Is describing someone as suffering from a persecution complex "hate speech?" What about referring to them as a moron, a zealot, or mindless sheep?
OK This question made me laugh. I found this definition of hate speech on Wikipedia: In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, ethnicity, disability, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic.
I guess context is key. Will it incite violence or prejudicial action? I wonder how they prove it in court.
If someone calls me a delusional moron, it's their opinion and they are welcome to it, if they call me a delusional moron who deserves to be killed, it's a different thing.
Of course I may be a delusional moron deserving to be killed, but that is not the point, they should not say something which may 'incite' others to commit crime.
BAAA. Since I am a mindless, zealous, moronic sheep with a persecution complex, I guess in my case it's just descriptive. I don't feel threatened. I accept myself as I am.
Well since I get an opinion here... some points...
1. Just because you are a member of a certain "group" does not mean that you personally are protected from anyone ever saying anything unpleasant to you. For example I am bi-sexual. It isn't hate speech against the LGBT community to call me a moron. Sorry... solidarity doesn't work that way.
2. Calling someone a zealot isn't an insult against their religion. The term "zealot" isn't specifically an anti-Christian or even anti-religious phrase. Some people are zealots. Saying that you dislike zealots isn't "hate speech" because zealots aren't a "protected class". If I said I disliked ass-hats it isn't hate speech either for the same reason. Zealot is a personality flaw. As far as I know personality flaws are fair game.
3. Saying someone has a persecution complex is once again a comment on a personality flaw.
4. Saying someone is a mindless sheep is once again a comment on a personality flaw.
5. Last but not least... saying that people with personality flaws exist within a group is ALSO not hate speech. Saying- for example- that some women are bitchy is not a slam on all woman. Saying that I dislike bitchy women is ALSO not an attack on a whole group... Saying I dislike a particular woman because she is bitchy is also not hate speech. Saying that all women are bitchy might be vaguely be... although not likely not because it is unlikely to cause violence or prejudicial treatment of women. So while it would definitely be sexist it wouldn't be hate speech.
I don't know about that, but I do know that we see a lot of that going on around here, without giving good reasons. It is supported on HubPages evidently. I have been requesting that people stop putting others down, and use logical and reasonable debate instead.
I see people putting others down, then putting them down more when they ask the offending person to stop it. I would do this for anyone, and while I know who I am and how I discuss things, I feel badly when I see it happening to anyone.
Its a good thing, to encourage people to bring their debating or discussion skills up a notch, to not even have to resort to such comments. Then Chasuk, you wouldn't even have to start such a thread, how cool would that be?
Chasuk I know exactly the thread you are referring to, and the people that said those things, and I will tell you what I told them. SHOW WHERE they were being zealots if anyone was, SHOW HOW they were being mindless sheep if anyone was... SHOW HOW they are suffering from persecution complexes if they are. This is a much better way than what we have seen, where people are hiding behind broad sweeping statements as they respond to others, but then back off saying, "it wasn't to you was it, what is wrong with you?"
Lets raise the bar!
Here may be a better question, Chasuk...Is it hateful or nasty behavior to call people mindless sheep, zealous, etc, then tell them they are likely suffering from a persecution complex if they ask you to stop or show reasons why? Or, to say to them when they ask why you say such things, to tell them "Is it because you are so used to being called bad names, so you are oversensitive to it?"
Is that fair, or hateful? Is it hateful to defend it and defend the poor behavior when asked to stop? We all know the answer to these questions.
People seem to get upset, which is very telling, when they are asked to stop the poor treatment of others. Who has the problem here, I am asking in all honesty and sincerity.
Hi Chasuk, I have had some experience recently with someone saying that I was accusing someone else of hate speech when I never once uttered the words, and I thought that was kind of odd. They went after me, and got very upset about some things as they perceived I was accusing someone of hate speech, but this person was the first to utter the words.
Its perhaps being thrown around too much lately? After this person brought up the complaint which wasn't made, then it became a topic. I wanted you to know how that evolved, as I think this thread was kind of borne out of that other one, seeing your very particular choice of words.
It may not be hate speech in the legal sense, but it could possibly be judging a person or a group of persons too quickly based on very little information or experience. It might cause someone to dismiss someone's argument or someone's experience too quickly and miss an opportunity to understand. It may be just plain rude. It might inflame angry and bitter feelings and pollute civil discourse. It might be unwise. Then again throwing the words "hate speech" around could too.
Say in a workplace, a person or group is kind of targeted for what they believe. If they are treated as second class citizens, put down, no matter how subtle, over and over, what kind of environment is this? If they were to speak up for themselves, and they were further put down, what kind of environment is allowed to be fostered there? Doesn't that sound awful, no matter how much the people doing the poor behavior really wanted to do it, no matter what the reason? I think it sounds awful...
It would be wrong to see others be treated in such ways and support those doing said behavior. I, even if I got pulled into being put down for the sticking up for those being put down, would try and always ask that everyone be treated equally and fairly. How about just asking that if they must put them down, to wait until its warranted?
Do you get my drift? There are places like this. Where it happens, it should not, no matter who it is directed at, and no matter how much people want to treat others poorly.
This reply is addressed to oceansnsunsets specifically, but consider it also addressed to prozemo, MelissaBarrett, and the few others who have contributed to this forum.
I have my own thoughts concerning what does, and what does not, constitute "hate speech," but I think that there is a larger, more important question, namely, "What constitutes a sound argument?"
I participate in online forums for the purpose of self-education, and I think a lot of others -- even if still the minority -- come for the same reason. If that description doesn't describe you, then this message isn't to you.
I'll write and publish a hub in the next few days which explains why I think that an online forum is the perfect medium for sound argument, and what I mean when I say, "sound argument." In the meantime, let me express that I think that most forums are broken by design. I don't mean that they are designed intentionally to exist as broken tools, but that they are designed broken out of ignorance. It hasn't occurred to the designers that forums might serve a purpose greater than that of battlegrounds for warring egos. In the moderated forums that exist, the moderators are trying to maintain order only.
I believe that civility, freedom of expression, and sound argument are all possible in an online forum, with a little work and cooperation. Is anyone interested in this idea?
If "yes," chime in here, and I will message you privately with greater detail, as it is too long to explain thoroughly here.
There's an emotional element that is also involved in self-education for me and for me a "sound argument" does not necessarily have to include a logical base. I can and do have those types of conversations and can classically debate with the very best of them... However there is much to be said for a purely emotional conversation as well.
A working theory of mine is that civility and freedom of expression cannot exist at the same time as the need for civility requires that complete honesty be curtailed in favor of avoiding offending the sensibilities of the most sensitive of any group. It's the emotional equivalent of teaching a whole class at the speed of the slowest student.
There are times when it is possible to remove the emotional element of a debate however that requires the parties involved to be rather detached from the subject. If you plan on debating the merits of a completely intellectual pursuit such as a mathematical theory it is rather easier to find detached participants than if you choose to debate the merits of religion.
In short if you are planning on debating a purely emotional topic then expecting one to do it without honest emotion is bringing a sword to a gunfight.
In addition and as an afterthought... Any attempt to turn an online forum into a traditional debate stage requires that all participants be versed in the basics of logical fallacies. From reading your hubs I know that was easy for you to tackle but -at the risk of once again insulting the most sensitive-religious belief often requires that one accepts logical fallacies as par for the course. It's only natural as most fallacies are based on normal human emotional reactions... those reactions are generally what drive people to religion in the first place.
Emotion, for most of us, is involved in everything, but I do think that it can, and should, be controlled, especially when one is investigating a claim concerning a question of fact. When the claim concerns a question of opinion, then emotion can be entirely untrammeled.
From my perspective, all questions of fact should be investigated from a logical base only. However, I am not advocating the style of classical debate, which often involves as much showmanship as reason.
I have learned to be civil and honest at the same time, although it requires a great deal of restraint from all of the _adult_ participants. I emphasis adult for a reason; if one hasn't learned to exercise restraint, then that label does not yet belong to you, regardless of your chronological age. I have read enough of your posts to respect deeply the restraint that you exercise, even when discussing emotion-laden subjects.
I do conceive of a system which is _not_ honor-based, I.e., which is strictly moderated by trusted moderators. Participation would require agreement to the TOS, and would further require of the participant that he or she had at least acquainted himself or herself with logical fallacies. There are numerous web resources which make this trivial.
Are you interested in at least hearing my plan? It will take a few days to put together, and will be invitation-only with you at the top of my invitation list.
*Smiles* Sure hon... I would love to hear what you have in mind. As far as participation I must confess that my ability to have rational conversation is slightly limited by a significant lack of patience at this point in my life. I'm also likely operating at at least a 10 point deficit in I.Q. and will likely be throughout my third trimester.
Congratulations. The 19 years during which I directly parented were the most rewarding of my life. I am happy for you, and a bit jealous.
Thank you for the congratulations but I have moved from the happy sappy stage into the waddling can't move "Dear God must feet be kicking me 24 hours a day?" stage. My excitement over the first meeting is slowly being overcame by my desire to have my own body back... and to see my feet.
I don't know that I would get pregnant even if I could, but I'd like to think that I would. I've been through the can't-see-my-feet thing, for several years at a time. I'm hoping to resolve that again, this time permanently.
A sound argument is an argument that is formally valid and all the premises true.
That is 100% accurate, as far as it goes. I am hoping to devise a process which makes sound arguments more common.
I could agree to that definition of argument. Perhaps a list of objective criteria for proving premises: historical record, substantiated facts, etc. On what basis will premises be established as true or not true. I think also understanding the difference between subjective and objective ways of knowing would be important. I think many people do not seem to understand to use subjective arguments with an individual who has rejected subjectivity is just futile.
Objective by way of definitions and explanations while subjective is experience.
Objective: Sun exists. I can show you sun or explain to you its presence and I can define exist.
Subjective: Sun is yellow in color. Is my yellow same as your yellow? I can't define nor show you yellow color.
Do you think appeals to history fall more into the categories of objectivity or subjectivity? Our collective experiences and our reactions to them can become imprecise arguments. Who reports the history can pollute the facts sometimes? What weight are appeals to history given in a classical argument?
History is the subjective interpretation of available present facts, that is why history vary with historians and time.
No, subjectivity is not workable in an argument as there is no way of verifying the argument(neither can we repeat history to verify it). While objective is verifiable and will not vary from person to person.
Therefore appeals to history are unworkable. Right?
Two things I am testing here. Is a purely objective argument possible? How are events in history established as fact because they are arrived at through testimony, through the writing of dead people? Dead people can't be cross examined.
To an extent it is unworkable, mostly will go as the fallacy appeal to authority.
Yes possible. The facts are the same but the interpretations may be different.
You are right. We can only examine the evidence and arrive at a conclusion, may not be exact. As in court, beyond reasonable doubt is all that we can hope to achieve.
Oops replied to myself. The above to ideas are supposed to be connected. Sorry about that.
Right. So you agree when it comes to facts from history we need to approach those arguments like lawyers. We need to compare the testimony of multiple documents as well as look to archeology for evidence. Arguments from history are fabulously complex. Aren't they? If Chasuk's great plan works, these arguments are going to be fascinating. So to argue intelligently on these forums, participants are going to need to engage in research.
On a practical note, my son is graduating from college in another state this coming weekend. Then my daughter graduates from high school the following weekend. I find this sort of conversation addicting. I literally need to focus on my family now. I will check on Chasuk's progress with his project next month. Cheers.
Not every toe of historical "fact" is workable in an argument, but I would consider some of it to be, if the claims were demonstrated as extremely likely, perhaps according to a Bayesian analysis. Richard Carrier has suggested such a method in a recent book. I haven't read it yet, as it is currently only available in hardback, and I'm a generally only buy ebooks.
I'm sorry being so geeky; these sorts of questions interest me terribly.
Here are the details of the book:
Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus [Hardcover]
Richard Carrier (Author)
"What constitutes a sound argument?" surely depends on who is setting the ground rules?
It is only in religion the goal post always changes!
Really, so when science declares that what they previously held up as truth, has now been replaced by their new 'truth' (which we all MUST accept as 100% truth (for now) that is not changing the goal posts?
Science simply acknowledges that all truth is provisional. This isn't moving the goal posts, but establishing that the goal posts have no fixed positions.
It would be counterproductive and dishonest for science to be dogmatic. I am not saying that science is never bound by dogma; it frequently is. However, it does have nobler aspirations, which, for the most part, it follows, eventually. What science does NOT do is discard decades or perhaps centuries of previous work capriciously, as this would also be irresponsible. It does, and demonstrably has, discarded those decades or centuries of work when the body of anomalies has grown to the size that such intransigence is destructive and dishonest.
Hmmm.... I see, so when I want to discuss the possibility that spiritual things may have truths (provisional at this time)that we have not yet defined or that science is (presently) unable to define, that is just accepting (for the reasons of sound debate) that the goal posts have no fixed positions.
Which is what I have been stating for a long time.
Problem seems to be that believers are expected to have fixed goalposts whereas secularists can have those goalposts that have no fixed positions.
Do I understand that correctly?
"What science does NOT do is discard decades or perhaps centuries of previous work, until it has demonstrably shown that the body of anomalies has grown to the size that such intransigence is destructive and dishonest."
Yes, that seems to sum up that situation "grown to the size that such intransigence is destructive and dishonest" illustrates precisely the problem.
Today science cannot understand spirituality and the spiritual realm, so it must call it a delusion, brainwashing, mass hypnosis or simple mental derangement.
Previous candidates have been bacteria, radio waves, radiation and the atom, all of which were classifiable in the same 'no evidence to prove' category UNTIL God revealed to a scientist the manner in which they could understand and utilise His creation, for the good of humanity.
Though it is possible that even then they could not do as God desired, for we have BigPharma, the cathedral of scientific principals selling antibiotic in such excess that bacteria has now learned to defeat them, radiation sweeping from Japan towards America and threatening to kill many in the northern hemisphere as a result of scientists building a reactor that had no plan worked out for what to do IF a tsunami should strike at the same time as an earthquake.
Have we reached a point yet where anyone (scientific) may even start understanding that there are more things we do not know about than those we do?
Anyhow, you guys set your (non fixed) goalposts for your discussions and we believers will stay with our (fixed) understanding on what God has told us.
Science addresses empirical claims only. It isn't equipped to address any other sort.
Believers aren't expected to have fixed goalposts. In fact, any secularist who has argued with a believer more than once or twice understands completely that believers _can't_ have fixed goalposts. They are inimical to the believers paradigm. Science doesn't try to explain spirituality or the spiritual realm, because neither fit within the paradigm of scientism.
Still, this doesn't mean that individual secularists don't try to use the answers provided by science to explain what has previously been understood -- and is still understood by some -- as supernatural or spiritual.
OK, nice idea, and will no doubt give forum trolls some 'solid' foundation upon which to continue trying to lambaste believers, and that is OK, have fun with your ground rules.
"Still, this doesn't mean that individual secularists don't try to use the answers provided by science to explain what has previously been understood -- and is still understood by some -- as supernatural or spiritual."
Says it all, there must be a desperate attempt to explain that which we cannot agree with to OUR satisfaction, in order that we do not need to consider we MAY be wrong, yet again.
When you try to understand things, do you try to understand them to my satisfaction, or your own? If you really appreciated scientific precepts at all, then you would appreciate that every true scientist would gladly bow before God if it became obvious that God was the best explanation. We have no vested interest in any particular explanation. Scientists seek the _best_ current explanation, whatever that explanation might be.
Trolls wouldn't be invited, of any stripe.
Aquasilver, I look at this way. Our fixed goalpost is scripture. However, we do have to admit we do differ as a group as to interpretation and church history shows we continually reexamine it, finding teachings that have been lost or sublimated by human error. If someone cannot accept the scripture as truth, we can't argue with them from it. If they do not accept subjective ways of knowing, then we can't argue from it. I just accept that as a fact. I can't make them accept it. Maybe I argue it well if was an expert in the field of epistemology, the philosophical study of how we know what we know. It's just unworkable in the context of debate. We are not agreeing on the foundations.
We still do have several choices available to us:
1. We can present the objective arguments available to us.
2. We can remain secure in the validity of our own subjective, personal relationship with the Lord. I have come to realize that I am a convinced Christian largely on experiences I have had with him. My experiences are beautiful and valid. They don't work in an academic debate. If someone thinks those experiences are a delusion, does it matter to us?
3. We can walk in the example of Jesus who lived a life of submission, humility and love. They are the most powerful tools in transforming evil to good.
4. Academic discussion are about thinking. Spiritual discussion are about believing. Mixing the two is always going to get messy.
5. Jesus promised us in scripture people would make disparaging remarks about us, but not to fear. I don't think we should fight it; He said He would. In that we can proudly be His sheep. When people disparage our subjective life, with terms like moron or delusional. Realize we're at a philosophical impasse and walk away.
6. We can be as shrewd as a snake, but gentle as a dove.
I understand where you're coming from; but I understand where Chasuk and others are coming from too. Understanding their point of view is useful even if we don't accept or agree. Make sense?
I agree with everything above, although I do have a few observations.
When I'm arguing with a religious person, I don't necessarily know that they are going to present their supernatural trump card; not all of them do. However, experience has taught me that MOST do, so I come prepared to amicably "settle" the argument at that eventual point. When I say "settle," I don't mean that either of us are conceding that the other has won, but only that we have agreed to disagree.
The situation that I do object to is this: I know that the argument will likely resolve in this sort of stalemate, because I've been in the same argument hundreds of times before, and that is how it has always ended. My opponent assures me, "No, I won't play the supernatural trump card, my argument is enpirically iron-clad." Intrigued, but against my better judgement, I proceed with the argument, to finally end up in exactly the situation that I had predicted.
I would like to avoid this situation in the future by including the rule that, if a participant has renounced the use of the supernatural trump card at the beginning, it cannot be produced at any time during the course of that argument without forfeiting that argument to the opponent.
Note: I don't mean "supernatural trump card" disrespectfully, so I hope no one takes it that way.
Its is sad that you do not even understand the difference between 'subjective' and 'objective' nor the difference between dogma and explanation.
A sound argument is precisely as Jomine described it, above. This ground rule is understood by philosophers, logicians, theologians, and even politicians (when it suits them).
I agree. In the last discussion, I began with asking questions about a premise. I polluted the discussion by throwing in a purely emotional response. I admit that error, inappropriate in this context. The reasons I did that are personal; I will deal with them. No, it's not a persecution complex; it's something else. However, I feel the argument was further polluted by placing the labels: moron, sheep, persecution complex, etc... on me. I assume those labels were directed at me or I was one of a number of folks. If not, please correct me. The labels are loaded words which stir unnecessary emotion. We should strive to avoid language that could be construed as disparaging. It's a best a distraction, at worst rude. My throwing in the term "hate speech" was loaded too. I was naive to its effect. So much emotion I didn't intend. Regret that.
My goals are to be enlightened and to clarify my own thinking. We all think we're right. I know why I think I'm right. I want to understand why someone else thinks they're right. Sometimes we're going to run into problems because we can't agree on the premises of the argument, or our system of arriving at truth is fundamentally different. How should we deal with that?
I agree with Prozema, I think hate speech is simply that, speaking with or out of hatred. Just like they have "hate groups"/ I think making racial statements or racial slurs is a form of hate speech, discriminating of any kind vocally, is hate speech.
"Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence."
What about Canadian government union booklets that describe certain classes of workers as "scabs"? Is that hate speech? What if the same unions delibrately hire non-union workers to do union worker's jobs to circumvent labour law? Are the non-union workers really scabs? It's pretty sleazy; but I wonder if it is true hate. I'm not sure.
Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.
Calling somebody psychotic or idiotic or "suffering from a persecution complex" is just an opinion, and is called insult.
"The only gracious way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can't ignore it, top it; if you can't top it, laugh at it; if you can't laugh at it, it's probably deserved"
My initial response to the original question was to laugh and realize I needed to take myself less seriously. Geeze Louise.
I wasn't really driving at a point yet. The purpose of this discussion was to come define of the terms of debate. There seems to be ignorance of it. I am wanting to support and understand what this vision of Chasuk's to raise the bar of debate. I am pointing out problems I've seen on these forums. I guess I was hoping to model what it might look like.
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