15 Responses to Defending Canadian Censorship

  1. Black Bloke May 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Good stuff. You’ve shown patience that I might not.

  2. Brandon May 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Roderick Long. The only phd university professor who takes the time to argue on the AICN boards.

    • Roderick May 25, 2011 at 1:30 am #

      Actually not true, since I once had an exchange with an astrophysics professor on the AICN boards.

      • Roderick May 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

        And here’s yet another perfesser who’s ventured onto the AICN boards.

        • Brandon May 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

          I think if there was a point I was trying to make, it was that you were lowering yourself to arguing with the critical-thinking-challenged. The arguments you refuted were pathetic. It was like watching Roger Federer play against a 3.5 country club rec player.
          We need you on the front lines battling the very best the other side has — not swatting flies.

        • martin May 26, 2011 at 4:50 am #


          The arguments you refuted were pathetic.

          Maybe so, but those are the arguments that need refuting.

        • John May 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

          That entire AICN exchange and Martin’s comment reminded me of this obligatory xkcd comic, as so many internet exchanges do: http://xkcd.com/386/

        • Roderick May 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

          Justice never sleeps.

  3. Anon73 May 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    I’m not sure what posts you’re referring to. I didn’t say anything about soldiers or uniforms. But if you’re asking whether I think wearing a government uniform magically exempts people from the obligation to respect people’s rights, then the answer is no. I think people in uniform should be subject to the same moral rules as everyone else. It’s fascinating that you think that’s prejudicial on my part. If I said that white people should be subject to the same moral rules as black people, would you conclude that I’m biased against whites?

    Yeah there’s that annoying “logic” stuff again. In a lot of ways there are solid emotional reasons for liking the state, power, etc as well as the biological reasons for wanting leviathan you mentioned that one time (long period of being reared by parents compared to animals). The state controls billions of dollars worth of guns, ship, troops, and ammo. It has thousands of people ready to leap to its defense verbally. Yet no matter how much ordinance they possess, how much propaganda they broadcast, or how many people they kill it doesn’t make the state right.

    I often think of the Melian dialogue when these questions of might vs right come up. As in the present, once they’ve lost the argument, the Greeks just used brute force to destroy the Melians. One wishes sometimes they would just equate might with right and be honest about it.

    • Roderick May 25, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      One of my colleagues likes to say (about, e.g., arguing with the university administration, or faculty committees, or whatever): “We philosophers always make the same mistake. We expect to win just because we have the better argument. But we’re arguing against people who can win just by saying no.”

  4. David K. May 25, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    The pro-censorship arguments are so bad, they could stem from Gene Callahan.

  5. dennis May 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    That was even more of a “beat down” than the one you laid on Matt Yglesias those many moons ago.

  6. James May 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    I see they went for the “you criticise [someone in uniform] therefore you’re not in favour of law, rights etc” argument. Or at least, relied on it as an implicit premise when they say stuff like “It’s pretty clear how you feel about the people who wear uniforms for a living and serve their countries to protect your individual freedoms”.

    That non-sequitur is so common, does it have an official name?

    • James May 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      “when they *said* stuff like”


  7. A Country Farmer May 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    There is an interesting question in the point though — at what point does working for government stop? The easy line to draw is receiving direct compensation for the government. But what about a military contractor — or a contractor for a military contractor (which is even less direct)? So then if there is no clear line, then what about even the most specialized, non-government market participant? Surely it isn’t unreasonable to argue that person in *some* way benefits from the government. Even the things they get, they could probably donate a check back to the Treasury for.

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