Astounding claims made on the internet.

On this post, from a commenter named Zac*:

I'm a philosophy student. When we disagree we reason, we argue, we discuss. We do not, ever, ever call for a boycott of those with opposing views.

My thoughts on this:

  1. What would make you think that reasoning, arguing, and discussing necessarily rule out boycotting? Where's the logical contradiction you're assuming?
  2. Also, would you like to offer a positive argument that people with whom we disagree are entitled to our money? I means, if we take their goods and services they have a claim to our money, but do they have a right to demand that we not take our business elsewhere?
  3. And look, for this particular X, the claim that "Philosophers do not do X" turns out to be clearly false. Perhaps you meant to make a normative claim rather than a descriptive one. If this is the case, you'll probably also want to offer a defense of the particular "oughts" you are asserting.

This edition of "Astounding claims made on the internet" brought to you by my current inability to settle down and grade case study responses.
*The permalink may be wonky. The comments appears at July 13, 2011 at 01:51 AM.

2 responses so far

  • Janne says:

    It seems to be related to the idea that your right to speak is also a right to not face any consequences of your speech. Which of course is completely untrue; being shunned or ostracised by other people for what you say may be unfair, it may be counterproductive, but it's not a speech issue.

    When a paper in Denmark published a couple of cartoons of Muhammed, people in several countries decided to boycott Danish products. The paper had full right to publish those cartoons (they were neither funny nor subtle; clearly meant as troll-bait and nothing else). And consumers have a full right to take their business where they feel welcome. If you're a small Danish firm that suddenly lost a third of your export sales due to a right-wing paper in your country? That's them breaks, and nobody's said business is supposed to be fair.

  • Howard says:

    But could we imagine
    Socrates boycotting, say
    his trial or Thrasymachus?