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Old 03-02-2008, 03:57 PM   #46
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I disagree with thoughtcrime.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:35 AM   #47
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I disagree with thoughtcrime.


that's lovely and tidy and a soundbyte and makes a certain amount of sense, but what happens when one half of the gay couple up the street gets savagely beaten by a gang of teenage males and is called "faggot" the whole time. and the next day "AIDS KILLS FAGS DEAD" is spray painted on the corner where the beating took pace.

am i not affected? do i not change my routines? do i not worry a little bit more than, say, you would have to if you lived in my neighborhood?
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:33 AM   #48
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A savage beating is a crime, vandalising the street corner is a crime, merely calling somebody gay should not be. You rightly point out that in your example it is sending a message and that makes it impact more people to a degree but shouldn't the severity in intent be one consideration in the sentencing for those pre-existing crimes themselves. Must endowing particular minorities with special victim status in the law be neccessary, can there be discretion in sentencing?

In terms of the far more relevant issue of free speech I think your example is off the mark. Pushing for restrictions and criminalisation of speech that is offensive to you is trading a freedom for security, it may well be for the best of intentions, it may well make society more cohesive (I doubt that - hatred always festers and always will), but regardless of intention the result is the same; less liberty.

Then you get the snowballing effects, if homophobic and racist comments are criminalised then how long until specific religious/racial/ethnic groups are granted special protections (Jews for instance - very broad I know but the next argument does follow). If those particular religious groups are allowed protections then why not equal protection for all religious groups (it would be utterly unfair for Jews to be legally protected from anti-semitic speech but Muslims not be protected from anti-Islamic speech or for that matter Christians - see Archbishop of Canterbury on blasphemy laws).

I feel that in principle criminalising speech that isn't inciting violence or encouraging other crimes is wrong (even when it yields a better outcome). That defining what constitutes hate speech can be arbitrarily applied and that investigations of alleged hate speech wastes resources and that granting protections to some groups (racial and sexual) gives other groups (religious) that are far less deserving of protection from criticism grounds to demand it.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #49
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
A savage beating is a crime, vandalising the street corner is a crime, merely calling somebody gay should not be. You rightly point out that in your example it is sending a message and that makes it impact more people to a degree but shouldn't the severity in intent be one consideration in the sentencing for those pre-existing crimes themselves. Must endowing particular minorities with special victim status in the law be neccessary, can there be discretion in sentencing?



it's not calling somebody gay that's the crime, it's the sending of a message that a particular crime was inspired by the sexual orientation, race, or gender of the victim. burning crosses? burning black churches? these are merely "thought" crimes? no, they are much more than that.

we do agree on the issue of how thorny it is to determine which groups are of a "victim status" and which are not, and this is my issue with hate crimes. but i think it's silly to say that a beating is just a beating, whether one was beaten for one's wallet, or one was beaten for holding hands with his partner while walking down the street. these are different crimes, and they are different in the same way that arson is different from the burning of a black church.



[q]In terms of the far more relevant issue of free speech I think your example is off the mark. Pushing for restrictions and criminalisation of speech that is offensive to you is trading a freedom for security, it may well be for the best of intentions, it may well make society more cohesive (I doubt that - hatred always festers and always will), but regardless of intention the result is the same; less liberty.[/q]

it's not that the speech is offensive. people can get up at any neighborhood organization meeting and talk about not wanting faggot couples or dykes moving into their neighborhood. that is protected, vile as it might be. this is free speech.

a hate crime is quite different.


[q]Then you get the snowballing effects, if homophobic and racist comments are criminalised then how long until specific religious/racial/ethnic groups are granted special protections (Jews for instance - very broad I know but the next argument does follow). If those particular religious groups are allowed protections then why not equal protection for all religious groups (it would be utterly unfair for Jews to be legally protected from anti-semitic speech but Muslims not be protected from anti-Islamic speech or for that matter Christians - see Archbishop of Canterbury on blasphemy laws).[/q]


you've conflated crime with speech. one is not the same of the other. i agree with what you're trying to get at, but i fear you're missing the big picture here. anyone is free to say whatever they want, but they are not free to color and enhance a particular crime with comments meant to send a message of violence and fear to a particular group (gays, jews, or australians-in-exile).

there's a phrase about free speech, that many forget: "you can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater."

that seems to apply here.


Quote:
I feel that in principle criminalising speech that isn't inciting violence or encouraging other crimes is wrong (even when it yields a better outcome). That defining what constitutes hate speech can be arbitrarily applied and that investigations of alleged hate speech wastes resources and that granting protections to some groups (racial and sexual) gives other groups (religious) that are far less deserving of protection from criticism grounds to demand it.

we're not talking about hate speech. we are talking about hate crimes. i think you've conflated the two.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:20 AM   #50
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This thread was started on an issue of hate speech.
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