302 Comments

Read the headline and laughed. That survey isn't misleading, it's an outright lie. Christians have defined cancel culture for nearly 2000 years.

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Some of the most mean-spirited, intollerant, and judgmental people I have ever known never missed church. With church attendance in decline, I expect the see the surviving sects distilled down to the true believers, and the last thing they are is tollerant.

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One of the biggest problems in modern life, exacerbated beyond belief by the Internet, but it in existence easily since the end of World War II, is the deliberate spread of false and inflammatory information. Our guarantees of free speech in the constitution never took into account this deliberate attempt to use peoples lives simply as a means to accrue massive amounts of power, money, and in the case of religious conservatives, dominion, and in the case of trumpanzees, tribalism & corruption of the system. It is Very much like the second amendment had no conception about weapons of mass murder being in the hands of individuals with Political, Religious, and social agendas. Our now ancient document of human rights is no longer serving us.

What all of this is really about is what we now call the paradox of tolerance. Can we be intolerant of intolerance, or do we have to be tolerant of it to prove our tolerance? The problem is that it is asking the wrong question at the wrong time. This is not a moral issue, which is what it is framed as, and which allows it to continue. It is an issue of the social contract, not morality. We all have to live together, or we descend into chaos. Tolerating intolerance breaks the social contract. Intolerance of intolerance maintains the social contract. When we extend tolerance to the intolerant, tolerance and the people who advocated for it or destroyed.

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Atheists are less tolerant of intolerance. I'd say that's a good thing.

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Fascists always seem to find a way to turn criticism against them into victimhood. tRump, Limbaugh, Gingrich and a whole host of other fascists have been using this technique for years and the result is the mainstreaming of reactionary religion, politics, and hatred of groups they disapprove of. I keep harping on this - in 2024, vote like your lives depend on it because they very well may.

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How could anyone possibly think that the crowd who want to ban books, even BURN books, and close libraries oppose free speech and free expression? Why, the very suggestion is preposterous! Wanting to ban books about cuddly boy penguins falling in love with each other is simply protecting children from...um...er...cuddly boy penguins or something. What could be nicer than that?

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So, what we’re saying is that shouting down certain speech is acceptable, even if it’s not ideal. I agree. Because the majority of the speech that gets shouted down is not protected speech, as in it is usually a call to violence. Milo Yianopolis’ speeches were outright calls for genocide. Stoking violence and treason are mistaken for free speech, but it is not protected.

The right wing and religious crowd might not be shouting down speech from the left, but they’re all for arresting and using the force of government to silence their opponents. How many protesters inside and outside of Trump rallies were arrested for not falling in line with his propaganda? How many journalists? Are we forgetting the GOP legislators across the country in state and local and federal levels who not only crafted legislation but passed it to allow regular citizens to physically harm and even kill protesters with their vehicles. And let’s not forget the folks who were idolized for shooting protesters.

Is that a whataboutism? Maybe. But let’s be real. Shouting down violent speeches is part of using words to combat bad ideas. Maybe it’s rude or childish, but it is effective, it’s protesting and patriotic. Using guns or cars to silence the other side is criminal. And yet we can’t even toss those assholes in jail.

I take issue with the study’s conclusion that atheists are intolerant for shouting over speakers who are spewing violent rhetoric and religious who don’t agree with shouting over speech are tolerant.

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https://xkcd.com/1357/

𝘗𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 is not 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱. Never has been, never will be.

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Indeed, if a Nazi is appearing on campus arguing that the Holocaust was right and proper and needs to be completed, the only proper thing to do is shout them down. If a Kluxer is speaking about how Jim Crow needs to be reintroduced and the oppression of non-whites needs to be normalized, shouting them down is completely reasonable. Some arguments are so immoral that allowing them to be given legitimacy by being presented like any other is not an acceptable choice.

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I think the subject we are asked to be tolerant about changes everything. We are less tolerant when it comes to tolerating things in society which are unfair and wrong. For example, a Christian who is not overtly bigoted him or herself may say of an old bigot: "it's just how they were raised", while an atheist may be more likely to say that we need to exercise free will and do better, while acknowledging that such an upbringing makes it harder. If you really, really twist it, you could call the apologist more "tolerant" since they are more accepting of the subject. But in the end it's not true. They are just making excuses for bad things, while the atheists are standing up for what is right.

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So a survey showing how people use their free speech rights to protest against some extreme views actually shows how those same people are against free speech? I suspect that if the poll asked other questions about free speech the answers would fall more on the side of agreeing with it. Liberals in this country are feeling decidedly left out of the conversation and when people no longer feel their lawmakers are representing their views they turn to the protections in the Constitution to find ways to get their voices heard. Using their right to free speech is one of those things. When a fascist comes to campus to express their fringe views that everyone knows will never change no matter how much they are proven wrong, the students have a right to protest. Shouting down a speaker who is expressing condescending views is deserved. I suspect the same would happen to a speaker if they came to speak on extreme left-wing views such as a 100 percent tax rate for everyone or a law jailing anyone who refuses to work for the state. But we do not have an extreme left wing party in this country, we have a extreme, fascist, right wing and a slightly conservative, business-centric party with the left wing elements trying to pull it left. The people who want freedom for individuals with little to no voice are feeling left out.

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As Hemant states, most of the points that get drowned out by rightful volumes of disdain have been utterly debunked, mooted, disproved, upended and are recycled over and over again as something new. My problem is that they knowingly do it with smirks and then hold up their empty hands begging only to use their free speech CAMOUFLAGING their disingenuous behavior behind the flag of one of our most cherished rights.

Dollars to donuts, if one of the purveyors of hate, division, and strife ever came up with a new idea (not a repackaging) they would be heard out. But they never do. Winking, gish galloping, straw manning, begging authority, tradition, and false premises with every word. Like they've somehow invented gawd, supremacy, or hietarchies all over again.

¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

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OT - Another Florida Man, with a twist

𝐏𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐬 $𝟏 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 ‘𝐍𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐚 𝐖𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫’ 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐞

https://news.yahoo.com/pinellas-man-cerebral-palsy-wins-021500992.html

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Sep 12, 2023·edited Sep 12, 2023

Hmm...

If there was an event where a known neo-Nazi Holocaust denier was speaking, would it be acceptable to eschew 'shouting down' the speaker and instead silently hold up a sign with a large black-and-white photo of Adolf Hitler and the words HE'S GOT YOUR BACK. Or are they so far gone that it's not even possible to embarrass someone like this?

Just a thought.

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Sep 12, 2023·edited Sep 12, 2023

You really hit the nail on the head with the comment about the ones claiming rarely or never acceptable are the same ones who are banning books and firing teachers etc. It's incredibly easy to support this when you consider how dishonesty is an extremely common trait amongst the religious, often exposed in double standards and a willful ignorance where they go to absurd levels of effort to maintain that ignorance. They're not being honest in this pole, whether they're lying to themselves is an open question. They're openly and by legislation silencing whole groups of folks, often trying to jail them or their supporters, so claiming to be for free speech is a real howler.

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