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Monday Message Board

February 1st, 2010

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 5th, 2010 at 15:01 | #1

    It wouldn’t ameliorate a problem. At best it would mask a problem. And I don’t even think that is a good result.

  2. February 6th, 2010 at 09:09 | #2

    You have not demonstrated, in any way, that banning the niqab would “ameliorate a problem”. You have not made that argument. So far, AFAICS, all you have done is argue that some of the women that wear it are wearing it because they are forced to (unproven – but we can let that ride) and then presented an assumption that banning it would help them. Two unproven assumptions do not make an argument; they just demonstrate a lack of understanding of what an argument is.
    To me, before you ban anything you need to demonstrate that there is an underlying problem, that taking that action to ban it would really help and, as far as possible, there would be no (or very limited) unintended consequences. So far you have failed the first hurdle, failed the second and not even attempted the third.

  3. Freelander
    February 6th, 2010 at 12:27 | #3

    @Andrew Reynolds

    Don’t expect anyone in this universe to be capable of surmounting the hurdles you set to convince you of anything.

  4. February 6th, 2010 at 12:40 | #4

    I have a working hypothesis that you do not know how to compose an argument. Care to do anything to falsify that? You could easily do that if you actually try to present things like facts rather than just assertions.

  5. February 6th, 2010 at 14:16 | #5

    @Andrew Reynolds
    “Surely if there are women who are wearing it willingly and some that are wearing it unwillingly, then the problem is not the niqab itself, it is the abuse of power by those forcing the women to wear it. Banning the niqab would not address this alleged abuse of power, all it would do is allow it to persist in other ways.
    The way to address the problem is, then, that suggested by Fran – ensure that all are aware of the law, prosecute the abusers and provide support services to the abused.
    Banning the niqab would not solve the problem of abuse, all it would do is treat one of the symptoms – and even that it would do very poorly, if at all.”

    Yes, very well put. This is at least the fifth time the obvious has been put into different words to get through to the knee-jerk banning advocates. Unfortunately I don’t think anything has gotten through, more’s the pity.

  6. Freelander
    February 6th, 2010 at 14:25 | #6


    Would you care to elaborate how you directly address the abuse of power where the victims are more than reluctant to lodge complaints? After that you might care to explain how you would also solve a variety of other problems no one else has managed to solve. Instead of doing what can be done you and your friend suggest doing the undoable.

  7. February 6th, 2010 at 15:02 | #7

    If I may in place of Jarrah:
    You are the one advocating a ban. Please show how this will address the alleged imbalance of power, rather than just have the effect of further marginalising women (or others) that are already suffering from power imbalances. Remember – you are advocating the banning of something. That (IMHO) makes it necessary for you to show how it will help. So far you have not even attempted to do this.
    Personally, I think this is likely to actually hinder progress as it is likely to cause women that feel they need to wear the niqab (whether through alleged power imbalances or because they choose to) more likely to hide in their houses, rather than come out into the world.
    Remember, though – you have the burden of proof. I do not. If you maintain that what I ask is unprovable (i.e. to provide some reasonable proof that a ban would help) then you have conceded that there is no justification for a ban, i.e. that there should be no ban.

  8. nanks
    February 6th, 2010 at 15:32 | #8

    @Andrew Reynolds
    I’ve got a quick one for you Andrew – how do people choose? What is the mechanism and how is it instantiated in people. What are the antecedents of a choice?

  9. February 6th, 2010 at 18:00 | #9

    I think you need a psychiatrist – and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

  10. nanks
    February 6th, 2010 at 18:37 | #10

    @Andrew Reynolds
    Anderw – you do not, of course, answer the question.
    my PhD was undertaken in the Psychiatry dept of UQ Andrew – I take your insult as it was intended – and leave this forum for ever

  11. Freelander
    February 6th, 2010 at 19:20 | #11

    @Andrew Reynolds

    It is a very convenient belief you have that none of your questionable statements have a ‘burden of proof’. I have already noted the impossibility of anyone shouldering the burdens you require.

  12. February 6th, 2010 at 19:55 | #12

    It isn’t the statements that require a burden of proof, but the proposed actions that require a burden of rationalisation.

  13. February 8th, 2010 at 14:37 | #13

    It was not intended as an insult. Perhaps adding in the words “…to answer that question…” after the word “psychatrist” would have made my statement a little more clear. It was in fact intended as a little joke. Get a sense of humour.
    You keep asking that question (from memory you have asked it of me before) and then expecting an answer. From what you have just said I have to presume that you know more about the processes of human choice than I ever will and that your question was therefore rhetorical. I have always seen this as a poor method of making an argument.
    Personally, I see every human as different and making their own mind(s) up in their own way and that those choices are logical within their own limitations and knowledge.
    As a result, I do not see how many externally imposed choices can be better for the individual that choices they make for themselves, unless they are subject to some identifiable mental disease or a severe learning disability. Except where those choices unduly reduce other’s freedom to choose independently, therefore, I believe that the power of others to impose choices on an individual should be minimised.
    If you have a theory of personal choice that means that individuals can and should be controlled to achieve optimal outcomes I would be interested to hear it, but please stop asking rhetorical questions.

  14. February 8th, 2010 at 14:44 | #14

    I am not the one seeking to impose choices on others.
    Personally, I prefer the presumption of freedom except where it can be shown that force is needed to achieve some desired outcome(s). If you would make the argument that there should be no freedom except where the State graciously lets us make our own choices then you may have an argument that the burden of proof should be on me.
    It realy depends on where you are coming from. Freedom or control? My presumption in this is fairly clear – but prehaps I should make it even clearer. I prefer freedom except where it can be proved to be distincly suboptimal. Which is yours?

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