Censorship Intelligent Design

At Mind Matters News: Atheist philosopher strongly supports online political censorship

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Supreme Court Justice Thomas has noted that the Court will soon need to address freedom of speech issues in privately owned Big Social Media:

Recently, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris came out in favor of Big Social Media censorship in a Triggernometry YouTube podcast. His comments, as reported in a partial transcript, supported acknowledged BSM efforts to stifle public awareness of of compromising material found on the laptop of Present Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden just prior to the U.S. 2020 election: “‘At that point, Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement – I would not have cared,’ began the best selling author, who specialises in religion, rationality, and ethics…”

In the real world, the surest way to strengthen rumors about election fraud or other high-level misdeeds is to censor those who make the claim.

And here’s another underdiscussed fact: Book, video, and opinion banning creates many new jobs in censorship. Jobs in censorship, unlike those in arts, literature, and science, require literacy and submissiveness rather than creativity or good judgment. That greatly broadens the pool of qualified applicants.

As censorship grows, three things may be expected: 1) It broadens into areas in which it enjoys little public support. 2) It becomes indispensable to those who depend on it even as it stifles society. And 3) It is inevitably used by government to suppress knowledge of scandals, injustices, and high-level crime.

News, “Atheist philosopher strongly supports online political censorship” at Mind Matters News (August 23, 2022)

Takehome: Ironically, most Big Social Media are domiciled in the United States to gain the freedom of speech that they increasingly deny to others.


You may also wish to read: Why misinformation comes from the top as well as the bottom. At Big Think, Cameron English asks us to look at the incentives for academic scientists to publish questionable research that gains widespread attention. When the incentive structure in science rewards clickbait claims, Establishment wars on “Misinformation” become a form of corruption. In the real world, there is no pristine source of Correct Information. Nor is there any reason to believe that those who insist that their motive is to prevent Misinformation are entirely motivated only by a sincere devotion to truth. Many may also be protecting an organization, philosophy, or private interest, whether or not they recognize the fact.

10 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Atheist philosopher strongly supports online political censorship

  1. 1
    relatd says:

    An extremely poorly written article.

    “In the real world, the surest way to strengthen rumors about election fraud or other high-level misdeeds is to censor those who make the claim.”

    Beyond stupid. There are whistleblowers and laws designed to protect them. Rumors being spread among the people do not require anything called “social media,” a fake term. Social media allows posts from anyone, meaning those with bad intentions can post there. This sort of thing existed long before computers were first available to the public in the form of person to person interactions in real life. There’s a huge difference between seeing a post from bob229 and hearing something from your next door neighbor who you’ve known for years.

    “And here’s another underdiscussed fact: Book, video, and opinion banning creates many new jobs in censorship. Jobs in censorship, unlike those in arts, literature, and science, require literacy and submissiveness rather than creativity or good judgment.”

    Jobs in the arts require literacy, creativity and good judgment. This is an example of sloppy thinking on the part of the article writer. The true censor is in no way submissive.

    “As censorship grows, three things may be expected: 1) It broadens into areas in which it enjoys little public support.”

    The documented history of censorship shows it tends to fall into certain categories and does not go beyond them. Why? The focus of any censor’s message cannot be mixed up with anything else.

    “2) It becomes indispensable to those who depend on it even as it stifles society.”

    The article’s author falls into irrationality. Some people just ignore real or imagined censorship. Some people will find ways to get whatever is being censored.

    “3) It is inevitably used by government to suppress knowledge of scandals, injustices, and high-level crime.” This is nothing new. It should be rejected as some newly found thing. In other words, this is not a new discovery.

    The comments after the fold are questionable.

    “In the real world, there is no pristine source of Correct Information.”

    100% false. Those who actually said or did something actually said or did it. Those who witnessed it are true witnesses. Such witnesses could testify to it under oath if required.

    This is followed by a claim of vagueness that is irrational.

    “Nor is there any reason to believe that those who insist that their motive is to prevent Misinformation are entirely motivated only by a sincere devotion to truth. Many may also be protecting an organization, philosophy, or private interest, whether or not they recognize the fact.”

    First, “misinformation” is a fake word. If people are trying to prevent lies from being spread, fine. If they are protecting anyone, I sincerely doubt they don’t know that. If people are protecting a philosophy, they do not do it accidentally.

  2. 2
    Belfast says:

    “ In the real world, the surest way to strengthen rumors about election fraud or other high-level misdeeds is to censor those who make the claim.”
    I would not have thought it necessary to defend this statement, it being self-evident.
    Suppressing a speaker when he states something, inevitably raises concerns in the listener that there is something in the rumour – why else is he being suppressed? De-platforming and censoring are aspects of suppressing techniques.
    Not much point going into the rest of the comment, a bad beginning is difficult to make up even if the rest may be true.

  3. 3
    Fasteddious says:

    “Jobs in censorship, unlike those in arts, literature, and science, require literacy and submissiveness rather than creativity or good judgment. ”
    So all those graduates of grievance studies will now find employment! They are naturals for censorship – good judgement unwanted, submissive to the woke ideology a must, ability to read optional.

  4. 4
    Red Reader says:

    Censorship is the logical extension of “wishful thinking” or “imaginary thinking”.
    Harris WISHES there were no Hunter laptop.
    Apparently, he would ban any mention of the laptop in the world of reality that he may continue to live peacefully in the imaginary world of his own creation—where coincidentally there is also no God.
    Such thinking is as insane as that of someone who thinks they can fly by fastening a towel to their shoulders.

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    Fasteddious at 3,

    How different are they from Godless Communists? They’re THE authority. Their decisions cannot be questioned. THEY will order society as they see fit.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    Again. I remind those that impose oppressive rules, they eventually come for you.

    So Sam Harris and his like will likely experience what they are suggesting be done to others. Robespierre went from sentencing others to the guillotine to the guillotine himself in less than 48 hours. Sent there by his associates.

    Speaking of censorship, Alex Berenson was reinstated to Twitter a few weeks ago. In addition to C19 vaccines he is going after another sacred cow of left, climate change. Also cannabis.

    It will be fun to see if Twitter censors him again now that they have a legal agreement and he has alternative ways to communicate such as Substack. He has over 400k followers on Twitter.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1564682284996894720

    Aside: oppression is not the result of atheism. It is the result of power. Somehow I feel some of the religious zealots would do just the same.

  7. 7
    Alan Fox says:

    Aside: oppression is not the result of atheism. It is the result of power. Somehow I feel some of the religious zealots would do just the same.

    Well, there are plenty of regimes using religious zealots to enforce oppression. Iran, Afghanistan, India even. Plenty of regimes using similar techniques who are nominally atheist. N Korea, Myanmar, People’s Republic of China. Plenty of political movements learning from both. US Republicans.

  8. 8
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 6,

    Useless speculation. Substack is worthless. Power – that ugly word again. There are zealots on both sides. Catholics are encouraged not to join in with power grabs. I hope that’s clear.

    So-called “power” and who controls it is a waste of time. People should be helping other people, not looking for “power.” Instead, what do I see here? Comments about who has “power” and who can censor who. Sad.

    This is just a rerun of the late 1960s. “Oppressive laws!” “Yeah, tell me about it man.” “Nothin’ but oppression!” “Yeah, you gotta watch out for the MAN. The MAN will bring you down.” “Yeah man.”

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    US Republicans

    You seem to be a prisoner of your media sources.

    The US Republicans are for freedom not oppression. Whatever gave you that idea?

    ——————
    When I was in graduate school we performed an interesting experiment. We were given 3-4 illustrations of people in various situations with each other and asked to describe what was happening.

    We were then taught about McClelland’s Human Motivation theory that people are primarily motivated by power, affiliation and achievement. We then classified what was written about the illustrations as either one of these three motivations. Thus, we identified people who were primarily one of the three categories of motivation.

    The next part of the experiment was to mix people from all three categories in a project. Most were achievement oriented in each group because it was a professional graduate program but each group had one power person. Each group described the same phenomenon, the power oriented person immediately tried to take over the group and direct it.

    It was during this experiment that most of us learned just how driven power oriented people are to control others. And that while they only represent a small percentage of people, they will try to exert power in any way they can. This is the history of the world. Many of them today end up with lots of money and then use it to exert the power they crave. In the past, the military was the way to power which is why many kings had their start there.

    The lesson: Watch out for those people motivated by power.

  10. 10
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 9,

    I wish more people were aware that regarding certain ‘hot button’ issues, the Media is not your friend. They should make up their own minds.

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