The best way to discredit an idiot is to hand him a microphone and let him speak.
I think I understand what GP was saying here, but when I read it I thought of exactly the same criticism as you.
Giving someone a platform *inherently* gives credibility to w/e they say next.
I do agree w/ GP that Nazi and other b.s. ideology needs to be "beaten not hidden" very much.
There's a lesson to learn here & I'm trying to figure it out...
Maybe it's this: The GP that we're responding to really made a great point about free speech followed by a statement that *sort of* logically flows from the first point. I remember a poster on a teacher's wall from middle school with 3 chicks, one with beak open others beaks closed. The caption read,
"It's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
Which is awesome + seems to bolster the "give the idiot the mic" comment...
What is different is the "microphone" implies a **public gathering**...in that context you simply cannot just give the microphone to any idiot willing to take it because of human nature.
I know this seems pedantic but it's not in my mind. GP makes a great point but I think the lesson is that free speech isn't the same as letting anyone use a public forum. It implies choice...***who chooses who gets to speak*** becomes the deciding question of who will have the most influence.
It's too complex to give a one-sentence answer. The variable is context. In an undergrad philosophy class all students should feel welcome to ask questions, but not free to dominate the discussion.
No one wants to be "that guy"...