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

31:34 Under the Covers with Eve episode 22 / 34 Feb 08, 2016 25 comments 1250 353

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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

Comments

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  • LeaDavenport1968 on 2017-04-29 07:38:11 (UTC)

    Eve,this episode is a fine example of just why I would urge anybody to discover what a joy it is to listen to your audios! It's so refreshing to hear someone talk just plain old commonsense.
    It's an issue which I've wrestled with a great deal because there are certain topics which can cause all of us displeasure. For example the recent film of the most,I would call infamous Holocaust denier,called Denial,causes my bile to rise at the very thought of seeing it! Yet I am not about to do all in my power to find the man,track him down and for want of a better term "whack" him! I think Tony Soprano may have coined that phrase! I just,despite my displeasure, a , lack the energy, b , the finances and most of all , c , reason as you that the freedom to air our opinions,whatever they may be, must be carefully preserved. For a second example, there are certain groups of like minded people that share an interest in stretching to the very legal limit,a what I find to be deeply unsettling,an interest,sexually,our children. I say our because,personally I quake with rage when a case of child grooming hits the news! We all have a stake in guaranteeing the future happiness and well being of our children because their are our collective futures. Yet again its vital to control whatever displeasure we may feel because,providing said groups remain within the definition of what is permissable in law,they are able to meet and do whatever they do, I can feel myself squirm just thinking of whatever they get up to, without fear.

    We have to refrain from going all John Rambo. It's hard but as you so rightly point out it is behaviour such as this which is killing debate today.

    I was pleased to see how you used Mr Trump as an example,now President Trump of course! I was astounded to see how some members of Parliament here in my very own country, one supposedly neutral one,in particular, seek to stifle debate! I think now it's President Trump our Mr Bercow is still opposed to the visit but is softening his stance,seeking to disgracefully shunt the visit into a side chamber of Westminister.

    I was unaware of the Ford example. It took my breath away that someone could be so vindictive! Certainly Ms.Ford was right to be offended but surely she could have responded proportionately,the damage she caused being far greater than the mans.

    I would be interested in hearing others views on the recent David Moyes interview. I know U.K stories don't reach to many U.S media sources and especially ones involving Football or Soccer but the deeper facts have relevance. Mr Moyes on a T.V interview became very tetchy at a female reporter when pressed on did he feel under added pressure as his CEO watched his struggling team underperform from the stands. The reply was noncommital of course but just before the interview ended Mr Moyes cautioned her as to her future conduct,adding "Or you may get a slap"if she were to return. His micro pin hadn't been removed and the added reply aired! A veritable Hurricane Katrina issued forth across all spheres of social media here as Womens domestic abuse groups led the campaign to attack Mr Moyes,Coach of Sunderland. The lady reporter herself simply shrugged off the,perhaps illjudged remark,for what it was. A comment from a man underpressure to get results. I think Mr Moyes survived but the price he had to pay was to call a full press conference,back in the full glare of the spotlight, to issue a complete retraction and full apology. Do you consider the way in which he was punished appropriate? It could have ended worse for him. As it did in your Ford example. Yet it further highlights the degree to which debate is underattack. Mr Moyes will probably lose his job naturally soon. The fuss caused by the Rights group would have seen him go immediately. Maybe his employers reacted proportionately but some campaigners didn't I feel!

    A very thought provoking topic Eve and one which I respect you for a great deal,very well presented!

    Lea.

    • A Eve on 2017-04-30 10:35:08 (UTC)

      I think we're seeing more and more of it lately, and it is really getting out of hand. Berkeley students rioting, burning cars and hitting people with pipes to stop Milo Yannopolis from speaking. Just speaking. So much for free speech in America I guess - now you only have free speech if you're on the proper ideological side, or if people aren't offended by what you say. It's a terrible descent from what our culture once was.

      • MccarrenAP on 2017-05-23 09:28:20 (UTC)

        Freedom of speech means the government cannot punish someone for what they say. It does not mean that people can say any foolish thing they want, without public backlash.

        When a number of politicians said horrible, and medically inaccurate, things about "legitimate" rape, they weren't punished by the courts, but by sane, rational people calling their bullshit.

        So when Milo get clapped back for saying gay rights are detrimental to society, or gets banned from Twitter for his comments on Leslie Jones, that's not a Freedom of Speech issue. It wasn't the government preventing him from speaking, it was other people exercising their freedom of speech.

        I would ask at what point you believed our culture was at its peak, if we are currently descending from it?

  • 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.

      • LeaDavenport1968 on 2017-04-29 07:58:50 (UTC)

        My thoughts precisely Eve,well said! Agree totally with you! In your President Trump example that is precisely how I have experienced it myself! So guess what? Now when gathered with friends or family when President Trump doesn't get mentioned by me and yet my family all know how usually I like to talk on issues concerning the U.S.A. A further interesting debate topic killed off as you say and often at places where you need some lively discourse but I would dislike being ill perceived by my closest family!

        You are so right Eve,great reply!

        Thank you,

        Lea.

        • A Eve on 2017-04-30 10:38:35 (UTC)

          That's the problem with equating modern day people with Hitler and Nazism (provided they aren't actually neo-Nazis, of course). There's even an expression that describes what happens when an argument disintegrates to the point of either party likening their opponent to Hitler or the Nazis. It's called Reductio Ad Hiterlum and it's an incredibly common fallacy. I'm sure that in groups of people who won't even discuss someone like Trump, the Reductio Ad Hiterlum fallacy comes up a lot :)

      • 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?

      :D

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

        I believe that can be arranged. :D