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It's hard for me to convey how disturbing I find the growing sentiment that intellectually rigorous debate should be reserved for 'fun' topics that have no meaningful consequences at all, while for matters of literal life or death it's completely inappropriate to be cautious in your beliefs

Insofar as social justice topics are an area in which getting the right answer is existentially important, surely this should be precisely a reason to enforce the strictest norms of intellectual rigor in discussing them? But it seems like the usual attitude is precisely the opposite.

But I guess "if you think it's fun to debate the importance and severity of systemic violence against marginalized people" kind of gives away that the author here thinks the only reason anyone debates anything is because it's fun, rather than because the subject is important and getting the right answer is important

Come to think of it, "People's lives are not a thought experiment" is a particularly silly sentence if you think about it for thirty seconds (though I suppose this is consistent with the thesis that you shouldn't do that). Hot dogs aren't thought experiments either.

@im

Intellectual rigour is important. I place a high value on it, & wish that other people did as well.

But if you say to someone, "because you belong to X group or have Y characteristic, I should be allowed to deny you access to housing, medical care, & employment, or even to kill you, without suffering consequences ― prove me wrong", you should not expect a reasoned argument. You should expect a gunshot to the chest, followed by one to the head.

At the risk of being ignored by ―continued

@im

those who misunderstand "Godwin's Law", I will point out that there is a reason for the application of extremely clunky phrase "final solution to the Jewish Question" to one of the most infamous atrocities in history. The Nazis & their intellectual antecedents had spent decades manufacturing debate in the terms "what shall be done about The Jew?" precisely to accustom the public to thinking of their Jewish neighbours, not as human beings, but as objects to be dealt with.

―continued

@im

Exactly this kind of rhetoric is still with us.

Furthermore, the Internet (mirroring society in general) is full of people who adopt an entirely degenerate form of "debate", in which arriving at an answer is not important, much less its correctness. They constantly switch premises, even contradict themselves.

This can be a healthy intellectual amusement, but often is used (and this, I think, is what the poster alludes to) as a means of harrassing people.

@publius
Okay but like

To me, the propositions "your group deserves to be mistreated" and "your group is not actually being mistreated" are worlds apart

They're both false, but the former is evil whereas the latter is just incorrect.

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