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The Forum > Article Comments > Discrimination must not be tolerated > Comments

Discrimination must not be tolerated : Comments

By David Swanton, published 7/2/2013

It would seem that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is no more than an aspirational piece of paper.

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Oh, very nice work David. Give with one hand and take with the other.

"People can believe in and practice what they wish, no matter how profound, or silly and deluded, that might be"

"abhorrent, discriminatory and unacceptable in modern society, then so too is the Christian religion"

So, anyone can believe anything they want just so long as it is not Christianity? What happened to people can believe what they wish?

I totally agree that a line must be drawn and that this line must prevent one personís rights from impinging on another, however the line that David has drawn is not the right one. The example given of a personís ability to teach maths is true but misses an underlying point. If this individual wished to work within a private school owned by a group that has an objection to this individualís lifestyle or orientation, does that group not have the right to say if this person can work there? If a school is owned by pro-multicultural group would it be discriminatory to refuse employment of a racist? Or an all girls school refusing to take a boy? Outside of these groups specific field of influence they should respect the views and choices of others, but is it not also discriminatory to prevent people from "believe in and practice what they wish" within this group.

No religion should receive public funding, nor should private schools (no matter the owners), and tax breaks should be reserved the poor and needy - this is without question. But instead of hiding the author should have the guts to come out of the shadows and present this as it is, an attack on religion, not a discussion on ethics.
Posted by Arthur N, Thursday, 7 February 2013 10:31:57 AM
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Hi David,
I agree with your point that the Declaration is less than it seems. Sadly, I think it is also more than it seems.

I think the UN Declaration of Human Rights is a governance tool for the more powerful of those among us who have exploited us since before Cain killed Abel - or since the most powerful Neanderthals stole the best land from their brothers. I don't think the Declaration was designed to protect our rights at all.

Until we get down to the very basics in our consideration of human rights (like rightful access to air, water sunlight and land) we won't get a strong enough grip on reality to have a meaningful conversation about higher ambitions in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Unfortunately, or rather by design, the Declaration is about "property rights" not human rights. see http://on.fb.me/UbyrlD

Regards
@landrights4all
Chris Baulman
Posted by landrights4all, Thursday, 7 February 2013 10:55:45 AM
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And until such time as we recognise the rights of nature and every other animal species with which we share this planet it ALWAYS will be meaningless.
We do not own this planet.
We share it with many other species.
All equal.
Posted by ateday, Thursday, 7 February 2013 1:34:29 PM
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David Swanton, even in his own terms, is not against discrimination. He thinks some discrimination is "appropriate", while other should be forcibly suppressed.

(Since discrimination of one kind of another is inherent in all preference, and therefore in all human action, the acceptance of discrimination at some level is necessary even for the most ardent anti-discriminationist. If this were not so, preference itself would be invalid, sexual preference would be impermissible, and of course separate male and female toilets should of course be illegal.)

Therefore the onus is on David, and anyone else who supports legal punishment for "discrimination", to clearly identify the difference between bad discrimination, and "appropriate"discrimination.

David doesn't do that, and therefore his whole argument fails.

It is no argument to say the preference must be "reasonable and objective" because this only begs the question, reasonable and objective according to who? And why that person or authority? And why should they be in the unequal position of being able to decide on behalf of someone else against their will?

For example, it is common for people to sexually prefer one sex or the other. Is this sexual preference reasonable and objective? If you say no, then it should be illegal for people to partner with the sex of their preference, which would clearly be abusive, as well as impossible to enforce, with good reason. But if you say yes, then how do you distinguish sexual preference (okay) from sexual discrimination (not okay)?

Again, what about the role of the State in all this? Don't they discriminate all the time in whatever way they want, conferring favours on this arbitrarily favoured group, and unequal obligations on that? Why should that be okay, for starters? And why should that entity be presumed morally superior to everyone else in deciding?

Until David can show the way out of these impossible difficulties, other than by recourse to more mere arbitrary discrimination, his thesis is meaningless gabble.
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Thursday, 7 February 2013 5:22:01 PM
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Some of you need to learn the distinction between the fact that while your right to have a religion and believe in whatever you want to believe should always be respected and upheld, that's not the same thing as being required to respect your beliefs.

I have no respect for religion, but I will respect your right to practice it. That being said, trying to force me to follow rules applied in 2000 year old scripture that are based solely off a belief system developed by ancient desert nomads will result in catastrophe at your expense.

Discrimination is when I start deciding that you can't work for me because of your beliefs. It's when I ridicule you for your beliefs. You have to learn the difference between when someone ridicules you for your beliefs, and when someone ridicules what it is you believe in. It's like taste in music - you probably wouldn't like my taste in music, you probably talk a lot of crap about it actually. But am I offended? Should I be offended? Only if you judge me by my taste in music. "Oh, he likes this band, so he's a bad person" would be offensive, "that band is crap, I'm not interested" would not.

"Christianity is a load of rubbish" is not a shot at the people who practice it. "Those darned Christians" is. Of course, they probably deserve it if they're being discriminatory themselves, like judging people based on what they do behind closed doors where it's none of their business to begin with.
Posted by Martin Bouckaert, Thursday, 7 February 2013 6:23:31 PM
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"The equality of all humans should be one of the most fundamental principles embedded in the moral frameworks and legal systems of civilised societies." - thus said... the UN.

So if the UN decrees that triangles have five sides and the sun rises in the west, then it must be so too, right?

No two humans, not even "identical" twins, are equal. The author asks us to treat humans (and why only humans BTW?) AS IF they were equal, though they are not - give us a break, what a load of rubbish!

Besides that, the author seems to assert that we must all automatically be interested in living in a "civilised society", not even having the courtesy to ask us whether we agree or not. Such behaviour is called bullying - one of the worst forms of uncivilised behaviour!

Nobody, government included, has a right to order us around, including by telling us whom we hire or whom we accept in our school. If I decide not to employ someone because their name starts with a particular letter of the alphabet (perhaps due to a superstition, perhaps it's the first letter of my ex's name), then it is my right to do so, deciding whom I pay with my own money and whom I wouldn't, just as it is nobody's right to order me to buy melons rather than avocados.

Besides that, as already noted by Arthur, this article is just a blatant attack on religion. While I can accuse the author of bullying, I cannot blame him for his total ignorance about religion since nowadays even many of those who claim to be religious, even some who are considered "religious leaders", have no clue what religion really is.

Religion MUST be discriminating, because the path to God is different for each individual, depending on their capacities, situation and inclinations.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Thursday, 7 February 2013 10:35:12 PM
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