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Phelps clan barred from entering Britian
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Author Topic: Phelps clan barred from entering Britian  (Read 11662 times)
Ihlosi
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« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2009, 10:10:53 EDT »

As Ihlosi points out, how does this solve anything?

Oh, I'm not disputing that a good punching can solve the immediate problem of having the funeral of a late loved one disrupted, I only wanted to point out that there might be several issues with this approach. Wink
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Andrei
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« Reply #46 on: March 29, 2009, 16:07:10 EDT »

Quote from: Current
If government can stifle that debate then they can stifle any debate.  We may agree that the Phelp's family have nothing important to say.  That is beside the point.

Unless we agree to defend all reasonable free debate then there will be no free debate.  Governments will simply suppress any viewpoint unfavourable to their own interests.
That slope is a little too slippery for me.

Can you give any reason why censuring incredibly useless and inflammatory debate would lead to the censuring of all debate?

Quote from: Current
Quote from: Andrei
Furthermore, just as manners are a sticking point for Heq, respect for the dead is a sticking point for me.

To put it bluntly, people who protest at the funerals of others are people in whose case I would tolerate a lot of police brutality, and I have a naturally high degree of tolerance for that stuff.
Your character has little to do with the question.  That is, why should this be an offence?

I don't approve of people who are arseholes in public, neither do I approve of those who show no respect for the dead.  But I'm prepared to tolerate them.  As I think everyone should be.
Why?

You're arguing it's not very serious. I think it is. I think it crosses a certain barrier beyond which you forfeit certain rights as member of a society.

As I see it, many (though not all) laws are in place to defend social conventions. As an example, human sacrifice is illegal even if the victim agrees to the ceremony.

There are certain social conventions deemed so important that you forfeit legal protection by breaking them. As such, the importance I, and society in general, gives to those conventions is important as it can tip the scale from legal to illegal.

In the case of respecting a funeral, I think it's serious enough to be illegal.

As for gypsies who go to their ennemies' funeral to insult them, guess how many of their bones the police would have to break for me to care...

P.S.
Quote from: Ibian
Am i the only one who would just take a fist to the face of whoever disrupted the funeral of someone i liked? Problem solved.
No offence, but anyone who's been to a funeral (as an adult) knows that it's not the time or place to start a fistfight.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 16:15:12 EDT by Andrei » Logged

He looked severely at me for awhile, then, grabbing his moustaches, he said:
- Boss, with all due respect, you are naive and pedant.

"Alexis Zorba", by Nikos Kazantzakis (translation mine)
Ibian
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« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2009, 19:26:39 EDT »

No offence, but anyone who's been to a funeral (as an adult) knows that it's not the time or place to start a fistfight.
Objection! Opinion.
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Current
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« Reply #48 on: March 30, 2009, 13:32:15 EDT »

Quote from: Current
If government can stifle that debate then they can stifle any debate.  We may agree that the Phelp's family have nothing important to say.  That is beside the point.

Unless we agree to defend all reasonable free debate then there will be no free debate.  Governments will simply suppress any viewpoint unfavourable to their own interests.
That slope is a little too slippery for me.

Can you give any reason why censuring incredibly useless and inflammatory debate would lead to the censuring of all debate?
If the government have the power to suppress debate then why should they not suppress all dissenting opinions?

Debate is a threat to any incumbent government.  It may lead people to the opinion that they are doing a bad job and need replacing in the next election.

For this reason we must each do what we can to ensure that debate remains open.  Doing that requires it to be open to all manner of crackpots.  Unless we do this we cannot prevent government from using laws created to suppress the activities of crackpots to suppress the activities of the rest of us.

This could be compared to Anti-Terrorism law for example.  The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) allowed the police power of covert surveillance and powers to eavesdrop phone calls and emails.  This laws was ostensibly implemented as protection against terrorism.  They are now used for quite trivial matters though.  County councils have used them to check that school pupils are in the catchment area their parents claim they are.  They have used them against dog fouling and breaches of planning regulation.

Quote from: Current
Quote from: Andrei
Furthermore, just as manners are a sticking point for Heq, respect for the dead is a sticking point for me.

To put it bluntly, people who protest at the funerals of others are people in whose case I would tolerate a lot of police brutality, and I have a naturally high degree of tolerance for that stuff.
Your character has little to do with the question.  That is, why should this be an offence?

I don't approve of people who are arseholes in public, neither do I approve of those who show no respect for the dead.  But I'm prepared to tolerate them.  As I think everyone should be.
Why?

You're arguing it's not very serious. I think it is. I think it crosses a certain barrier beyond which you forfeit certain rights as member of a society.

As I see it, many (though not all) laws are in place to defend social conventions. As an example, human sacrifice is illegal even if the victim agrees to the ceremony.

There are certain social conventions deemed so important that you forfeit legal protection by breaking them. As such, the importance I, and society in general, gives to those conventions is important as it can tip the scale from legal to illegal.

In the case of respecting a funeral, I think it's serious enough to be illegal.

As for gypsies who go to their ennemies' funeral to insult them, guess how many of their bones the police would have to break for me to care...
I don't disagree with you that these actions are disgusting.  I agree that in some cases they should be illegal.  Inciting violence is an offence and rightly so.  Not leaving a graveyard when asked to is an offense too since graveyards are not public places.

But liberty is far more important than these sorts of trifling concerns about being insulted.  You should think about things more carefully in the long term.  If you approve of the police breaking the bones of people who are doing things they perceive as anti-social then consider that they may be breaking your bones in the future.  If they are free to act on their own opinions of a situation then surely they are free to do anything?  Why should they not use that power for other purposes?  Why should they not use it for fun?

In life we should be prepared to deal with a great amount of unpleasantness before we reach for the state's help.  The state is a crude institution.  As Jerseycajun mentions in his sig:
Quote
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  -  George Washington
We should only get it out of the box when all other sensible possibilities have been exhausted.

So, ignoring such behaviour should be our first step.
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Andrei
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« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2009, 08:48:50 EDT »

Quote from: Current
If the government have the power to suppress debate then why should they not suppress all dissenting opinions?

Debate is a threat to any incumbent government.  It may lead people to the opinion that they are doing a bad job and need replacing in the next election.

For this reason we must each do what we can to ensure that debate remains open.
Quote from: Current
You should think about things more carefully in the long term.  If you approve of the police breaking the bones of people who are doing things they perceive as anti-social then consider that they may be breaking your bones in the future.  If they are free to act on their own opinions of a situation then surely they are free to do anything?
I will reply to both arguments at once.

I have no doubt that the above quotes sound great on bumper stickers, but in reality, censorship and repression have both proven perfectly compatible with democratic institutions and lively political debate.

Need I remind you that the banning of obscene books was a common practice up to the 1960s (and beyond) even in democratic countries and that prisons used to have such charming apparatuses as sensory-deprivation boxes and frequently (up to ~1900) immobilized prisoners.

Neither of these stifled debate or made application of harsh measures arbitrary.

I'm not suugesting that such practices are good, I'm just pointing out that the "all or nothing" argument is a fallacy, a slippery slope. It is perfectly possible to restrict abuse as you restrict any behaviour.

And I do believe that there are certain actions which put you outside of society's usual protection.

EDIT:

I should probably make it clear that I don't condone censorship of books or torture. Those were examples used to show that a society can have lively political debate and indulge in such things.

What I do condone is idiots who willfully disrupt the trappings of civilized society being given a taste of what the alternative would be like. Even if it leads to a short stay in hospital.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 08:54:02 EDT by Andrei » Logged

He looked severely at me for awhile, then, grabbing his moustaches, he said:
- Boss, with all due respect, you are naive and pedant.

"Alexis Zorba", by Nikos Kazantzakis (translation mine)
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