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Freedom of speech?

2

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Perhaps if religious groups agreed never again to say in public that atheists, cohabitators, masturbators are sinners and wrong 'uns I'd be more prepared not to publicly acusse them of being bigoted idiots.

    I do not know about masturbators, but atheists and cohabitators (if engaging in sexual intercourse) are sinners by definition.

    "Sin is transgression of the law".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Although do excuse me if I seem a little cranky here - I've been for three nights with intense pain from a bloody infection that doesn't want to go away.

    Have you tried raw garlic ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's alright, you have a good right to question it.

    Right, over the years I have encountered everything from Bible quotations on buses to placard-waving nutters. The ads on buses don't tend to be too mental and I guess most people would not take offence. They are usually versicles warning that we are sinners and only through Jesus we can be redeemed and saved. Well I for one am offended at the suggestion that I am a 'sinner' (do this people know me?), that I need 'saving' and that I can only achieve that and become a better person by worshipping a certain character they claim to be a deity.

    As well as that I have encountered far worse, in the shape of street preachers and individuals waving placards- all of which appear to be operating legally, or at least being allowed to preach without interference. Many of those people are using far more direct language and threatening just about everybody with an eternity of pain and suffering if they don't conform to the rules of their religion of choice, and painting those who, amongst others, have same-sex relations, masturbate, have sex out of wedlock or refuse to worship deities as amoral sinners. If you don't believe me come down to Brixton on a Saturday or Sunday morning. They're around most weekends.

    I do not want to be sermoned or judged in public, whether by quotes from religious books on bus billboards or megaphone-wearing nutjobs. I do not want to be told I am apparently imperfect and flawed as a human being, and only the worshipping of a mythical creature can make me wholesome. Why should I have to put up with? Who the hell are these people to splash out statements on public places declaring me a 'sinner' or telling me certain behaviour is abominable? I find that highly offensive and insulting as it happens. Nor that has anyone ever bother to check individuals before allowing such adverts and preaching to take place of course.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do not know about masturbators, but atheists and cohabitators (if engaging in sexual intercourse) are sinners by definition.

    "Sin is transgression of the law".
    And if you can demonstrate that the events as described in the bible never happened (which you can, beyond any reasonable doubt, give or take), then it is also factually correct to say that anyone who believes it literally is delusional by definition. But if I was to say that, I would be considered intolerant. If religious people call someone a "sinner" (which they technically are, according to their religious beliefs), nobody bats an eyelid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Do you really think living in a world which will ban and restrict people to express their beliefs leads to more freedom? Because to be honest man, and I'm sure you don't mean it to sound like this, it sounds like you just want to ban what you don't personally believe in.
    The way I read it Jim was that Aladdin was saying that if you oppose people using their free speech to criticise religious ideas, then you must also oppose people preaching religion in public. I agree with that. You can't be in favour of one type of freedom of speech, and not another. I don't oppose preaching. I also don't oppose being allowed to tell people how stupid what they're preaching is, without such ideas having any protection purely because they are religious. I also don't oppose people being allowed to say that homosexuality is evil if they choose to do so. Free speech is how you expose stupid opinions and show them for what they are. And this applies to religious opinions as much as political or social ones.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Do people really think that because some Christian's are homophobic it's someone not stereotyping people to say that all Christian's are homophobic?
    Absolutely. But the way you're talking, it'd be stereotyping all Christians to say that Christianity or the bible is homophobic. I don't believe it is. Christianity is a set of ideas, that is quite clearly laid out in a book. Obviously, there are cultural elements to it, but it's actually more well defined than liberalism, conservatism, communism, socialism or any other political ideal. Even if it is stereotyping people, why do religious people deserve protecting from stereotyping, when no other group has such a luxury? Freedom of speech includes freedom to be a wanker. Stereotyping is an unfortunate side-effect of freedom of speech, but I think ultimately, free speech results in progress and education. The wankers will be revealed as such, and the truth will rise to the top, as has been the case with racism. I think that's what certain religious groups are afraid of. ;)

    I'm not claiming that Christinaity is homophobic (I'm not denying it either), I'm merely giving an example of an argument one could make.

    Incidentally, neither does saying that it doesn't take Christianity to be homophobic, discount the argument that Christianity is homophobic. You don't have to have read Germaine Greer to be feminist, but that doesn't mean that Germaine Greer's work isn't therefore feminist, or that her work hasn't had an influence on the attitudes and beliefs of a vast number of people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    That's alright, you have a good right to question it.

    Right, over the years I have encountered everything from Bible quotations on buses to placard-waving nutters. The ads on buses don't tend to be too mental and I guess most people would not take offence. They are usually versicles warning that we are sinners and only through Jesus we can be redeemed and saved. Well I for one am offended at the suggestion that I am a 'sinner' (do this people know me?), that I need 'saving' and that I can only achieve that and become a better person by worshipping a certain character they claim to be a deity.

    As well as that I have encountered far worse, in the shape of street preachers and individuals waving placards- all of which appear to be operating legally, or at least being allowed to preach without interference. Many of those people are using far more direct language and threatening just about everybody with an eternity of pain and suffering if they don't conform to the rules of their religion of choice, and painting those who, amongst others, have same-sex relations, masturbate, have sex out of wedlock or refuse to worship deities as amoral sinners. If you don't believe me come down to Brixton on a Saturday or Sunday morning. They're around most weekends.

    I do not want to be sermoned or judged in public, whether by quotes from religious books on bus billboards or megaphone-wearing nutjobs. I do not want to be told I am apparently imperfect and flawed as a human being, and only the worshipping of a mythical creature can make me wholesome. Why should I have to put up with? Who the hell are these people to splash out statements on public places declaring me a 'sinner' or telling me certain behaviour is abominable? I find that highly offensive and insulting as it happens. Nor that has anyone ever bother to check individuals before allowing such adverts and preaching to take place of course.

    What country was this in?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Absolutely. But the way you're talking, it'd be stereotyping all Christians to say that Christianity or the bible is homophobic. I don't believe it is. Christianity is a set of ideas, that is quite clearly laid out in a book. Obviously, there are cultural elements to it, but it's actually more well defined than liberalism, conservatism, communism, socialism or any other political ideal. Even if it is stereotyping people, why do religious people deserve protecting from stereotyping, when no other group has such a luxury? Freedom of speech includes freedom to be a wanker. Stereotyping is an unfortunate side-effect of freedom of speech, but I think ultimately, free speech results in progress and education. The wankers will be revealed as such, and the truth will rise to the top, as has been the case with racism. I think that's what certain religious groups are afraid of. ;)

    I'm not claiming that Christinaity is homophobic (I'm not denying it either), I'm merely giving an example of an argument one could make.

    Incidentally, neither does saying that it doesn't take Christianity to be homophobic, discount the argument that Christianity is homophobic. You don't have to have read Germaine Greer to be feminist, but that doesn't mean that Germaine Greer's work isn't therefore feminist, or that her work hasn't had an influence on the attitudes and beliefs of a vast number of people.
    Other groups do have the 'luxury' of being protected.

    And if you stereotype religious people, you're as bad as the few who stereotype other groups.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Other groups do have the 'luxury' of being protected.

    No they don't. My views aren't protected as a Tory, a Labour supporter, a libertarian, a feminist, a Spurs fan, a holocaust denier, a vegetarian. You can't refuse to employ me for any of these viewpoints (rightfully), but they don't have specific protection against being criticised in public, and employers aren't required to make reasonable adjustments to a job in order to cater for such opinions, in the event that my job conflicts with such views. A chef can't refuse to cook meat because he's vegetarian. And rightfully so. That is what religious views are the equivalent of, not race or sexuality. Race, gender and sexuality (and disability) are things that you are. Religious, moral and political opinions are something that you believe. I don't personally think any of those things should be legally protected when it comes to writing an article in a newspaper, or doing a comedy sketch, for example. If you want to say that all black people are evil, then go ahead. You'll be revealing yourself to be an idiot, but that shouldn't be a reason to prevent freedom of speech. And I think that's generally the rule (whether you could find anyone to publish your views is another matter).

    Like I said, I think you only need one rule regarding employment: you can only consider things relevant to the person's ability to do the job. You can discriminate against race or gender if you're employing an actor, for example. You can discriminate against beliefs (religious or otherwise), if the person says that their beliefs would prevent them from doing a particular aspect of the job. You can discriminate against disabilities, if with reasonable adjustments, the person still wouldn't be able to do the job. Similarly, with someone providing services. A restaurant shouldn't be legally required to offer a vegetarian option (a choice), they should have to provide disabled access to the best of their ability (not a choice). Religion is a choice, and so should be the equivalent of vegetarianism when it comes to discrimination laws. You can't refuse service to someone for merely holding a view, but you shouldn't be compelled to change your service to fit in with their views.
    Namaste wrote: »
    And if you stereotype religious people, you're as bad as the few who stereotype other groups.
    But at what point does giving an opinion about the content of a set of religious texts become stereotyping the people who claim to follow those texts? If I said that communism was a delusional idea, would you think that I was stereotyping everyone who holds that political viewpoint? It's like those people who get personally offended that someone thinks their favourite band is shit. It's just a difference of opinion, but it seems that when this opinion is religious in nature, it's somehow a personal insult to the person who holds that opinion too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And if you can demonstrate that the events as described in the bible never happened (which you can, beyond any reasonable doubt, give or take)

    Sorry, but I can neither prove nor disprove those events.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But the way you're talking, it'd be stereotyping all Christians to say that Christianity or the bible is homophobic. I don't believe it is. Christianity is a set of ideas, that is quite clearly laid out in a book.

    From my observations I have yet to find one person, describing themselves as Christian, who follows the law code as laid down in the bible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    The way I see it, sexuality or race are not matters of choice. Therefore homophobic and racist slurring should not be allowed.

    Religious beliefs however should be freely attacked without consequences, seeing as it is a matter of choice.

    Shame the law doesn't agree on the latter, and partially does not protect some of those in the former groups.

    Someone said the same thing about peadophiles yanno :p you wouldn't 'choose' to be attracted to kids considering the negative abuse you get and in Germany they are offered voluntary sterilisation.

    I should say though that I am not comparing homosexuality to peadophilia, in anticipation that someone will decide they would like to offend themselves by misinterpreting what I've said.

    I think freedom of speech should exist, but it all depends on context. If someone wants to say "Gay people are evil" then fair play. I will say in response "You are a bigoted fuckface" and proceed to take advantage of them when they are drunk (complete utter racist twat in town the other day, I 'helped' him visit the floor by placing my foot in his path). Not sure if I have the right to do the latter, but it was funny and felt so satisfying seeing him try to understand what had just happened.

    If someone says "Gay people are evil, lets all go out and beat them" then it shouldn't be allowed. But a statement by itself, depending on context, without incitement, should be permissable. That includes people who think black people are monkeys, and so on. If you're insulting someone personally that counts as harassment and is already covered under UK law.

    It's like, I wouldn't ban the BNP, I just reserve the right to hate them. If they go on a hate march, I think that should be stopped. But I don't think they should be stopped from having meetings / rallies of their own as long as they are not impacting on others.

    I think more than legislation, education needs to have a bigger role in combating homophobia and xenophobia. Religion shouldn't have special exemptions, but they shouldn't be stopped from plainly saying stupid things like sodom went to hell (although, I read the bit in the old testament where it is on about sodom, and it doesn't really read like gay sex at all, but I guess some people are experts on 'intepretation').

    Equally, christians shouldnt be stopped saying you cant eat seafood with something or other. As long as they aren't advocating (and it depends on the context) going out and bashing all the seafood eaters, thats fine by me. I still reserve my right to laugh.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From my observations I have yet to find one person, describing themselves as Christian, who follows the law code as laid down in the bible.

    Well then they shouldn't have a problem with you criticising it then. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sorry, but I can neither prove nor disprove those events.
    You can to a degree that should be accepted by any reasonable person, by looking at things like archeological evidence and the Roman records. Not to mention the laws of physics and biology. Anyway, I'm not attempting to argue whether they did or not, I'm merely saying that if one was to argue that, they you would by definition be calling everyone who did believe that those events happened delusional.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well then they shouldn't have a problem with you criticising it then. ;)

    I'll think you'll find Christianity has been debating, criticising, changing and reinterpreting what's inside the bible ever since the day it was written. When a religious scholar spends a lifetime studying a religious text they don't just keep re-reading it going 'yup, agree with that', 'yup, agree with that'.

    You get what bible readings, religious sermons actually involve don't you?

    The issue isn't criticism, it's whether you have a right to insult people under the banner of free speech.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    The issue isn't criticism, it's whether you have a right to insult people under the banner of free speech.
    Well I would say that quite obviously you do. For a start, you cannot ever know what someone will find insulting, so attempting to legislate against it is completely futile. But perhaps most importantly, it seems standard practice for certain religious people to find exactly the type of questioning I've mentioned to be offensive by default. Surely this can't have escaped your attention? Furthermore, they've even convinced many in the rest of society that such criticism is offensive in a way that it isn't when it comes to opinions and beliefs about anything else.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    I'll think you'll find Christianity has been debating, criticising, changing and reinterpreting what's inside the bible ever since the day it was written.


    Even though Jesus instructs them not to do that.

    Not one jot or one tittle.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even though Jesus instructs them not to do that.

    Not one jot or one tittle.

    I wasn't aware Jesus wrote any of the bible ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    I wasn't aware Jesus wrote any of the bible ;)

    Yep. All on the back of a fag packet. It was another one of his miracles.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even though Jesus instructs them not to do that.

    Not one jot or one tittle.

    They still do it though. The vatican is full of scholars trying to decide what everything means, and it does change depending on the political affiliations of the vatican at any one time. Judeo-Christian mythology was influenced by the social norms of the time, which has led to many peculiarities including homophobia (that was acceptable and even normal in both Greek and Roman cultures prior to the adoption of Christianity).

    I think to properly interpret your religion, you need to take the general idea of what is said, rather than the literal word. As you say that's not what the religion itself says, but then there are far more ridiculous literal things that priests are happy to omit.

    Like I said though, people should be permitted to freedom of speech, as long as they aren't being horrid. I would argue you don't have the freedom to tell someone to fuck off willy nilly (again, depends on context ;)), but people do it anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    They still do it though. The vatican is full of scholars trying to decide what everything means, and it does change depending on the political affiliations of the vatican at any one time.

    Yes, more politics than scriptures. Modern day pharisees.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can to a degree that should be accepted by any reasonable person, by looking at things like archeological evidence and the Roman records. Not to mention the laws of physics and biology. Anyway, I'm not attempting to argue whether they did or not, I'm merely saying that if one was to argue that, they you would by definition be calling everyone who did believe that those events happened delusional.

    Doesn't a lot of the archelogical evidence support it (or at least is consitent). Jericho does seem to have been invaded and destroyed, Pilate and Herod have plenty of evidence for their existence and . There' also seems plenty of evidence for a Flood (both geological and historical). Whilst there are historical gaps are knowledge of a lot of societies and civilizations in ancient times is pretty sketchy.

    Also it seems a bit weird to point to the laws of physics and biology - after all if everyone else could do it they wouldn't be miracles. It's because they break the rules that they are...

    Now this doesn't proove the existence of God, but it doesn't disproove it
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doesn't a lot of the archelogical evidence support it (or at least is consitent). Jericho does seem to have been invaded and destroyed, Pilate and Herod have plenty of evidence for their existence and . There' also seems plenty of evidence for a Flood (both geological and historical). Whilst there are historical gaps are knowledge of a lot of societies and civilizations in ancient times is pretty sketchy.
    I wouldn't have a clue. My point was answering the claim that you cannot prove or disprove the events of the bible. I said that the archeological, historical and scientific evidence can be used to draw a pretty decent amount of light on the likelihood of such events having happened or otherwise.

    And of course if even the slightest bit is conflicting with archeological evidence (which of course we know it is), then pointing that out is surely calling those who believe the bible literally (as some do) delusional, is it not?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wouldn't have a clue. My point was answering the claim that you cannot prove or disprove the events of the bible. I said that the archeological, historical and scientific evidence can be used to draw a pretty decent amount of light on the likelihood of such events having happened or otherwise.

    And of course if even the slightest bit is conflicting with archeological evidence (which of course we know it is), then pointing that out is surely calling those who believe the bible literally (as some do) delusional, is it not?

    I wouldn't have a problem with that. I'd find it wrong to link mainstream Christianity in with its extreme fringe though.

    Of course I defend your right to say it, but I wouldn't defend your right to wander into the middle of a wedding and start shouting God doesn't exist...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course I defend your right to say it, but I wouldn't defend your right to wander into the middle of a wedding and start shouting God doesn't exist...
    Of course. But that's more about the rights of people in a private function to choose who attends and who doesn't, and choose what sort of behaviour they consider acceptable. People who own a private business have every right to specify the etiquette on their premises too. You shouldn't be allowed to throw someone out of a pub for being a Christian, but if some people came in and started preaching Christianity, the owner would have every right to ask them to leave if he objected. That's also why I stated that people have every right to go to work without having to answer to their colleagues about their beliefs, when it isn't relevant to their work. Just like someone has the right to go to work without having to face criticism about any aspect of their private life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course. But that's more about the rights of people in a private function to choose who attends and who doesn't, and choose what sort of behaviour they consider acceptable. People who own a private business have every right to specify the etiquette on their premises too. You shouldn't be allowed to throw someone out of a pub for being a Christian, but if some people came in and started preaching Christianity, the owner would have every right to ask them to leave if he objected. That's also why I stated that people have every right to go to work without having to answer to their colleagues about their beliefs, when it isn't relevant to their work. Just like someone has the right to go to work without having to face criticism about any aspect of their private life.

    I think we're in absolute agreement :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    What country was this in?
    Er... the UK.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    The issue isn't criticism, it's whether you have a right to insult people under the banner of free speech.

    Yes. Yes, you absolutely do. What is suspect is happening here is the same old, tired tactic of setting religion aside for special dispensation. If politician A told politician B he was ridiculous and stupid for thinking plan X on subject Y would work, and politician A said "sorry, you're not allowed to insult me" he'd be - rightly - laughed off stage. If I were to tell Nick Griffin he was a small-minded bigot, not only would I be right, no one would bat an eyelid. You can so completely rely on religious people's reaction to being criticised as "I'm offended" or "you can't insult me", that it's boring. The majority of religious doctrine is downright ridiculous, and a lot of it is disgusting and superlatively immoral. I'll be fucked if someone tells me I can't insult someone who's preaching their hate-filled bigotry.

    I seem to be pretty much exclusively posting on topics of religion lately - usually by writing some diatribe or other. I'm starting to bore myself. I'm off to post in Food & Drink. Homemade steak & kidney pie, anyone?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    dogmatic atheism is just as foolish as fundamental religious bigotry, of course we have a right to criticise and question beliefs that we don't understand or agree with, but for example trying to judge the validity of spirituality (the formless) with scientific methodology (form) is only ever going to lead to one conclusion, and ultimately frustration...it's like asking a preacher to prove if god exists using the bible.

    as for freedom of speech, well time has proven again and again whenever you try to ban or limit the expression of something you just drive it underground and the (perceived) problem doesn't go away, it usually just gains credence and popularity....the labour gov definitely doesn't believe in it however, and it's not something we should take for granted. that's why i use every opportunity to mention what a numpty that gordon brown is!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    dogmatic atheism is just as foolish as fundamental religious bigotry, of course we have a right to criticise and question beliefs that we don't understand or agree with, but for example trying to judge the validity of spirituality (the formless) with scientific methodology (form) is only ever going to lead to one conclusion, and ultimately frustration...it's like asking a preacher to prove if god exists using the bible.

    I'm not quite sure which tact to take in replying to you here. Firstly, it'd help it you could explain what you mean by "dogmatic atheism" and secondly for you to elaborate on how and why it's as bad as a fundametalist's religious belief.
    as for freedom of speech, well time has proven again and again whenever you try to ban or limit the expression of something you just drive it underground and the (perceived) problem doesn't go away, it usually just gains credence and popularity....

    Agree.
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