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Naokotani wrote

I think Robert is wrong. I don't think it is right for establishments to persecute anyone.

I also don't think the establishment is persecuting him. I don't think anyone really cares about flat earthers.

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sudo wrote

I think you misunderstood his quote. He said nothing about whether or not it's right for an establishment to persecute someone; he only said that you can't claim to be on the same level as Galileo unless what you're saying is actually true.

Now, personally, I think it can be good for an establishment to persecute people for what they believe. It just depends on the situation. For example, I'd be perfectly fine with a communist government persecuting nazis for what they believe, or anti-vaxxers, or any other group of people that threatens the livelihoods of others. It should only be with the intentions of stopping them from achieving their goals, so it wouldn't really be persecution, just repression or censorship.

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Naokotani wrote

I agree with Robert then, but I certainly didn't hope to raise him to the level of Galileo; that would be abusrd.

I also disagree with persecuting anti-vaxxers. I think the number of anti-vaxxers in a society with a high standard of education as well as a responsible body disseminating and testing vaccines, the number of people who refused to be vaccinated would be small enough as to make no difference

Of course, we have do not a particularly equitable education system, so persecuting people for ignorance feels a bit mean to me. Moreover, Big pharma doesn't really have a spectacular track record in honesty, or in efficiently distributing drugs to those who need them, so I don't really blame people for being wary.