Contemporary threats to free speech

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
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Leeuwenhoek2
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Justsit wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:51 am
I'm particularly interested in how political tendencies are posited to be in the same class (?) with sexual and gender expression, and how political belief, sexual expression and skin color are related.
I don't have any particular insight into that beyond what I've already suggested.

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:06 pm

Justsit wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:51 am
how political belief, sexual expression and skin color are related.
Purely by historical circumstance and cultural evolution.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Leeuwenhoek2
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The End of Academe: Free Speech and the Silencing of Dissent

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:17 am

The End of Academe: Free Speech and the Silencing of Dissent
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary, Jan 2018
The commentary was written by two US professors of sociology
wrote:In July of 2015, The Chronicle published our essay suggesting that some of the manifestations of a new moral culture emerging at colleges in this country were incompatible with the traditional academic mission. Since then, it has become clear that this is so. In the last few years, activist students and faculty, sometimes with the support of administrators, have increasingly attacked the ideals of free speech.

The new activist culture calls for colleges to confront the small, perhaps unintended slights known as microaggressions, to provide trigger warnings for course material that might offend or upset, and to become safe spaces where ideas go unchallenged. It is characterized by extreme moral sensitivity, and in this way is similar to honor cultures of the past where men were highly sensitive to insults and responded to perceived slurs against their character with duels and other forms of violence.

The new culture is less concerned with slights against individual character than with anything perceived as furthering the oppression of victim groups. In either case, though, extreme moral sensitivity presents a problem in an academic environment. As we warned, "Honest inquiry and communication are bound to offend someone," so if colleges are to be places of inquiry and communication, "they must have a climate where people are less — not more — prone to outrage than elsewhere."

The dignity culture that began to replace honor culture in the 19th century cautioned against excessive moral sensitivity. People were taught to have thick skins and to ignore insults. Speech and violence were distinct, as seen in the aphorism commonly taught to young children: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

The new activist culture rejects this distinction, as did the honor cultures of old, and this has had major consequences for the free expression of ideas. For instance, in the honor culture of the antebellum American South, it was dangerous to be a newspaper editor. If a gentleman thought the paper had published anything unflattering about himself or a family member, he might challenge the editor to a duel (if he perceived him to be a social equal) or else simply beat him with a cane or whip. Honor could disrupt universities, too, with students turning to violence against their professors. In their book Rot, Riot, and Rebellion, Rex Bowman and Carlos Santos describe how honor culture imperiled the University of Virginia in its infancy. In one incident, two recently expelled students horsewhipped a professor who told them they had disgraced themselves. "Neither of them pretended I had done him any injury," the astonished professor wrote. But of course, in the eyes of the two students, the professor’s insult was the injury.

Today’s campus activists are concerned with different kinds of offenses: statements they see as slighting members of disadvantaged groups or in some other way furthering oppression. But they similarly view such statements as injurious, as akin to violence. Some go further, arguing that speech they view as oppressive is actually violence. And if speech is violence, universities must prohibit it. If they don’t, activists are justified in doing so themselves as an act of self-defense.
Extract from -- https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-E ... ree/242290
Using the categories of dignity culture and honor culture -- Buddhism is obviously closer to a dignity culture.

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Will
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Re: Amy Wax on reason vs assertion

Post by Will » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:55 pm

A professor on reason vs assertion...

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/are-we-f ... i=60279895
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

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Sam Vara
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Re: The End of Academe: Free Speech and the Silencing of Dissent

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:13 pm

Leeuwenhoek2 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:17 am

Using the categories of dignity culture and honor culture -- Buddhism is obviously closer to a dignity culture.
These are two very interesting and useful concepts. Many thanks for posting this.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:39 pm

An interesting and wide-ranging interview with Jordan Peterson on his recent trip to London:

http://quillette.com/2018/01/27/walking ... -peterson/

The topics are wider than free speech, but he makes some excellent points about dangers from the radical right and radical left, James Damore, feminism, and the civic duty to speak the truth as a means of positively shaping our world.
what the West has got right, as far as I can tell, is that there is a very old idea, much older than the West itself. It’s the attentive and truthful individual who serves as the force that revitalizes the state when it becomes archaic and corrupt. And so the reason that the individual has to be regarded as sovereign is that without the sovereign individual, the state becomes corrupt and static.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:54 pm

Another attempt to disrupt discussion on a university campus using physical intimidation.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... ity-campus

Sadly, it is almost predictable that a politician with Rees-Mogg's reputation would be met with assertion and threat at almost any university in the UK.

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binocular
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by binocular » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:11 pm

I suspect that one reason for the rise of the safe space culture etc. at universities is because many students go to college/university not because they would actually be personally interested in what they are studying and have the personal abilities to do so, but because they're there primarily just to get a degree -- in the hopes of getting a better job, due to parental pressure, or because it is a matter of good social standing to have a college degree, or because they don't know what else to do with their lives.

And if those are a person's motivations for pursuing a degree, that has got to backfire somehow. The safe space culture etc. seems to me like a very probable symptom of going to college for the wrong reasons.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:51 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:11 pm
I suspect that one reason for the rise of the safe space culture etc. at universities is because many students go to college/university not because they would actually be personally interested in what they are studying and have the personal abilities to do so, but because they're there primarily just to get a degree -- in the hopes of getting a better job, due to parental pressure, or because it is a matter of good social standing to have a college degree, or because they don't know what else to do with their lives.

And if those are a person's motivations for pursuing a degree, that has got to backfire somehow. The safe space culture etc. seems to me like a very probable symptom of going to college for the wrong reasons.
Probably true, but some of the blame also lies with the professors and administrators who allow them to get away with it.

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binocular
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by binocular » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:24 pm

I think we are facing a plebeification/proletarisation of university education. Not just on the part of the students, but also, and this is more relevant, on the part of the professors and administrators.

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Mr Man
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Mr Man » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:58 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:54 pm
Another attempt to disrupt discussion on a university campus using physical intimidation.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... ity-campus

Sadly, it is almost predictable that a politician with Rees-Mogg's reputation would be met with assertion and threat at almost any university in the UK.
Where did you get "physical intimidation" from Sam?

In the article you linked to Rees-Mogg is quoted as saying "They weren’t physically threatening.".

:thinking:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:21 am

Mr Man wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:58 pm

Where did you get "physical intimidation" from Sam?
From the video.
In the article you linked to Rees-Mogg is quoted as saying "They weren’t physically threatening.".
My point is about what happened, not about what WRM says happened.

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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Mr Man » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:36 am

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s scuffle ‘bodyguard’ exposed partying in Nazi uniform
https://evolvepolitics.com/jacob-rees-m ... i-uniform/
Townsley – seen below in the white shirt – can be clearly seen barging into the group of protestors at the University of the West of England last week

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:54 am

Mr Man wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:36 am
Jacob Rees-Mogg’s scuffle ‘bodyguard’ exposed partying in Nazi uniform
https://evolvepolitics.com/jacob-rees-m ... i-uniform/
Townsley – seen below in the white shirt – can be clearly seen barging into the group of protestors at the University of the West of England last week
Nazi uniform? Dreadful! As well as threats to free speech, we have gratuitous insults to Jews and many others, now. Surely Max Weber was right when he said that a person entering politics contracts with diabolical powers!

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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:15 am

Nazi apologetics on dhammawheel, say it isn't so!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

pulga
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Re: Amy Wax on reason vs assertion

Post by pulga » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:42 pm

Will wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:55 pm
A professor on reason vs assertion...

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/are-we-f ... i=60279895
Excellent speech from Professor Wax. A courageous woman.

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Pseudobabble » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:22 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:15 am
Nazi apologetics on dhammawheel, say it isn't so!!
Where?
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:22 pm
lyndon taylor wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:15 am
Nazi apologetics on dhammawheel, say it isn't so!!
Where?
Well I took Sam's comments as being sarcastic, am I wrong??
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:01 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:24 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:22 pm
lyndon taylor wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:15 am
Nazi apologetics on dhammawheel, say it isn't so!!
Where?
Well I took Sam's comments as being sarcastic, am I wrong??
Completely wrong. The wearing of Nazi uniforms is (one would assume from the context) a calculated insult of the coarsest type, or possibly a misunderstanding by a person of very limited intelligence. Regarding the title of this thread, I'm not sure if I would ban it, because it is an issue of freedom of expression and there are circumstances in which it could be OK. But this doesn't seem to be one of them.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:08 pm

sorry!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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