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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The world’s love affair with actor Johnny Depp is over. It has been for quite some time. He is an actor who is known for specializing in outrageous caricatures, and audiences are sick of it. In fact, when Depp was revealed as Grindelwald in last year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in both showings I went to, there were audible chuckles throughout the theaters.

Now, audiences have grown to dislike him for other reasons — his alleged domestic abuse against ex-wife Amber Heard. Given all that backlash, some were hopeful that Depp would be replaced in the next film. A cast photo and title reveal not too long ago revealed that they were doubling down on Depp, much to many audience members’ annoyance.

RELATED – Fantastic Beasts Producer Says Sequel Has ‘Thriller Quality’

So what does the production have to say for itself? Speaking with EW, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald director David Yates defended the actor, saying:

“Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”

Of course, the accusations he speaks of started earlier this month with the revelation that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had made sexual advances on countless women. Since then, there have been countless accusations against many other big names in Hollywood, including Disney and Pixar head John Lasseter.

But is this a similar case with Depp? Yates doesn’t believe so, as there are many other women in Depp’s life who came to his defense, including Winona Ryder, Vanessa Paradis, and Lori Anne Allison.

“By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know.’ It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”

What do you think? Is this a good enough defense, or another example of Hollywood hypocrisy? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: EW

  • Rad4Cap

    “Is this a good enough defense”

    Since the burden of proof doesn’t rest on Depp or his friends or employers, it is up the accuser to prove any accusation. The question to ask is if THAT has been done.

    “another example of Hollywood hypocrisy?”

    Well, since the standard that many claim to hold is “The woman *must* be believed”, it would be an example of hypocrisy if they do not uphold that standard in this instance. Of course, the fundamental problem IS that principle, not the hesitation here to apply it.

    Many are now witnessing the problem with that principle. It stands in contradiction to the principle of Justice. Hopefully seeing that contradiction will lead them to the proper standard rather than the one they currently preach.

    • Aaron James

      Well, the thinking behind that standard was: women are massively unlikely to lie about this stuff, because the consequences for them are enormous. Prior to…the last month or so, any woman who came forward about sexual abuse was likely to be called a liar, had her sexual history combed through to determine if she was a “slut” or not (like that mattered, somehow), and face various other personal and professional consequences. So the principle of “believe the woman” was there because, well, why would a woman accuse someone of harassment or abuse unless she felt strongly enough to face the backlash?

      And so…maybe the principle will be eroded as society becomes more willing to believe women, thus lessening the backlash. But the consequence of that will simply be that people will be about as likely to be falsely accused of sexual misconduct as they are of any other crime. That is: not very.

      It stands in opposition to the principal of justice, yes. But far, far less so than “Don’t believe the woman”, “she has ulterior motives”, “she wants his money”, “she wants attention”, “she wants to ruin a good man”. The reason this principle exists is because for a long, long time justice wasn’t being done. It’s not supposed to be some axiomatic universal truth. It’s supposed to be the (hopefully temporary) remedy for a long standing injustice.

      • Rad4Cap

        ” It’s not supposed to be some axiomatic universal truth.”

        It has certainly been treated as such.

        “It stands in opposition to the principal of justice, yes. But far, far less so than “Don’t believe the woman””

        Reverse sexism is not justified by sexism. There is NO such thing as collective justice – in EITHER direction.

        And NO, “Don’t believe the woman” is NOT “far, far less” in “opposition to the principle of justice” than “Believe the woman”. It is EXACTLY the same. BOTH are PRE-JUDGING the case. You know why that term looks familiar, right? Because it is the etymology of “prejudice”.

        It is NOT ‘less unjust’ to have ONE prejudice instead of another prejudice.

        BOTH are prejudice. BOTH are wrong.

        Statistics are NOT evidence in ANY individual case (one of the reasons racial profiling is attacked). Whether it is true OR not that “women are massively unlikely to lie” tells you NOTHING in ANY given case.

        One has to go by the evidence OF the case – and the evidence ALONE.

        • Aaron James

          Here’s the thing. I agree with you, on all these points. Ideologically, they’re sound.

          But we’re not talking about a situation that can be easily forced to follow ideological principles – it’s not the Justice System (although the Justice System is founded on solid ideological principles, and yet is still a horrible unjust mess), it the court of public opinion. That’s not something you can regulate.

          What you CAN do, and what journalists (who are responsible) try to do, is collect enough information for the public to make an informed decision. Which is why the cases that are getting the most attention are the ones with multiple accusers. Johnny Depp is getting a pass because he has only a single accuser, as stated here.

          (Personally I’m inclined to believe Amber Heard. Not that I think those other people are lying about him when they say he’s conducted himself respectfully elsewhere. It’s within the realms of possibility for Depp’s relationship with Heard to have been uniquely fraught. Or for Depp to have been going through a bad patch while he was with her, etc. But that’s just my opinion. And this doesn’t have any real bearing on our larger argument.)

          Now, the real issue here, I think, is whether this is an overdue house cleaning, or a witch hunt. All I can say is that from my perspective, it doesn’t feel like a witch hunt yet.

          • Rad4Cap

            “it the court of public opinion.”

            EVERY point I made applies there as well. MORE so in fact.

            The LESS information one has (which is ALWAYS the case outside the LEGAL courts), the MORE important the principle of “innocent unless PROVEN guilty”. The MORE important is “FACTS ONLY”. The MORE important it is to ABSTAIN from judgement rather than RUSH to judgement.

            That is the OPPOSITE of what “Believe the woman” demands.

            As noted, “Believe the woman” DEMANDS a case before the “court of public opinion” be PRE-judged. NO ONE in the “public” has to rush to judgement about Johnny Depp or the like – let alone PRE-judge him. Declaring “the public” must practice the principle “Believe the woman” is telling the public NOT to judge at ALL but to IMMEDIATELY CONCLUDE.

            That is as far from justice – from REASONING – as one can get.

            That is institutionalizing the lynch mob.

          • Aaron James

            I see two problems with your argument:

            1. You’re arguing against a strawman. The point of “believe the woman” is not “everything the woman says is gospel”, it’s a reaction to the institionalized practice of disbelieving or dismissing what women have to say. As I said in my first response, it’s supposed to be a remedy, not an axiom. The point of it is to say “Stop disregarding and ignoring this”. You are either accidentally or willfully interpreting it as if it is a Commandment from On High. Or you’ve rubbed up against some people who are (in which case, I can tell you, those people are wrong).

            2. Your insistence on every principle that a person lives by being ideologically pure is a path to fundamentalism (of one stripe or another). This is almost always a bad sign.
            Taken to it’s logical extreme, you’d never be able to order from a restaurant menu, because you’d be opposed to pre-judging whether you’d like one meal or another based only on a picture or description. I know that’s a ridiculous example, but there’s a reason why we have rules of thumb and litmus tests: to help as navigate life without getting trapped in indecision or bogged down in the minutiae of judging everything to its limits.
            “Believe the woman” is a rule of thumb. And I get it, its a rule of thumb that’s currently seriously impacting people’s lives and careers. But the situation is one where a relatively small group of men (and it has, so far, been only men) have been seriously impacting a significantly larger group of people’s (who have mostly been women) lives and careers, and this rule of thumb is working to reverse that situation.

            There’s good and bad here. The good is the victims of sexual harassment/misconduct/abuse are finally being heard. The bad is that it becomes easier for an innocent person to be besmirched by a false accusation. It’s up to you to decide whether you can accept that.

          • Rad4Cap

            “The point of “believe the woman” is not “everything the woman says is gospel”

            That is EXACTLY what it is. It is NOT saying “Listen to the woman” or “Don’t dismiss the woman out of hand” or “Give her words weight” or “Hear her” or ANYTHING else. As you yourself stated, the EXPLICIT belief is “women do NOT lie about this stuff”.

            This is why Hillary Clinton and the rest call claimants “survivors” not “accusers”. They START with that premise – that what the accuser says is TRUE. As I state, they PRE-judge.

            Their language BEGINS with the premise of GUILT and requires INNOCENCE to be PROVEN.

            Their principle is a complete REJECTION of justice.

            “Your insistence on every principle that a person lives by being
            ideologically pure is a path to fundamentalism (of one stripe or
            another). This is almost always a bad sign.”

            THIS is the attempt to RATIONALIZE -not- practicing the principles of logic and justice. It is a SMEAR (“fundamentalism”) – an ATTACK on the virtue of INTEGRITY. It is a declaration that one must NOT have integrity. That to have integrity is “a bad sign”!!

            That is a rejection of ALL principles – period.

            You’ve just declared that NO one should be JUST -all- the time. It’s okay to be UNJUST -sometimes-. Justice should NOT be practiced with ruthless consistency. One can arbitrarily discard justice if one wishes. It is a ‘flexible’ standard. One can substitute some standard OTHER than justice IF one so desires.

            “I know that’s a ridiculous example”

            COMPLETELY ridiculous. Justice is the granting to a person that which he has EARNED through his words and actions. A meal does not EARN anything. You are not coming to a MORAL conclusion about it.

            “without getting trapped in indecision or bogged down in minutiae”

            The LIVES of the individual are NOT minutiae. That is ANOTHER reason your example was COMPLETELY ridiculous. Individuals are not eggs to be cracked to make an omelette. A meal is not something which is HURT if you judge incorrectly.

            “there’s a reason why we have rules of thumb”

            YES. And the “rule of thumb” here is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. There is NO other rule MORE important than that one. There is NO substitution for it. ALL the rest are subjugated to and flow from that one “rule of thumb”. If you violate that rule, you have ABANDONED justice completely.

            If you are ‘indecisive’ – the rule of thumb is “INNOCENT”. If you are bogged down by details – the rule of thumb is “INNOCENT”.

            You do NOT ditch that rule – PERIOD.

            Ditching that rule is ditching justice – period.

          • Aaron James

            This is a hyperbolic reading of my arguments. I don’t think you’re deliberately misreading me. I think you’re honestly arguing from a position you feel is righteous and unassailable, and you’re reading everything I say through that lens – as an attempt to assail the unassailable principles of justice.

            But you’re also not being honest about what I’ve said. This is a fairly textbook example of a strawman argument. You even try to assert at the top of your reply that what I said meant something other than what I’ve explicitly said it meant: that “believe the woman” is a rule of thumb, not a fundamental law of the universe.

            Similarly, you assert that my other rule of thumb – that strictly adhering to ideology in every conceivable circumstance is a path to fundamentalism – is somehow the total abandonment of all morality and ethics. I’ll clarify: Someone who believes that every single word in the Bible is literally true, up to and including the stoning of women who wear the wrong thing, is a Christian fundamentalist. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is an atheist. There’s a vast gulf between the two into which the majority of the Christian population falls. And someone who thinks that it’s okay to sometimes make judgement calls hasn’t entirely abandoned the principles of justice.

            Here’s a personal anecdote for you, so take it with a grain of salt. Several years ago, I served on a jury for a sexual assault trial. The only evidence we had was witness testimony from a single witness. My jury actually suffered from what is commonly called “the CSI effect”, which is that they didn’t believe they could deliver a guilty verdict if there was no hard, physical evidence. No DNA, no fingerprints, no anything except the witness testimony. The court had to be reconvened after deliberation had begun just so that the judge could explain to us that yes, witness testimony should be considered hard evidence. In fact, I learned later, most cases are decided on witness testimony alone, because the kind of physical evidence seen on shows like CSI is relatively rare. What that means is that most criminal cases come down to whether the jury believes the witness(es) or not.

            We delivered a guilty verdict, because we believed the witness.

            So if you like, you can look at it this way. “Believe the woman” is not about abandoning “innocent until proven guilty”, it’s about how to interpret the evidence before coming to your verdict.

          • Rad4Cap

            “not being honest”

            THANK you for PROVING my point so succinctly.

            You
            just committed an injustice. And you did so BECAUSE you reject being
            “ideologically pure”. You reject “innocent unless proven guilty” as THE
            inviolable FUNDAMENTAL principle of justice.

            Here is what you accuse me of being DISHONESTY about:

            “You even try to assert at the top of your reply that what I said meant
            something other than what I’ve explicitly said it meant: that “believe
            the woman” is a rule of thumb, not a fundamental law of the universe.”

            Now,
            BECAUSE you do NOT hold “innocent unless proven guilty” – but instead
            have “flexible” standards which you feel justified in switching BETWEEN (according to your desire of the moment) – you did NOT proceed as
            if there was an INNOCENT error on my part. Nor did you proceed as if
            there was an INNOCENT misunderstanding of some point you made. Nor did
            you proceed as if YOU had made some INNOCENT mistake – either in
            presenting your argument OR in GRASPING mine. Nor did you proceed as if
            YOU were INNOCENTLY failing to grasp the import of your OWN principle.

            BECAUSE
            you did NOT uphold “innocent unless proven guilty” as a principle which
            MUST NEVER be violated, you did even BOTHER trying to GET evidence to
            prove the GUILT you claim is true. You did not START with ANY of these
            premises of INNOCENCE. You STARTED at GUILTY.

            And you STOPPED at GUILTY.

            That
            is the OPPOSITE of justice. That is a complete ABROGATION of justice.
            In other words, that is EXACTLY what I claimed you were preaching.
            What a SURPRISE to have you practice it!

            So
            let us consider the specifics of your claim. You declare I am GUILTY of “not being honest”. And you do so by declaring I *did* make
            the claim as you have presented it; by declaring I *knew* it to be
            false; by declaring that *despite* knowing it to be false, I presented
            it as *true*.

            THAT is the DISHONESTY of which you claim I am GUILTY.

            So – what EVIDENCE do you have that I am GUILTY of dishonesty? What evidence do you have for your moral JUDGEMENT?

            NONE.

            The ONLY thing you have is what YOU think is a contradiction of your principle. NOTHING ELSE. NADA.

            A contradiction of your principle does not prove that the contradiction was made dishonestly. That fact ALONE damns your claim of GUILT as an INJUSTICE.

            But
            it gets WORSE for you – because what YOU claim I said is, in fact, the
            REVERSE of what I *actually* stated. I did NOT say you treat “believe
            the woman” as “a fundamental law of the universe”. I said the EXACT
            OPPOSITE.

            Oops.

            I
            *explicitly* stated (and you have *again* CONFIRMED it here) that you REJECT it
            as a “fundamental law of the universe”. I explicitly stated you REJECT
            *any* of the “rules of thumb” as “a fundamental law of the universe”. That was the entire POINT I made about you REJECTING the principle of
            INTEGRITY. You hold NO principle as INVIOLABLE. Not “innocent unless
            proven guilty” NOR “believe the woman.” As I *explicitly* stated, your
            principle is: “That it is RIGHT “sometimes” to do this. That one must
            NOT be “ideologically pure” in upholding that standard”.

            That
            statement is the OPPOSITE of your assertion that I DISHONESTLY claim
            you treat “believe the woman” as “a fundamental law of the universe.”

            So
            not only did YOU not understand the argument being presented TO you,
            but you declared *me* GUILTY of “not being honest” in presenting an
            argument which I dod NOT present but YOU, in fact, manufactured. In other words, YOU made a
            mistake – and – YOU committed an INJUSTICE.

            In doing so, you PROVED *why* there is ONLY *one* fundamental principle of justice

            I
            ​t
            is PRECISELY because man CAN make mistakes – because he is fallible –
            that one *always* MUST uphold THE principle – THE “rule of thumb” – THE
            inviolable standard of justice. You know, the standard you declare can
            be discarded if you so desire (and as you did here). The FUNDAMENTAL
            principle of justice: “innocent unless proven guilty”.

            As
            I state, if you EVER you abandon “innocent unless proven guilty” for some OTHER principle, it doesn’t MATTER what
            principle (what “rule of thumb”) you substitute. You have ABANDONED Justice.

            Which is EXACTLY what YOU did here.

          • Rad4Cap

            Continuation:

            “you assert that my other rule of thumb – that strictly adhering to
            ideology in every conceivable circumstance is a path to fundamentalism –
            is somehow the total abandonment of all morality and ethics.”

            It is.

            And,
            again, this is NOT a misrepresentation of your principle. I would say
            it is the identification of facts ABOUT your principle which YOU have
            failed to grasp. As you explicitly state, you do NOT practice
            principles without fail. You rail AGAINST such ‘ideologically purity’.
            You preach the INCONSISTENT practice of “all morality and ethics”.
            What you don’t seem to grasp is that IS the “total abandonment of all
            morality and ethics”.

            If there is NO moral principle you uphold

            If you murder SOMETIMES, you are NOT being moral – regardless of the number of people you DON’T murder.

            If you rape SOMETIMES, you are NOT being moral – regardless of the number of people you DON’T rape.

            If you steal SOMETIMES, you are NOT being moral – regardless of the number of people you DON’T rob.

            If
            you declare there is NO moral principle you will NOT violate SOMETIMES
            then you have ABANDONED morality ENTIRELY – regardless of the number of
            people you do NOT violate.

            Put
            simply, your principle is a REJECTION of the virtue of Integrity. It
            is the declaration that integrity – moral purity – is something to be
            AVOIDED, not pursued.

            And
            THAT brings us back to the original topic. You have tried to offer
            numerous *analogies* as to WHY one should NOT uphold the principle
            “innocent unless proven guilty” as THE inviolable standard of justice.
            But NONE of them have been even close to valid.

            Instead
            of trying to use analogies, please give an example of why YOU believe
            one should NOT be “ideologically pure” and practice some OTHER “rule of
            thumb” in its place.

            Finally, as to your concluding statement:

            “”Believe the woman” is not about abandoning “innocent until proven
            guilty”, it’s about how to interpret the evidence before coming to your
            verdict.”

            The
            problem you have yet to resolve is: on the basis of WHAT facts of
            reality regarding the case in question do you reach such a conclusion?
            The fact that you CAN “believe the woman” does not tell you HOW to
            determine IF and WHEN you SHOULD. It simply tells you to DO it.
            “Believe the woman” is the declaration that one should ARBITRARILY
            accept the woman’s statement as true and thus ARBITRARILY accept the
            man’s GUILT as true. It tells you to treat the man as GUILTY – UNLESS
            he is somehow ‘proven’ innocent.

            THAT
            is the COMPLETE abandonment of “innocent unless proven guilty” – as
            WELL as the burden of proof. It is the COMPLETE abandonment of BOTH
            justice AND logic.

          • Aaron James

            I said:

            “The point of “believe the woman” is not “everything the woman says is gospel””

            You said:

            “That is EXACTLY what it is. It is NOT saying “Listen to the woman” or “Don’t dismiss the woman out of hand” or “Give her words weight” or “Hear her” or ANYTHING else. As you yourself stated, the EXPLICIT belief is “women do NOT lie about this stuff”.”

            I’m not sure how to interpret that as anything other than “No, you don’t mean what you say you mean.” Except maybe, “No, you are wrong, it doesn’t mean what you think it means.” Either way, though, you went on to argue against that point, rather than the point I made. That’s a strawman argument.

            However, this is as far as I’m willing to continue this conversation (or argument) while playing by the rules you’ve set for it. In general, people don’t consider arguments to be just or unjust. That’s not a descriptor that’s commonly applied. If one person misinterprets the other, or makes a malformed point, the other person doesn’t leap to their feet, jab a finger in their face and yell “INJUSTICE!”

            By your own rules, you are just as guilty of assuming “guilt” as I am, given that you appear to believe that I’m saying that “believe the woman” is some sort of replacement for “innocent until proven guilty”, and have proceeded with that assumption. The point of my anecdote about jury duty was to say that it is instead supposed to be a useful heuristic to be used when deciding whether a piece of evidence should be considered proof or not. In the example I gave, the witness testimony WAS the proof that ultimately decided that the accused had been proven guilty, as far as the court was concerned.

            The fundamentalism thing is, at this point, just a distraction, but I’ll address it anyway.
            Almost everyone has a moral code of some sort, and almost everyone will relax it in certain situations. A person might never commit murder, but they might sneak an extra cake from the buffet even though the sign says “1 per customer”. It would be completely unreasonable to say that they’d abandoned their moral code entirely for having done so.
            The reason that universally applying an ideology with no exceptions is considered to be a bad thing (which I characterized as “fundamentalism”) is because it’s an attitude which refuses to accept that there are edge-cases where the application of that ideology would run counter to the ideology’s intent. Or to make room for human fallibility, or forgiveness.

            The biggest fallacy in your argument, however, is that you are considering “believe the woman” to be something that is supposed to be taken as true regardless of context. This is not the case.

            Here’s another hypothetical: A billionaire has died. An autopsy reveals that someone injected them with poison. The poison takes three hours to kill. So whoever murdered them must have injected them within three hours of their death. Only two people went near the billionaire during that time, his nephew, and a cleaner. The nephew is found to have googled poisons, and also stands to inherit the billionaire’s entire fortune. The cleaner was a temp, and had never met or had any contact with the billionaire before that day. Both the nephew and the cleaner say they didn’t murder the billionaire.

            In this context, wouldn’t you say it was reasonable to use “believe the cleaner” as a good rule of thumb if it was up to you to determine who was guilty, based on that evidence alone?
            But outside of that context, “believe the cleaner” is ridiculous. Of course not everyone who cleans for a living is always honest.

            “Believe the woman” is exactly the same. It’s meant to be taken in the context of the current societal climate, one where accusing a man of sexual misconduct is likely to be personally and professionally devastating for a woman, so false accusations are unlikely.
            It doesn’t mean that you should believe any woman who claims to have been abducted by aliens. And it hopefully won’t continue to be a useful rule of thumb, because hopefully society will change, and it won’t be necessary.

          • Aaron James

            I posted a reply to this two days ago, but it was “Detected as spam”, which is pretty frustrating when you’ve put time and effort into a response. I was waiting to see if it got rectified, but I doubt it will be at this point.

            I tried to respond to as many of your points as I felt warranted responses, but a lot of them were just us arguing about our own argument. So I’ll leave them out of this shorter version and just address the core topic.

            The biggest fallacy in your argument, as far as I can tell, is that you seem to be assuming that “believe the woman” is something that is supposed to be taken as true all the time, regardless of context. This is not the case.

            Here’s another hypothetical: A billionaire has died. An autopsy reveals that someone injected them with poison. The poison takes three hours to kill. So whoever murdered them must have injected them within three hours of their death. Only two people went near the billionaire during that time, his nephew, and a cleaner. The nephew is found to have googled poisons, and also stands to inherit the billionaire’s entire fortune. The cleaner was a temp, and had never met or had any contact with the billionaire before that day. Both the nephew and the cleaner say they didn’t murder the billionaire.

            In this context, wouldn’t you say it was reasonable to use “believe the cleaner” as a good rule of thumb if it was up to you to determine who was guilty, based on that evidence alone?
            But outside of that context, “believe the cleaner” is ridiculous. Of course not everyone who cleans for a living is always honest.

            “Believe the woman” is exactly the same. It’s meant to be taken in the context of the current social system and climate, one where accusing a man of sexual misconduct is likely to be personally and professionally devastating for a woman, which heavily dis-incentivises making false accusations.

            It doesn’t mean that you should believe any woman no matter what she says, no matter the circumstances. And it hopefully won’t continue to be a useful rule of thumb, because hopefully society will change, and it won’t be necessary.

          • Rad4Cap

            “The biggest fallacy in your argument, as far as I can tell, is that you
            seem to be assuming that “believe the woman” is something that is
            supposed to be taken as true all the time, regardless of context”

            No wonder you don’t understand the principles of logic or justice. You don’t even grasp the difference between “all the time” and “SOMETIMES”, since I’ve EXPLICITLY stated the OPPOSITE of YOUR straw man:

            “your principle is: “That it is RIGHT “sometimes” to do this [ie “believe the woman”.””

            and

            “your “rule of thumb” means: Guilty – unless you simply declare Not Guilty.””

            In other words, what you claim is my “biggest fallacy” is the ANTITHESIS of what I ACTUALLY claimed.

          • Aaron James

            I apologise if I’ve misinterpreted your words. I don’t want this to come off as a personal attack. I try to avoid those at all costs. So consider this some constructive criticism:

            You manner of expression, with the frequent use of all-caps, and the way you often seem to be constructing your sentences as if they’re mathematical equations (which, I get it, is an attempt to express logic as text) is often difficult to decipher. You might want to think about more direct and plain-spoken ways of expressing your ideas. Because, in the end, it’s not up to the reader to do the hard work of figuring out what you’re trying to say.

            So, here’s what I think that you think I’m saying: “Follow the “believe the woman” rule, unless you feel otherwise”. Am I correct?

            That’s…a bastardization of what I’m saying. Think of it like this. If you’re lost in a system of caves deep underground, a useful rule of thumb would be “follow the path that leads upward”. It’s what we call a heuristic – a method that isn’t foolproof, but it’s better than just picking a path at random. Following the path that leads upward has a fairly good chance of getting you back to the surface, but not always. It is, however, better than just blindly stumbling around the caves and hoping you find your way out.

            “Believe the woman” is also a heuristic, used for determining whether you can trust what an accuser is saying.

            The other thing I think you think I’m saying is: “Guilty until proven innocent is also a rule of thumb, which you can follow unless you feel otherwise.”

            Nope. I am in full agreement with you here. “Innocent until proven guilty” is the fundamental principle that our concept of justice is built on, and thus we should consider it to be axiomatic. Always follow the “innocent until proven guilty” rule, always.
            Where I suspect you’re getting confused (if I’ve understood your argument correctly) is that you appear to think that I’m arguing that “believe the woman” should be a replacement for “innocent until proven guilty”.
            I don’t. It’s not a replacement. It’s just a heuristic to be used when weighing the evidence.

          • Rad4Cap

            ” “Innocent until proven guilty” is the fundamental principle that our concept of justice is built on, and thus we should consider it to be axiomatic. Always follow the “innocent until proven guilty” rule, always.””

            If you read back through your posts, you’ll find your “plain-spoken ways of expressing your ideas” EXPLICITLY *contradicts* the above statement – especially your claims about “always”. From your very first post “always” has NOT been your standard. You have EXPLICITLY tried to ATTACK the idea of “always” as BAD and have explicitly tried to rationalize NOT “always” practicing the principle of justice.

            I would go through and identify every point you made which presents the OPPOSITE, but given your already identified problem of not grasping the difference between SIMPLE concepts (“some” vs “all”), and your problem with my sentences seeming to be “mathematical equations” that you cannot follow, I leave it you to figure out how your prior words logically contradict the premise you just presented (especially since you claim it is NOT up to the reader [aka me] to do that hard work for you).

            Suffice it to say, the practice you were demanding in ALL your prior posts does NOT match what you are now here preaching. That is a contradiction YOU must resolve.

          • Aaron James

            I read over everything I’ve previous posted. The only thing I could find anywhere that comes close to saying “guilty until proven innocent is not always true” was in my very first post, where I said “It stands in opposition to the principal of justice, yes.”

            This was a mistake on my part. I wrote it before the conversation turned explicitly philosophical, which forced me to consider the issue at a more granular level (which is why I can find discussions like this enlightening). I disagree with my own statement here. “Believe the woman” doesn’t stand in opposition to the principal of justice. It is, instead, a tool to be used while pursuing justice.

            If this was the statement that led you to assume that I didn’t believe that “innocent until proven guilty” wasn’t a core tenet of the justice system, I’m sorry for the confusion.

            However, if you look at everything I wrote afterwards, nowhere do I suggest that “innocent until proven guilty” is an optional rule when pursuing justice.

          • Rad4Cap

            It was one. It was not the only.

          • Aaron James

            Nope. It was the only. You’ll have to provide specific examples of others. Or just a single example.

          • Rad4Cap

            Funny. Someone just declared “it’s not up to the reader [aka me] to do the hard work of figuring out what you’re [aka you] trying to say.”

            But hey, at least you got one by yourself so far. It is a start.

          • Aaron James

            This equivocating suggests that you aren’t (and possibly never were) arguing in good faith. I’m going to assume you’ve quietly conceded this point and are unwilling to admit it.

            Can you at least admit, at this point, that when people say “believe the woman” they do not intend for it to be taken as literally true in all circumstances? Or that they do not intend for it to be used to circumvent justice?

          • Rad4Cap

            ” I’m going to assume you’ve quietly conceded this point and are unwilling to admit it.”

            And we’re back to you making accusations of “lack of honesty”. So much for ALWAYS proceed from the principle “innocent unless PROVEN guilty”.

            What is amusing is that you AGAIN *jump* to GUILTY *despite* the fact that you AGREE my statement was true in regard to at least ONE of your claims. So there is evidence that you are wrong, but instead of doing the “hard work” you claim is YOUR job, you instead demand I prove myself innocent.

            Guilty – unless proven innocent. THAT is what you are practicing here.

            Congratulations. You proved MY point completely.

          • Aaron James

            Alright, let’s apply your own logic to what you’ve said:

            My statement was this: “it’s not up to the reader to do the hard work of figuring out what you’re trying to say.”

            What this, fairly transparently, means is (to use a courtroom analogy) “it’s up to the lawyer to make an argument that the jury can understand”.

            What it does not mean is “It’s up to the accused to prove their own innocence”, but this appears to be how you’re misapplying it. You made an accusation about my argument, I denied it, and now you’re saying that I must prove you wrong.

            This would, in fact, mean “guilty until proven innocent”, the exact opposite of what you claim should be a principle that should ALWAYS be adhered to, no matter what. If you’re truly practicing what you preach, then you should be actively trying to prove my guilt, regardless of whether you think I’m being hypocritical (which I’m not).

            This is why I don’t think you’re arguing in good faith anymore. You aren’t following your own rules, and you appear to be unwilling to concede even a single point.

            For instance, you didn’t answer my question about whether you now believe that “believe the woman” is not supposed to be always true. My assumption is that you didn’t want to, because you would have had to agree with me.

          • Rad4Cap

            “You made an accusation about my argument, I denied it, and now you’re saying that I must prove you wrong.”

            Actually, the whole point is that you denied it AFTER you had evidence that I was right. You were able to find the MOST obvious contradiction. Yet, despite this evidence, you declare my claim is false. And you demand I prove it – after I stated I wasn’t going to prove ANY – not even the one YOU ultimately found on your own. (Refresh your memory WHY I said I wasn’t going to do that).

            Then, when I stick to what I stated, you declare that is EVIDENCE not ONLY of my statement being false but of me ‘lacking honesty’.

            AS I’ve stated, you’ve NO concept of logic OR justice – nor even of SIMPLER concepts like “some” and “all”. These are things which can NOT be TAUGHT to you in a comments section on the internet. One can simply POINT them out to you. As you said, it is up to YOU to do the “hard work” – ie learning.

          • Aaron James

            And here’s where I think you’re going wrong. You’re treating this argument as purely adversarial, as if the only outcome is some sort of zero-sum, win-loss scenario. Not, as you should, as an exchange of ideas and opinions.

            The evidence you claim that I uncovered is simply me admitting that I misspoke. Once I’d given the subject more consideration, I realised that I’d said something that I didn’t reflect my actual beliefs. If you like, you can say to yourself “Ah, good, I got him to concede a point.” This should be the goal of any argument had in good faith. It’s why I engage in this kinds discussions online. They’re worthwhile when they force me to think more carefully about things I ordinarily wouldn’t.

            You also said that this evidence was “the most obvious contradiction”, which suggests that any other evidence is less obvious. Given that I never once explicitly said that “guilty until proven innocent” shouldn’t be treated as an axiom, that means you believe I’ve implicitly said it. Which means that you’re interpreting my words. Which, therefore, includes the possibility that you are wrong, and that you’ve misinterpreted what I’ve said.

            We can agree that that is my fault for not being clear enough. But from here on out, we can move forward having established that we both agree that “guilty until proven innocent” is an axiom.

            So now, two things:

            1. If you wouldn’t mind, for my own clarification, could you please reiterate what your “some” not “all” argument is?

            2. Could you also address my question about “believe the woman”? Do you still think that people who say it mean it to be taken as literally true in all circumstances? Or that they intend for it to be used to circumvent justice?

          • Rad4Cap

            “And here’s where I think you’re going wrong. You’re treating this
            argument as purely adversarial, as if the only outcome is some sort of
            zero-sum, win-loss scenario. Not, as you should, as an exchange of
            ideas and opinions.”

            When, days later, you had yet to grasp the REPEATED and EXCLAIMED (bold) difference between “some” and “all” – let alone any of the OTHER, more COMPLEX concepts – you haven’t GRASPED the ideas being presented. Absent such a grasp, there is NO “exchange” occurring. You have to FIRST identify an idea before you can argue for or against it. And you NEVER did.

            So I STOPPED the discussion. I stated WHY I was ENDING it. And I stated what YOU needed to understand to correct your errors – both in understanding what I said and in understanding how you were contradicting YOURSELF.

            Surprisingly you caught ONE of the errors I stated you committed. But you failed to catch any of the others. The surprising part is that I expected you to either not see any of them or at least see the two obvious ones. But I never expected you to catch any more than the two – again which is why I STOPPED the discussion. In other words, no matter the NUMBER of contradictions you were able to identify – none, two, etc – I wasn’t going to be having any further discussion with you on them. There was NO point, because there was NO “exchange” occurring.

            But – after having identified my claim being true in regard to one of your statements, you turned around and accused me of falsehood and dishonesty.

            That accusation simply proves BOTH my points: about you continuing to violate that supposed ‘axiom’ AND my wisdom in ENDING any attempt to discuss those issues with you further.

            Goading won’t change those facts.

          • Aaron James

            You have now repeatedly failed to answer the question that was the impetus for this argument, and which lies at the core of it. You’re instead trying to win the argument by fiat. “You can’t understand my arguments, but they’re 100% correct, trust me. Therefore I’m right.” and “You contradicted yourself, though I won’t specify where or how. Therefore, you’re wrong.” These are obfuscatory argumentative practices, whose purpose seems to be hiding the fact that you have forfeited without saying so. Simply asserting your own infallibility does not make it so.

            But, to be far more charitable to you than I should be, I’m going to address what I believe to be your “”some” not “all”” argument. Which, as far as I can tell, boils down to “If you’re willing to abandon a moral principle sometimes, you have effectively abandoned it entirely”.

            This is, to be honest, a matter of opinion. A person who steals a pen from where they work is not generally considered to have abandoned all moral principles. Nobody says “Watch out for Steve. He stole a pen once, therefore he’ll steal everything you own!” That person is unlikely to even be fired for stealing a pen in most businesses.

            For the more extreme examples, like murder and rape, then yes, there are some lines that can’t be uncrossed. But to imply that there isn’t a sliding scale here is an extreme position. If you’re the sort of person who will judge someone who stole one pen once as being just as bad as someone who steals habitually, then you have succumbed to fundamentalism.

            And here’s why I haven’t addressed that point until now: it has nothing to do with the core argument. “Believe the woman” is not a moral principle.

            “Innocent until proven guilty” is. But, as we’ve agreed (and if you like, as I’ve conceded), it should be applied all the time. When pursuing justice.

            Now, will you answer the question?

          • Rad4Cap

            “So I STOPPED the discussion. I stated WHY I was ENDING it.”
            “So I pointed you in the right direction and TRIED to walk away.”

            Apparently we can now add the concepts “no” and “stopped” etc to the list of concepts you do NOT grasp (though you certainly understand the concept “goad”)

            Brick wall indeed.

            Since you cannot respect those things on your own, I’ll have to take care of it myself.

            Good Bye

            BLOCKED

          • Aaron James

            Teenagers.

  • Kronx

    If we assume 10 percent of people are assholes. Then every film has 10-300 assholes working on it, depending on the budget.

    At some point, we have to accept that, otherwise we will never see a movie again.

    It’s like the Spaceballs scene. We’re surrounded by assholes.

  • Willy Billy

    “The world’s love affair with actor Johnny Depp is over.”

    Then how come his very last two films are huge worldwide hits?

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer’s always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he’s always been something of a story junkie.