TGA Podcast: Episode 131

This week, Carisa joins me as we continue to talk about free speech, the ‘evolution-creationism controversy’, and how our childhood toys say something about us! Don’t miss out.

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Comments (9)

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    Dale Cope

    Regarding the use of Britain as an example of having laws that suppress expression without taking it out of hand. I would like to point out that just last year we had a man arrested and placed in jail for putting out anti-religious leaflets in the prayer room of John Lennon airport.

    I believe one of the podcasts covered this, but I can’t remember which one.

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    Jacob Fortin

    Yeah, we did a show about it way back. Pretty fucking ridiculous.

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    Great show! When is your world tour heading to Norway?

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    When membership doubles!

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    Darren Taggart

    Hey guys,
    I have to agree your “slipper slope” fan; a slippery slope argument is bad because it assumes the opposite of what the probabilities are telling you; even if you agree with its conclusion.  They’re unsound.  That said, I don’t think your original point was a slippery slope argument and the confusion may have just been the warning of “it’s a slippery slope if you… etc.”
    In Britain, you will be aware that we have no written constitution and no government can bind its successor in power; so you could never make a law that couldn’t be reversed 5 years later.  This means that laws curtailing or enshrining freedoms are no protection against the next lot doing as they please.  Britain has no ‘right’ to free speech enshrined in law, only in precedence as Ben Goldacre is always finding out!  (I take ‘right’ to be a freedom protected by law, as opposed to one that is just assumed).  You can’t make a law to prevent bad government.  So I agree that government has a limited role or interest in promoting free speech.
    Jacob, I completely agree with you in that if a person says something that outrages reason, it is reasonable to be outraged.  You certainly shouldn’t feel you are at the extremes of the debate though.  People don’t have the right to remain ignorant or have their ‘intellectual innocence’ protected and still get a look in on the action.  While I genuinely don’t care whether a person believes in the healing power of crystals, I don’t think they should get to affect health policy.  (Despite the fact that in 2011 the NHS STILL offers homeopathy at public expense!)
    I don’t think the goal of aiming for slow, patient consensus is either achievable or desirable.  Molly coddling people is to deny them responsibility; it is deeply patronising and we shouldn’t do it.  If people want to stand up and spout nonsense, they shouldn’t expect others to be too polite to say anything back; that should be unrealistic.  I imagine that whenever you say something silly or wrong, you would rather be called out on it.  Otherwise it would mean that people either aren’t listening to you or don’t care what you say.

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    I just want to say that I fundamentally agree that religion is about childish delusions. At some point as a child you realize that your parents don’t have all the answers, you know that you don’t have all the answers, you get freaked because you extrapolate that no one really KNOWS what they’re doing. You quickly fabricate a belief in a conveniently absent being who is all powerful and whose existence explains all unknowns in your world, yes, yes, yes.
    I fundamentally disagree with the idea that it is somehow our duty as atheists to harangue “believers” about whatever belief system they have. It is every person’s right to believe or not as they see fit. If you believe in the spaghetti monster, and it tells you to dedicate your life to raising and giving money to purchase solar cookers and mosquito netting for African children, good on ya’. If, on the other hand, your God tells you to promote anti-homosexual legislation which results in lynching of Gays in Africa, then we got a problem.
    What I’m saying is everyone has the potential to be an asshole, it would be nice if atheists refrained from that sort of behavior.

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    Love the episode 😀 But I felt bad when Carisa and Jacob started getting really intense. It felt like Mummy and Daddy were fighting. haha

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    100 things! That’s stupidly small, 1000 things would not look cluttered but I guess it depends on how many rooms you live in!

    I hate needless buying as its just wasteful, but the same way if you need to buy something but have to get rid of something else (for no real reason) that’s also just as wasteful.

    Some stuff may get passed on to people who want/need it, but often a large amount just ends up in the landfill.

    I know people who have done this sort of thing and they turn there wasteful buying, into wasteful junking only then to (usually within months) buying stuff again that they chucked.

    Just have an aggressive spring clean, and stop buying crap you dont need.

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    Concerning the Freedom of Speech case here in Finland;

    The person who was sentenced to two years in prison was already on probation for two counts of defamation. In a nutshell, the person was a racist who had harassed, impersonated and defamed people and bashed different ethnic groups for years.

    He was sentenced for 9 counts of “Aggravated Defamation” (for which the maximum punishment is two years in prison), 1 count of “Incitement to ethnic or racial hatred” and 1 count of “Disturbing Religious Peace”/”violating the sensibilities of a religion”.

    The defamation cases included identity theft, sexual slander (photoshopped porn pics), fabricated crimes against different individuals etc. This constituted the majority of his sentence.

    The one count of “Incitement to ethnic or racial hatred” is more or less analogous to the concept of “hate speech” in the United States. His writings were basic KKK stuff about how black people are animals/monkeys.

    The 1 count of “Disturbing Religious Peace”/”violating the sensibilities of a religion” was for anti-semitic and anti-islamic writings and pictures.

    Essentially, the long sentence was due to the severity, systemacity and extent of his history of libelous writings. I would also conjecture that the high-rank and influence of the victims played a part, too. They were politicians and state prosecutors etc. The case was pretty exceptional in Finnish legal history.

    So, he was not sentenced to 2 years for simply criticizing or ridiculing islam.

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