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Comment count is 24
Oscar Wildcat - 2015-10-01

I know I speak for all white people when I say, it may not happen in my lifetime, but someday soon, my grandchildren or perhaps even my children will be able to run through the projects in east NY and scream NIGGER at the top of their lungs.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-01

Free at last, free at last, thank GOD ALLMIGHTY I'M FREE AT LAST!

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-01

The point of freedom of speech isn't that you get to be an asshole, it's that when you're an asshole, someone is going to call you on it, no matter who you are. You also get to be an asshole, but that's not automatically a good thing..

I don't buy the convoluted logic of "New and important ideas are offensive, therefore offensiveness is the engine of new ideas." it's more like the brakes than the engine. Not one of the ideas this guy mentioned fall under the heading of hate speech, and I truly doubt that a hundred years from now, people will be looking back at the dark days when people were intolerant of holocaust denial.

I believe in the right to offend, but I also believe in the right to edit. There are no ideas (other than libel) that should be prosecuted, but there may be some ideas that shouldn't be taught at Oxford. I would hope and expect that any ideas to be excluded would be chosen judiciously, but there needs to be some standards, and the freedom to choose is just as much a part of freedom. There's good editing and bad editing, just as there's good speech and bad speech, and sometimes Oxford will be on the wrong side of history. Not one of these offensive ideas that could get you banned from Oxford died a out. they all gained respectability.

That guy - 2015-10-02

The general point is that people can't beat, kill, jail, etc. you for saying what they don't want to hear.

Being an asshole is something of an open question, asshole. I think you're being an asshole and pitching dangerous ideas in your comment. Not kidding.

In a university context, fully preventing speech in practice may as well break the charter of the university. It's just a research institute after that, with a polemics wing.

Saying that there are ideas that "shouldn't" be taught at university makes you a true libtard JHM. But you know that already. "Hate speech" creeps in its definition, you know that, too.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2015-10-02

That's just the problem though; who gets to decide who's being an asshole?

I think you're being a giant asshole right now, for instance, but I would never ever dream of trying to stop you from doing so, and I'd be furious at anyone who thought they should.

This is the very reason why free speech is the cornerstone of a free society and anyone who actively and aggressively attempts to shut up people who say things they don't like is either evil, or a moron (or both).

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-02

So are you saying Oxford needs to teach holocaust denial, or they don't have any intellectual integrity? And are you saying that Oxford should be forced to teach holocaust denial?

If you don't, you basically agree with me. And if you do, that makes you the asshole, who opposes intellectual freedom. Unless Oxford has the right to choose to NOT teach holocaust denial, there's no intellectual freedom.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-02

>>That's just the problem though; who gets to decide who's being an asshole?

I don't see it is a problem. I didn't say that freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to be an asshole, only that being an asshole isn't the point of freedom of speech. There are some people, especially on the internet, who really don't get that, people who foolishly equate criticism with being censored.

Hooker - 2015-10-03

You support free speech, That guy? DEFEND HOLOCAUST DENIAL! The point is that we should all edit ourselves from saying the dumb things that pop into our heads.

That guy - 2015-10-03

Examining the ideas of Holocaust Denial to see if they hold water, first of all... and then... why people claim them, how you argue against them, etc is completely appropriate to a university setting.

I'm not equating criticism with censorship.

At a university, for what a university does.... totally 'no-platforming' ideas that are unliked by the orthodoxy, including liberal orthodoxy, is censorship and is bad.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-04

It's not censorship for Oxford University to decide what Oxford University is going to teach. You can argue that they should teach holocaust denial under certain conditions (how is "certain conditions" not censorship, by the way?)

It's completely within the mission of a university to set some standards for their curriculum, but their power does not extend beyond the university. This is not only how we maintain standards in a free society, it's how we ensure multiple points of view. Suggesting that Oxford University should be an enforced free-for-all, and Harvard should be an enforced free-for-all, and POE TV should be an enforced free-for all is likely to result in in the same voices being heard everywhere, and the same voices being drowned out elsewhere.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-04


wtf japan - 2015-10-01

O'Neil should listen to his opening rhetorical volley and realize that he is struggling in futility against the eternal paradox of undergraduate liberal arts education. Just enough education to intoxicate the brains of young people with their first taste of righteousness, but not enough to prevent them from marching off the cliff of zealotry.

I don't think this can be avoided. The social causes adopted by young people in universities simply give them a way to impose their will on others and feel justified in doing so. And imposing their will on others is what human beings want to do in the end, so who can blame them?

Anaxagoras - 2015-10-01

My stars go to this comment. Really well written.

15th - 2015-10-01


SolRo - 2015-10-01

Please turn in your 1st rough draft, 2nd rough draft, and peer critique of that comment.

15th - 2015-10-01


gravelstudios - 2015-10-02

As a man in his 30's going back to college again, I've realized that the average college student is a blithering moron. They're children who are allowed to drink and screw. Liberal arts education is important, but the real positive results of it don't begin to sink in until you've also got some life experience under your belt as well.

15th - 2015-10-02

I'm close enough to 30 and I'm considering going back and finishing off my BA. I have a strong feeling I'm going to hate everyone there.

TeenerTot - 2015-10-02

I have a small problem with his presentation.
I think *who* is offended is important as well.
All his opening examples were about questioning religious ideas, which the *church* found offensive. I'm not sure it quite compares with the personal offense he then talks about.
It may be good to say "fuck" to the orthodoxy *in power*, but I don't think folks should just be jerks to each other.


gravelstudios - 2015-10-02

I think that often 'free speech' is used as an excuse for people who want to intimidate and threaten the disenfranchised. For example, in the case of sexual harassment, a group of men might use their freedom to say offensive things as a way to remind the women they work with who has the power. I think that's a real problem.

TeenerTot - 2015-10-03

Yeah. What you said.

That guy - 2015-10-03

jerks to each other in a work context is one thing

saying that 'offensive' is a rights violation all by itself is another

TeenerTot - 2015-10-03

I don't believe being offended is in itself a rights violation. I actually believe in free speech (with a line drawn at threats). But I do believe in the responsibility that comes with it. I mean, if you want to use "free speech" as an excuse to be an asshole, be prepared for consequences.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2015-10-04


saying that 'offensive' is a rights violation all by itself is another

Are you saying that "saying that 'offensive' is a rights violation all by itself" is a rights violation? Or that it's offensive?

This is what I mean when I say that you do have the be an asshole, but the real point of freedom of speech is that when you're an asshole, somebody's going to call you on it, no matter who you are.

I think you're engaging in the delusion, popularized by Gamergate and the Right, that criticism is censorship. Almost no one actually suggests that offensive speech needs to be suppressed by force of law, and offensive speech is virtually never suppressed by force of law.

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