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Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

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Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!
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Dogma's DemisePosts: 576Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:23 am

Post Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Okay, the reason I'm making this thread is because recently some people are accusing the western world in general of selectively defending or standing up to free speech (i.e. only when it suits them). They may point for example to how some European countries do criminalize certain speech or Draw Mohammed Day (which I participated in myself by the way so I kinda feel targeted) and basically their argument goes something like this:

"Oh you are so outraged when fanatics want anti-blasphemy laws, but you're supportive, or at the very least silent, when it comes to other instances of free speech like Holocaust Denial ban. You don't see people make 'Everyone Deny the Holocaust Day' do you?"

You know, I could give reasons why this is so, but I'm gonna do something better:



I'm going to openly support the decriminalization of Holocaust denial.

I don't deny the Holocaust, I just don't think it should be illegal to deny the Holocaust. Yes, it's dumb as fuck, but there are other ways to deal with it like simply telling the person that he's a moron. That's not to say I condone antisemitism speech - if you're a neo-nazi and you want to instigate violence against Jews for being Jews, that's not free speech in my view.

And speaking of other issues these people brought up:


1. I support WBC's right to protest, assuming they're not going to disturb the peace or harass/stalk the person or place of business or whatever it is they're protesting (I heard a little story several years ago about how they would target the same restaurant in Topeka day in day out).

2. I support Muslim protests against movies/cartoons/atheist gatherings/whatever, as long as they're not violent and don't instigate to violence. By all means, tell me how much I'm going to Hell and how great your god is, but don't call for Al'Qaida to nuke Denmark for fuck's sake.

3. This is only about criminalization. That's not to say there should be absolutely no consequences to the kind of beliefs that you hold and I'll use the church example here: If you're an atheist, don't expect to be hired as a priest and likewise if you're a theist, don't expect to be allowed into atheist organizations.
"I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government" - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Sounds like a consistent position. Even Holocaust deniers like David Irving can make surprising facts about history more widely known. People like that shouldn't be prosecuted when they aren't causing harm.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:42 am
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GanurathUser avatarPosts: 9Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:35 pmLocation: Nebraska Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

As much as I disagree with the stupidity being spouted, so long as it doesn't result in any actual harmful activities I don't mind people with remarkably dissonant worldviews expressing themselves openly. It makes them easier to identify so that they can be reasoned with. Or, if they can't be reasoned with, so that the logical arguments against them can show uncertain third parties just how crazy their stance is. In the forum of ideas, bad publicity is very real.
Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:31 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Holocaust Denial should in no way be illegal. Sure it's offensive, but there are two quite effective ways to deal with it that don't require banning it:

1. Ignore it

2. Speak out against it

The other thing is; criminalizing it is sure to play into their hands in some way. It will just feed their conspiracy theories and persecution complexes.
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Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:33 am
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Dogma's Demise wrote:Okay, the reason I'm making this thread is because recently some people are accusing the western world in general of selectively defending or standing up to free speech (i.e. only when it suits them). They may point for example to how some European countries do criminalize certain speech or Draw Mohammed Day (which I participated in myself by the way so I kinda feel targeted)


The problem I have with Draw Mohammed day is it doesn't really promote freedom of speech, it promotes people's right to flat out offend people. I have the right to freedom of speech, but if I only used that right to call people a fat, fucking cunt would I be getting the best out of it?

I can't quite understand why you feel "targeted" when you are no longer allowed to just go around offending people. You're attempt at promoting free speech is at the direct expense of a huge number of people. It's immature, juvenile and even worse than that, it's boring.


and basically their argument goes something like this:

"Oh you are so outraged when fanatics want anti-blasphemy laws, but you're supportive, or at the very least silent, when it comes to other instances of free speech like Holocaust Denial ban. You don't see people make 'Everyone Deny the Holocaust Day' do you?"

You know, I could give reasons why this is so, but I'm gonna do something better:



I'm going to openly support the decriminalization of Holocaust denial.

I don't deny the Holocaust, I just don't think it should be illegal to deny the Holocaust. Yes, it's dumb as fuck, but there are other ways to deal with it like simply telling the person that he's a moron. That's not to say I condone antisemitism speech - if you're a neo-nazi and you want to instigate violence against Jews for being Jews, that's not free speech in my view.

And speaking of other issues these people brought up:


1. I support WBC's right to protest, assuming they're not going to disturb the peace or harass/stalk the person or place of business or whatever it is they're protesting (I heard a little story several years ago about how they would target the same restaurant in Topeka day in day out).

2. I support Muslim protests against movies/cartoons/atheist gatherings/whatever, as long as they're not violent and don't instigate to violence. By all means, tell me how much I'm going to Hell and how great your god is, but don't call for Al'Qaida to nuke Denmark for fuck's sake.

3. This is only about criminalization. That's not to say there should be absolutely no consequences to the kind of beliefs that you hold and I'll use the church example here: If you're an atheist, don't expect to be hired as a priest and likewise if you're a theist, don't expect to be allowed into atheist organizations.


I agree with you here. People say stupid fucking things all the time and as long as it doesn't promote violence I'm not too bothered either way. In fact I really quite like the debate.

I was at a holocaust centre and we had a q&a with a survivor of the concentration camps, I asked him how he felt about people like David Irving, seemingly respected Historians who then go and blow it a bit by denying something as important as this. He simply said, they are not worth the thought. They're crackpots who probably have a different agenda for their actions which are in no way based in fact.

People like David Irving are misguided and I would say yes, to some, very very offensive. But a criminal? Nah, like Laurens has said, the legal battle does nothing but promote his ideas and suggest there is a reason as to why he needs censoring.
Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:31 am
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Dogma's DemisePosts: 576Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:23 am

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Frenger wrote:The problem I have with Draw Mohammed day is it doesn't really promote freedom of speech, it promotes people's right to flat out offend people. I have the right to freedom of speech, but if I only used that right to call people a fat, fucking cunt would I be getting the best out of it?

The problem I have with Draw Mohammed day is it doesn't really promote freedom of speech, it promotes people's right to flat out offend people. I have the right to freedom of speech, but if I only used that right to call people a fat, fucking cunt would I be getting the best out of it?

I can't quite understand why you feel "targeted" when you are no longer allowed to just go around offending people. You're attempt at promoting free speech is at the direct expense of a huge number of people. It's immature, juvenile and even worse than that, it's boring.


I mean I feel targeted by that criticism that I'm only standing up when someone expresses a view I agree with (such as anti-theist views) but I'm silent on those I don't agree with (like Holocaust denial).


And speaking of offending, first of all its their prophet being the main target, it's not like I'm going door-to-door to every Muslim and insulting him. Second, I might find VyckRo's infantile criticism of atheism and atheists offensive, but I'm not going to try to shut down his channel or contact his employer.
"I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government" - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:24 pm
EpiquinnUser avatarPosts: 93Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:54 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Even if we ignore the free speech arguments for allowing holocaust denial, there are still practical reasons why it should be legal. For as long as holocaust deniers (as well as creationists, climate change deniers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists etc.) exist, we want to have their arguments heard out in the open, so they can be properly exposed and debunked. With criminalized holocaust denial, the people professing such beliefs will form their own little hidden enclaves, for example some murky corner on the internet, where they can all just re-enforce each other's delusions and paranoia, never having to deal with uncomfortable counter-arguments.
Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:41 pm
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Dogma's Demise wrote:
Frenger wrote:The problem I have with Draw Mohammed day is it doesn't really promote freedom of speech, it promotes people's right to flat out offend people. I have the right to freedom of speech, but if I only used that right to call people a fat, fucking cunt would I be getting the best out of it?

The problem I have with Draw Mohammed day is it doesn't really promote freedom of speech, it promotes people's right to flat out offend people. I have the right to freedom of speech, but if I only used that right to call people a fat, fucking cunt would I be getting the best out of it?

I can't quite understand why you feel "targeted" when you are no longer allowed to just go around offending people. You're attempt at promoting free speech is at the direct expense of a huge number of people. It's immature, juvenile and even worse than that, it's boring.


I mean I feel targeted by that criticism that I'm only standing up when someone expresses a view I agree with (such as anti-theist views) but I'm silent on those I don't agree with (like Holocaust denial).


And speaking of offending, first of all its their prophet being the main target, it's not like I'm going door-to-door to every Muslim and insulting him. Second, I might find VyckRo's infantile criticism of atheism and atheists offensive, but I'm not going to try to shut down his channel or contact his employer.


I think you're missing my point. It's fine that people are offended by each other, a Muslim colleague of mine is very offended when I read anything about evolution in front of her (of course by in front of her I mean just at work, it's not like I read these kind of books just to get a rise out of her), I don't stop because I find the subject fascinating and it's not far off all I like reading about. Am I bothered that it offends her? No, I'm not, not in the slightest. Her being offended by my love of a great topic means exactly bollocks to me.

What draw Mohammed day does however, is to find something that really offends a group of people and actively do it, with no other reasoning behind it other than offending people. You can fly the flag of freedom of speech if you like, but we know why you really do it. Of course I in no way endorse certain people's reaction to this day. Violence in any hat is an awful thing and unless it's for protective reasons, the violent person is nothing but a bell end, but Draw Mohammed day actively seeks that reaction, and in that way it's fucking stupid.

Now I have no idea why anyone can become so offended by a drawing, it baffles me even as to why people are religious, but do I respect their right to be religious, yes, so long as it in no way concerns me. Do I respect people have deeply held beliefs that are so wrapped up in their way of life that a criticism of that belief is synonymous with an attack on them? No, I don't respect it, do I accept it? Yes, so long as it doesn't concern me in anyway, and strangely enough I have never needed to draw Mohammed to get through my day, so that small ask from the Muslim world is fine by me.
Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:51 pm
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Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2736Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

I only have this to say. Being stupid shouldn't be illegal, else everybody would end out in jail.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:08 pm
bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

So is this thread just to tell each other how much we disagree with the laws in question or is there going to be shift to discussion of how everyone might be able to contribute to efforts to fix this issue?
Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:18 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

I live in 'Mericuh, where you can be as idiotic as you want without going to jail.

Hell, you can walk around with a Swastika tattooed on your forehead shouting "HEIL HITLER!" and be protected.
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:03 am
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2736Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

bluejatheist wrote:So is this thread just to tell each other how much we disagree with the laws in question or is there going to be shift to discussion of how everyone might be able to contribute to efforts to fix this issue?

Don't know, unless you are a politician or promoting a law, I don't see much else you could do.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:08 pm
bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:Don't know, unless you are a politician or promoting a law, I don't see much else you could do.


Being in the U.S. I probably can't do much in the way of lobbying but I'm sure there's some group somewhere that works towards decriminalizing.
Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:18 pm
nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

hmmmm.....

as already stated by others, making it illegal/criminal to deny a part of history sounds weird.

however, ...
Reich, Walter. 'Erasing the Holocaust', The New York Times, July 11, 1993. wrote:The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-Semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited among most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, make anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened,indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media? What better way, in short, to make the world safe again for anti-Semitism than by denying the Holocaust?


creating an outlet for such groups would be equal to letting young earth creationism been taught in biology class.


as for the draw mohammed day, the intension is to criticize how easily muslims are offended and the ludicrize actions they demand. that it offends muslims, well... only those who are easily offended.
here in the netherlands, we have muslims who have grown a backbone. they don't get easily offended.
even with that 'innocence of muslims', only the most frindge muslim group (sharia4holland) decided to protest, all 12 members.
Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:25 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

nemesiss wrote:hmmmm.....

as already stated by others, making it illegal/criminal to deny a part of history sounds weird.

however, ...
Reich, Walter. 'Erasing the Holocaust', The New York Times, July 11, 1993. wrote:The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-Semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited among most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, make anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened,indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media? What better way, in short, to make the world safe again for anti-Semitism than by denying the Holocaust?


creating an outlet for such groups would be equal to letting young earth creationism been taught in biology class.


as for the draw mohammed day, the intension is to criticize how easily muslims are offended and the ludicrize actions they demand. that it offends muslims, well... only those who are easily offended.
here in the netherlands, we have muslims who have grown a backbone. they don't get easily offended.
even with that 'innocence of muslims', only the most frindge muslim group (sharia4holland) decided to protest, all 12 members.

I've always thought that using laws to dictate what is the "officiall history" is pretty much Orwellian, in the bad sense. Same with pretty much every fact actaully. Can you name an example of an event or fact that should be declared as a law (not naturalistic, scientific law, but... law law)? As contrasted with acts of men which laws usually deal with murder isn't illegal, the act of and planning of is). Soverenty of the state and the way it is governed comes into mind (as it is the basis for those laws really). Did I make any sense there?

I'd also point out that muslims getting offended isn't really the problem. What those offended muslims do might be. I'd imagine that most of the muslims that were offended by that trailer never saw it, and didn't do anything apart of a few mumbles of "well, I'm offended" and then turn the page of their morning newspaper. The real problem are the muslims that think that it's ok to riot and post blogs calling (or even give out a 100 000$ reward) for the killing of people.
Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:19 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

I made this photo just for this post.

Image

Keep in mind - it's 17 countries that I can be arrested for it. Only 12 can I serve time as a criminal offense for it.

Come to mind, that would make this post, itself, illegal and criminal in most of the European Union. Well, the deal is sealed already. Let me put nails in my own coffin, if you wouldn't mind:

The Holocaust never happened.
Hitler did nothing wrong.
I'm selling my copy of Mein Kampf for 20 quid plus shipping costs.
The USSR committed no crimes nor atrocities.
Stalin was an astounding leader.
The Nazi Party was a great idea.

Image
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:49 am
Dogma's DemisePosts: 576Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:23 am

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

nemesiss wrote:hmmmm.....

as already stated by others, making it illegal/criminal to deny a part of history sounds weird.

however, ...
Reich, Walter. 'Erasing the Holocaust', The New York Times, July 11, 1993. wrote:The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-Semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited among most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, make anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened,indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media? What better way, in short, to make the world safe again for anti-Semitism than by denying the Holocaust?


creating an outlet for such groups would be equal to letting young earth creationism been taught in biology class.


Well I can understand why they did it (i.e. why they made it illegal) but I think it's time to reconsider that. There are other ways to fight antisemitism.

I disagree with that analogy by the way. I think a better analogy would be: allowing holocaust denial to be taught in schools alongside the standard view and "letting students decide". Which I'm against of course. I'm also against teaching creationism in schools, but not against people advocating creationism (such as making sites or writing books about it).


EDIT: )O( Hytegia )O( sounds a bit like George Galloway now.
"I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government" - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:57 pm
nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Dogma's Demise wrote:
nemesiss wrote:
creating an outlet for such groups would be equal to letting young earth creationism been taught in biology class.


Well I can understand why they did it (i.e. why they made it illegal) but I think it's time to reconsider that. There are other ways to fight antisemitism.

I disagree with that analogy by the way. I think a better analogy would be: allowing holocaust denial to be taught in schools alongside the standard view and "letting students decide". Which I'm against of course. I'm also against teaching creationism in schools, but not against people advocating creationism (such as making sites or writing books about it).


with regards to the analogy, i had trouble phrasing it.
and i should say, thank you for improving on it in such a way that it makes it easier to convey the message.
Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:08 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Well i live in the UK and here at least there actually are no laws to criminalize holocaust denial. I remember this being the source for an amusing exchange when Nick Griffin made his sole appearance on Question Time he actually claimed he could not tell his real views on the subject because he would be prosecuted if he did. But sitting on the table also was the then justice secretary who made the point of my first sentence here. And remember i live in the same country where the David Irving trial took place. The trial that totally discredited him as a historian and ended his academic career. It also proved in an unbiased court of law the factual truth of the holocaust.

Also i would point out that in my experience whenever David Irving or his ilk is presented in the classes i've attended, they are not presented as having anything resembling truth but rather as an example of poor historiography and argumentation and an example of how not to handle and use primary sources. As a result, thanks to our effective education system in the UK there is extremely little in the way of a widespread "Teach the controversy" nonsense you get with creationism.

If anyone wants a good book to read about this i recommend "Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, And The David Irving Trial" by Richad Evans
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:18 pm
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Decriminalize Holocaust Denial!

Dogma's Demise wrote:

EDIT: )O( Hytegia )O( sounds a bit like George Galloway now.


I think that I'd be better suited for this honor, rather than your own.
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:01 pm
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