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Source: (consider it) Thread: And there's another gay bakery case
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
There are thousands of bakeries willing to serve black people. This was not the case before legislation. Having to trade with people gives one exposure, exposure can lessen prejudice.

There was no protection at all in the UK to prevent discrimination against homosexuals until 2007. Printers existed before that time producing various kinds of materials in support of SSM.

Black people in the UK certainly have experienced direct discrimination, but it is a hard argument to make that prior to the strengthening Equalities legislation in the 1990s, minorities were not able to access the full range of services to meet their needs. Indeed, various kinds of specialist retailers grew to take advantage of their spending power.

There are groups which have been historically isolated by British society and to which attitudes are slowly changing, which I think can be seen as a direct response to the legislation - notably the Roma. And I think there has been a noticeable change in relation to public services and their seeking to be more inclusive. But I don't believe it is possible to argue that the reason black and homosexual minority groups can access retailers and other private traders is because of the legislation. British society has changed dramatically and the law is struggling to keep up.

quote:
There is this idea, especially among Christians, that the good inside can prevail. This is a fair amount of bullshit. Much of our behaviour is not innate, but taught. In a wildlife park in Africa, the number of elephants was too great for the space available, so the decision was made to cull the herd. They chose the older males since they had less time left anyway. The result was that the juveniles went wild, attacking vehicles, killing rhinos, etc. Older elephants teach behaviour that was once thought part of their nature.
We are no different in that respect. The law, throughout human history, has been used to modify behaviour, not just enforce rules.

I certainly believe laws have modified behaviour, but I don't believe the British Equalities legislation has had anything like the impact you ascribe to it.

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arse

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Curiosity killed ...

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The Equalities Act has almost certainly had more impact on making the world more accessible for the disabled. One of the exceptions for shops not being allowed to discriminate for behaviour is around disability.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
There are thousands of bakeries willing to serve black people. This was not the case before legislation. Having to trade with people gives one exposure, exposure can lessen prejudice.

There was no protection at all in the UK to prevent discrimination against homosexuals until 2007. Printers existed before that time producing various kinds of materials in support of SSM.
You are aware of the difference between saying "there are now thousands" and saying "there didn't used to be any"? One hopes?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
You are aware of the difference between saying "there are now thousands" and saying "there didn't used to be any"? One hopes?

If you read rather than typing one liners, you might notice that I said there were many services available to black and homosexuals long before 2007.

Indeed, the structural forms of discrimination in the UK have long moved beyond the overt forms of discrimination that stopped black people from becoming policemen or bus conductors. And even that battle in the 1970s had little to do with the law and everything to do with changes in British society.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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That is not by any stretch to say that discrimination is anything but engrained into British society. But by and large barriers to minorities being able to spend money on things others don't (and/or don't like) have been removed long ago because of the liberation of markets catering to those groups.

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arse

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It does though. That is why black people can now shop in the same shops as you and as this has become more normal, acceptance grows. It isn't a perfect or complete solution, but it is part of what shapes behaviour.

Nope, that was almost entirely due to community pressure and boycott and almost nothing to do with the law.
[citation needed]

If you're going to dismiss the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and a raft of other federal laws as inconsequential things that just coincidentally happened immediately before Jim Crow started collapsing you'll have to provide more analysis that 'nuh-uh'.

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I don't know whether there really is evidence that equality legislation has much effect on discrimination for persecuted minorities, I doubt it given that in the main it has only been around for a while.

Does the absence of "Whites Only" signs and those charming sundown town signs at the city limits count as evidence?

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Why any homosexual wants to buy a cake from someone who is not keen to sell them one because of squeamishness about SSM- given that there are thousands of other bakers who are ready to take their orders - I have not been able to fathom.

But you can fathom homosexuals needing something like the Green Book in order to navigate within society, so they know where it's safe to spend their money and places they should avoid? That seems like the ideal solution to you?

Remind me again how everything is different now because of "community pressure"?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
There are acts which many of us we consider very immoral, such as adultery, which we can also think that the law should be very slow to notice, because of the interference in personal privacy and autonomy.

I think it's the opposite quadrant which is of greater relevance here. What would you consider to be not-at-all immoral acts which the law rightly forbids ?

quote:
The relevance to discrimination law is that the sort of silly, idiosyncratic examples you were citing as "just as immoral" as racism, homophobia, sexism and the like, aren't as socially divisive or damaging. There is therefore a justification for treating the forms of discrimination that have a wider social dimension differently to ones which do not.
I'm having trouble parsing "socially divisive and damaging" as anything other than a statement of personal disapproval based on political conviction.

If I were from Mars, how would you explain to me the difference between a damaged and an undamaged society ?

quote:
Try to get some empathy. Suppose you visit shops about a hundred times a year. On how many of those times would you need to encounter abuse, insult or exclusion because of a fundamental part of your identity before you began to feel that ordinary social and commercial engagement was hazardous for you?
The outcome of that empathy was to persuade me that denial of service because of who someone is is a morally wrong act that the law might therefore penalize.

But the boundary between right and wrong does not correspond to the definitions in anyone's list of protected characteristics.

If that's a wrong (as I feel it is) then it's a wrong regardless of the identities of perpetrator and victim.

You might think that the world would be a better place - society be less damaged - if no-one voted for Mr Trump. That's not sufficient justification for making it illegal to do so.

I'm saying that the sort of utilitarianism that allows individuals no rights in its pursuit of the greater good of society is morally flawed.

And therefore "making the world a better place" isn't enough reason to legislate.

quote:
There are no principled reasons for acknowledging an employers freedom of speech and conscience, but not an employees.
I'm general I'd consider that the employee has waived their moral right to object to selling X when they sign a contract whereby the employer pays them for selling X.

If icing political slogans onto cakes wasn't part of the original job description then the employee can indeed say "you're changing my terms and conditions, I have a problem with this, we need to renegotiate our contract".

In that case one would hope that accommodation could be made by some reallocation of responsibilities among the staff. Or maybe even making that particular service available for restricted hours of the week.

But ultimately the employee does not have the right to determine the boundaries of the service that the business offers. That decision belongs with the owner. And if there do turn out to be legal issues with the selling or not selling of particular products or services, it's probably the owner rather than the employee who's going to end up in court. But you'd know more about that then I would...

Possibly the argument that the customer is owed his/her choice of book or slogan rests on some notion of an implied contract ? Whereas the employee has an explicit contract ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
If you read rather than typing one liners,

FU2

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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I'm sorry, I mistook this for the Hell thread.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If I were from Mars, how would you explain to me the difference between a damaged and an undamaged society ?

I think "undamaged society" is an impossibility and I think you realize that too. I would mention one type of damage as this: an entire class of people, is treated as an underclass by the majority due to some innate but socially harmless characteristic which they share. They are denied all the opportunities and privileges and rights enjoyed by the majority.

If thinking this is wrong is a mere personal opinion based on political conviction, and it is not a personal opinion you share, then there is something seriously wrong with your political conviction. And yet you seem to think it wrong to try to craft laws to prevent or at least ameliorate the damage caused by this state of affairs, in order to afford a subset of the oppressing class the "right" to oppress. I predict this post will go unanswered.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
...
And therefore "making the world a better place" isn't enough reason to legislate. ...

Ah, so you would be in favour of legislation to make the world a shittier place?

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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orfeo

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Mr Cheesy,

Every time you ask about why a person in a minority would want to buy a cake from a prejudiced baker, you miss the point entirely.

What a person in a minority wants is to not have to check, at all, whether the baker is prejudiced.

The whole point is to utterly remove that question from the list of questions used when choosing a baker. Price, quality, location, range of products: these are all the things that people who don't fear being discriminated against use to choose a bakery.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
There are acts which many of us we consider very immoral, such as adultery, which we can also think that the law should be very slow to notice, because of the interference in personal privacy and autonomy.

I think it's the opposite quadrant which is of greater relevance here. What would you consider to be not-at-all immoral acts which the law rightly forbids ?
The standard example would be driving on the left/ right side of the road.
Now, as a result of the law forbidding it it becomes immoral as an example of dangerous driving, but it would not count as dangerous driving if the law did not forbid it. Paying taxes is similar: it becomes immoral not to but only because the law requires it. I would argue theft is only immoral because social custom and law create property rights. In the absence of a law forbidding theft there are no property rights and therefore no theft.

Eliab of course mentioned letting ones dog foul the pavement.

I'm not sure why you think this is relevant. I'm sure you agree that refusing to serve someone merely because they're gay or black or Irish is not an not-at-all immoral act.

quote:
I'm having trouble parsing "socially divisive and damaging" as anything other than a statement of personal disapproval based on political conviction.
You say that as if statements of personal disapproval based on political conviction are somehow negligible.
Except that you keep making statements of personal approval or disapproval based on your political conviction. As if you expect to take them seriously.
For example:
quote:
I'm saying that the sort of utilitarianism that allows individuals no rights in its pursuit of the greater good of society is morally flawed.
That's a statement of personal disapproval based on political conviction.

quote:
I'm general I'd consider that the employee has waived their moral right to object to selling X when they sign a contract whereby the employer pays them for selling X.
That's a statement of personal disapproval based on political conviction.

From earlier in the thread:
quote:
I'm saying that any business owner has the moral right to choose what goods and services they will or won't sell in line with their own convictions. (Unless they have acquired some monopoly which imposes particular obligations).
A statement of personal approval based on your political convictions.

Perhaps you could explain what weight you think should be placed upon our statements of disapproval based upon our political convictions and whether you think we should place the same weight upon yours?

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Mr Cheesy,

Every time you ask about why a person in a minority would want to buy a cake from a prejudiced baker, you miss the point entirely.

What a person in a minority wants is to not have to check, at all, whether the baker is prejudiced.

The whole point is to utterly remove that question from the list of questions used when choosing a baker. Price, quality, location, range of products: these are all the things that people who don't fear being discriminated against use to choose a bakery.

Have you ever been refused service for any reason? Did it feel better when the reason wasn't anything to do with sexuality?

Unfortunately the reality of trading is that we are all refused service all of the time - people don't respond to emails, don't return calls, don't hive quotes, say that they can't do work they quoted for until some distant point in the future. I'd bet that almost anyone getting quotes for a cake will find at least one baker who refuses in one of these ways, it certainly happened to me recently when I was looking for a decorator.

Of course it is annoying, and it must be awful if absolutely nobody will trade with me because of something I cannot change about myself. But we are not in that situation. If some arse will not trade with me, I can find another dozen in the phonebook who will.

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I would argue theft is only immoral because social custom and law create property rights. In the absence of a law forbidding theft there are no property rights and therefore no theft.

I don't think I agree with this. If I spend all day gathering tasty berries and you sneak in to my hut and eat all my berries, I'd call that pretty immoral regardless of whether or not we have a society with a codified legal system. In exactly the same sense as murdering me would be immoral whether or not we have a legal system.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Have you ever been refused service for any reason? Did it feel better when the reason wasn't anything to do with sexuality?

Of course it bloody well does. If someone turns down my business because he's fully booked for the next several months, or because my job is too small for him to consider it worth bothering with, or because I'm trying to buy a wheelbarrow from a greengrocer, it's not personal. It's as bad as wanting to buy a pineapple, but discovering that there aren't any in the shops. C'est la vie.

If he turns down my business because of his opinions on my personal habits, it's worse. Would I feel worse if I was refused service because of my race or sexuality rather than my eyebrows? That, I imagine, would depend on whether I was regularly refused service or similarly discriminated against because of my race or sexuality. I assume here the world is not well supplied with eyebrow-haters.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Have you ever been refused service for any reason? Did it feel better when the reason wasn't anything to do with sexuality?

Why should it matter how it feels. Ask rather, does it contribute to creating and enforcing a permanent underclass with restricted freedoms and rights? It's almost like this is hard to understand or something.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I would argue theft is only immoral because social custom and law create property rights. In the absence of a law forbidding theft there are no property rights and therefore no theft.

I don't think I agree with this. If I spend all day gathering tasty berries and you sneak in to my hut and eat all my berries, I'd call that pretty immoral regardless of whether or not we have a society with a codified legal system. In exactly the same sense as murdering me would be immoral whether or not we have a legal system.
The words 'sneak', 'my hut', and 'my berries' seem to presuppose the conclusion. If I've just got back from a mammoth hunt and I've left the mammoth meat outside my hut for everyone to help themselves to, and I go into your hut while you're asleep to help myself to berries because tribe rules are that mammoth hunters may help themselves, then I haven't committed theft.

I'm using 'law' in the second sentence you quote as a shorthand for 'social custom or law' in the first. But unless the tribe rules are that berries that you've picked may not be disposed of without your permission and that you are at liberty to dispose of them as you see fit I don't think the situation you've described amounts to theft.
(There may be some sort of pre-social immorality involved in you not receiving the full reward for your labour. But that would equally apply to companies that make large profits while paying minimum wages to their workers.)

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Most of our societies have laws to protect minorities from the majority or from other majorities. I keep seeing this thread, and it depresses me that some of our countries do not have laws to prevent such terrible things.

We still have occasional cases like this, such as a couple refused a room a hotel because the front desk person decided to express their discrimination. They lost their job, the hotel company apologized on the front page of the newspaper and as a lead story on all local news, and the couple was offered compensation. Human rights concern us all, and are never negotiable. The couple chose to accept the outcome and not press the case; the provincial Human Right Commission typically awards $5-10,000 in such cases. As it should.

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
... Of course it is annoying, and it must be awful if absolutely nobody will trade with me because of something I cannot change about myself. But we are not in that situation. If some arse will not trade with me, I can find another dozen in the phonebook who will. ...

Look, refusal of service is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discrimination.

How about an experiment? When you go about all your daily activities tomorrow, keep track of how many places you go to that are NOT accessible to wheelchair / scooter users or people with disabilities. You might also want to note barriers like curbs, steps, sidewalk signs and furniture, machines or counters that are too high, etc. bathrooms that aren't accessible, etc. Then go find twelve accessible alternatives for each one using the phonebook.

Right now, the sidewalks and streets in my neighbourhood are covered with a terrifying mix of slush, hard-packed wet snow, and ice. I nearly wiped out twice this morning. What is an inconvenience to me is an insurmountable barrier to people who use mobility aids or have visual impairments. Even something as minor as whether a homeowner shovels and salts the sidewalk can have a discriminatory impact.

And look what happens when minority customers do get service: Black Americans unfairly targeted by banks before housing crisis, says ACLU

So no, we're not living in some magic universally accessible post-racial world just because there's only one lunch counter now. There's still lots and lots of real discrimination happening everywhere everyday - it's just not as obvious as "we don't serve your kind here".

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Mr Cheesy,

Every time you ask about why a person in a minority would want to buy a cake from a prejudiced baker, you miss the point entirely.

What a person in a minority wants is to not have to check, at all, whether the baker is prejudiced.

The whole point is to utterly remove that question from the list of questions used when choosing a baker. Price, quality, location, range of products: these are all the things that people who don't fear being discriminated against use to choose a bakery.

Have you ever been refused service for any reason? Did it feel better when the reason wasn't anything to do with sexuality?

Unfortunately the reality of trading is that we are all refused service all of the time - people don't respond to emails, don't return calls, don't hive quotes, say that they can't do work they quoted for until some distant point in the future. I'd bet that almost anyone getting quotes for a cake will find at least one baker who refuses in one of these ways, it certainly happened to me recently when I was looking for a decorator.

Of course it is annoying, and it must be awful if absolutely nobody will trade with me because of something I cannot change about myself. But we are not in that situation. If some arse will not trade with me, I can find another dozen in the phonebook who will.

And again you miss the point utterly. I talk about the questions that I have to ask before seeking service, and you jump right to talking about whether or not I've ever not been served, ever not been able to immediately get what I want from the first person I ask.

Read what I wrote again. Does it say anything about actually being served? No.

And you are also being remarkably obtuse by suggesting that the other "dozen in the phonebook" all will offer exactly the same range, at the same price, at the same quality as the one I chose in the first place.

[ 28. December 2016, 22:51: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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Personally I'm not even talking about bakeries. I'm talking about churches.

Do you know why I don't go to church any more? A huge part of the reason is that I got sick of having to use "how will they respond to my sexuality" as an overriding criteria in choosing a church to go to.

Because I wanted to choose a church based on more general theology and outlook, on sermon style, on music (I'm passionate about music), on demographics.

But no, according to Mr Cheesy, everything is fine if my otherwise ideal church is homophobic, because there are another dozen less compatible churches around. It doesn't MATTER that the church I did find had sermons that bored me witless to the point of dozing off, everything is fine and dandy because they welcomed the gay guy.

And his response to this will be that hey, everyone has to compromise and not get their ideal. [Roll Eyes]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Louise
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hosting
Can people not personally disparage each other on this board? That belongs in Hell. Please make sure you know what board you are on before hitting post.
thanks,
L
Dead Horses Host
hosting off

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
But unless the tribe rules are that berries that you've picked may not be disposed of without your permission and that you are at liberty to dispose of them as you see fit I don't think the situation you've described amounts to theft.

My case is that "my labour, my stuff" is the default, in the absence of any extra agreements. Now, if you and I are members of the same tribe and we have a rule that we share the berries and mammoth, then sure, you eating the berries is legally OK (although scoffing them all hardly seems the thing even so). But that's introducing an extra set of communal agreements. And if you're not a member of the same tribe - if you're a member of a neighbouring tribe with whom I do not have any kind of communal sharing agreement, then you're a thief. Or perhaps committing an act of war against my tribe, which is basically thievery whilst wearing crowns.

quote:

But that would equally apply to companies that make large profits while paying minimum wages to their workers.)

If you are the local baron and you ride around on your horse with your armed bravos taking all the crops I grow, and allowing me to share the slops with the pigs, then the fact that your behaviour is legal (because you make the local law) doesn't stop it from being morally theft. I'm happy to apply the word to more contemporary examples, too.
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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Have you ever been refused service for any reason? Did it feel better when the reason wasn't anything to do with sexuality?

I've been turned down for a few jobs when I seriously worried it was because of my skin colour. In one instance I found out afterwards that it very likely wasn't. I did actually feel quite a lot better about that.

Not getting that people who are discriminated against feel much worse about the denial of service because of the discrimination is really not getting a huge part of the minority experience.

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ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Soror Magna
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Back in my grad student days, I approached several potential supervisors. One told me he wasn't taking any new students because he didn't have any funding. He took on four new students that year - all male. It's certainly possible that he found four new students with full external funding for his area of research in one year, and they just happened to all be male.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
So no, we're not living in some magic universally accessible post-racial world just because there's only one lunch counter now. There's still lots and lots of real discrimination happening everywhere everyday - it's just not as obvious as "we don't serve your kind here".

And from the "Shopping While Black/Brown" experience, an (alleged) local problem:

"Lawsuit: East Bay Versace store had ‘code’ for black customers" (SF Gate).

I have no idea if the allegations are true, but they certainly fit with the well-known SWB/B problem.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18156 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's perfectly simple: Russ will argue for either zero protection OR total protection, because the one thing Russ doesn't want is a list of protected kinds of people...

Because of

- a view of morality which includes the idea that if an act is wrong when A does it to B then it's wrong when B does it to A

- combined with a view of law which includes the idea that laws should be just, should reflect the moral rights and wrongs of the situation, neither penalizing a morally innocent activity nor giving a positive legal right to an activity which inflicts moral wrongs on other people.

English law, if I have it right, works on the basis that everything is legally permitted unless specifically legally prohibited.

And I agree with Eliab that the law should confine itself to regulating the public realm and needs to have regard to practicality. But that's an argument for the law to do less than full justice, not more.

Orfeo suggests that the law has moral authority just because it's the law.

To an extent it has, only because we are fortunate to live in a society of mostly just laws rather than arbitrary laws that reflect the whims of those in power.

If we lived in a different sort of state, where yesterday Glorious Leader was struck by a thought about the nobility of pandas, so today every bookshop is legally obliged to sell books on pandas, and it's not only illegal to say anything bad about pandas but illegal to refuse to praise pandas whenever the opportunity arises, then maybe we'd have different feelings about law.

In other words, law as a whole has moral authority only insofar as it is just.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's perfectly simple: Russ will argue for either zero protection OR total protection, because the one thing Russ doesn't want is a list of protected kinds of people...

Because of

- a view of morality which includes the idea that if an act is wrong when A does it to B then it's wrong when B does it to A

BULLSHIT because not serving gay people to the same level as straight doesn't harm the Christian baker.
quote:

- combined with a view of law which includes the idea that laws should be just,

BULLSHIT because you are not asking for a just law but an unjust one.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
- a view of morality which includes the idea that if an act is wrong when A does it to B then it's wrong when B does it to A

Even if that was an accurate characterization of the situation it would help if you could decide if you are arguing for the act to be legal for all or illegal for all. I can't work out which position to argue with.

Having said that what you describe is in fact the law in the UK. It's illegal if black people discriminate against white people and illegal if gay people discriminate against straight people.

What you want is something else. You want a law where any categorization of A vs B is treated in the same way. Big noses, furry feet, rudeness... presumably drunken disorderly behaviour is just another categorization that should be according the same non-discriminatory rights as being black.

It's not a remotely logical position.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... - combined with a view of law which includes the idea that laws should be just, should reflect the moral rights and wrongs of the situation, neither penalizing a morally innocent activity nor giving a positive legal right to an activity which inflicts moral wrongs on other people. ...

Whose morals? We've been through this over and over ... Who determines what is "just"? Who decides what activities are "morally innocent" or "moral wrongs"? Why do should one person's "morality" be more privileged that everyone else's beliefs and values?


quote:
... If we lived in a different sort of state, where yesterday Glorious Leader was struck by a thought about the nobility of pandas, so today every bookshop is legally obliged to sell books on pandas, and it's not only illegal to say anything bad about pandas but illegal to refuse to praise pandas whenever the opportunity arises, then maybe we'd have different feelings about law. ...
Instead, you offer us the Glorious Bookseller, who decides who and who should not be able to buy a book about decorating cakes for panda weddings, based on ... what?

You're arguing for a state where every business owner is a Glorious Leader, each reigning supreme over their own teeny little domain, where employees' and customers' opinions or beliefs about cakes and pandas are irrelevant. There's a word for that: feudalism.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
But unless the tribe rules are that berries that you've picked may not be disposed of without your permission and that you are at liberty to dispose of them as you see fit I don't think the situation you've described amounts to theft.

My case is that "my labour, my stuff" is the default, in the absence of any extra agreements.
I don't see any particularly good reason for thinking there is any default. Especially where that default seems to tie into modern individualism.

I'm reminded of a scene in The Secret River by Kate Grenville, in which a couple who've been transported to Australia try farming, and find some aborigines picking their crop. It is really not obvious I think that the aborigines are by their lights or some culturally neutral lights stealing. (Which is not to say that the English couple are wholly in the wrong.)

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
it would help if you could decide if you are arguing for the act to be legal for all or illegal for all. I can't work out which position to argue with.

I'm suggesting that you work out or each particular act whether you can hand-on-heart say that that act is morally wrong regardless of the people involved and regardless of the motivation.

And if you can say yes, that's morally wrong regardless, then you've a case for making that act illegal for everyone (subject to considerations of public realm, practicality etc).

And if you can't say that it's morally wrong regardless then your objection is either because of who's losing out (ie. special pleading on behalf of those that you have a sympathy with. Even if that's a good sympathy to have).

Or your objection is because of what the person is thinking when they do the act. Thoughtcrime! Real moral crimes don't automatically become morally OK if done for a motive you approve of.

in either case that's not a good basis for a law.

quote:
what you describe is in fact the law in the UK. It's illegal if black people discriminate against white people and illegal if gay people discriminate against straight people.
You're right that we've been around this loop before. So I know this. And you know that I see this even-handed version as clearly better than the alternative one-sided version, and respect you the more for advocating the even-handed version.

The post that I was responding to referred to protected groups of people. Not everyone is as even-handed as you are, as innocent of special pleading as you are.

quote:

presumably drunken disorderly behaviour is just another categorization that should be according the same non-discriminatory rights as being black.

No. I've agreed that it's reasonable for a merchant to insist on normal polite behaviour in his shop, and a policy of refusal of service on those grounds is not the same thing as refusing service because of who the customer is.

Tomorrow I shall be sober...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Well Russ, congratulations. You've just removed self-defence from the law, because a person's motive when killing a person is (according to you) irrelevant to the question of whether killing is an immoral act.

For heaven's sake, man, even the Old Testament manages to set out actions that are either okay or not okay depending on motive and circumstances. Your blanket propositions are taking the development of ethics backwards several thousand years.

[ 30. December 2016, 01:41: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Oh, and law has authority. I don't think I've argued that it has MORAL authority because my whole point has been that throwing that word around obscures things badly.

I have pointed out, though, that in my view the Bible quite clearly tells Christians to have respect for earthly authority. Whether individual Christians actually make that part of their moral code appears to be rather variable. "When it suits them" is a common answer, which in fact means "No".

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
- a view of morality which includes the idea that if an act is wrong when A does it to B then it's wrong when B does it to A

An abused wife who hits her husband back once is just as wrong as the husband who attacks her daily?

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Goldfish Stew
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I've tried very hard to understand, and the best I can make out is that Russ does believe in having protected characteristics, it's just more important to him that the characteristic being protected is bigotry - which appears in his view more worthy of protection than any other characteristic.

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Goldfish Stew:
I've tried very hard to understand, and the best I can make out is that Russ does believe in having protected characteristics, it's just more important to him that the characteristic being protected is bigotry - which appears in his view more worthy of protection than any other characteristic.

Close. It's that Christian business owners' right to impose their "consciences"/beliefs on their employees and customers is of a higher order than their potential customers' rights to get cake or books, or their employees' consciences. Or in other words, preserving the privilege of straight white Christians takes precedence over extending the rights they enjoy to others.

[ 30. December 2016, 03:18: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Goldfish Stew
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So not so much Po-tay-to/Po-tah-to as Potato/Jersey Benne*?

Noted

*insert local potato varietal here for comedic effect

[ 30. December 2016, 06:09: Message edited by: Goldfish Stew ]

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Jane R
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lilbuddha:
quote:
There is this idea, especially among Christians, that the good inside can prevail. This is a fair amount of bullshit.
Also unbiblical. There are any number of texts I could quote if I was into proof-texting to show that the Bible says humans are 'inclined to evil as the sparks fly upwards'. Why would Jesus have gone to all the trouble of dying and being raised again, if people could bootstrap themselves up to virtue without God's help?

I conclude that many so-called 'Bible-believing Christians' have never actually read the Bible. Either that, or they have fallen into the trap of thinking that the Old Testament is more important than the New Testament, because it's longer.

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Close. It's that Christian business owners' right to impose their "consciences"/beliefs on their employees and customers is of a higher order than their potential customers' rights to get cake or books, or their employees' consciences.

Close. But not just Christians - any business owner. Because it's not an imposition, it's the indirect impact of a legitimate choice.

Every owner of a small business decides which products to sell.

Employees get paid for selling those products, not for choosing whether or not they'd like to do so.

Potential customers choose to buy or not to buy, from the selection offered.

That's how retailing works. Or do they do things differently on your planet ?

If some business owners choose to allow their customers or their employees to influence their decisions on what products to sell, they are of course free to do so.

And the same applies regardless of who is black or white or straight or gay.

No customer has a moral right to demand that the baker sells a particular type of doughnut. And no employee has a moral right to be paid for not doing the job.

If I were inclined to guess at what you "really" think, I would guess that you don't like the traditional Christian view of homosexuality. To such an extent that you see any choice that is informed by that view as a morally illegitimate choice. And you want to use the power of the state to prevent such choices.

So people have freedom of speech, unless they say that. (You might for example think that state-supported radio and tv shouldn't give airtime to that view). Businesses can choose what to sell, unless their choice reflects that view, in which case they can't.

You want a new commandment, that overrides accepted rights and freedoms.

But generally I'm not in favour of guessing what people are really thinking. People can get it spectacularly wrong. Including me.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3063 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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So all those changes that businesses are encouraged to make to allow access to wheelchairs, buggies and those who can't hear properly or struggle to walk are just unnecessary? There is no need to make places accessible or enable the elderly to be independent? Disability is one of those protected characteristics under the law. And businesses are reluctant to make the expensive changes to their the premises to help the disabled as there is no obvious financial benefit.

The Bible has more than enough verses about needing to help the weak and helping people help themselves - so disabled rights are morally right by the Biblical code.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If some business owners choose to allow their customers or their employees to influence their decisions on what products to sell, they are of course free to do so.

Um, I think it's a damn safe bet that CUSTOMERS influence decisions on what products to sell. At least, for any business that's successful.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If some business owners choose to allow their customers or their employees to influence their decisions on what products to sell, they are of course free to do so.

Um, I think it's a damn safe bet that CUSTOMERS influence decisions on what products to sell. At least, for any business that's successful.
Well, no. Retail isn't only customer driven. Perhaps not even primarily.
But this is irrelevant to this discussion.
Bottom line is Russ is arguing for the very anti-Jesus right to discriminate, to cause harm.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Or your objection is because of what the person is thinking when they do the act. Thoughtcrime!

There was a previous time we did this discussion where it was pointed out that intention can make the difference between manslaughter and murder. And as Orfeo points out, between self-defence and manslaughter. Thoughtcrimes?

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And you know that I see this even-handed version as clearly better than the alternative one-sided version, and respect you the more for advocating the even-handed version.

Well kinda. But I see many people talking about protecting minorities as using a slightly loose expression. Whenever I've pointed out that what I'm talking about is characteristics rather than groups, no-one has challenged that and said they are in favour of blacks being protected against discrimination by whites but not the other way around.

Some are in favour of affirmative action, of course, but I think most would prefer affirmative action is done in certain specified situations, not simply an option for any business owner to avail themselves of.

So those who talk of protecting minorities are really not very far from my position. What is very far from my position is the idea that it wouldn't be moral to protect black people, the victims of slavery, Jim Crow and economic deprivation, or to protect gay people, regular victims of hate crime, unless we can also protect all manner of theoretical groups such as those with bushy eyebrows.

(And see, I've dropped into the shorthand of talking about groups rather than characteristics - primarily because in this argument there is really very little mileage in pleading for empathy based on the vicissitudes of white people or straight people.)

The idea that one accepts the impossibility of equality legislation on the basis of bushy eyebrows is illogical and immoral and seems to me to carry a complete lack of empathy for the minority experience.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
So people have freedom of speech, unless they say that.

Can you point to anywhere in the thread where someone has implied lack of freedom of speech? (By the way these challenges are stacking up).

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
intention can make the difference between manslaughter and murder. And as Orfeo points out, between self-defence and manslaughter.

Committing murder with a motivation of self-defence sounds like getting one's retaliation in first...

I feel I lack the words to adequately distinguish intention (in the sense that you're quite rightly using it) and motivation (in the sense I'm using it. But I think there is a difference there.

quote:
no-one has challenged that and said they are in favour of blacks being protected against discrimination by whites but not the other way around.
I thought I detected earlier that people are in favour of conservative Christian bookshops being forced to order pro-gay literature but not gay pride bookshops forced to order pro-conservative Christian literature.

But I could be mistaken...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
No customer has a moral right to demand that the baker sells a particular type of doughnut. And no employee has a moral right to be paid for not doing the job.

And nobody on this thread or the Hell thread has suggested otherwise. This is a straw windmill of your own tilting.

quote:
If I were inclined to guess at what you "really" think, I would guess that you don't like the traditional Christian view of homosexuality.
Clearly you are so inclined, so that "if I were inclined" is bullshit. And you know what? It doesn't matter what I think about homosexuality. We're not discussing that. We're discussing the rights of customers to be served on an equal basis as all other customers.

quote:
To such an extent that you see any choice that is informed by that view as a morally illegitimate choice. And you want to use the power of the state to prevent such choices.
You mean I want to force people to have gay sex? What did I ever say that would lead you to think that?

quote:
Businesses can choose what to sell, unless their choice reflects that view, in which case they can't.
Again with the straw windmill. If they choose to sell cakes with words on them, then they have chosen to sell cakes with words on them. Choosing not to sell some words while selling others raises ethical/legal questions. This isn't rocket science. Don't make it harder than it is.

quote:
But generally I'm not in favour of guessing what people are really thinking. People can get it spectacularly wrong. Including me.
Right. So we make a law that says if you're going to sell cakes with words on them, you don't get to pick and choose what words. No more guessing what people are thinking. Problem solved. No?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I thought I detected earlier that people are in favour of conservative Christian bookshops being forced to order pro-gay literature but not gay pride bookshops forced to order pro-conservative Christian literature.

But I could be mistaken...

Yeah, you are. Again. Specialist bookshops can sell specialized books and only books of that speciality. We've been over this. Over and over and over ... kosher delis can sell only kosher foods, women's clothiers can sell only women's clothes, and yes, Christian bookstores can sell only Christian books ... how many more times do we have to repeat this?

We're talking about the case of a general interest bookstore owned by a "conservative Christian" who will order books on some topics but not others. Or, if you prefer, a general interest bookstore owned by a lesbian, etc. And more specifically, when those topics are representative of a protected characteristic such as sex, race, disability, religion, etc.

But never mind that - do tell us more about how your "morals" have led you to conclude that self-defense is immoral ... [Killing me]

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If I were inclined to guess at what you "really" think, I would guess that you don't like the traditional Christian view of homosexuality. To such an extent that you see any choice that is informed by that view as a morally illegitimate choice. And you want to use the power of the state to prevent such choices.

This seems awfully close to Bulverism, a logical fallacy given that name by C.S. Lewis. "You're only saying that because you believe X."

What I want the power of the state to do is to enforce equal treatment of all citizens by shopkeepers. I think you know that by now, or should. If the bigoted shopkeeper then goes home and throws his gay daughter to the curb, that's not something the law can do anything about, nor should it, although he'll answer to it before the throne of God.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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