Debate Topic: Freedom of Speech

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Debate Topic: Freedom of Speech

Postby Egaladeist » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:18 am

Freedom of Speech: Where your rights end and other's begin

I have supported and will continue to support a person's right to have whatever views they'd like...having a view and acting upon it are two very different things...a person can have any view they like as long as it is simply their view.

I also support and will continue to support the expression of a person's view, no matter how absurd, hostile, or controversial it is ...again...as long as it is just a view openly expressed and not acted upon.

But where do your rights to express a view end and another's rights begin.

Laws exist to protect people from the stupidity of others...that is the very essence of Law. Intelligent/rational/sane people do not need to be restrained by law they are self-restrained.

For instance...a sane person does not need to be told not to murder his neighbor, not to cross the street into on-coming traffic, etc...his intellect will constrain him from acting in an irrational or harmful manner.

In theory anyways.

So...laws exist to prevent people from doing stupid things...like crossing the street into on-coming traffic...they need to be told not to do this, that it could get them killed, injured, injure or kill others, or impeded the flow of traffic...because their mind is not capable of making this determination for themselves.

A self-restrained man does not need laws to restrain him...or to make him act in a rational manner.

The consequence of law however still exists...because often law is enforced by the letter rather than the spirit. For instance, a rational man might see sparse traffic at a distance and determine that it is safe to cross the street, technically he is in violation of the law and could be issued a citation for jaywalking...even though he is following the spirit of the law.

So...laws can limit the ability of a rational man in order to appease the law's attempts to restrain the irrational behavior of others.

In the case of ' views ' how does this relate.

When, if ever, is it appropriate to limit the ability of a person to express his views.

Whose right's must take precedence...the rights of the person expressing views or the listener.

For instance...do we have an obligation in society and as a society to protect the weak from being exposed to views that can be potentially harmful to them.

Free speech already has limits...you cannot say anything libelous or defamatory without potential consequences.

Should we also employ consequences against those who would express views which are potentially harmful to those of weaker mental dispositions. To protect them...as laws protect us from the actions of those who are not restrained themselves.
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Re: Debate Topic: Freedom of Speech

Postby Harbinger » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:04 am

The only language that should be illegal is cohersive speech. Threats of harm, intimidation, and or fraud & deciet--particularly when forming contracts of any sort.

Restricting speech to protect against the unwashed is the ideology of the facist social engineer who is too weak or inept to cope with or overcome the verbalized thoughts of others. Pre-emptively destroying the rights of someone in any degree to ease one's own fears is a definition of tyranny. Pro-active justice is villainy.
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Re: Debate Topic: Freedom of Speech

Postby Aspman » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:11 pm

There isn't actually a right to free speech in the UK.
"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
- Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
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Re: Debate Topic: Freedom of Speech

Postby rapier57 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:22 pm

It is never, in the US, OK to prevent someone from expressing their views. It doesn't matter how stupid or ignorant those views may be (such as Senator candidate Akin's views of rape and a woman's ability to prevent pregnancy).

When the expression, though, evolves from just a view or opinion to outright threats or intimidation, things change. You may not be able to prevent the expression, but you can respond legally to the threat in civil or criminal venues as appropriate.

In the US, views are fine until they cross the line into slander or libel. Slanderous or libelous communication must pass the test of known to be false and made with malicious intent. Fair comment and opinion are not slander or libel.

I'm no attorney, but in my journalism background I had to be very aware of this.

The test for free speech really boils down to how a reasonable person would respond to or consider the view expressed. Still, you have to actually be able to find a reasonable person.
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