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Is there such a thing as becoming too tolerant Watch

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    A certain Tim Minchin quote comes to mind

    "If you open your mind to much, your brain will fall out"
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    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)
    Massive rant with little to say. I don't agree with this seperation, and I don't see how they are any different, or are to be treated differently. It's interesting the kind of things you list as rights. I thought you said the only right was the right to freedom from violence? I doubt this is a legal distinction, especially given that most 'rights' include the word freedom in them, which would make it very confusing if they meant significantly different things.

    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
    And yet people commit suicide because of it. You don't need to consciously be persuaded into a course of action to not have freedom. Additionally, black mail and peer pressure are exactly that kind of genuinely coercive emotional pain. I'm not 100% sure whether you have emotions TBH or if you're just a very good chatbot...

    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
    Suspicions deepening It does to an extent, insulting someone because they belong to some group is equivalent to lobbying for them to leave that group. Thus, you ought to tolerate them being in that group because the alternative is to try to get them to leave it. You may not be abusing someone to make them change how they are, but that is how it will feel and the pressure will still be there. As an aside, even without that, ridiculing someone for no good reason is clearly askew of every half-decent set of ethical tenets (e.g. utilitarianism).


    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)
    I've forgotten what this was in response to ... We don't need to fear anything. We ought not to have either words or actions of intolerance. I have previously stated that I do view physical harm as more grievous than emotional, but you seem to ignore that the latter exists. And by the way, you ARE a right wing individual. I don't think you're particularly sensitive, but you probably tolerate poor people. We're not discussing legally banning certain attitudes, we're discussing how tolerant people should be. And if you were not actually being intolerant in a demonstrable way, then you couldn't be touched.

    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?
    I'm not actually advocating making intolerance illegal just so you know. You seem to have misunderstood my position. Nevertheless, there is a difference between verbally abusing someone and telling them a fact. Your first two statements were intentionally abusive and incendiary and are therefore less tolerant than ideal. Calling someone fat or stupid depends upon context.

    If you call someone fat in a genuine context, where you are likely to be listened to and are making it clear that you want to help them become healthier etc, then that is not offensive and I cannot see a way for that to limit their freedom. You are simply supplying information.

    Alternatively, screaming "put down the fork!" will not positively contribute. All studies show that the response to fat shaming is that victims gain weight, not lose it.
    You are not allowed to be intolerant, you are allowed to debate opposing viewpoints. I fail to see the reasoning here. One of the aims of tolerance is to gather data about as many ways of life as possible, this is impossible if results are not freely discussed.

    If we are discussing an ideal society, as you seem to think we are, then this will not be governed by laws. Rather each individual will act according to guidelines and will be careful, within reason, to stay within them. Unkind words are better expressed through debate than through insult, the former encourages change, the latter enmity.
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    (Original post by Three Mile Sprint)
    A certain Tim Minchin quote comes to mind

    "If you open your mind to much, your brain will fall out"
    What an odd thing to say. If you opened your head too much that certainly would happen.
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    What an odd thing to say. If you opened your head too much that certainly would happen.
    It's in regards to when people say "You need to be more open minded!" implying that there comes a point when "your brain falls out" i.e you become an idiot.
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    (Original post by Three Mile Sprint)
    It's in regards to when people say "You need to be more open minded!" implying that there comes a point when "your brain falls out" i.e you become an idiot.
    I understand the joke. It's just that the joke works by equivocating mind with skull, which actually makes no sense at all.

    Your mind is an emergent phenomenon caused by the brain. (intentionally vague)
    Your brain is a bundle of neurones housed in a skull. (simplified a bit)

    Open-minded does not have another possible meaning other than the metaphorical one, because your mind cannot be physically open as it does not have a physical existence.

    TBH my main issue is that jokes, while funny, don't often have that much which is of philosophical interest. In this case, I don't see any reason to intolerate anything but intolerance. Although Zippity raises a fair point with whether we should tolerate stupidity/irrationality/falsehood- but I like to think that these can be removed via debate rather than coercive intolerance. Does that make some kind of sense?
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    Massive rant with little to say. I don't agree with this seperation, and I don't see how they are any different, or are to be treated differently. It's interesting the kind of things you list as rights. I thought you said the only right was the right to freedom from violence? I doubt this is a legal distinction, especially given that most 'rights' include the word freedom in them, which would make it very confusing if they meant significantly different things.
    okay this isn't a very serious or honest criticism here because obviously the right to vote or the right to a fair trial etc aren't liberties because they involve the state as opposed to one individual in isolation. anything that *requires* or involves the state is a right. I was simply saying that, apart from the obvious political process rights, the only thing people are entitled to is the right to not be controlled, and obviously having a right to vote goes hand in hand with that. if I told you we should have a right to freedom of information are you going to throw this back at me as well when my justification for this is my scepticism towards the state and its use of force (e.g. taxing me to fund such projects and then to not allow me to know about these projects that my money has gone onto pay for)?

    And yet people commit suicide because of it. You don't need to consciously be persuaded into a course of action to not have freedom. Additionally, black mail and peer pressure are exactly that kind of genuinely coercive emotional pain. I'm not 100% sure whether you have emotions TBH or if you're just a very good chatbot...
    well those people that cannot deal with criticism impose that cost upon themselves for never hardening their skin in the face of non-violent words. you can't expect to pillow people amongst bubbles of synthetic niceness when one day there's going to be a chink in their armour that one **** is going to exploit to their huge disadvantage if they've never heard an insult before

    Suspicions deepening It does to an extent, insulting someone because they belong to some group is equivalent to lobbying for them to leave that group.
    sure, whatever you want; "lobbying" an individual's opinion with some truth, or opinion, but obviously it is influence, not force, to voice peaceful (yet possibly intolerant) opinions.

    Thus, you ought to tolerate them being in that group because the alternative is to try to get them to leave it. You may not be abusing someone to make them change how they are, but that is how it will feel and the pressure will still be there.
    then people shouldn't be so amazingly manipulable and start trusting their own opinions more than others'

    As an aside, even without that, ridiculing someone for no good reason is clearly askew of every half-decent set of ethical tenets (e.g. utilitarianism).
    well actually if a crowd of people got a jolly out of a person getting bullied verbally then that would clearly be utilitarian if there's an excess of happiness

    I've forgotten what this was in response to ... We don't need to fear anything. We ought not to have either words or actions of intolerance. I have previously stated that I do view physical harm as more grievous than emotional, but you seem to ignore that the latter exists. And by the way, you ARE a right wing individual. I don't think you're particularly sensitive, but you probably tolerate poor people. We're not discussing legally banning certain attitudes, we're discussing how tolerant people should be. And if you were not actually being intolerant in a demonstrable way, then you couldn't be touched.
    we *ought* not to, sure, but that's different from having a government that treats us like little babies who can't handle intolerant yet entirely non-coercive opinions/statements. we're all adults in this society (okay, obviously we're not but let's think simply about the adult citizenry that is demanding certain laws) so why do we need other adults to block certain words and opinions if we're mature enough to even have the right to vote? how can we have a right to vote when we tremble at the concept of people saying certain things in our ears causing us to think of certain negative concepts? concepts don't harm nor infringe people's freedom so it is a deeply nannyist and expensive policy to protect society from its own thoughts...

    I'm not actually advocating making intolerance illegal just so you know. You seem to have misunderstood my position. Nevertheless, there is a difference between verbally abusing someone and telling them a fact. Your first two statements were intentionally abusive and incendiary and are therefore less tolerant than ideal. Calling someone fat or stupid depends upon context.
    who exactly judges what is an opinion and what is a fact?

    If you call someone fat in a genuine context, where you are likely to be listened to and are making it clear that you want to help them become healthier etc, then that is not offensive and I cannot see a way for that to limit their freedom. You are simply supplying information.
    so what? it doesn't cause a loss of liberty if you tell a fat person that they're fat even in an insulting context. I'm not encouraging people do this, I'm simply saying that human beings shouldn't be so weak when people insult them that they begin to demand the government to become a parent to fight their battles for them in the context of verbal fights...the government's method is violence - violence shouldn't settle issues like this if it can be avoided through either people ignoring others or disproving the statements of others

    Alternatively, screaming "put down the fork!" will not positively contribute. All studies show that the response to fat shaming is that victims gain weight, not lose it.
    so? even if you were correct, I'm not saying everyone should call fat people fat, I'm simply telling you that it's a bit stupid to think that the government should ever regulate insults like some people seem to think with racism, homophobia, etc

    You are not allowed to be intolerant, you are allowed to debate opposing viewpoints. I fail to see the reasoning here. One of the aims of tolerance is to gather data about as many ways of life as possible, this is impossible if results are not freely discussed.
    I'm not allowed to be intolerant? who's going to stop me? my mother? or the government, the monopolistic institution of organised violence-legitimisation? is it worth using violence to stop people being dicks? is it principled in its position to say "we can't win here with words cast back at them, therefore let's use our fists"

    If we are discussing an ideal society, as you seem to think we are, then this will not be governed by laws. Rather each individual will act according to guidelines and will be careful, within reason, to stay within them. Unkind words are better expressed through debate than through insult, the former encourages change, the latter enmity.
    I'm talking about an ideal society, not a utopian one (e.g. I see a minimal-state society with regards to things like intolerance to not at all be one that is impractical or difficult to implement in reality) although you're entirely free to view anarchism as practical because obviously I'm not trying to claim that anarchism can *never* happen
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    I understand the joke. It's just that the joke works by equivocating mind with skull, which actually makes no sense at all.

    Your mind is an emergent phenomenon caused by the brain. (intentionally vague)
    Your brain is a bundle of neurones housed in a skull. (simplified a bit)

    Open-minded does not have another possible meaning other than the metaphorical one, because your mind cannot be physically open as it does not have a physical existence.

    TBH my main issue is that jokes, while funny, don't often have that much which is of philosophical interest. In this case, I don't see any reason to intolerate anything but intolerance. Although Zippity raises a fair point with whether we should tolerate stupidity/irrationality/falsehood- but I like to think that these can be removed via debate rather than coercive intolerance. Does that make some kind of sense?
    You have mild aspergers don't you?
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    (Original post by Three Mile Sprint)
    You have mild aspergers don't you?
    Never been diagnosed. Then, I have never been tested. Zippity's made me really tired... don't want to have to deal with explaining human psychology to him from first principles because he doesn't get empathy.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    okay this isn't a very serious or honest criticism here because obviously the right to vote or the right to a fair trial etc aren't liberties because they involve the state as opposed to one individual in isolation. anything that *requires* or involves the state is a right. I was simply saying that, apart from the obvious political process rights, the only thing people are entitled to is the right to not be controlled, and obviously having a right to vote goes hand in hand with that. if I told you we should have a right to freedom of information are you going to throw this back at me as well when my justification for this is my scepticism towards the state and its use of force (e.g. taxing me to fund such projects and then to not allow me to know about these projects that my money has gone onto pay for)?



    well those people that cannot deal with criticism impose that cost upon themselves for never hardening their skin in the face of non-violent words. you can't expect to pillow people amongst bubbles of synthetic niceness when one day there's going to be a chink in their armour that one **** is going to exploit to their huge disadvantage if they've never heard an insult before



    sure, whatever you want; "lobbying" an individual's opinion with some truth, or opinion, but obviously it is influence, not force, to voice peaceful (yet possibly intolerant) opinions.



    then people shouldn't be so amazingly manipulable and start trusting their own opinions more than others'



    well actually if a crowd of people got a jolly out of a person getting bullied verbally then that would clearly be utilitarian if there's an excess of happiness



    we *ought* not to, sure, but that's different from having a government that treats us like little babies who can't handle intolerant yet entirely non-coercive opinions/statements. we're all adults in this society (okay, obviously we're not but let's think simply about the adult citizenry that is demanding certain laws) so why do we need other adults to block certain words and opinions if we're mature enough to even have the right to vote? how can we have a right to vote when we tremble at the concept of people saying certain things in our ears causing us to think of certain negative concepts? concepts don't harm nor infringe people's freedom so it is a deeply nannyist and expensive policy to protect society from its own thoughts...



    who exactly judges what is an opinion and what is a fact?



    so what? it doesn't cause a loss of liberty if you tell a fat person that they're fat even in an insulting context. I'm not encouraging people do this, I'm simply saying that human beings shouldn't be so weak when people insult them that they begin to demand the government to become a parent to fight their battles for them in the context of verbal fights...the government's method is violence - violence shouldn't settle issues like this if it can be avoided through either people ignoring others or disproving the statements of others



    so? even if you were correct, I'm not saying everyone should call fat people fat, I'm simply telling you that it's a bit stupid to think that the government should ever regulate insults like some people seem to think with racism, homophobia, etc



    I'm not allowed to be intolerant? who's going to stop me? my mother? or the government, the monopolistic institution of organised violence-legitimisation? is it worth using violence to stop people being dicks? is it principled in its position to say "we can't win here with words cast back at them, therefore let's use our fists"



    I'm talking about an ideal society, not a utopian one (e.g. I see a minimal-state society with regards to things like intolerance to not at all be one that is impractical or difficult to implement in reality) although you're entirely free to view anarchism as practical because obviously I'm not trying to claim that anarchism can *never* happen

    This argument is getting very tiring to respond to. I *think* that most of what we're debating comes down to two factors:

    Freedom of speech
    How to treat people who are doing something wrong (objectively or subjectively).

    The first issue is that you think an ideal society would allow people to insult others because you're a wimp if you get upset as they are not taking away any of your liberties. They're just annoying. Ignore them.

    I, alternatively, think that you shouldn't, without express permission, try to offend anybody. Because it's not nice. It does also take away their liberties etc. but frankly, my reasoning is that it defies my prioritarian sense of right and wrong.

    The second issue I'm not sure on your stance. Do you want to be allowed to ridicule someone who believes something stupid or ridiculous? With what intent, for enjoyment or to 'better' them?

    My solution would be that, without violating my previous rule, you can tell them the 'truth' and try to convince them of their shortcoming (difficult for religious types and radical atheists). While I don't really hold much salt for intentionalism over consequentionalism, I would say that you should ideally be trying to help them rather than harm them. Put another way, you should reasonably predict the outcome of your action to be help rather than harm.

    I don't want to continue this argument much, so could you please write four paragraphs in response:

    1) Things I have misrepresented your viewpoint on
    2) Viewpoints of mine that you disagree with
    3) Additional issues that you think we clash on
    4) How to resolve them (in your opinion, you can guess at mine too if you want, I'll correct you later )
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    This argument is getting very tiring to respond to. I *think* that most of what we're debating comes down to two factors:

    Freedom of speech
    How to treat people who are doing something wrong (objectively or subjectively).

    The first issue is that you think an ideal society would allow people to insult others because you're a wimp if you get upset as they are not taking away any of your liberties. They're just annoying. Ignore them.

    I, alternatively, think that you shouldn't, without express permission, try to offend anybody. Because it's not nice. It does also take away their liberties etc. but frankly, my reasoning is that it defies my prioritarian sense of right and wrong.

    The second issue I'm not sure on your stance. Do you want to be allowed to ridicule someone who believes something stupid or ridiculous? With what intent, for enjoyment or to 'better' them?

    My solution would be that, without violating my previous rule, you can tell them the 'truth' and try to convince them of their shortcoming (difficult for religious types and radical atheists). While I don't really hold much salt for intentionalism over consequentionalism, I would say that you should ideally be trying to help them rather than harm them. Put another way, you should reasonably predict the outcome of your action to be help rather than harm.

    I don't want to continue this argument much, so could you please write four paragraphs in response:

    1) Things I have misrepresented your viewpoint on
    2) Viewpoints of mine that you disagree with
    3) Additional issues that you think we clash on
    4) How to resolve them (in your opinion, you can guess at mine too if you want, I'll correct you later )
    don't worry, you have said a lot of things we both agree with (e.g. we shouldn't be dicks or try to offend people who've done nothing to us :lol: I'm actually a very nice person believe it or not - I'm a total people pleaser) I'm simply saying that it's over the top to have the government stepping in, that's all, especially when to have this kind of system would cost more money when it doesn't need to
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    don't worry, you have said a lot of things we both agree with (e.g. we shouldn't be dicks or try to offend people who've done nothing to us :lol: I'm actually a very nice person believe it or not - I'm a total people pleaser) I'm simply saying that it's over the top to have the government stepping in, that's all, especially when to have this kind of system would cost more money when it doesn't need to
    Oh hell yeah, what I'm suggesting isn't practical.

    I'm just suggesting that it is maybe plausible that you might be able to derive something resembling working society if you took "Tolerate all but intolerance" as an axiom and derived a set of laws. Frankly, I'd prefer a different axiom such as utilitarianism's "Maximise the sum happiness of all people" or prioritarianism (which isn't as clear cut, but I like to think that it reads as "Maximise the product happiness of all people").

    Or robots! I think we should instead have a discussion about what we'd program robots with to act as a moral compass if society consisted almost entirely of them. That might be a decent analogy maybe... anyway, it's getting pretty late.
 
 
 
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