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Is there such a thing as becoming too tolerant watch

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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    "abuse of his power"? are you kidding me? objectively how is an employer obligated to abide by standards of subjective cultural fairness? who exactly are they harming or infringing the liberty of by being dicks? your property is yours, not someone else's to control when your practises do not harm others - whether their ways hurt people's feelings is none of their business unless it costs them their profits. the only thing they as an employer are obligated to do is 1) make money (for both themselves and their share/stake holders, and 2) pay their taxes (which shouldn't be very high)
    Regardless of all this talk of what someone has the right to, my argument can ultimately come down to this:

    Is the world a better place without discrimination? Yes it is. Quite frankly, the right to discriminate freely is insulting and insensitive to the millions of people who have faced discrimination in their lives. In this case, I think most people would agree that people losing their rights to be a racist homophobe is the lesser of two evils.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Regardless of all this talk of what someone has the right to, my argument can ultimately come down to this:

    Is the world a better place without discrimination? Yes it is. Quite frankly, the right to discriminate freely is insulting and insensitive to the millions of people who have faced discrimination in their lives. In this case, I think most people would agree that people losing their rights to be a racist homophobe is the lesser of two evils.
    so by the same logic you are effectively denying freedom of speech, because the ability of people to insult others is also "insulting and insensitive" to millions of people who have faced discrimination. you are encouraging a violence-based society if you are effectively saying that laws should solve social problems, as opposed to tolerance and persuasive arguments.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    so by the same logic you are effectively denying freedom of speech, because the ability of people to insult others is also "insulting and insensitive" to millions of people who have faced discrimination. you are encouraging a violence-based society if you are effectively saying that laws should solve social problems, as opposed to tolerance and persuasive arguments.
    I think we need to set boundaries. We need to weigh up the costs of freedoms against the damage they may potentially do. The freedom of speech is vitally important for the adequate functioning of society. The freedom to be racist in hiring practices is not.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    so by the same logic you are effectively denying freedom of speech, because the ability of people to insult others is also "insulting and insensitive" to millions of people who have faced discrimination. you are encouraging a violence-based society if you are effectively saying that laws should solve social problems, as opposed to tolerance and persuasive arguments.
    Social problems are problems for a reason - they're supposed to be solved. When you are racist or otherwise incredibly insulting to someone without sufficient provocation, you are harming another. The body is not the only thing that can be harmed - the mind can too, and when that happens, there is a cost that the abused has the right to make the abuser pay. There is no problem with the abused subjecting the abuser to some reasonable physical harm if they so wish to. It should teach the abuser a lesson. Some people cannot be 'reasoned' with. It's not about creating a violence based society, it's about granting people the liberty to subject to punishment those who purposely cause potentially serious harm for their own entertainment. This is fair.

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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I think we need to set boundaries. We need to weigh up the costs of freedoms against the damage they may potentially do. The freedom of speech is vitally important for the adequate functioning of society. The freedom to be racist in hiring practices is not.
    you can't "weigh up people's freedoms" like this for emotional concerns. you aren't being objective or principled at all in your approach to liberty; you are basically saying "some opinions should be banned" - how is that freedom of speech, then? if you start at racism, where will you logically end?
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    People are allowed to be intolerant of others; society & the law are just allowed to be intolerant back.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    a group being in poverty =/= a group being committed violence against
    but either way, in society, especially economically, the only thing that drives business is ability, not skin colour, gender, etc; if you cause one group to be looked down upon, they'll get paid less, but then that means that it will be cheaper to hire them and therefore businesses will have a huge incentive to employ them if they were rational and money-driven, and if they did, they'd out-compete all the other companies that impose upon themselves a cost to discriminate against one kind of person, e.g. the difference in cost between these two social groups.

    but remember who you're talking to - a person who isn't racist, sexist, homophobic etc, just a person who prefers peace over aggression in terms of society's dispute resolutions
    In theory - but businesses aren't remotely rational and money-driven, they care mostly about appearances, hence why they will pay their CEOs ridiculous salaries, rent offices in London, have pointless meetings, hire management consultants, and in your world, not employ, say, black people, because clients/customers wouldn't like to see them. That's worth a lot more than fifty pence an hour's wage or whatever the differential would be. Businesses are shaped by humans, who are irrational, greedy and self-destructive, and that's why even the biggest businesses like Lehman Bros. can go to the wall even though they knew all along the mortgage bubble was fake money.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    In theory - but businesses aren't remotely rational and money-driven, they care mostly about appearances, hence why they will pay their CEOs ridiculous salaries, rent offices in London, have pointless meetings, hire management consultants, and in your world, not employ, say, black people, because clients/customers wouldn't like to see them. That's worth a lot more than fifty pence an hour's wage or whatever the differential would be. Businesses are shaped by humans, who are irrational, greedy and self-destructive, and that's why even the biggest businesses like Lehman Bros. can go to the wall even though they knew all along the mortgage bubble was fake money.
    Interesting post, but I think you're wrong about humans in general. If you owned Lehman Brothers, would you have let the mortgage crisis happen for the sake of short-term gain? Would I choose to run a corporation that kept cutting down the Amazon rainforest so soya bean plantations can be grown and cattle be turned into burgers? Would many people choose to keep preventing the US government creating a public healthcare system for the sake of their own gain, despite half of all yearly US bankruptcies happening because people can't pay their medical bills? I don't believe so. This is a very small sample of the despicable actions that powerful firms undertake every day, and I've realised that psychopaths are the missing variable. Humans definitely have a selfish side, but it takes a very special kind of evil to commission the depraved things that are done in this society and all over the world. Put bluntly, psychopaths rule the world. They are the big issue that people need to wake up to and deal with.

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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    you can't "weigh up people's freedoms" like this for emotional concerns. you aren't being objective or principled at all in your approach to liberty; you are basically saying "some opinions should be banned" - how is that freedom of speech, then? if you start at racism, where will you logically end?
    This is rich.

    But no, the point of freedoms is that they are things you ought to be allowed to do. You do not have the freedom to take away someone else's freedom, that's pretty much the only thing which you do not have the freedom to do.

    Insulting someone may or may not damage their freedoms, depending upon degree.
    Not hiring someone based on race will damage their freedoms, necessarily as it stops them getting a job.

    Only opinions that limit the amount of freedom should be banned. If you start at racism, we cannot tell where (whatever you're talking about) will stop, because we don't know the recurrence relation. It might stop at infinity, it might converge to 42. Who knows?
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    (Original post by TroyAndAbed)
    People are allowed to be intolerant of others; society & the law are just allowed to be intolerant back.
    It's nice, and it has symmetry but I have to disagree.

    Because in that case we're equally justified in doing anything, as long as it's universally accepted. It makes you no worse than others, but it certainly is not the optimal scenario.
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    (Original post by Abstraction)
    Interesting post, but I think you're wrong about humans in general. If you owned Lehman Brothers, would you have let the mortgage crisis happen for the sake of short-term gain? Would I choose to run a corporation that kept cutting down the Amazon rainforest so soya bean plantations can be grown and cattle be turned into burgers? Would many people choose to keep preventing the US government creating a public healthcare system for the sake of their own gain, despite half of all yearly US bankruptcies happening because people can't pay their medical bills? I don't believe so. This is a very small sample of the despicable actions that powerful firms undertake every day, and I've realised that psychopaths are the missing variable. Humans definitely have a selfish side, but it takes a very special kind of evil to commission the depraved things that are done in this society and all over the world. Put bluntly, psychopaths rule the world. They are the big issue that people need to wake up to and deal with.

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    I'm not sure I entirely agree. Game theory accounts for self-interested behaviour and capitalism is enough to get banks squeezing every drop out of the overheated property market hoping to gain a competitive advantage. With this pressure everything gets overvalued and we have the crash.

    Psychopathy doesn't help but frankly I don't see how a psychopath can achieve much destruction for its own sake when power is distributed in a pretty complex way. They are probably just engaged in the game of trying to exert power over their petty rivals than cackling as they plot to strip earth's assets.
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    This is rich.

    But no, the point of freedoms is that they are things you ought to be allowed to do. You do not have the freedom to take away someone else's freedom, that's pretty much the only thing which you do not have the freedom to do.

    Insulting someone may or may not damage their freedoms, depending upon degree.
    Not hiring someone based on race will damage their freedoms, necessarily as it stops them getting a job.

    Only opinions that limit the amount of freedom should be banned. If you start at racism, we cannot tell where (whatever you're talking about) will stop, because we don't know the recurrence relation. It might stop at infinity, it might converge to 42. Who knows?
    again, I've already explained the difference between "freedom of contract" and the claimed entitlement of "right to a job"; you have the right to deal with others consensually, but you do not have the right to put a gun to someone's head and say "contract with this person against your wishes". people can be dicks in society, but if they have property, and there is freedom of property provided nobody's freedom is negated, then this is just the same as tolerating free speech being a doorway to certain people being racist, homophobic, etc - either you accept the concept and principle of freedom, or you reject it for utilitarianism (or socialism)
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    Tolerance can be seen as a weakness. In my experience, dominant, bullying people get their way often more then not. People fear them so they give them what they want to save the stress of an argument/violence and to 'keep the peace'. 'Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society' is a quote I know well...

    There's a difference between niceness ans softness.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Tell that economic argument to black Americans in the 1950s.

    There are more ways to harm people than direct violence.
    The black Americans were oppressed through the legal system. Even if a white business owner wanted to employ black people, the Jim Crow Laws stopped them. Economics had nothing to do with it.
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    (Original post by uuhhhh)
    The black Americans were oppressed through the legal system. Even if a white business owner wanted to employ black people, the Jim Crow Laws stopped them. Economics had nothing to do with it.
    The laws only went so far. Perhaps the UK is a better example, then.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    again, I've already explained the difference between "freedom of contract" and the claimed entitlement of "right to a job"; you have the right to deal with others consensually, but you do not have the right to put a gun to someone's head and say "contract with this person against your wishes". people can be dicks in society, but if they have property, and there is freedom of property provided nobody's freedom is negated, then this is just the same as tolerating free speech being a doorway to certain people being racist, homophobic, etc - either you accept the concept and principle of freedom, or you reject it for utilitarianism (or socialism)
    1) I'm not sure you do understand the difference between a right and a freedom. In all cases in your post, the example could be justly claimed to be either. I.e. you do not have the freedom to point a gun at someone, and you also have a right to property.

    2) This is completely unrelated to my post.

    3) I agree with your last point- and being racist, homophobic etc is not a good use of your freedom of speech and negates the freedoms of others. I do not understand how you fail to see this. If someone wants to build a mansion and demolish a row of terraces to do so, the right to own property does not cover this as it violates more rights than it fulfils. Moreover, in both the racist's and the property developer's case, there are ways of satisfying their right/freedoms without recourse to the currently planned action of ruining people's lives.

    And socialism is not a normative ethics. In theoretical terms, yes, I would reject this form of deontology for utilitarianism (or more accuratiely, prioritarianism... but whatever).
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    (Original post by CryptoidAlien)
    Tolerance can be seen as a weakness. In my experience, dominant, bullying people get their way often more then not. People fear them so they give them what they want to save the stress of an argument/violence and to 'keep the peace'. 'Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society' is a quote I know well...

    There's a difference between niceness ans softness.
    I think it's fair to say that no-one on this thread is denying the hard form of the statement "There is such a thing as becoming too tolerant". We're just claiming that the only way you can be too tolerant is by tolerating intolerance, as this is self-defeating and therefore cannot be allowed.

    That quote's from Aristostle (and you misquoted it too, it also includes 'apathy') and refers to people not wanting to improve society, and tolerating everything as it is. There may be sub-optimal societies where there is no intolerance (and therefore, by my own rule, I'd have to tolerate everything) but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't class them as 'dying'.

    Niceness = tolerating everything bar intolerance- if it doesn't affect others, do what you like.
    Softness = tolerating everything, including the guy telling you not to be tolerant.
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    1) I'm not sure you do understand the difference between a right and a freedom. In all cases in your post, the example could be justly claimed to be either. I.e. you do not have the freedom to point a gun at someone, and you also have a right to property.
    no, the freedom of property is a freedom to own or to enter into contracts; e.g. to own something individually without someone taxing it, taking it away from you, etc. the only right is the right from violence because violence is the act of taking away another's freedom, so it is the "anti-freedom".

    2) This is completely unrelated to my post.
    seeing as you haven't layered/fragmented the quotation I don't know what this is in response to

    3) I agree with your last point- and being racist, homophobic etc is not a good use of your freedom of speech and negates the freedoms of others.
    how? how does having one's feelings hurt cause a loss of freedom?

    I do not understand how you fail to see this. If someone wants to build a mansion and demolish a row of terraces to do so, the right to own property does not cover this as it violates more rights than it fulfils.
    ...what are you talking about? if someone wants a mansion, then they have to buy enough land in order to accomodate their desired house/property size. how is that causing a loss of freedom? they'd have had to purchase the land consensually from people selling that land, so how is there a coercive/violence-based element here?

    Moreover, in both the racist's and the property developer's case, there are ways of satisfying their right/freedoms without recourse to the currently planned action of ruining people's lives.
    "ruining people's lives = buying their land from them consensually/voluntarily"...?

    And socialism is not a normative ethics. In theoretical terms, yes, I would reject this form of deontology for utilitarianism (or more accuratiely, prioritarianism... but whatever).
    in our culture/society, utilitarianism is the basis on which we live our particular/singular lives, of course. but the state shouldn't be virtually enslaving individual people or small groups just because a big angry mob wants a particular end. the state should simply protect people from coercion because that allows each and every equal in value individual to pursue their own peaceful objectives. the happiness of one group should not be at the cost of another - everybody should have the right to peacefully pursue happiness, not only one section of society having it as something unfairly owed to them for no reason other than "do it or we'll come and hunt you down"
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    no, the freedom of property is a freedom to own or to enter into contracts; e.g. to own something individually without someone taxing it, taking it away from you, etc. the only right is the right from violence because violence is the act of taking away another's freedom, so it is the "anti-freedom".
    Okay, that's fine. I'd simply define that one right as "The freedom to not have freedom removed" and get rid of the two words altogether, but that's cool. We have many freedoms, but only one right.

    seeing as you haven't layered/fragmented the quotation I don't know what this is in response to
    I have now :-) I think I was referring to your entire post here though, because you quoted me, and then wrote a whole load of stuff that was totally unrelated to the content of the post you quoted.

    how? how does having one's feelings hurt cause a loss of freedom?
    I was working under the assumption that you had the freedom to not be harmed in any way. Emotional pain is lesser than physical pain, but I would still quantify causing it as taking away freedom in exactly the same ways. The obvious (although extreme) example is if constant verbal abuse caused depression and suicide- not much in the way of freedom there

    ...what are you talking about? if someone wants a mansion, then they have to buy enough land in order to accomodate their desired house/property size. how is that causing a loss of freedom? they'd have had to purchase the land consensually from people selling that land, so how is there a coercive/violence-based element here?
    I was assuming it was non-consensual, because it was an analogy to verbal abuse, which is rarely consensual. "Hello, my dear fellow! Would you mind if I insulted you, chap?" "Not at all, and you?" "I'd rather not you ****,but good on you for not being such a f**king wuss for once"


    "ruining people's lives = buying their land from them consensually/voluntarily"...?
    Answered above. Unconsensually obtaining someone's land would probably ruin their lives.

    in our culture/society, utilitarianism is the basis on which we live our particular/singular lives, of course. but the state shouldn't be virtually enslaving individual people or small groups just because a big angry mob wants a particular end. the state should simply protect people from coercion because that allows each and every equal in value individual to pursue their own peaceful objectives. the happiness of one group should not be at the cost of another - everybody should have the right to peacefully pursue happiness, not only one section of society having it as something unfairly owed to them for no reason other than "do it or we'll come and hunt you down"
    That's why I'd endorse prioritarianism over utilitarianism. But yes, I agree that for state laws, adopting a rule based deontological ethics is simpler and easier to administer. However, I believe the rules should be based around the idea of tolerating actions unless they are intolerant. We are greater gainers by suffering others to live as seems good to themselves than by forcing them to live as seems good to ourselves. And I would go so far as to say that insulting someone based on their specific beliefs is the same as trying to force them to get rid of them, and thus falls afoul of tolerance.
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    Okay, that's fine. I'd simply define that one right as "The freedom to not have freedom removed" and get rid of the two words altogether, but that's cool. We have many freedoms, but only one right.
    freedoms don't cost money to actually allow or enforce (e.g. you don't pay a toll/fine to express yourself or to follow a religion), whereas a right is something that *does* cost money, but obviously if this right is to be protected from coercion, then at least it's one with an understandable and non-aggression-based goal being its purpose, as opposed to something that isn't necessary for individuals living their lives at peace (e.g. the "right to education", the "right to health care" etc). although obviously the right to a fair trial and a right to vote etc are rights associated with living in a state that isn't a dictatorship/aristocracy if we are to have a democracy (obviously I believe in democracy with a huge amount of scepticism because at least it is better than having someone in charge that can dictate endlessly)

    I was working under the assumption that you had the freedom to not be harmed in any way. Emotional pain is lesser than physical pain, but I would still quantify causing it as taking away freedom in exactly the same ways. The obvious (although extreme) example is if constant verbal abuse caused depression and suicide- not much in the way of freedom there
    emotional "pain" isn't that kind of genuinely coercive pain; I couldn't go up to someone and say "give me your money or I'll call you a rude racial word" causing them to yield, or "do this for me or I'll say your mom is a whore" etc. that's obviously a way of influence/persuasion that doesn't override the individual will, because words (unless of course they're threats of violence) don't stop you from doing things with choices. you could also say in this respect that if someone said "pay me or I'll embarrass you" (e.g. there was a big debate about distributing "sexting" images around the internet being a crime or not in the future) is the same as this; very influential, but it is a matter of your confidence being questioned, not having your life, unfairly (e.g. if you did something embarrassing consensually then that's the main concern) controlled without a literal choice. of course it can cause suicide, but you can't say that things can may cause depression should be banned because we need free and open criticism and emotive expression in our intellectually unbound society. saying "this caused me suicidal thoughts" shouldn't be a way of legally punishing people too because it's too much of a cheap throw-away notion when it can't be proved, e.g. their depression may have happened to exist parallel to having been "dramatically insulted" so they may use it to their advantage, etc

    I was assuming it was non-consensual, because it was an analogy to verbal abuse, which is rarely consensual. "Hello, my dear fellow! Would you mind if I insulted you, chap?" "Not at all, and you?" "I'd rather not you ****,but good on you for not being such a f**king wuss for once"
    people don't need to ask permission to use their freedom of speech, because it doesn't force others to act against their will; they have the freedom to ignore them and they should have the self-confidence to not allow it to get them down if we are to have a society where people are "wimps" like that

    Answered above. Unconsensually obtaining someone's land would probably ruin their lives.
    yeah, unconsensually, I agree, but that's obviously not possible in a society where that would be considered theft

    That's why I'd endorse prioritarianism over utilitarianism. But yes, I agree that for state laws, adopting a rule based deontological ethics is simpler and easier to administer. However, I believe the rules should be based around the idea of tolerating actions unless they are intolerant.
    and again, in my opinion, this is impossible and very undesirable in practice because it can pretty much stop and silence anybody the majority/the society doesn't agree with, where this can have an intolerance towards disagreement really. a strong and confident society doesn't need to fear mere words of intolerance, they need to fear actions of intolerance e.g. violence, theft, etc whereby there is a relationship of physical dominance and a lack of mutual respect for freedoms/rights. it also pretty much fuses government and culture, whereby you can't practice a lifestyle that other people view, probably irrationally, as intolerant (e.g. if I were a right wing individual, if we lived in a majority left wing society, I'd probably be called intolerant to poor people and their right to claim benefits, etc)

    We are greater gainers by suffering others to live as seems good to themselves than by forcing them to live as seems good to ourselves. And I would go so far as to say that insulting someone based on their specific beliefs is the same as trying to force them to get rid of them, and thus falls afoul of tolerance.
    so if I said to a muslim "your prophet was a sickening paedophile murderous desert gang-leader who spread his religion through lies and violence", or if I said to a christian "your prophet was a weak, cheap, lame-brand form of hercules and former messiahs mashed together, wrapped in a story that doesn't make any sense and revolves around teaching the human race that they are sinful for being normal", that would/should be a criminal matter in an ideal society? what if I said to a fat person "lose some weight" which would override (possibly) their opinion that they are healthy? what if I said "you're stupid" to a stupid person? what if I said "your hair looks silly" to a person on the streets? these could seriously damage the happiness of others, sure, but does it, if made into a crime, encourage a debating and open-minded society that will allow anyone to freely speak in a manner that costs nothing and harms nobody physically, causing no loss of liberty, or rather does it cause a society that is shrouded in well-paying victimhood and psychological weaknesses? what would the latter mean for a democratic society that has many unkind words to say about its political leaders?
 
 
 
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