< 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›
 
   
 

What Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ Have in Common

 
weird buffalo
 
Avatar
 
 
weird buffalo
Total Posts:  358
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
12 September 2020 22:22
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 12 September 2020 03:03 PM
weird buffalo - 12 September 2020 07:44 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 11 September 2020 06:32 PM

Considering you didn’t refute it, I will assume that you are a teenage girl with a crush on your English lit professor.

If that’s how you want to imagine me, go right ahead.

It’s sad that you have to rely on emotional attacks instead of using logic and reason.

That’s ironic, given that you apparently subscribe to an ideology that views logic and reason as mere tools of oppression: “The Master’s tools.”

“Speech is violence” stems almost inevitably from the claim that there is no such thing as objective truth, that an “oppressed” person’s interpretation of their own lived experience yields knowledge every bit as valid as that gleaned from evidence and reason. How, then, does one arbitrate between mutually exclusive “knowledge” claims sans science? By equating any speech that contradicts critical race theory with “violence,” thereby justifying actual violence to silence it.

But I’m wasting my time, explaining this to you. The only thing you understand is emotion. “Speech is violence,” my ass. Grow up, snowflake.

Oh no,  you called me a snowflake.  I’m powerless against your ingenious insult.  Did you come up with it on your own?

I referenced objective neuroscience.  You dismissed it without examining the evidence.  You are the one that ignored objective science.

 
no_profundia
 
Avatar
 
 
no_profundia
Total Posts:  623
Joined  14-07-2016
 
 
 
13 September 2020 16:08
 

But they aren’t the main driver of the protests, which appear to be led mainly by well-off white people.

Here are some articles on the demographics of the protesters and supporters of BLM:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/06/24/recent-protest-attendees-are-more-racially-and-ethnically-diverse-younger-than-americans-overall/

https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/06/12/amid-protests-majorities-across-racial-and-ethnic-groups-express-support-for-the-black-lives-matter-movement/

It is hardly surprising that most protesters are white since the majority of the US population is white. African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians are over-represented and whites are under-represented in the protests based on their percentage of the population though (according to these statistics).

Their ideology goes by many names: cancel culture, social justice, critical race theory, intersectionality. For simplicity, I call it all Wokeism.

I don’t think it’s driven as much by ideology as it is by simple group dynamics. I would be surprised if very many protesters could give a coherent and accurate summary of critical race theory (I can’t) beyond the simple belief that there is something called “systemic racism” or “institutional racism” and it’s bad.

While there is a negative side to these group dynamics I think there is also a legitimate conversation regarding norms of discourse and behavior, particulary as they relate to racial minorities and women, happening in this country. The world is complex and it is rare for anything to be only black or white. While wokeness often spirals into ridiculousness based (I think) on group dynamics (especially on social media) I think some of the changes in norms that will result from the movement will ultimately wind up being positive changes.

Perhaps I am a misguided optimist but I also think the more ridiculous expressions of wokeness will ultimately collapse under the weight of their own self-contradictions and disappear.

Islamists use the word “Islamophobia” to silence critics; the Woke do the same with “racism.”

The right does the same with “illiberal” and “communist” and “socialist” and “SJW” and so on. On it’s own I don’t think this is new or particularly alarming. What I think is new and alarming is the growing polarization in general in this country which I think is largely based on demographics rather than any specific ideology:

https://www.niskanencenter.org/the-density-divide-urbanization-polarization-and-populist-backlash/

Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Both are collectivist: Group identity trumps the individual. Both tolerate—and often glorify—violence carried out by zealots.

I generally don’t like these kinds of arguments which pull out a few abstract surface similarities between two things and argue that the abstract surface similarities are evidence of a deeper and more alarming core similarity. Everything resembles everything else at a suitable level of abstraction and a simple list of similarities necessarily ignores varying degrees of similarity as well as the perhaps important ways in which two things differ which are not included in the list.

Both Islamists and the American revolutionaries aimed to tear down the existing system and replace it with something better, both were motivated by group interests, both tolerated and glorified people who carried out violence (patriots, soldiers), but surely there were also very important differences between the two movements that should be taken into account when assessing them?

I think Ali is purposely playing on the emotional valence of terms like utopia, collectivist, and so on in order to convince people who feel horror when they read those words that the left is as evil as those people already think they are. Since my own belief is that the underlying problem behind wokeness as well as the growing extremism on the right is growing polarization I don’t think this kind of rhetoric is particularly helpful in addressing the real problem.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
Avatar
 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
Total Posts:  7146
Joined  08-12-2006
 
 
 
14 September 2020 20:50
 
weird buffalo - 12 September 2020 10:22 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 12 September 2020 03:03 PM
weird buffalo - 12 September 2020 07:44 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 11 September 2020 06:32 PM

Considering you didn’t refute it, I will assume that you are a teenage girl with a crush on your English lit professor.

If that’s how you want to imagine me, go right ahead.

It’s sad that you have to rely on emotional attacks instead of using logic and reason.

That’s ironic, given that you apparently subscribe to an ideology that views logic and reason as mere tools of oppression: “The Master’s tools.”

“Speech is violence” stems almost inevitably from the claim that there is no such thing as objective truth, that an “oppressed” person’s interpretation of their own lived experience yields knowledge every bit as valid as that gleaned from evidence and reason. How, then, does one arbitrate between mutually exclusive “knowledge” claims sans science? By equating any speech that contradicts critical race theory with “violence,” thereby justifying actual violence to silence it.

But I’m wasting my time, explaining this to you. The only thing you understand is emotion. “Speech is violence,” my ass. Grow up, snowflake.

Oh no,  you called me a snowflake.  I’m powerless against your ingenious insult.  Did you come up with it on your own?

I referenced objective neuroscience.  You dismissed it without examining the evidence.  You are the one that ignored objective science.

Yes, I called you a snowflake. Did that affect your brain the way being hit in the face with a frozen water bottle would? Methinks a practical demonstration of the difference between speech and violence might be what you need in order to appreciate it.

The article you linked says absolutely nothing to bolster your claim that “speech is violence.” It wasn’t even worth responding to, but since you’re apparently determined to embarrass yourself, here you go.

First, as as already been explained to you, it’s not speech that adversely affects your brain, it’s your reaction to it. I even posted a link to an article written by a pair of psychologists explaining how best to deal with hurtful speech so that it doesn’t injure your fragile little brain. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Didn’t they teach you that in first grade?

Second, even if speech itself did adversely affect the brain, it still doesn’t help your position. Two different phenomena which result in similar outcomes does not imply that the two different phenomena are the same thing.

“Speech and violence both affect the brain in similarly adverse ways; therefore, speech is violence.” (Again, assuming for the sake of argument that speech itself affects the brain, which it doesn’t.)

“Knives and guns both affect the body in similarly adverse ways; therefore, guns are knives.”

“Automobiles and airplanes both transport people from place to place; therefore, automobiles are airplanes.”

“Democrats and Republicans both fall prey to their own insular narratives; therefore, Democrats are Republicans.”

Etc.

Third, and most obviously, violence causes harm to the body (being hit in the face with a frozen water bottle); speech does not.

“Speech is violence” is nothing more than an insidious slogan designed to justify violence against anyone who says something you disagree with. It contravenes one of the most fundamental values of liberal democracy: free speech. And it’s being promoted by proponents of an antiliberal, racist ideology.

 
 
no_profundia
 
Avatar
 
 
no_profundia
Total Posts:  623
Joined  14-07-2016
 
 
 
15 September 2020 01:33
 

Again, assuming for the sake of argument that speech itself affects the brain, which it doesn’t.

I’m not going to weigh in on whether speech is violence but I find the claim that speech itself does not affect the brain to be very strange. Can you link to the article you mentioned from the two psychologists? I tried to find it in a previous thread but I couldn’t find it.

I don’t see how anyone can claim that speech itself doesn’t affect the brain. If I am speaking English, and you understand English, you can’t just decide that you are not going to understand the words I say. You understand them before you can make any choice about it because your brain is processing and making sense of the words at a level you have no conscious control over. If someone screams “watch out” you will likely flinch before you have time to consciously decide if the person is truly warning you about an environmental danger or just messing with you. If you say something to humiliate someone they are going to experience physiological effects - hot skin, red face, etc. - before they can make any conscious decision about how to react to the words.

I doubt there is a human being alive who could stand in a circle of people, all yelling physical threats at them, and not experience an elevated heart rate and the other physical symptoms of fear. There may be things we can do to reduce the negative effects of speech on us but I am not convinced there is anything we can do to eliminate them entirely and I don’t think that would even be desirable. If you’re not at all affected by speech then you’re a sociopath or in a coma (and I’m not actually sure that sociopaths are unaffected by speech).

I think it’s also true that in lots of cases the primary trauma from physical violence comes from the human aggression we perceive behind it rather than the actual physical injury. If I am standing on a bridge and I accidentally drop a frozen water bottle on someone they may wind up with a bruise and bump on their head but bruises heal quickly. Most people are not going to be traumatized by that experience.

If I’m a police officer and I have to try to control people during a protest while they are purposely pelting me with frozen water battles that is going to cause fear, anger, and lots of other human emotions and be much more traumatic than the first case, even if the physical injury is the same. Of course there are physical injuries that are severe enough to cause trauma on their own but in lots of cases the trauma is really a result of the human aggression we feel directed at us rather than the actual physical injury.

We are social animals, we care what people think of us, and we fear for our own physical safety. If a minority lives in a society where they have to endure verbal abuse, or even just subtle hostility (getting up and moving seats, etc.), they are going to feel lots of the same fear, anger, and humiliation that the police officer being pelted with water bottles feels. I don’t think it’s realistic to imagine that such a person could simply decide not to let all of that affect them.

Rather than making what I think is an implausible claim - that speech on its own is not harmful or has no effect on the brain - I think it would be better to try to distinguish between cases where people should accept that they have to endure some hurt feelings and cases where a particular kind of speech is unacceptable.

Sometimes when I make a mistake at work, and someone points it out, I feel embarrassed. That is a negative emotion caused by speech. However, it would be ridiculous for me to try to prohibit anyone from pointing out my mistakes. Hurt feelings are not, on their own, enough to claim that a particular form of speech should be prohibited. On the other hand, if my co-worker tells me I’m a piece of shit they can rightly face disciplinary action.

How do we draw a dividing line between cases like the first case and cases like the second? I think that is really what the current debate on speech is about. We only get into debates about whether speech is violence or not because we think the answer will provide us with a principle for distinguishing between cases like the first case and cases like the second but it won’t. There is no single principle we can use to distinguish between these cases in every case and there is no objectively right answer. As adults we just have to make a decision based on all the reasons we can think of and hope for the best.

“Knives and guns both affect the body in similarly adverse ways; therefore, guns are knives.”

“Automobiles and airplanes both transport people from place to place; therefore, automobiles are airplanes.”

“Democrats and Republicans both fall prey to their own insular narratives; therefore, Democrats are Republicans.”

Again, I’m trying not to weigh in on the question whether speech is violence because I don’t really think it’s that important of a question but there is an important difference between the examples you have given here and the claim that speech is violence. People who claim that speech is violence do so because they believe that harmful speech meets the definition of violence. If violence were defined as intentional harm inflicted on someone’s body, and certain forms of speech harm the brain which is part of the body, then those forms of speech would meet the definition of violence.

The reductio ad absurdum cases you are giving are different. Democrats and Republicans may both fall prey to their own insular narratives but the definition of a Democrat is not “someone who falls prey to their own insular narratives.” If it was, then it actually would be legitimate to claim that Republicans are Democrats if Republicans fall prey to their own insular narratives.

For the claim that speech is violence to be similar to the examples you have given the claim would have to be something like “Speech is violence because both speech and violence displace air.” That is true but the definition of violence is not “something that displaces air” so the fact that the two things have that in common does not allow you to claim that speech is violence. The examples you are giving are cases where two things share something incidental in common while people who claim speech is violence are claiming something more than that. They are claiming that certain kins of speech actually meet the definition of violence.

[ Edited: 15 September 2020 01:37 by no_profundia]
 
 
weird buffalo
 
Avatar
 
 
weird buffalo
Total Posts:  358
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
15 September 2020 08:52
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 14 September 2020 08:50 PM

Yes, I called you a snowflake. Did that affect your brain the way being hit in the face with a frozen water bottle would? Methinks a practical demonstration of the difference between speech and violence might be what you need in order to appreciate it.

This would appear to be a veiled threat of physical violence against my person.  Is that something that’s permitted on these forums?  I bolded the portion I’m referring to.

I don’t feel that I am in any danger.

[ Edited: 15 September 2020 08:54 by weird buffalo]
 
Nhoj Morley
 
Avatar
 
 
Nhoj Morley
Total Posts:  6659
Joined  22-02-2005
 
 
 
15 September 2020 11:17
 
weird buffalo - 15 September 2020 08:52 AM

This would appear to be a veiled threat of physical violence against my person.  Is that something that’s permitted on these forums?
I don’t feel that I am in any danger.

The demonstration described is not directed personally though it suggests that someone gets a thumping while you watch. I get your point re speech and violence, Mr. Buffalo, and I imagine others do as well. Mr. Darwinist does not consider other people’s nuance. Even when it is the only way to express something complex.

 
 
MARTIN_UK
 
Avatar
 
 
MARTIN_UK
Total Posts:  5030
Joined  19-08-2010
 
 
 
15 September 2020 11:21
 
weird buffalo - 15 September 2020 08:52 AM
Antisocialdarwinist - 14 September 2020 08:50 PM

Yes, I called you a snowflake. Did that affect your brain the way being hit in the face with a frozen water bottle would? Methinks a practical demonstration of the difference between speech and violence might be what you need in order to appreciate it.

This would appear to be a veiled threat of physical violence against my person.  Is that something that’s permitted on these forums?  I bolded the portion I’m referring to.

I don’t feel that I am in any danger.

If a threat of violence was directed at you then you are right, it would not be permitted.

 
weird buffalo
 
Avatar
 
 
weird buffalo
Total Posts:  358
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
15 September 2020 12:04
 

Ah, so as long as we adhere to mafia-like rules of “it’s a nice face, be a shame if something happened to it” rhetoric, that is acceptable.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
Avatar
 
 
Nhoj Morley
Total Posts:  6659
Joined  22-02-2005
 
 
 
15 September 2020 12:13
 

‘tis open to that sort of nuance but not for a call from the chair. Mafia rules will not be practiced here. Nuance is tricky stuff. We can ask Mr. D to clarify his demonstration.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
Avatar
 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
Total Posts:  7146
Joined  08-12-2006
 
 
 
15 September 2020 12:43
 
no_profundia - 15 September 2020 01:33 AM

Can you link to the article you mentioned from the two psychologists? I tried to find it in a previous thread but I couldn’t find it.

Sticks and Stones: Coping with Offensive, Hurtful, Insensitive, & Otherwise Unwelcome Speech

You don’t control what other people do; you only control what you do. So, how do you handle and overcome rude, offensive, abhorrent, ignorant, insulting, and even hateful comments, without letting it derail you emotionally?

To answer this question, let’s turn to the science of psychology and review some helpful strategies for dealing with life’s inevitable challenges—including speech you’d rather not hear but can’t avoid.

Your goal is to build what’s called emotional resilience—the ability to cope with and bounce back strongly and quickly from life’s challenges. So, when faced with upsetting or inflammatory speech, you are not helpless. There are skills we can teach children and learn ourselves to master the challenges and discomforts that are part of life. Personal growth, after all, happens largely in the discomfort zone, when we have to stretch ourselves to build mental and emotional strength. You have several sound psychological precepts and adjustment strategies available to you:
CONSIDER THE COGNITIVE THEORIES

According to cognitive psychologist Albert Ellis, it is not life that upsets us. Rather, we upset ourselves by the view we take of things. This insight may sound obvious when it’s written down, but it’s not the way many of us think. Ellis’ ABC Model teaches us that we can exercise choice over our thoughts, and by choosing empowering ones, we can gain control over our emotions and be better equipped to overcome difficult moments in life.

 
 
no_profundia
 
Avatar
 
 
no_profundia
Total Posts:  623
Joined  14-07-2016
 
 
 
15 September 2020 13:50
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 15 September 2020 12:43 PM
no_profundia - 15 September 2020 01:33 AM

Can you link to the article you mentioned from the two psychologists? I tried to find it in a previous thread but I couldn’t find it.

Sticks and Stones: Coping with Offensive, Hurtful, Insensitive, & Otherwise Unwelcome Speech

You don’t control what other people do; you only control what you do. So, how do you handle and overcome rude, offensive, abhorrent, ignorant, insulting, and even hateful comments, without letting it derail you emotionally?

To answer this question, let’s turn to the science of psychology and review some helpful strategies for dealing with life’s inevitable challenges—including speech you’d rather not hear but can’t avoid.

Your goal is to build what’s called emotional resilience—the ability to cope with and bounce back strongly and quickly from life’s challenges. So, when faced with upsetting or inflammatory speech, you are not helpless. There are skills we can teach children and learn ourselves to master the challenges and discomforts that are part of life. Personal growth, after all, happens largely in the discomfort zone, when we have to stretch ourselves to build mental and emotional strength. You have several sound psychological precepts and adjustment strategies available to you:
CONSIDER THE COGNITIVE THEORIES

According to cognitive psychologist Albert Ellis, it is not life that upsets us. Rather, we upset ourselves by the view we take of things. This insight may sound obvious when it’s written down, but it’s not the way many of us think. Ellis’ ABC Model teaches us that we can exercise choice over our thoughts, and by choosing empowering ones, we can gain control over our emotions and be better equipped to overcome difficult moments in life.

I don’t really disagree with anything in that article but it doesn’t really support the claim that speech itself does not affect the brain. I have engaged in cognitive-behavioral therapy and I meditate regularly. There are definitely techniques that can help people deal with negative emotions that I would recommend to everyone. However, those techniques are not meant to make us invulnerable. It still hurts when people say mean things. These are techniques for managing those emotions without letting them ruin our lives. They are not techniques for avoiding all negative emotions caused by hurtful speech. If they were they would be delusional. Someone who is using these techniques to try to avoid feeling those negative emotions is proving by that act that they are unable manage those emotions in a healthy way and the techniques are likely going to make things worse rather than better.

The mere fact that techniques are necessary shows that speech affects the brain. If it didn’t there would be no need for a technique that helps us manage those effects. Also, there is a limit to the effectiveness of these techniques. If a person lives in a society where they are constantly looked down upon and where they constantly face hostility from their peers that is going to affect them. No one could bear to be hated by everyone all the time even with these techniques. Humans need a certain amount of positive reinforcement and affection. If you went to work and all day all you heard was what a terrible person and employee you were I don’t care how much you meditate or how hard you try to hold onto positive thoughts that kind of atmosphere is going to demoralize you and have a serious effect on you.

So while I certainly recommend finding some techniques to help deal with the negative emotions caused by other people’s speech I don’t think the existence of those techniques justifies the claim that speech itself cannot be harmful. All that having been said, I agree with the author’s premise that there are certain forms of hurtful speech that we should not be limiting as a free society and learning some coping mechanisms for dealing with it is, I think, solid advice. I will mercifully make that my last word on the topic. Take care.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3509
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
15 September 2020 23:41
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 12 September 2020 03:03 PM

...

“Speech is violence” stems almost inevitably from the claim that there is no such thing as objective truth, that an “oppressed” person’s interpretation of their own lived experience yields knowledge every bit as valid as that gleaned from evidence and reason. How, then, does one arbitrate between mutually exclusive “knowledge” claims sans science? By equating any speech that contradicts critical race theory with “violence,” thereby justifying actual violence to silence it.

...

Objective truth has little relevance to this discussion. Its possible existence itself is irrelevant, because people don’t know much that is truly objective, especially about social issues (i.e., political, psychological, moral, etc.). I believe you yourself are on record as saying that morality is subjective. Knowing the current problem with data replication in the social sciences, it would not be much of a stretch to apply that verdict of subjectivity on all opinions about social issues generally. Besides, what is often important in matters of human interaction is not the likely objective truth of a situation, but the subjective perceptions of that situation to those involved in it.

In addition to that, I think that speech can often be intended to incite anger and even violence. Therefore, while it is a hyperbolic false equivalence to state that “speech is violence”, it is unreasonable to assert that nothing spoken can be equivalent to an act of violence. Some speech is actually intended to incite anger and by extension violence. Some spoken words have caused physical distress and eventual sickness or injury in some of those hearing them, even if there was no implied direct threat.

 

 
 
weird buffalo
 
Avatar
 
 
weird buffalo
Total Posts:  358
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
16 September 2020 07:56
 
Poldano - 15 September 2020 11:41 PM
Antisocialdarwinist - 12 September 2020 03:03 PM

...

“Speech is violence” stems almost inevitably from the claim that there is no such thing as objective truth, that an “oppressed” person’s interpretation of their own lived experience yields knowledge every bit as valid as that gleaned from evidence and reason. How, then, does one arbitrate between mutually exclusive “knowledge” claims sans science? By equating any speech that contradicts critical race theory with “violence,” thereby justifying actual violence to silence it.

...

Objective truth has little relevance to this discussion. Its possible existence itself is irrelevant, because people don’t know much that is truly objective, especially about social issues (i.e., political, psychological, moral, etc.). I believe you yourself are on record as saying that morality is subjective. Knowing the current problem with data replication in the social sciences, it would not be much of a stretch to apply that verdict of subjectivity on all opinions about social issues generally. Besides, what is often important in matters of human interaction is not the likely objective truth of a situation, but the subjective perceptions of that situation to those involved in it.

In addition to that, I think that speech can often be intended to incite anger and even violence. Therefore, while it is a hyperbolic false equivalence to state that “speech is violence”, it is unreasonable to assert that nothing spoken can be equivalent to an act of violence. Some speech is actually intended to incite anger and by extension violence. Some spoken words have caused physical distress and eventual sickness or injury in some of those hearing them, even if there was no implied direct threat.

 

Very few things are binary outside of computer coding.  If we consider violence a range of actions, from shooting someone to throwing a water bottle at them, then does exist space where speech as violence becomes possible.  I think speech promoting hatred and violence definitely qualifies.  The radio broadcasts directing people to kill their neighbors in Rwanda in 1994 come to mind as an pretty clear example.

 
diding
 
Avatar
 
 
diding
Total Posts:  508
Joined  07-01-2016
 
 
 
16 September 2020 12:55
 

If a white man’s daughter was killed by a black man and he hears another black man say “All white people should be killed”, can the white man punch the black man in the face?

[ Edited: 16 September 2020 13:09 by diding]
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3509
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
16 September 2020 22:33
 
diding - 16 September 2020 12:55 PM

If a white man’s daughter was killed by a black man and he hears another black man say “All white people should be killed”, can the white man punch the black man in the face?

I think you are really asking whether it is either moral or legal for the white man to punch the black man who uttered “All white people should be killed” in the face? I would say probably not, but at the same time it would not be entirely without reason were it to happen. If it did happen, the white man might be treated less severely by the justice system, or would meet with some mitigation from the moral judgment of others. The variability depends on the contingencies surrounding both the original killing and the white man’s actions, such as whether he was under emotional distress at the time or whether his daughter’s death as accidental or intentional.

 
 
 < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›