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MP group seeks to overturn 'Prayer healing' advertising ban


Chindie
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Would Levi also approve if companies were allowed to slip arsenic (or some other toxin) into food products and then lie in their advertising by claiming it is not there?

If you get sick/die you/your estate should have the right to sue for fraudulent misrepresentation. However, the companies in question should have he absolute right to say whatever they want in their advertising.

(just as you should have the absolute right to sue a prayer-healer for not curing your cancer as they had contracted to do... such suits would, I suspect, do a far more effective job of eradicating prayer healers than any prior restraint on advertising).

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But when making those claims is likely to bankrupt you, I don't think very many will make those claims (especially when making those claims in the form of advertising requires spending money).

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Any claims should be demonstrably proven before anybody is allowed to use them in their advert, perhaps?

Good idea but unfortunately it's quite easy to just ignore the law, i.e. just put out the advert that hasn't been demonstratably proven.

Levi is putting forth an argument from a fundamentally different politico-philosophical standpoint to you and, ultimately, you're going to end up wasting each others time... so it might be better to agree to disagree before this turns into Libertarianism Weekly and we all decide that it'd be better if the army was run by PMCs entirely and that roads should all be privately owned and operated.

;)

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Nothing can be demonstrably proven, outside of meaningless statements.

For a normally sane poster, you have given a few of those Levi.

Constraints on advertising are required, otherwise you are heading into misrepresentation or fraud territory. Would you accept this in other aspects of your life- say investments, housing or medical care? Would you turn around and say 'nevermind', I got ripped off ?

You mention estates suing upon death, aside from the obviously "regrettable" passing of a loved one, which no recompense can replace, what about the small fry items?

Are you going to sue for a 50 quid piece of shit mis-advertised on a shopping channel. No. But the 'fraudster' may pocket millions through a slick and credible mass sell. That's not right by me, don't know about you. People should be held responsible for their words and deeds and be able to provide credible support, especially if claims are actively communicated in a public environment.

As for Chindie's comments trying to assess your viewpoint from a "libertarian perspective", I can't think of a more regulated and litigious society on the planet than the US.

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America isn't particularly libertarian, at least not to the degree that it's libertarian politicians would like. Levi always argues from that perspective when it comes to things like this. That type of libertarianism is fundamentally a different perspective to the way things are in more or less any country on the planet, and because of that you get very tedious arguments where 1 person argues from the way things are in the current system or the current... political... zeitgeist they were raised in, and the other argues the libertarian viewpoint ad infinitum, and theres not actually an answer thats in anyway definably right so round and round it goes and, if you're like me, you'll get very frustrated.

I knew a guy at uni who, I suspect, would argue similar lines to Levi here and, despite being a mate, an argument in a bar over something like this nearly had me swing for him. I had hoped to nip the thing in the bud because it will achieve nothing - Levi will argue till the cows come home that the individual is free to do as they like and face the consequences, and by extension so can companies, provided their actions do not, through no fault of another, affect anyone else (i.e. the Harm Principle, which is the fundamental of a libertarian viewpoint - you are free to do as you like, knowing the consequences for yourself, but to cause harm to another is the be all and end all of a crime). So a person would be free to buy a dangerous medicine and if they didn't know better that the advertised ingredient would kill them, thats their fault. And a company could sell it, and the only recourse to them after the fact would be a court case if their medicine didn't do what it said it would (perhaps). Most societies will argue against that because they would believe that the people may be vulnerable, not knowing better etc, and thus a law needs to be made to prevent them harming themselves.

As for a libertarian society not being litigious... it probably encourages litigation more than anything. Everything becomes about contracts in that kind of society, in the purest sense really (as even in our society an awful lot of stuff is at heart a contract, we kind of ignore lots of it), and if you don't hold up your end of the contract, court it is for you, because that is what becomes the check and balance on that society, and not government.

(For what it's worth I largely consider myself a social libertarian, which puts a lot of libertarian backs up because they don't like the halfway house, fake libertarianism in their view. I've almost certainly gotten some of the above wrong, incidentally, but fundamentally I think it's correct. And believe you me, if it's not I'll have Levi telling me where I'm wrong ;)).

But yes... it's an argument that will achieve very, very little. It's probably worse than an atheist/religious nutjob argument, because you can at least demonstrate that the nutjobs are wrong in many cases.

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Would Levi also approve if companies were allowed to slip arsenic (or some other toxin) into food products and then lie in their advertising by claiming it is not there?

If you get sick/die you/your estate should have the right to sue for fraudulent misrepresentation. However, the companies in question should have he absolute right to say whatever they want in their advertising.

(just as you should have the absolute right to sue a prayer-healer for not curing your cancer as they had contracted to do... such suits would, I suspect, do a far more effective job of eradicating prayer healers than any prior restraint on advertising).

Oh I'm sure there would be 40-50 pages of small print explaining the terms and conditions, absolving the company of any legal obligation in the event of injury or death.

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Oh dear...

Christian group takes out London bus advert for 'sexual orientation therapy'.

London buses have been booked to carry a Christian advertising campaign expected to start next week, which asserts the power of therapy to change the sexual orientation of gay people.

The full length advert, which will appear on five different routes in the capital, is backed by the Core Issues Trust whose leader, Mike Davies, believes "homoerotic behaviour is sinful". His charity funds "reparative therapy" for gay Christians who believe that they have homosexual feelings but want to become straight. The campaign is also backed by Anglican Mainstream, an worldwide orthodox Anglican group whose supporters have equated homosexuality with alcoholism.

The advert will say: "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!" Post-gay and ex-gay are terms used by Christians and some psychotherapists and psychiatrists to refer to homosexual people who have undergone spiritual or pastoral therapy and, according to an Anglican Mainstream definition, have "now left a homosexual lifestyle [and experienced] an increased emotional and sexual attraction to the opposite biological gender and possibly a reduction in or loss of same-sex attraction."

The buses are due to roll out on Monday morning on some of the most popular routes. They will be seen for two weeks travelling past St Paul's Cathedral, down Oxford Street, round Trafalgar Square and through Piccadilly Circus as well as across other parts of the capital.

The campaign is an explicit attempt to hit back at gay rights group Stonewall, which ran its own bus advert saying: "Some people are gay. Get over it." The Christian groups have used the same black, red and white colour scheme as Stonewall and accuses it of promoting the "false idea that there is indisputable scientific evidence that people are born gay".

The Rev Lynda Rose, a spokesperson for the UK branch of Anglican Mainstream said because her group adheres to scripture that all fornication outside marriage is prohibited, it believes that homosexuals are "not being fully the people God intended us to be".

It has sparked an angry response from gay rights campaigners.

The former Europe minister and gay ex-vicar, Chris Bryant MP, said the advert was cruel, particularly to teenagers struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, for promoting the idea that you could become "ex-gay".

"The emotional damage that is done to the individuals who try to suppress their sexuality, the women they marry and the children they might have is immeasurable," he said. "Most sane Christians believe that homosexuality is not a lifestyle or a choice but is a fact to be discovered or not. The pretence that homosexuality is something you can be weaned off in some way is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of creation."

Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, said the adverts were clearly homophobic and added: "The only reason some gay people might want to stop being gay is because of the prejudice of the people who are publishing the ad.

"The promotion of this voodoo therapy is hugely irresponsible given the damage that it appears to do to some people."

Attempts to "treat" or alter sexual orientation have been strongly condemned by leading medical organisations. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned that "so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish" and concluded in 2010 that "there is no sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed". The British Medical Association has also attacked "conversion therapy", a related field to reparation therapy, passing a motion asserting that it is "discredited and harmful to those 'treated' ".

Rose said therapies endorsed by Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues were not coercive and stressed that they are appropriate for people who want to change their sexual attractions, for example if they are married and are worried about the impact of a gay lifestyle on their children.

"Reparative therapy works to help men, who want to change their sexual orientation, naturally dissipate their homoerotic feelings and maximise their heterosexual potential," she said.

In a statement, Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues said Stonewall's slogan is "merely another attempt to close down the critical debate about being gay, and marriage 'equality' ". They accused Stonewall of riding roughshod over individuals who chose to "move out of homosexuality".

The statement continued: "Both organisations recognise the rights of individuals to identify as gay, and to live according to their own values. But by the same token, they believe individuals – such as married men and women unhappy with their homosexuality – should be supported in developing their heterosexual potential where this is the appropriate life choice for them … Current scientific research says there is no gay gene and that sexuality is far more fluid than has hitherto been thought."

Assuming that the campaign prompts complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority it is likely to be investigated against the advertising code rules relating to harm and offence and potentially to truthfulness and substantiation.

According to the code an advertisement must not contain content that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. However the fact that a campaign is offensive to some people does not mean it will necessarily be banned.

"Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age," rule 4.1 of the code states. "Compliance will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards"

The campaign could also prompt complaints about whether or not the statements that relate to "reparative therapy" – "post-gay, ex-gay" – can be substantiated by the Christian group

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I would end my pacifist tendencies in an instant to go all Dexter on these clusterfucks of humanity.

**** any ideology that subjugates humanity based on bigoted horseshit. **** to death anyone who could possibly care so much about creating 2nd class citizens based on sexuality ( or race, gender etc ).

And Mike Davies, you utter failure of a human being. I genuinely hope you and all your followers get run over by these buses and your physical spleen is splattered across the roadside as an appropriate metaphor for the ugly imagery if intolerance.

Edit. Well played tfl

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Ha, fantastic. TfL, the London transport people, have nipped the anti-gay ad in the bud, they won't run it as it as it clashes with their 'commtment to an inclusive and tolerant London'.

Nicely done.

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