Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why I am a Liberal Hating Liberal

Auds over on RealityCheck(dot)ie makes a great point. In her discussion about Equality Legislation she says.
Legislating against speech is a bad idea - for the most part it's subjective and the test of reasonableness is hard found. Crimes are crimes regardless of who they're committed against or why - the thug who beats up a homosexual person commits the same crime as the thug who beats up a heterosexual. Why do we need laws to protect minorities when the main priniciple that they're protected under, namely the right to be treated equally, stands on it own?
In response to people who say that people against gay marriage should not be allowed to air their views, at all. She says.
I think it's censorship rooted in a smug superiority that's afraid, or unwilling to engage opponents in a meaningful discourse. If you are so adamant that those who do not agree with you are so fundamentally wrong, why shy away from the public forums where you can competently and convincingly dismantle their arguments? Why resort to name calling and excessive labelling?
I could not agree more. This is why I am a liberal hating liberal. While I disagree with people against Gay Marriage I am totally supportive of their right to air there views in a discussion. And before anyone says what about Nazi Sympathiers. A few years ago a radio presenter had the leader of the BNP on. Many people protested the fact that he was on and wanted to pull the man of the show. But the presenter let him on, let him say his views and then ripped his views apart in debate. If he had censored him the BNP would have gain sympathy and a propaganda victory(like Gerry Adams on the Late Late years ago when Gay Byrne refused to shake his hand). However because his views were turn apart many of their supporters may have thought twice about continuing to support them. Ignoring Bigots does not make them go away. Confronting them does.

7 comments:

Suzy said...

I do agree that ignoring bigots does not make them go away and I live with the daily reality that they are everywhere trying to control my life and who I love.

My opposition to having them 'on air' is where people are calling for them to be given equal time to so call 'balance' a debate. I don't believe that this is actually a balance where one has anti gay and gay views being given equal air time, especially where lgbt communities/groups/individuals actually have fundamental differences on many of the issues that affect us. Also balancing the debate by giving equal air time suggests that the churches and their supporters are allowed direct influence on the state. We left that a long time ago even though many remmnants remain.

Aud's point on violence is also flawed as heterosexual's do not get beaten up as a result of their sexuality. Not all gay people get beaten up as a result of being gay - when a hate crime is identified it is generally done so with care. Given the increase in both the identification and reporting (and maybe occurence) of such crimes in Dublin, it would be hard to see why the Gardai are adopting these as hate/gay related crimes and creating more work for themselves if they did not actually exsist.

Simon said...

Aud's point on violence is also flawed as heterosexual's do not get beaten up as a result of their sexuality. Not all gay people get beaten up as a result of being gay - when a hate crime is identified it is generally done so with care. Given the increase in both the identification and reporting (and maybe occurence) of such crimes in Dublin, it would be hard to see why the Gardai are adopting these as hate/gay related crimes and creating more work for themselves if they did not actually exsist.

Fair point I agree there.

Also balancing the debate by giving equal air time

Not saying given them equal air time as in give them seperate shows, more they should be invovled in debate. Where they will have to justify their views.

In Ireland the churchs power was never weakened until people started saying why do ye have this power.

Tuathal said...

I believe every side of an argument should be given an equal hearing, follewed by an equal grilling.

I think its stupid and dangerous to dismiss someones right to express their views just because its percieved as wrong or hateful. This gives them ammunition and they can act the victim, as Sinn Fein have done superbly for years.

Get the views out in the open and those views not worth a damn or just flat out hateful will be exposed as such and torn assunder.

copernicus said...

As someone who hates intellectual dishonesty, it behoves me to point out that the Sinn Fein/BNP argument is nonsense.

Free speech proponents (and I'm one) tend to argue that if you let these people air their views, they can be shown for what they are, the scales will fall from people's eyes, etc. etc.

But since they've been allowed back on the telly, Sinn Fein's electoral base has increased exponentially. So there. I imagine the same is true for the BNP.

It's like the people who argue for the abolition of the death penalty on the grounds that sometimes innocent people are killed. The bottom line is that it's barbaric and that the guilty shouldn't be executed either.

Free speech for the wicked, which will benefit them not you (contrary to the argument you guys are making here) is something you have to swallow because it's right in principle, not because you think it will give them more rope with which to hang themselves.

Simon said...

But since they've been allowed back on the telly, Sinn Fein's electoral base has increased exponentially.

However Sinn Fein IRA has changed alot since they have been allowed on telly. What ever you think of them. They are nor bombing any more. That surely is a plus.

Auds said...

Suzy said "Also balancing the debate by giving equal air time suggests that the churches and their supporters are allowed direct influence on the state"

This implies, quite wrongly in my view, that the Church having an opinon "automatically" influences the State (as opposed to any other group's opinion) but also that opposition to gay marriage is a purely religious one.
It's not.

My point about violence against homosexuals is simply that any crime against another person is at its heart, a hate crime.

Tuathal said...

Of course its correct in principal for every side to be entitled to express their views. However i disagree with any claim that it's the wicked people who benefit more than the rest of us in such an system.It is better for society as a whole to have all views and arguments out in the open, instead of festering away beneath the surface.

As for Sinn Fein, yes their support has risen greatly in the last 10 years. However to equate this with them being allowed on Tv is inaccurate. As Saint alludes to, this is partly down to progress made up North during that period.

However, when society affords all sides the chance to express their views, then society is obliged to be vigilant. It is here that Irish society and in particular the Irish media, has failed to Sinn Feins advantage.

I stated a view that all views/sides should get an equal hearing and an equal grilling, in an ideal system. Sinn Fein/IRA have only recieved the former in the last 10 years, and on the whole recieve a free ride from most quaters of the irish media.