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1 Rightwingconspirator  Jan 15, 2015 8:56:59am

Hello Jimmah!

Free speech is a principle well preserved here in the states. When the KKK publishes or marches it enjoys not just the 1st Amendment but also the ACLU etc. Not sure exactly how the EU handles that, just aware of some specific illegalities like pro Nazi speech or icons.

The discussion at least in my view about content rings out as a separate bell note. People that are offended by some of that content have every right to refrain from buying or viewing and enjoy the right to object themselves.

Given our history as I point out above with the KKK, we can and do call out some content as racist and offensive and despicable. Should a terror attack make me hesitate to note that in my view Charlie Hebdo is a horrible little rag? One that if it had simply gone away absent any violence I would not miss one bit? I say not. We must be able to support the right and still sometimes despise objectionable content.

2 KerFuFFler  Jan 15, 2015 9:12:26am

re: #1 Rightwingconspirator

Should a terror attack make me hesitate to note that in my view Charlie Hebdo is a horrible little rag? One that if it had simply gone away absent any violence I would not miss one bit? I say not. We must be able to support the right and still sometimes despise objectionable content.

Exactly so. And furthermore, people who despise the ‘objectionable’ content must be as free to express their thoughts as the purveyors of the original ‘objectionable’ content. Just because someone was inexcusably attacked for expressing offensive images does not mean that those same images and the rationale for publishing them become immune from criticism.

3 CriticalDragon1177  Jan 15, 2015 9:28:09am

re: #1 Rightwingconspirator

Excellent point.

4 Prof. Backpfeifengesicht, PhD  Jan 15, 2015 12:39:04pm

Freedom of speech cannot be absolute, and it’s not absolute in the US. It’s just the speech that is for some reason not free is said not to be covered by the 1st amdt. But it’s still a limitation.

5 goddamnedfrank  Jan 15, 2015 1:51:29pm

re: #4 Prof. Backpfeifengesicht, PhD

Freedom of speech cannot be absolute, and it’s not absolute in the US. It’s just the speech that is for some reason not free is said not to be covered by the 1st amdt. But it’s still a limitation.

I’d also say that while FoS is an awesome ideal, especially with regards to publishing rights where generally nobody can ever be made to consume content against their will, it is also a very new arrival on the world stage. One can recognize the ethical superiority of the live and let live operating philosophy behind freedom of speech, and yet still acknowledge that the western democracies that champion this right are themselves the outliers, and that this concept doesn’t have much historical inertia behind it as yet.

This doesn’t legitimize the reaction in any way, but put it in context. If personal freedom and secular government were easy they would already be the default state for human societies. Instead these concepts run very much against humanity’s baser and more deeply engrained instincts.

6 Aye Pod  Jan 15, 2015 2:29:47pm

re: #4 Prof. Backpfeifengesicht, PhD

Freedom of speech cannot be absolute, and it’s not absolute in the US. It’s just the speech that is for some reason not free is said not to be covered by the 1st amdt. But it’s still a limitation.

Shouting “Fire!” in the theatre right? Well of course, but he is responding to people who think they can deny your freedom of speech by lobbing an adjective at it. Once we say that you can say anything except that which some person or persons finds offensive (and how much more persuasive this argument always seems to become when backed up with violence) then anything can become unsayable. That’s why it has to be, in this sense “absolute”.

7 EPR-radar  Jan 15, 2015 2:51:53pm

re: #5 goddamnedfrank

I’d also say that while FoS is an awesome ideal, especially with regards to publishing rights where generally nobody can ever be made to consume content against their will, it is also a very new arrival on the world stage. One can recognize the ethical superiority of the live and let live operating philosophy behind freedom of speech, and yet still acknowledge that the western democracies that champion this right are themselves the outliers, and that this concept doesn’t have much historical inertia behind it as yet.

This doesn’t legitimize the reaction in any way, but put it in context. If personal freedom and secular government were easy they would already be the default state for human societies. Instead these concepts run very much against humanity’s baser and more deeply engrained instincts.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more cautious about criticizing anti-free speech laws that seem to have a solid basis (e.g., anti-Nazi laws in Germany). It’s very hard to say when, if ever, such laws should be ended.


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