The slippery slope


#1

LGBQTP incoming soon?


Is marriage a "right"?
Is marriage a "right"?
#2

Good grief. I’ll watch the video when I have time, but it is a pretty logical extension of current-year claptrap.


#3

Hey, as long as it’s between two consenting adul…uh, I mean humans, it can’t be wrong, right? Another interesting development is the effort to remove the B from LGBT, because B implies that there are only two sexes, when there are obviously dozens at least.


#4

I don’t want to watch the video. It’s been coming slowly for some time now.

NR had this in 2013:

The Atlantic–mainstream media!–has two articles that push us in that direction. First, “I Pedophile,” by David Goldberg–a Canadian journalist convicted for viewing child pornography–argues that his obsession with children is a “sexual orientation:”

The main query that I am convinced will always be without an answer is why I am a pedophile. It is the equivalent of trying to determine why someone is heterosexual or gay. We don’t choose our sexual orientations. If we could, believe me, no one would choose mine.


#5

I’m afraid that’s not progressive enough.

This is better, though that “consenting” doesn’t seem very inclusive…Huxley wrote something about it.


#6

She has the most irritating delivery style I think I’ve ever heard.


#7

Can’t be worse than Shane Warne.


#8

Indeed. They were bound to get there eventually. I suppose eventually coprophagia will be added to the list of natural sexual orientations.

It is a paraphilia and should be treated accordingly. I accept that if pedophiles don’t act on their urges then that’s fine, but it’s one hell of a risk to treat them as one would treat anyone else. At the risk of sounding a tad Daily Mail there is no way I’m knowingly leaving one alone with my kid.

Also, while she confidently spouts research that only 20-30% of sexual abusers of children are pedophiles I would like to see some more about this research. I bet they exclude children who abuse other children as being classed as pedophiles, for example. Some people are using online child pornography (which is indirect sexual abuse of children - the pervert could just as well be committing the rape). Surely those people viewing the images online must be doing it for sexual reasons.


#9

That sounds like Sh*t


#10

Won’t someone please think of the children?

No, not like that.


#11

What research is she talking about? I’d like to see.


#12

I’ve contended elsewhere that the whole idea of “rights” is utter bollocks, or at least an awkward way of framing things.

Using the word “rights” is similar to describing the earth as the centre of the solar system: it’s not wrong exactly, since you can take anything as an arbitrary datum, but it makes everything really complicated if you try and do some math with that; we put the sun at the centre just cos it makes astrophysics simpler.

To drop the slightly odd analogy, I’d put “responsibility” at the centre instead of “rights”. The problem with rights is that by definition, everyone must have the same rights. So at best they cancel each other out; at worst they create a new source of conflict. The only workaround is to say that some people have fewer rights than others - in this case that pedophiles don’t have the right to abuse children. And that ends with either this sort of conversation (0:40):

Or the sort of presentation that the TEDx girl is doing.

Responsibilities work out more logically. If rights do not exist, the pedophile has a responsibility to not abuse children. The ‘why’ is because he’s the adult and the child is vulnerable. If framed in terms of the child’s right not to be abused, the pedophile can (quite logically) whine: but what about my rights? The fundamental problem is that rights can be overruled by the more powerful agent. If you wind up in a Turkish jail cell and the police decide they’re going to strap some electrodes to your dangly bits for amusement (theirs, not yours), there’s little point telling them about your human rights: they don’t care.

Failing to live up to your responsibilities reflects badly upon your conception of self, whereas violating someone else’s rights does not necessarily do so because you can construct a rationalization for it. This line of thought might have some value in conversations with backward governments too: instead of telling (say) the president of some hellhole that torture is wrong, mmkay, because human rights, one could play on the egotism of leaders who believe that they are the moral guiding light of the country using talk of responsibility. Nobody wants to believe themselves irresponsible.


#13

A dedicated rationalizer can rationalize anything.

Responsibility is simply the flip side of rights. But it’s still useful as a corrective to emphasize that side, because everyone wants to evade responsibility but no one wants to evade his own rights.


#14

I’m pretty sure there will be some “research” explaining how responsibility is just a social contract established by the patriarchy.

I’d be interested to see the inclusion of the letter P in the happy alphabet group.


#15

Well, yes. I’m not saying it’s impossible to rationalize away your own irresponsibility. But if you want to maintain a consistent self-image of yourself as a Good Person, it requires more mental gymnastics than overriding somebody else’s rights. It’s a slightly higher barrier.

Rights literally do not exist. I know yyy is going to appear in a minute and make fun of my habit of denying the existence of everything, but the fact is that you can’t point to some feature of the universe that will enforce “human rights”. The closest thing we’ve got is karma, which occasionally turns out to be real, but mostly isn’t. Even God doesn’t help, because bad people construct God in their own image.

Responsibility does have an enforcer, ie., yourself. It might be a weak enforcer, but it does at least have a physical manifestation.

That’s possible. And to an extent it’s true: the precise nature of your responsibilities have to be argued out. There isn’t anything in the fabric of the universe that can do that for you. However I see a fundamental distinction between rights and responsibilities in that there’s no philosophical problem assigning different responsibilities to different people, whereas there’s a huge problem granting (and enforcing) different rights for different people.


#16

I’ll grant that neither rights nor responsibility have physical existence. But reality is what refuses to go away when you refuse to believe in it. In other words, reality is what’s enforced.

I never count on another person to hold himself responsible for doing right by me. I think in terms of how can I enforce my interests?

And the larger universe has an uncanny way of enforcing all sorts of things. This suggests to me an empirical approach to morality.

It’s the one big thing standing between me and nihilism.


#17

Sure. Because that would basically be expecting him to uphold your rights.

The SJWs get upset because the whole thrust of their argument depends upon forcing specific behaviours upon others, and it all turns rancorous. Discussing responsibilities can be a more co-operative activity. Consider the worst case: the meeting between those great monarchs, King Trump of Orange, and King Kim the Blimp. They could butt heads over their sovereign rights to have big phallic weapons. But where do you go from there? They’d both be right. Or they could discuss the responsibilities of monarchs towards their people, which involves defense of the realm. That’s a deeper and more productive discussion where people can find common ground.

And presumably you occasionally consider how you can further the interests of others? :wink:


#18

A wise man seeks a win-win situation, but is always mindful that the other guy may be less enlightened.

First protect yourself, then help others if you dare. The priorities of cabin depressurization apply in all areas of life.

Expediency has gotten a bad rap. It’s true that what is expedient is not necessarily ethical. But what doesn’t work is never right. This is what idealists are too stupid to accept. Good intentions don’t count for shit. Results are all that matters in the end. And you can’t save the world tomorrow if you die today.


#19

A minute? Sheesh, I may have an interstellar pilot’s license, but I’m not omnipresent, man. :roll:

Rollo is giving us lots of material as usual, but you beat him with this Finskyism™: “rights” don’t exist, because arguing with Turkish prison guards about them will get you nowhere, but “responsibilities” totally exist, because arguing with Turkish prison guards about them is better than riding the Midnight Express! :rainbow:

Seriously, I don’t have time for these videos now, but what part of the rights of the child trump those of the potential offender is so paradoxical for you in a way that the same concept using “responsibilities” isn’t?

And “current year” my covfefe. This is not new. It was fringe before, and it’s fringe now.


#20

I agree, that doesn’t work either, at least not for the prisoner. But the responsibility isn’t his: it’s the guard’s. I’m pointing out a fundamental truism of human behaviour: the only person whose actions you can reliably influence are your own, so the more people who internalize a productive set of responsibilities, the better that works out for everyone.

If you consider why the prisoner has no immediate argument based on responsibility, you’ll find that the mechanism of failure (compared to an argument about ‘rights’) is different. It actually illustrates why the idea of ‘rights’ is so toxic.

During the invasion of Russia, ordinary Germans were recruited to murder Jews: there were so many of them that the Nazis had a manpower problem. The Jews had no right to life because … well, just because. “Jew lives matter” just wasn’t a thing. The responsibility of the killers (so they were told) was to the State and to Germankind, and this was quite easily pressed upon them. They were able to override their responsibility to wider humankind precisely because they were told that Jews have no rights., ie., the idea of rights were deployed in a purely negative context.

If you attempted to tell the torturer about his responsibility to be a decent human being, he would dismiss that in the same way as the German killers: “you don’t have rights here; you’re just a thing”. Rights aren’t even being mentioned, but they’re a very powerful excuse, and that excuse has probably been handed down to him from on high (as it was during Operation Barbarossa).

The flip side of the coin is Churchill’s speech on the subject of the Amritsar massacre. Now, Churchill was a cold-hearted asshole, and probably racist to boot. His denunciation of the massacre hinged upon British responsibility, not the rights of Indians:

http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/churchill/am-text.htm

“We have to make it absolutely clear, some way or another, that this is not the British way
of doing business. I shall be told that it ‘saved India.’ I do not believe it for a moment. The British power in India does not stand on such foundations.”

A German citizenry who had internalised that kind of attitude to responsibility might have been slightly more inclined to disobey orders en masse. Slightly. I’m not advancing a cure for the human condition here.

You don’t have any better argument against the video other than “it’s obvious”? That’s a bit poor, for a student of the Law.

In current year, rights are trumpeted as universal. There’s even a document that uses the word. It’s certainly obvious (to me) that children and pedophiles do not have the same “rights”. But things that are “obvious” are massively problematic. For example, it is (or was) equally obvious to some people that black passengers should have lesser rights to a seat on the bus. If you ask “why don’t people all have the same rights?” it’s surprisingly easy to come up with spurious answers. The SJWs have recognised this, but their answer is to level the playing field as far as humanly possible … and beyond. And that’s why you get videos like the one in the OP.

All I’m suggesting is that:

(a) responsibilities are easier to arrive at by a process of debate and logical inference, starting from axioms that almost everyone can agree on (e.g., everybody likes to sit down on the bus), and
(b) people feel good about living up to their conception of themselves as ‘responsible’ people.

Rights, less so.