Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Slippery slope arguments are generally pretty unconvincing...and slippery slope arguments that rely on picturing oneself slipping into Nazisim even more so.
I think you misunderstand me. I didn't picture anyone slipping into Nazism, I used that example as an illustration only of how it doesn't necessarily follow that a minority or unpopular opinion is a wrong opinion, or one that does not deserve to be aired and debated.
That’s not even in question. But so what? In the marketplace of ideas, all sorts of ideas go unheard all the time. A lot of the speakers whose ideas generate controversy are given attention specifically because their ideas are controversial. They aren’t always the best ideas - sometimes they are simply the most divisive. Take all the fracas around Milo Yiannopoulos. Does anyone believe that he was possessed of an important perspective that college students truly needed to debate? I submit to you that everyone learned more from the debate around whether he should be heard than anyone ever learned from one of his speeches.
We live in a time in which it isn’t hard to be heard if one has something controversial to say. It’s no great victory for free speech to assure that the most novel opinions are always allowed to dominate the larger conversation. Ultimately these protests end up bringing more debate and awareness of the supposedly censored speaker anyhow. So what is the big fucking deal?
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Ultimately what you aren’t seeing is that you are advocating to shut down debate. The debate in question is: “Do we owe _____ a platform in the name of free speech”?
You and a few others here would like to shut down that debate as if it were settled science. You’d like our kids to acquiesce to your opinion on the subject without allowing them to work through all permutations of the issue on their own. I’m not sure how you think that denying them agency in this struggle will ultimately make them more committed protectors of it. I suspect that the opposite is more likely.
Why do you think that?
Because we’d be denying our kids any meaningful engagement on the whole issue. How do they develop a sophisticated understanding of the issue without participating in these battles?
Wouldn’t you rather that a kid fall for all of the arguments you disagree with in a big battle over a college speaker and have to defend their actions when someone in the school paper accuses them of censorship, than to have them fall for those arguments as an adult when the stakes are a lot higher?