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Pred and breakfast - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Pred and breakfast
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cartesiandaemon From: cartesiandaemon Date: January 10th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear, I have a headache. Of course, I support the anti-discrimination laws.

My normal thought experiment is to imagine that a large minority of people practice that *I* find abhorant. Which is difficult, because if it doesn't harm anyone else I normally don't have a problem, and if it does it's hopefully illegal anyway. Possible examples would be (voluntary) cannibalism, non-vegetarianism, etc.

Would I not give someone a job based on that? Normally not, as it would be simply impractical, though for something I disapproved of enough and could be changed, I might be tempted to coercion.

Would I not facilitate that? Very probably, though there seems a larger grey area than not -- printing leaflets for the cause isn't directly helping it, but is helping it more than just treating adherents as people.

I don't know.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
If there were things which a large minority of people did which I found so abhorrent that I couldn't stand to be around them (and I can't think of any such things offhand but I'm sure there are plenty), then I would take measures to avoid being forced into situations where I have to interact with those people. If they're not breaking any laws, then I don't think it's the state's responsibility to help me avoid them. (IOW, it's my problem, so the solution has to come from me too.)

From the thought-experiment point of view, though, I'm trying to think of an example where my existing job could be changed in such a way that in order to carry on doing it I had to run the risk of doing something that I couldn't in all conscience agree to. If you can think of a good example, please throw it at me!
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Possible example off the top of my head:

As a web-mistress and information-guru, you become involved with providing web-based marketing services to various members of society. Picking your clients, you work for charities you like, friends, schools, companies you have no huge ethical problems with (e.g. you might not like Nestle).

A law is passed saying that you cannot exclude people from purchasing your services based on their political views. You now have to design, set-up, write copy for, maintain, and promote the BNP's online presence.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: January 10th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
If J4 was not the owner of the web design business, then she could resign.

I reckon the best solution is not to legislate behaviour, rather information. Therefore, any B&B businesses that would like to refuse customers on the basis of religious or other beliefs should only be allowed to present those beliefs as the basis for refusal of business so long as these criteria for refusal were advertised openly and availably by them in advance.

Thus giving the rest of us the right to boycott them.

Of course, that leads to the "No dogs, Irishmen or Blacks" type of sign in the window, so maybe not a solution.
From: scat0324 Date: January 10th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's good. I think it rightly sums up what some of my brethren are ranting about with their campaign over the last few weeks.

Not that I agree with them - after all, I've yet to hear of B&Bs being recommended to check the marital status of heterosexual couples staying in the same room.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: January 10th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've yet to hear of B&Bs being recommended to check the marital status of heterosexual couples staying in the same room.

I used to know of at least one. I mean, I imagine you could lie, but anyway.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't want to sound like I'm sidestepping the question, but this is one reason why I have no plans to work as a web-monkey in the commercial sector if I can help it. There are lots of companies I don't have any particular beef with, but I think I can use my skills in what seems to me to be a more worthwhile way (and that's a personal, subjective value judgement) by sticking with jobs in education, NFP organisations and charities. And even within those there are plenty of charities & educational organisations that I wouldn't choose to work for, not so much because they are 'bad' (in any sense) as because I think my time/skill can be better (again, that's a personal 'better' not some kind of moral absolute) used elsewhere.

If my employers in their infinite wisdom and good judgement decided that, hey, sure, the BNP could be an affiliate member of our association because they were willing to offer us thousands of pounds, then frankly, I would hand in my notice and look for work elsewhere. I can't be 100% sure to what extent a) that feeling is coloured by the fact that I'm not wholly convinced about the job anyway, and b) I would put my money where my mouth is on that one; but I am really pretty damned sure, as close to 100% as I'll let myself admit, that that would make me leave.

(Disclaimer: yes, I am lucky that my skills are sufficiently transferable that I'm not trapped in one very specific job or type of job, and even if I hadn't spent several years working to become that lucky, I'd still have started from a privileged position. I'm not sure what I can/should do about that.)
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't want to sound like I'm sidestepping the question, but this is one reason why I have no plans to work as a web-monkey in the commercial sector if I can help it.

Academia and the public sector generally are not immune to this sort of thing. It's perfectly possible for, for example, Universities or charities to run evening classes for local residents, members of (principally non-academic) staff, and the like. That's not really the "commercial sector" as the term is normally used. You may then find yourself providing technical support for teaching the BNP, being asked to set-up training sites for use by them during said evening classes, and so on. You are not training the BNP people who come yourself, but you are providing some of the resources that are used to do that, by one of your colleagues.

Given that a number of public sector bodies are being told to be of more use to the wider community, this is not that impossible.

Alternatively, charities or research groups may find themseves in strange positions of feeling obliged to lobby or work with groups they don't like, or having their work taken and used by said groups. For example, the Open Rights Group have an intellectual property/copyright policy framework thing that has been adopted by, amongst others, The UK Independence Party, which has left one or two volunteers a little antsy. (Whether you agree with UKIP or not, some people will obviously not do so.)


I am lucky that my skills are sufficiently transferable that I'm not trapped in one very specific job or type of job

On the flip-side, someone who's been running a B&B of one sort or another for the last twenty-five years is likely to have many transferable skills, but many of them being in the hospitality industry where it's very possible they will continue to run into the same problem. Perhaps one of a couple is good with company accounts, say, but other people may be better with providing entertainment (uh-oh, running club nights for teh gays), being a head chef (cooking romantic meals for teh gays, or catering a so-called marriage for teh gays), cleaning (in a large hotel, having to clean up after teh gays have had their way with each other), and so on. Even the company accountant might end up auditing a gay pub or charity.

One extrapolation from such a position is that such a person wouldn't be happy until they just didn't have to interact with gays at all. Love the sinner in principle, hate that you have to deal with them.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know HE/FE/etc aren't immune to bad decisions, but I do think there's a much lower chance of that sort of situation arising. (Also, it's not just a tactic for avoiding difficult decisions, it's a positive choice to work for people to whom I'd rather give my time.)

You may then find yourself providing technical support for teaching the BNP, being asked to set-up training sites for use by them during said evening classes, and so on

Well, I would object to that, at a personal and an insitutional level -- I mean, I'd object to me doing it, and I'd object to the university providing that support to the BNP; if my objections were overruled (as they probably would be, unless lots of other people were also objecting...!) then in all good conscience I would have to leave the job.

[snip] One extrapolation from such a position is that such a person wouldn't be happy until they just didn't have to interact with gays at all.

Well, yes. I suppose if you come to the conclusion that you can't be happy until you can totally exclude $minoritygroup from every aspect of your life, directly or indirectly, then you're down to a rather Blackadderish set of options: 1) Kill them, 2) Kill yourself, 3) KILL EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD! ... which isn't a great set of choices.
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've missed out choices 4 and 5.

4) Lobby Parliament to say you don't have to do anything with teh nasty monirotiez, because this is a Christian country where we practise Christian values, like hanging out with prossies and being rude to your mum and dad. (Thus, Britpop stars are clearly the best Christians.)

5) Invent ways of breeding them out of the gene-pool.
cartesiandaemon From: cartesiandaemon Date: January 10th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, I'm a bit wittering -- I mostly just agree with you, and am thinking aloud. However, thoughts...

From the thought-experiment point of view, though, I'm trying to think of an example where my existing job could be changed in such a way that in order to carry on doing it I had to run the risk of doing something that I couldn't in all conscience agree to. If you can think of a good example, please throw it at me!

Yeah. It is difficult, there is no one good example because all examples are emotionally loaded one way or the other.

And I'm afraid I have no idea of a good example for you personally, because I can remember neither your job nor your philosophical positions :)

Ooh, ooh, I thought of one! Gay=smoker. According to anti-smokers (and true by any rational standard) smoking is dangerous to the smoker's body and can be unpleasant or dangerous to people's bodies if they spend time with smokers. According to (some) anti-gays (and not true in my opinion), practising homosexuality is dangerous to the gay person's soul, and may be unpleasant or dangerous to the soul of someone supporting the behaviour.

Most anti-people would still hire, sell food to, etc the gay/smoker. (And IMHO should be legally compelled to if there's a chance the gay/smoker will unreasonably suffer otherwise.) However, they may or may not be willing to sell cigarettes or B&B beds, to the gay/smoker. Should they be legally compelled to? I feel it is arguable.

As a matter of fact, a large number of non-smokers did get together and severely restrict smoking in various public places for a combination of reasons. Anti-gay people have done so in the past, for their benefit and maybe or maybe not gay people's too.

OTOH consider the analogy:

Apartheid country = gay person
Anti-apartheid country = anti-gay person
Sporting relations = being friends with
Trade = hiring, selling things to, etc

Here, the number of non-apartheid countries was sufficiently great that they did choose to deny non-apartheid-related goods and services to the apartheid country, imho justifiedly.

I guess where I'm going is:

90% thing, 10% anti-thing: anti-thingers can't pass any laws, and can deny services to thingers, but probably only to their own detriment.
50% thing, 50% anti-thing: delicate balance
10% thing, 10% anti-thing: neither can do anything, anti-thingers can deny services to thingers or vice-versa, but the free market will probably take care of it.
10% thing, 40% anti-thing: Anti-thing action may be a problem, the other 60% may choose to prevent anti-thing discrimination.
10% thing, 90% anti-thing: Thing may be banned.
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