Freedom of Speech

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by SacredWarrior, Mar 25, 2016.

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  1. When it comes to Freedom of Speech, do you completely support it no matter who it may offend or anger?

    I've seen a lot of people cry Freedom of Speech but when it comes to certain issues, they want to censor people whose views don't align with theirs. I find that hypocritical and not to mention contradictory and inconsistent. Just because I disagree with your opinion doesn't mean you should be censored. I just say my thoughts and move on. Yes that includes hate groups like Westboro Baptist Church, New Black Panther Party, KKK, etc.

    Here's a video that I agree with:

    And before anyone pulls the "You can say what you want but we can respond however we want" card, that can be used against you and if it was, you wouldn't like it at all now would you? Also you can't respond however you want. There are laws against that you know.
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  2. I believe that the concept of freedom of speech doesn't cover intent to harm, which is more of a moral standpoint so I don't have much backing for it. It all makes sense though, hate groups have malicious intent with it, so I don't believe that would cover over it.
  3. Wait... what? I... I don't understand what you're saying here. So, I'm going to attempt to break this down piece by piece...

    I mean... sure? But... just because someone can say things that I don't like doesn't mean I wouldn't support their freedom of speech. And... yeah, I still stand by the idea of "I can say what I want, and you can say what you want back", because... I never said that no one can criticize me? So this argument being used against me doesn't make any sense?

    The "You can say what you want but we can respond however we want" argument exists in response to the people who say things like "I can say whatever racist/sexist/etc things I want and you can't tell me otherwise! Freedom of speech!!" -- because the point of freedom of speech is that, yes, you can say those things, but then, other people can still tell you that you're being racist/sexist/etc. Freedom of speech is a two-way street -- your freedom of speech is just as valid as that of the people responding to you, and freedom of speech does not make you immune to criticisms or consequences of your words/actions.

    Basically, it's an argument to be used against people who think that they can censor people who are telling them not to say certain things, as if their own freedom of speech is more important than that of the people criticizing them. And, I'm... really not sure how that argument can be "used against me" in a way that I "wouldn't like". I mean, using that argument against me right now would be like saying "I can still reply to your post and claim that you're wrong", and... yeah, you can, but, that doesn't mean I wouldn't support your freedom of speech, no matter how much I disagreed with you.

    And... what exactly is that referring to? Hate speech laws? Because, if that's the case, wouldn't those same laws apply to the both parties, and not just the person responding? In which case, the argument doesn't really change. It's still saying that the freedom of speech of both parties is still equally important, which... it is.

    At any rate, here's the rest of my thoughts on freedom of speech:

    Firstly, like I said before, freedom of speech means that you cannot be censored -- it does not mean that you cannot be criticized or face consequences for what you said. Because, again, everyone else has the freedom to respond without being censored.

    That being said, though... I have no problem with people trying to discourage others from using certain words, or even trying to push "political correctness" in general. If someone wants to say "You shouldn't use the word 'retarded' to mean 'stupid', because that's offensive to people who are legitimately retarded", then... I am totally ok with them saying that. And telling people not to use a certain word isn't censorship, because it's not the same as trying to pass a law to ban the word or something like that. It's just... telling people that you think it's offensive. And then, the people who hear you say that can decide for themselves whether or not they agree with you and whether or not they want to stop using that word that way. If they disagree, then, they do have the right to continue to use the word 'retarded' to mean 'stupid'.

    Personally, there are a lot of "politically correct" principles that I actually agree with and that I follow. For example, I do believe that the word "retarded" shouldn't be used as a synonym for "stupid", I don't believe that "gay" should be used as an insult, and I don't believe that the names of mental illnesses should be casually used as adjectives (ex: "I drank too much coffee and now I'm so ADHD", "My next-door neighbor is nice to me one day and then mean the next, she's so bipolar!"). That said, just because I think that these are good practices, doesn't mean I wouldn't support the freedom of speech of people who don't follow these practices.

    I for one am not super-vocal about any of the things I just listed, and I don't exactly spend a ton of time trying to call out other people on not following these guidelines or explaining why I think those people are wrong. But, even if I was vocal about it and did spend a lot of time discouraging people from using these words in that way, I still wouldn't be supporting censorship. Supporting censorship would be trying to get people banned just for saying "lol that's so gay", or at least trying to get their posts deleted. But I wouldn't be doing that -- I would be telling people that I don't think they should use that word in that way and explaining why I feel that way, so that maybe they'll agree with me (and I don't even spend a ton of time doing that anyway, because that sounds exhausting and it's not important enough to go on a crusade about). I can disagree with what someone says and still defend their right to say it, and that includes disagreeing with the use of specific words that people use.

    So, in summary, the idea of "political correctness" and saying that certain words shouldn't be used because they're offensive (or for any other reason) is not an attack on freedom of speech. Because saying "you shouldn't use this word" doesn't translate to "I'm going to make sure it's illegal to use this word" (and if someone does say that then it's a bit of a different story, which I'll touch on later) -- instead, it more accurately translates to "I don't think people should be using this word and I hope it becomes socially unacceptable to use it", which is all the "political correctness" movement is really doing. It's people trying to convince other people not to use certain words anymore. But you still have the right to continue using those words if you disagree with the movement -- it's just that, people might criticize you for using those words if they do agree with that movement. And they're well within their rights to do that, as well. Doesn't mean you're being censored, though -- because they can't actually stop you from saying it no matter how much they tell you that you shouldn't say it.

    As for the thing about making it illegal to use certain words... I don't have very strong feelings about the topic of hate speech laws. I feel like I get the gist of where both sides are coming from, but I feel like I don't know quite enough to really have strong feelings either way, so... yeah, I'm not really going to comment heavily on that.

    But, seeing as how these kinds of topics generally seem to be very closely linked to the whole "you can't say that because I think it's offensive" thing and whether or not it's ok to make such a claim, well... yeah, I do have an opinion on that to share with you.
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  4. I said that point because I see people constantly go into an outage over something trivial someone said or did and when they say collectivist bullshit and get called out on it, they cry out "Freedom of Speech". Hypocrisy basically.

    I was actually referring to violence and doxxing/harassing. Hate speech laws are only enforced nowadays if you're a straight white male. From what I've seen anyways.
  5. Well then, I mean, yeah, but the violence and doxxing/harassing still applies to both parties, so, the point still stands. :P

    I'm still a bit confused about what you were actually trying to say with that first part, but, we seem to basically be in agreement about most things, sooo... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  6. When it comes to censorship and Political Correctness it shouldn't be used as a government tool or a weapon, and it definitely shouldn't be governed by them too. It should be governed by the individual and society in general. I honestly find both to be morally grey things for malicious intent

    "I have the right to say what I want, and everyone has the right to speak with/for/against my word, and I also should consider wording myself so that I don't come across as insulting/hateful/nasty in my intent."

    Comedy, on the other hand, should definitely fall into Freedom of Speech without the PC police even touching it.

    that's pretty much how I feel.
  7. Yes it is. Freedom of Speech doesn't protect feelings. Don't get me started on terms like whitesplaining and mansplaning. Also EVERYTHING is offensive now. Political correctness is destroying free speech and is trying to elevate women and minorities' opinions over others. No no no. Not how the world works.
  8. TBH from what I read you're coming off as a really aggressive person who's some kind of mutant SJW.

    Just my opinion tho.
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  9. Nah I just dislike political correctness in general. No I'm not a Trump supporter either. If I seem aggressive, I apologize. Sometimes I get too passionate about some things.
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  10. Really short version: You have the legal right to say whatever you want, but it doesn't mean you are immune to criticism. If you say something outrageous or inappropriate, don't be surprised if someone calls you out on it.

    The only time freedom of speech should be overruled is when it violates another right, for instance the press is ordered to not report details on a case because it may put lives in danger.
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  11. Oh shit. It's That Guy T. Be aware that he's a hardcore Libertarian. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but him making a comment on a topic like this is akin to a socialist making a comment on economics, or a Christian making a comment on religion--it's bound to have bias.

    So, first, I am going to define "freedom of speech" and what it means to support it. Because "freedom of speech" is actually a pretty vague concept and can get extremely complicated. (Ex: Person A orders person B to murder person C. Person A is charged with criminal intent, but he or she never actually committed the act, they merely ordered it. This technically violates their freedom of speech. Someone going on TV and telling people how and when to assassinate the President of the United States in grotesque detail is also a crime. Someone proliferating, inspiring, and commanding terrorist actions against other people is also illegal. See how complicated it is?)

    So let's define it via Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since what "free speech" is, differs a little in interpretation from country to country. (Canadian free speech laws are not the same as those in the US.)

    "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

    Now that it's defined, I can move onto supporting it. Which is once again, a bit more complicated than the simplistic black and white That Guy T issues. Not because That Guy T is being facetious here, but because the specific topic he is covering is specifically targeting more egregious and obviously hypocritical stances on the issue. The issue comes into play when Freedom of Speech--a human right--comes into conflict with another human right. Like, say, the right to private property, or the lawful right to prevent harassment. Technically speaking, Iwaku is a privately owned web domain, and at any time, they can terminate your account for any reason they wish. That is technically a suppression of your freedom of speech, but their private property rights come before your freedom of speech in this particular instance.

    Freedom of Speech is an ideal. Divorced from the complexities of reality, one should always support it. However, the real world is not ideal. Some people use Freedom of Speech to stalk, harass, and ruin people's careers--ala Gawker. Some people use Freedom of Speech to issue words of hatred, that incite people to intentional and malicious violence--ala Imams supporting ISIL in an unofficial capacity. Some people use Freedom of Speech to gather hate mobs and begin mass campaigns in the thousands to spam petitions to authorities to get someone arrested, or to employers to get someone fired--ala Social Justice. Some people use Freedom of Speech to spam brainwashing materials for the express purpose of intentionally deceiving and manipulating youth into a pent up, paranoid, borderline psychotic delusion of the world--ala Creationists.

    No matter where you look on the political, religious, or even economic spectrum, you will find extremists who will abuse their rights in any and every capacity to maliciously harm other people.

    I support Freedom of Speech, as a right among other rights. It is neither inferior or superior to those other rights. To judge whether or not one right should take precedence over another is an extremely complicated process, that should be monitored on a case by case basis, to try and create a society which has the broadest spectrum of rights available for individuals.

    Essentially, my support of Freedom of Speech and other rights falls upon the following belief.

    "That the sum total is enriched when the individual parts are liberated, and that the chain of society which binds us all is irreparably damaged when the rights of the one are violated for the convenience of the angry many, or the oligarchic few."

    This means that no one particular right should take precedence over all others. Freedom is only useful if you have the ability to express it. If others can use their freedom to silence yours, then their freedom must be abridged by law to allow you the ability to speak.

    Freedom of Speech should be an inalienable right, to enable as many voices to speak as possible. It should not be used as a rope with which to choke out other beliefs, either through mass mob harassment, or through invitations of violence.

    tl;dr: Yes, I support Freedom of Speech as a human right, equal to other human rights, and abridged whenever it would seem most appropriate to enable a greater sum total of individual human rights.
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  12. Yeah I know about his political stance. I do disagree with him on some things since I'm an Independent. Wait how do YOU know of That Guy T? *eyes ferret suspiciously*
  13. How do you think? I've seen some of his videos.
  14. My post was partially sarcastic but I'm bad at sarcasm.

    I'm in fact mostly disconnected from the real world (aka politics and shocking events which I don't care about, being a minor and all that).

    Continue on with your debate though; my views are perhaps a bit too simplistic for this thread, but it's interesting to hear about others' opinions and arguments.
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  15. that seemed a touch bit rude

    I ASSUME you were being sarcastic or something yes?
  16. Freedom of speech only protects you from getting prosecuted by the government for saying things they don't like or agree with, it doesn't stop other people from trying to suppress what you have to say. As frustrating as it may be sometimes, censorship is not necessarily a violation of freedom of speech, so long as it's not being done by a government organization.

    At least, that's just my opinion.
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  17. Yeah figures. I was just messing with ya :P
  18. Freedom of speech exists to protect speech we don't like. Of course there are some common sense laws (Don't yell " BOMB" in an airport), but otherwise all speech should be protected.
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  19. We should all be allowed to say what we want, but we must also endure what comes from that. I could be more complex and in depth, but you're all jackasses when you do it, so I'm staying succinct.
  20. Hey now! I resemble that remark! I'm at least a sophisticated and elitist jackass! Get it right!
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