his own opinions without being bullied, berated and marginalized."

No, assuming that such a right exists, it is still a non-sequitur. X was never bullied to begin with, nor berated or marginalized, person 1 just called his political views reprehensible. This has no effect on X's life, he's not being bulled. He's not being berated or marginalized, his political beliefs are, and that is completely legitimate. Even if person 2 disagrees with berating the political beliefs of X, that's no reason to come with such an utterly ridiculous retort.

eeeeeeeli
08-25-2011, 11:57 PM
No, assuming that such a right exists, it is still a non-sequitur. X was never bullied to begin with, nor berated or marginalized, person 1 just called his political views reprehensible. This has no effect on X's life, he's not being bulled. He's not being berated or marginalized, his political beliefs are, and that is completely legitimate. Even if person 2 disagrees with berating the political beliefs of X, that's no reason to come with such an utterly ridiculous retort.
I'm not sure what you're really getting at, but I think I agree with you. At least to the extent that it is a sort of cliched, pat response. You might liken it to my least favorite quasi-meaningful phrase "everything happens for a reason", which according to certain religions makes sense, but coming from your standard amorphous deist it always seems like excess gas. (Which I suppose, has marginal utility at times - the larger evo-psych version of this is a pretty damning critique of the origin of religion itself)

However it may be something else. It's hard to say without context. I could imagine the statement as a sort of vague nod to our shared principle of free speech. It could also be a vague nod towards the value of not rocking the boat. (Also of utility, even greatly so - there are times when it would be better for us all to "reel it in".)

badhatharry
08-26-2011, 02:15 AM
No, assuming that such a right exists, it is still a non-sequitur. X was never bullied to begin with, nor berated or marginalized, person 1 just called his political views reprehensible. This has no effect on X's life, he's not being bulled. He's not being berated or marginalized, his political beliefs are, and that is completely legitimate. Even if person 2 disagrees with berating the political beliefs of X, that's no reason to come with such an utterly ridiculous retort.

So what would be the correct response to the assertion that someone's views are reprehensible? I would think it should be (if one is interested) why do you think so? Also, a definition of reprehensible would be in order. I agree that the free speech thingy is a non sequitur.

badhatharry
08-26-2011, 02:16 AM
I'm not sure what you're really getting at, but I think I agree with you. At least to the extent that it is a sort of cliched, pat response. You might liken it to my least favorite quasi-meaningful phrase "everything happens for a reason", which according to certain religions makes sense, but coming from your standard amorphous deist it always seems like excess gas. (Which I suppose, has marginal utility at times - the larger evo-psych version of this is a pretty damning critique of the origin of religion itself)



the correct phrase would be 'everything happens'.

sugarkang
08-26-2011, 04:29 AM
This assumes one of two things:
1) no opinion, no matter how apparently reprehensible, is actually reprehensible.
2) The right to one's own opinions does not include the right to have an opinion about others' opinions.

I don't think either one of these is correct.


Somehow, I missed this post.


It leads to some strangeness, in an otherwise reasonable person. For example, you resist labeling people bigoted or racist if there's even a whiff of a possibility that one actually isn't bigoted or whathaveyou.
But at the same time, you berate to the point of bullying and or marginalizing, people who have a different working definition of "racism" than you do.
There's no doubt I can be a dick about my opinions. But the times I've been angry were when I was accused of being sexist, a right-winger, my words were taken out of context and made out to be a liar. My impression of the leftist commenters largely mirrors what Ann Althouse has to say. On this board, the left has been extremely rude, snobby and elitist about their opinions. Though, in the past few weeks, this problem has almost disappeared.

I think you'll agree that we've had reasonable exchanges despite having different views on things. I can say the same for eeeeeeeli. So, if I'm an asshole to someone, it really has nothing to do with her ideology.


I understand you think you're protecting a "victim" of the (apparently almost always false) accusation of bigotry), but this also has the effect of doing what you decry: belittling people for their opinions. You just disagree with them about what opinions deserve such treatment.

If there's a victim that I try to protect, it's never a person, but a minority opinion that I think deserves to be heard. Even in the midst of my heated exchanges with Apple, I've defended his positions (to the extent possible) while all others accused him of Islamophobia. If someone is shouting you down for the same reason, you can expect me to speak up for you all the same. We all have to do what we perceive to be the right thing to do and that's going to be different for each person.

As far as disagreeing with which opinions deserve such treatment, I'm sorry to say that's completely wrong. If this were a board full of right wingers, I would have defended the minority left view just as vehemently. I think you've drawn the wrong conclusions here.

sugarkang
08-26-2011, 04:46 AM
No, assuming that such a right exists, it is still a non-sequitur. X was never bullied to begin with, nor berated or marginalized, person 1 just called his political views reprehensible. This has no effect on X's life, he's not being bulled. He's not being berated or marginalized, his political beliefs are, and that is completely legitimate. Even if person 2 disagrees with berating the political beliefs of X, that's no reason to come with such an utterly ridiculous retort.

I should have been clearer. People have a right to voice an opinion, but there's no right to be free from criticism. I think we'd agree here. But then there's criticizing and then there's being a dick about it. And temperance issues aside, there's a numbers game as well, i.e., when a board like this has a group of people who largely agree on most matters, a minority opinion like yours can get crushed. So, with regard to your first post, I actually had you in mind.

I don't think there's a hard and fast rule about when someone's being overly dickish or being a bully. We all have different tolerances for these sort of things.

eeeeeeeli
08-26-2011, 10:56 AM
the correct phrase would be 'everything happens'.

or the classic, sh*t happens... ;)

miceelf
08-26-2011, 11:03 AM
Even in the midst of my heated exchanges with Apple, I've defended his positions (to the extent possible) while all others accused him of Islamophobia. If someone is shouting you down for the same reason, you can expect me to speak up for you all the same.

no, but that's my point. You say that people should have the right to have opinions without having them belittled. But this doesn't apply to people's opinions about other peoples' opinions. This isn't internally consistent.

I have the right to view apple as islamophobic, just as apple has the right to view liberals as misguided cowards, or DZ has the right to view Ann Althouse as a blowhard.

The right to have opinions is a pretty limited right if it doesn't include the right to have negative opinions about others.

In "defending" people against accusations of bigotry, you are also putting a limit on the accusers' rights to their opinions as well. And, when you get aggressive, as you sometimes do, you are doing exactly the same thing as your opponents do- belittling them for their opinion.

There's no right to have an opinion and not have anyone else have an opinion about your opinion. There's no right, even, to not have one's opinions exposed to dickishness.

Now, you could make an argument that it's unproductive to make accusations of bigotry, that it shuts off conversation, etc. But that would be a pragmatic, not a moral, argument. It would have nothing to do with rights.

sugarkang
08-26-2011, 12:19 PM
no, but that's my point. You say that people should have the right to have opinions without having them belittled. But this doesn't apply to people's opinions about other peoples' opinions. This isn't internally consistent.

I have the right to view apple as islamophobic, just as apple has the right to view liberals as misguided cowards, or DZ has the right to view Ann Althouse as a blowhard.

Of course people have a right to dislike Ann Althouse. I don't see a problem here.


The right to have opinions is a pretty limited right if it doesn't include the right to have negative opinions about others.
Of course. I think we're fighting over gray areas. That's just always going to be mushy.


In "defending" people against accusations of bigotry, you are also putting a limit on the accusers' rights to their opinions as well. And, when you get aggressive, as you sometimes do, you are doing exactly the same thing as your opponents do- belittling them for their opinion.

I haven't been aggressive since the Gang of 12 stopped posting as much. And when I was aggressive, I think I was entitled just from a sheer numbers perspective. Most of my being an asshole really had a lot to do with them because of their mob tactics. I think a lot of their antics went unnoticed by you, despite the fact that you had an idea of their bullying. You may think not. We'll disagree.


There's no right to have an opinion and not have anyone else have an opinion about your opinion. There's no right, even, to not have one's opinions exposed to dickishness.

Now, you could make an argument that it's unproductive to make accusations of bigotry, that it shuts off conversation, etc. But that would be a pragmatic, not a moral, argument. It would have nothing to do with rights.[/QUOTE]

I get the feeling you may be objecting to my use of the word "rights." I used this incorrectly the first time around. As I've previously mentioned, there's no right to be free from being offended. You may need to clarify what you're getting at or refer to specific incidences.

miceelf
08-26-2011, 12:28 PM
I haven't been aggressive since the Gang of 12 stopped posting as much. And when I was aggressive, I think I was entitled just from a sheer numbers perspective. Most of my being an asshole really had a lot to do with them because of their mob tactics. I think a lot of their antics went unnoticed by you, despite the fact that you had an idea of their bullying. You may think not. We'll disagree.


Meh. I am less interested in the specifics than in your claim that people have the right not to have their opinions criticized. That's what I am focused on. You seem to be proposing some sort of situational or affirmative action approach wherein less popular opinons have this protection but majority opinions don't. This would simply make the argument one about numbers, and I think we disagree here as well.

If you have backed off of the claim on rights, I apologize. I either misunderstood, or missed it. That was my main objection. Claiming that such a right existed struck me as inconsistent. My objection was really about the general point. I wasn't thinking of any specifics. Examples intended as illustrative only.

sugarkang
08-26-2011, 12:36 PM
If you have backed off of the claim on rights, I apologize. I either misunderstood, or missed it. That was my main objection. Claiming that such a right existed struck me as inconsistent. My objection was really about the general point. I wasn't thinking of any specifics. Examples intended as illustrative only.

No apology needed. I was just careless in usage. I don't want affirmative action for minority opinions, btw. I'd like it if people didn't engage in mob behavior and just shout down the minority views without critically thinking about it. Of course, this too is just my personal preference and others may disagree. But then we'll just be at odds and have to duke it out.

popcorn_karate
08-26-2011, 01:46 PM
So, with regard to your first post, I actually had you in mind.


i suspect apple knows that, and doesn't think your "defense" of his views and positions is necessary.

I think you have bought into a fairly ridiculous victim narrative that is perpetuated by badhat/look, your referencing the "gang of 12" as if it were anything other than a long defunct joke seems to support that. The less you buy into that bullshit and just present your ideas, the better the conversations become. most of the negative useless conversations happen when you are in your "righteous defender" mode because you generally want others to feel as offended as you do - or thats how it reads to me.

stephanie
08-26-2011, 02:00 PM
I think you have bought into a fairly ridiculous victim narrative that is perpetuated by badhat/look, your referencing the "gang of 12" as if it were anything other than a long defunct joke seems to support that. The less you buy into that bullshit and just present your ideas, the better the conversations become. most of the negative useless conversations happen when you are in your "righteous defender" mode because you generally want others to feel as offended as you do - or thats how it reads to me.

I agree with all this. Also, it's been at least months since there was any numerical benefit that liberals had here, so the mob mentality thing is especially suspect, even if that were how the liberals posted, which has never been true.

apple wasn't picked on, for heaven's sake, and can defend himself quite well. It just muddles the conversation when people jump in to say that he has a right to say whatever (or make that comment about other topics, when no one ever denies the right, and it's hardly relevant). Also, people who come and say things as inflammatory as apple has also know and probably relish the response they will get. Indeed, I think apple has said that he's found his approach effective in getting people to rethink ideas, which suggests that he expects the kind of shocked response he gets.

badhatharry
08-26-2011, 02:49 PM
I think you have bought into a fairly ridiculous victim narrative that is perpetuated by badhat/look, your referencing the "gang of 12" as if it were anything other than a long defunct joke seems to support that.

Just to be clear, I've never mentioned the gang of 12...not even one time.

Also, I contend that I have never tried to perpetrate a victim narrative, although I'm pretty sure you won't be dissuaded from your narrative. It doesn't matter to me if you aren't.

sugarkang
08-26-2011, 04:31 PM
i suspect apple knows that, and doesn't think your "defense" of his views and positions is necessary.
I didn't think he needed my defense and I've never thought of apple as a "victim." I do defend positions and principles that I think are worthy. And I try my best to separate out substantive arguments and personal attacks.


I think you have bought into a fairly ridiculous victim narrative that is perpetuated by badhat/look, your referencing the "gang of 12" as if it were anything other than a long defunct joke seems to support that.
I don't know what went on with you all. I'm open to the possibility that all of this bad blood was caused by Harry and look. However, I can only make judgments about how you all treat each other from the moment I arrived. And from what I've seen, Harry has been guilty of baiting people into debate, but nothing more. I haven't seen anything that remotely crosses the line.

On the liberal side, I've seen some very nasty things. I've seen graz tell Harry to go and commit suicide along with his subsequent casuistry justifying to himself that he'd done nothing wrong. I've seen Jeff condescend to Harry on several different occasions. He not only called her stupid, but he would put words in her mouth and used his faulty recollection as the justification for condescending to her further. Pretty unbelievable. And I recall this bit of poetry you addressed to me a while back:

you are an ignorant fuck with no clue ...

My response:

THANKS!

We all have the choice to respond in the way we feel appropriate. It takes two to tango. Now, I've never seen Harry call anyone an ignorant fuck. What I have seen is a few complaints about how she is the cause of a lot of the flame wars. I'm sorry, but it doesn't seem like you (or others) have a sense of proportion.


The less you buy into that bullshit and just present your ideas, the better the conversations become.

Perhaps it's irrational for you to expect better conversation from an ignorant fuck such as myself.


most of the negative useless conversations happen when you are in your "righteous defender" mode because you generally want others to feel as offended as you do - or thats how it reads to me.
Incisive.

popcorn_karate
08-26-2011, 04:57 PM
Perhaps it's irrational for you to expect better conversation from an ignorant fuck such as myself.

i expect nothing from you. I have not had many good conversations here for a while which is completely on me and nobody but me. But i am still an interested observer and can notice patterns in other people's conversations.


Incisive.

yes it was, thanks for noticing. I am prone, at times, to the same unfortunate tic.

popcorn_karate
08-26-2011, 05:05 PM
Also, I contend that I have never tried to perpetrate a victim narrative, although I'm pretty sure you won't be dissuaded from your narrative. It doesn't matter to me if you aren't.

good on the not caring part (that is not sarcasm, btw).

apple
08-27-2011, 01:44 PM
However it may be something else. It's hard to say without context.

I provided you with an example. Any time I criticize the radical religious fundamentalists who control the GOP, secular conservatives respond by saying that they have a right to their opinion, they have the right to organize, they have the right to attempt to influence politics, etc.

I could imagine the statement as a sort of vague nod to our shared principle of free speech.

It's definitely not that. It seems odd to insert such a statement in the middle of a discussion that is otherwise unrelated to free speech, without responding in a substantive manner.

apple
08-27-2011, 01:48 PM
I should have been clearer. People have a right to voice an opinion, but there's no right to be free from criticism. I think we'd agree here. But then there's criticizing and then there's being a dick about it.

Well, I encounter this response whenever I say something about fundies, regardless of whether I'm being a dick about it. Generally, not more than I usually am. Still, even if someone is being a bully, "don't be a bully" seems to be more appropriate than "X has a right to free speech".

And temperance issues aside, there's a numbers game as well, i.e., when a board like this has a group of people who largely agree on most matters, a minority opinion like yours can get crushed. So, with regard to your first post, I actually had you in mind.

Come to think of it, we actually don't have a bona fide religious fundamentalist.