1
   

Environmentalism as a philosophical/religious belief. Ruling of British High Court.

 
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 07:26 am
The British High Court has ruled that Environmentalism is a Philosophical belief entitled to the protections given a religion. It seems to me that this ruling is a two-edged sword. And very strange.

Green.view: A matter of faith | The Economist
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,480 • Replies: 29
No top replies

 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:07 am
@kennethamy,
To be fair, shouldn't they advocate something like nihilism also?

I suppose that would just make things stranger.

Environmentalism holding the same weight as religion. Interesting.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:13 am
@kennethamy,
Seeing as the guy was hired to advocate sustainability, and his boss was clearly undermining him on at least one occasion, and that the law comes with caveats that make it clear such things should be looked at case by case - rather than as sweeping judgements on belief in general - I'd say that, in this case, based on the info in the article - the chap didn't deserve dismissal and therefore justice has been served.

He may have been irritatingly pious, though nothing in the article supports that - and seeing as religious zealotry is protected by the law why shouldn't other forms of sanctimony?
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:14 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;114001 wrote:
To be fair, shouldn't they advocate something like nihilism also?

I suppose that would just make things stranger.

Environmentalism holding the same weight as religion. Interesting.


The ruling did not exactly say that. It said that it was entitled to the same protection as religion. But, then, it said that environmentalism is a "philosophical belief", but supported by evidence. So, how is it like a religion? I wonder how this will affect American courts. As I said, very strange, and pretty disturbing whichever way you look at it.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;114003 wrote:
So, how is it like a religion?

It's like religion in that you can't dismiss someone from your employ merely because they care about it. Nowadays.

If they care about it and are being a disruptive influence you'd better have some way of showing that.

If not - your dismissal of them looks like bigotry and that's not fair or lawful grounds for dismissal.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:34 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;114005 wrote:
It's like religion in that you can't dismiss someone from your employ merely because they care about it. Nowadays.

If they care about it and are being a disruptive influence you'd better have some way of showing that.

If not - your dismissal of them looks like bigotry and that's not fair or lawful grounds for dismissal.


Not even if he is a royal pain in the neck? What happens when we have Jainists in the office demanding that no one even kill a mosquito?

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 09:36 AM ----------

Dave Allen;114005 wrote:
It's like religion in that you can't dismiss someone from your employ merely because they care about it. Nowadays.

If they care about it and are being a disruptive influence you'd better have some way of showing that.

If not - your dismissal of them looks like bigotry and that's not fair or lawful grounds for dismissal.


Not even if he is a royal pain in the neck (say) like Prince Charles? What happens when we have Jainists in the office demanding that no one even kill a mosquito?
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:43 am
@kennethamy,
You don't seem to have read my post.

If you did what do you think I was referring to when I said:

"If they are being a disruptive influence you better have some way of showing that".

I don't know what it's like in the US, but in the UK you can't just fire someone because you don't like them.

If the guy was an ass - and nothing in the article bears testament to anyone but the boss being an ass - then he should be subject to disciplinary measures just like anyone else who's an ass. Being rude to colleagues is usually such an offence - so a pious Jain should bear that in mind when asking others not to kill flies, or whatever.

However, if someone's just doing their job but being a bit obstreperous about things they find immoral - you better prove that's a disciplinary offence by putting them through that process fairly rather than just saying "they are too much hassle" and forcing them out through a dubious redundancy or trumped up sacking.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 08:48 am
@kennethamy,
Dave Allen wrote:

I don't know what it's like in the US, but in the UK you can't just fire someone because you don't like them.


Of course you can. You just have to provide a scapegoat to conceal your true intentions.

Oh, you meant legally and directly. You're right!
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 09:23 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;114011 wrote:

"If they are being a disruptive influence you better have some way of showing that".

.


Better than what way of showing that? Suppose, as in France, she wears a scarve on her head? In France, that may be a dismissible offense.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 09:31 am
@kennethamy,
That would be a matter for French law, as far as I care - can't say it would be a good law.

Seeing as this law states that the behaviour can't be at odds with established norms regarding human rights I suspect trivial transgressions of dress code would be protected for those who want to transgress - rather than forced on people as policy.

So "I sacked him because he wouldn't remove his turban" would be counted as unfair in many circumstances (jobs requiring particular headgear or the lack of it would be different of course).

But "I sacked him because he wouldn't stop telling everyone else to wear a turban and it stopped us from working properly" would be potentially valid - though to prove it it might be best to have records demonstrating that the turban-fanatic had been warned to cease and desist in words and writing before his dismissal.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 09:41 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;114026 wrote:
That would be a matter for French law, as far as I care - can't say it would be a good law.

Seeing as this law states that the behaviour can't be at odds with established norms regarding human rights I suspect trivial transgressions of dress code would be protected for those who want to transgress - rather than forced on people as policy.

So "I sacked him because he wouldn't remove his turban" would be counted as unfair in many circumstances (jobs requiring particular headgear or the lack of it would be different of course).

But "I sacked him because he wouldn't stop telling everyone else to wear a turban and it stopped us from working properly" would be potentially valid - though to prove it it might be best to have records demonstrating that the turban-fanatic had been warned to cease and desist in words and writing before his dismissal.


And an environmentalist fanatic, which this chap seems to have been?
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 09:47 am
@kennethamy,
What do you base that on?

Nothing in the artilce testifies to him being an ass - rather it testifies to his fellow executives refusing to supply him with data, and his boss making decisions clearly at odds with the role of a sustainability advisor - the guy's job.

You might INFER that he was a fanatic - but where's your evidence?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 10:16 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;114034 wrote:
What do you base that on?

Nothing in the artilce testifies to him being an ass - rather it testifies to his fellow executives refusing to supply him with data, and his boss making decisions clearly at odds with the role of a sustainability advisor - the guy's job.

You might INFER that he was a fanatic - but where's your evidence?


Executives stymied his attempts to devise a carbon-management system for the firm by failing to give him the necessary data - was that Tim Nicholson's job? That is an issue still to be resolved. But what is this reasoning that goes that since environmentalism is supported by evidence, it should protected like religion? Huh? It is also suspect that Nicholson is so hell bent on working for people who seem to have contempt for his views.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 10:28 am
@kennethamy,
Well - none of that is evidence is it? Those are just questions raised by a rather biased reading of the article.

I doubt he wants to work with them any more - I wouldn't in his position. I might want compensated for unfair dismissal though, and to ensure the same thing doesn't happen to me or others in the future.

I'd say that was quite community minded of me.

If he does want his job back - well fair play to him. I wouldn't want the acrimony myself - but if he can stand it that's his right, I reckon.

As "Head of Sustainability" I also suspect Tim was entitled to spearhead green initiatives. If that wasn't in his job description I'd be surprised. Most companies can discipline people for wasting their time - didn't seem like that happened in this case so it strikes me that the carbon management system might be something that fell into Tim's ambit and he was "stymied" by the executive.

If no one wanted a carbon management system - they should have told him not to design one - given him projects they did want relevant to sustainability.

Not much evidence in favour of that veiw I suppose - other than the word "stymied" - which does suggest that the article writer/judge saw Tim's efforts as needlessly frustrated.

As for why environmentalism should be given the same status as a religious conviction - such things are usually just shortcuts. The courts may be anticipating lots of cases like this - so to save time and maybe prevent unnecessary trials they have enshrined "you can't dismiss someone for just 'being green'" as law.

It gets pigeonholed with religion on account of the existing framework and the fact they are both beliefs (even if only one of the beliefs is contingent on evidence).
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 10:48 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;114048 wrote:
Well - none of that is evidence is it? Those are just questions raised by a rather biased reading of the article.

I doubt he wants to work with them any more - I wouldn't in his position. I might want compensated for unfair dismissal though, and to ensure the same thing doesn't happen to me or others in the future.

I'd say that was quite community minded of me.

If he does want his job back - well fair play to him. I wouldn't want the acrimony myself - but if he can stand it that's his right, I reckon.

As "Head of Sustainability" I also suspect Tim was entitled to spearhead green initiatives. If that wasn't in his job description I'd be surprised. Most companies can discipline people for wasting their time - didn't seem like that happened in this case so it strikes me that the carbon management system might be something that fell into Tim's ambit and he was "stymied" by the executive.

If no one wanted a carbon management system - they should have told him not to design one - given him projects they did want relevant to sustainability.

Not much evidence in favour of that veiw I suppose - other than the word "stymied" - which does suggest that the article writer/judge saw Tim's efforts as needlessly frustrated.

As for why environmentalism should be given the same status as a religious conviction - such things are usually just shortcuts. The courts may be anticipating lots of cases like this - so to save time and maybe prevent unnecessary trials they have enshrined "you can't dismiss someone for just 'being green'" as law.

It gets pigeonholed with religion on account of the existing framework and the fact they are both beliefs (even if only one of the beliefs is contingent on evidence).


Still another instance of the coercive utopianism that is on the march here, in America (enshrined in the White House) and, apparently also in Britain. There is a spasm of it every few years. And then, the yearning for freedom takes over again.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 11:00 am
@kennethamy,
This IS freedom - freedom to keep your job despite your personal beliefs.

It conflicts with freedom of bosses to get rid of people who they don't agree with or like.

I prefer the first freedom myself - it's less Victorian than the second freedom. Bosses get plenty of perks without being able to socially engineer their organisations.

I don't mourn proprietors not being able to do whatever they want at the expense of the workers myself (though Tim was hardly 'the little man' by the looks of things).

If you don't want a head of sustainability - don't hire a head of sustainability.

kennethamy;114050 wrote:
Still another instance of the coercive utopianism that is on the march here, in America (enshrined in the White House).

You miss the lassez faire dystopism of the previous incumbant's benighted oligarchy I suppose?
mickalos
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 11:53 am
@Dave Allen,
Quote:
You miss the lassez faire dystopism of the previous incumbant's benighted oligarchy I suppose?

I'd hardly call the Bush administration laissez-faire.
Quote:

This IS freedom - freedom to keep your job despite your personal beliefs.

It conflicts with freedom of bosses to get rid of people who they don't agree with or like.

I prefer the first freedom myself - it's less Victorian than the second freedom. Bosses get plenty of perks without being able to socially engineer their organisations.

I don't mourn proprietors not being able to do whatever they want at the expense of the workers myself (though Tim was hardly 'the little man' by the looks of things).

If you don't want a head of sustainability - don't hire a head of sustainability.


What if you hire a head of sustainability an then decide that it was a bad idea? Or that you've hired the wrong man. Perhaps he wears his environmentalist hat when he ought to be wearing his 'head of sustainability for my company' hat.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 11:57 am
@kennethamy,
Well, I know you're right about Bush.

I was sort of referring to their marketing, you know "we stand for laissez-faire, but there are terrorists about - so we have to tap you and watch you and tell you what to think and stuff, but we're lassez-faire by inclination - believe us."

That sort of thing.

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 01:04 PM ----------

mickalos;114058 wrote:
What if you hire a head of sustainability an then decide that it was a bad idea?

Dunno - learn your lesson and be competent next time you want to expand the team? If you realise quickly (within probabtionary period) you should be able to get rid with no issues.

If not and your poor decision risks ruining you financially because you have staff you don't need they may well be justified as redundant - but you will have to prove that in court if they contest that decision (their right - at least in the UK).

Quote:
Or that you've hired the wrong man. Perhaps he wears his environmentalist hat when he ought to be wearing his 'head of sustainability for my company' hat.

Then prove he's wrong by taking him through the disciplinary process you should have outlined at the start of his employment for you (usually in writing in company literature).

Then when he starts acting at cross purposes you have a record of his poor performance, inability to hit targets and annoyance of peers - or whatever.

And you have proof that you told him that and tried to make things work.

If you just fire someone or make them redundant they have the right to contest you in court.

And if the court find that you had no good reason to make him redundant - that you just did so because he happens to think differently to you - you will probably get in trouble.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 01:12 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;114059 wrote:
Well, I know you're right about Bush.

I was sort of referring to their marketing, you know "we stand for laissez-faire, but there are terrorists about - so we have to tap you and watch you and tell you what to think and stuff, but we're lassez-faire by inclination - believe us."

.


I don't recall their doing "that sort of thing". But I have heard that people outside the United States universally believe they did, "that sort of thing". I would not know, of course. I lived in America. I was not watched nor told what to think, and certainly not "stuff". I thought and said what I pleased. I was also quite grateful that the previous administration prevented numerous terror attacks on this country. It did its job. The British did well; they had but two terror attacks. Maybe they should have had their own Patriot Act. I was just fine with it. You see, I was not contemplating attacking my country.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 01:18 pm
@kennethamy,
Was the DC sniper not a post PA terrorist attack? I may be wrong, it was around the same time after all.

British policies of internment and surveilance in the past tended to encourage home grown terror rather than diminish it. Birmingham Six, Guildford Four and all that. It leads to a culture that maybe takes more risks on the issue than the US - but the IRA found such heavy handed measures a long-term tool of recruitment. Hence the culture, I suspect.

Besides, my attitude towards Bush was meant more to hold a mirror up to your attitude towards Obama than be some serious critique. Hence lassez-faire use of "stuff" and whatever.

But yeah - tangents aside - you get it finally - some freedoms (freedom not be surveyed) conflict with others (freedom not to be blown up) and authorities will seek a point of balance acceptable to most of the people with a say in their continued authority.

---------- Post added 12-24-2009 at 02:37 PM ----------

kennethamy;114063 wrote:
I was just fine with it. You see, I was not contemplating attacking my country.

Sure - you don't mind cedeing that freedom because it doesn't bother you - you and yours weren't really in the target demographic (I guess) - though some of those who were in Cuba at the pleasure of Bush may well disagree.

But you do want to cede the freedom to keep a job despite your beliefs not marrying those of your employer judging by the jist of this thread - why is that?
 

Related Topics

T'Pring is Dead - Discussion by Brandon9000
Another Calif. shooting spree: 4 dead - Discussion by Lustig Andrei
Friends don't let friends fat-talk - Discussion by hawkeye10
Before you criticize the media - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Fatal Baloon Accident - Discussion by 33export
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
Robin Williams is dead - Discussion by Butrflynet
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Environmentalism as a philosophical/religious belief. Ruling of British High Court.
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 08/17/2022 at 03:50:50