Florida professor could be fired for suggesting that the Sandy Hook shooting was a Hoax.

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SonicWaffle:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

Nope. Key words here are "personal blog", in other words "none of my employer's fucking business".

It doesn't matter if it's called his personal blog. If it can be accessed publicly, he needs to make sure that everything he does on it is conducted in a professional manner and that there is no unprofessional content. If he had been using illegal substances and talking about it, he most definitely would be fired. This is the same with anything where your personal information can be accessed publicly. If you post pictures of yourself acting ridiculously at a drunk party, you run the risk of your employer seeing or finding out about them. If this happens, you can and most likely will be fired. Maybe it's different where he lives but this is how it works in Alberta.

What he actually said though wasn't really unprofessional, it was just him wanting the media to ask more questions. He was obviously just trying to get people thinking. So no, I don't think he should be fired.

Revolutionary:
If you actually look at the conspiracy theorists video, a lot of their "evidence" is actually supposition here-say, and flimsy observations that prove absolutely nothing. Also Fox news lol. As to whether he should be fired or not is a bit of a fiddly matter. I'm all for free speech, but what he's saying is fairly offensive. At the end of the day Id probably say because this happened on his personal blog and not through any official channels The guy shouldn't be fired. Just IMO.

You just described all conspiracy theories.

Unfortunately, most states are at will employment, and you really don't have free speech regarding keeping your job anyway. I'm not sure if he should be fired, but we've made sure they have every legal right to.

SonicWaffle:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

Nope. Key words here are "personal blog", in other words "none of my employer's fucking business". As long as he's not doing anything illegal or detrimental to his employer then it should be absolutely nothing to do with them.

Key words also include "at will employment" and "no Constitutional protection."

As many have said, the man should not be fired for saying things outside of work on his personal blog.

Now, I DO think the man should be slapped in the head once or twice, especially considering that, from what I've heard, the Sandy Hook shooting was a very real tragedy.

EDIT: Looking at the actual news post, apparently the professor was trying to say that the news may have fabricated elements of the tragedy, which I could believe. Granted, the professor probably worded his arguments poorly, but that's a lesson that should be learned.

Also, on the potential firing; If the man is a professor of the sciences, I see no real reason why one would or should fire him. However, I can see problems that arise from when letting a potential nutcase teaching kids about history or English.

He should not be fired for saying something offensive. He should be fired for being in a position of learning whilst clearing lacking the intelligence required.

Seriously this is an easy to debunk conspiracy theory. It makes Loose Change look like pure genius. If professor believes in it then he doesn't deserve to be a professor.

Giddi:

Devoneaux:

"Just because I don't have evidence that Obama is trying to burn the christian church to the ground doesn't mean he isn't!"

Seriously though, if you can't back something up, you have no business saying it.

But Obama caused Columbine as well! I'm sure of it!

/sarcasm

I didn't say this at all, so why don't you fix your quote.

barbzilla:

KingsGambit:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

So the second ammendment is carved in stone and can't be challenged, but screw his first ammendment rights?

He might be an idiot, but last I heard the US was quite proud of being the land of free speech, a free press and being able to have an opinion contrary to the status quo without fear of persecution or prosecution.

I'm not sure what you are trying to get at here, it sounds like you are saying I think he should be fired. I do not, I think he has a right to his opinions and,

You're not wrong. He does have the right to his opinions.

What he doesn't have is the right to a university teaching position when he demonstrates that doesn't know how to think before he speaks.

No one is saying he doesn't have the right to say what he thinks. What we're saying is that he doesn't have the right to immunity from the consequences of saying what he thinks.

I think the relevant factor more than anything else will be if he's tenured.

DVS BSTrD:

wulf3n:

DVS BSTrD:
Where was his concern for the truth for any of the other HUNDREDS of events where every news sources did not tell EXACTLY the same story at the same time?

I see you're once again filling in gaps of information with your own bias.

Just because you aren't aware of something happening doesn't mean it didn't/hasn't happened.

Because the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Or are you just biased against me?

I will answer here, as you level the same accusation against me. We are not implying anything. We said for all you know he may be whatever. You actually implied that he has not by asking where he was during the previous events. That is literally what implying something is. To use your words, your statement is saying something in an absence of evidence. Meanwhile our statements are pointing out the evidence of absence of evidence in your post.

barbzilla:
Does that mean that you should disregard information gleaned just because it is leading in a direction that is false? The overall conspiracy thinks there is some big government agenda, but that doesn't mean they don't have a few valid points. Most conspiracies are based on one or two relevant issues that are wrong or make little sense, they then take that and run crazy with it making outrageous claims. However, what if those relevant issues are actually real problems, but the interpretation was wrong. Most of our greatest discoveries are accidental. We get things because we try something where the end result was wrong, but we learned valuable information along the way. This is the way of the world.

Because nobody's ever lied or made an error in recording that information to begin with right? It is precisely because he DID take a few "valid" points and used them to make an outrages claim.

Once again you are implying things you do not know. For all we know he was complaining about other issues. Hell he could be a huge activist trying to get media to only report factual and complete information, but since nobody has made a big stink of it up till this point we haven't heard about it. You make the statement yourself, we do not start with all of the correct information. Great job at proving your own point, and helping to prove my previous point

There's pointing out that media messed up in their reporting, and then there's saying an event never even took place.at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation's news media have described

And you can't prove he WAS a media activist, so why do I have to prove he wasn't? You're implying things YOU don't know, so you have no grounds for refuting my statement.

He NEVER said that the event didn't happen. He has actually said that he thinks the shooting DID occur. You really need to read the previous posts or do some research on your own, but your entire argument is based off of incorrect assumptions.

As for the fact that people lie, that is why you do your own research. As he most likely did. I don't imagine a communications professor would fail to do any research before lending any supporting statements to something. I can't prove that he researched it, but it doesn't matter.

If you go through your life assuming everyone is lying except the government and the media, I am worried for you. There is absolutely no logic in believing the Media or the Government, who are commonly associated with lying (so much so that they are the subject matter of many jokes), always speaks truth. It is just absurd.

What do you mean express an opposite opinion? This statement doesn't make any sense to me, so I am not really able to debate it. Opposite to who/what?

People should be able to express their opinions, as long as they state it as opinion and not fact (and as long as it isn't hateful, but that is another topic all together).

You don't find calling Sandy Hook a hoax hateful?[/quote]

Once again, he is saying this is either a case of the media dropping the ball on their reporting or the police not doing their job properly. No I don't think this is hateful. Even if he did say that he thought it was a hoax, I wouldn't find it hateful. There is no malice in his statements, no evidence of any hatred in his statements. I am sure some people would be offended, hell I imagine the media personnel who covered the event he is criticizing was offended. However, offending someone on your own personal time, with your personal equipment, on your personal blog is not grounds for any form of termination. You are offending me right now by not researching the information you are arguing. should you be fired? That is the point of what you are saying after all.

I'm sorry I think I may be through trying to debate with you. You are twisting people's word and dancing around meaningful discussion. If you want to come back with a constructive, intelligent response I will be happy to continue. I just see this turning more volatile and I am not interested in that form of communication.

Katatori-kun:

barbzilla:

KingsGambit:
So the second ammendment is carved in stone and can't be challenged, but screw his first ammendment rights?

He might be an idiot, but last I heard the US was quite proud of being the land of free speech, a free press and being able to have an opinion contrary to the status quo without fear of persecution or prosecution.

I'm not sure what you are trying to get at here, it sounds like you are saying I think he should be fired. I do not, I think he has a right to his opinions and,

You're not wrong. He does have the right to his opinions.

What he doesn't have is the right to a university teaching position when he demonstrates that doesn't know how to think before he speaks.

No one is saying he doesn't have the right to say what he thinks. What we're saying is that he doesn't have the right to immunity from the consequences of saying what he thinks.

I think the relevant factor more than anything else will be if he's tenured.

The university would face public backlash for that, I would call that a consequence of firing him. Also in Florida if you fire someone without just cause you have to pay for the unemployment insurance, causing even more financial issues. There is also the need to replace the professor part way through the semester (not very far in this case though). On top of that, you are saying that he should be fired for what amounts to offending some people on the internet. If that was an offence valid for termination nobody on League of Legends or Call of Duty would have a job right now (major hyperbole).

Unless he insinuates that the university has anything to do with the statement or that the university holds the same views as him, he should not be fired. As it is the university is handling it properly. They have made an announcement stating that the views and opinions of their professors are not necessarily their views (in this particular case, flat out isn't our view) and not firing him. Odds are he didn't even get a slap on his wrist or a black mark on his paperwork. There is just no call for it in this situation.

I do understand what you are getting at over all. He doesn't have a "right" to his job. His job is optional for both him and his employer (unless there is a contract involved) as is everyone else's. The entire point of this thread is if he should be fired, not if he could be fired. I don't think his status as Tenured should even come into it in this situation, as it doesn't call for termination on any level. At most there might be need for a session on public awareness and professionalism. It is because there was a public back lash at HIM that this was even a thing. Nobody was upset with the university over what he did, they were upset with him and the local media got a hold of it and made it a story. Then because of media coverage mentioning the university they became involved. Hell I doubt they (the university) got many if any calls about the incident before the media coverage.

barbzilla:

When he was asked if he believed that 20 children were killed at the sandy hook shooting, he said "most likely took place". His real greif was that the media wasn't holding itself to high standards as far as the investigation went. As a result of that he beleives that they didn't get to the bottom of most of the things (I'm guessing he means most of the things refferenced in the sandy hook hoax video).

It would be asinine to suggest that it's impossible that it was a hoax (in respect to Adam Lanza being framed/planted). The public isn't used to dealing with an intellectual, so hearing "most likely took place" to the public sounds like "20% chance of being a hoax," when in reality, he was just being literal and honest instead of colloquial. Every single event could, possibly, have been a hoax or cover up of some fashion, and the US government has even done research into this (Operation Northwoods), as well as Israel attempting to do this (The Lavon Affair, where Israel attacked US/British/Egyptian stations in Egypt and attempted to make it look as though Muslim extremists committed the act), though Israel was, thankfully, caught.

Most importantly, this professor IS absolutely right that the media did some absolutely horrendous reporting, even now, on this case. Immediately following the shooting, not only was his brother falsely claimed to be the shooter, or working with Adam, there was also several interviews released...from people that were killed during the shooting. Sure, many of these sites retracted those articles after a few days, but the amount of misinformation is absolutely staggering. My 'favorite' one was the interview with the Principal of the school...one of the first victims shot that day.

chadachada123:

barbzilla:

When he was asked if he believed that 20 children were killed at the sandy hook shooting, he said "most likely took place". His real greif was that the media wasn't holding itself to high standards as far as the investigation went. As a result of that he beleives that they didn't get to the bottom of most of the things (I'm guessing he means most of the things refferenced in the sandy hook hoax video).

It would be asinine to suggest that it's impossible that it was a hoax (in respect to Adam Lanza being framed/planted). The public isn't used to dealing with an intellectual, so hearing "most likely took place" to the public sounds like "20% chance of being a hoax," when in reality, he was just being literal and honest instead of colloquial.

Most importantly, this professor IS absolutely right that the media did some absolutely horrendous reporting, even now, on this case. Immediately following the shooting, not only was his brother falsely claimed to be the shooter, or working with Adam, there was also several interviews released...from people that were killed during the shooting. Sure, many of these sites retracted those articles after a few days, but the amount of misinformation is absolutely staggering.

I agree totally with you and I have another thread to discuss the hoax video. I appreciate that someone else is giving it serious thought instead of saying "Oh its a conspiracy theory so its bullshit". I think things that are related to my safety and my lifestyle are worth investigating, especially if it comes from a less than credible source. If it came from a credible source I would be tempted to just accept it. Anyhow, come join me in my other active thread.

barbzilla:
On top of that, you are saying that he should be fired for what amounts to offending some people on the internet

Incorrect. Do not put words in my mouth. I've made several posts here- please resort to those and not your imagination if you want to know what I think.

I was very clear, if he should be fired, it is because of a combination of his support for a conspiracy theory movement running completely opposed to the very notion of scientific inquiry, and because he doesn't know how to think before he opens his gob. What people on the internet think doesn't really enter into it.

Odds are he didn't even get a slap on his wrist or a black mark on his paperwork.

I would agree to this only if he is tenured, because once a professor is tenured, there's not a terrible lot that can be done except in very extreme and explicit circumstances.

I don't think his status as Tenured should even come into it in this situation,

Actually, it does, because this is related to the reason tenure exists in universities. Tenure exists so that once researchers prove to their universities that they are valuable assets to their program, they can eventually reach a point where their position is "safe" and they are free to follow their research interests without the risk of losing their job due to their research being unpopular with other faculty. If he's tenured (and if the university was suitably cautious in giving it to him) then he will have proven that his overall benefit to their program outweighs his tendency to shoot off his damn fool mouth without having a clue what he's talking about on his blog.

Katatori-kun:

barbzilla:
On top of that, you are saying that he should be fired for what amounts to offending some people on the internet

Incorrect. Do not put words in my mouth. I've made several posts here- please resort to those and not your imagination if you want to know what I think.

I was very clear, if he should be fired, it is because of a combination of his support for a conspiracy theory movement running completely opposed to the very notion of scientific inquiry, and because he doesn't know how to think before he opens his gob. What people on the internet think doesn't really enter into it.

Odds are he didn't even get a slap on his wrist or a black mark on his paperwork.

I would agree to this only if he is tenured, because once a professor is tenured, there's not a terrible lot that can be done except in very extreme and explicit circumstances.

I don't think his status as Tenured should even come into it in this situation,

Actually, it does, because this is related to the reason tenure exists in universities. Tenure exists so that once researchers prove to their universities that they are valuable assets to their program, they can eventually reach a point where their position is "safe" and they are free to follow their research interests without the risk of losing their job due to their research being unpopular with other faculty. If he's tenured (and if the university was suitably cautious in giving it to him) then he will have proven that his overall benefit to their program outweighs his tendency to shoot off his damn fool mouth without having a clue what he's talking about on his blog.

Once again please do some research if you want to debate (though thank you for making the tone less aggressive and more constructive, I appreciate it greatly). The professor is not involved in the sciences so I don't feel that his opposition to scientific notion is all that relevant. He teaches a CONSPIRACY class. I think his post was perfectly valid considering his vocation. I also think it is perfectly acceptable for him to make those thoughts public as long as he isn't lending credence to them. This is why I think he won't get so much as a firm talking to. For the most part I imagine this is being laughed off around campus while the media makes a stink.

NOTE FOR ALL: The professor is a communications professor who teaches classes on Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory.

barbzilla:
The professor is not involved in the sciences so I don't feel that his opposition to scientific notion is all that relevant.

No, read again. He's not opposed to a specific scientific notion. If he supports this conspiracy theory, then he is acting in an anti-scientific manner. He would be making a truth claim about the world which contradicts observable evidence. That should be inexcusable in any secular university, regardless of department.

It's the schools decision, plain and simple. Also, if he said that the shooting "most likely wasn't a hoax" he wouldn't be wrong. There is probably a >0.1% chance that it is a hoax, but that still doesn't eliminate the possibility.

Frankly, I'm glad the school didn't fire him. I believe his job security should be based on his observed teaching ability, nothing else. Even if he were to actually believe that the shooting was a hoax, that does NOT mean that he would teach that it was a hoax. If anything, he would actually be getting his students to look at even the most seemingly obvious events with a critical eye, which is a GOOD thing.

Katatori-kun:

barbzilla:
The professor is not involved in the sciences so I don't feel that his opposition to scientific notion is all that relevant.

No, read again. He's not opposed to a specific scientific notion. If he supports this conspiracy theory, then he is acting in an anti-scientific manner. He would be making a truth claim about the world which contradicts observable evidence. That should be inexcusable in any secular university, regardless of department.

You are inferring again. He never made any truth claims, he never even said he believes the theory. He said he THINKS there is a lack of information and that the Media is dropping the ball. He said THINKS, this isn't against any form of the scientific method. It doesn't contradict observable evidence either, that is the issue. Do me a favor and please watch the entire video, even if you find it all to be rubbish. Once you've watch the entire counter their arguments in a valid response that gives me any form of definitive proof that would debunk this. There is a reason that there aren't many "debunk" videos in response to it. If you watch the "Debunk" videos even they are speculating (though often in a more logical fashion) on evidence or providing proof that this does sometimes happen. There is no definitive answers as of yet without being able to have been there yourself. And if it is a hoax as they claim, you can't trust the eye-witness accounts as there may be an agenda to their claims. There is a reason why a Conspiracy professor is saying that there are valid points made in the video. This is a person who has a PhD in the subject. Do you think he is unable to make a valid opinion on it?

A professor - a teacher - says Sandy Hook was a hoax?

Fire him.

He has no business being a professor if he thinks a genuine massacre didn't happen.

Filiecs:
It's the schools decision, plain and simple. Also, if he said that the shooting "most likely wasn't a hoax" he wouldn't be wrong. There is probably a >0.1% chance that it is a hoax, but that still doesn't eliminate the possibility.

Frankly, I'm glad the school didn't fire him. I believe his job security should be based on his observed teaching ability, nothing else. Even if he were to actually believe that the shooting was a hoax, that does NOT mean that he would teach that it was a hoax. If anything, he would actually be getting his students to look at even the most seemingly obvious events with a critical eye, which is a GOOD thing.

This is exactly what he should be doing. Teaching the students to formulate their own opinions on the material. I really wish I was seeing more of that in regards to this event (the supposed hoax). Instead what we have is people profiling the people who are trying to form their own objectives as conspiracy nuts and idiots, so they won't lend the time of day to doing any form of research on their own. Hell I can't even get people in my thread about the Video in question to even watch the video before they post saying it is rubbish. Thus far I have had one person in the entire thread watch the entire video. When he did he formulated the same opinion that I did. There are some key facts that are missing or mis-represented, and the media/officials are going to great length to prevent meaningful investigation. The bodies were not allowed to be seen (even by the parents). The bodies were quarantined in the school with nobody but the investigator and the inept coroner being allowed in for 2 days. The video footage from the school's high tech monitoring hardware has been absconded with by the government as has all crime scene photos.

I have a list of questions currently unanswered (at least in any definitive way) in my thread about the hoax video. Since that isn't the point of this thread I'll leave them out of here though.

Cid SilverWing:
A professor - a teacher - says Sandy Hook was a hoax?

Fire him.

He has no business being a professor if he thinks a genuine massacre didn't happen.

Once again, not what he said. Read the OP completely, read the news source, or read the rest of the thread. Any of these things would have allowed you to form a valid opinion instead of posting a knee jerk reaction to a false assumption. He said that the media has dropped the ball or there is some gross negligence by the investigation officers as there is a great deal of inaccurate reports, misinformation, and denied evidence to the contrary. He even says that the shooting was most likely not a hoax. This is the exact opposite of what you assumed.

KingsGambit:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

So the second ammendment is carved in stone and can't be challenged, but screw his first ammendment rights?

He might be an idiot, but last I heard the US was quite proud of being the land of free speech, a free press and being able to have an opinion contrary to the status quo without fear of persecution or prosecution.

After reading that I instantly thought of http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/12/24

It is a VERY odd type of patriot that would destroy the first amendment to protect the second...

doggie015:

KingsGambit:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

So the second ammendment is carved in stone and can't be challenged, but screw his first ammendment rights?

He might be an idiot, but last I heard the US was quite proud of being the land of free speech, a free press and being able to have an opinion contrary to the status quo without fear of persecution or prosecution.

After reading that I instantly thought of http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/12/24

It is a VERY odd type of patriot that would destroy the first amendment to protect the second...

I am still wondering why people think I want him to be fired. I am advocating the exact opposite. I am not a huge patriot though and I think we need some changes to the 2nd. This isn't so much about gun rights or being a patriot in this thread though. It is about if people think he deserves to be fired as so many people are asking for.

Giddi:

SonicWaffle:

Nope. Key words here are "personal blog", in other words "none of my employer's fucking business". As long as he's not doing anything illegal or detrimental to his employer then it should be absolutely nothing to do with them.

People need to learn the actual meaning to "Freedom of speech".

You can be free from persecution by the government, but not free from getting fired if they don't like what you say.
For instance - if you insult your boss, he can fire you. That's not him infringing on your freedom of speech. He's just not allowed to jail you for it.

Speech has consequences. Opinions have consequences. You are free to say whatever you like, and other people are free to react to it however they like, including fire you.

Zachary Amaranth:

Key words also include "at will employment" and "no Constitutional protection."

RedDeadFred:

It doesn't matter if it's called his personal blog. If it can be accessed publicly, he needs to make sure that everything he does on it is conducted in a professional manner and that there is no unprofessional content. If he had been using illegal substances and talking about it, he most definitely would be fired. This is the same with anything where your personal information can be accessed publicly. If you post pictures of yourself acting ridiculously at a drunk party, you run the risk of your employer seeing or finding out about them. If this happens, you can and most likely will be fired. Maybe it's different where he lives but this is how it works in Alberta.

I thought we were discussing whether he should be fired for having an opinion, not whether he could be fired for it?

I stand by my original point - regardless of the fact that businesses and organisations do fire people for exercising their right to an opinion, that doesn't make it right to do so. As long as he wasn't advocating or confessing any illegal activity or expressing opinions which were detrimental to the public image of his place of employment (which he clearly wasn't, as his place of employment obviously understands) then it's none of their business what he says.

There's no suggestion that he questioned a school shooting happened, merely that he questioned media coverage of what exactly happened. And even if he had claimed it was all a cover up, this doesn't automatically mean that he can't perform his job.

Say a professor of Renaissance Art tirelessly campaigns off the clock that eating enough raisins will make you immortal through the magic of the raisin god: Such has no bearing on his professional qualifications, and only if you're a private university which can otherwise contractually fire him at your leisure can he be fired over it.

If a professor of botanics or anatomy does the same, then yeah, you've got a problem on your hands, and a private university can dismiss even if he's on tenure. Public University, probably so, at least if it showed in his work.[1]
...

Katatori-kun:
...
Freedom of speech only guarantees you the freedom to express your opinion. It doesn't give you the freedom to express it without consequence, nor does it require other people to employ you when you say stupid shit.
...

Freedom of Speech does extend to freedom from consequences, insofar as they are inflicted by the authorities. Only consequences in civil society fall beyond its scope.

[1] "Thus, a government entity has broader discretion to restrict speech when it acts in its employer role, but the restrictions it imposes must be directed at speech that has some potential to affect its operations. On the other hand, a citizen who works for the government is nonetheless still a citizen. The First Amendment limits a public employer's ability to leverage the employment relationship to restrict, incidentally or intentionally, the liberties employees enjoy in their capacities as private citizens. See Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U. S. 593 . So long as employees are speaking as citizens about matters of public concern, they must face only those speech restrictions that are necessary for their employers to operate efficiently and effectively."

doggie015:

KingsGambit:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

So the second ammendment is carved in stone and can't be challenged, but screw his first ammendment rights?

He might be an idiot, but last I heard the US was quite proud of being the land of free speech, a free press and being able to have an opinion contrary to the status quo without fear of persecution or prosecution.

After reading that I instantly thought of http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/12/24

It is a VERY odd type of patriot that would destroy the first amendment to protect the second...

Thank you for that. Entertaining and pretty much the point I was trying to make. Attacking the second ammendment seems to be forbidden by religious fervour to a level I, as a foreigner can never understand. But it's quite alright to persecute a man for voicing an opinion. Don't mistake me, for a Professor he's a frikkin' moron, but still even morons are allowed opinions....I mean some Republicans even got seats in the Senate.

barbzilla:

Katatori-kun:

barbzilla:
The professor is not involved in the sciences so I don't feel that his opposition to scientific notion is all that relevant.

No, read again. He's not opposed to a specific scientific notion. If he supports this conspiracy theory, then he is acting in an anti-scientific manner. He would be making a truth claim about the world which contradicts observable evidence. That should be inexcusable in any secular university, regardless of department.

You are inferring again. He never made any truth claims, he never even said he believes the theory.

For God''s sake, read what I wrote, will you? Do you not see the italicized "if" that makes your correction completely meaningless?

SonicWaffle:

I thought we were discussing whether he should be fired for having an opinion, not whether he could be fired for it?

And "should" can mean multiple things.

Zachary Amaranth:

SonicWaffle:

I thought we were discussing whether he should be fired for having an opinion, not whether he could be fired for it?

And "should" can mean multiple things.

Luckily, the context of the thread made it perfectly clear that the meaning we're using is 'ought', so thankfully we don't have to get bogged down in dissecting the multiple meanings of words.

Katatori-kun:

barbzilla:

Katatori-kun:

No, read again. He's not opposed to a specific scientific notion. If he supports this conspiracy theory, then he is acting in an anti-scientific manner. He would be making a truth claim about the world which contradicts observable evidence. That should be inexcusable in any secular university, regardless of department.

You are inferring again. He never made any truth claims, he never even said he believes the theory.

For God''s sake, read what I wrote, will you? Do you not see the italicized "if" that makes your correction completely meaningless?

You are the one inferring that he was making truth claims and believed the hoax in the first place, every statement you have made since I called you out on that has been to defend that position. As such if you are continuing to defend that premise, you are inferring the things stated in your previous post to be true. If you are not inferring them, then I apologize for saying you are, but you are also conceding to the point I made towards the beginning of our conversation. If you aren't inferring anything in your previous post all you have managed to do is give me a what if scenario that is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand and I am not sure what you want me to say in response.

So thank you for sending me a statement that is completely meaningless.

barbzilla:

Katatori-kun:

barbzilla:

You are inferring again. He never made any truth claims, he never even said he believes the theory.

For God''s sake, read what I wrote, will you? Do you not see the italicized "if" that makes your correction completely meaningless?

You are the one inferring that he was making truth claims and believed the hoax in the first place,

Do you need a refresher on what the word "if" means? It's a conditional- meaning that it makes the main clause of the sentence dependent on the clause it appears in. It doesn't actually say that the clause it appears in is true.

Not once in this thread did I say that he actually supported the conspiracy theory. I said "if" he supported it. Quit making up a story that didn't happen just so you can win on the Internet.

I'm not interested in this specific person's case. I'm interested in educating Escapists who don't understand what freedom of speech entails and how academia works.

SonicWaffle:

Giddi:

SonicWaffle:

Nope. Key words here are "personal blog", in other words "none of my employer's fucking business". As long as he's not doing anything illegal or detrimental to his employer then it should be absolutely nothing to do with them.

People need to learn the actual meaning to "Freedom of speech".

You can be free from persecution by the government, but not free from getting fired if they don't like what you say.
For instance - if you insult your boss, he can fire you. That's not him infringing on your freedom of speech. He's just not allowed to jail you for it.

Speech has consequences. Opinions have consequences. You are free to say whatever you like, and other people are free to react to it however they like, including fire you.

Zachary Amaranth:

Key words also include "at will employment" and "no Constitutional protection."

RedDeadFred:

It doesn't matter if it's called his personal blog. If it can be accessed publicly, he needs to make sure that everything he does on it is conducted in a professional manner and that there is no unprofessional content. If he had been using illegal substances and talking about it, he most definitely would be fired. This is the same with anything where your personal information can be accessed publicly. If you post pictures of yourself acting ridiculously at a drunk party, you run the risk of your employer seeing or finding out about them. If this happens, you can and most likely will be fired. Maybe it's different where he lives but this is how it works in Alberta.

I thought we were discussing whether he should be fired for having an opinion, not whether he could be fired for it?

I stand by my original point - regardless of the fact that businesses and organisations do fire people for exercising their right to an opinion, that doesn't make it right to do so. As long as he wasn't advocating or confessing any illegal activity or expressing opinions which were detrimental to the public image of his place of employment (which he clearly wasn't, as his place of employment obviously understands) then it's none of their business what he says.

Okay. That's what I meant though. I thought you were saying that no matter what, personal opinions can't be held against you if you put them in a personal blog. I was just saying that his blog was not beyond the reach of his employers. I completely agree though that if the opinion he is expressing is not illegal and not detrimental in any way to the business, they have no reason to fire him. I think that if he was fired over this he'd be able to take his employer to court. If your employer fires you simply because they don't agree with your opinion, they are just being prejudice towards you. However, if your employer fires you over an opinion like: "The Holocaust is a lie", they would have plenty of reason to fire you because your opinion could hurt their business.

In short, I think we agree with each other. I just misinterpreted your first post.

Of course he should be fired. No one that stupid has any business teaching at a University.

image

Im glad the school isnt firing him for something he said on a blog, it would be different if he was saying it to his students during class though.

SonicWaffle:

barbzilla:
For discussion sake, do you think he should be fired for his statements?

Nope. Key words here are "personal blog", in other words "none of my employer's fucking business". As long as he's not doing anything illegal or detrimental to his employer then it should be absolutely nothing to do with them.

Public statements become everyone's business by virtue of being public. And in the event that someone who is supposed to be intelligent and rational spouts idiotic, unsupported bullshit publicly, that reflects back on their employer when said employer is paying this person to teach people.

Now I'm not saying that is the case here. I haven't read this persons full comments so I don't know if he was being taken out of context or what is full intended point was. But the idea that you can publicly say whatever you want and not face consequences with your employer is silly and has no grounding in reality. You are not free to say whatever you want, not matter how stupid, or how poorly it reflects on you and your employer just because you weren't at work or speaking explicitly on your employers behalf when it happened.

And let's get real here; if you work at a University where your job is to teach facts and intellectually challenge students, and you make statements in favour of arguments not supported by facts which are intellectually dishonest and you would have to be a complete idiot on some level to believe, you probably should be fired. Because even if you aren't spouting that crap in the classroom, it at the very least calls your ability to to be a rational, intelligent human being capable of teaching others without bias into question, and it reflects poorly on a University to continue employing such a person. And Universities are businesses whose continued and future success depends, at least in part, on the quality (both in fact and as perceived by the public) of it's faculty.

From what I gather, the dude made a simple supposition about the media on his blog, and people be freakin' out. 1st amendment aside (because it isn't applicable) I think people calling for his termination are overreacting. I'm glad the school is behind him.

I don't know what's more annoying: the fact that people read the words "Florida Professor" and assume that he is a professor at the university I'm attending, or the fact that FAU is in my home town. People have been calling FAU "Find Another University" for years, and while I don't have a huge problem with the university, shit like this does not help their public image at all.

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