While I was away talking about legal ethics with some extremely lively and ethically astute D.C. lawyers, I challenged the Ethics Alarms regulars to identify the rationalizations, logical fallacies, falsehoods and outright errors in this risible essay by Noah Berlatsky, who presented a terrible case for suspending the First Amendment in the case of “Nazis” (not that there is a good case available) that was somehow deemed worthy of publication on the NBC website, in a section called “Think,” of all places. To be fair, NBC does not have a section called “Brain Dead,” so that wasn’t an option.
A brief sample of Noah’s reasoning:
“This doesn’t mean that the First Amendment is useless, clearly. Hopefully it will play a part in helping the protesters, known widely as the J20 defendants, go free. But it also isn’t a cure for all social ills. Hate speech hurts marginalized people, and the First Amendment doesn’t always and invariably protect them. Free speech advocates say that hate speech “is a price ‘we’ pay for living in a free society,” Delgado told me, but they never stop “to add up the two accounts” or look “to see on whom the price is imposed.”
“I’m expecting some Comments of the Day when I get back from my seminar,” I wrote.
I got them. First up is this masterful effort by Mrs. Q. As of this moment, Mrs. Q holds the Ethics Alarms record for the best Comment of the Day- per-comments-made-ratio (min. 25 comments or more). This COTD is also notable for its rare format, the satirical parody.
Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on the post, An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay Advocating Limits On Speech…:
Hi. My name is Noah. I’m Jewish so I can tell you all about what black people go through. Also I just fuckin’ hate Nazi’s for the obvious reasons. So anyway I’m mostly going to refer to one book by two authors as my jumping off point. I know that’s rather limited in making a coherent case but hey, free speech right?
First off I want you to know I’m woke. You know this because even though my fellow liberals are becoming more anti-Semitic thanks to Black Lives Matter collaborating with BDS, I’m still being published on NBC news which you know, is super down, which means I’m super down too.
I hate modern Nazis because they say stuff that’s shitty. And you know what? They make black people all nervous to the point that they have high blood pressure. According to a study by woke people who I’m sure weren’t paid by any special interest donors, blacks do shitty on test scores because Trump and Nazis.
Eagles and snakes, paternalism, Milo Yiannopolous, trauma, Charlottesville, J20, marginalized people, Mexicans, racists, abuse, vulnerable citizens, 1984, white supremacy, Trump!!!, murder, victims, Nazis, and more victims. Did I get enough tags and buzzwords in this piece? I hope so! See how woke I am?
You see I’m not racist because I advocate for people who are darker than me so that automatically makes me not racist. I suppose I could let an empowered POC write a piece like this for themselves, but they do poorly on test scores so NBC probably won’t publish them. It’s up to woke whites like me to help these poor marginalized victims of white imperialism.
Speaking of imperialism, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden have pretty pro-eugenics policies (wait, did the Nazi’s have that too? Oh well I’m just too woke to worry about that slippery slope). I guess France is getting her ass handed to her by terrorists and their citizens complain of immigrants being a drain on the system, but hey at least they do authoritarianism the right way.
Anyway the First Amendment sucks because feelings are more important than freedom. Never mind that it was censorship in Germany that helped Hitler gain power.
Rather than always defending Nazis we should just become more like them. After all, my socialist folk hero Che Guevara once said: “The Negro is indolent and lazy and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” So yeah let’s be more like Europe!
10 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day (1): “An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods…””
Thank you, Mrs. Q, more than you’ll ever know.
Shadeism! People of shades (POS)!
Awesome comment, Mrs. Q.
Comment of the year. Most totally excellent and very woken.
Mrs. Q’s comments are among my favorites in this blog, on a per comment basis. Thank you, Mrs. Q!
Mrs. Q qua Noah.
Check ya, Noah. After reading your post-thingy, I am all “yeah, Noah. He’s super woke.”
Have to agree with VPJ. I look forward to Mrs. Q’s comments and this is her best yet. Keep ’em coming Mrs. Q!
I made this similar comment on the original post.
If abropgating freedom is worth it to protect people’s feelings (Noah Berlatsky’s argument for regulating hate speech) what else can not be justified?
If the police were able to arbitrarily conduct searches and seizures, they can solve crimes more easily.
If juries only had to use a preponderance of the evidence standard to adjudicate criminal cases, it would be much easier to convict criminals?
Or why even have trials? Surely it would be harder for criminals to get away with their crimes if arrests were sufficient to establish guilt.
And what about equal protection? if the police could focus on demographics they feel commits the most crimes, it would be an efficient use of scarce resources.
Think of the lives that could be saved if only the American people sacrificed these freedoms.
If Berlatsky’s proposal could be justified, why can not these be justified?
I am a “selfish” daily reader of Jack’s labor of love, but have rarely (once to be precise) have commented and added to discussion. Your reply to the original post was so unique and thoughtful. I enjoy reading your and others commentary on various topics almost as much as the hosts presentation of various sundries of current ethics dilemmas (embarrassments).