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fmouse
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue raised here is directly analogous to a dress code in a school or work place, or even a standard publication format in an academic environment. While I don't personally deal gracefully with environments where a dress code is imposed from on high, I can understand that taking personal symbolic expression out of an environment can make everyone feel more comfortable and freer to concentrate on the real business for which the place/forum/etc. exists. This would be a courtesy. Courtesy, in its best sense, is about making others feel comfortable.

Ideally, forum contributors, whatever their social and political persuasions, would voluntarily refrain from using any sig or avitar that might, under any circumstances, offend anyone. The gentoo forums are about gentoo, not about symbols.

That having been said, I don't believe it's the forum administrator's job to enforce an avitar "dress code", but perhaps it would be technically feasable to simply eliminate support for avitars altogether in the forum software. They're really quite extraneous to the central purpose of the forums.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fmouse wrote:
That having been said, I don't believe it's the forum administrator's job to enforce an avitar "dress code", but perhaps it would be technically feasable to simply eliminate support for avitars altogether in the forum software. They're really quite extraneous to the central purpose of the forums.

Yes, forums administrators and moderators will only intervene in extreme cases and don't spend the days looking at forum avatars.
It's actually quite simple to disable avatars and that has been done before for security reasons. However, some of us feel their avatars are part of their "persona". I think almost everyone that has spent some time on these forums and that have been in OTW, knows that David Bowie is cokehabit's avatar. I also think that NeddySeagoon's avatar is extremely well known and hope that by now, people seeing the smiling daemon avatar know that it's me making the post. I would feel a bit nude without my daemon! :wink:
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philantrop wrote:
amne wrote:
Basically, the moderators.
So the moderators are the dictators here? If we asked all the Gentoo Forums staff to define "common sense" how many different answers do you think we would get?
You would get one answer. We work as a team, united in the goals of keeping these forums free of unwanted spamming and illegal activities (such as discussing specifics of how to violate laws or similar) as well as promoting discussion of praise, criticism, and support of Gentoo Linux and its projects. We strive to limit our restrictive actions to only that which is absolutely necessary to maintain the integrity of these forums. This includes giving the user to choose any avatar they want, within reason. (To explicate: A picture of someone, even someone as evil as Hitler was, is considered reasonable; whereas a picture of naked human genitalia or similar would not be.)

Philantrop wrote:
Where are those principles now? If freedom (of speech) is an absolute value in itself, how can we accept moderators here?
Again, we use our best judgment and effort to ensure that only that which is absolutely needed is removed or restricted. Unfortunate as it may be, if people were truly free to post whatever they wish on these forums, there would be an endless amount of spam and things like taunting, name-calling, and insulting. We cannot let that happen, and do our best to ensure that the problem is resolved in a peaceful and swift manner.
Philantrop wrote:
Seen from the point of view of absolute and pure principles the moderators are dictators. Benevolent dictators maybe but still.
Sadly, true and ultimate freedom inevitably brings only anarchy and chaos, which we cannot have here.

Philantrop wrote:
So, if enough people of that selection of western countries agreed that it was fine and just to murder others for profit that would be common sense, too? Common sense is defined by quantities only, right?

"Eat shit. Millions of flies can't be wrong."
This is leading to a logical fallacy called the "Bandwagon." Basically, it describes the incorrect inference that since something is done by a majority of people makes it right.

Philantrop wrote:
What I do critisize, though, is the perception that principles are absolute values to which there must not be any exceptions.
While we have set guidelines and rules for both users and moderators alike, we do not stick strictly to those. We often times deviate [slightly?] from them, at our discretion and based in the situation and its sourrounding events.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that as long as support for such parties is not shown, the symbols should be allowed to be placed on a site in the interest of educating people about history. Knowledge of history instead of hiding it, is what prevents disgusting events such as the Holocaust from happening again.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has all been said before but the more voices the better.

Since most, if not all of the symbols also manage to have held significant meaning before the Nazi's, and in some cultures still hold significant and important meaning not related to the Nazi's, banning then would be wrong. If there was a clear indication of the reason these people were posting them and it was motivated by Nazi ideals then it could possibly be a consideration. I myself greatly support the rights of those to say what they want and opening up alleys to intelligent debate. Censorship will never achieve anything. Even if they supprted the Nazi's I wouldn't say ban them unless it became a problem beyond that of them simply voicing their opinions.

Rape vicitms have to see sex imagery everywhere. Assault vicitms still have to see knives or guns in their lives. So victims of the holocaust should be able to handle a little imagery. Especially if it isn't even in connection with their traumatic experiences.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmbsvicetto wrote:
You keep trying to convince us that this is a separate discussion and the right discussion. I'm sorry, but that in itself denotes arrogance:


And you're trying to convince me that banning Nazi symbols is like opnening Pandora's Box and that that is the only way to see it. :-)

Both would denote arrogance then. In fact, though, we're just voicing our opinions.

jmbsvicetto wrote:
why do you think that your concerns are more important than anyone else's? The posts on this thread should at least prove that your concern doesn't seem to be shared by many users of the forums.


I don't say nor do I think my concerns are more important. And about quantities: Compare the number of registered users to the number of posters in this thread. I hope the mentioning in the GWN of this thread will bring more ideas around.

(Just because I don't explicitly add an "IMHO" to all my sentences doesn't mean I think I know absolute truths.)

jmbsvicetto wrote:
philantrop wrote:
So you decide for us what's "common sense"?

One of the tasks of the moderation team is to moderate the forums. That implies using their common sense to apply the Forums Guidelines. As amne told you, if a moderator or admin were to have an arbitrary behaviour, he himself would be subject to the same guidelines every user has to follow. More importantly, moderators and admins are expected to be an example, so they have even less leeway than other users.


Come on, you've obviously read my posting carefully and so you know that I'm not really critisizing the moderation here but the perception of principles being absolute values.

jmbsvicetto wrote:
I, for one, am no supporter of a relative interpretation of the right for life!


I agree. All I'm saying is that even those values and rights we usually consider to be absolute under some circumstances aren't. Following your example to the extreme and accepting that the right to live is indeed an absolute value - what about killing in true self-defence? (Not preventive but to save your own life, of course.)

jmbsvicetto wrote:
Getting back on topic, freedom of speech only exists when it's possible for someone to present ideas that go against what others think. Being able to agree with public opinion denotes no freedom of speech. In case there's any doubt, I not only do not support National Socialism, as I strongly disagree with it.


First of all, I don't think anyone is in favour of NS "philosophy" just because he/she disagrees with my point of view. I fact, I agree with both your arguments. It's just that in the case of original NS ideas it's been proven they're wrong, go directly against freedom in general and especially freedom of speech. So why should we have to accept them as valid opinions. Why should we tolerate those who preach intolerance to the extreme? Why should we let them fly their flags, abusing the freedom they strive to abolish?

jmbsvicetto wrote:
Finally, about your point on the ban on Nazi symbols on Germany and Austria, I have an observation. I find curious and worrying that Germans, Austrians and for the most part Europeans, are more than ready to accept humour on their beliefs, but are still very upset to see humour on Judaism. I think there's something extremely wrong, when we're ready to hear jokes on the Pope, read comics provoking Priests or watch movies that attack the church, but we're offended or shocked by any humour on Israel or the Judaism.


Personally, I don't have a problem with humour on Israel or Judaism as long as it is in fact humour and not intended to hurt others. (Humour can, of course, hurt sometimes but really hurting others shouldn't be its only motive.)
At least once a week I'm listening to a radio program about Jewish life in Germany and there's quite a lot of humour in it. Quite often the Jewish editors are playfully joking about their own specialties. Mocking oneself and others is perfectly fine. But I fail to see what humour has to do with NS symbols being used here. What is humorous about them?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

codergeek42 wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
amne wrote:
Basically, the moderators.
So the moderators are the dictators here? If we asked all the Gentoo Forums staff to define "common sense" how many different answers do you think we would get?
You would get one answer.


If you really believe that, it's moot to discuss this point.

codergeek42 wrote:
This includes giving the user to choose any avatar they want, within reason. (To explicate: A picture of someone, even someone as evil as Hitler was, is considered reasonable; whereas a picture of naked human genitalia or similar would not be.)


So genitalia are more evil and less reasonable than Hitler? We all have genitalia and we all have seen them naked. What's bad or unreasonable about them?

Again: If freedom of speech is an absolute value, why should I have to put up with the views of the pietists and not be allowed to use a picture of my naked penis as my avatar?

codergeek42 wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
Where are those principles now? If freedom (of speech) is an absolute value in itself, how can we accept moderators here?
Again, we use our best judgment and effort to ensure that only that which is absolutely needed is removed or restricted. Unfortunate as it may be, if people were truly free to post whatever they wish on these forums, there would be an endless amount of spam and things like taunting, name-calling, and insulting. We cannot let that happen, and do our best to ensure that the problem is resolved in a peaceful and swift manner.


Exactly. I therefor conclude that freedom of expression cannot be an absolute value in itself. Thus, you are already restricting what's being shown and written here. From that perspective, what would be the loss if NS symbols were banned?
Remember, Pandora's Box has already been opened.

codergeek42 wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
So, if enough people of that selection of western countries agreed that it was fine and just to murder others for profit that would be common sense, too? Common sense is defined by quantities only, right?
"Eat shit. Millions of flies can't be wrong."
This is leading to a logical fallacy called the "Bandwagon." Basically, it describes the incorrect inference that since something is done by a majority of people makes it right.


Exactly! Now read again who originally argued that way. It wasn't me but amne. :-)

I was just taking her up on her example on how to define common sense.

codergeek42 wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
What I do critisize, though, is the perception that principles are absolute values to which there must not be any exceptions.
While we have set guidelines and rules for both users and moderators alike, we do not stick strictly to those. We often times deviate [slightly?] from them, at our discretion and based in the situation and its sourrounding events.


Yes, and from what I've seen and read here even since before I joined as a registered user, I don't have any reason to complain. But where are those who favoured and argued for absolute freedom earlier now? Wouldn't this kind of moderation be subjective one? One they would have to dismiss as inacceptable?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to understand both points of view, the pro-speech-freedom and the anti-nazi one. But I tend to agree more with the anti-nazi side. Let me explain why.

For a bit of background, I am french, if that makes any difference.

I believe that freedom of speech, like a number of other freedoms is very important. But freedom is not the total lack of regulation. Lack of regulation is anarchy, not freedom. Freedom can only happen when there is a limited but solid set of rules ensuring that no one abuses other peoples freedom and rights.

Your freedom is not something defined only in relation to yourself. If you were alone in an empty universe, there would be no need for the idea of freedom. Freedom is about mutual acknowledgement, and deciding not to trump other's freedom. In overly repressive regimes, the states trumps citizens freedom, but in anarchy, anyone can trump anyone else's freedom. As with most things, optimum is in the balance, not in the extremes.

Even in the USA, where freedom of speech and of press is held to a very high standard, you can't just say anything. I don't think you can stay out of trouble if you publish child porn, hold public meetings to advocate terrorist acts against the US, disclove someone's private information, insult someone, or on different matters, publish copyrighted materials for with you don't have a lisence, and so on.

The difficult thing is to find a good balance between needlessly restricting what people can do or say, and allowing too much, effectively letting people trump on eachother's rights.

If you claim absolute freedom and lack of regulation, you may end up with case where one claims "I have the right to say..." and another claims "I have to claim that you are a convicted child molester, so that no one will listen to your views."

To come back to the original topic, What should we do with nazi symbols? People asking for them to be removed are not merely offended by them. If it was the case, they would just stop looking at them. They are conserned that the active display or endorsement of nazi symbols increases the risk of adoption of the ideology, and therefore constitures a threat to freedom and society.

I most european countries, to various degrees, there are laws saying that freedom of speech does not include the right to promote hatred or racism. When you believe in democracy, human rights, and freedom, not every ideology should be treated equaly. People are equal. Not ideas.

I believe there is nothing wrong with merely showing nazi symbols. It all depends on what you do with them. I believe there IS something wrong with promoting nazi ideology, or associating oneself with nazi icons (as in avatars) implicitely claiming it is ok to be a nazi.

Nazis do not deserve a rule by them selves. The rules should be against promoting hatred (be it racial, religious, or otherwise). Nazi should is kind of an easy case for that rule, because virtualy no one will claim that the nazi ideology does not promote hatred.

Should we ban pictures of mohamed? pictures of breasts? pictures of religious symbols? I'd say no, it is not about banning potentialy offending things. It is about banning things that lead, in the end, to puting at risk everyone's rights and freedom, by promoting ideas opposed to it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philantrop wrote:
codergeek42 wrote:
This includes giving the user to choose any avatar they want, within reason. (To explicate: A picture of someone, even someone as evil as Hitler was, is considered reasonable; whereas a picture of naked human genitalia or similar would not be.)
So genitalia are more evil and less reasonable than Hitler? We all have genitalia and we all have seen them naked. What's bad or unreasonable about them?
Personally, I'd have no problem with people using naked body parts or genitalia as their avatar. However, many people visit this forums from work; thus our general rule of thumb as a team is (as Curtis so nicely worded to me ): "Will it get someone in trouble at work if their boss were to see it?" If so, then the avatar is Not Good(tm) and we will politely ask that the person change it. We will override them and remove it ourselves if they say no andwe all agree it should go.

Philantrop wrote:
Exactly. I therefor conclude that freedom of expression cannot be an absolute value in itself. Thus, you are already restricting what's being shown and written here. From that perspective, what would be the loss if NS symbols were banned?
Remember, Pandora's Box has already been opened.
Now you're attempting to argue using a logical fallacy called "Slippery slope," noting that if we can "censor" genitalia from avatars, why not NS pictures or other things? This invalidates your such argument.

Philantrop wrote:
Wouldn't this kind of moderation be subjective one? One they would have to dismiss as inacceptable?
All of our moderation decisions are subjective. I don't think I understood your questions here very well, though. Would you please rephrase them and/or clarify the wording a bit? Thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

falcon_za wrote:
I tend to understand both points of view, the pro-speech-freedom and the anti-nazi one. But I tend to agree more with the anti-nazi side. Let me explain why.


Thank you. You succeeded to express what I mean better than I did myself.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

codergeek42 wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
codergeek42 wrote:
This includes giving the user to choose any avatar they want, within reason. (To explicate: A picture of someone, even someone as evil as Hitler was, is considered reasonable; whereas a picture of naked human genitalia or similar would not be.)
So genitalia are more evil and less reasonable than Hitler? We all have genitalia and we all have seen them naked. What's bad or unreasonable about them?
Personally, I'd have no problem with people using naked body parts or genitalia as their avatar. However, many people visit this forums from work; thus our general rule of thumb as a team is (as Curtis so nicely worded to me ): "Will it get someone in trouble at work if their boss were to see it?" If so, then the avatar is Not Good(tm) and we will politely ask that the person change it. We will override them and remove it ourselves if they say no andwe all agree it should go.


And don't you think I would get in severe trouble at work if my boss saw me reading sites that openly display NS symbols? Please remember: Basically, that's not allowed in Germany.

Another interesting point: I was told countless times now to just switch off avatar display in my options. Why shouldn't people at work do likewise?

codergeek42 wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
Exactly. I therefor conclude that freedom of expression cannot be an absolute value in itself. Thus, you are already restricting what's being shown and written here. From that perspective, what would be the loss if NS symbols were banned?
Remember, Pandora's Box has already been opened.
Now you're attempting to argue using a logical fallacy called "Slippery slope," noting that if we can "censor" genitalia from avatars, why not NS pictures or other things? This invalidates your such argument.


Thank you, you recognised that correctly. Now let's take a look at one of the first sentences from the article you referred me to:

Quote:
Invoking the "slippery slope" means arguing that one action will initiate a chain of events that will lead to a (generally undesirable) event later.


Isn't that exactly what has been said from the start of this thread? I was told that if NS symbols were banned, it would initiate a chain of events that would lead to mass banning of any symbols and ultimately destroy free speech.

Thus, if invoking the "Slippery Slope" invalidates my argument, it would do the same for yours.

And now?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 6:32 am    Post subject: totally agree Reply with quote

curtis119 wrote:
As someone who would be first in line at the "showers" if the nazi's were to ever take power I must say that I still support anyone's right to their opinion and for them to freely express that opinion. Using the "FIRE!" in a crowded theater example doesn't cut it here. No one is being hurt by this expression of opinion. Plus, we get the chance to address the people using it and see why they think the way they do. And maybe, just maybe, we might be able to change that opinion.

ps. If we were to start banning symbols I would INSIST that all religious iconography of any sort to be banned as well. Since religions are also responsible for millions of deaths around the world. FAR FAR FAR FAR more deaths than the nazis could have ever dreamed about. And the worst part is that Religions are STILL killing people in the name $DIETY to this very day. Hitler died 50+ years ago.....


totally agree!
you always say it right curtis. :D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I personally do not endorse any of the views held by the National Socialist party of Germany, I also do not find it particularly offensive to see a swastika, so long as the person displaying it is not vehemently agressive in pushing some agenda.

In modern democracies we have a duty to uphold the principles that govern freedom of expression of individuals and groups, so long as that freedom does not encroach upon the rights of others. Quite frankly, I know of no constitution protecting human-rights which bans the use of imagery which might offend another person. It is not encroaching upon the rights of others to say things (or display images) which might possibly (or even probably) offend another person. It isn't respectful or kind, but it certainly doesn't step on the rights of others to do so (and as such isn't worthy of censorship).

Is not the Internet a democratizing force in the world? Why should we extend censorship onto one of the greatest bastions of freedom that the world has ever known? Why would we seek to stamp out certain expressions in the greatest forum of free speech that man has achieved to date?

If you fear tyranny and those who support it, how can you be for the supression of free speech? Was not the Nazi regime one marked by repressive denial of the right to speak freely? If so, why would we wish to imitate the policy of a regime which proved to be tyrannical and oppressive?
amne wrote:
As said, your concept of censorship is as offensive to some people as Nazi related avatars may be to you.

This is the jist of my entire post. To many persons (especially those who see their own governments moving toward totalitarianism, however small the steps may be) such broad censorship is greatly offensive. I had no desire to post things which offend people; in fact, were someone to mention to me that my avatar was offensive, I would quite probably remove it with great expediancy. However, it is repulsive to me that one should be FORCED to do so.
amne wrote:
playfool wrote:
oh and amne, you don't have to be american to appriciate freedom of speech - in fact we backwards europeans do it just fine thank you.


Heh, i guess there was a slight misunderstanding here. What i meant to point out was the US Americans seem to have a special relation to their freedom of speech as it's one of their most basic principles.

Indeed, we do. There are even special organization (like the American Civil Liberties Union) which will assist average citizens in their fight against legislation which undermines their civil liberties (including the right to free speach).
Philantrop wrote:
That's why I referred to one subject only that is universally recognised as being one of the worst ever. We're simply not discussing anything else here but the Nationalsocialsm and its symbols. Therefor, it's not a matter of outlawing everything but just one topic.

While symbols relating the the 3rd Reich may be ubiquitous in Germany as the epitome of tyrany and hatred, such a view is not consistent the world over. Many could object to the sickle and hammer (the symbols of Communism ... predominantly Soviet Communism) as being far great in their offensiveness. Did you know that Stalin (and the system of Communism as a whole) was responsible for more deaths than was Hitler? The difference is that the world was not in a position to go start a war with him to do something about it (note that I do not imply that the Allies entered the war in Germany to liberate persons in concentration camps ... that was a tertiary issue which was solved far too late). You may not realize it, but your view is incredibly culturally biased. In countries which participated in World War II, the Nazi party was demonized through propaghanda in such a manner that it is generally culturally unacceptable to promote anything relating to Nazi Germany today. However, in other countries, this is simply not the case. You assume that your viewpoint is held by the rest of the world when it is, in fact, not.
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But this thread makes me curious how people would react on a avatar which is praising ... Bill Gates. ;)

Don't tempt fate, friend!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To show "support" for this very meaningful thread, I've set my avatar.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

curtis119 wrote:

So are we supposed to just forget that Hitler ever even lived? Are we supposed to wipe his memory from our collective conscience? Should we revise the history books and wipe him from our past? I'm sorry but the best way to stop the past from repeating is to study it closely. Not to deny it ever happend in the first place......


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar_(virtual_reality)
Quote:

This definition has recently been applied to online virtual communities and Internet forums in particular, as a picture that a member/user of such a community/forum has elected to display alongside his or her contributions in order to represent him- or herself.


Why people keep arguying about history ? Is this an historical forum ???
No, so when i see people using that kind of AVATAR (that should represent them) in a computer related forum, i clearly know that this is to offend others not to remind them history.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philantrop wrote:
amne wrote:
Philantrop wrote:
Isn't that plain egomaniacal censorship? Isn't goatse.cx exactly the precedent so many here are afraid of? What's the difference to Nazi stuff? Doesn't Nazi stuff offend enough people but goatse.cx does? And who defines "common sense" here? Who's "big brother" here and thinks for us? That's not only censorship but dictatorship!

Basically, the moderators.


So the moderators are the dictators here? If we asked all the Gentoo Forums staff to define "common sense" how many different answers do you think we would get?

Where are those principles now? If freedom (of speech) is an absolute value in itself, how can we accept moderators here? Seen from the point of view of absolute and pure principles the moderators are dictators. Benevolent dictators maybe but still.

amne wrote:
As for your goatse.cx example, it sometimes is easier to define what isn't common sense. If people from Germany, Austria, Brazil, USA, Sweden, UK, Australia, the Netherlands and Greece (note: quite a selection of western countries) agree that something isn't common sense like goatse.cx, it isn't (per definition).


So, if enough people of that selection of western countries agreed that it was fine and just to murder others for profit that would be common sense, too? Common sense is defined by quantities only, right?

"Eat shit. Millions of flies can't be wrong."

A minority cannot have common sense if the majority disagrees?

I've learned here that freedom is an absolute value, no matter what. Now I hear about the dictatorship of the few and shortly after about the dictatorship of the masses. What's right?

amne wrote:
Of course there always is the chance the moderators are wrong, and it's up to the users to point out errors in their reasoning, but i think we do a quite good job in general.


Please, admins and moderators here, I want to make one thing very clear: I agree that you do a very good job here. I don't mean to attack any of you or all of you.

What I do critisize, though, is the perception that principles are absolute values to which there must not be any exceptions.

To get back from philosophy to the matter at hand: Yes, free speech is extremely valuable. To have exceptions doesn't diminish its value, though, but emphasizes it.

Here is the difference between restricting free speech and consenting to being policed by the moderators: the moderators police the forums for the good of the community as a whole. It is not good for the community to have the forums clogged with SPAM or off-topic ramblings. Free expression, however, is good. Of course, you could argue that it's all morally relative based on your cultural perspective (which is partially true) and which values are more important depend based on where you are from and what moral background you have been indoctrinated with, but such claims shall surely devolve to nihilism rather quickly.

The fact is that the Internet is, by it's very nature, a forum for open discussion and as such the principle of freedom of expression should be maintained whenever possible. The difference between banning avatars and moving threads because of their irrelevance is a functional difference. Can the forums function properly regardless of Nazi symbols displayed by certain members? Can the forums function properly if moderators do not crack down on violations of the rules which were put in place to preserve their functionality?

We are a community of people that make things work, not a community of people who force our beliefs on others.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ast0r wrote:
While I personally do not endorse any of the views held by the National Socialist party of Germany, I also do not find it particularly offensive to see a swastika, so long as the person displaying it is not vehemently agressive in pushing some agenda.


As I pointed out in a previous post, the main problem with nazi imagery is not its being offensive. For merely offensive things, I agree with you.

I believe one can argue that promoting nazism is not only offensive, but dangerous. Not all ideas are inocent or neutrals, and Nazism has proved that it can lead to a great deal of harm. I do not claim that nazism is the only evil known to mankind, nor even the greatest. But I believe it is not reasonable to claim that nazism is ok, or that there is nothing wrong promoting it. There is something wrong with claiming it is a good thing to kill people because of their religion or race.

There is nothing wrong with a swastika on an asian map. It most probably indicates the location of a budhist temple. There is something wrong a black swastika in a while circle on a red background, used as an avatar. It means "I believe nazism is ok / good / cool". I believe there is something wrong with moderators alowing people to do so. It means "it is ok for people to go around claiming genocide is a good thing to do". The problem is not that it is offensive. The problem is that it is dangerous.

Let me give you an exagerated example, but I believe it is relevant. You probably believe that killing people is not only offensive, but downright bad. If I claimed "Different people find different things offensive. If you find murders offensive, just don't look at them.", you would probably feel that my proposed solution is not actualy a solution.

The problem is not that me or other don't want to hear about nazism. The problem is that we don't want it (or other hatred based ideology) to happen again.

Ast0r wrote:
Quite frankly, I know of no constitution protecting human-rights which bans the use of imagery which might offend another person.


True indeed, but I believe most constitutions/laws of countries protecting human-rights do have something to say against genocide, human rights infringements, and things of this kind. This is why nazi imagery is worth banning, when used to promote or endorse the ideology. Not because it is offensive, which I don't care about, but because it contributes to spread a dangerous idéology.

Ast0r wrote:
If you fear tyranny and those who support it, how can you be for the supression of free speech? Was not the Nazi regime one marked by repressive denial of the right to speak freely?


As I said earlier, freedom is not what happens when you have no rules. What happens then is anarchy. When rules are too restrictive, the states trumps peoples rights, and reduces freedom. When there are not enough rules, anyone can trump anyone else's rights, and reduce freedom.

Freedom of trade does not mean it is ok to sell drugs, atom bombs or human beings. Freedom of action does not mean being alowed to kill anyone you fancy, freedom of press does not include the right to publish child porn. Freedom of movement does not include the right to enter your neighbour's house without his agreeing. Why should freedom of speech include the right to promote hatred and human-rights violation. It should certainly include the right to talk about it, but probably not the right to promote it.

Ast0r wrote:
To many persons (especially those who see their own governments moving toward totalitarianism, however small the steps may be) such broad censorship is greatly offensive

Do you also agrue against censorship of child porn(sorry, always the same example, but it is an easy one)? Excecive censorship is bad. Restricting people's rights for no reason is bad. Restricting people's right to protect them from each-other, and to keep the society to work well is not. Just as outlawing murder or rape does not mean everything will eventualy be outlawed, banning nazi propaganda does not mean eventualy all speech will be outlawed. The aim is the exact oposite. Not to let freedom oposing people gain enough influence to massively restricts everyone's rights beyond reason.


I understand your point, but I'd like you to understand that I dont oppose offending things. I actualy do not care at all about offending things. I oppose dangerous things. I care about freedom just as much as you do, but we disagree on ways to protect it. I believe freedom is not about the right to trump other people's right or the freedom to promote hatred. "It is forbiden to forbid" is about anarchy, not freedom. Your freedom is protected when a (reasonably) democratic governement restrict what people can do just enough so that they don't abuse eachother, but not so more than that. Saying "free for all, do whatever you like" does not lead to freedom, but to chaos.

By letting nazi endorsing people express their view in the open, just as if it was a normal thing to do, don't you think that there is a strong risk that given enough time, at least some people will be at least partly convinced, and progressively use the democracy to vote the democracy out?

If democracy is to be considered a good thing, and I believe it is, it should protect it self. Allow any one to participate to the courtry's politics, and to promote their ideas, as long as their ideas are not about the destitution of democracy.

Ast0r wrote:
You may not realize it, but your view is incredibly culturally biased.

Saying nazi are the ultimate evil is culturaly biased. Saying that promotion of hatred and tyrany is a bad thing is not.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two cents: This isn't a politics forum, it is a Gentoo Linux forum. It is an international forum. Because of this, surely it is easier to enforce a policy of staying away from all political subjects (and related logos), because that way nobody is offended. Granted, you may consider it a big cap on free speech, but you could also view it as keeping the forum in line with what it is a about: Linux.

To my mind, it should be this: If there is anything political, junk it. If people object, kindly point them to a political forum.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6thpink wrote:
Mmmmm, what?

The catholic church supported thousand of murders in Spain when the civil war was here. And they did support Francisco Franco, the dictator, and the were happy with him. Franco died less than 30 years ago, that is much actual that the WWII.

I can put many more example if you want.

So, lets ban anything having to do with christianity, cause some people in my family died within that alliance between the church and Franco.

Im sure each one has his/her own story, please, learn that. It has been repeated a lot of times in this thread. I never said "ban the cross", and have a reason too as well, so, leave this topic die.

You know what? I agree. The catholic church has been the most violent movement ever, they could do something to stop the NAZIS, but they didn't. The catholic church tortured Galileus and everyone who said the sun was the center of the universe. They didn't believe the earth was round even though the bible in Isaiah (If you want to know the exact chapter and verse ask me) says it, Why? cause they don't even use the bible. So in conclusion by what you said and for what I've read through history books yes not even a cross (which isn't where crhist died since the original greek word doesn't allude a cross) should be used.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

falcon_za wrote:

Ast0r wrote:
You may not realize it, but your view is incredibly culturally biased.

Saying nazi are the ultimate evil is culturaly biased. Saying that promotion of hatred and tyrany is a bad thing is not.

Indeed, hatred and tyranny suck, whereas allowing people freedom is perhaps the most important opposition to tyranny. So why tyrannically censor an image you evidently hate, thus impinging on others freedom?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I already explain why I think *reasonable* regulations are a way to ensure freedom, not restrict it.

I'll just clarify my opinion on one thing I don't think I said clearly.

I am not in favour of outright bannning of all nazi imagery, regardless of the purpose. There may be reasonable use of these, and they should not be restricted. However, actively promoting hatred-based ideology (including nazism), or merely endorsing it and letting people feel that being a nazi is actualy an ordinary thing should be baned, to prevent such ideas from spreading. Using a nazi symbol as one's avatar (without having a nick like "never_again") falls in the second case.

This is for the exact same reason that the right to the pursuit of hapiness should not allow you to kill people, even if that makes you happy.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

drwook wrote:
So why tyrannically censor an image you evidently hate, thus impinging on others freedom?

Actualy, I do not hate the image, I just oppose people promoting hate. I feel nothing particular for the image, except when it is used as a mean to promote hatred.

As for tyranically censoring it, I am not trying to. I am trying to argue in favor (as opposed to tyrannicaly imposing) of an oppinion. This oppion being that we should all democraticaly agree that there is no room for hate promoters among us, and set rules to prevent them from achieving their goals.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, where's someone been promoting hatred then if that's your only issue? How many incidents can you direct us to?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't, I didn't see any. But this thread was started by someone who just did. He argued that we should have a policy not to alow such things, and I generaly agree.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually my impression was it was started by someone who objected to the imagery of another 2 users avatars.

I'm sure if there was a 'we're recruiting for a neo-nazi organisation, grab a machete and jump on a plane to israel' thread the mods would deal with it.

AFAIK that hasn't happened. If it did, you could still ignore that IMO (just like I ignore people who bang on about jesus as though he wasn't an old dead failed carpenter who led a minor cult for a few years ;) ) but at least there might be some substance to this discussion.
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