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Thread: Importance: Individual rights or Majority comfort?

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    Default Importance: Individual rights or Majority comfort?

    First: please refrain from commenting on the religious implications of this story, in this thread, as it's not the topic I'm adressing with this post.

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/na...1f4792&k=77744


    Question: What is more important? The rights of an individual, or the comfort of the majority?

    I believe that the rights of the individual are important, however, when "freedom of expression" becomes a destructive force in society, good taste should prevail.

    Now, as an adult, I have no problem with the sculpture. This guy paid for the materials and put it up on private land.
    As an adult, I can understand his message.
    However, I sure wouldn't want my kid to see on his way to school. I belive it would be, understandably, traumatic to a child under ~6 to see something like this.

    Does freedom of expression give this guy the right to inflict this type of trauma upon kids?
    Say the only way for your kids to not see this thing was if you were to drive them to school (taking a different route) everyday and pick them up. Does this guy's "freedom of expression" give him the right to force parents to either change their entire routine, and that of their children, or allow their children to be subjected to subject matter that is far too mature for them?

    I'm prone to side with the "comfort of the majority" on this issue, however, where do you draw the line?
    How do we establish some sort of perameter to distinguish whether something is actually damaging, or the person complaining is just being a whiney asshole?

    How can something as relative as "good taste" be interpreted on anything other than a case by case basis? And if that's how it's to be interpreted, who's qualified to be the ambassador of good taste?

    Kris

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    That's a tough one for sure. It seems like censorship is the heart of this discussion. I sure don't think we could solve this in an internet thread but there should be some good ideas. This is one of those topics that can be argued from a million different persectives and unfortunately I don't think there is one right answer.
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    I agree with what he is saying...BUT...

    ah fuck it
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    Originally posted by TKRIS
    First: please refrain from commenting on the religious implications of this story, in this thread, as it's not the topic I'm adressing with this post.

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/na...92&k=77744


    Question: What is more important? The rights of an individual, or the comfort of the majority?

    I believe that the rights of the individual are important, however, when "freedom of expression" becomes a destructive force in society, good taste should prevail.

    Now, as an adult, I have no problem with the sculpture. This guy paid for the materials and put it up on private land.
    As an adult, I can understand his message.
    However, I sure wouldn't want my kid to see on his way to school. I belive it would be, understandably, traumatic to a child under ~6 to see something like this.

    Does freedom of expression give this guy the right to inflict this type of trauma upon kids?
    Say the only way for your kids to not see this thing was if you were to drive them to school (taking a different route) everyday and pick them up. Does this guy's "freedom of expression" give him the right to force parents to either change their entire routine, and that of their children, or allow their children to be subjected to subject matter that is far too mature for them?

    I'm prone to side with the "comfort of the majority" on this issue, however, where do you draw the line?
    How do we establish some sort of perameter to distinguish whether something is actually damaging, or the person complaining is just being a whiney asshole?

    How can something as relative as "good taste" be interpreted on anything other than a case by case basis? And if that's how it's to be interpreted, who's qualified to be the ambassador of good taste?

    Kris
    he makes a good point, we do only care about the presents, christmas has nothing to do with christ anymore.

    keep it up, big deal if they have to go different routes, your kids going to find out santa doesnt exist sooner or later.

    hes not forcing anyone to change their routes, he's just merely pointing out that everyone cares about the presents, if you ask a kid whats christmas, hes going to say its were i get presents, not that it was christ's birthday.

    if you want to censor this, censor everything else that deals with things that could harm a kid, internet, tv etc....
    Last edited by CivicTunr; 12-11-2006 at 04:18 PM.

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    There are better ways of conveying your ideas to the public then putting up a public display of Santa being crucified.

    Again there are always better alternatives.

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    Originally posted by CivicTunr
    he makes a good point, we do only care about the presents, christmas has nothing to do with christ anymore.

    keep it up, big deal if they have to go different routes, your kids going to find out santa doesnt exist sooner or later.
    I've got $20 that says you don't have kids.

    Additionally, I wasn't addressing the validity of his message. I agree with what he's saying as well. However, without a certain amount of maturity and understanding of his message, which young children would lack, the sculpture is agressive, violent, and traumatising.

    Kris

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    Originally posted by TKRIS


    I've got $20 that says you don't have kids.

    Additionally, I wasn't addressing the validity of his message. I agree with what he's saying as well. However, without a certain amount of maturity and understanding of his message, which young children would lack, the sculpture is agressive, violent, and traumatising.

    Kris
    I actually agree with you but is the Santa anymore traumatizing than seening a nearly naked bearded guy nailed to a cross? Or does it just seem out of place because it is not what we are used to?
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    Originally posted by CivicTunr

    hes not forcing anyone to change their routes,
    Either the parents change the routes their kids take to school, or they allow this guy to violently push his agenda on their children.
    Shouldn't parents have some control over whether or not their kids are exposed to a message they are too young to understand?

    Originally posted by CivicTunr

    he's just merely pointing out that everyone cares about the presents, if you ask a kid whats christmas, hes going to say its were i get presents, not that it was christ's birthday.
    OK, so when did this guy become the morality police? Maybe I want to give my kids a day they can look forward to because, if they were good, they'll be rewarded for their behavior.
    Does this guy have to right to disillusion my young child because he thinks we're not celebrating properly?
    Since when did this guy get to decide what Christmas means to my kids? Paricularily in such an agressive manner.

    Originally posted by CivicTunr

    if you want to censor this, censor everything else that deals with things that could harm a kid, internet, tv etc....
    I don't see it as censorship. I see it as denying individual rights to protect the rights of others. I'm saying we suspend this guys individual right to express himself in such a way so as to protect the rights of kids to be kids, and parents to control how thier children view the holiday.

    Parents do censor the internet, tv, etc.
    Responsible people do it by monitoring what their kids are allowed to see, how much time they spend doing certain things, etc.
    If they don't want to monitor those things, they can go without a TV. They can go without the internet.
    However, kids have to go to school. Therefore, if parents want to control content like this in their kids lives, they're forced to go out of their way.
    What it comes down to is whether the parents right to raise thier kids in their own way supercedes this guy's individual right to freedom of expression.

    Kris

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    Whats with this whole Jesus vs Santa crap. I grew up catholic and i know the value of x-mas and imo its a great way to celebrate the holidays with family. Its not like people are down right worshiping Santa as an idol or anything, its just a figure head for a holiday. Whats next we going to see a dead rabbit (mmm road kill...) with a drawing of a ghost above by this guy saying the easter bunny died for our sins?

    Like seriously
    Originally posted by Mibz
    She's already exhibiting signs of turning into my Mom, I need some sort of legal recourse if a full-blown transformation occurs.

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    Originally posted by Masked Bandit


    I actually agree with you but is the Santa anymore traumatizing than seening a nearly naked bearded guy nailed to a cross? Or does it just seem out of place because it is not what we are used to?
    Usually, you see a naked guy on a cross when you go to church, so my kids won't really be exposed to that either.
    But yes, I think it's partially a matter of tradition.
    If my kids come home wondering why the naked dude was on a cross, I'll explain that some people believe there was man named Jesus that lived thousands of years ago and that he died to alleviate man's wrongdoings. See, even if I'm not religious, that's a positive message.
    If they come home asking about their favorite holiday icon hanging dead from a tree, what am I gonna tell them that isnt a lie?
    I could tell them the truth: That the guy who put that up believes that we've all turned into corporate whores and unless you celebrate the way he celebrates, we're not doing things right.
    Maybe I don't want to have that discussion with my kids until they're old enough to understand.

    Kris

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    Originally posted by TKRIS



    Maybe I don't want to have that discussion with my kids until they're old enough to understand.

    Kris
    That's the tough part about being a parent. Maybe Dad had it right when he said "go ask your mother!"
    "Masked Bandit is a gateway drug for frugal spending." - Unknown303

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    The guy is a hippocrate.

    His statement is "about the orgy of consumption in the modern world" and yet he lives in a 6,400 sq ft house.

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    he worked for it thou? i think hes implying the corpraton at christmas time.....
    shiieet if the guy made dupicates i'd buy it
    the guys got balls to do that, i think its artistic
    to each his own

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    no one can prove Jesus even existed... In todays culture Santa is just as important of a figure as Jesus. Why would you expect someone to worship Jesus if they dont believe in him.

    What I'm trying to say is that by puttin santa on that cross he is forcing his beliefs on others. For those who arn't religious Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts and spending time with your family. So what if the meaning of Christmas has shifted away from Jesus, a large number of people don't belive in him anyways.

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    Some of you are missing the point of the thread. That's fine, it's just a stupid thread on the internet, however, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on whether the right of the individual should be suspended to accommodate the majority, and why.

    If you think the guys is right, that's great, but I'm more interested in hearing reasons why you think he is, or isn't, entitled to put on his display, in light of it's effects on those outside his target audience.

    Should someone be able to do whatever he wants with no regard for how it may effect others. Specifically those too young to interpret it's meaning.
    Does the freedom of expression give us the right to push our agenda on those least able to properly come to their own conclusions?
    Should it be suspended when it forces the hand of parents and directly interferes with how they raise their children?

    What justification do you have for your arguments one way or the other.
    To tell the truth, I'm torn on the subject, so I'd love to hear others opinions on it.

    Kris

    EDIT: To touch on that further:
    Since we're talking about the kids perception on this, let's dismiss the guy's intended message. I feel we're justified in doing this for the purposes of this discussion, as I think we'd all agree that a young child wouldn't grasp it.
    Now, that said, how is this any different than if this guy put up a sign that said "Maggie Lawson, you're adopted. You're parents are not your real parents."
    Now, little Maggie is going to find out she's adopted eventually, but her parents have decided to wait until she's old enough to properly understand to tell her.

    Does this guy have the right to disclose this information and force the hand of the parent?
    Granted, the adoption thing is more sever than the Santo thing, but where do we draw the line?
    Or do you think his freedom of speech gives him the right to tell her she's adopted? In which case, can you justify your opinion on the matter?
    Last edited by TKRIS; 12-11-2006 at 07:29 PM.
    Founding member of the Leave-Me-Alone-atarian party of Canada.

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    The rights of the individual should be respected as long as it doesn't infringe on the sensitivites of the majority.

    This guy is obviously a shit disturber. He made his 'art' (the term is used very loosely here), which is fine... if he wanted to put it in a museam all the more power to him. But why would you put that up where the point of it is obviously to thrust it into the face of the public?

    Don't like the rampant consumerism during Christmas? Good for him, neither do I. Tell your kids and friends about it, but don't bother me with your bullshit opinions that I don't give a fuck about on my drive home from work. If I wanted to know what your opinion was I'd ask for it.

    If I had young kids and that was on any sort of path that they might cross I would burn that thing down in the middle of the night.

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    You can have all the rights you want but displaying something like that in public doesn't make you any less of an asshole.

    I like and understand the message. Do it in an art gallery. Not where 5yr olds play in the street.

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    I agree with his message and if that's how he wants to put it out there, so be it. If my kids were walking home from school and saw that, I would tell them why it was there. I would say that it isnt a real santa and the man who put it there thinks people focus too much on things like toys and presents and things they get instead of what else comes with the holiday season like friends and fun and all the other good stuff.

    I agree with certain censorship for the protection of others in cases where people are being hurt or assulted, but taking this thing down wouldn't protect kids. If anything, they could learn a valuable lesson, if the parents are willing to sit down and talk to their kids about it. Which, if I'm not mistaken, is exactly what the artist was trying to accomplish in the first place.

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    Originally posted by Melinda
    I agree with his message and if that's how he wants to put it out there, so be it.
    So if I were to want to send a message about brutality of rape through some graphic piece of art and decided to put that on my front yard would that be ok? Come on it's for a good cause...

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    Originally posted by Super_Geo


    So if I were to want to send a message about brutality of rape through some graphic piece of art and decided to put that on my front yard would that be ok? Come on it's for a good cause...
    how is santa the same as brutally raped art? it isnt. dear go you people speak of sensibilities of society getting offended, im offended that you care so little for your freedom of expression. Im not saying that there is no limit to that freedom, but come on, santa? There is no hate speech here. Hate speech as defined by websters is: a controversial term for speech intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. This does not apply and therefor the rules regarding freedoms of speech relative to hate speech also do not apply. Just because you do not agree with what this person is doing, does not mean that society should have the right to censor him. You are the same people who in the 50's wanted to ban rock and roll music because is supposedly stimulated rebellion and sexual immorality, both against the sensibilities of society.

    Also, I personally hate the child argument as well, its like the terrorist argument. Its overplayed and is a fall back for when individuals have nothing better to say. "Its gonna hurt the children!" is just as bad as "your supporting the terrorists", only its been in use much much longer.

    i could go on, but i need to sleep.

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