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  1. #51
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    1.) A burqa is quite a bit more concealing, not only of the face but of the entire body. Furthermore, quite a few male suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan have utilized that garment to avoid detection. I'm aware that security is not the primary reason for such a law within France, buts its a plausible enough justification that I would not reference the proposed burqa ban as an example of European violations on free speech or religious freedom.
    As a matter of fact, the current proposal to definitely ban the Burqa everywhere has been justified so far thanks to security measures. According to their proponents, Doctors, Bankers or Policemen should be able to identify people anytime anywhere. But there's no guarantee it will pass, we shall see.
    Nonetheless, it is a very different proposal than the banning of conspicuous religious signs, which takes place only in govermental buildings. The spirit is different, especially when you know that Burqas are an extremely rare occurence in France, and that this law should concern less than one hundred women in our entire national territory. It's almost anecdotal.

    2.) Enforcing a secular (which in France seems to mean "irreligious" rather than representing a lack of state bias or favoritism regarding an individual's religious beliefs or lack thereof) atmosphere is simply not a good enough reason, and essentially amounts to state bias against religiosity in any form. Furthermore, it was the issue of headscarves that led to such an all-encompassing ban on public displays of religious belief; the bias against non-Muslim displays of religiosity is incidental face-saving, the ban originated with Muslims in mind.
    You're not completely right. But I'm not that surprised, considering the distorted facts and biases the American press has spread over this bill
    (and the bias continues: just look at the English article on wikipedia regarding this law, an article which is a real jumble of incoherent or false facts. How can you (wrongly) pretend that "The proposed ban was one of the most controversial political issues in France for several decades, with both sides of the political spectrum being split on the issue", when you (rightfully) admit a few lines later that "Polls suggest that a large majority of the French favour the ban (78%)", and that "all major parties supported the law"?).

    The 1905 law already made the banning of conspicuous religious symbols quite clear.
    And somehow, after decades of feuds with the Catholic church, it was more or less enforced, even if it took time.

    It's only during the 90'es that issues with radical Muslims suddenly happened. And it led to the current bill, which is not a creation ex nihilo, but rather a kind of reminder of the true meaning of the 1905 law, especially for those who tried to challenge or attack it.

    It aimed to make things clearer, and to facilitate the work of the judges and government officials who were harassed with thousands of derogatory demands from those radical minority groups.

    Remember that a majority of French Muslim women approved this bill! Some even asked for it!



    As for the rest, some rights and freedoms are more important than others; for example, freedom of religion and freedom of speech are among a select group of rights that make the security of all other rights possible, and are therefore objectively (as well as subjectively, IMO) more important than the right to gamble, smoke pot or buy alcohol on Sundays (though such restrictions are indeed quite aggravating!). And for the record, since WWII Western Europe has until recently generally had a better record on certain other types of rights (most notably equality under the law) than my country....but Europe is simply deficient when in comes to this very important issue, and in modern times such violations do not qualify as necessary evils.
    I fear you are confusing your own history (the one from the USA) with general history.
    Your nation has been founded by religious refugees. It's not the same story everywhere. Actually, from a French point of view, I'd say your entire nation is deeply biased whenever the subject is religion: it's deeply embedded within your founding values, exactly the same way laicite has been one of the founding values of the French Republic.

    But do you really think France, UK or Germany (etc...) are less democratic than the US, despite their different interpretations?

    Frankly?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #52
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    About the issue of Burqa banning and freedom of speech:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQX-BXhH_8A"]Extrait de Groland[/YOUTUBE]

    Of course, you have to understand French. But I can't resist the pleasure to offer you a crude translation:

    ---

    -Journalist: After that several specialist Doctors were assaulted by Islamic fundamentalists that refused one could undress their wives, something had to be done. The solution came from England.

    -(Background speech) From then on, Muslim women will be able to consult their Doctors with their Burqas on exactly the same way they can do it over the Channel. But a kind of Burqa that can fit and adapt to every possible circumstance. Because if Burqas are perfect when you need to see an oculist, you had to make openings for the ears when you need to see your otorhinolaryngologist, another near your mouth for the dentist, another one around the breasts for the screening of cancer, another near the bottom for coelioscopies, and last but not the least, another one near the pelvis when you need to consult a gynaecologist.
    We hope that this tolerant measure will be enough to appease the growing tensions.

    -Bearded Husband: Hey! Where are you going dressed like that?
    -Woman: I'm going to make an health check...
    -Husband: Hrrmm... OK.... Don't forget to buy bread in the way...

    -Journalist: Ha! It's good to laugh with Muslim fundamentalism! Just yesterday, I was talking about it with my friends Salman Rushdie and Robert Redeker, in a steel chamber in the 60th underground section of the Albion plateau (ndlr: site of the permanent French ICBM base)...
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  3. #53
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    I also have a French video I'd like to share

    [YOUTUBE="iDu0g8rnQy4"]Alizee[/YOUTUBE]

    Blackmail - if you could provide us with a crude translation, please.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  4. #54
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I also have a French video I'd like to share

    [YOUTUBE="iDu0g8rnQy4"]Alizee[/YOUTUBE]

    Blackmail - if you could provide us with a crude translation, please.
    Well... Alizee is a 16 years old Corsican girl (at least when we first heard of her)... And... well... Let the Corsicans keep her!

    ---

    Since this issue deals with freedom of speech, I have to warn you that the previous video (Groland) is aired at a peak viewing time, around 8 pm.

    I'm not sure the same could be made in the US, on a public channel.
    Prove me I'm wrong... unless?

    ---

    And to make you understand we have absolutely no taboo with religions (any religion) in France, here is the tribute Groland made to the legacy of pope John-Paul II, just two days after he died.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph6KIETmn94"]Hommage Jean-Paul II[/YOUTUBE]

    If ever Peguy is able to translate it, I fear he could have an heart-attack.

    (Translation slide by slide)

    1) In the beginning, we discovered an athletic Pope that participated in each New York marathon.

    2) Outstanding skier, he was doing (things*) in Finland

    3) But suddenly, it's the first health warning: he gets two big haemorrhoids.

    4) An untreated disease that will require the installation of an Holy artificial anus.

    5) From then on, he changes, and officially supports masturbation. And we have to confess that with such a left hand, we understand him.

    6) (Red Ferrari car) Without inhibitions, he starts to flirt with chicks.

    7) Like every VIP, he will even have an hidden son.

    8) (squeeking noises) He even bought flashy new basket shoes (Nike with pump)

    9) (next to statue) To attract attention, he hires a Chippendale.

    10) And logically, he will participate to the Gay pride.

    11) And here lies the scandal: he marries Kodak, his negative twin.

    12) We know the following event: Saturday at 21h37, he died in his most beautiful duvet.

    13) In the meantime, one could say everything, but It's John-Paul that used to make the best Pizzas Marguerita!



    ---

    So let me ask it once again: do you think such comments could be aired at peak viewing time, in the US, on a public channel, two days after that kind of event?

    And don't forget to remember that France is supposed to be a Catholic country. We're not making fun of an oppressed, foreign minority.

    Are you beginning to understand the clash of cultures, of different universal values?

    This is our own conception and testimony to freedom of speech. Is it less valid than the one you might discover in the US?
    Do our American friends still think European countries are slowly drifting towards heavy censorship and semi-dictatorship, that the US have a monopoly over freedom and democracy?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #55
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    So let me ask it once again: do you think such comments could be aired at peak viewing time, in the US, on a public channel, two days after that kind of event?
    One could make the argument of, that, while they could, they wouldn't, because it would be "in poor taste." Though legally you could be protected there is still an assload of social graces that you would never get through alive.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  6. #56
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    One could make the argument of, that, while they could, they wouldn't, because it would be "in poor taste." Though legally you could be protected there is still an assload of social graces that you would never get through alive.
    Exactly. Lots of hypocrisy!

    The relationship US culture has with things like Sex, Religion or Race is not at all the same than what you have here.

    Somehow, you could say that in Europe, we have far less inhibitions, even if we're less obsessed by them in the same time.
    In France, the sexual lives of our presidents aren't an issue nor a scandal. It's their private lives after all. Cheating his wife or husband, or having an hidden daughter with another woman will never constitute a valid reason for impeachment. And the same could apply to a female president.

    And if some of our past presidential candidates publicly admitted to be Agnostic or even ardent Atheists, it's not an issue either. (S)he won't lose votes because of that, (s)he won't be judged for that.

    ---

    Just to give you an example, according to our national polls, the most popular possible candidate for our presidential elections of 2012 is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the current IMF director.
    It's a man that :
    1/ is pointedly Jewish (culturally speaking) and pro-Israel
    2/ is a former Communist (although currently center left)
    3/ has claimed to be an Atheist
    4/ has already had several affairs with several colleagues and assistants (the latest -2008- being a blond Hungarian-born and married economist, Piroska Nagy), and never denied them. And contrary to Bill Clinton, Dominique has a good taste when it comes to women.

    But if he's that popular, it's because he's judged on his alledged competence and seriousness when he deals with economical subjects.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  7. #57
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Exactly. Lots of hypocrisy!

    The relationship US culture has with things like Sex, Religion or Race is not at all the same than what you have here.

    Somehow, you could say that in Europe, we have far less inhibitions, even if we're less obsessed by them in the same time.
    In France, the sexual lives of our presidents aren't an issue nor a scandal. It's their private lives after all. Cheating his wife, and having an hidden daughter with another woman will never constitue a valid reason for impeachment. And the same could apply to a female president.

    And if some of our past presidential candidates publicly admitted to be Agnostic or even ardent Atheists, it's not an issue either. (S)he won't lose votes because of that, (s)he won't be judged for that.
    Ah, Mr. Clinton, our first French President. Of course.

    Hey, I wasn't the one who said that the United States wasn't a conservative society -- at least comparatively to Western Europe. If you recall, our freedoms are legal freedoms, and we believe that they should not be able to infringe upon private society, and if you recall, television is considered private society in the United States.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #58
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    if you recall, television is considered private society in the United States.
    Yes, but once again, think to the vast hypocrisy behind it.

    There's a huge difference between what you could see, and what you actually see, especially at peak viewing times.

    There's nothing as morally pervasive than self-censorship. Morality makes light of morality.

    ---

    I've always considered France as a pro-ENTP society, anyway (while the US values would be ESFJ dominant). Maybe that would explain the cultural gap?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  9. #59
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Ah, Mr. Clinton, our first French President. Of course.
    Fact is, his affair boosted his popularity in France, and made him look more human, more sympathetic to us.

    You see: clash of cultures!
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  10. #60
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Yes, but once again, think to the vast hypocrisy behind it.

    There's a huge difference between what you could see, and what you actually see, especially at peak viewing times.

    There's nothing as morally pervasive than self-censorship. Morality makes light of morality.

    ---

    I've always considered France as a pro-ENTP society, anyway (while the US values would be ESFJ dominant). Maybe that would explain the cultural gap?
    We typically are polite enough to give a week grace period before we begin ruthlessly sniping at people. That's probably an ESFJ trait.

    I also think that with Clinton there was the issue was not just that it was an affair but questions as to whether it was sexual harassment and where to draw the line. It did happen at work, you understand.

    However you must remember that in the United States, like on the internet, the voice of reason rarely feels reason to raise itself.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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