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Discrimination against Christian - a real case :-)





Bikerman
Here in the UK, a Christian has just won a high-court ruling against his employer for discrimination.
This is notable for two reasons. Firstly I believe it is the first such complaint to be actually upheld in court. Secondly, he deserved to, and absolutely should have won.
Most people will know that I regard the majority (in fact pretty much ALL) complaints of discrimination by theists (nearly always Christians) as bogus - (and I'm talking about the UK here).
Well this one seems to me to be the first genuine case.
In a nutshell the guy 'tweeted' and 'facebooked' messages taking a biblical line on Gay marriage - 'it is wrong 'cause the bible is agin it' and that sort of stuff. He was subsequently demoted at work and suffered a big pay cut - he worked for local government.
Totally unjustified action as far as I can tell from reading the available materials (link at end) - not just over the top but wrong in principle. His views, though I find them personally to be bigoted, are an opinion to which he is fully entitled and, moreover, entitled to express. There are some limited cases when free expression of potentially offensive views outside the workplace might be problematic, but they are much the exception (to take an example close to home - teachers espousing extreme racism would concern me). It was a bonkers decision I believe and I think he was right to take it to court and I'm glad he won. No doubt Christian pressure groups will use this as an example of how anti-Christian the secular society is - but if they do I say that they are hypocritical scuzzbuckets, as many have previously said they have no faith in the justice system to protect them against such discrimination. I would also repeat that I believe this is the first case of its kind...Look at the reaction to see how much discrimination is endemic - nearly every commentator, including atheist and anti-theists like myself, thinks he was badly treated and find the actions of his employer ridiculous. That tells you something methinks.....

The only thing that leaves a slightly nasty taste in my mouth is the fact that he chose to take this to the high court when the obvious, quick, and financially much better option was an industrial tribunal. That could have given him substantial damages and order his employer to take him back as before - the high court could do neither - so it does seem that he was more interested in publicity than justice, but that doesn't change the fact that he was, I believe, correct.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/nov/16/christian-wins-case-gay-marriage-comments
ocalhoun
Taking a bit larger view, I do think that employers monitoring people's personal communications and punishing those they disapprove of is a growing problem... and some protections need to be put in place.
Bikerman
Yep, me too. That probably needs a thread of its own methinks Smile
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Taking a bit larger view, I do think that employers monitoring people's personal communications and punishing those they disapprove of is a growing problem... and some protections need to be put in place.
Totally agreed. I'd prefer to go for the larger view as well. More the overall principle of monitoring people's communications that counts than it being about any specific religion. If it had been for any other religion, or cause I'd have thought the same.

Thing is employers are usually much more savvy. The Tweets/Facebook messages may be the direct reason, but they'll trump up something different to get rid of the employee. So I'd say the employer was a bit of an idiot to have exercised this discrimination overtly and be caught doing that. And I'm sure all other employers have learned from this experience as well.
Afaceinthematrix
First things first. One of the things that the guy actually said was:

Quote:
The next evening he posted: "I don't understand why people who have no faith and don't believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church.

"The Bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women. If the state wants to offer civil marriage to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn't impose its rules on places of faith and conscience."


I actually agree with this. I really could not care any less if the church recognizes gay marriage because their recognition is irrelevant. Marriage is a contract between two people in the state. In the U.S., even if you get married through the church you still must receive a marriage license through the state. Getting married through the church has zero significance; it is a religious ceremony. If the religion disagrees with your lifestyle then they should not be forced to participate in it. A priest shouldn't be forced to perform a ceremony and we also shouldn't try to force him to.

Secondly, I agree that this was a case of discrimination and I am happy that the guy won the case. I also believe that there are plenty of cases where the workplace should have the right to fire you or punish you for things that you say outside of the workplace or things that you believe.

Most of the time you should not be fired for your beliefs if you can do your job just as well despite the belief. For instance, you might have an excellent teacher that can teach even the hardest students yet what if this teacher absolutely hates children? I think that this teacher should obviously be allowed to continue teaching children because his hatred of children doesn't stop him from doing the job. However, what if the position requires an actual belief? I know that many pastors/priests are atheists and I think that their church should be allowed to remove them because the core of their job is their faith. However, this is a special case and I cannot think of any others like it.

As for free speech, business is business. I support a business' right to remove an employee who is discovered to be badmouthing the company, giving away company secrets, or doing anything else to actively hurt the company. If you're employed by the company then you're representing the company. If they can prove that you're actively trying to take business away then you should not work for that company.

Giving away confidential information is a no-brainer to me. If you sell company technology then you should be fired. Or even if you're a teacher and you put something on Facebook (even if it is completely private) like, "That little dumbass John Smith failed another math test today! He is hopeless!" and the district found out then you should be fired because test scores are for the teacher, student, and parents only.
Vanilla
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I actually agree with this. I really could not care any less if the church recognizes gay marriage because their recognition is irrelevant. Marriage is a contract between two people in the state. In the U.S., even if you get married through the church you still must receive a marriage license through the state. Getting married through the church has zero significance; it is a religious ceremony. If the religion disagrees with your lifestyle then they should not be forced to participate in it. A priest shouldn't be forced to perform a ceremony and we also shouldn't try to force him to.


Living in a big Catholic country certainly gives you a somewhat different perception of the whole "gays in the church" thing. I have many gay friends and although I couldn't care less about the Church, a big chunk of my gay friends is Catholic and really devote. That's why they suffer so much: the same Church that is preaching about love thy brother is the same condemning what they are. For them, it would be really important to be accepted and welcomed by the Catholic Church, as they didn't stop believing in this "God of love".

Note that I'm not saying that the Church should change its politics, mind you that I live in a place where the average citizen is outraged because we're taking the "God be praised" from our money. Yep, God is a serious business here.
Afaceinthematrix
Vanilla wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I actually agree with this. I really could not care any less if the church recognizes gay marriage because their recognition is irrelevant. Marriage is a contract between two people in the state. In the U.S., even if you get married through the church you still must receive a marriage license through the state. Getting married through the church has zero significance; it is a religious ceremony. If the religion disagrees with your lifestyle then they should not be forced to participate in it. A priest shouldn't be forced to perform a ceremony and we also shouldn't try to force him to.


Living in a big Catholic country certainly gives you a somewhat different perception of the whole "gays in the church" thing. I have many gay friends and although I couldn't care less about the Church, a big chunk of my gay friends is Catholic and really devote. That's why they suffer so much: the same Church that is preaching about love thy brother is the same condemning what they are. For them, it would be really important to be accepted and welcomed by the Catholic Church, as they didn't stop believing in this "God of love".

Note that I'm not saying that the Church should change its politics, mind you that I live in a place where the average citizen is outraged because we're taking the "God be praised" from our money. Yep, God is a serious business here.


I know where you're coming from. The United States is practically a theocracy. We just had a fundamentalist Christian in the White House. On our last election, the big "issues" included gay rights and abortion - whereas the more important issues were the economy, environment, etc. - you know, things that matter.

We have these religious types fighting tooth and nail to prevent homosexuals from getting married or even existing. Homosexuals are probably the single biggest hated group in my country. I hate these bigots! However, the biggest reason why I hate them is because they try to force their beliefs onto everyone else. Have your belief; I don't care. Just don't force your belief onto anyone else. So if the church said, "We frown upon homosexuality and won't condone it in our church, but we will do nothing about it outside of the church" then I would have absolutely no problem whatsoever with that. Homosexuals can still get married; the only difference is some priest doesn't bless their marriage. Big freakin' deal. And why would the priest bless a marriage that goes against their beliefs? You can't force a priest to marry someone.

On a side note, we tried getting the "In God We Trust" off of our money about ten years ago and it epicly failed. That wasn't the only attempt. People have constantly taken it to court and argued that it goes against the establishment clause of our constitution (which is supposed to prevent the government from endorsing a religion) and each time the court case has failed. I protest that by taking every bill I get and scratching out the "In God We Trust" or sometimes just scratching out the "God" and putting something that I care about (heavy metal, mathematics, Firefly, chess, hiking, basketball, camping, etc.) because basketball and hiking are actually worth respect in my opinion.

Yeah, God is big business here as well. We've had people who work at abortion clinics get murdered, protests at every "inappropriate" popular concert or movie, laws banning the teaching of evolution in some school districts, etc. It sucks living in a country where public policy is often religious based, doesn't it?
Vanilla
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
On a side note, we tried getting the "In God We Trust" off of our money about ten years ago and it epicly failed. That wasn't the only attempt. People have constantly taken it to court and argued that it goes against the establishment clause of our constitution (which is supposed to prevent the government from endorsing a religion) and each time the court case has failed. I protest that by taking every bill I get and scratching out the "In God We Trust" or sometimes just scratching out the "God" and putting something that I care about (heavy metal, mathematics, Firefly, chess, hiking, basketball, camping, etc.) because basketball and hiking are actually worth respect in my opinion.


The general population isn't reacting pretty well with the whole "taking God off the money". I have a cousin (which I consider a very smart guy since he teaches in a famous State University) saying that this was "the doing of a bunch of gays and lesbians". And yes, he wasn't too kind to use those words, so you can guess he was using much more aggressive therms. This is what frightens me most. Sometimes we look like a free country where you could believe (or not) in all you want and love whoever you want, but clearly it is not like that. This is the Carnaval country. And we're worried about taking a bunch of crucifixes out of public buildings and some words out of our money. People are mighty worried about being condemned to hell because we want to get rid of those symbols, and next month they go around half-naked having sex like animals "because it's Carnaval and nothing else matters". Hypocrites.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Yeah, God is big business here as well. We've had people who work at abortion clinics get murdered, protests at every "inappropriate" popular concert or movie, laws banning the teaching of evolution in some school districts, etc. It sucks living in a country where public policy is often religious based, doesn't it?


You bet it sucks, and it sucks big time. I like to think that our president is an atheist, but then I remember how she was "accused" of being an atheist and suddenly started attending to every church she could. I could call her a chicken but even my employer doesn't feel too comfortable with me not believing in a God, so I usually don't talk about religion around her. Guess I can say I'm a chicken myself for not sticking with my beliefs.
Afaceinthematrix
Do you want to see how crazy we get in the U.S. over God?

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/oklahoma-judge-sentences-teen-to-church-for-10-years/

If you don't feel like reading the entire argument, some kid drinks, gets into the car with his friends, crashes the car, and the friend dies. It's a basic drinking while under the influence case. What is the punishment that the judge gives off? 10 years of church! Yup... Our legal system feels that they have the right to take advantage of young kids who aren't really bad people but that made an awful mistake and convert them. God takes over our legal system. A kid drinks and drives and so obviously the solution to this problem is God, right?

Don't get me wrong. I think that jail would be a bad decision in this case. This kid probably isn't a bad person. He just made an awful mistake and needs to learn from it. I think that an appropriate solution would be to sentence him to spending every single Friday and Saturday night (the nights where the most people party and drive) for the next year volunteering in a hospital and helping the nurses when people come in with serious injuries that are a result of car accidents.

Quote:
The general population isn't reacting pretty well with the whole "taking God off the money". I have a cousin (which I consider a very smart guy since he teaches in a famous State University) saying that this was "the doing of a bunch of gays and lesbians". And yes, he wasn't too kind to use those words, so you can guess he was using much more aggressive therms. This is what frightens me most. Sometimes we look like a free country where you could believe (or not) in all you want and love whoever you want, but clearly it is not like that. This is the Carnaval country. And we're worried about taking a bunch of crucifixes out of public buildings and some words out of our money. People are mighty worried about being condemned to hell because we want to get rid of those symbols, and next month they go around half-naked having sex like animals "because it's Carnaval and nothing else matters". Hypocrites.



Yes. They are hypocrites. Although Carnaval in Rio does sound fun... We have the same issue in our media. People are convinced that crime (even though violent crime has gone DOWN over the years) is a result of people wanting to take "In God We Trust" off of our money or our acceptance of homosexuals (although that is partly true... our acceptance of homosexuals causes some people to commit crimes towards homosexuals... so the same people who blame crime as a result of acceptance of homosexuals are the same people causing the crime and so it is a self-fulfilling prophecy).

Quote:
You bet it sucks, and it sucks big time. I like to think that our president is an atheist, but then I remember how she was "accused" of being an atheist and suddenly started attending to every church she could. I could call her a chicken but even my employer doesn't feel too comfortable with me not believing in a God, so I usually don't talk about religion around her. Guess I can say I'm a chicken myself for not sticking with my beliefs.


In some places in the U.S. it is illegal to hold public office if you're not a Christian. Almost nobody will vote for you if you're not a Christian and even if you are a Christian, you might lose the vote from some old white people if you're Catholic.
nickfyoung
While we are in this mode there is something that I would like to understand a little better.

It is not really on topic but we are involving homosexual arguments.

Can I use the terms gay and straight to simplify it for me.

I am in an older age bracket and there was no such debate when I was growing up so I probably missed something.

A straight couple are man and women. The man is rough and scratchy as in beard etc while the woman is soft and gentle and smells nice, generalizing here.

Being straight and preferring the soft and gentle, I can't imagine it any other way. That makes it difficult to understand two gay guys.

Preferring soft and gentle, I can better imagine two gay women.

So looking at straight, a man prefers soft and gentle while a woman prefers rough and scratchy.

So in a gay relationship of two guys, they both seem to prefer rough and scratchy, or the straight woman's preference.

And in a gay relationship of two women, they both prefer soft and gentle or a straight mans preference.

While I can easier understand two gay women it is probably only because my preference is for soft and gentle and the gay women are going opposite of straight women's preference.

Am I making sense. Does the orientation to gay change the preference from soft and gentle to rough and scratchy for men and the other for gay women.

That would make sense and also explain why I can't imagine it, the preference has changed.
Bikerman
What a naive and simple view of sexuality....quite cute....Smile

In reality people are not inflamed by how soft and curvy their potential parter is (though some no doubt are) there is much more to it. I, without getting too personal but as a fairly non-outrageous example, am not attracted by women who would be considered magazine cover material - perfect skin and smile, 34,22,34 figures, 5'10'' tall, blondes (to slightly generalise, but only slightly). I would not look twice generally. But a slightly crooked smile from a 5'4'' woman (and I mean over 30 generally) who is a what some might call on the plump side ...... anyway, the point is that we all are turned-on by different things, which are, like any normalish distribution, grouped around a notional 'average'. This 'average' isn't real, but it becomes real as women or men see it as the safe ideal and make themselves more like it, using whatever they have available.


So on the extreme left we have the 7ft Amazon weighing 32 stone, and on the extreme right we have the girl with dwarfism (just considering height and weight). But this is also misleading. You might think that the middle is the place to be, but not really. That would be true if people changed their preferences consciously, but we don't.
Most women obviously have no problem with scratchy blokes (though I think you may have a slightly old image there - young males are spending mucho time and dosh on skin-care and grooming nowadays) but most women will have a range which turns them on more than the rest - like most blokes do. It could be a shapely ass, a smile, height - any number of things.

So you can't really make a generalisation about a progression from soft/feminine -> scratchy/masculine corresponding with straight -> gay. For one thing a couple of my gay friends really go for big 'scratchy' rough looking blokes - as Andy once said to me - my ideal bloke is a very butch and rough looking long-haired biker-rocker, and my turn off is a fey, mincing fairy (his words, so no complaints please) - which makes it pretty dangerous if I read it wrong..... Smile
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
What a naive and simple view of sexuality....quite cute....Smile

In reality people are not inflamed by how soft and curvy their potential parter is (though some no doubt are) there is much more to it. I, without getting too personal but as a fairly non-outrageous example, am not attracted by women who would be considered magazine cover material - perfect skin and smile, 34,22,34 figures, 5'10'' tall, blondes (to slightly generalise, but only slightly). I would not look twice generally. But a slightly crooked smile from a 5'4'' woman (and I mean over 30 generally) who is a what some might call on the plump side ...... anyway, the point is that we all are turned-on by different things, which are, like any normalish distribution, grouped around a notional 'average'. This 'average' isn't real, but it becomes real as women or men see it as the safe ideal and make themselves more like it, using whatever they have available.


So on the extreme left we have the 7ft Amazon weighing 32 stone, and on the extreme right we have the girl with dwarfism (just considering height and weight). But this is also misleading. You might think that the middle is the place to be, but not really. That would be true if people changed their preferences consciously, but we don't.
Most women obviously have no problem with scratchy blokes (though I think you may have a slightly old image there - young males are spending mucho time and dosh on skin-care and grooming nowadays) but most women will have a range which turns them on more than the rest - like most blokes do. It could be a shapely ass, a smile, height - any number of things.

So you can't really make a generalisation about a progression from soft/feminine -> scratchy/masculine corresponding with straight -> gay. For one thing a couple of my gay friends really go for big 'scratchy' rough looking blokes - as Andy once said to me - my ideal bloke is a very butch and rough looking long-haired biker-rocker, and my turn off is a fey, mincing fairy (his words, so no complaints please) - which makes it pretty dangerous if I read it wrong..... Smile



Yes but... what I am trying to understand is,

Is what makes a gay male , straight female characteristics and vise versa.


Quote:
my ideal bloke is a very butch and rough looking long-haired biker-rocker, and my turn off is a fey, mincing fairy



Could that not be a straight woman saying that too.
Bikerman
What makes sexuality is extremely complex. It can't be simplified in the way you are seeking. It isn't just appearance, otherwise straight men would be fine screwing pretty lady-boys.
Why are you attracted to women and not cute men? Is it just that women have more curves and bigger breasts? Surely not. That may be a part of it but certainly not the whole.
It isn't JUST genetic - as the evidence seems to show, but it is at least PARTLY genetic - the exact proportion is not known and may not be possible to put a hard figure on it. As I said last time - people find all sorts of different types attractive and you can't easily make simple generalisations. This is one of the stupid mistakes made by those with a religious agenda. They like to generalise in silly ways. So a man having sex with a woman is OK, but they must be married first, and if Catholic then they should have sex primarily to have children and not simply for pleasure. This is based on the idiotic notion that there are some relationships that are 'natural' and some that are perverted or unnatural. It is the standard theist justification for bigotry of all sorts, including their anti=gay marriage bigotry. No matter how many times it is pointed out that many species of animals have significant gay sex, they cling on to this undefined notion of 'natural' when what they actually mean is 'I don't like it and the bible can be used to say that without people being able to call me a bigot'. Nope - bigot they are.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
What makes sexuality is extremely complex. It can't be simplified in the way you are seeking. It isn't just appearance, otherwise straight men would be fine screwing pretty lady-boys.
Why are you attracted to women and not cute men? Is it just that women have more curves and bigger breasts? Surely not. That may be a part of it but certainly not the whole.
It isn't JUST genetic - as the evidence seems to show, but it is at least PARTLY genetic - the exact proportion is not known and may not be possible to put a hard figure on it. As I said last time - people find all sorts of different types attractive and you can't easily make simple generalisations. This is one of the stupid mistakes made by those with a religious agenda. They like to generalise in silly ways. So a man having sex with a woman is OK, but they must be married first, and if Catholic then they should have sex primarily to have children and not simply for pleasure. This is based on the idiotic notion that there are some relationships that are 'natural' and some that are perverted or unnatural. It is the standard theist justification for bigotry of all sorts, including their anti=gay marriage bigotry. No matter how many times it is pointed out that many species of animals have significant gay sex, they cling on to this undefined notion of 'natural' when what they actually mean is 'I don't like it and the bible can be used to say that without people being able to call me a bigot'. Nope - bigot they are.



Quote:
It isn't JUST genetic



Knew a lady once who had had an alcoholic father. Because of that her brother was a teetotaler but she became an alcoholic too.

She seemed to have an addictive nature and also seemed to be addicted to sex needing it at least twice a day and more if she could get it.

Is that all part of the genetic make up of her.
Indi
You know, i don't think discrimination and religion in the context of the working world has ever been properly discussed. We've had posts and threads about specific instances, but i don't think we've ever considered the situation broadly, but focused only on the religious rights of employees, employers and businesses.

i mean, this case is less about religious discrimination than it is about privacy issues - if the employee keeps their religious shit in their private lives, their employer has no right to be concerned with it at all. i think we've discussed the question of when and how an employer has a right to be concerned with what employees do out of work generally, too.

And i know specific issues have come up before. I remember that British Airways flight attendant with her cross. Someone just mentioned the bus driver who refused to drive the bus because it had a gay rights ad on the side - well, we discussed a previous case where a bus driver refused to drive a bus because it had an atheist ad on the side. (Although, that jackass at least had the decency not to leave passengers sitting in the bus while he threw his temper tantrum.)

But i don't think we've ever actually focused on the general question of when, where and how religion - or other private beliefs - and business and employment should coexist. And good grief, there's no shortage of real-world cases to discuss. Hell, just the other day, and just down the road from me, another doozy: a lesbian woman goes into a barbershop for a haircut, and is told that the barbers won't cut her hair because she's a woman, and they're Muslim.

i think it's worth a topic.
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
You know, i don't think discrimination and religion in the context of the working world has ever been properly discussed. We've had posts and threads about specific instances, but i don't think we've ever considered the situation broadly, but focused only on the religious rights of employees, employers and businesses.

i mean, this case is less about religious discrimination than it is about privacy issues - if the employee keeps their religious shit in their private lives, their employer has no right to be concerned with it at all. i think we've discussed the question of when and how an employer has a right to be concerned with what employees do out of work generally, too.

And i know specific issues have come up before. I remember that British Airways flight attendant with her cross. Someone just mentioned the bus driver who refused to drive the bus because it had a gay rights ad on the side - well, we discussed a previous case where a bus driver refused to drive a bus because it had an atheist ad on the side. (Although, that jackass at least had the decency not to leave passengers sitting in the bus while he threw his temper tantrum.)

But i don't think we've ever actually focused on the general question of when, where and how religion - or other private beliefs - and business and employment should coexist. And good grief, there's no shortage of real-world cases to discuss. Hell, just the other day, and just down the road from me, another doozy: a lesbian woman goes into a barbershop for a haircut, and is told that the barbers won't cut her hair because she's a woman, and they're Muslim.

i think it's worth a topic.



Discrimination comes into play in the hiring process too. Australia has strict discrimination laws which means you can't be discriminated against at you job interview or refused employment based on your sex or age etc.

It is interesting to see job adds in places like the Philippines where they specify exactly what they want, female, under 25, college education, pleasant personality and then they insist on a photo with your application.

I hope to open business in the Philippines and employ people. However, because of the difficulty of getting good staff who wont rip you off, I will be adopting a policy of hiring only very committed Christians so at least we are on the same boat. Rather than advertising I would take the advice of local pastors in the selection process.

Is that a form of discrimination.
Bikerman
Yes of course it is discrimination, but it is also dumb.
It is based on the perception that Christians are more honest that non-Christians - a belief which seems to me to be both unsupported and very likely to be wrong.
I've looked for evidence on this issue and found bits here and there and, here's the thing - such evidence as I can find tends to indicate that Christians are not only NOT more 'moral' or 'decent' people that atheists or other groups - they are actually LESS moral than some groups, including atheists. Now, I don't consider the evidence to be sufficient to make conclusive statements on this yet, but it suggests that you would be making a bad mistake, as well as being a bigot.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Yes of course it is discrimination, but it is also dumb.
It is based on the perception that Christians are more honest that non-Christians - a belief which seems to me to be both unsupported and very likely to be wrong.
I've looked for evidence on this issue and found bits here and there and, here's the thing - such evidence as I can find tends to indicate that Christians are not only NOT more 'moral' or 'decent' people that atheists or other groups - they are actually LESS moral than some groups, including atheists. Now, I don't consider the evidence to be sufficient to make conclusive statements on this yet, but it suggests that you would be making a bad mistake, as well as being a bigot.



While there are many Christians who are not honest it is true that a committed sincere Christian who is truly basing his life on relationship with his God is more inclined to be honest.

We have had this out before but you will have to agree that there are levels of commitment within Christianity.
The Teresa type commitment is far greater than your Christmas / Easter christian.

We had a month long trip to the Philippines and had a lady come and live in our house and open our little attached shop each day while we were away.
We were much more comfortable knowing her commitment level to Christianity having her there.

One of the biggest problems with hiring staff in the Philippines is their attitude to outsiders who they consider to be wealthy and so they would not miss a little from the till each day.

Family and extended family are not exempt. Temptation is just too overwhelming.

One way to overcome that is to hire people who are at least on a comparable commitment level to us so that communication and expectations are more easily understood.
Bikerman
nickfyoung wrote:
While there are many Christians who are not honest it is true that a committed sincere Christian who is truly basing his life on relationship with his God is more inclined to be honest.
No it isn't and you are a case in point. You have already said that God created evil and cannot be judged by human standards of morality. You have conceded that God has, and continues to, commit acts which in human moral terms are evil. So you are committed to a deity that cannot be said to be honest or moral and you deny any need to apply such principles - so how could that possibly make you moral? In addition you refuse to accept facts which contradict your beliefs and you have , on several occasions demonstrated basic dishonesty in debate.
QED.
Quote:
We have had this out before but you will have to agree that there are levels of commitment within Christianity.
I don't HAVE to agree anything, but I WILL agree on this.
Quote:
The Teresa type commitment is far greater than your Christmas / Easter Christian.
And you think zealotry is moral? Or makes you a moral person? Rather the opposite. Someone who is committed to one viewpoint is far more likely to be dishonest in defence of that belief. The evidence is available on any creationist website.

PS - Mother Theresa was not an honest person. She was a deluded and malign little witch who glorified suffering, praised some of the most brutal dictators in the world whilst taking their money and instead of building hospitals and buying drugs, spent it building convents with her name on them.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
PS - Mother Theresa was not an honest person. She was a deluded and malign little witch who glorified suffering, praised some of the most brutal dictators in the world whilst taking their money and instead of building hospitals and buying drugs, spent it building convents with her name on them.

(And publicly lied about her actual lack of faith, don't forget.)
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
While there are many Christians who are not honest it is true that a committed sincere Christian who is truly basing his life on relationship with his God is more inclined to be honest.
No it isn't and you are a case in point. You have already said that God created evil and cannot be judged by human standards of morality. You have conceded that God has, and continues to, commit acts which in human moral terms are evil. So you are committed to a deity that cannot be said to be honest or moral and you deny any need to apply such principles - so how could that possibly make you moral? In addition you refuse to accept facts which contradict your beliefs and you have , on several occasions demonstrated basic dishonesty in debate.
QED.
Quote:
We have had this out before but you will have to agree that there are levels of commitment within Christianity.
I don't HAVE to agree anything, but I WILL agree on this.
Quote:
The Teresa type commitment is far greater than your Christmas / Easter Christian.
And you think zealotry is moral? Or makes you a moral person? Rather the opposite. Someone who is committed to one viewpoint is far more likely to be dishonest in defence of that belief. The evidence is available on any creationist website.

PS - Mother Theresa was not an honest person. She was a deluded and malign little witch who glorified suffering, praised some of the most brutal dictators in the world whilst taking their money and instead of building hospitals and buying drugs, spent it building convents with her name on them.



Quote:
demonstrated basic dishonesty in debate



Not deliberately or knowingly. That is not my nature.


Quote:
Mother Theresa was not an honest person



Had no idea that Theresa was that way inclined. I just used her to get a comparison of level of commitment.


So then are there honest people in this world, if they are not Christians who are they.
Bikerman
There are plenty of honest people. The point is only that being a theist of any sort doesn't make it more likely that you will be honest, and there is evidence to the contrary.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
There are plenty of honest people. The point is only that being a theist of any sort doesn't make it more likely that you will be honest, and there is evidence to the contrary.



The thing about the Philippines is because the standard of living is so low, an honest person is easily led into temptation. If they are working your till all day and see more money each day than they see in a life time it is only a matter of time.
Afaceinthematrix
To those that are more interested in the privacy outside of the workplace than religious discrimination, then here we go:

http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2012/11/21/15334703-arlington-cemetery-pic-sparks-outrage-calls-for-womans-firing?lite

Essentially, some woman flipped the bird to a special military grave and now:

Quote:
Stone has since removed the photo, but it already had been shared widely. A "Fire Lindsey Stone" Facebook page was quickly created, and now has more than 12,000 likes.


You can read the rest yourself.

Indi wrote:
But i don't think we've ever actually focused on the general question of when, where and how religion - or other private beliefs - and business and employment should coexist. And good grief, there's no shortage of real-world cases to discuss. Hell, just the other day, and just down the road from me, another doozy: a lesbian woman goes into a barbershop for a haircut, and is told that the barbers won't cut her hair because she's a woman, and they're Muslim.


That is absolutely ridiculous. Does this woman really think that she has a case or that she even deserves a case? There's a legitimate argument to arguing that a business cannot refuse service if they are publicly funded or essential for life (like a public hospital cannot refuse service to a woman or the water company cannot refuse service to a paying customer that needs water) but it's their barbershop and so she just wants the attention. She's being ridiculous; I cannot think of a single valid reason why the government should force a business to service women when their religion bans it. Some Muslims fly airplanes into buildings; other refuse to cut hair. That puts the lack of haircutting seem miniscule. Like I said, you should only force a business to service all customers if there is a life-or-death reason to.

Plus, to prove that she just wants the attention, you can Google Terminal Barbershop on Bay Street in Toronto and find Crows Nest Barbershop just a block and a half away and Onyx Barbers just down the street. There's about ten barbershops within a few blocks that she could have gone to (seriously, why so many barbershops in one city?).
nickfyoung
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
To those that are more interested in the privacy outside of the workplace than religious discrimination, then here we go:

http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2012/11/21/15334703-arlington-cemetery-pic-sparks-outrage-calls-for-womans-firing?lite

Essentially, some woman flipped the bird to a special military grave and now:

Quote:
Stone has since removed the photo, but it already had been shared widely. A "Fire Lindsey Stone" Facebook page was quickly created, and now has more than 12,000 likes.


You can read the rest yourself.

Indi wrote:
But i don't think we've ever actually focused on the general question of when, where and how religion - or other private beliefs - and business and employment should coexist. And good grief, there's no shortage of real-world cases to discuss. Hell, just the other day, and just down the road from me, another doozy: a lesbian woman goes into a barbershop for a haircut, and is told that the barbers won't cut her hair because she's a woman, and they're Muslim.


That is absolutely ridiculous. Does this woman really think that she has a case or that she even deserves a case? There's a legitimate argument to arguing that a business cannot refuse service if they are publicly funded or essential for life (like a public hospital cannot refuse service to a woman or the water company cannot refuse service to a paying customer that needs water) but it's their barbershop and so she just wants the attention. She's being ridiculous; I cannot think of a single valid reason why the government should force a business to service women when their religion bans it. Some Muslims fly airplanes into buildings; other refuse to cut hair. That puts the lack of haircutting seem miniscule. Like I said, you should only force a business to service all customers if there is a life-or-death reason to.

Plus, to prove that she just wants the attention, you can Google Terminal Barbershop on Bay Street in Toronto and find Crows Nest Barbershop just a block and a half away and Onyx Barbers just down the street. There's about ten barbershops within a few blocks that she could have gone to (seriously, why so many barbershops in one city?).



It is your business so you can serve who you want to. Same as any retail, if you have kids clowning around or pinching stuff in your shop can ban them, or should be able to.
As for the people clowning around at the cemetery, what harm are they doing. Many don't hold such sites in reverence. Sure, war is a cruel thing but many are conscience objectors and wont fight. They are criticized by society too.
It is a big business here. The returned services league has a licensed club in every town in the country. At 6 o clock they stop for a couple of minutes to remember, other than that it is just another club. Once a year there is an annual march and memorial day. It is a public holiday and some laws are relaxed to accommodate it.
They are remembering the dead.
What about thinking about that before sending off more young men to die in another war. What is it really achieving.
Indi
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
That is absolutely ridiculous. Does this woman really think that she has a case or that she even deserves a case? There's a legitimate argument to arguing that a business cannot refuse service if they are publicly funded or essential for life (like a public hospital cannot refuse service to a woman or the water company cannot refuse service to a paying customer that needs water) but it's their barbershop and so she just wants the attention. She's being ridiculous; I cannot think of a single valid reason why the government should force a business to service women when their religion bans it. Some Muslims fly airplanes into buildings; other refuse to cut hair. That puts the lack of haircutting seem miniscule. Like I said, you should only force a business to service all customers if there is a life-or-death reason to.

You really think it's that clear cut? Then, riddle me this: what if i opened a shop... and refused to service any non-white people? Do you really think it would be kosher to put a sign on my storefront: "no blacks allowed"? Or, perhaps, you think such a sign would be tasteless, and the proper thing to do would be keep my discriminatory policies discreet, and only tell brown people to ****** off - politely - if they actually wander into the shop? Oh, i know the libertarians and free-market nuts would say, "hur, if you did that, they would just go elsewhere and you'd lose their business, so you shouldn't do that." But in reality, the reason they're called minorities is not for shits and giggles - they are few compared to the majority, so there's usually no appreciable economic cost to ignoring them (which is why laws exist to prevent that). (And if you think a religious justification is necessary to make it okay, then let me point out that there have been, and are, myriad religions that racially discriminate.)

And if you think that it is okay for a private business to discriminate racially, then: what if i opened a shop... and refused to service disabled people? It can get expensive, after all, to provide facilities for disabled people; i would imagine that if it were allowed, there would be no shortage of companies that refuse to service disabled people. Again, it's not like they're that big a group, anyway, so there's hardly any economic cost to discriminating, and potentially big gains if you don't have to pay to make your store accessible. (And again, history is replete with religions that called disabled people cursed/possessed/whatever by gods and such.)

The go-to defence to justify discrimination against some group - gays, atheists, etc. - is usually that members of that group chose to be what they are (which is usually not true, but that's beside the point). But... that doesn't hold for disabled people. Or black people. Or women. And that single, valid reason that you're looking for, by the way, for why the law should force businesses not to discriminate against minorities, is that without that law there would be no reason for any business to not discriminate. Discrimination is a stable process - which means that if discrimination is allowed to exist unchallenged in a society, it will always continue to exist; discrimination is self-perpetuating. If you will, imagine a country where pretty much every business has "no Irish allowed" policies... where would Irish people go? Oh, sure, a few "Irish-friendly" businesses would pop up, but they would be few and far between, and - in a country where Irish people are a minority and there is general anti-Irish sentiment - struggling to find customers. Not to mention that there would be next to nowhere for Irish people to actually work - presumably if most stores don't allow Irish customers, they won't be keen on Irish employees. Which would make most Irish people fairly poor, which means Irish friendly businesses wouldn't really have much in the way of customers. All in all, you end up with an endless spiral of destitution of disadvantage for Irish people that they can never escape, and that only keeps the Irish people downtrodden. And, of course, the longer they stay downtrodden and trapped in poverty, the more that feeds the discrimination against them - can you think of any discriminated underclass, in the world, that isn't called "lazy", "shiftless", "unwilling to work", "uneducated", "unrefined", etc.? That's how people living in poverty get viewed by the upper class, and that perpetuates the discrimination against them... and the cycle goes on and on. And that's not theoretical; many places in the world have minority underclasses in situations like that - even first world countries like Canada and the US. For example, black people in the US for generations were kept poor and downtrodden because of the lack of laws against segregation. They're still behind the curve, but laws that forced the business world to accept them have given them a fighting chance (though, in reality, they're still not enough, because a people that has been kept downtrodden and in poverty for generations simply can't compete against people who have been advantaged for generations... you have to put your thumb on the scale a little bit, and make things a little unfair in favour of the underclass, so they have a real chance to escape the spiral). In Canada, native peoples are still unfairly disadvantaged, even today - they simply wouldn't have any chance to escape poverty without laws preventing discrimination.

Everyone should be free to discriminate as they please in the privacy of their own homes, or other similarly private places, but a shop is not a private space. Shops may not be public property (property of the public), but they are public spaces (places where the public is welcome). The standards for what is allowed in a public space are not the same for what is allowed in a private one.

And, in fact, that's the way the law is in most civilized countries. Businesses are NOT free to discriminate. In Canada, they are currently forbidden from unreasonably discriminating based on: "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability". (And there are currently very vigorous movements in progress to add "sexual orientation" and "gender"/"gender identity" to that list.) The question here is not whether any business should be free to discriminate - that question has already been laid to rest, as it should be in any civilized, diverse country. The question here is about whether the barber's religion gives them a free pass to break the law.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Plus, to prove that she just wants the attention, you can Google Terminal Barbershop on Bay Street in Toronto and find Crows Nest Barbershop just a block and a half away and Onyx Barbers just down the street. There's about ten barbershops within a few blocks that she could have gone to (seriously, why so many barbershops in one city?).

See, now that's just unwarranted slander. It doesn't matter that there were other shops nearby that might not have discriminated. What matters is that shop discriminated. Seriously, if you reported a restaurant for having rat droppings in the food, would you just be an attention ****** for doing it rather than going to another restaurant across the street? Hardly. The shop was doing something against the law, she reported it. End of story. Slandering the whistleblower? Really? That's kinda weak.

Besides, that whole attitude is misguided. Would you have called Rosa Parks an attention ******, too? i mean, hell, there were other seats at the back of the bus, after all. There was no reason she should have had to, you know, stand up against discrimination when she could have just stayed quiet and taken another bus. She must have just wanted the attention, eh?

Anyway, why are you picking on the victim of the discrimination here? Why does she have to accommodate them? Frankly, that's a very American, pro-business, anti-humanist attitude. Why don't they have to hire a non-Muslim barber to provide hair-cutting services the Muslims cannot? They want to run a shop to provide hair-cutting services, and they're currently unable to do so for at least 50% of the population. Seems to me the barbers are the ones who need to buck up and do better, not their customers. Seriously, if i had a store, and the floor was so weak that it could only support 90 kg safely, would you tell me that the right thing to do is tell fat customers to ****** off and go somewhere else? Because, to me, the right solution is to fix the damn floor, so i can properly provide services to the range of reasonable people weights. And if i couldn't, for some reason, it still wouldn't be the customers' fault; if someone bitched about my store, the correct response from me would be, "yes, i know, it's a problem i can't reasonably fix, i'm really sorry", not "who gave you the right to bitch about what i choose to do in my store when you could just go somewhere else?". i mean, come on, that attitude is ridiculous.

Really, if you want to criticize the woman's claim as frivolous, the claim is what you should be criticizing, not the woman who made it.

(And, for the record, the reason she picked that barber shop is because she'd tried many of the others, and found their work meh. She'd seen the cuts that shop did - apparently they were a certain kind of "businessman" cuts that she liked, i forget the term she used - and none of the other shops were doing it as well as they. All of that is in her complaint, if you cared to read it. Of course, all of that is also beside the point. She was discriminated against; she shouldn't have to justify what she was doing there when she she was discriminated against. And the fact that she was discriminated against is not even up for debate - the question is whether the barbers' religion gives them a right to discriminate that no one else has.)
Dialogist
Vanilla wrote:

That's why they suffer so much: the same Church that is preaching about love thy brother is the same condemning what they are.


It doesn't condemn what they are. It condemns what they do. And we'd have to qualify, "Condemn":

Dictionary.com wrote:

con·demn/k?n'dem/
Verb:

Express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.

Sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, esp. death: "the rebels had been condemned to death".


If you think it is the latter then we'll all burn in hell for the dogma of Original Sin. The Church teaches hate the sin, not the sinner, and the Christian should do well to appreciate its gay subscribers devotion in that they do so in the face of an adversity generated by people who don't have their faith. Who don't understand the attainment aspect of is and ought/aspiration and are.

And of course, the rebuttal is "But it's what they are and it is just natural."

So?

So is...

Vanilla wrote:

next month they go around half-naked having sex like animals "because it's Carnaval and nothing else matters". Hypocrites.


That's an incredibly Natural thing to do. I think the morality is being confused and conflated here. Me? I am straight. I want to have half-naked sex like animals from time to time. The Church says no. I don't assume the victim role. I make a choice. I can either say, "stuff you, I'll do as I please" or I can say, "I'll struggle on with this", fully mindful of the fact that I could barely get laid in a morgue.

The difference would be those who the option is always available too (and why? Because it is lust based?) And therefore I think the church is right, and that your homosexual friends are a shining example of faith in action, our most valued members and an example to us all concerning entitlement and attainment.
JoryRFerrell
I am kind of torn. On one hand, he will denounce homosexual people and so I am willing to bet he has or would be willing to vote against their rights as well. If he has or would vote against them being able to get married, thereby stripping them of human rights, does he really have a right to complain when people turn around and strip him of his rights? When people "discriminate" against him? He could try to argue;

"But my religion is against it. It specifically states it's a sin to engage in homosexual behavior. I'm not against it for any other reason."

First, I don't feel homosexual "engage in behavior". That makes it sound like a choice.
Homosexuals have sex with those their hormones lead them to be attracted to, like the rest of us.
Second, what about those of us without religion and religious law? What about those of us who believe in a secular law which governs everyone? This law states that you can't discriminate against others for something they can't help, even if your religion demands it.
He would technically be in violation of our secular version of all-powerful law in. So we, according to his own rules and regulations, would then have the right to discriminate right back.

However, if all he does is speak against it, without actually acting on his belief, thereby stripping others of their just rights, then we can't really do anything about that. He has his deferring view, and we have ours. Everyone in this case is perfectly safe and free to do as they please. But again, only so long as neither side acts to take away the oppositions right to believe as it wishes.

In this case, I feel the business was wrong. But he needs to get his head right if he is actively working against others himself.
Indi
JoryRFerrell wrote:
On one hand, he will denounce homosexual people and so I am willing to bet he has or would be willing to vote against their rights as well. If he has or would vote against them being able to get married, thereby stripping them of human rights, does he really have a right to complain when people turn around and strip him of his rights?

He should never get a chance to. Rights should NEVER be voted on.*

If rights get democratically decided, then the result would just be the same as if there were no democracy, or civilization, and we reverted back to the law of the jungle - in this case, the tyranny of the majority.

Rights are logical absolutes derived from the application of reason to the concept of personhood. In simpler terms, a person "gets" their rights from the same place a triangle "gets" its geometric properties, like that its angles add up to 180°. Nobody "gives" a triangle "permission" for its angles to add up to 180°. Nobody votes on whether a triangle's angles add up to 180°. It's true because it's true; it's true because it's an inescapable logical conclusion from the nature of what triangles are. In the same way, our rights exist as an inescapable logical conclusion from the nature of what we are: persons. No one can give you rights or take them away. The most they can do is decide whether they - or their country's laws - will acknowledge and respect your rights.

That's all that happens when people vote on the rights of others: they're not actually voting to give rights or take them away; they're voting on whether to acknowledge the existing rights, or stubbornly ignore the reality of their existence. Really, those are the terms these kinds of votes should always be put in. We should stop saying "a vote for or against their rights", and start saying, "a vote to accept reality or be a stubborn, denialist dick".

*More precisely, no one should ever be allowed to vote for or against anyone else's rights. They're free to decide to give up their own rights or ask for more; they're not free to decide what rights other people get.

JoryRFerrell wrote:
However, if all he does is speak against it, without actually acting on his belief, thereby stripping others of their just rights, then we can't really do anything about that.

Speaking is acting, and you can do a lot of harm just speaking intolerance and bigotry.

Despite that, it should still be allowed in a free and open society, but provided that it is expressed clearly as just a personal opinion, and not a threat or call to action (which would make it hate speech). (To clarify: "i believe that gays are offensive to God" is okay. "i am going to persecute gays", "believers should persecute gays", "gays should be persecuted" and "God says gays should be persecuted" are not.)

In this case, i understand that it was expressed clearly as a personal opinion, made privately and not in the context of working at his job. That doesn't mean that the employer has no right to be upset by it - especially if they were gay! Those comments may just be words, but they can still do a lot of harm, and hurt a lot of people. But in a free and open society, we have to accept the inevitability that we may see and hear things that hurt us. The Christians have to accept that they will see and hear happy, thriving gay people in open and committed homosexual relationships, and the rest of us will have to accept that we will see and hear the Christians calling these people and what they do evil. C'est la vie, vive la difference.

So we have a situation where the employee has the right to express whatever opinion they please... but the employer also has the right to be upset by whatever opinion the employee expresses, no matter where or how they express it. The real question is not either of those things. It is what freedom should the employer have to fire an employee they think is a total dick.

Traditionally, the thinking was that employers could hire whomever they wanted, however they wanted, whenever the wanted, and they could fire them just as freely. But around a hundred years ago, as societies became more diverse and less homogenous, smart people started to realize that if they just let everyone be, the society would fracture into tribes of the haves and have-nots, with sharp borders between the various majority and minority groups. The poor and disadvantaged would stay poor and disadvantaged - and the rich would exploit them - and the society would constantly be in a state of cold civil war, always teetering on the brink of riots and uprisings and other violence by the poor against the rich, and equally violent suppression of those uprisings. To break the cycle and guide society toward a more egalitarian, and more peaceful, existence, they made special new laws: laws that took away the freedom of employers to discriminate in certain ways. In Canada, for example an employer is not free to discriminate, when hiring or firing, based on "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability" (unless reasonably necessary, of course).

But despite common perception, that doesn't mean that employers can't fire you if they just don't like your face, for example. Anti-discrimination laws only prevent discrimination in the ways specified. Employers in many countries are still free to hire or fire in any other discriminatory way they dream up. In fact, there was a case not too long ago in the US where an employer fired a bunch of its employees for wearing orange. Yes, seriously. And it was perfectly legal, because the employer didn't discriminate based on race, sex, etc.. (That wouldn't work in the UK or Canada, because the laws here protect employees more than employers, in general, unlike the US, but let's just pretend that it would, for argument's sake.)

In other words... why isn't this employer free to fire this employee... just because they think the employee is a dick? It's pretty clear they're not firing the employee because they're Christian; they're specifically firing the employee for expressing a foul opinion publicly. The inspiration for that opinion may be Christianity... in the mind of the employee... but to the employer that's irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether they came up with their antipathy to gay people because they're Christian or whether they came up with it just for the hell of it. All that matters, to the employer, is that the employee published a foul, ignorant and bigoted comment.

So why can't the employer fire them? Seriously, think about it. i'm not saying they were right or wrong;** i'm just pointing out that this isn't as clear cut as everyone here seems to believe. Employers are (generally) private citizens, and their businesses are their own private businesses... why can't they run their businesses according to their own private beliefs? Why can't they fire someone for doing something stupid and hateful? (Bear in mind the facts of the case, too: while the comment was made off-work, and in a private chat, it was made specifically to coworkers. And, the company hinted at past disciplinary issues with the guy. (And, technically, he wasn't fired, just demoted.) So keep the precedent in mind. Would you fault an employer for firing someone who was a perfectly polite human being at work, waiting until after hours to meet up with coworkers and rant at them about being fags and fairies?)

Put another way: do you believe the government should dictate to private citizens how they should run their private businesses? Is it right to take away an employer's ability to fire someone who is disruptive and hateful, and who makes other workers feel intimidated and uncomfortable, just because the employee is canny enough to wait until after the whistle to do it?

Think about it.

** In fact, i agree with the ruling, but for much more subtle reasons than i've seen expressed her so far. The factors i consider are that the comments were made in private discussions with the coworkers off-work, and where solicited by the coworkers. The coworkers asked for the guy's opinion. And the comments themselves weren't actually directed at gay people or gay marriage, they were a criticism of a specific government policy. Even a gay person could, theoretically, support the comments this guy made. So the comments weren't hateful, they were made in private, and they were solicited... there's just no justification for disciplinary action.

(Incidentally... i just gotta point out the usual Christian hypocrisy in this case. i'm surprised no one else noticed it. Read the comments our Martyr made that got him penalized: "If the state wants to offer civil marriage to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn't impose its rules on places of faith and conscience." Apparently, Our Hero has a major problem with tolerance laws when the state imposes them on churches... but is a-ok with them when they're imposed on his employers, their private business and their beliefs.)
JoryRFerrell
Indi wrote:
JoryRFerrell wrote:
On one hand, he will denounce homosexual people and so I am willing to bet he has or would be willing to vote against their rights as well. If he has or would vote against them being able to get married, thereby stripping them of human rights, does he really have a right to complain when people turn around and strip him of his rights?

He should never get a chance to. Rights should NEVER be voted on.*

If rights get democratically decided, then the result would just be the same as if there were no democracy, or civilization, and we reverted back to the law of the jungle - in this case, the tyranny of the majority.

Rights are logical absolutes derived from the application of reason to the concept of personhood. In simpler terms, a person "gets" their rights from the same place a triangle "gets" its geometric properties, like that its angles add up to 180°. Nobody "gives" a triangle "permission" for its angles to add up to 180°. Nobody votes on whether a triangle's angles add up to 180°. It's true because it's true; it's true because it's an inescapable logical conclusion from the nature of what triangles are. In the same way, our rights exist as an inescapable logical conclusion from the nature of what we are: persons. No one can give you rights or take them away. The most they can do is decide whether they - or their country's laws - will acknowledge and respect your rights.

That's all that happens when people vote on the rights of others: they're not actually voting to give rights or take them away; they're voting on whether to acknowledge the existing rights, or stubbornly ignore the reality of their existence. Really, those are the terms these kinds of votes should always be put in. We should stop saying "a vote for or against their rights", and start saying, "a vote to accept reality or be a stubborn, denialist dick".

*More precisely, no one should ever be allowed to vote for or against anyone else's rights. They're free to decide to give up their own rights or ask for more; they're not free to decide what rights other people get.

JoryRFerrell wrote:
However, if all he does is speak against it, without actually acting on his belief, thereby stripping others of their just rights, then we can't really do anything about that.

Speaking is acting, and you can do a lot of harm just speaking intolerance and bigotry.

Despite that, it should still be allowed in a free and open society, but provided that it is expressed clearly as just a personal opinion, and not a threat or call to action (which would make it hate speech). (To clarify: "i believe that gays are offensive to God" is okay. "i am going to persecute gays", "believers should persecute gays", "gays should be persecuted" and "God says gays should be persecuted" are not.)

In this case, i understand that it was expressed clearly as a personal opinion, made privately and not in the context of working at his job. That doesn't mean that the employer has no right to be upset by it - especially if they were gay! Those comments may just be words, but they can still do a lot of harm, and hurt a lot of people. But in a free and open society, we have to accept the inevitability that we may see and hear things that hurt us. The Christians have to accept that they will see and hear happy, thriving gay people in open and committed homosexual relationships, and the rest of us will have to accept that we will see and hear the Christians calling these people and what they do evil. C'est la vie, vive la difference.

So we have a situation where the employee has the right to express whatever opinion they please... but the employer also has the right to be upset by whatever opinion the employee expresses, no matter where or how they express it. The real question is not either of those things. It is what freedom should the employer have to fire an employee they think is a total dick.

Traditionally, the thinking was that employers could hire whomever they wanted, however they wanted, whenever the wanted, and they could fire them just as freely. But around a hundred years ago, as societies became more diverse and less homogenous, smart people started to realize that if they just let everyone be, the society would fracture into tribes of the haves and have-nots, with sharp borders between the various majority and minority groups. The poor and disadvantaged would stay poor and disadvantaged - and the rich would exploit them - and the society would constantly be in a state of cold civil war, always teetering on the brink of riots and uprisings and other violence by the poor against the rich, and equally violent suppression of those uprisings. To break the cycle and guide society toward a more egalitarian, and more peaceful, existence, they made special new laws: laws that took away the freedom of employers to discriminate in certain ways. In Canada, for example an employer is not free to discriminate, when hiring or firing, based on "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability" (unless reasonably necessary, of course).

But despite common perception, that doesn't mean that employers can't fire you if they just don't like your face, for example. Anti-discrimination laws only prevent discrimination in the ways specified. Employers in many countries are still free to hire or fire in any other discriminatory way they dream up. In fact, there was a case not too long ago in the US where an employer fired a bunch of its employees for wearing orange. Yes, seriously. And it was perfectly legal, because the employer didn't discriminate based on race, sex, etc.. (That wouldn't work in the UK or Canada, because the laws here protect employees more than employers, in general, unlike the US, but let's just pretend that it would, for argument's sake.)

In other words... why isn't this employer free to fire this employee... just because they think the employee is a dick? It's pretty clear they're not firing the employee because they're Christian; they're specifically firing the employee for expressing a foul opinion publicly. The inspiration for that opinion may be Christianity... in the mind of the employee... but to the employer that's irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether they came up with their antipathy to gay people because they're Christian or whether they came up with it just for the hell of it. All that matters, to the employer, is that the employee published a foul, ignorant and bigoted comment.

So why can't the employer fire them? Seriously, think about it. i'm not saying they were right or wrong;** i'm just pointing out that this isn't as clear cut as everyone here seems to believe. Employers are (generally) private citizens, and their businesses are their own private businesses... why can't they run their businesses according to their own private beliefs? Why can't they fire someone for doing something stupid and hateful? (Bear in mind the facts of the case, too: while the comment was made off-work, and in a private chat, it was made specifically to coworkers. And, the company hinted at past disciplinary issues with the guy. (And, technically, he wasn't fired, just demoted.) So keep the precedent in mind. Would you fault an employer for firing someone who was a perfectly polite human being at work, waiting until after hours to meet up with coworkers and rant at them about being fags and fairies?)

Put another way: do you believe the government should dictate to private citizens how they should run their private businesses? Is it right to take away an employer's ability to fire someone who is disruptive and hateful, and who makes other workers feel intimidated and uncomfortable, just because the employee is canny enough to wait until after the whistle to do it?

Think about it.

** In fact, i agree with the ruling, but for much more subtle reasons than i've seen expressed her so far. The factors i consider are that the comments were made in private discussions with the coworkers off-work, and where solicited by the coworkers. The coworkers asked for the guy's opinion. And the comments themselves weren't actually directed at gay people or gay marriage, they were a criticism of a specific government policy. Even a gay person could, theoretically, support the comments this guy made. So the comments weren't hateful, they were made in private, and they were solicited... there's just no justification for disciplinary action.

(Incidentally... i just gotta point out the usual Christian hypocrisy in this case. i'm surprised no one else noticed it. Read the comments our Martyr made that got him penalized: "If the state wants to offer civil marriage to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn't impose its rules on places of faith and conscience." Apparently, Our Hero has a major problem with tolerance laws when the state imposes them on churches... but is a-ok with them when they're imposed on his employers, their private business and their beliefs.)


I HAVE thought a great deal about it, and needed no prompting to have done so... Razz

The simple fact is this: Religion is a strong belief. Just like opinions. If I can't fire you because of your religious beliefs, I can't fire you because I don't like your non-religious doctrine which is not actively harming anyone. Words are words. Ideas are ideas. These two exist solely in the mind, and therefore are not equal to action. If I wanted to murder someone, but I do not actually do so, should I receive life in prison, or the death sentence? No, I should not, because though I want to kill the individual, I have not. The idea stayed just that: an IDEA. We are each responsible for acting/not-acting on our ideas and beliefs. What if the person I wanted to murder was a drug dealer, who intentionally sold a laced, lethal dose to my friend? Do I have the right to go out and avenge my bud? No. The dirt-bag may deserve it, but the idea needs to remain an idea.

There are all kind of mitigating circumstances and issues involved with depriving someone of basic human rights when we can't necessarily PROVE that they are a threat to society by simply "BELIEVING" something. Therefore it's best to leave those right's intact until he takes action to
deprive someone else of theirs. After all, depriving him of his right's gives him, and others like him ammunition for crying that THEY are being discriminated against. By allowing him to believe as he believes, while still speaking out against the beliefs, you prove yourself to be more tolerant and leveled headed than he. So long as he keeps his retarded beliefs in his own home, and doesn't force them on others, I see no problem with it. Afterall, maybe God DOES EXIST (He would apparently be quite an ****** of a god, but still... Twisted Evil ), and I am technically wrong by the rules of the creator. That's fine. But he won't interfere with the right's of others. That will be the domain of his "God", who will deal with it, seeing as that "God" is the only one who is supposedly righteous enough to judge us.

Also, what happens if I have a legitimate gripe about something, but it goes against the grain? What if that right idea got me fired? Wouldn't the same mechanic that allows us to fire him, then turn around and bite me in the ass? Yes....it would. Firing someone for a belief can be weaponized, and weapons are, of course, double edged swords, willing to cut anyone.

So, the idea here is: let him believe as he believes, so long as he doesn't attempt to take away the right's of others. So when he or others like him do attack us for our beliefs, we can say, "Hey doofus, remember the time the majority of us disagreed with you but let you continue working here? Now here you are about to violate that very same tolerance we had for you by firing us for our beliefs/idea's/religion/whatever."

You see how that can be very powerful? By being tolerant of him till he causes actual harm outside hurting our feelings, we can later prove that he is the ignorant one. Period. This system just works.
Smile

Now you can argue that letting him stay and work sends the wrong message, but again, it does not for the reason above. It actually sends the message that you are allowed to fire someone with beliefs differing from your own, possibly because you may not understand them. He acts from the position that he is right. So do you. The problem here is that each side believes, 100%, all the way, and so feels like the only way to win is to crush all opposition, or TOLERANCE of said opposition. Tolerance i what we are after right? So what happens when we fire him for his beliefs? We further reinforce the message that this is in fact the way you handle opposing viewpoints: You fire them.
Instead, we should show flexibility and a willingness to listen while relentlessly giving our views whenever he voices his. Make him 100% aware that we strongly disagree, and we will still work alongside him.

I think positively reinforcing tolerance by being tolerant may be the most underrated way to gain tolerance from intolerant people. Razz
JoryRFerrell
Indi wrote:
JoryRFerrell wrote:
On one hand, he will denounce homosexual people and so I am willing to bet he has or would be willing to vote against their rights as well. If he has or would vote against them being able to get married, thereby stripping them of human rights, does he really have a right to complain when people turn around and strip him of his rights?

He should never get a chance to. Rights should NEVER be voted on.*

If rights get democratically decided, then the result would just be the same as if there were no democracy, or civilization, and we reverted back to the law of the jungle - in this case, the tyranny of the majority.

Rights are logical absolutes derived from the application of reason to the concept of personhood. In simpler terms, a person "gets" their rights from the same place a triangle "gets" its geometric properties, like that its angles add up to 180°. Nobody "gives" a triangle "permission" for its angles to add up to 180°. Nobody votes on whether a triangle's angles add up to 180°. It's true because it's true; it's true because it's an inescapable logical conclusion from the nature of what triangles are. In the same way, our rights exist as an inescapable logical conclusion from the nature of what we are: persons. No one can give you rights or take them away. The most they can do is decide whether they - or their country's laws - will acknowledge and respect your rights.

That's all that happens when people vote on the rights of others: they're not actually voting to give rights or take them away; they're voting on whether to acknowledge the existing rights, or stubbornly ignore the reality of their existence. Really, those are the terms these kinds of votes should always be put in. We should stop saying "a vote for or against their rights", and start saying, "a vote to accept reality or be a stubborn, denialist dick".

*More precisely, no one should ever be allowed to vote for or against anyone else's rights. They're free to decide to give up their own rights or ask for more; they're not free to decide what rights other people get.

JoryRFerrell wrote:
However, if all he does is speak against it, without actually acting on his belief, thereby stripping others of their just rights, then we can't really do anything about that.

Speaking is acting, and you can do a lot of harm just speaking intolerance and bigotry.

Despite that, it should still be allowed in a free and open society, but provided that it is expressed clearly as just a personal opinion, and not a threat or call to action (which would make it hate speech). (To clarify: "i believe that gays are offensive to God" is okay. "i am going to persecute gays", "believers should persecute gays", "gays should be persecuted" and "God says gays should be persecuted" are not.)

In this case, i understand that it was expressed clearly as a personal opinion, made privately and not in the context of working at his job. That doesn't mean that the employer has no right to be upset by it - especially if they were gay! Those comments may just be words, but they can still do a lot of harm, and hurt a lot of people. But in a free and open society, we have to accept the inevitability that we may see and hear things that hurt us. The Christians have to accept that they will see and hear happy, thriving gay people in open and committed homosexual relationships, and the rest of us will have to accept that we will see and hear the Christians calling these people and what they do evil. C'est la vie, vive la difference.

So we have a situation where the employee has the right to express whatever opinion they please... but the employer also has the right to be upset by whatever opinion the employee expresses, no matter where or how they express it. The real question is not either of those things. It is what freedom should the employer have to fire an employee they think is a total dick.

Traditionally, the thinking was that employers could hire whomever they wanted, however they wanted, whenever the wanted, and they could fire them just as freely. But around a hundred years ago, as societies became more diverse and less homogenous, smart people started to realize that if they just let everyone be, the society would fracture into tribes of the haves and have-nots, with sharp borders between the various majority and minority groups. The poor and disadvantaged would stay poor and disadvantaged - and the rich would exploit them - and the society would constantly be in a state of cold civil war, always teetering on the brink of riots and uprisings and other violence by the poor against the rich, and equally violent suppression of those uprisings. To break the cycle and guide society toward a more egalitarian, and more peaceful, existence, they made special new laws: laws that took away the freedom of employers to discriminate in certain ways. In Canada, for example an employer is not free to discriminate, when hiring or firing, based on "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability" (unless reasonably necessary, of course).

But despite common perception, that doesn't mean that employers can't fire you if they just don't like your face, for example. Anti-discrimination laws only prevent discrimination in the ways specified. Employers in many countries are still free to hire or fire in any other discriminatory way they dream up. In fact, there was a case not too long ago in the US where an employer fired a bunch of its employees for wearing orange. Yes, seriously. And it was perfectly legal, because the employer didn't discriminate based on race, sex, etc.. (That wouldn't work in the UK or Canada, because the laws here protect employees more than employers, in general, unlike the US, but let's just pretend that it would, for argument's sake.)

In other words... why isn't this employer free to fire this employee... just because they think the employee is a dick? It's pretty clear they're not firing the employee because they're Christian; they're specifically firing the employee for expressing a foul opinion publicly. The inspiration for that opinion may be Christianity... in the mind of the employee... but to the employer that's irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether they came up with their antipathy to gay people because they're Christian or whether they came up with it just for the hell of it. All that matters, to the employer, is that the employee published a foul, ignorant and bigoted comment.

So why can't the employer fire them? Seriously, think about it. i'm not saying they were right or wrong;** i'm just pointing out that this isn't as clear cut as everyone here seems to believe. Employers are (generally) private citizens, and their businesses are their own private businesses... why can't they run their businesses according to their own private beliefs? Why can't they fire someone for doing something stupid and hateful? (Bear in mind the facts of the case, too: while the comment was made off-work, and in a private chat, it was made specifically to coworkers. And, the company hinted at past disciplinary issues with the guy. (And, technically, he wasn't fired, just demoted.) So keep the precedent in mind. Would you fault an employer for firing someone who was a perfectly polite human being at work, waiting until after hours to meet up with coworkers and rant at them about being fags and fairies?)

Put another way: do you believe the government should dictate to private citizens how they should run their private businesses? Is it right to take away an employer's ability to fire someone who is disruptive and hateful, and who makes other workers feel intimidated and uncomfortable, just because the employee is canny enough to wait until after the whistle to do it?

Think about it.

** In fact, i agree with the ruling, but for much more subtle reasons than i've seen expressed her so far. The factors i consider are that the comments were made in private discussions with the coworkers off-work, and where solicited by the coworkers. The coworkers asked for the guy's opinion. And the comments themselves weren't actually directed at gay people or gay marriage, they were a criticism of a specific government policy. Even a gay person could, theoretically, support the comments this guy made. So the comments weren't hateful, they were made in private, and they were solicited... there's just no justification for disciplinary action.

(Incidentally... i just gotta point out the usual Christian hypocrisy in this case. i'm surprised no one else noticed it. Read the comments our Martyr made that got him penalized: "If the state wants to offer civil marriage to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn't impose its rules on places of faith and conscience." Apparently, Our Hero has a major problem with tolerance laws when the state imposes them on churches... but is a-ok with them when they're imposed on his employers, their private business and their beliefs.)


BTW....before I stated:
JoryRFerrell wrote:
If I can't fire you because of your religious beliefs, I can't fire you because I don't like your non-religious doctrine which is not actively harming anyone.


I am an Athiest, which is significant because, from my "viewpoint" (which I only FEEL is FACT from their perspective) religious doctrine is not really based on fact and is therefore nothing more than a strong belief, so therefore I could legally fire him directly for his beliefs. But then again, should I be able to because I feel he is not really practicing religion?
No. What about women who wear Hijabs. I can't fire a women for wearing one (not that I would want to Confused ), because that violates her right to believe her god declares women must cover their bodies.
What if other women find this idea highly offensive (understandable...why are women only subject to laws of sexual modesty? It's typical, egotistic, male dominance, plain and simple.), and wish for me to fire her? Can I legally do that? Should I be able to legally do that?
Indi
JoryRFerrell wrote:
The simple fact is this: Religion is a strong belief. Just like opinions.

No, it's not... and that's precisely the problem.

If religion were just a "strong belief", or even just ideas or words, there wouldn't be a problem. Even the most insanely religious people could work in harmony with the most rabidly naturalist people with no problems, if the only thing keeping them apart were opinions.

But religion is almost NEVER just a belief, it is almost always a way of life. It is rules about what the believer must wear, how they must act, how they must speak, who they can interact with and so on and so forth... and those things are where the problems rise. You mentioned the hijab, but you probably meant burqa; why can't you fire someone for wearing a burqa if it interferes with their job? For example, why can't you ban school employees from wearing a burqa? You can't really allow someone completely masked to wander around a school, because a stranger, murderer or paedophile could easily just throw one on and impersonate the employee, and walk around the school all day doing mischief, and no one would be the wiser. Or there's the kirpan - the Sikh knife; can you allow kids to walk around in school sporting a 10 cm blade? Those are not questions of belief, those are issues with the practice of religions.

JoryRFerrell wrote:
Also, what happens if I have a legitimate gripe about something, but it goes against the grain? What if that right idea got me fired? Wouldn't the same mechanic that allows us to fire him, then turn around and bite me in the ass? Yes....it would. Firing someone for a belief can be weaponized, and weapons are, of course, double edged swords, willing to cut anyone.

See, you're assuming that it's the idea behind a religion that gets people fired. That almost never happens. It's always some action that the religious person has taken - passive or active - that causes the problem.

And refusing to tolerate some action is NOT the same as refusing to tolerate some belief. For example, refusing to allow masked women to enter a secure area is NOT the same as refusing to tolerate Islam, despite what some people like to pretend. (At the same time, you have to watch out for sneaky bigots, who try to pretend they're preventing some action, when they're really just out to suppress the belief. For example, a general ban on wearing burqas in public just can't be reasonably justified any other way except as bigotry against Islam (or, possibly, bad taste in fashion, which is an equally unjust reason for a ban).)

Obviously we shouldn't do anything to prevent people from believing what they wish to (though, that's not the same as tolerating their beliefs), but that doesn't mean we can't prevent them from taking actions based on their beliefs, if those actions might harm other people.

JoryRFerrell wrote:
You see how that can be very powerful? By being tolerant of him till he causes actual harm outside hurting our feelings, we can later prove that he is the ignorant one. Period. This system just works.
Smile

Now you can argue that letting him stay and work sends the wrong message, but again, it does not for the reason above. It actually sends the message that you are allowed to fire someone with beliefs differing from your own, possibly because you may not understand them. He acts from the position that he is right. So do you. The problem here is that each side believes, 100%, all the way, and so feels like the only way to win is to crush all opposition, or TOLERANCE of said opposition. Tolerance i what we are after right? So what happens when we fire him for his beliefs? We further reinforce the message that this is in fact the way you handle opposing viewpoints: You fire them.
Instead, we should show flexibility and a willingness to listen while relentlessly giving our views whenever he voices his. Make him 100% aware that we strongly disagree, and we will still work alongside him.

I think positively reinforcing tolerance by being tolerant may be the most underrated way to gain tolerance from intolerant people. Razz

Yeeeaaah... that... doesn't really work in reality. Sure it sounds nice that if you tolerate some minority belief, you can surely expect that minority to tolerate you when they're in the majority. In the real world, that doesn't happen, and there are tons of examples.

i was just mentioning the early Christians in another thread. In the years 303-313 CE, there was something called the "Great Persecution", where Christians were routinely fed to lions in the arena. That ended in 313, and less than 70 years later, in 380 CE, Christianity became the official state religion of Rome. You'd think that after being so cruelly persecuted, the Christians would be a little understanding of minority religions, now they were in charge. Nope. Five years later, they were the ones doing the bloody persecuting.

Want a more recent example? Well, there's the case of the black population of California, who had endured slavery, Jim Crow, and all kinds of segregation and intolerance for hundreds of years, but in 2008 finally actually had a black candidate for President. You'd think that those people whould understand how it feels to be a persecuted minority, but what did they do at exactly the same time they were electing their first black president? They took away the rights of gay people with Prop 8.

Want an even more recent example? For thirty years, everyone in Egypt had been under the thumb of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had heavily repressed the Muslim Brotherhood - along with most everyone else, but especially them. In 2011, there was a mass uprising by not only supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also pretty much all of Egypt, including non-Muslims and moderate Muslims, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Muslim Brotherhood during the uprising. And, working together, they overthrew Mubarak, set up free elections, and eventually Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won. Now you'd think after being oppressed for 30 years, an oppression that only ended when the Muslim Brotherhood had the support of non-Muslims and moderate Muslims... you'd think they'd be somewhat grateful and understanding. Well, guess what. They've been in power less than six months, and already Morsi declared himself absolute dictator - above the law - and now they're trying to push through sharia law that will oppress non-Muslims and moderate Muslims.

Sorry, dude, if you're hoping that if you tolerate minorities that they'll turn around and tolerate you when they are the majority and you are the minority... don't hold your breath. Oh, it happens occasionally, but don't count on it. You can't simply put the rights and freedoms of people into the hands of other people, cross your fingers, and hope they'll do the right thing. It just doesn't work.
JoryRFerrell
Indi wrote:

No, it's not... and that's precisely the problem.

If religion were just a "strong belief", or even just ideas or words, there wouldn't be a problem. Even the most insanely religious people could work in harmony with the most rabidly naturalist people with no problems, if the only thing keeping them apart were opinions.


Uhm....yes....it is. Everything you think about is a belief. Some beliefs are more correct than others, and therefore qualify as a "fact", until we have evidence to the contrary. Some are just completely wrong. We can argue about the philosophical idea that it's worth more than a belief, but objectively, it is technically a "belief".

Indi wrote:

But religion is almost NEVER just a belief, it is almost always a way of life. It is rules about what the believer must wear, how they must act, how they must speak, who they can interact with and so on and so forth... and those things are where the problems rise. You mentioned the hijab, but you probably meant burqa; why can't you fire someone for wearing a burqa if it interferes with their job? For example, why can't you ban school employees from wearing a burqa? You can't really allow someone completely masked to wander around a school, because a stranger, murderer or paedophile could easily just throw one on and impersonate the employee, and walk around the school all day doing mischief, and no one would be the wiser. Or there's the kirpan - the Sikh knife; can you allow kids to walk around in school sporting a 10 cm blade? Those are not questions of belief, those are issues with the practice of religions.


Again, everything is a "BELIEF". Religion is a way of life for someone because they have let this "BELIEF" organize their worldview for them. That's what beliefs are and do. They are bits of info that tell us something about the world (or what we want it to be Rolling Eyes ). So....this means that beliefs are a way of life for everyone. You are your beliefs, through and through. Your idea's and action's are based on your beliefs. Many have a strong belief that people should not be FORCED to wear anything they don't want to. Many have a strong belief that it's wrong to brainwash someone into to doing so "ON THEIR OWN". For many, these are not religious beliefs...just good old secular ones. These beliefs are just as strong as those of religious folks, and are a way of life for many people. Religion is nothing more than a belief.


Indi wrote:

See, you're assuming that it's the idea behind a religion that gets people fired. That almost never happens. It's always some action that the religious person has taken - passive or active - that causes the problem.

And refusing to tolerate some action is NOT the same as refusing to tolerate some belief. For example, refusing to allow masked women to enter a secure area is NOT the same as refusing to tolerate Islam, despite what some people like to pretend. (At the same time, you have to watch out for sneaky bigots, who try to pretend they're preventing some action, when they're really just out to suppress the belief. For example, a general ban on wearing burqas in public just can't be reasonably justified any other way except as bigotry against Islam (or, possibly, bad taste in fashion, which is an equally unjust reason for a ban).)


Uhm...I am not assuming anything. I stated that until she/he does harm because of their beliefs, then they do not deserve to be fired. I do not consider writing something to be harm. So I admit that those who are fired because they have taken some sort of action, deserve to have lost their job. Agreed. I admit both situations exist, but right now, I am speaking solely for the people who lose their jobs simply for believing as they do. Believing something is not harming someone.
I assumed nothing. I spoke about a specific part of the statistics, not the whole.

Indi wrote:

Obviously we shouldn't do anything to prevent people from believing what they wish to (though, that's not the same as tolerating their beliefs), but that doesn't mean we can't prevent them from taking actions based on their beliefs, if those actions might harm other people.


This is exactly what I said.

Indi wrote:

Yeeeaaah... that... doesn't really work in reality. Sure it sounds nice that if you tolerate some minority belief, you can surely expect that minority to tolerate you when they're in the majority. In the real world, that doesn't happen, and there are tons of examples.

i was just mentioning the early Christians in another thread. In the years 303-313 CE, there was something called the "Great Persecution", where Christians were routinely fed to lions in the arena. That ended in 313, and less than 70 years later, in 380 CE, Christianity became the official state religion of Rome. You'd think that after being so cruelly persecuted, the Christians would be a little understanding of minority religions, now they were in charge. Nope. Five years later, they were the ones doing the bloody persecuting.

Want a more recent example? Well, there's the case of the black population of California, who had endured slavery, Jim Crow, and all kinds of segregation and intolerance for hundreds of years, but in 2008 finally actually had a black candidate for President. You'd think that those people whould understand how it feels to be a persecuted minority, but what did they do at exactly the same time they were electing their first black president? They took away the rights of gay people with Prop 8.

Want an even more recent example? For thirty years, everyone in Egypt had been under the thumb of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had heavily repressed the Muslim Brotherhood - along with most everyone else, but especially them. In 2011, there was a mass uprising by not only supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also pretty much all of Egypt, including non-Muslims and moderate Muslims, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Muslim Brotherhood during the uprising. And, working together, they overthrew Mubarak, set up free elections, and eventually Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won. Now you'd think after being oppressed for 30 years, an oppression that only ended when the Muslim Brotherhood had the support of non-Muslims and moderate Muslims... you'd think they'd be somewhat grateful and understanding. Well, guess what. They've been in power less than six months, and already Morsi declared himself absolute dictator - above the law - and now they're trying to push through sharia law that will oppress non-Muslims and moderate Muslims.

Sorry, dude, if you're hoping that if you tolerate minorities that they'll turn around and tolerate you when they are the majority and you are the minority... don't hold your breath. Oh, it happens occasionally, but don't count on it. You can't simply put the rights and freedoms of people into the hands of other people, cross your fingers, and hope they'll do the right thing. It just doesn't work.


Ok. I think you are confused with my standing on this issue. Once again, I say this: When someone causes harm (I do consider crucifying someone for believing in a god, or hacking them to death with a machete, to be harm. So we are clear Rolling Eyes ), they do not have the right to continue doing so. BUT, so long as they harm no one by believing as they do, they should not be harmed in return. After-all, if they have a crazy idea and you persecute them (via physical harm...), can you very well bitch when you have a idea they consider crazy and they come after you with pitch and firewood? No. Of course not. But, if you sit back and let them believe as they wish, they you are in the right when it comes time to take action against them. WE ARE SAYING THE EXACT SAME THING...but you seem to think we aren't.... Razz

If I meet a Christian, and I try to physically force them to believe something, they are less likely to do so. They are in fact, more likely to say I am crazy, and therefore my beliefs are as well, and so they are going to continue believing as they do. If however, I do not attempt to force them, when they may see my ability to reason. They may actually pay some attention to what I say. Firing them may have the opposite effect I want. Sure, you can fire someone, but what does that say to them? What does it teach them? When someone has an idea that others disagree with, it is perfectly natural and correct to bash them for believing it. This then causes them to turn around and persecute others. It is easier to do so without catching flak, because people did it to them first.
The Christians of Rome may still have persecuted others after they gained in number, but the fact is that people strongly sympathized with the movement early struggle and this undoubtedly led to them gaining more support. By firing this man, you give the conservative movement legitimacy in the eyes of people who aren't quite on their side, but are leaning towards them.
These people will say, "Fine. Then when a gay person is found to be in my workforce, I'll just fire them for some fictitious reason. Fire with fire.....hallelujah." Rolling Eyes


Indi wrote:

Yeeeaaah... that... doesn't really work in reality. Sure it sounds nice that if you tolerate some minority belief, you can surely expect that minority to tolerate you when they're in the majority. In the real world, that doesn't happen, and there are tons of examples.


This thinking is exactly what led to the extreme behavior of every single group you listed in an attempt to prove your point...which I already partially agreed with. What you just said is the exact argument ALL of those people in your examples used: "I DON'T LIKE THEM AND THEIR WAYS. THEY ARE WRONG. LET THEM GO. HACK THEM. BURN THEM." So eventually, one group or the other has to tolerate the existence of the other. If the Hutu's had gotten over the Tutsi's past "behavior", if they had been tolerant so long as the Tutsi's satyed so, no one would have been hacked to death. And if they had, the Hutu's could then have rightfully claimed they were never in the wrong. What happened after the Hutu's murdered the Tutsi's in that event? I read reports awhile back that the Tutsi's then retaliated in kind. They did the exact same shit. But wait...in the past the Tutsi's enslaved the Hutu's. So what we have here is a never ending cycle. Neither group wants to step up and say: "I'll tolerate you. Let's stop sharpening the damn machete's already. Let's get the hell along." This is exactly what happens in reality. In every situation, one group had to stop attacking the others, simply because "they had been attacked". Everyone has been attacked. We just have to get over it, and stop using it as an excuse. Attacking the Christians is the "Hutu's attacking the Tutsi's", just done western-style. Rolling Eyes

The simple fact is, tolerance has to start somewhere. It just has to. I agree that many groups will be hypocrites, and ignore their own past, persecuting others, just as they were. But you are saying I am wrong for saying that we should let them believe as they do? Or are you saying it's wrong to let them take action? If it's the latter, I agree. Again. When they take action, they have stepped over the limit of their rights. But until that point, any action taken against them will be a punishment for thought crime. Look up George Orwell, who does such a great job illustrating what punishment for thought crime leads to. Thought's don't harm people. The actions they can cause DO. But the simple fact is, some people won't act on their thought's because they realize they are not the beliefs of others. Some people are capable of respecting this rule. So, if he himself, is not willing to harm someone for being gay, no one has any right to "force him", via any method, to begin liking gay people. Others around him can feel free to voice their opinion. But they can't fire him.

When he starts nailing people to pieces of wood, or lashing them to pyres and setting 'em alight, call me...we'll get together and do something about it. Until then, let him continue working, and let me continue writing posts that some people disagree with.

Let freedom ringggggg.
Cool
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:
You really think it's that clear cut?


Yes.

Quote:
Then, riddle me this: what if i opened a shop... and refused to service any non-white people? Do you really think it would be kosher to put a sign on my storefront: "no blacks allowed"? Or, perhaps, you think such a sign would be tasteless, and the proper thing to do would be keep my discriminatory policies discreet, and only tell brown people to ****** off - politely - if they actually wander into the shop?


No. Gender and ethnicity are completely different.

Quote:
Oh, i know the libertarians and free-market nuts would say, "hur, if you did that, they would just go elsewhere and you'd lose their business, so you shouldn't do that." But in reality, the reason they're called minorities is not for shits and giggles - they are few compared to the majority, so there's usually no appreciable economic cost to ignoring them (which is why laws exist to prevent that). (And if you think a religious justification is necessary to make it okay, then let me point out that there have been, and are, myriad religions that racially discriminate.)


This is slightly off topic (but I will address every one of your points eventually in the course of this post) but they aren't always called minorities because they are a minority. Hispanics are considered the "largest minority" in the U.S. - even in my area where they make up 65% of the population. That's just a fun fact. I really don't care because the last thing that I tend to notice or care about anyone is their skin color (unless, I suppose, it was purple of green or something - then I'd be just too curious to not notice).

Quote:
And if you think that it is okay for a private business to discriminate racially, then: what if i opened a shop... and refused to service disabled people? It can get expensive, after all, to provide facilities for disabled people; i would imagine that if it were allowed, there would be no shortage of companies that refuse to service disabled people. Again, it's not like they're that big a group, anyway, so there's hardly any economic cost to discriminating, and potentially big gains if you don't have to pay to make your store accessible. (And again, history is replete with religions that called disabled people cursed/possessed/whatever by gods and such.)


I believe that gender is completely different than other groups - such as racial and disabled groups. Therefore, you cannot really make those leaps.


Quote:
And, in fact, that's the way the law is in most civilized countries. Businesses are NOT free to discriminate. In Canada, they are currently forbidden from unreasonably discriminating based on: "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability". (And there are currently very vigorous movements in progress to add "sexual orientation" and "gender"/"gender identity" to that list.) The question here is not whether any business should be free to discriminate - that question has already been laid to rest, as it should be in any civilized, diverse country. The question here is about whether the barber's religion gives them a free pass to break the law.


The issue is that, here, I do not believe that it is such clear-cut discrimination. I'll elaborate below.


Quote:
Besides, that whole attitude is misguided. Would you have called Rosa Parks an attention ******, too? i mean, hell, there were other seats at the back of the bus, after all. There was no reason she should have had to, you know, stand up against discrimination when she could have just stayed quiet and taken another bus. She must have just wanted the attention, eh?


I've already said in this post that I don't believe that your example is analogous because gender has nothing to do with race. Also, in my previous post that I put last month I made a clear distinction between public services and private businesses. Of course Rosa Parks wasn't wrong because she boycotted the Montgomery Public Transit system.

Quote:
Anyway, why are you picking on the victim of the discrimination here? Why does she have to accommodate them?


She must accommodate them because it is their business. I mean, hell, non-drivers make up a significant part of the population and the buses don't make it anywhere and so why should non-drivers have to accommodate business by going to their store? Why can't they accommodate them by delivering?

Quote:
Frankly, that's a very American, pro-business, anti-humanist attitude. Why don't they have to hire a non-Muslim barber to provide hair-cutting services the Muslims cannot? They want to run a shop to provide hair-cutting services, and they're currently unable to do so for at least 50% of the population. Seems to me the barbers are the ones who need to buck up and do better, not their customers.


I find it funny that you italicized the word "barbers." Do you know what a barbershop is? It's a place where barbers work. Do you know what a barber is? By definition, a barber is someone who cuts men hair and beards. I'm not joking; that is the exact definition. If I am employed as a barber and advertise my shop as a barbershop then you're going to get mad when I do exactly what my title says?

The reason why I think that race and any other group aren't analogous here is that we have an acceptance difference between men and women and know that you can have clubs for both. The Boy Scouts of America have been in the news quite a bit lately. People (including myself) are pissed because they discriminate against homosexuals (and atheists - in fact, I should never have received my Eagle Scout award) and quite a few Eagle Scouts have sent their badges back (I would, but it looks nice on my shelf and sending it back isn't constructive anyways). However, do you ever see people mad at BSA for not allowing women into their club? BSA would have lawsuits up their asses if they didn't allow black people or disabled people or whatever into their club but it is quite accepted that they don't allow girls into a boys' club. That, to me, clearly shows that discrimination works a bit differently when it comes to gender.

Want another example? What about fitness clubs? How come men aren't suing to be able to exercise in women's fitness clubs? Do you have a problem with men not being allowed in gyms that service to women?

What about all women or all men schools?

You might claim that there would be obvious issues about sending 14-year-old girls camping with 14-year-old boys and there is an obvious reason that women would want their own gym (men might hit on them at a coed gym and they won't be comfortable showering) yet there are no issues with a dude cutting a woman's hair. That idea has merit but I still don't think that it justifies forcing a barber to service a woman. Now I haven't had a haircut in years and when I did used to get hair cuts, I'd shave my head myself. I don't think that I have ever been to a barbershop before and so this perception is based completely off of movies. Barbershops tend to be more than a place where men go to get their hair cut. Based on the movies, it's also a place where men hang out and talk sports or whatever. Hell, it's almost like BSA except that people get haircuts instead of merit badges and it's visited by adults.

Let's look at the barbershop counterparts. I've seen women in beauty salons in movies. They get their hair worked on while bitching about the husbands and kids. It's much more than a haircut; it's a social event. Now what if I walked in there to get my hair worked on? Hell, my hair is longer than the hair on most women that I know and it is also bigger than the hair on most women that I know. I could certainly do more with my hair than many women can. So why couldn't I go there? Well, I might make the other women customers uncomfortable and they may wish to leave because they cannot bitch about men as openly if I'm there.

We have clubs specifically designed for males (BSA) or females, gyms designed for a specific gender, etc. This really isn't changing anything. Barbershops, by definition, service men. They are also set up in a way such that they are a mens' club. Quite frankly, men might feel uncomfortable if they cannot talk about sports (assuming the movies are even remotely accurate) or whatever the hell they talk about in there in the same way that women might be uncomfortable about running without that proper bra when men are in the gym. The only difference is that certain clubs, gyms, etc. all exist without problem; this one exists and all of a sudden people have an issue. All-women nights exist at bars so that women can feel comfortable about going and getting a drink without drunk men hitting on them.

There's actually one more issue here and that is an issue of skill. Most women want their haircut differently than most women. The barber may not know how to style to hair of the typical woman. Now, it's true that this woman wanted her hair cut the way that a man typically has his hair cut but that can be considered subjective and management likes to take away all subjectivity from employees in order to avoid potential problems. For example, selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 in the U.S. is a HUGE deal. You can lose your liquor license, get fined up the ass, and even go to jail. I've had a beard down to my belly-button since I was 19. I got away with it for quite some time before I turned 21. However, I always knew where to go (the places that didn't card me). Many places didn't card me because I clearly looked 30. When I turned 21, I started going anywhere and the cashier is always shocked by my age. Some cashiers claim that they never would have carded me if they weren't required to because I look so much older (and I looked the same at 19!). See where I'm getting at? Some management will require their employees to card everyone - even if they look to be 100! The reason is that if they say, "You don't have to card old people" then there is room for subjectivity and then they wouldn't have carded me at 19 and they could have gotten in trouble. The management could have known that his employees didn't have the skill to cut the hair of most women and so he just says don't cut the hair of women since you can't do most of them. If it wasn't a clear-cut policy and he said, "Cut the hair of the women that you know how to" then that leaves room for subjectivity and some women might have left extremely pissed off at her bad haircut.


P.S. Sorry for the 42 or whatever day delay. Work has been extremely stressful and by the time I get home, doing anything that doesn't involve heavy music, alcohol, or hand-lotion just seems like too much effort. I finally managed to force myself to sign on and do some posting because I knew that I was probably close to negative (I was at 3 points).
Indi
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
No. Gender and ethnicity are completely different.

In precisely what way are they different, that's relevant here? Is it because you think that gender is a choice? If so, then i'm afraid you don't understand what gender is at all.

Secondly, even if you refuse to accept that gender is not a choice... what makes you think they objected to her gender? Think about it: if ze were biologically female, but of male gender... wouldn't they still have refused to cut zir hair? i'd bet big money they would have. Which means that you have to explain why it's okay to discriminate against sex, not gender, but it's not okay to discriminate against ethnicity. And, in particular, why it's okay to discriminate against sex when sex doesn't matter at all, because your biological sex (and your gender, incidentally) has no practical effect on your hair.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
This is slightly off topic (but I will address every one of your points eventually in the course of this post) but they aren't always called minorities because they are a minority. Hispanics are considered the "largest minority" in the U.S. - even in my area where they make up 65% of the population.

Minorities are called minorities because they're a minority. And, yes, Hispanics are a minority in the US (and, yes, the largest minority).

Code:
Non-Hispanic White or European American                   63.7 %
Hispanic or Latino                                        16.4 %
Non-Hispanic Black or African American                    12.2 %
Non-Hispanic Asian                                         4.7 %
Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native              0.7 %
Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander     0.2 %
Non-Hispanic Some Other Race                               0.2 %
Non-Hispanic Two or more races                             1.9 %


Further, Hispanics are even minorities in every state, with one qualification. There are only 4 states in the US, and the District of Columbia, where "pure Whites" - that is people who are white but not mixed with any other race - are not in the total majority (ie, greater than 50%). In New Mexico, which is the only state where there is an ethnic group that outnumbers Whites, they make up ~40%, while "pure Hispanics" make up ~46%. (California comes close, though. In the District of Columbia, Blacks outnumber Whites ~50% to ~35%.) However! If you ask people what they identify as - because around 28% of people have mixed White and Hispanic heritage but think of themselves as "White" - then the number for New Mexico jumps to ~68% White, ~18% Hispanic. (It shouldn't be surprising that so many people who could identify either way prefer to go with white.)

So, yes, minority means minority. And no, the fact that you happen to live in an area where the concentrations are different does not change the fact that they're still the largest minority in the US. In my neighbour's house, the percentage of Indians is 100%, but guess what: South Asians are still the largest minority in Canada (and Ontario).

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I really don't care because the last thing that I tend to notice or care about anyone is their skin color (unless, I suppose, it was purple of green or something - then I'd be just too curious to not notice).

Is that so? Hm. Skin colour is usually the first thing i notice about people, unless they're really bundled up or there's something else really eye-catching about them or their attire. In fact, i think it would be pretty hard to miss the skin colour of someone. Certainly it would be a neat trick to notice the colour of their without even seeing the colour of their skin.

i don't see anything wrong with noticing someone's skin colour. i don't even see anything wrong with discriminating based on it - for example, if you prefer brown women, go nuts; that doesn't make you racist. The problems with skin colour (and racial) discrimination only arise when a) you involve stereotyping, or b) you discriminate unreasonably. It is not unreasonable to prefer one skin colour over another when deciding who you find attractive - indeed, it's really a natural part of the process. It is unreasonable to prefer one skin colour over another when deciding who you want to hire to do your accounting, because skin colour makes no difference in that job.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Of course Rosa Parks wasn't wrong because she boycotted the Montgomery Public Transit system.

So, to be clear, you think Rosa Parks would have been an attention ****** had she refused to move to the back of a private line bus? That Parks' bravery and the righteousness of her stance against unjust discrimination based on race mattered not one squat, and the only reason she wasn't just an attention ****** was that she picked the right place to stand up to ignorance and bigotry?

Let me be clear on what i'm saying here. You have called this woman an attention ****** solely because you don't think her argument that private businesses shouldn't unnecessarily discriminate is sound. You think private businesses should be allowed to discriminate... therefore this woman is an attention ******. Doesn't matter that she probably felt just as wronged, and unjustly discriminated against as Rosa Parks certainly did on the bus. Nope, doesn't matter. Because whatever Parks felt about how wrong and unjust the way she was being treated was, she would have been an attention ******, too, and the only reason she wasn't just some attention ****** was because she happened to make her stand in the right place. Is that really what matters? Not whether someone thinks - quite reasonably - that that kind of discrimination is unnecessary and intolerable in a mixed society... nope, all that separates the attention ****** from the crusaders for justice is whether or not they happen to be in the right place.

Do you think the barbers' misogyny is reasonable? Note: i didn't ask whether you think it should be tolerated, i asked whether you think it is reasonable. Do you think it's morally and ethically right? Again: i didn't ask whether it should be legal, just whether you think it is ethical to refuse customers unnecessarily based on their gender or sex. Ignore for a moment whether the barbers' bigotry should be legally allowed, and just answer the question as a reasonable and ethical person: is that reasonable or ethical behaviour? In an ideal, perfect society, should that kind of behaviour be something that you should expect? In an ideal and perfect society, one should expect to be annoyed, insulted or "offended" from time to time... but should one expect to be discriminated against for no good reason? Answer those questions then put yourself in that woman's shoes. What would you do if you encountered something unreasonable, unethical, and not the kind of thing you should expect in a perfect, pluralistic society?

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Quote:
Anyway, why are you picking on the victim of the discrimination here? Why does she have to accommodate them?


She must accommodate them because it is their business. I mean, hell, non-drivers make up a significant part of the population and the buses don't make it anywhere and so why should non-drivers have to accommodate business by going to their store? Why can't they accommodate them by delivering?

i've been quite clear that businesses should make REASONABLE accommodations for their clientele... they shouldn't accommodate any whim the customers have.

It is not unreasonable to expect customers to come to your store, rather than setting up a delivery system - which is actually quite expensive and dangerous, incidentally.* What's a small business to do, then? Shut the store the door down when someone calls for a delivery? The numbers just don't add up: a mid-sized store will service hundreds of thousands of customers - your average large store does millions - whereas the average customer visits stores an average of 5-6 times a week (and usually several stores on a single trip). It's not an unreasonable burden on the customer to make a trip to every store; it is an unreasonable burden on the store to make a trip to every customer. Add to that the fact that the city/town/whatever should make it easy for all citizens to get from one place in the city to another - for a myriad of other good reasons - and there's no rational argument for saying a store is obligated to provide delivery.

It is unreasonable, given two customers with identically-shaped heads and identically-textured hair, for a barber to say, "i can cut your hair, but not yours, because you have a vagina." How exactly does the presence or absence of a vagina - or penis - affect the job that a barber does?

* And in case you can't see why setting up a delivery system is expensive and dangerous, here are just some of the costs and concerns that come up: insurance and maintenance of company vehicles or the costs of subcontracting for employees to use their own cars (such as arranging inspections to make sure their cars are safe, checking their driving records and so on), training and oversight of delivery drivers (to ensure they're driving safely and not speeding or such, but also background checks to make sure they're not using the job to case people's houses for later robberies and so on), safety issues for both the drivers and the customers (you need a way for the customers to verify that the dude who's shown up at their door is legitimately from your company), systems to handle disputes and such (it's one thing to deliver pizzas or other meals that are all of uniform quality and freshness, and one size fits all, it's quite another to deliver groceries where the customer usually wants to select the freshest veggies and/or read the nutrition information on the packages, or clothing or other stuff where the customer can say it's the wrong size/colour/whatever), the possibility of your employees being injured or assaulted while out on a delivery and the liabilities you would carry for that, and so on and so forth.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I find it funny that you italicized the word "barbers." Do you know what a barbershop is? It's a place where barbers work. Do you know what a barber is? By definition, a barber is someone who cuts men hair and beards. I'm not joking; that is the exact definition. If I am employed as a barber and advertise my shop as a barbershop then you're going to get mad when I do exactly what my title says?

No, actually, that's not the exact definition.

From dictionary.com: "a person whose occupation it is to cut and dress the hair of customers, especially men, and to shave or trim the beard."

From Wiktionary: "A person whose profession is cutting (usually male) customers’ hair and beards."

In both cases, the definition states that barbers USUALLY cut men's hair, not that they always do. And in this case, though the person in question was a woman, what she wanted was a men's haircut. Explain to me why being a woman means that either:
  • she should not be allowed to get a man's haircut; or
  • it is impossible for her to have a man's haircut; or
  • why someone skilled in giving men's haircuts should be unable to give her one.

Incidentally, just to really put a bullet through the silly idea that a barber is defined as someone who cuts only men's hair: you live in America, yes? Well, insofar as there is a "standard" dictionary that defines American English, that dictionary is Merriam-Webster's. And how does Merriam-Webster's define 'barber'?

"one whose business is cutting and dressing hair, shaving and trimming beards, and performing related services" (warning if you're going to click that link: the Merriam-Webster website has this annoying "feature" where each page starts playing videos)

As you can see, the idea of gender or sex isn't even mentioned in the definition, and - i find to my amusement - in American English the synonyms of 'barber' include 'hairdresser' and 'stylist' (which is not true in normal English).

All this is a ridiculous aside anyway. As i've said many times, the dictionary is not normative, it is informative. That means THE DICTIONARY DOES NOT DEFINE WHAT A WORD MEANS. The dictionary tells you how a word is used, and usually only in the most limited way. The definitions of words are determined first by their structure, if possible (which is why 'anti-progress' means "against progress" - from the definitions of 'anti-' and 'progress' - regardless of what anyone says, and even though it doesn't even exist in the dictionary), then by their definition when coined (which is why 'santorum' means... well, you probably know what it means, even though it, too, isn't in the dictionary), and finally by popular use (which is why you can end up with absurdities like this, where a word is defined to mean two entirely opposite things because everyone uses it wrong (for the record, the original meaning of 'peruse' was "read attentively", but most people wrongly use it to mean "read casually", and as a result you end up with this gem: "to read over in an attentive or leisurely manner"... which basically means to read in two contradictory ways)).

So the real question to be asked is: do barbers actually cut women's hair? Yes. Yes, they do. Case closed.

(Which, of course, is still an irrelevant point, because even if barbers did only do men's haircuts, THAT'S WHAT SHE WANTED. i'm not up on my barber science, but i don't see how a vagina prevents a woman from getting a "man's haircut".)

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
The reason why I think that race and any other group aren't analogous here is that we have an acceptance difference between men and women and know that you can have clubs for both. The Boy Scouts of America have been in the news quite a bit lately. People (including myself) are pissed because they discriminate against homosexuals (and atheists - in fact, I should never have received my Eagle Scout award) and quite a few Eagle Scouts have sent their badges back (I would, but it looks nice on my shelf and sending it back isn't constructive anyways). However, do you ever see people mad at BSA for not allowing women into their club? BSA would have lawsuits up their asses if they didn't allow black people or disabled people or whatever into their club but it is quite accepted that they don't allow girls into a boys' club. That, to me, clearly shows that discrimination works a bit differently when it comes to gender.

Right, because the Boy Scouts aren't socially allowed to discriminate by race (though they are legally allowed!), but they are allowed to discriminate by gender, that means that gender discrimination isn't a real thing. Wow, we should get the word out, because a lot of laws and stuff are being written assuming that gender discrimination is real, not realizing that the existence of clubs that discriminate by gender refutes that completely. Why don't we write the Congressional Black Congress? (Bonus points: the CBC is a public, government organization that explicitly and shamelessly discriminates by race, whereas the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization that does allow girls to join (but only in the over-14 group).)

i also note that the BSA discriminates against atheists and gays. Does that mean that those forms of discrimination don't exist either? (And if the answer is, "people are fighting about the BSA's discrimination of atheists and gays, but not their discrimination of girls", i would have to point out that many times in the past girls did sue to get in the BSA. The fact that they're not doing it so much now is for two reasons: 1) the girl version of the BSA is doing at least as well as the BSA, if not better, these days and 2) the BSA's recent attitude and behaviour has made them less desirable to most people.)

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
How come men aren't suing to be able to exercise in women's fitness clubs?

How come men aren't suing to be able to exercise in women's fitness clubs? Gee, i dunno.

As for the second half of the question, and the one about sex-specific schools - you already seem to get it, but, here goes: as i've said more than once, discrimination itself isn't intrinsically wrong. UNNECESSARY discrimination is always wrong, but if there is justification for some kind of discrimination, then it's okay.

This is why women-only gyms are okay. i'm sure you can understand why women might feel uncomfortable in a unisex gym; aside from being self-conscious about their bodies due to cultural and media pressures (which don't exist for men), there's also the reality that many men treat the gym as a place to pick-up women. (How bad is the problem? It's so bad that there's a name for the women that men want at gyms: Gym Bunnies. And take note, that's not from some sleazy "player" website, it's bodybuilding.com.) A woman who wants to work out without becoming prey for predatory men really does need a woman-only gym. Plus, there are many specialized concerns for women related to working out due to their physiology, which is why women-only gyms also provide things like pre-natal fitness programs. That is reasonable discrimination. Similar logic applies to ladies-only nights at bars and clubs - surely you can see why those are necessary (especially given that i've just linked to 3 websites almost exclusively dedicated to helping men be better predators when in mixed social situations).

Single-sex schools are a trickier case. In the past, there were DOZENS of studies which showed that students performed much better in single-sex schools than at mixed-sex schools. However, recently - and by that I mean in the last decade or so - those findings have been called into question. The most recent study of note was a major review done in 2005 of over 2000 studies, which found a very slight advantage for single-sex schools. However, at the same time and since then, people have been calling into question the methodologies behind studies comparing single-sex and mixed-sex schools, saying that if you properly control certain variables, the advantage vanishes. The truth is, this may all be due to cultural sex- and gender-discrimination, which is why mixed-sex schools do poorly in places where there's lots of entrenched sexism. As i said, this is all very tricky, so until proper data is in, there is no reason to require mixed-sex schooling or to require single-sex schooling.

In general, if there is a reasonable argument in favour of discriminating, then discriminate away. A gynaecologist can legitimately refuse male customers, for obvious reasons; a dentist cannot. That even applies to race, believe it or not, because there are cases when skin colour does matter. For example, a hair-removal clinic specializing in laser hair removal - which requires light skin and dark hair to work well - can legitimately refuse black customers. That's not racism, that's the physics of photon absorption.

There is no reasonable justification for a barber who gives traditionally-male-styled haircuts to refuse to cut a woman's hair if she wants it cut in a traditionally-male style. None. Nada. Zip. All your acrobatics below just don't work (but don't worry, i'll take each point down one-by-one). There is no physical or biological difference between the scalps and hair of men and women. There is no way the biology or gender of the client could interfere with a hair cut.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Barbershops tend to be more than a place where men go to get their hair cut. Based on the movies, it's also a place where men hang out and talk sports or whatever. Hell, it's almost like BSA except that people get haircuts instead of merit badges and it's visited by adults.

Let's look at the barbershop counterparts. I've seen women in beauty salons in movies. They get their hair worked on while bitching about the husbands and kids. It's much more than a haircut; it's a social event. Now what if I walked in there to get my hair worked on? Hell, my hair is longer than the hair on most women that I know and it is also bigger than the hair on most women that I know. I could certainly do more with my hair than many women can. So why couldn't I go there? Well, I might make the other women customers uncomfortable and they may wish to leave because they cannot bitch about men as openly if I'm there.

We have clubs specifically designed for males (BSA) or females, gyms designed for a specific gender, etc. This really isn't changing anything. Barbershops, by definition, service men. They are also set up in a way such that they are a mens' club. Quite frankly, men might feel uncomfortable if they cannot talk about sports (assuming the movies are even remotely accurate) or whatever the hell they talk about in there in the same way that women might be uncomfortable about running without that proper bra when men are in the gym. The only difference is that certain clubs, gyms, etc. all exist without problem; this one exists and all of a sudden people have an issue. All-women nights exist at bars so that women can feel comfortable about going and getting a drink without drunk men hitting on them.

There's actually one more issue here and that is an issue of skill. Most women want their haircut differently than most women. The barber may not know how to style to hair of the typical woman. Now, it's true that this woman wanted her hair cut the way that a man typically has his hair cut but that can be considered subjective and management likes to take away all subjectivity from employees in order to avoid potential problems. For example, selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 in the U.S. is a HUGE deal. You can lose your liquor license, get fined up the ass, and even go to jail. I've had a beard down to my belly-button since I was 19. I got away with it for quite some time before I turned 21. However, I always knew where to go (the places that didn't card me). Many places didn't card me because I clearly looked 30. When I turned 21, I started going anywhere and the cashier is always shocked by my age. Some cashiers claim that they never would have carded me if they weren't required to because I look so much older (and I looked the same at 19!). See where I'm getting at? Some management will require their employees to card everyone - even if they look to be 100! The reason is that if they say, "You don't have to card old people" then there is room for subjectivity and then they wouldn't have carded me at 19 and they could have gotten in trouble. The management could have known that his employees didn't have the skill to cut the hair of most women and so he just says don't cut the hair of women since you can't do most of them. If it wasn't a clear-cut policy and he said, "Cut the hair of the women that you know how to" then that leaves room for subjectivity and some women might have left extremely pissed off at her bad haircut.

A barbershop is a barbershop. It is not a boy's club. Neither is a beauty salon a girl's club. Both are places to get your hair cut. To show you how absurd your argument is, consider this:

"The office is a man's place. At the office, men - away from their wives and kids - can talk around the water-cooler about sports and other things of interest to men. They can also indulge in ribald humour that they would feel uncomfortable indulging in with mixed company. The presence of a woman in the office would make the men uncomfortable, which is why we shouldn't allow women in the workplace."

And before you accuse me of building a straw man, let me point out that that's actually a real argument that was made against allowing women in the workplace. That was real. And, it's basically the same thing you said about barbershops.

So why was it wrong? Why was the argument that women in the workplace would make men uncomfortable silly? Because the workplace is a place to do work. It is not a boy's club. If men are doing something at work that would make women uncomfortable, that is not a reason to keep women out, that is a reason to stop doing that thing. If men are doing something at work that they are uncomfortable doing around women, that is not a reason to keep women out, that is a reason to ask whether that thing should be done in the workplace at all.

And what is a barbershop? Is it a men's club? No, it's not. It's a barbershop. It is a place where hair gets cut - or at least it is supposed to be. Oh, it's been used as a men's club traditionally? So what. So has the workplace, the golf club, the political office, etc. etc. - they all had to adapt, so too does the barbershop. Welcome to the twenty-first century.

Now, as for some of the other smaller points:

Let's look at ... beauty salons.... Now what if I walked in there to get my hair worked on? ... Well, I might make the other women customers uncomfortable and they may wish to leave because they cannot bitch about men as openly if I'm there.
That's their effin' problem. If you want a woman's style, and they provide that style, there is no reasonable argument for why they can't give you the haircut. And if they can't "bitch about men" (by the way... that's a really sexist view of salons, you know) because there's a man present, they should ask themselves whether they should be "bitching about men" in a salon, anyway. That's not what a salon is for.

Barbershops, by definition, service men. They are also set up in a way such that they are a mens' club.
i've already pointed out that that's not true: barbershops do not serve men, they provide male-traditional services. There's no reason a female couldn't have a male-traditional service (assuming it's biologically possibly, which, in the case of hair cuts, it obviously is). As for the claim that they're traditionally set up as a men's club: true. In fact, the barber i used to go to all the time in Barbados stocked his shop with porno magazines. The question is... should it be that way? Is it really appropriate to have Hustler on the table in a barbershop? (Bearing in mind i got my hair cut there from as young as 6.) But even if it is appropriate to have Hustler in a barbershop... how does that exclude women? i know several women who would actually enjoy reading Hustler and telling raunchy jokes with the guys. Seriously, think about it - even if you allow that barbershops are traditionally men's clubs because of the atmosphere, what about that atmosphere actually prevents women from being there? If the men are doing something that they wouldn't feel comfortable doing in front of women... maybe they shouldn't be doing that thing at all. But if they're just shooting the shit... why can't women be there, too?

Quite frankly, men might feel uncomfortable if they cannot talk about sports (assuming the movies are even remotely accurate) or whatever the hell they talk about in there....
Because women can't talk sports? Or the economy? Or whatever else gets talked about in a barbershop?

... the same way that women might be uncomfortable about running without that proper bra when men are in the gym.
Obviously you hang out with different women than i do, because the ones i hang around with won't frickin shut up about their bras. ^_^; But on a more serious note: if there is something women don't feel comfortable talking about in front of men, then is a salon really the place to be having that conversation? i mean, really. It's also quite bizarre to assume that all women would be comfortable with the conversation - don't you think that some women might not be comfortable talking even with other women about bras? Especially when those other women are just stylists and salon customers? For the record, i think women should be comfortable enough to talk about their bra issues around men - if only to help the men appreciate all the headaches that go along with bras (and, from experience, i can rattle off quite a few, ranging from the price to the smell when they are in need of washing). But if a woman is not comfortable talking bras with men around... then she shouldn't do it when men are around. i mean, duh. And if she wants to talk bras in the salon but there's a man around, then tough cookies - she's either there to get her hair cut or to cut someone's hair, not to get bra advice. It's a goddam salon.

... this woman wanted her hair cut the way that a man typically has his hair cut but that can be considered subjective....
Subjective... how? What part of that is subjective? "See this haircut? The one you just gave to the 10 guys who came in here before me? i want you to give it to me, too. No problem? Good. Oh, by the way, i have a vagina. Wait, problem?"

For example, selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 in the U.S. is a HUGE deal. ... See where I'm getting at?
i really don't. The issue there is that age MATTERS. As you pointed out, there could be very serious consequences if you sell alcohol to someone who is 20 years and 11 months and 29 days old... but zero consequences if you sell alcohol to someone who is 21 years and 1 day old. It is vitally important for the seller to know where you lie on that spectrum, which is why they might not want sellers to just guess, and might have a policy where they have to ask for ID, even in cases where it's ridiculously obvious. What i fail to see is how the presence of testacles is vitally important to getting a bowl cut.

The management could have known that his employees didn't have the skill to cut the hair of most women and so he just says don't cut the hair of women since you can't do most of them.
This is complete bullshit, because hair cutting is not about "cutting the hair of women" versus "cutting the hair of men" (except to the bigots who prompted this discussion). It is about "cutting men's hairstyles" versus "cutting women's hairstyles". If i asked a barber for a woman's hairstyle - being a man - then they would be perfectly justified to say no! If i asked a stylist for a woman's hairstyle - being a man - then they would have no justification for saying no. If a woman asked a stylist for a men's hairstyle (as this woman actually did, by the way), the stylist would be perfectly justified to say no. If a woman asked a barber for a men's hairstyle... the logic is obvious.

If it wasn't a clear-cut policy and he said, "Cut the hair of the women that you know how to" then that leaves room for subjectivity and some women might have left extremely pissed off at her bad haircut.
Because a man would never be dissatisfied with a haircut that a barber gave them? Look, it's really a lot simpler than you're making it. Barbers - and hairdressers - have a selection of cuts that they offer; barbers, traditionally, only offer traditionally-male cuts like bowl cuts, buzz cuts, fades and so on (there are actually also barbers who only do ONE style of haircut, though you're only going to find them in small towns and such, if they even exist anymore). If you ask for a cut the barber or hairdresser doesn't offer, they'll say no. If they do offer the cut, they should say yes, unless there's some other reason they can't do it (such as that you don't have enough hair, or their clippers are broken, or that you're a client who has given trouble in the past, or whatever). Once they say yes, they do the cut. If you're not satisfied at the end, then that means one of two things: either the barber ****** up, or the cut you asked for didn't look as good as you thought it would. If the barber ****** up, and they admit it (either because they're honest or because it's painfully obvious that they ****** up), then they should offer you a discount or something. If they did the cut right but you don't like it, that's really your problem - the barber may offer you a discount or something, but they don't have to; they did their job right, you made a poor choice in what you asked for. If there's a dispute, then there's a dispute, and it will have to be resolved somehow. Read back through the last paragraph... at no point in any of that is it relevant whether you are a man or a woman (or something else). You're manufacturing bullshit "problems" that don't really exist. If a woman asks a barber for a haircut - even if it's a traditionally-male haircut - and the barber does it normally, then the barber can do it on her; there is no difference between a man's head and a woman's head, or a man's hair and a woman's hair. If she's not happy when it's done, then either the she or the barber ****** up, and either they can reach an amicable agreement, or they can fight in the courts. All of that is true for a man, too. The gender or sex of a barbershop client is irrelevant.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
P.S. Sorry for the 42 or whatever day delay. Work has been extremely stressful and by the time I get home, doing anything that doesn't involve heavy music, alcohol, or hand-lotion just seems like too much effort. I finally managed to force myself to sign on and do some posting because I knew that I was probably close to negative (I was at 3 points).

i got down past -10 at one point when i went on vacation. ^_^; They start sending you notices at like -5 and -10, and i think they take action at -15. But yeah, there hasn't been much to talk about here the last few months, so i've dropped low frequently. It's easy to bounce back up, though.
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