Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#261  Postby Spinozasgalt » Feb 22, 2011 10:06 am


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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#262  Postby kevbo » Feb 28, 2011 6:58 am

This is a ridiculous law. It will only drive hatred underground and intensify it, as has happened every time we have made human nature illegal. I am a die-hard skeptic and conspiracy theories like this are easy fodder. However, on more than one occasion I have researched the Holocaust denial theories in order to give them a fair shake. They are unconvincing to say the least. Nevertheless, if I was prohibited by law from looking these things up, it might give a false credibility to the neo-Nazi idea that someone is trying to hide something.

As unconvincing as they were, I am glad that someone looked into it. I can't help but wonder how, if the Axis had won, Goebbels would have many of us believing that the Allied powers were the ones on the side of evil. The problem with the Holocaust deniers is that they are driven purely by bigotry.

That said, anyone on the side of free speech is an ally of mine. But I hope not to have too many neo-Nazis/pedophiles on my side, so perhaps they should stop passing laws such as this one.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#263  Postby Bernard » Jun 29, 2011 4:47 pm

Federico wrote:A new proposal has been made in Italy to pass a law making denial of the Holocaust a crime, since the first time the law was approved it was never implemented.
Do you think it is right and eventually useful to approve such a law in view of the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe?
Although in Germany it is already considered a crime, in Italy there is no general consensus for approval of this measure.


Shouldn't be considered a crime. Refute it with facts. How can an expression of personal belief be a crime? Stupid, ignorant, even willfully ignorant. But criminal?
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#264  Postby Bernard » Jun 29, 2011 4:50 pm

Federico wrote:You are a lier


Liar. If you're going to cast aspersions at people please be so kind as to spell them correctly.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#266  Postby Someone » Jun 29, 2011 10:43 pm

kevbo wrote:This is a ridiculous law. It will only drive hatred underground and intensify it, as has happened every time we have made human nature illegal. I am a die-hard skeptic and conspiracy theories like this are easy fodder. However, on more than one occasion I have researched the Holocaust denial theories in order to give them a fair shake. They are unconvincing to say the least. Nevertheless, if I was prohibited by law from looking these things up, it might give a false credibility to the neo-Nazi idea that someone is trying to hide something.

As unconvincing as they were, I am glad that someone looked into it. I can't help but wonder how, if the Axis had won, Goebbels would have many of us believing that the Allied powers were the ones on the side of evil. The problem with the Holocaust deniers is that they are driven purely by bigotry.

That said, anyone on the side of free speech is an ally of mine. But I hope not to have too many neo-Nazis/pedophiles on my side, so perhaps they should stop passing laws such as this one.

The definition of who is on the side of evil is something malleable. This is nationalistic rhetoric that misses some simple facts. Things are what they are and history is a machine unto itself. Don't find yourself lost in a paradigm that has a bit of a fractional truth. The Earth has more to lose through too much free speech than through too little unless people get better at forgiveness and the prevention of human error. Weak people are subject to extortionate forces if there aren't some speech laws for some people somewhere. There are different classes and types of people in all countries and cultures. The way things are framed now, governments have to make difficult decisions on who and who not to protect and how from what.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#267  Postby james_gnz » Jul 05, 2011 2:24 am

Someone wrote:The Earth has more to lose through too much free speech than through too little unless people get better at forgiveness and the prevention of human error.
I disagree. I'm not convinced that having governments prohibit the expression of ideas they consider inappropriate is going to benefit societies in the long term. If were are to choose certain ideas to prohibit though, it would seem to me reasonable to start with the claim that people who don't believe in gods, or who believe in the 'wrong' gods, deserve to spend eternity being burnt alive while being eaten by maggots. If we're not willing to prohibit this, I can't see how we could justify prohibiting much else.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#268  Postby Someone » Jul 05, 2011 2:39 am

I understand, but the crowded-theater metaphor is difficult to define in one country or culture by another. We can't see well what political undercurrents are involved, for example, in the possibly quite wrong U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow no-holds-barred on the sale of extremely violent video games to minors. I see this decision as a gross class error. What will be will be, in any case.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#269  Postby james_gnz » Jul 06, 2011 9:53 pm

Someone wrote:I understand, but the crowded-theater metaphor is difficult to define in one country or culture by another. We can't see well what political undercurrents are involved, for example, in the possibly quite wrong U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow no-holds-barred on the sale of extremely violent video games to minors. I see this decision as a gross class error. What will be will be, in any case.
I'm not convinced multimedia depictions of violence and/or sexual acts are generally necessary for expressing people's strongly held beliefs and values, so I'm not so concerned about restrictions here. I think in this case the issue falls back to etiquette. It is generally considered impolite to have sex in public, so it seems odd to me that we broadcast multimedia depictions of sex into people's living rooms.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#270  Postby Someone » Jul 07, 2011 8:54 am

Not sure we are on the same subject matter. Normally when one quotes there should be some connection of quote and response that isn't too obscure. Could be I just don't see that here, but I can't respond concretely to form debate in this instance.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#271  Postby Shrunk » Jul 07, 2011 12:54 pm

Someone wrote:I understand, but the crowded-theater metaphor is difficult to define in one country or culture by another.


No, it's quite simple. You define the act based on its likely forseeable and/or inteneded consequences, without regard to the specific content of the speech that the act involves.

james_gnz wrote:
Someone wrote:I understand, but the crowded-theater metaphor is difficult to define in one country or culture by another. We can't see well what political undercurrents are involved, for example, in the possibly quite wrong U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow no-holds-barred on the sale of extremely violent video games to minors. I see this decision as a gross class error. What will be will be, in any case.
I'm not convinced multimedia depictions of violence and/or sexual acts are generally necessary for expressing people's strongly held beliefs and values, so I'm not so concerned about restrictions here.


That's a bit hypocritical, don't you think? Just because you don't personally value a particuIar form of expression, that doesn't mean others should be deprived of it.

I think in this case the issue falls back to etiquette. It is generally considered impolite to have sex in public, so it seems odd to me that we broadcast multimedia depictions of sex into people's living rooms.


Again, it's quite simple: No one is required to watch those broadcasts. Those who wish to are free to.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#272  Postby Shrunk » Jul 07, 2011 12:59 pm

Someone wrote:The Earth has more to lose through too much free speech than through too little unless people get better at forgiveness and the prevention of human error.


I think just the opposite is the case.

Weak people are subject to extortionate forces if there aren't some speech laws for some people somewhere.


Precisely. And historically, has that tended to be more of a problem in nations with more liberal laws on freedom of expression? Or those that are more restrictice?

There are different classes and types of people in all countries and cultures. The way things are framed now, governments have to make difficult decisions on who and who not to protect and how from what.


So best not to get into the whole business in the first place. By all means, keep laws in place regarding libel, slander, disturbing the peace, incitment to violence, etc. But don't try to determine, a priori, what types of ideas will inevitably result in such acts.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#273  Postby Marios Richards » Jul 07, 2011 1:21 pm

From the UK side of the pond we've gotten used to looking over the channel and being intimidated by the frightening illiberality of the European democracy since, well, the French Revolution.

We have no constitutional safeguards against illiberal legislation, but there's a cultural norm that opposes anything that seems like 'continental oppressiveness'.

Case in point, there isn't going to be a burka-ban in Britain - at least, not for the foreseeable future. It's not that the Brits are any more open-minded and tolerant than the French - the UK tabloid press have had lots of fun running with all the possible angles on how tiny pieces of black fabric will destroy civil society. I don't think it even flows from an ingrained 'political philosophy' so much as triggering a cultural taboo about interfering with someone else's life.

[quote=Shrunk]Precisely. And historically, has that tended to be more of a problem in nations with more liberal laws on freedom of expression? Or those that are more restrictice?[/quote]

This is probably the main point - restrictive laws punish unpopular minorities and set a precedent for illiberal legislation which is dangerous for *all* minorities down the line. You just have to look at European political history and think "Is it a good idea for the state to have this power? Am I ever likely to be part of unpopular minority? If so, maybe I shouldn't help arm the state just because they're going after people I don't care for.".

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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#274  Postby james_gnz » Jul 08, 2011 1:21 pm

james_gnz wrote:I'm not convinced multimedia depictions of violence and/or sexual acts are generally necessary for expressing people's strongly held beliefs and values, so I'm not so concerned about restrictions here.
Shrunk wrote:That's a bit hypocritical, don't you think? Just because you don't personally value a particuIar form of expression, that doesn't mean others should be deprived of it.
I don't think I'm being hypocritical, or otherwise I wouldn't have said it. :grin: Not so say I'm necessarily right. I just think that generally, explicit movies (at least published ones, not personal ones) and television programmes don't follow from a desire to express something for it's own sake so much as just making some money. I don't think that people tend to value publicly exposing themselves as much as they value the right to say what they think.

james_gnz wrote:I think in this case the issue falls back to etiquette. It is generally considered impolite to have sex in public, so it seems odd to me that we broadcast multimedia depictions of sex into people's living rooms.
Shrunk wrote:Again, it's quite simple: No one is required to watch those broadcasts. Those who wish to are free to.
I have no problem with sex on pay-per-view television, videos, websites, or in any other way where the material is requested before it is sent. Free-to-air television is sent whether or not it is requested though.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#275  Postby Shrunk » Jul 08, 2011 1:52 pm

james_gnz wrote: I don't think I'm being hypocritical, or otherwise I wouldn't have said it. :grin: Not so say I'm necessarily right. I just think that generally, explicit movies (at least published ones, not personal ones) and television programmes don't follow from a desire to express something for it's own sake so much as just making some money. I don't think that people tend to value publicly exposing themselves as much as they value the right to say what they think.


And people have the right to make money. Moreover, people who want to see such material and are willing to pay for it should not be deprived of that right. As Hitchens says, in the video I posted earlier in this thread, restrictions on freedom of expression harms the person who is deprived of hearing an idea just as much, if not moreso, as it harms the person who is prohibited from expressing it.

james_gnz wrote:I think in this case the issue falls back to etiquette. It is generally considered impolite to have sex in public, so it seems odd to me that we broadcast multimedia depictions of sex into people's living rooms.
Shrunk wrote:Again, it's quite simple: No one is required to watch those broadcasts. Those who wish to are free to.
I have no problem with sex on pay-per-view television, videos, websites, or in any other way where the material is requested before it is sent. Free-to-air television is sent whether or not it is requested though.


And the TV has this remarkable invention called the "off switch" as well as the "channel selector."
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#276  Postby james_gnz » Jul 13, 2011 5:13 am

Shrunk wrote:And people have the right to make money. Moreover, people who want to see such material and are willing to pay for it should not be deprived of that right.
I guess you're saying people have a right to do anything which doesn't infringe upon other's rights. I can see the merit in this, and wouldn't want to stray too far from it. If we were to adhere to it strictly, this would be an extreme libertarian/anarchist position. In practice, democratic societies tend to compromise a bit on public liberty for the sake of working together (although I'm not so keen on compromising private liberty). For example, although we consider people to have a right to freedom of movement, we agree to drive on one side of the road and not on the other. Although technically this is a restriction on the ways in which we can exercise our freedom of movement, in practice it is not a great imposition. I don't think too many people would object to things like this, so it's just a matter of how far we are willing to take it. From my point of view, I think that as long as people are able to exchange these sorts of material through channels such as private communications, pay-per-view television, and videos, I don't think it's an extreme imposition.

Shrunk wrote:As Hitchens says, in the video I posted earlier in this thread, restrictions on freedom of expression harms the person who is deprived of hearing an idea just as much, if not moreso, as it harms the person who is prohibited from expressing it.
I've had a look back through the last couple of pages and haven't found it, but in any case, do you think Hitchens was intending to cover free-to-air broadcasts of sexual acts, or that prohibiting these broadcasts would cause such harm?

Shrunk wrote:And the TV has this remarkable invention called the "off switch" as well as the "channel selector."
Yes, and if people were having sex in public, you could look elsewhere, but until you've seen it, you don't know where not to look.

BTW, what do you think about public nudity in relation to freedom of expression?
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#277  Postby Shrunk » Jul 14, 2011 3:52 pm

james_gnz wrote:
Shrunk wrote:And the TV has this remarkable invention called the "off switch" as well as the "channel selector."
Yes, and if people were having sex in public, you could look elsewhere, but until you've seen it, you don't know where not to look.

BTW, what do you think about public nudity in relation to freedom of expression?


Hmm, OK. I have to admit you have me in a tight spot there. I guess it's a question of where one draws the line. Is it acceptable to have restrictions on how or when sexually explicit material can be broadcast on TV? Say pay TV only, or just restricted to after the kiddies have gone to bed? I have to say, as a free-speech fundamentalist, even I have trouble getting worked up over that.

Public nudity? Again, my gut says "No", and I'm not sure how I reconcile that with my advocacy of unrestricted freedom of expression. It might come down to considering public nudity as an "act" rather than as "speech". But I'm not sure I buy that myself....
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#278  Postby james_gnz » Jul 16, 2011 11:47 am

Shrunk wrote:Hmm, OK. I have to admit you have me in a tight spot there. I guess it's a question of where one draws the line. Is it acceptable to have restrictions on how or when sexually explicit material can be broadcast on TV? Say pay TV only, or just restricted to after the kiddies have gone to bed? I have to say, as a free-speech fundamentalist, even I have trouble getting worked up over that.
I'd rather it on pay TV only, but I guess perhaps this is more fear of a slippery slope than anything else. Practically speaking, restricting it to late on broadcast TV pretty much covers it for me.

Shrunk wrote:Public nudity? Again, my gut says "No", and I'm not sure how I reconcile that with my advocacy of unrestricted freedom of expression. It might come down to considering public nudity as an "act" rather than as "speech". But I'm not sure I buy that myself....
I guess there's a fear of slippery slope here too--that allowing anything to be restricted could lead to something more ominous. I get the impression that most free speech advocates aren't really that interested in porn. :-D I wonder if the original intent of the USA's first amendment was essentially to cover words--freedom of speech and the press being the spoken word and the printed word and/or personal and media conveying of words, since this is what would have been relevant before television? I think anything that needs to be expressed in explicit images can probably reasonably be made available by publicising in words that it will be on the late television, or is available via website or similar.

I guess I'd have to admit that I think a lot of censorship advocacy doesn't really make much sense, which probably doesn't help, e.g. there seems to be more objection to broadcasts of oral or homosexual sex than missionary heterosexual sex, but it's not like missionary heterosexual sex is condoned in public either, and I think any rules should be equitable, so I can't really see how a distinction can reasonably be drawn here.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#279  Postby Morgan Everett » Aug 15, 2011 12:56 am

Holocaust denial should never be criminalised, and doing so will certainly not discourage people from embracing it.
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Re: Should the Denial of the Shoah be Considered a Crime?

#280  Postby gleniedee » Aug 15, 2011 4:05 am

Bernard wrote:
Federico wrote:You are a lier


Liar. If you're going to cast aspersions at people please be so kind as to spell them correctly.


Reminds me of a bit of graffito I saw in London.

"All women over 40 are lesbains"

Underneath somebody had written "perhaps,but they can spell."

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