Under the Covers with Eve - Episode 22: The Death of Debate

31:34 Under the Covers with Eve episode 22 / 34 Feb 08, 2016 20 comments 1002 228

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This week I talk about how it's increasingly impossible to voice an unpopular opinion...

Links mentioned in this audio

Louder with Crowder on free speech on campus- this is a great example - I don’t agree with everything he says, but I’m not about to try to ban him from Youtube or call him names. This piece he did on the modern university student’s attitude toward free speech is pretty terrifying.

Lose the Lads Mags

Margaret Sanger

Roosh V

Justine Sacco

Fired over tweet

Clementine Ford and the 'slut' incident

Trump banned in Britain

Hilary Clinton's statement about same sex marriage

Freedom of Speech by country

Other audios in Under the Covers with Eve


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  • Kallistei on 2016-11-16 21:25:26 (UTC)

    The term "thought-criminal" comes to mind.

    Westboro Baptist Church is a pretty good example of how opposition can be a great thing. They seemed to bring a lot more publicity to gay rights than any activist group ever did, and they likely had a much greater positive impact as well. Gotta laugh at the poor wabs for making an abysmal fuck-up of doing hatred.

    You mentioned that the death of debate seems fear-driven. What do you think they're afraid of, and why?

    • A Eve on 2016-11-17 21:49:40 (UTC)

      Yes, exactly. Thought-criminal is a good example.

      I think people are afraid to speak up for fear of being perceived as immoral, racist, sexist, homophobic, or any host of things, even if that's not their intent. The world seems just so eager to be offended that people seem to actively seek it out, instead of responding to true incidents.

      Think about how afraid you'd be to say you agree with some of Donald Trump's ideas (just as an example) in mixed company. The backlash would be considerable and it would take a thick skin to stand up for what you think is right in the face of such 'moral' opposition. On the other hand, depending on the company you're in, saying you agree with Clinton could earn you the same disdain. I think most people would rather not be perceived as immoral or 'wrong-thinking' and so keep their mouths shut.

      • Kallistei on 2016-11-17 23:47:31 (UTC)

        Would you say that, on the flip side, the eagerly offended backlashers are afraid to shut up?

        • A Eve on 2016-11-19 12:39:13 (UTC)

          Well I don't know if I'd put it that way, but I do think fear drives them as well. Universities used to be a place for learning about new things, now they need 'safe spaces' to hide from frightening ideas and thoughts.

          Those who are recreationally offended seem to be afraid of some doom and gloom apocalypse that will happen if they don't tweet their disapproval, as well.

          • Kallistei on 2016-11-20 13:27:02 (UTC)

            If fear is a drive that serves to increase the relative distance between the subject and the object of fear at one end of a spectrum, then this implies an exact opposite - an object of hope - at the opposite end of the spectrum that fear will move the subject towards. Would you be willing to speculate on what recreationally offended people hope to achieve with perpetual disapproval?

            • A Eve on 2016-11-20 14:08:30 (UTC)

              Well I have my own thoughts on that, but they wouldn't be popular :P

    • A Eve on 2016-04-13 19:50:52 (UTC)

      Thank you!

  • 1981FireFighter on 2016-03-10 21:24:48 (UTC)

    Preach on! Where has the critical thinking gone? I guess this is the result of the educational transition from the classical trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) to standardize testing. It is sad to see the loss of systematic problem solving in today's population, when we so desperately need it to solve the very real global problems we are facing.

    • A Eve on 2016-03-10 21:48:19 (UTC)

      I agree - these days some people hold up hurt feelings as the standard by which everything should be measured, and they seem to look for hurt, offense and disrespect.

      I get a lot of abuse from "cry-bullies" - people who whine that I am somehow hurting them by having an opinion, and who then go on rampage of abuse trying to hurt me and shut me down. I ignore them, but it troubles me that this passes for discourse these days.

  • Pogo on 2016-02-18 02:06:11 (UTC)

    I love this audio. So intelligent and perfectly constructed. It rings out to me because of running into similar issues and is one of the reasons I tend not to discuss my thoughts or opinions anymore unless I'm in a very private place with nobody in earshot.

    One thing of note, a few years ago I started listening to Eminem (I was a teenager) because I thought he was funny. Next thing, I find that one of his songs offended me, despite finding all the other offensive material 'hilarious'. Luckily, I had the sense to realise that I couldn't complain just because that one lyric had gotten to me. As you said, I may not agree, but I defend his right to say it ;)

    • A Eve on 2016-02-18 15:40:57 (UTC)

      Hey Pogo! Thanks! I think the world has to just calm down and take a breath, and stop finding offense everywhere.

  • audiblegeek on 2016-02-14 14:37:30 (UTC)

    Excellent audio, Eve. And I agree with everything you've pointed out here, even in my warped conservative mind!

    • A Eve on 2016-02-14 19:23:21 (UTC)

      haha I wouldn't call it warped :D You can't be that conservative, either, if you listen to me 💋

  • leytod on 2016-02-09 14:53:41 (UTC)

    I am particularly upset about this phenomenon on school campuses. If there is any institution that should represent and defend debate and free thought, it is the university. Ironically, these places are becoming the most controlled and politically corrected.

    I support free thought and free speech, because this is how ideas are challenged. Just as the scientific method attempts to find truth by challenging everything until only the truth stands, free debate is how we decide good ideas from the bad. Censorship only forces ideas into the dark, where the light of free debate cannot reach, either to reveal their flaws or their truth.

    Ideas must be continually challenged, forever, as this is the only way to demonstrate that a supported idea is still triumphant or that a new idea is better.

    • A Eve on 2016-02-10 21:36:19 (UTC)

      I agree, and I do find that it's incredibly common to hear younger, university-aged people proudly defending the idea that we should shut everyone up who makes someone feel bad. They believe that other people's feelings are more important than fundamental freedoms, and like you say, seem more than happy to push ideas into the dark. It's really shocking, and makes we wonder what the next twenty years or so is going to look like.

  • Arcturus on 2016-02-09 07:59:33 (UTC)

    I'm reminded of what George Carlin said, "Rights aren't rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a fuck about them! The government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a fuck about you! It's interested in its own power. That's the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible."

    And in a way, this applies to popular opinion and group think as well, especially due to group power and institutional power not being mutually exclusive. A kind of power based on an imperative, psychological, environmental and/ or biological, to belong.

    • A Eve on 2016-02-09 11:04:59 (UTC)

      That's a great quote, I've always loved him. Thanks!

  • RedKnight on 2016-02-08 06:07:49 (UTC)

    - First and foremost: You. Are awesome. Thank you again for what you do. :)

    - I'm sorry you have to take flack from snarky people. (I'd water-balloon them for you, but they're likely out of my throwing range.) :p

    - If I may ask, what is the sixth link from the top?

    • A Eve on 2016-02-08 10:45:35 (UTC)

      Thank you! I fixed that link error, it's a link to a Twitter image that details the Clementine Ford incident.

      And thank you for the water-balloon offer! Can you make it a balloon-animal type middle finger first?


      • RedKnight on 2016-02-08 12:51:54 (UTC)

        I believe that can be arranged. :D