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Thread: Should discriminatory groups be allowed to exist?

  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Array Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default Should discriminatory groups be allowed to exist?

    I took an online libertarian purity test and one of the questions I found intriguing was:

    "Should private clubs have sole authority to select their own members, even if they are discriminatory? "

    I guess I agree, but only to a point. I do believe that people are entitled to their opinions and in freedom of speech but I think some hate groups like the KKK do things that are truly reprehensible and should be outlawed.

    I guess it depends on what actions the group takes and in what sense they are discriminatory.

    If you have a hate group against a certain race, it's one thing if its just a group of individuals talking among themselves, not actually taking any political action or spreading hate outside the group vs. a group like the KKK. I may not approve of the former, but I wouldn't outlaw such a thing. Groups like the KKK, I would like to see outlawed.

    There are lots of groups that are discriminatory that we may not think about as such because they discriminate on things other than race or gender. Take Mensa for example. If you can't score in the top 2% on a standardized IQ test, you can't get accepted. Yet, I'm perfectly okay with groups such as Mensa existing even though I have no interest in going such groups myself. I see the value of intellectually gifted people wanting to interact with people like themselves.

    Fraternities and sororities are discriminating too. Some involve hazing and if you don't pass the hazing you don't get in. I don't approve of some of the hazing measures but I wouldn't outlaw them unless it physically harms them or leads to serious emotional damage.

    There are groups for tall people, short people, redheads, and people named Bob. They are discriminatory in the literal sense but most people don't see such groups as threatning. They are more fun and frivolous than anything.

    So what's your take on this issue?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    The problem with people campaigning against hatred is its a human emotion, I dont think there should be a thought or feelings police, no matter how well intended and that while, of necessity, there isnt such a thing as complete freedom of action there should surely be much greater capacity for freedom of thought or feelings.

    Objectively it is more of an issue for the hater than their object, I'm betting, nine times out of ten that they give more thought to the object of their hate than their object gives to them, in fact the same object's indifference could be part of the reason for the hatred or get it even more stoked.

    I suppose it becomes a real problem when obsessing or fantasising turns into compulsive actions, like assaulting strangers or premeditated murder on a grand scale like that nazi psycho in Norway who went killing children to kill two generations of socialists. However I've got to say that I've seen demonstrations in the US in which armed groups of KKK or white supremacists rallied in the same place as armed black panthers and they didnt murder one another. In Northern Ireland I've seen people prepared to literally tear each other apart with their bare hands and its taken heavily armed police and soldiers to maintain a sembalence of public order. So there's hate and there's hate.

    Also, there's a big thing about this topic which grates with me, people usually have their own favourite sorts of haters which they will target for discussion and not give much thought to others or often less obvious sorts of hatred, such as hatred of religion, religious or traditionalist people and their values and beliefs. In the UK for instance its alright to put them out of work or close their businesses if they are honest that they dont feel they can in good conscience provide the same service to homosexuals as heterosexuals.

  3. #3
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    @Lark's first paragraph hits it home for me, and his general sentiment is spot on.

    More generally, to me, it boils down to the role of free speech. Given that an idea is maligned, should it be allowed to be heard, lest it perpetuate and cause bad things to happen?

    It seems that wrong-headed ideas have the power to motivate people to do bad, especially in the hands of motivational people--but that despite that risk, we ought to allow them to exist and to allow 'natural forces' (society, equally powerful put polar opposite ideas, etc.) to quash them.

  4. #4

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    I agree with Lark and bologna in principle. We should not be legislating how people should or should not think or feel. I think most people will agree to that.

    I think the other side's main point is that hatred of others is not good for society in the long term. I think most people will agree to that as well.

    Frankly, I think there is a big difference between disliking hatred and bigotry and working to change people's hearts and minds, and legislating that people cannot hate. I think legislation of emotion is wrong, and probably ineffective too.

    I guess the question is where you draw the line between thoughts and feelings, and preparation for acts of violence. If the KKK is meeting to plan to set fire to a Church, I believe it is clear they are conspiring to commit a crime. But what about people who say stuff like, "All socialists should be put in a room and burned alive"? (I had a friend in HS say exactly that). Should making that comment be a crime?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I guess the question is where you draw the line between thoughts and feelings, and preparation for acts of violence. If the KKK is meeting to plan to set fire to a Church, I believe it is clear they are conspiring to commit a crime.
    Yes, and it's a concrete action that can be witnessed and documented. So it's more easily enforced.

    But what about people who say stuff like, "All socialists should be put in a room and burned alive"? (I had a friend in HS say exactly that). Should making that comment be a crime?
    I think my only issue with that (since I typically think people should be able express their feelings about things) is that, even if we'd like to assume that people are all "independent" and "self-directed" and think for themselves, the reality is that at least some people are easily swayed, aren't very discerning, and thus letting people stir others up like that can suck in people who otherwise wouldn't have thought those things on their own, and suddenly we've got a situation that is like soaking down a house with gas and all you need is a match to set it off. Technically, nothing "wrong" has been done, but it's volatile. Bad will creates more bad will and results in polarization and leads sides closer to violence. If your kid is hanging out with bigots who promote violence against others and do nothing to balance/stop it, you're going to feel like shit (and probably rightfully so) if your kid grows up to be a bigot and ends up breaking the law and hurting someone because you'll feel like you should have intervened before their thinking led them in such directions.

    However, again, any rules directed at such things also would catch less deadly things in its net. It's very hard to enforce consistently and fairly.
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    Senior Member Array KDude's Avatar
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    I don't know. As much as I *want* to bullshit you and say the "right" thing and put free speech on a pedestal, I think it'd be cool if the KKK didn't exist. Among others. I have some interesting experiences with them (not interesting enough though for me to consider them useful in any way).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I agree with Lark and bologna in principle. We should not be legislating how people should or should not think or feel. I think most people will agree to that.

    I think the other side's main point is that hatred of others is not good for society in the long term. I think most people will agree to that as well.

    Frankly, I think there is a big difference between disliking hatred and bigotry and working to change people's hearts and minds, and legislating that people cannot hate. I think legislation of emotion is wrong, and probably ineffective too.
    I guess the question is where you draw the line between thoughts and feelings, and preparation for acts of violence. If the KKK is meeting to plan to set fire to a Church, I believe it is clear they are conspiring to commit a crime. But what about people who say stuff like, "All socialists should be put in a room and burned alive"? (I had a friend in HS say exactly that). Should making that comment be a crime?
    no (and not just because I hate socialism lol. if he had changed it to "all capitalist should be burned alive" I still would think that should be legal)
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  9. #9
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    Legislating against certain kinds of thought and feelings is a very bad idea. Look at Germany: Neo-Nazi organizations, related and derivative symbols and Holocaust denial are all outlawed. Emotions start festering when people aren't allowed to have an outlet and feel oppressed by the state, and it can have a radicalizing effect on these people. I think this is why the far right of Germany is growing in numbers and why the number of cases of Neo-Nazi violence has risen.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Legislating against certain kinds of thought and feelings is a very bad idea. Look at Germany: Neo-Nazi organizations, related and derivative symbols and Holocaust denial are all outlawed. Emotions start festering when people aren't allowed to have an outlet and feel oppressed by the state, and it can have a radicalizing effect on these people. I think this is why the far right of Germany is growing in numbers and why the number of cases of Neo-Nazi violence has risen.
    The far right is actually shrinking in numbers:


    'Politically motivated' crimes are a different thing:

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