Helix comments

Posted in: Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract after anti-gay comments on social media See in context

Helix, if we’re to get on we all have to tolerate ideas and actions we may find disagreeable, but sometimes people go too far. This is a public figure, he has used his platform to express his bigoted ideas.

But has he really gone too far? I don't think so. If he called for violence or encouraged discrimination against the groups he mentioned, then that would be a very different story. Just imagine if a Muslim player on the team tweeted that people won't go to paradise if they keep eating bacon. Would that also be going too far? Would that be just as bigoted and offensive to people? Because that, in my view, is the functional equivalent of what we're talking about here. (someone dispassionately stating a core tenet of their faith relating to the afterlife)

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Posted in: Australian rugby star Folau calls Christmas, Easter 'man-made' traditions followed by 'heathens' See in context


Helix... Athiests can't work in Catholic schools. Not can civilly married gays. I'm fine with that. Their rules.

Well, I'll take your word on that but I think the rights of religious institutions to discriminate in this way has yet to be fully resolved. My understanding (and I'm happy to be corrected on this) is that most places limit the enforceability of overly broad employment contracts to only those clauses which have a direct bearing on your ability to performance the actual job. So a contractual requirement to be a Catholic might be enforceable in a priest's employment contract, but would be void against a janitor at a Catholic School. As far as Folau is concerned, none of his statements seem to affect his ability to perform on the field.


How do you define ‘deeply held beliefs’? Are you talking about religious beliefs? I hope you are not falling for the old ‘I don’t dislike homosexuals, god does’ nonsense.

Roughly, I would say it's a belief that is so strongly held and underpins someone's entire worldview that it would cause serious psychological harm to force them to suppress it or deny it. If a secular analogy helps, imagine if you were forced to say that 2+2=5 and that the earth is indeed flat.

I have no problem discriminating against what people think. You choose your beliefs and you’ll be judged on them.

I don't know what to say to that. It's far too judgemental for me. I believe in a degree of tolerance, mutual respect, humility, peaceful co-existence and the golden rule. We should, within reason, treat people how we would like to be treated if we were in their position.

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Posted in: Australian rugby star Folau calls Christmas, Easter 'man-made' traditions followed by 'heathens' See in context


more importantly b) he broke the rules of his boss/company/contract.

If your view is that employers should have the right to fire workers and terminate contracts for saying that gays and atheists will go to hell unless they accept Jesus (which is the controversial comment Folau made), are you prepared to grant that same right to a religious employer who might wish to fire atheist workers who dare to deny the same claim? Do you realize what a dystopian world you're inviting if you allow the policing of personal speech outside of the workplace? Maybe you're lucky and none of the opinions you hold are socially unpopular, but try to imagine if that wasn't the case. Also, the rules here (the "character test") seems extremely arbitrary and open to any sort of interpretation. If it's upheld, it basically allows the employer to fire you for any unpopular opinion.

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Posted in: Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract after anti-gay comments on social media See in context


All morality is subjective. That’s why we discuss, come to an agreed standard and implement law that provides punishment befitting the crime committed, if one has indeed been committed.

But we're not talking about crimes are we? We're talking about someone expressing a deeply held opinion about what happens in a theoretical afterlife.

My employer is me and this employer believes people’s lives, opinions and actions are their own business until they harm others, or bring the business into disrepute.

If he modifies his behaviour I’m sure he’ll find another employer.

How far you do think the rights of employers should go? If the clientele of a business is predominantly Jewish, should the owners be allowed to fire any Muslim employee who preaches Islam to people on his own time?

Folau’s comments to the gay and non religious communities were bigoted and intolerant.

Is he actually intolerant though? What is your definition of intolerance? He wasn't calling for gays or atheists to be fired, or arrested, driven out of the country, or shunned in any way. Wasn't the line of real intolerance crossed by the people who couldn't tolerate him playing professional rugby and advocated for him to be fired?

@Toasted Heretic

Prove what? That he's bigoted? I don't need to - his words give him away.

Prove that what he's saying about the afterlife is factually incorrect. It's impossible to prove either way.

His views belong in the dark ages.

What if someone decides that your opinions belong in the dark ages and you need to be silenced? Do you recognize the problem this creates in a diverse society? If people are not allowed to hold and express opinions you disagree with, it's a recipe for intolerance and violence.

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Posted in: Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract after anti-gay comments on social media See in context

Helix, popularity does not make a proposition correct.

I never said it did. The problem is how are you going to reach some sort of reasonable accommodation with the majority of people who fundamentally disagree with you? Are you going to live in peace and meet them half way when it comes to tolerance, or are you going to hound them from employer to employer until they agree to never share any opinions which you don't approve of? If it's the latter, it's important to realize that you're outnumbered and there's a risk that the tables could be turned on you someday.

Infinite punishment for a finite “crime” is not moral irrespective of doctrine.

That's an equally subjective opinion on morality. For your sake I hope your employer agrees with it.

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Posted in: Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract after anti-gay comments on social media See in context

Ideally, Folau should have said "I want to warn people about X Y and Z, because my denomination's understanding of Christianity indicates that these acts could lead people to hell. But I could be mistaken. God Bless."

So you don't have a problem with what Folau believes, just how he phrased it?

Christianity indicates that these acts could.... But I could be mistaken.

As people engaging in good faith conversations, shouldn't this be implied after every statement another person makes? Especially in conversations about religion and the afterlife?

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Posted in: Australian rugby star Folau calls Christmas, Easter 'man-made' traditions followed by 'heathens' See in context

Helix... Does the vast majority of world christianity reject Christmas and Easter? Only the tiny minority of Jehovah's Witnesses do.

You've asked an answered your own question, but you haven't really addressed my point. The majority of the world's population hold just as strongly to religious beliefs which have become deeply unpopular in the western world in the past 30-40 years. How tenable is it to devise a character test which excludes the majority of people on this planet? Tolerance is a two way street. People need to be able to express their inner most deeply held beliefs without having their livelihoods destroyed.

I take his point but he should stop dissing these festivals. You ignore them you miserable sod.

The fans are equally free to ignore Folau's private social media accounts. Nobody is forced to follow them and it's enough to say that the clubs he plays for do not endorse his views, as any reasonable person already knows.

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Posted in: Australian rugby star Folau calls Christmas, Easter 'man-made' traditions followed by 'heathens' See in context

But Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie said Folau had failed the sport's character test and would not get a contract.

Is Beattie prepared to admit that the vast majority of the world's population would also fail this "character test"? Most parts of the world are still deeply religious (Africa, Middle East, South America, Caribbean, etc) and would agree with many of Folau's beliefs.

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Posted in: Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract after anti-gay comments on social media See in context

He's supposed to be a role model, not a bigot.

Do you realize that the vast majority of the world agrees with him and you're in the minority? Almost the entire populations of Africa, the Middle East, South America, and the South Pacific believe exactly the same thing. Why do you think your minority view is the "right" or "moral" view for role models? I don't agree with him personally, but I recognize that I'm part of the minority. It's arrogant and foolish to assume that people who disagree with your minority opinion are wrong, especially on matters that you can't possibly prove one way or the other.

but it seems he hates ppl who don't share his beliefs/pov/lifestyle. There's a massive diff between a 'look, i don't particularly approve of ...' & 'you guys will burn in hell unless...'

Your first statement is far more objectionable than the second. The first is an unsolicited personal opinion expressing disapproval. The second statement is just a warning for people to avoid a specific danger which the speaker genuinely believes exists. Folau's post not only warned people of the possible danger, but he told people how they can avoid it. There was no subjective judgement or personal disapproval of homosexuality. He was only restating Christianity's position. Folau's post was really no different than a warning to hold the handrail while riding an escalator. We all have different opinions about how dangerous escalators are, but if someone honestly believes that you risk death if you don't hold the handrail, they shouldn't be condemned for trying to warn others.

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Posted in: Coding boot camp See in context

Learn to code.

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Posted in: Ghost of Toys R Us still haunts toy makers See in context

I didn't realize they went bankrupt in the US. Here in Japan Toys R Us is still in business and even opening new stores.


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Posted in: Author reveals the story of Japan's first foreign-born samurai See in context

While the book is based on primary sources, Lockley has had to add quite a lot of "research-based assumptions" in order to complete the narrative.

Is this a fancy way of saying that this book is mostly a work of historical fiction by an English teacher/amateur historian/graduate of the Open University (The UK's premiere adult education distance learning provider)? Or is it a work of serious objective scholarship? Let me guess, I'll have to buy the book to find out.

And what did Geoffrey Girard do? 

Wikipedia describes Geoffrey Girard as: "an author of nonfiction, thrillers, historicals, and speculative fiction". I'm guessing Geoffrey helped to "fill in" many of the missing historical details.

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Posted in: Women in business summits: Annual gatherings advance diversity and inclusion dialogue See in context

Like women can’t make their own decision to work outside the home or not and just follow orders.

Are women really making their own decisions, or are they being propagandized to and socially conditioned by particular interests? For decades we've had an endless stream of TV dramas, movies, commercials, articles, business awards and so on, all celebrating high powered independent single career women who put off raising a family in favor of climbing the corporate ladder. Where are the movies casting a stay at home mother raising a family as the hero? Hollywood just doesn't make them. Are modern women objectively happier than their grandmothers or great-grandmothers who believed (also through social conditioning) that raising a family and making a home was the ultimate form of self-actualization for women? It's simple to say that women should just decide for themselves, but all of our decisions are overwhelmingly driven by the signals society sends us.

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Posted in: Singapore minister puts Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande on 'offensive' playlist See in context

Singapore keeps a tight rein on public speech and the media, especially when it comes to race and religion.

Singapore is an interesting case study in multiculturalism and authoritarianism. These draconian laws exist to prevent racial, cultural and religious tension from boiling over into full scale riots. It's arguable that Singapore couldn't exist peacefully without them. As the west becomes more multicultural we see similar restrictions on personal freedoms being introduced in the name of security and social harmony.

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Posted in: Facebook bans white nationalism, white separatism on its platforms See in context

So Black Nationalism and separatism will still be allowed, Zionism is allowed, Pan-Asian Nationalism is allowed, calls for de-colonization and complete autonomy of Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians is allowed, but only White Nationalism will be banned?

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Posted in: New Zealand mosque killings spark debate over free speech See in context

If I were a Muslim living in NZ, I'd never want that to see the light of day again.

Perhaps after reading it, but not before. Logically, how could you ever arrive at such strong feelings about the manifesto if neither you nor anyone you know, nor any journalist, nor any domestic media outlet is legally allowed to download and read its contents because of the ban? This is the fundamental absurdity of censoring it.

I suspect 99% of those in favor of censoring the manifesto are already familiar with its contents. But imagine if this wasn't the case. Imagine if the authorities in NZ acted so quickly to take down and ban the manifesto that nobody outside of the NZ government knew the motives for the attack. Would you still support suppression of the manifesto? Would you be satisfied with the government's official story? Do you realise how much distrust and how many conspiracy theories this would generate? Calling for censorship of a publication that you've already read is too easy.

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Posted in: New Zealand mosque killings spark debate over free speech See in context

If I were a Muslim living in New Zealand I would want to download and read the manifesto just to better understand and gauge any threats that my family might be facing. This should really be a fundamental right.

Is there a single example of where censorship of ideas by the ruling political elite has ended well?

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Posted in: Want trillions of dollars injected into the economy? Pay women the same as men See in context

Increasing the female labor force to match that of Sweden - where 69 percent of women work - would add a further $6 trillion to countries in the OECD,

At what cost? Even Nordic countries which have the most generous benefits for working women are facing crisis levels of fertility, well below replacement rates. What's the purpose of boosting GDP by a few points over the short term if it only accelerates the precipitous population decline that all industrialized countries are facing? No western country has a fertility rate that reaches population replacement levels. This is the real crisis our societies are facing, so we would be much better off to stop this admiration of career women who enter the workforce and instead build a society that rewards and respects stay at home motherhood. The values and preferences that we've promoted over the past few decades have led to an unsustainable society.

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Posted in: Trump warns conservatives against 'socialist nightmare' in fiery 2-hour speech See in context

If I'm allowed to post a link, this is a table of social welfare spending my country. In 2013 Canada spent $7,506 per capita on its citizens. Japan $8,442. America $9,838 and Scandinavia between $12-14,000.


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Posted in: Trump warns conservatives against 'socialist nightmare' in fiery 2-hour speech See in context

Then how do you explain Canada?

Canada is not a socialist country by any reasonable definition. The healthcare system has been socialised, but that's common in all developed countries. Canada's personal tax rates are not high compared to OECD averages, and their corporate taxes are even lower than the US. Canada ranks below the US on social spending as a percentage of GDP and on a per capita basis. Canada even spends less than Japan on a per capita basis. If you think Canada is socialist, which country isn't? How do the US and Japan fall short of your definition of socialism?

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Posted in: Trump warns conservatives against 'socialist nightmare' in fiery 2-hour speech See in context

Scandinavia succeeds predominantly because it's full of Scandinavians, not because they've discovered some magic ratio of tax rates and welfare payments which allow socialism to work everywhere. These are high IQ, high trust, largely homogenous societies with low populations and pre-existing wealth. If you were to copy ever law on the books in Sweden and enact it wholesale in South America, Africa or the United States, you're unlikely to replicate Scandinavia.

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Posted in: Warmbier's parents blame N Korea for son's death; Trump says his comments misinterpreted See in context

If you want an alternative hypothesis not involving North Korean torture, I would point you to an article written by the investigative journalist Doug Clark, published in GQ, July 23 2018.

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Posted in: Warmbier's parents blame N Korea for son's death; Trump says his comments misinterpreted See in context

Why would Kim order the death of an American prisoner who'd have been far more valuable alive? Why would North Korea scare off foreign tourists, which are now the regime's most important source of hard currency?

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Posted in: Compulsory sex and LGBT+ education sparks religious backlash in UK See in context

The new education guidelines will also see children aged 11 and older being taught about the harm caused by female genital mutilation (FGM), as well as grooming, forced marriage, domestic abuse and "honor-based abuse".

So instead of investing more classroom time teaching maths and english, little Tommy and Sue will now be learning about about FGM, grooming gangs, forced marriages and honor killings? The absolute state of the UK in 2019.

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Posted in: Chicago police release 2 men questioned in Smollett case See in context

When victimhood and racism become society's new currency, don't be surprised when people start minting their own hoax hate.

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Posted in: Democrat Warren kicks off 2020 run, hobbled by ancestry row See in context


Are people so desperate for a female candidate that they're willing to support a liar and fraud? Her claims that she was Native American are as offensive or more as blackface - she is a racist pure and simple. Anyone who supports her supports racism and identify appropriation.

However only 8 days ago you defended Warren and wrote this about people criticising her for claiming to be Cherokee:

How ridiculous! Anyone is free to get their DNA tested if they so desire.

The orange dotard challenged Warren to prove she had native-American blood, and she did. (Btw, he reneged on his promise to pay $1million to charity – true to form.)

Her DNA is her DNA – she can't change it. She never claimed to be part of a tribe, so in what way did she undermine tribal interests?


What caused you to do a complete 180 on this issue over the past week? You seem to be deeply conflicted and confused.

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Posted in: Democrat Elizabeth Warren apologizes to Cherokee Nation for DNA test See in context

Her DNA is her DNA – she can't change it. She never claimed to be part of a tribe, so in what way did she undermine tribal interests?

Elizabeth Warren did make claims about having a 'Cherokee ancestor'. The Cherokee are a political entity, not a distinct ethnicity or racial group that can be ever be determined by any DNA test. To suggest otherwise creates confusion about the nature of their membership criteria, even if you acknowledge that you are not a member.

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Posted in: London mother guilty of mutilating daughter in landmark FGM trial See in context

Why is female genital mutilation of a child illegal while male genital mutilation is not?

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Posted in: Workspaces centered on women on the rise in #MeToo movement See in context

I think women, especially, are craving safe spaces where they can go and be inspired and do really important work without interruption

Sounds plausible from an evolutionary standpoint considering this is how women have worked for millenia, apart from the past few decades.

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Posted in: Balance of intelligence factors makes Japan the world’s smartest country, according to this list See in context

iQ tests have been proven to be inaccurate.

This is just not the case. No mainstream psychologist would agree with this statement. While there can be some debate about the extent to which any particular test of cognitive ability measures underlying intelligence, the test scores remain the best single predictor of job performance, educational success, relative poverty, and dozens of other life outcomes. In other words, even if you dispute that tests of cognitive ability measure underlying intelligence fully (or at all), you are left with the fact that whatever it is that they are measuring (assuming it's not intelligence) has tremendous predictive validity for life outcomes.

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