homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools
Thread closed  Thread closed


Post new thread  
Thread closed  Thread closed
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Dead Horses   » And there's another gay bakery case (Page 18)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  ...  29  30  31 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: And there's another gay bakery case
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

We are agreed that in proscribing an action the law need not take subjective guilt into account in whether or not to rule that the law has been broken. It may or may not take that into account in sentencing.

I think it should and does. Someone who through insanity is deemed not morally responsible for their crime may be locked up (to protect society) but not punished.

quote:
With regards to whether an act should be illegal it may look at the actual harm done.
Physically harming someone is, other things being equal, both morally wrong and in the public sphere and thus something the law should protect people from.

"Harm" in the looser sense of detriment does not of itself a wrong action make. My business may compete with yours in the marketplace. I may harm your interests by telling people your guilty secrets.

If my intention in doing those things is to hurt and damage you, then they may be moral wrongs that are on my conscience, even if they are acts that I have a right to do. (guilty mind but not guilty act).

quote:
We have established that it may look at the intention of the agent in establishing whether or not a crime has been committed.
If a kleptomaniac takes your property because he can't help it, then - like the insane man - a wrongful act has been committed and the perpetrator may be locked up to protect society but shouldn't be punished. (Guilty act but not guilty mind).

Whether you say that's a crime or not is a matter of the meaning of the word.

From works of fiction rather than any legal experience, I understand that one can plead Not Guilty by reason of insanity, so your usage is the correct one, and a crime requires both guilty act and guilty mind.

quote:
we have established that there are good reasons for the law to bar discrimination on the grounds of sexuality which do not apply to eyebrows or drunken behaviour.
Yes drunken behaviour is a different case, because this is temporary and can reasonably be assumed to be voluntary.

But fat or bignosed or just plain ugly are - like sexual orientation - essentially involuntary and semi- permanent characteristics.

Eyebrows may be considered a matter of personal grooming and thus something of an inbetween case. How long you wear your eyebrows is under your control. I might be persuadable on the matter of eyebrows...

And I don't recall that we've established a good reason - what should be illegal behaviour towards whom seems to be the point at issue.

And one of my points is that "discrimination" is too imprecise a term, with three distinct but related meanings.

quote:

We have established that everyone is agreed that if the law bars discrimation against gay people it should also bar discrimation against bisexual people and straight people.

Yes. If the law bars refusal of service to gay people it should bar refusal of service to straight people, because people should have equal rights under the law.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... Moral rights, timeless and universal, are something we can meaningfully argue about....

If moral rights are timeless and universal, why would there be an argument?

Anyway, please do give us the list of timeless, universal moral rights. And the limits to those rights, if any.

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Well, there is the inalienable right to alienate.
The right discriminate by hiding behind your God.
The right to pretend equality whilst maintaining discrimination.
The right to obfuscate instead of address concerns.

--------------------
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

Posts: 16372 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
you'd like them to come up with some set of coherent axioms from which to derive a moral law that requires Mr. Keeper to serve Mr. Blade in his shop, does not require Mr. Blade and his husband to pretend to be straight when walking past the Bigot family and their 35 easily-offended children...

...neither of us is entitled, either legally or morally, to disfavour Mr. Blade or Mr. Tourettes because of it.

Some set of coherent moral principles, yes. Because that's how you tell who's special pleading and who's worth listening to.
I'll bite. Someone who is arguing from a position of privilege for extension of the hegemony of a privileged class is not worth listening to. Someone who is asking to extend the rights enjoyed by the privileged to people to whom the privileged have hitherto denied such rights is not special pleading.

HTH.

[splng]

[ 04. January 2017, 02:59: Message edited by: mousethief ]

--------------------
God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62784 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
you'd like them to come up with some set of coherent axioms from which to derive a moral law that requires Mr. Keeper to serve Mr. Blade in his shop, does not require Mr. Blade and his husband to pretend to be straight when walking past the Bigot family and their 35 easily-offended children...

...neither of us is entitled, either legally or morally, to disfavour Mr. Blade or Mr. Tourettes because of it.

Some set of coherent moral principles, yes. Because that's how you tell who's special pleading and who's worth listening to.
I'll bite. Someone who is arguing from a position of privilege for extension of the hegemony of a privileged class is not worth listening to. Someone who is asking to extend the rights enjoyed by the privileged to people to whom the privileged have hitherto denied such rights is not special pleading.

However, asking for the right to discriminate based upon one interpretation of your religion's words is.

--------------------
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

Posts: 16372 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

 - Posted      Profile for Eliab   Email Eliab   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If the law bars refusal of service to gay people it should bar refusal of service to straight people, because people should have equal rights under the law.

See, this is where you are going wrong.

Anti-discrimination law does not prohibit the refusal of service to gay people. It prohibits the refusal of service to anyone if that refusal is on the grounds of sexuality.

Your belief (or insistence) that the law is, or should be, blind to motivations and looks only at harmful acts is simply wrong. This is completely about motives. The law is saying, in effect, you CAN do this act (serve/not serve, employ/not employ) but you MAY NOT do or refuse to do it for this set of wrong motives. The reason why the law does that is not to give a particular group of people some sort of special privilege - it is to protect a vulnerable group from being excluded from services and jobs because of factors which the majority basically never have to worry about.

Why do you think it's a bad idea to try to protect a vulnerable group in this way? What purpose are you trying to achieve with the suggestion that anti-discrimination laws should be abolished? In what way would that make our societies better? The only thing you've suggested so far is that it would make the law more clearly based on coherent principles. Which is garbage. The law in this area, at least in E&W, is not noticeable less coherent that any other area of law (and better than most), and is based on moral principles that everyone on this thread except you seems to find easy enough to grasp.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4563 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And I don't recall that we've established a good reason - what should be illegal behaviour towards whom seems to be the point at issue.

Let me rephrase.
Would you agree that we have put forward principles that establish why the law protects some characteristics and not others? And that you haven't so far found an inconsistency in it?
Such that charges of only protecting favoured groups do not apply?

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

Posts: 10225 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Leaf
Shipmate
# 14169

 - Posted      Profile for Leaf     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Maybe the bridging word between morality and law is harm. The most basic morality - one that the religious and non-religious can agree on - concerns harm, as in The Golden Rule. I guess this presupposes basic empathy too: as I would not want to be harmed, I would not wish others to be harmed either.

We morally allow harm when doing so will prevent a greater harm from occurring. Punishment for a past harm demonstrates to others that "this is not a cool thing to do" and so is a form of prevention.

In this particular case, Russ, you would have to show that the harm experienced by the baker in printing these words outweighs the harm experienced by the customer denied receiving these words.

The baker might experience harm in printing these words: a sense of harm to integrity, to personal pride and independence, and to reputation with other like-minded people.

A customer denied receiving these words experiences harm too: to integrity, to personal pride and independence. But the harm goes past the customer and carries on into the community. Because the customer is a member of a stigmatized group, with a history of major harms committed against them, the minor harm of being denied this service carries the potential of opening the door to those greater harms occurring again. This has happened often enough that, in order to prevent major harms from occurring to the customer and other members, that consideration outweighs the minor harm to the baker.

People have been harmed for being homosexual. This harm did not cause them to change to being heterosexual; it caused repression, shame and suffering, and an unwarranted feeling of superiority in non-homosexual people. Since people do not cause harm by being homosexual, it is not morally right to cause them harm for that reason.

Being denied this service is a minor harm. No one's going to die from not getting a cake. But it has been demonstrated plenty in history that minor harms against stigmatized groups can turn into major harms.

People who worry about "Thoughtcrime!" do not understand that the government doesn't care what you think. You can think all manner of vile thoughts inside your own head. The government cares what you DO in the public sphere - and running a business open to the public puts it in the public sphere. Doing a small harm to a member of a stigmatized group is the equivalent of vandalism: it's a small harm that often leads to greater harm.

It doesn't matter if you "have sympathy for" a stigmatized group. If you have the capacity for empathy as a basic moral principle, then you might. But in matters of justice, it doesn't matter. If I am ordered to pay a fine or a settlement, it doesn't matter whether I like the judge or the plaintiff. I have to pay what is owed.

Posts: 2744 | From: the electrical field | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Leaf:

Beautifully said.

--------------------
God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62784 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If the law bars refusal of service to gay people it should bar refusal of service to straight people, because people should have equal rights under the law.

Anti-discrimination law does not prohibit the refusal of service to gay people. It prohibits the refusal of service to anyone if that refusal is on the grounds of sexuality.

Yes. But the "social damage" argument being put forward for it is an argument for officially-recognised minorities to have a protected status in law that is denied to both unrecognised-minorities and the normal majority.

If that argument were valid it would justify people not being equal under the law. People should be equal under the law. Therefore that argument is not valid.

quote:

Your belief (or insistence) that the law is, or should be, blind to motivations and looks only at harmful acts is simply wrong. This is completely about motives. The law is saying, in effect, you CAN do this act (serve/not serve, employ/not employ) but you MAY NOT do or refuse to do it for this set of wrong motives.

Perhaps you could give me a couple of examples of well-established uncontroversial laws where an otherwise harmless act becomes illegal when done with bad motive ?

Where the law somehow doesn't have any difficulty in proving beyond reasonable doubt what someone's motive is ?

Just so I can see what other types of law you think this is like. Or is discrimination law a law unto itself that is not to be judged by any standard ?

But it's not actually about good and bad motives. Because declining to abet or support what one considers to be immoral acts is not a bad motive. Whereas bullying is a bad motive.

When you object to the sin of "discrimination", is your objection really to the action ? or the motive ? or the resulting inequality of outcome ?

quote:

Why do you think it's a bad idea to try to protect a vulnerable group in this way? What purpose are you trying to achieve with the suggestion that anti-discrimination laws should be abolished?

I want to see just laws that provide a moral framework for people of different religious convictions to be able to live together in peace in a plural society.

So the extreme vegetarians (and yes I count that as a religious conviction even if no church is involved) should be allowed the freedom of conscience to run shops that don't sell meat and don't sell books that mention meat etc. As a right.

They shouldn't be allowed to force anyone else not to eat meat. But they should be allowed to both express their disapproval and limit their own actions accordingly.

And if those of us with a bacon orientation have to occasionally make do with a cheese sandwich, too bad.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Enough with the bushy eyebrows. Let's say Mr. Shop Keeper is grossed out by the sight of people using wheelchairs. Can he bar wheelchair users from his shop?

Also, you seem to have mistaken freedom of association for some sort of "get out of my sight" authority. It's not. It's the right to associate, not to drive other people away. In any case, you pretty much give that up when you open a public business, unless it's a membership model.

eta fix typo

[ 05. January 2017, 03:14: Message edited by: Soror Magna ]

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If the law bars refusal of service to gay people it should bar refusal of service to straight people, because people should have equal rights under the law.

Anti-discrimination law does not prohibit the refusal of service to gay people. It prohibits the refusal of service to anyone if that refusal is on the grounds of sexuality.

Yes. But the "social damage" argument being put forward for it is an argument for officially-recognised minorities to have a protected status in law that is denied to both unrecognised-minorities and the normal majority.
[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]


It was an example. The reason it was an example about homosexual people is because it is harder to find an example of discrimination against heterosexual people. It's right there in the quote in your post:

quote:
Anti-discrimination law does not prohibit the refusal of service to gay people. It prohibits the refusal of service to anyone if that refusal is on the grounds of sexuality.

(emphasis mine)

It's not about groups, it's about characteristics. The groups are examples. Do I need to repeat it more slowly? It. Was. An. Example. It's. Not. About. Groups. It's. About. Characteristics.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says, "Everyone has the right to equality before the law and to equal protection of the law without discrimination because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age or sex." It's clearly not a list of protected groups; it's a list of protected characteristics.

That's why we don't have to search for "unrecognized minorities". The law protects people of any sexual orientation, including heterosexuals. It protects people of any race, including white people. And yeah, some groups are fortunate enough that they generally don't need that protection. That's privilege.

And who exactly is the "normal majority"? Is white normal? Not on this planet. Is male normal? Women are usually the majority of the population.

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

 - Posted      Profile for Eliab   Email Eliab   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
But the "social damage" argument being put forward for it is an argument for officially-recognised minorities to have a protected status in law that is denied to both unrecognised-minorities and the normal majority.

If that argument were valid it would justify people not being equal under the law. People should be equal under the law. Therefore that argument is not valid.

Nonsense, for the reasons given by many other people already.

Everyone is protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and sexuality. The fact that I, as a straight, white, male almost certainly won't encounter any discrimination against me this year, whereas most black people, gay people and women will, does not mean that the law is giving them special treatment.

quote:
Perhaps you could give me a couple of examples of well-established uncontroversial laws where an otherwise harmless act becomes illegal when done with bad motive ?
Harassment. Unfair dismissal. Unlawful eviction. Applications for planning permission. Forgery. Duties of company directors. Duties of executors and trustees. Sale of jointly owned property. Provision for family and dependents in a will.

And that's a list that took me less time to think of than it took to type - other lawyers could add dozens more examples.

The idea that an act can be actionable if done with a particular motive, but not with another, isn't at all new or unusual in law. It's commonplace.

quote:
Where the law somehow doesn't have any difficulty in proving beyond reasonable doubt what someone's motive is ?
Proving anything in a courtroom can be difficult. So what?

quote:
Or is discrimination law a law unto itself that is not to be judged by any standard ?
Like many sorts of law, anti-discrimination law is based on recognising a social harm, and seeking to provide a remedy.

The questions that apply I think apply are the same as for any other similar attempt (with my answers - do you disagree?):

Is the harm being addressed one that is properly in the realm of public concern? (yes)

Is the harm one that we ought to discourage? (yes)

Is the law effective - not perfect - in addressing at least some part of that harm? (almost certainly)

Is the cost of having the law in terms of resources, restriction of action, burden on social and judicial institutions, and risk of wrong decisions outweighed by the benefits of having it? (very likely).

quote:
When you object to the sin of "discrimination", is your objection really to the action ? or the motive ? or the resulting inequality of outcome ?
I think the "sin" - if we are moving from legal to theological language - of discrimination is one of injustice and lack of compassion. As a sin, it is a matter of the heart, the secrets of which are known to God. Therefore discrimination can be sinful whether or not harm is caused - it is a sin to desire unjustified harm to another.

The law is properly involved when an unjust action causes harm of the sort which can justly be addressed by law.

I do not understand what your difficulty is with this. Are you saying that discrimination is not unjust? Or that it's not harmful?

quote:
I want to see just laws that provide a moral framework for people of different religious convictions to be able to live together in peace in a plural society.
OK.

Then your stated position is utterly stupid.

Example:

Alex has the task of deciding who to hire for a senior management role. There are two candidates, Brian and Carol. Both could do the job well.

Absent any further information, it is not an unjust, immoral or sinful act to employ Brian and not Carol. It is not an unjust, immoral or sinful act to employ Carol and not Brian.

It follows that unless we allow ourselves to look at Alex's motives, there is not wrongful act in not giving Brian the job because he's gay, or not employing Carol because she's black. Therefore in your ideal "plural" society, Alex would be doing nothing legally wrong in making the decision on that basis, because the act itself, employing one person and not another, is not inherently objectionable. Indeed, it would save everyone time and effort if the job description stated outright "coloureds and/or queers need not apply".

Suppose Alex claims that the promoting the separation of the races and/or loathing for homosexuals is a God-given duty, and that "forcing" an employer to consider black and gay applicants is a breach of religious freedom? Does that make it any less unjust, harmful and damaging?

A plural society should certainly value religious freedom. That doesn't been that "God told me to" is a legitimate excuse for discrimination any more than it is for any other civil or criminal wrong.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4563 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Everyone is protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and sexuality. The fact that I, as a straight, white, male almost certainly won't encounter any discrimination against me this year, whereas most black people, gay people and women will, does not mean that the law is giving them special treatment.

I had understood that you were making the argument that refusing service to a man with a big nose because of his big nose is a matter that is too trivial to concern the law. But that because of a history of injustice to black people, the same act committed against a man with a black skin because of his black skin has wider social consequences and constitutes a significant objective harm to society, and is therefore rightly illegal.

Did I misunderstand you ?

Seems to me that if you believed that logic, you would conclude that refusing service to you because you're a man is a trivial act that should not be illegal, because there is no history of discrimination against men for being men.

But that would mean having some classes of people with more rights than others. And you rightly don't want that.

So instead you favour this compromise that there's no coherent argument for ?

quote:
quote:
Perhaps you could give me a couple of examples of well-established uncontroversial laws where an otherwise harmless act becomes illegal when done with bad motive ?
Harassment. Unfair dismissal. Unlawful eviction. Applications for planning permission. Forgery. Duties of company directors. Duties of executors and trustees. Sale of jointly owned property. Provision for family and dependents in a will.
You're too generous - I ask for two and you give more than I have time to get my head around.

OK here goes.

Harassment. I don't see where you're coming from here. Harassment is the wrong that I'd be doing you if I ring you up several times a day to remind you that you owe me some money and ask when I'll be paid. That's not wrong because of bad motive. Seeking repayment is a legitimate aim.

Or for another example, if you stalk a young lady, follow her around, hang around outside her window trying to get a glimpse of her, then she can claim against you for harassment.

Doesn't matter whether your motive is unrequited love, a warped sense of humour, or a sinister attempt at psychological warfare. What matters is how she sees it.

I don't see this as either about motive or any sort of template for discrimination law.

Unfair dismissal. There's a good motive for unfair dismissal that makes it legally OK to dismiss someone unfairly ? Of course not.

But unfair dismissal is potentially a much better template for discrimination law.

Losing a job may well be a significant harm to an individual. It's unfair if it's done for reasons that are irrelevant to the needs of the business. If your firm decides either that you're a lousy lawyer or that they don't need to employ a lawyer anymore, that's legitimate, because it's relevant to your employment. If they don't like the way you do your hair, or your big nose, or anything else that's about you personally rather than the job that you do, that's irrelevant and dismissing you for those reasons is unfair.

Again it's not about motive. If the CEO closes down the legal department ostensibly as a business strategy decision but actually because he hates the way you walk, that's his decision to make.

Not morally right of course. But as you say it's the public realm act and the public stated reason that the law deals with, not the inner workings of his soul.

quote:
I think the "sin" - if we are moving from legal to theological language - of discrimination is one of injustice and lack of compassion. As a sin, it is a matter of the heart, the secrets of which are known to God. Therefore discrimination can be sinful whether or not harm is caused - it is a sin to desire unjustified harm to another.
I think you've put that very well.

Because it's not a sin to desire harm to another that is just, i.e. proportionate. If you punish someone, or desire the State to do it for you, you wish them just enough harm to cause them to mend their ways and stop doing the wrong thing that you think they were doing.

quote:
Are you saying that discrimination is not unjust? Or that it's not harmful?
I think I'm saying that it's not a well-defined thing.

That there are acts that we might describe as discrimination that are harmful and acts that we might describe as discrimination that are trivial.

That there are acts that we might describe as discrimination that are unjust and acts that we might describe as discrimination that are within the legitimate moral rights of the individual making the decision.

quote:
That doesn't been that "God told me to" is a legitimate excuse for discrimination any more than it is for any other civil or criminal wrong.
I agree that "God told me to" is not a valid reason for A to act to wrong B.

But am tempted to assert that "God told me not to" is a valid reason for A to refrain from interaction with B.

A has no right to seek to control B's behaviour to conform with A's (possibly totally off-the-wall) religious ideas. But respecting religious freedom means that A has a right to limit A's behaviour...

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

 - Posted      Profile for Crœsos     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Everyone is protected from discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and sexuality. The fact that I, as a straight, white, male almost certainly won't encounter any discrimination against me this year, whereas most black people, gay people and women will, does not mean that the law is giving them special treatment.

I had understood that you were making the argument that refusing service to a man with a big nose because of his big nose is a matter that is too trivial to concern the law. But that because of a history of injustice to black people, the same act committed against a man with a black skin because of his black skin has wider social consequences and constitutes a significant objective harm to society, and is therefore rightly illegal.

Did I misunderstand you ?

Seems to me that if you believed that logic, you would conclude that refusing service to you because you're a man is a trivial act that should not be illegal, because there is no history of discrimination against men for being men.

But that would mean having some classes of people with more rights than others.

This seems like a perfect illustration of the invisible privilege of unmarked categories. Laws preventing discrimination on the basis of race give "some classes of people . . . more rights than others" because to white folks 'race' is something other people have. The real and practical translation of this thinking is 'since I'm unlikely to be discriminated against because of my race, laws against racial discrimination are only for those other people'.

Ditto gender discrimination. Women have gender, while men are people. [Roll Eyes]

And I think this is the main reason anti-discrimination laws get under the skin of a certain type so much. It requires them to treat those who aren't white or male or straight the way they'd treat straight white men (i.e. like they were actual people). And that's something intolerable for them.

[ 06. January 2017, 20:28: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10254 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Goldfish Stew
Shipmate
# 5512

 - Posted      Profile for Goldfish Stew   Email Goldfish Stew   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
... while men are people.

Barely so, in many cases

--------------------
.

Posts: 2405 | From: Aotearoa/New Zealand | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Seems to me that if you believed that logic, you would conclude that refusing service to you because you're a man is a trivial act that should not be illegal, because there is no history of discrimination against men for being men.

But that would mean having some classes of people with more rights than others. And you rightly don't want that.

So instead you favour this compromise that there's no coherent argument for ?

You've just constructed a coherent argument that leads to the 'compromise' position. And now you're saying that there's no coherent argument for the position for which you've just constructed a coherent argument?

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

Posts: 10225 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Enough with the bushy eyebrows. Let's say Mr. Shop Keeper is grossed out by the sight of people using wheelchairs. Can he bar wheelchair users from his shop? ...

Still waiting ...

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Unfair dismissal. There's a good motive for unfair dismissal that makes it legally OK to dismiss someone unfairly ? Of course not.

Begging your pardon, but there is not such action as "unfair dismissal". The action is dismissal. You are told you're being dismissed, not that you're being unfair-dismissed.

Unfair dismissal is a conclusion that a dismissal was wrong because the REASONS for it were wrong.

The correct question is: "There's a good motive for dismissal that makes it legally OK to dismiss someone?"

To which the answer is yes.

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

Posts: 18017 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
mdijon
Shipmate
# 8520

 - Posted      Profile for mdijon     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Seems to me that if you believed that logic, you would conclude that refusing service to you because you're a man is a trivial act that should not be illegal, because there is no history of discrimination against men for being men.

Characteristics not groups. Gender not women. Coesus said it too. I've said it lots of times.

So the parallel characteristic for gender is nose size. And yes I do think nose size is too trivial an area to legislate over.

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12238 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
mdijon
Shipmate
# 8520

 - Posted      Profile for mdijon     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Harassment. I don't see where you're coming from here. Harassment is the wrong that I'd be doing you if I ring you up several times a day to remind you that you owe me some money and ask when I'll be paid. That's not wrong because of bad motive. Seeking repayment is a legitimate aim.

You've made the point perfectly even though you can't see it. If you refuse to pay your debt and I keep pursuing you over it that's not harassment. If I want to persuade you to jump into bed with me (don't worry) and keep phoning you over it that's harassment. Different motives.

Of course there are limits to what I can do seeking to be repaid that I might cross and therefore end up guilty of harassment, but the threshold is different from that associated with amorous intentions.

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12238 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Enough with the bushy eyebrows. Let's say Mr. Shop Keeper is grossed out by the sight of people using wheelchairs. Can he bar wheelchair users from his shop? ...

Still waiting ...
I'm suggesting that barring anyone from his shop because of his private beliefs and feelings about them is wrong. If you're in business, dealing with the public is part of the job description.

But that Mr Keeper is entitled to decline to sell wheelchairs, replacement wheelchair parts, books about wheelchairs etc. Because that is a decision that is rightfully his to make. His role in the economy, the mission statement for his business, is his choice. And that choice can be influenced by his private tastes and convictions.

That everyone possesses this freedom may be problematic for a wheelchair user who can't find someone to sell him replacement parts for his wheelchair.

But his remedy is to get together with other wheelchair users to set up a (possibly non-profit) organization to meet those needs.

His need does not create a moral obligation on any particular person to meet that need.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

But that Mr Keeper is entitled to decline to sell wheelchairs, replacement wheelchair parts, books about wheelchairs etc.

Well, sure. Mr. Keeper is a bookstore. He is not obliged to sell wheelchairs. And equally, he's not required to stock books about wheelchairs. That is, as everyone agrees, a commercial decision on Mr. Keeper's part: he is free to stock whatever books he thinks will make him a profit.

But he is required:

1. To sell the books that he has to people who use wheelchairs.

2. To ensure that his premises are accessible to people who use wheelchairs.

3. If ordering books that he doesn't usually stock is a service he offers to customers (it is a service most bookshops offer, so it probably is), he is not allowed to refuse to order "Basic Wheelchair Maintenance" or "Sitting Around: A wheelchair guide to tourism in the UK" or similar titles, whatever his personal animus against disability.

3b. It is reasonable for Mr. Keeper to say that special orders of wheelchair maintenance books aren't eligible for his normal returns policy.

You will not persuade us that special-ordering a book about wheelchairs is somehow a different service from special-ordering a book about basketweaving, lesbianism, or black hair care (assuming that all the books are available through the bookseller's normal distribution channels).

Posts: 4605 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Enough with the bushy eyebrows. Let's say Mr. Shop Keeper is grossed out by the sight of people using wheelchairs. Can he bar wheelchair users from his shop? ...


Still waiting ...
I'm suggesting that barring anyone from his shop because of his private beliefs and feelings about them is wrong. If you're in business, dealing with the public is part of the job description.
I should have phrased my question more carefully. Mr. Keeper is grossed out by the sight of people in wheelchairs. Mr. Keeper runs a bookstore that stocks dictionaries. Can he refuse to sell a dictionary to a wheelchair user?

I also notice you've suddenly changed your wording to "dealing with the public", rather than selling goods and services to the public ...

quote:

But that Mr Keeper is entitled to decline to sell wheelchairs, replacement wheelchair parts, books about wheelchairs etc. Because that is a decision that is rightfully his to make. His role in the economy, the mission statement for his business, is his choice. And that choice can be influenced by his private tastes and convictions. ...

But that wasn't what I asked, and it's completely irrelevant. He doesn't have to sell tampons or rosaries or kosher hot dogs either. We've been over this ... many times ... I feel like I'm debating with Dory ...

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Dory cares.
Though, ISTM, there is some connection regarding the fictional aspect of each of them.

--------------------
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

Posts: 16372 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
he is required:

1. To sell the books that he has to people who use wheelchairs.

Yes. Agreed.

quote:
2. To ensure that his premises are accessible to people who use wheelchairs.


Up to a point. Justice is proportionality...

quote:
3. If ordering books that he doesn't usually stock is a service he offers to customers (it is a service most bookshops offer, so it probably is), he is not allowed to refuse to order "Basic Wheelchair Maintenance" or "Sitting Around: A wheelchair guide to tourism in the UK" or similar titles, whatever his personal animus against disability.

If he advertises the service of ordering any book then he should fulfil his promise.

If he only offers the service of ordering gardening books then he can refuse to order either of those titles on the grounds that they are not gardening books.

If he runs a New Age bookstore he can offer the service of ordering New Age books that he doesn't stock, and may judge that those particular titles are not New Age enough for him to want to deal in them.

The underlying principle here is one of honesty. If you say you'll do something for people you should do it.

quote:
3b. It is reasonable for Mr. Keeper to say that special orders of wheelchair maintenance books aren't eligible for his normal returns policy.
Agreed. For any book specially ordered. And he can ask for payment upfront also.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Dory cares.
Though, ISTM, there is some connection regarding the fictional aspect of each of them.

Besides, Dory is a blue tang, not a red herring. [Big Grin]

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Louise
Shipmate
# 30

 - Posted      Profile for Louise   Email Louise   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Hosting

Hello,
can we not use comparisons to fictional characters to insult each other? If you want to get personal take it to Hell.

Thanks,
Louise
Dead Horses Host
Hosting off

--------------------
Now you need never click a Daily Mail link again! Kittenblock replaces Mail links with calming pics of tea and kittens! http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/ Click under 'other stuff' to find it.

Posts: 6884 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If he advertises the service of ordering any book then he should fulfil his promise.

Most bookstores don't "advertise" the service of ordering books - but offer to order a book when you ask.

quote:

If he only offers the service of ordering gardening books then he can refuse to order either of those titles on the grounds that they are not gardening books.

Nobody does that. "I will order any book so long as it's about gardening" is not a service every offered by any bookseller anywhere.

You're trying to wriggle into the case where you can be honest about your discrimination and be allowed to get away with it.

quote:

The underlying principle here is one of honesty. If you say you'll do something for people you should do it.

Well, yes, but you don't get a free pass for being a racist shopkeeper because you're honest about it. Even if you call yourself "Flaming Crosses and Bedsheet Books," you can't refuse to order Black fiction for a customer if ordering books is a thing that you do.
Posts: 4605 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Hosting

Hello,
can we not use comparisons to fictional characters to insult each other? If you want to get personal take it to Hell.

Thanks,
Louise
Dead Horses Host
Hosting off

Yes, Ma'am. No excuses, just apologies.

--------------------
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

Posts: 16372 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
"I will order any book so long as it's about gardening" is not a service every offered by any bookseller anywhere.

You're trying to wriggle into the case where you can be honest about your discrimination and be allowed to get away with it.

The fact that nobody much does it doesn't make it wrong to do it. The point of the example is to get a few data points where we agree on what is and is not morally OK. As premises from which we can argue the disputed cases...

(Some of the garden centres around here sell a few gardening books...)

If a merchant is honest about the limits of their service and applies those limits equally to every customer then they are not committing the wrong of refusing service to any customer or to a particular type of customer.

If you allow Christian bookshops and feminist bookshops and left-wing bookshops and Black Power bookshops and Gay Rights bookshops then you allow merchants to limit their service based on their convictions.

Do you think it should be illegal to run a White Supremacy bookshop or a Family Values bookshop ?

Or would you prefer to live in a free society ?

I'm not wriggling - I'm making a clear distinction between choosing between customers (not-OK) and choosing the goods/services that one offers to those customers (OK).

You're trying to use this loosely-defined label "discrimination" to take the sense-of-moral-wrongness that you rightly feel about a merchant turning away a customer and attach it to the merchant's legitimate decision on limits of service.

And you do this in a few cases where you don't have any sympathy with the convictions involved. Whilst allowing all those whose convictions you approve to limit their service as they choose. Is that wriggling ? Or is it just plain old double standards ?

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Nobody does that. "I will order any book so long as it's about gardening" is not a service every offered by any bookseller anywhere.

You're trying to wriggle into the case where you can be honest about your discrimination and be allowed to get away with it.


Rubbish. I know cookery book shops which only sell cookbooks, I know religious bookshops which only sell books about their religion. They take orders, but only of the type of book that they stock.

See also specialist academic booksellers and the multitude of various other specialists.

--------------------
overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

Posts: 9573 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
And I'm sure it is possible to find specialist gardening bookshops. Like, for example this one.http://www.mikeparkbooks.com/

The website specifically says they will search for books within their specialism.

--------------------
overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

Posts: 9573 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Hosting

Hello,
can we not use comparisons to fictional characters to insult each other? If you want to get personal take it to Hell.

Thanks,
Louise
Dead Horses Host
Hosting off

Sorry.

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Nobody does that. "I will order any book so long as it's about gardening" is not a service every offered by any bookseller anywhere.

I think you need to add "that I know of" to that. There are many bookshops here that will only order for books in their speciality - probably because that they're only prepared to order with wholesalers with whom they have accounts.

[ 08. January 2017, 19:59: Message edited by: Gee D ]

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6516 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

If a merchant is honest about the limits of their service and applies those limits equally to every customer then they are not committing the wrong of refusing service to any customer or to a particular type of customer.

So the problem I have with this line of argument is that it is equivalent to the argument that if a straight man and a gay man are both able to marry the consenting woman of their choice, there's no inequality.

And from a certain point of view, if you allow either the straight man or the gay man to marry a woman, you're treating them exactly equally. But that's not what equality really means, any more than it means allowing both your able-bodied and wheelchair-using customers the opportunity to climb a ladder to see the books on your upper floor.

For marriage to be useful to the gay man, it has to involve the man he wants to marry. For the right to go upstairs to be useful to the wheelchair user, it has to include some kind of elevator or ramp to allow his wheelchair access.

quote:

I'm not wriggling - I'm making a clear distinction between choosing between customers (not-OK) and choosing the goods/services that one offers to those customers (OK).

The problem is that the two aren't completely separable. You can't just tell the wheelchair user that he's welcome to go upstairs and browse - you have to provide access for his wheelchair.

quote:

Do you think it should be illegal to run a White Supremacy bookshop or a Family Values bookshop ?

Or would you prefer to live in a free society ?

Let's look at the "Family Values" bookshop. A customer could reasonably want some kind of curated list of books that are acceptable to whatever convictions he has. If you don't want to encounter explicit sex scenes in the books you read, it's not wrong to want to select your reading only from books that have been screened not to have that in. If you want to know that your kids aren't going to encounter something you're not ready to discuss with them in the "teen" section, that's OK too.

And if your "family values" really means that you don't want to encounter any same-sex attraction in the novels you read - well, you should be allowed to want that. And yes, there's nothing wrong with a bookstore offering to meet that need by having a carefully curated set of shelves with whatever your local conservative megachurch thinks is wholesome gay-free reading or whatever.

I don't think anyone is disputing that that should be able to exist (although several people would wish that it didn't exist).

So now the question is what happens if a customer comes in and wants to order something else.

We all agree that if the shop doesn't take customer orders, there's no problem. The shop can choose to do that.

The question we are examining is the following:

Assume that the bookstore has an agreement with some book distributor. Assume that "My Two Dads" is available to the bookstore. Suppose a customer comes in and asks to order "My Two Dads".

The "Family Values" bookstore owner opposes the message in "My Two Dads", and does not wish to support in any way portraying gay couples raising kids as normal or desirable. His opinion would not be uncommon in "conservative Christian" circles.

Should he be able to refuse to order the book for a customer because he disagrees with its message? Your argument is that he should be able to refuse. I think that he shouldn't be able to refuse, although I grant that we're on the edge of what is and isn't acceptable.

I agree that forcing the bookseller to order a book whose message he opposes is an infringement of his personal autonomy and ethics. But it's an imposition that I think I have to make, because the alternative is being unable to order gay-positive books in Bigotsville.

And yes, that means that I'd also force the owner of the Gayest Little Bookshop in the Village to order James Dobson's "How to raise boys and not have them turn into poofs" or whatever (assuming that he has access to that through his usual channels etc.)

And yes, I specifically only hold this opinion with respect to a limited set of protected characteristics. It's the lesser of two evils. I am completely happy for conservative bookstores to refuse to order biographies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and I'm happy for liberal bookstores to refuse to order George W Bush and Ronald Reagan biographies.

Posts: 4605 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

 - Posted      Profile for Eliab   Email Eliab   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I had understood that you were making the argument that refusing service to a man with a big nose because of his big nose is a matter that is too trivial to concern the law. But that because of a history of injustice to black people, the same act committed against a man with a black skin because of his black skin has wider social consequences and constitutes a significant objective harm to society, and is therefore rightly illegal.

Did I misunderstand you ?

I don't think I used the word "trivial". A better summary of my position would be that nasal discrimination is not currently a social problem, but racial discrimination is.

quote:
Seems to me that if you believed that logic, you would conclude that refusing service to you because you're a man is a trivial act that should not be illegal, because there is no history of discrimination against men for being men.

But that would mean having some classes of people with more rights than others. And you rightly don't want that.

Again, that's your analysis, not mine.

Mine was basically this. There are three possible broad approaches to injustic caused by possible prejudice (the theoretical varieties of which are infinite).

1. We make it a rule that all commerical decisions must be demonstrably and scrupulously fair.

This is unworkable.

2. We allow anyone to be unfair in their business decisions without any rules against this.

Vulnerable groups of people get shafted.

3. We prohibit those forms of systematic injustice that are most socially damaging.

That seems to work, to the extent that the law ever works in influencing behaviour.

When banning the problem areas of injustice, it makes sense to identify general characteristics, not specially protected people. It saves us from having to ask such questions as how black you need to be to be protected from racism, what exactly counts as Jewish, and is Jewish a race anyway, whether Chinese people face enough prejudice to be a protected race, whether a bisexual guy is gay for the purpose of discrimination law, and other such nit-picking that bigots are sure to try to exploit. We can simply say race, sex and sexuality are off the table as valid reasons to treat people less favourably.

A side effect of banning racist/sexist/homophobic discrimination in that way is that if I, a straight white man, get discriminated against because of my race, sex or sexuality, I get protection too. Which is nice, but discrimination against people like me isn't a social problem that is urgently in need of remedy, no.

quote:
So instead you favour this compromise that there's no coherent argument for ?
As has been pointed out, your analysis that giving everyone the same protection against discrimination on the grounds of identifiable characteristics, whether they need it or not, avoids the problem of identifying specially protected groups and the appearance of giving some people "more rights" is a perfectly coherent argument.

It wasn't my argument, as it happens, but it seems sound enough to me.

quote:
Harassment. I don't see where you're coming from here.
Harassment law is complicated to apply. Necessarily so, because the whole point is that actions which are innocent, and even benevolent, when performed with one motivation can be distressing when performed with another.

Motivation matters. If I'm stood outside your home holding binoculars, and you find that menacing, it does make a difference whether I'm an ornithologist, a private investigator, or a violent ex-partner. Sorry - it just does. The same action, the same subjective effect, will be treated differently in different circumstances because the law takes all the circumstances, including motivation, into account. That's the point. That's what you asked for.

quote:
Unfair dismissal. There's a good motive for unfair dismissal that makes it legally OK to dismiss someone unfairly ? Of course not.
See orfeo's comments. There are (in E&W) procedurally unfair and automatically unfair dismissals, but also dismissals where what makes it unfair, or not, are the reasons. The real reasons, that is, not the ostensible ones.

Yes, proving what someone's real reasons are can be tricky, but it is not the case, as you were insisting, that the law doesn't care about a person's subjective motivations. It does.

Sorry - but you're arguing on this thread with practising lawyers and one professional legislative draftsman (which is a highly technical speciality even within the legal field), and we do actually know more than you about how this stuff works in practice. When you insist that motivation is irrelevant as far as the law is concerned YOU ARE JUST PLAIN WRONG ABOUT THAT. It is not unusual or incoherent for a rule of law to notice and care why someone does something. It is normal. Discrimination law isn't a special case in this regard.

[ 09. January 2017, 21:07: Message edited by: Eliab ]

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4563 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
the problem I have with this line of argument is that it is equivalent to the argument that if a straight man and a gay man are both able to marry the consenting woman of their choice, there's no inequality.

Such a law doesn't single anyone out for special treatment. But doesn't equally meet everyone's desires.

Every merchant decides to stock this and not that, and thereby is not equally meeting everyone's desires.

But that's all normal and shrug-offable, just one of life's minor annoyances - that if your tastes are not those of the majority then you have to look a bit harder to find stuff you like.

Unlike deliberate singling someone out for worse treatment, which is pretty much bullying.

It's been said before, and better than I can say it, but when people argue on behalf of others they can be unduly "hardline". Because they feel entitled to insist on something on another's behalf but don't feel entitled to concede anything on another's behalf...

Arguing for yourself you keep a sense of perspective. There's give-and-take. But when crusading on behalf of the downtrodden, it can seem like nothing can ever be dismissed as just not that big a deal.

quote:

I agree that forcing the bookseller to order a book whose message he opposes is an infringement of his personal autonomy and ethics. But it's an imposition that I think I have to make, because the alternative is being unable to order gay-positive books in Bigotsville...

...and yes, I specifically only hold this opinion with respect to a limited set of protected characteristics. It's the lesser of two evils. I am completely happy for conservative bookstores to refuse to order biographies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and I'm happy for liberal bookstores to refuse to order George W Bush and Ronald Reagan biographies.

Thank you for taking the time to set out your view in such a clear, honest and measured way.

The questions that remain in my mind are:

- whether you want to impose on all booksellers, or only those in areas which lack a "gay-positive" alternative nearby ? Is it OK in your view to refuse if one directs the customer to a nearby establishment which caters to their needs ? For some value of "nearby" ?

- how far you think the booksellers on whom you impose this lesser evil are doing something morally wrong (and that the law is recalling them to their moral duty) or whether they are no more morally at fault than those who decline to stock Obama's books and it's just unfortunate that the law must impose on them in order to achieve the best social outcome ?

Pondering what politics must be like in Bigotsville (which the inhabitants probanly know as Godstown) it seems to me that there may well be two factions. A hardline faction who believe in banning "My two dads", and taking any other action that follows logically from a belief that homosexual acts are morally objectively wrong. And a more pluralistically-minded faction who, whilst fully believing that such acts are displeasing to God, hold that belief in a more post-modern way, as a private belief rather than a public truth.

And that if you lived there (the only progressive in the village ?) you'd want to see the post-modern faction gaining the ascendancy.

So I'm just wondering if "doing as you would be done by" doesn't require you to treat your sincere belief - that it would be a really bad thing if no-one could order gay-positive literature in Bigotsville - as a private conviction rather than one you have the right and duty to impose on those who don't share it.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
.... So I'm just wondering if "doing as you would be done by" doesn't require you to treat your sincere belief - that it would be a really bad thing if no-one could order gay-positive literature in Bigotsville - as a private conviction rather than one you have the right and duty to impose on those who don't share it.

Oh, you mean like believing that homosexuality is immoral but treating it as a private conviction, rather than imposing it on the book-and-cake-buying public?

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5295 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Maybe rather than a private/public dichotomy it's more of a sliding scale:

Level 0: I claim to believe the teaching of my ecclesial body that alcohol is a work of the devil but this doesn't influence my behaviour in the slightest

Level 1: in private I prefer not to drink but will join in social drinking for the sake of fitting in

Level 2: personally I don't drink at all but have no objection to going to the pub with you and nursing an orange juice all evening while you drink alcohol

Level 3: I don't drink and won't have anything to do with public houses but don't object if you do

Level 4: I'll bore you to tears telling you how you shouldn't drink but won't take any action to persuade you

Level 5: if you drink then you're no friend of mine and I don't want to employ people like you

Level 6: bring back prohibition!

Level 7: Direct Action !!

On this scale, refusing to sell stuff one disagrees with is level 3 - don't mind if you have it but I won't involve myself in the deal.

Refusing to sell to people who transgress against one's beliefs is level 5.

Seeking to use the law to punish them is level 6.

Conviction-motivated violence is level 7.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could all rein our convictions back to level 4 ?

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Seeking to use the law to punish them is level 6.

...

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could all rein our convictions back to level 4 ?

Again, trying to describe this as some kind of blanket level proposition means things like "I'd prefer people not commit murder, but I don't want to use the law to enforce that preference".

It's just total nonsense to talk about this in a general abstract way without specifics. This is what policy development and LAW development is all about. Does THIS issue need a law, and if so what kind of law does it need?

Not "I don't like a law on a particular topic so let's see if I can bring down the entire edifice of law-making".

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

Posts: 18017 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
Plus your "levels" mix together different issues. You've got level 6 as seeking law change, but level 5 is a form of taking the law into one's own hands.

Why is that lower? Why is deciding that you're going to deliver punishment personally a lower level than asking the State to deliver punishment?

We are in fact, in the original context of this debate, dealing with a situation where the law HAS HAD TO STEP IN TO STOP people delivering their own form of sanction.

Instead of saying "wouldn't it be nice if everyone was level 4", you might at least wrestle with the possibility that one of the things law can be used for is to REQUIRE people to stick at level 4.

See? Your entire mindset is directed at whether the law can be used to target one side of this interaction, and not the other.

[ 11. January 2017, 21:08: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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

Posts: 18017 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
the problem I have with this line of argument is that it is equivalent to the argument that if a straight man and a gay man are both able to marry the consenting woman of their choice, there's no inequality.

Such a law doesn't single anyone out for special treatment. But doesn't equally meet everyone's desires.

But it does single out people for special treatment - precisely because it doesn't equally meet everyone's needs. If you feed chopped steak to all your pets, the cat and dog will be happy, but the rabbit would be decidedly unhappy. You are not treating them all equally by giving them each a handful of steak for their dinner. You are, in fact, singling out the rabbit for special treatment by insisting that all the animals eat steak. Actual equal treatment would be to feed each animal an adequate diet suitable to its nature (which means you don't give the rabbit steak, and you don't give the cat hay).

quote:

Unlike deliberate singling someone out for worse treatment, which is pretty much bullying.

Like trying to feed the rabbit on steak, because all the other animals like it. Or telling the gay man that you don't know what his problem is - he's as free to marry a woman as the next man.

quote:

- whether you want to impose on all booksellers, or only those in areas which lack a "gay-positive" alternative nearby ? Is it OK in your view to refuse if one directs the customer to a nearby establishment which caters to their needs ? For some value of "nearby" ?

So here we're in the messy land of give-and-take. It's certainly a burden on the customer to be told to go elsewhere (just like it's a burden on a woman to be told to go to another doctor for contraception, or for a discussion about abortion, for example). And so I have to judge how great the burden is, and how grave the offense against the bookseller or doctor's morals would be to force him to provide the service he opposes.

And the conclusions that I come to are that it would be a grave thing to force doctors to take an active part in an abortion, so I won't do that (and the corollary is that I won't hire an abortion-opposing doctor for a position in a public health system that would make him the only doctor available in a remote area.)

In the case of the bookseller, my conclusion is that requiring him to participate in the ordering of a book is a very marginal involvement - only slightly more than the involvement that the mailman has in delivering it - and so I can't imagine a case where I'd consider it acceptable for a bookstore to send customers down the street.

quote:
- how far you think the booksellers on whom you impose this lesser evil are doing something morally wrong (and that the law is recalling them to their moral duty) or whether they are no more morally at fault than those who decline to stock Obama's books and it's just unfortunate that the law must impose on them in order to achieve the best social outcome ?
To emphasise, I'm not insisting that they stock certain books - only that they order them when asked. These are very different things.

I do think that booksellers who refuse to order an Obama book, or a Trump book, or whatever, are doing something wrong. To be clear, I think booksellers should order whatever book the customer wants. But I don't find it necessary to legally require them to order those books.

I also think that adulterers are doing something wrong, but don't find it necessary to make adultery illegal.

I don't think that refusing to order a gay book is morally worse, in and of itself, than refusing to order a republican book. But I think it's something that the law must interfere in because of the greater social harm caused by discrimination on grounds of sexuality.

quote:
Pondering what politics must be like in Bigotsville (which the inhabitants probanly know as Godstown) it seems to me that there may well be two factions. A hardline faction who believe in banning "My two dads", and taking any other action that follows logically from a belief that homosexual acts are morally objectively wrong. And a more pluralistically-minded faction who, whilst fully believing that such acts are displeasing to God, hold that belief in a more post-modern way, as a private belief rather than a public truth.

And that if you lived there (the only progressive in the village ?) you'd want to see the post-modern faction gaining the ascendancy.

I'm not sure I'm a progressive, exactly, but that's beside the point.

quote:

So I'm just wondering if "doing as you would be done by" doesn't require you to treat your sincere belief - that it would be a really bad thing if no-one could order gay-positive literature in Bigotsville - as a private conviction rather than one you have the right and duty to impose on those who don't share it.

Suppose the people in this town had a deeply-held religious belief in human sacrifice. In order to appease their gods and ensure future prosperity, they have to ritually kill someone (perhaps a child from their community, perhaps a stranger they've captured, ...)

I don't think you'd require me to treat my sincere belief that you shouldn't kill people as a private conviction that I shouldn't impose on those that don't share it, would you? I think you'd agree with me that we are quite right in telling the putative sacrifiers that, however deep their convictions, they're not to kill anyone. We are, in fact, telling them that their religious beliefs are wrong, and that we're not having any of it.

Refusing to order books about gay people, or refusing to ice a cake for a gay couple's wedding, is obviously a lesser offence than killing people. But when I weigh the harm done to society (and gay people in particular) against the harm done to a bookseller by having him process a book order, I still tend to come up on the side of forcing the bookseller to do something he'd rather not.

Posts: 4605 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Plus your "levels" mix together different issues. You've got level 6 as seeking law change, but level 5 is a form of taking the law into one's own hands.

Why is that lower? Why is deciding that you're going to deliver punishment personally a lower level than asking the State to deliver punishment?

Because the scale is one of private conviction against public truth.

At level 5, A goes beyond speech to action, imposing his conviction on B's behaviour in the vicinity of A, retaining an element of ownership. He still allows others to drink elsewhere.

At level 6 one's conviction is universalised and applied to all people everywhere.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Plus your "levels" mix together different issues. You've got level 6 as seeking law change, but level 5 is a form of taking the law into one's own hands.

Why is that lower? Why is deciding that you're going to deliver punishment personally a lower level than asking the State to deliver punishment?

Because the scale is one of private conviction against public truth.

At level 5, A goes beyond speech to action, imposing his conviction on B's behaviour in the vicinity of A, retaining an element of ownership. He still allows others to drink elsewhere.

At level 6 one's conviction is universalised and applied to all people everywhere.

But it's not a private conviction. It's "private" if you define "private" to simply mean "non-government", but you are taking that non-government conviction and using it to affect other people's lives.

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

Posts: 18017 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

 - Posted      Profile for Eliab   Email Eliab   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
So I'm just wondering if "doing as you would be done by" doesn't require you to treat your sincere belief - that it would be a really bad thing if no-one could order gay-positive literature in Bigotsville - as a private conviction rather than one you have the right and duty to impose on those who don't share it.

Two errors.

One - it's not about books or cakes. It's about people. The issue is not whether or not gay positive literature, iced or printed, is available in any particular shop or town - it's whether or not gay people get to be included in society to the same extent as everyone else. That means that traders don't get to use bullshit excuses for why they don't provide the same sort of services for gay people as they do for everyone else.

Two - we on the pro-equality side aren't "imposing" our views on anyone for the simple reasons that (a) asking you to treat gay people equally isn't an imposition. It should be basic minimum decency. And (b) the idea that gay people have equal rights isn't a "view" that's up for discussion in a "plural" society, one that we might decide that we want to enforce, or not - it's one of the ground rules for having a fair and inclusive society at all. If you don't want an inclusive society, say so. If you do want it, then equal rights regardless of race, sex and sexuality are the non-negotiables you sign up for.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4563 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
it's not a private conviction. It's "private" if you define "private" to simply mean "non-government", but you are taking that non-government conviction and using it to affect other people's lives.

I'm setting out a scale which measures the extent to which one person's conviction remains private and how far it affects other people's lives, yes.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
we on the pro-equality side aren't "imposing" our views on anyone for the simple reasons that (a) asking you to treat gay people equally isn't an imposition. It should be basic minimum decency. And (b) the idea that gay people have equal rights isn't a "view" that's up for discussion in a "plural" society, one that we might decide that we want to enforce, or not - it's one of the ground rules for having a fair and inclusive society at all. If you don't want an inclusive society, say so. If you do want it, then equal rights regardless of race, sex and sexuality are the non-negotiables you sign up for.

I think the above discussion makes clear that you're using "equal" here in a very particular sense.

A sense that doesn't mean the sort of equal-rights-under-the-law equality that I advocate.

Your conviction is that homosexual relationships should be treated as on every way equal to heterosexual relationships.

Which conviction is opposite to the conviction that some conservative religious people hold, that homosexual relationships are twisted and sinful.

Neither conviction is demonstrably true; neither you nor they can prove rightness to the other's satisfaction. So you and they have to learn to live together peaceably in a plural society, whilst holding your different views.

Hence the discussion as to what constitutes imposing one's convictions on other people. Ground rules for a plural society are rules that don't start from the position that one person's conviction is right and another's wrong.

Homosexuality is up for discussion. Because people's views do vary in good faith. Has your time on the Ship not taught you that ?

Your argument seems to be that gay people aren't being treated "equally" if their homosexuality isn't treated equally. That the conservative view cannot be true because it would be unfair on gay people if it were...

If "inclusive" is just code for your convictions getting to ride roughshod over everybody else's then you can keep it.

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

Posts: 2927 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

A sense that doesn't mean the sort of equal-rights-under-the-law equality that I advocate.

You're advocating feeding steak to the rabbit.

quote:

Your conviction [..] that homosexual relationships should be treated as on every way equal to heterosexual relationships [..] is opposite to the conviction that some conservative religious people hold, that homosexual relationships are twisted and sinful.

These aren't quite opposites. The opposite of your latter statement would be a conviction that homosexual relationships are in every way equal to hetero ones. Your "should be treated" is a weaker statement.

quote:

Hence the discussion as to what constitutes imposing one's convictions on other people. Ground rules for a plural society are rules that don't start from the position that one person's conviction is right and another's wrong.

The ground rule that human sacrificers don't get to murder people does start from the position that one person's conviction is right and the other's is wrong. Or at least, from an assessment that the harm done to the murdered person is more important than the "harm" done to the human sacrifice cult by preventing them from sacrificing someone.

quote:

Your argument seems to be that gay people aren't being treated "equally" if their homosexuality isn't treated equally.

Yes. This is true.

quote:

That the conservative view cannot be true because it would be unfair on gay people if it were...

Your conservative person who is convinced that homosexuality is wrong is free not to engage in a homosexual relationship. Someone who is convinced that adultery is wrong is free not to have an adulterous relationship.

Each is free to stand and proclaim the harm done by adulterers / homosexuals / whoever.

But if you refuse to rent a room in your hotel to Mr. Smith because you suspect he intends to commit adultery with Mrs. Jones in it, are you just doing what a decent person should do, or are you sticking your nose in?

Posts: 4605 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Hence the discussion as to what constitutes imposing one's convictions on other people. Ground rules for a plural society are rules that don't start from the position that one person's conviction is right and another's wrong.

No, this is simply not true. As soon as a society has RULES, this is not true.

If your conviction is that killing people in their beds is fine, we've got a society that's decided not to share your viewpoint. If your conviction is that seatbelts are unnecessary, we've got a bunch of rules that say otherwise. If your conviction is that wearing clothing is a matter of personal choice, we've got rules that say different once you are in public spaces.

It is the worst kind of fallacy to think that a "plural society" means a society that is plural in anything and everything. That is quite literally anarchy. Anarchy is everyone deciding for themselves with no enforcement.

That is not the society you live in. It has never been the society you live in, and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

Because here's the thing: all the times that your personal convictions match what society's rules are, you simply don't notice. You're completely blind to all of the times where there is in fact a law or rule that YOU never rub against, because the law or rule is in accordance with what you want to do anyway.

And huge amounts of these rules, you picked up at an early age, took them on board and no longer think about. Hardly anyone ever consciously thinks about which side of the road they drive on, they just go ahead and do it. They've been observing since they were a passenger as a child which side of the road to drive on. It's only when they go to a country that drives on the other side of the road that they notice.

As far as I'm aware, there is no country on earth that starts from a pluralist position about which side of the road to drive on.

What a "pluralist society" is, is a society where it's felt that one does not impose convictions on other people without justifiable reason. But don't mistake that for some kind of refusal to choose between convictions.

[ 13. January 2017, 10:20: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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

Posts: 18017 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  ...  29  30  31 
 
Post new thread  
Thread closed  Thread closed
Open thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools