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"Denials And The Denying Deniers Who Deny Them"

Aneud
post 25.Feb.2006, 01:25 AM
Post #1
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 27.Nov.2005

Clicking below should give you a relatively big amount of reference links, a good article and something we've been lacking here lately, a debate.

http://www.plastic.com/article.html;sid=06...52634;mode=flat

Before anyone points it out, I am aware the replies are mainly in the negative realm and I am not subscribing, just impressed with people actually discussing anything these days.

Now the real question, is this a Freedom of Speech issue or is it having tentacles in too many other themes to be reduced to it? Is it worth debating what sort of guy it is, if he's right or wrong, how "revisionists" would change the feel of the post WWII world as we know it, etc or should we stick to trying to objectively -if possible- look at how there are free countries nowadays where there is a law that one can not debate a historical event without being thrown in jail?
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Roy E
post 25.Feb.2006, 05:03 AM
Post #2
Joined: 23.Nov.2005

So Irving claims the Jewish Holocaust never occured. Another individual claims they've been abducted by space aliens. Two nuts making absurd statements. One goes to jail. The other doesn't.

That anyone can be thrown in jail for what they say or think is pretty disturbing.
Admittedly there is a grey area - for example advocating the violent overthow of government or issuing a 'fatwah' calling for the death of another. These irresponsible abuses of free speech might be recognized as inciting violence and possibly prosecuted as such. But if one continues down this path of reasoning, How long will it be before someone attempts to pass Blasphemy Laws? By threatening to riot they can game the system to their own ends. I expect it will be attempted.

I'd say that stepping out on to this slippery slope is a big mistake.

Incarceration for offensive speech is wrong in this case. Especially when the 'offender' is British in a foreign country (Austria). I would think a visa revocation and deportation might be the maximum sentence imposed, on the grounds of being 'an undesirable'.
But jail? Never.
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*Carol*
post 25.Feb.2006, 06:24 AM
Post #3


I think that Austria has a special history and a particular sensitivity to such speech. And if you want to lump them with all European democracies who should be liberal and a certain way...and yet be okay with non-European countries having particular sensitivities and ways of wanting to do things...well, then I think you sort of make an unintentionally fascistic idea of the European Union. One goes too far to the left and ends up on the right, I think. Let Austria decide for Austria.
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Beth
post 25.Feb.2006, 08:28 AM
Post #4
Joined: 15.Sep.2004

roy, i generally agree with exactly what you are saying. and i think that the imprisonment is wrong. as you mentioned blasphemy laws, the economist while discussing free speech from the cartoons, pointed out that there remain antiquated, dormant blasphemy laws in the UK law books laugh.gif

carol, i have come to terms with this limitation of free speech, since i disagree with the laws here in sweden too. i also accept that there is a history here that fosters and explains a senstitivity that requires this type of overreaction to a pubic statement.

it is similar to how the US has become oversensititve to threats of terrorism after 9/11. Perhaps paranoid, perhaps intrusionary, but understandable.

i'm not defending the overreactions, i just accept them as a necessary course in a country/region's history.
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Aneud
post 25.Feb.2006, 11:36 AM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 27.Nov.2005

QUOTE (Carol)
I think that Austria has a special history and a particular sensitivity to such speech.


It's not only Austria, Carol.

COUNTRIES WITH LAWS AGAINST HOLOCAUST DENIAL
Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
France
Germany
Israel
Lithuania
Poland
Slovakia
Switzerland

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4436275.stm
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*marshman*
post 25.Feb.2006, 12:49 PM
Post #6


I don't know which is most ridiculus here,the countries that make denial illegal or those who deny it took place,both seem pretty pathetic to me.
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Braderunner Rennuredarb
post 25.Feb.2006, 01:00 PM
Post #7
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 24.May.2005

Do you know why those places have anti-denial laws? Because they think that denial somehow marginalizes the "people" that it effected.

Laws about holocaust denial and blasphemy are complete crap. Why not make 9/11 denial...or terrorist denial...or landing on the moon denial crimes? Reason why - the people that those last three things affected are the "majority". Everyone knows its ok to insult the majority...but not the minority. The minority always feels like they are being picked on...kind of like how your little brother/sister used to hit you...and if you touched them back they would start screaming. Equal protection, my ass.

Is holocaust denial stupid? Yeah - lots of people died. Should it be illegal? No - being stupid is a right that everyone has.

Is blasphemy harmful? It hurts some people's feelings...and makes others laugh. Should it be illegal? No - cracking jokes about something does not hurt anyone (unless you are cracking jokes about a bomb on a plane or something like that). :evil:
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*Carol*
post 25.Feb.2006, 01:17 PM
Post #8


Anued--Your list of countries gladdens me. These countries should be sensitive to their histories as well. Jason--a question I've posed before: Would you make the same statements in defense of Slavery denial, or cartoons depicting people of African descent?

Jason--Racism is beyond "hurting people's feelings." It is deeply terrorizing. (And even the hurting of people's feelings horribly damages people's psyches. I think about the nearly monthly articles in British newspapers of yet another young child offing him or her self over bullying.) You are talking about the genocide of an entire people. Armenians would feel similarly over Turkish denial. Chinese are still sensitive over Japanese late acceptance of their actions against them. I'm certain Hutus and Tutsies will have problems with how their holocausts will be written about in the future. History lasts longer for people not sucked into Venture Capitalism, the Internet, and other modern giant stopwatches swaying before their eyes. People who do consider themselves a People, who are always judged as a People, and not as Joe, the up and coming guy with the company, or with other sorts of advancement in society, are not going to go with the "that's so five minutes ago" version of "getting over it."

And thanks, Beth.
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*The Teenage Diplomat*
post 25.Feb.2006, 01:18 PM
Post #9


sounds like a title that Al Franken or whatever his name is could come up with
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Beth
post 25.Feb.2006, 01:39 PM
Post #10
Joined: 15.Sep.2004

carol, in all fairness, i don't defend these laws or the countries that still have them in place. i just accept that it is a slow process to remove them from the lawbooks based on a sentiment and a history.

interestingly you mention the armenians. there IS still turkish denial, and of course the armenians are not happy about it --inside or outside turkey.

i would defend an imbacile's right to claim slavery never happened or to "present a case" that it wasn't all that bad for the africans forced into it since after all, "their folk got to become americans -geehaw."

and not that i want to return to the cartoons, but you can't equate them with ones that would attack an ethnicity. liken them to putting jesus on a horse with a shield ready to go off on a crusade and instead of a sword he's carrying a bomb..or he's got one on his head tucked into his halo.
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*Carol*
post 25.Feb.2006, 01:49 PM
Post #11


Beth, I accept your distinction from the points I made. I guess I've always liked the laws in the US that protect the minority from the majority. And I guess that I'm not a pro free-speecher, so I guess I'm not a true adherent of democracy.

Oh--and just to be picky here--I was saying that Armenians would be upset about such an open anti-Armenian holocaust denier as just imprisoned in Austria, the operative word being "would," and not implying that there was NO Armenian holocaust denial. I am trying to be clear but it was even earlier when I wrote that, and it is only 5 a.m. here now!
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Braderunner Rennuredarb
post 25.Feb.2006, 02:13 PM
Post #12
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 24.May.2005

QUOTE (Carol)
Jason--a question I've posed before: Would you make the same statements in defense of Slavery denial, or cartoons depicting people of African descent?.
Carol: Its a very sensitive issue, I agree. The thing is that there are plenty of cartoons out there that "demonize" the majority as well. What you get is a thing of its ok to make fun of these guys...but not these guys...and that is crap. So what do you do? Restrict all speech that could be taken as "poking fun?" You cant take away someone's right to be an ass.
QUOTE (Carol)
Jason--Racism is beyond "hurting people's feelings." It is deeply terrorizing. (And even the hurting of people's feelings horribly damages people's psyches...

Carol, I completley understand what you are trying to say, but what you are talking about is basically making it illegal to be racist. How can you make a feeling that someone has to be "wrong." I think it is stupid...but though I disagree with them, what can I do? I choose to fight it by debunking it or simply not giving it any power. Oh I am sure that everyone is delicate and has feelings - but you cant protect everyone's feelings...and if you try...you are going to piss someone off. Who is it going to be? Thats right...the "majority"
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*Carol*
post 25.Feb.2006, 03:34 PM
Post #13


Jason--you said:
Oh I am sure that everyone is delicate and has feelings - but you cant protect everyone's feelings...and if you try...you are going to piss someone off. Who is it going to be? Thats right...the "majority"

I knew a woman who wanted to move to Israel after college because she wanted to live in a culture where being Jewish wasn't strange, wasn't something to apologize for, feel sensitive about, etc. It was just a given. (Yes, not for Israelis of Arab descent...but I am taking her point at face value for what she meant to say with it regarding herself personally.)

I know what you mean about pissing off the majority by protecting every last group...but there are many minorities in many countries who aren't vocal about their status, including Armenians, Jews, and Chinese. Yet when the majority European descent, Christian people get vocal about sensitivities they don't really understand, I can understand attitudes like my old acquaintance's.

One thing that blew my mind in college was how every year, on the day set aside for the Naming of the Names, or whatever the recital of those killed in the Holocaust is called, there was a Black Fraternity sort of dance/march contest..little dance/marches that all the Black fraternity houses had, and they'd perform them with loud music in a large square of the uni, while the Jews named the names on a punier microphone in a corner of the same square.

Never did a Jew or Jewish group protest. My guess is that they didn't want to stir up any Black prejudice and feel any more shit and stings connected with their heritage especially when confronting this huge historical evidence of what happens when people act on their prejudices toward them. But I felt so awful for them, and I never understood why the Black fraternities couldn't even think of the enormity of Six Million of one People dead...(And yes, Gays, Gypsies, the Mentally Ill and others as well) and not just voluntarily push back their annual celebration, when that day was arbitrary, unlike the day of Holocaust commemoration.

Anyway, I'm trying to say that people don't police themselves, but it's shocking, and I do wish there were more sensitivity. I'm glad that President Chirac went to a synagogue in France after a Jewish man was killed in a seemingly racist context. But I wish that on a civic level we all would be more sensitive in our communities. Fat chance. I know everything changed in the 70s and civic contribution and feeling is gone. And yeah, I don't want free speech when it's hateful, and not just with the proof of inciting to violence.
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Dock Hussein Ellis
post 25.Feb.2006, 03:46 PM
Post #14
Joined: 9.Nov.2005

QUOTE (RoyE)
I'd say that stepping out on to this slippery slope is a big mistake.


Here at least, we agree completely. My personal feeling is to let the deniers spout their bullshit and let them be exposed as the idiots they are. Government oppression just lends creedence to their arguments- the "man" is trying to keep them down.

If we don't believe in freedom of speech for everyone, we don't believe in it for anyone.
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*Carol*
post 25.Feb.2006, 03:46 PM
Post #15


Continuation of my previous post.: And, yeah, that's it. You finally piss off the majority and then you need to be scared. And that's why people don't challenge the majority. And why the Arabs then have strength in their billions. And maybe the Christian Conservatives take a page from their book...shudder...and then we do have Holy War.

Solution: A more civil tone re every group, and still a sensitivity to minorities taken on by every member and level of society. Peace does begin with each and every one of us, though I know we all will give in when the other guy doesn't play by the rules...

I've yet to have coffee, so this is not nearly what I want to say...but it will have to do. Maybe Jason and Dock are more reasonable, but I know that there are major fault lines that can erupt if we aren't more senstive...and yet, maybe too if we become too sensitive, which has already happened. Everyone is aware when their civil rights are bashed...

I just somehow fundamentally don't like haters doing their talking publicly and would limit it if I could, like current Arab protests in England over Danish cartoons...
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