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Jews and Nazis: a version of dust specks vs torture

Or actually: a "law" in the sense of "predictable regularity", not "rule that one will be punished for violating".

In which case the post exemplifies it, rather than violating it.

How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy

Is anyone else distressed by the fact that, at the time of writing this comment, all of the "Recent Comments" displayed on the front page of the site are on a topic called "How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy"?

I'm not usually the kind of person who worries about "marketing" considerations, but....

Discussion section, ffs!

I've had it with those dark rumours about our culture rigorously suppressing opinions

Racism as it's presently conceptualized isn't a simple matter of fear or hatred of ethnic others, unfortunately.

Of course not. That would subject accusations of racism to falsifiability.

How would you talk a stranger off the ledge?

I find this a complete non-sequitur. If you stay alive and become a bum, you will consciously experience a (potentially large) loss of status. Whereas if you commit suicide, you won't.

Maybe being dead is low-status too, but at least you're not around to experience it.

2011 Survey Results

Ironically, Obama is exactly the kind of person to whom that term should refer, if it means anything at all. Descendants of African slaves taken to the Americas a long time ago should have another term, such as "American blacks".

Despite his lack of membership in it, Obama self-identifies with the latter group for obvious political reasons; after all, "children of foreign exchange students" is not an important constituency.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

No, I didn't

Yes, you did. Here is what you said:

While I think physical violence usually adds to the wrongness of a crime, I'd still call blackmail-for-sex wrong

This clearly implies that you didn't think I would call it wrong; you were setting up what you perceived as a contrast between your view and mine. If you disagreed with me but correctly understood my position, you would have written "I'd still call blackmail-for-sex as wrong as violent rape" or something similar.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I don't want to have a mind-killing argument

Then don't just tell us what the moral categories are without explaining how you decided this.

That is precisely the argument (read: flamewar) that I am trying to avoid! The point is I didn't want to get into a detailed discussion of sexual ethics, how wrong rape is, and what constitutes rape. This is something that is emotionally controversial for many people. It's what we might call a "hot-button issue".

While I think physical violence usually adds to the wrongness of a crime, I'd still call blackmail-for-sex wrong

So would I. But there are degrees of wrongness, and in my opinion blackmail-for-sex is, if you'll pardon the expression, less wrong than rape.

Do you see what you did there? You automatically assumed that my moral categories were "Wrong" and "Not Wrong", when I was actually talking about "Wrong", "Very Wrong", "Very Very Wrong", etc.

and I'd still point to the same reason that makes violent rape wrong.

I view "violent rape" as a redundant pleonasm (to coin a self-describing phrase), and think that violence is most of what makes rape wrong. The getting-someone-to-do-something-they-don't-want-to-do aspect is also bad, but it's not 10-years-in-prison bad.

This is provided purely FYI, as a statement of my position; I do not intend it as an invitation to attack and demand that I justify myself further. This is not the right setting for this argument.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I don't agree that they are particularly idiosyncratic.

But, more to the point, they are chosen so that the semantic categories match the moral ones, thereby resisting "moral equivocation" of the sort that happens when people try to sneak in connotations by calling things less than the physical coercion of sex "rape".

Another (hardly less charged) example of such moral equivocation would be the word "racism", which is often used to subtly suggest that people guilty of far less are in a similar moral category to those who would perpetrate genocide, slavery, and de jure discrimination and oppression.

I don't want to have a mind-killing argument, but I do want to at least make sure you are aware of the issue I raise here.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Do you disagree that, say, drugging or blackmailing someone in order to have sex with them is rape?

Drugging I would consider physical violence, so that falls within my definition; blackmailing, no.

But we should not be having this discussion on this forum.

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