Freedom of Speech

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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby schocker » 24 Dec 2019, 21:43

I think that political correctness is a form of suppression and it is constricting free speech.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby ruffdove » 20 Jan 2020, 16:41

A couple of very late thoughs...

- In this debate, one should consider the types of speech. I think most would agree that commercial speech should have its limits. For example, I should NOT be able to say: "Ruffdove brand bottled tap water cures cancer." (Unless of course it does and I have scientifically proven it, but of course it does not). These limits will lead to a few legal absurdities (in the US it is illegal to advertise orange juice as preventing scurvy or water as preventing dehydration because the language ("preventing") would categorize it as a tehnically a "drug." But overall, regulating commercial speech is a good thing.

- Purpose of speech is important as well. Speech used as an adjunct to cmmitting a crime is never all right. I cannot go into a bank and say "I have a gun in my pocket and if you don't fill this bag with $100 bills, I start shooting." And later claim "Hey, I didn't really have a gun, I was just exercising my freedom of speech. It sn't my fault the lady behind the counter mysteriously gifted me a bunch of money! This covers the ISIS recruiting sergeant example. Note that inciting to violence is a crime in most countries.

- Hate speech is subjective and thus leads to stifling of political debate. "Illegal immigrants are all animals and should be shot on sight" is hate speech. It's unhelpful, possibly inciting to violence, and morally reprehensible to most people. "Illegal immigrants commit a crime when they enter this country and they should be apprehended and deported" is a valid political opinion, but I have seen exactly those words called "hate speech" and "racism" by those who disagree and wish to brow beat the speaker into silence.

Hate speech laws (and hate crime laws) are also notoriously uneven. In the US it is basically impossible to commit a hate crime against a white heterosexual Christian or atheist male. Hate crime laws only protect "historically opressed" people, in gross violation of our Constitution's equal protection clause. Tolerance for some is not tolerance at all.

My $0.02 (adjusted for inflation): you're never going to stop real hate speech. The tighter you squeeze the more the people who engage in it will find code words or slang to get around it. Doing so will just make those people harder to identify and keep an eye on, all for the benefit of sticking your head in the sand and acting like stoping words is all it takes to erase hate. Let them self identify so we can either change their hearts or guard against their mischief. The existence of racism and whateverphobia creates a debate. Hate speech laws are the rough equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling shut up! Makes you feel better; does not resolve the debate.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby schocker » 02 Feb 2020, 15:30

ruffdove wrote:A couple of very late thoughs...

- In this debate, one should consider the types of speech. I think most would agree that commercial speech should have its limits. For example, I should NOT be able to say: "Ruffdove brand bottled tap water cures cancer." (Unless of course it does and I have scientifically proven it, but of course it does not). These limits will lead to a few legal absurdities (in the US it is illegal to advertise orange juice as preventing scurvy or water as preventing dehydration because the language ("preventing") would categorize it as a tehnically a "drug." But overall, regulating commercial speech is a good thing.

- Purpose of speech is important as well. Speech used as an adjunct to cmmitting a crime is never all right. I cannot go into a bank and say "I have a gun in my pocket and if you don't fill this bag with $100 bills, I start shooting." And later claim "Hey, I didn't really have a gun, I was just exercising my freedom of speech. It sn't my fault the lady behind the counter mysteriously gifted me a bunch of money! This covers the ISIS recruiting sergeant example. Note that inciting to violence is a crime in most countries.

- Hate speech is subjective and thus leads to stifling of political debate. "Illegal immigrants are all animals and should be shot on sight" is hate speech. It's unhelpful, possibly inciting to violence, and morally reprehensible to most people. "Illegal immigrants commit a crime when they enter this country and they should be apprehended and deported" is a valid political opinion, but I have seen exactly those words called "hate speech" and "racism" by those who disagree and wish to brow beat the speaker into silence.

Hate speech laws (and hate crime laws) are also notoriously uneven. In the US it is basically impossible to commit a hate crime against a white heterosexual Christian or atheist male. Hate crime laws only protect "historically opressed" people, in gross violation of our Constitution's equal protection clause. Tolerance for some is not tolerance at all.

My $0.02 (adjusted for inflation): you're never going to stop real hate speech. The tighter you squeeze the more the people who engage in it will find code words or slang to get around it. Doing so will just make those people harder to identify and keep an eye on, all for the benefit of sticking your head in the sand and acting like stoping words is all it takes to erase hate. Let them self identify so we can either change their hearts or guard against their mischief. The existence of racism and whateverphobia creates a debate. Hate speech laws are the rough equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling shut up! Makes you feel better; does not resolve the debate.



Spot on....I absolutely agree 100%
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby 0wl » 21 Mar 2020, 22:21

I don't think a lot of the examples you give as hate speech happen that often.

I don't think there should be censorship but if people disagree or are upset by what is said they certainly have a right to express that.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby ruffdove » 07 Apr 2020, 06:48

...if people disagree or are upset by what is said they certainly have a right to express that.


I don't think anybody could reasonably disagree with that. It goes to my point about a public debate. Good speech is the proper response to bad speech, not legislation.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby schocker » 08 Apr 2020, 01:09

KingChicken they certainly have the right to reply to any comment. But, the state is placing values on a speech by saying some speech is OK while another speech isn't because it is hateful. The problem is who gets to decide whether my speech is hate speech or not? Some want to expand that definition to silence others.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby V » 08 Apr 2020, 02:37

schocker wrote:KingChicken they certainly have the right to reply to any comment. But, the state is placing values on a speech by saying some speech is OK while another speech isn't because it is hateful. The problem is who gets to decide whether my speech is hate speech or not? Some want to expand that definition to silence others.


Yes, it’s difficult. I lived & worked in 6 different African countries over 12 years from the early 80’s. I saw lots of stuff that my cosy European upbringing had not prepared me for, at the tender age of mid-twenties.
When I returned to Europe many friends asked me about those experiences & I had come to the conclusion by then, that although all individuals are created equal, all cultures are definitely not. It’s not a matter they are just different, some are categorically so primitive, they aren’t even remotely comparable to European cultures. They are inferior.
Of course this is just a personal view & not worth discussing unless specifically asked by someone with whom it is worth holding such a discussion. It’s getting pretty close to what is currently described as “hate” speech, although no hatred is involved, just an honest, considered & informed judgement. It’s definitely not a line of conversation I would now wish to follow in all locations, even though I know it’s true. Sometimes silence is advisable & the truth isn’t said. As you say who draws the line.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby schocker » 10 Apr 2020, 17:03

In my neighborhood here in Tx, there was an event some 20 years ago where several boys or young men (17, and 18 years old) pulled a hateful prank. They burned a cross in the front yard of a black family's house. Now my neighborhood is completely integrated and really has no tensions so to speak. I have a Hispanic neighbor across the street and an Indian up a couple house and blacks a few houses away. It has been like this since I moved here in 87. It is an upper-middle-class subdivision. Those young men were busted for their prank. What do you think their penalty would be? One got 20 years in federal prison and the other being younger got much less. It was a hate crime. I think that the punishment was overly harsh. They should be punished but really 20 years? I think murderers get away with less.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby V » 10 Apr 2020, 18:02

schocker wrote:In my neighborhood here in Tx, there was an event some 20 years ago where several boys or young men (17, and 18 years old) pulled a hateful prank. They burned a cross in the front yard of a black family's house. Now my neighborhood is completely integrated and really has no tensions so to speak. I have a Hispanic neighbor across the street and an Indian up a couple house and blacks a few houses away. It has been like this since I moved here in 87. It is an upper-middle-class subdivision. Those young men were busted for their prank. What do you think their penalty would be? One got 20 years in federal prison and the other being younger got much less. It was a hate crime. I think that the punishment was overly harsh. They should be punished but really 20 years? I think murderers get away with less.


This could rapidly change from “Freedom of Speech” to the “Crime & Punishment” thread. For my part I believe punishments are for deterrent purposes & little else. It’s for analysts to determine how severe we have to be to deter recurrence (by the individual & others emulating the offence). If crime is not being suppressed, up the penalties.
I don’t believe the police can deter crime by enforcement. The courts deter crime by penalties. The cops (hopefully) merely catch the offender, not prevent the offence.
I lived in a country where rape carried a mandatory hanging sentence (with extremely few exceptions for clemency). Rape was almost unknown. The law was changed & now in that particular country it’s almost a national sport, with rapes of children commonplace. Why have a law if the sentencing is so modest it becomes ignored.

Was 20 years too much? Don’t know, it can’t be too hard to find out what sentence deters cross burning. Once we know, use it. My complaint is that so many other factors have become more important than deterrence (like culprit rights) that sentencing has become close to random. Laws regarding crime are for the protection of society, not the perpetrator.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby ruffdove » 12 Jun 2020, 20:08

V wrote:Was 20 years too much? Don’t know, it can’t be too hard to find out what sentence deters cross burning. Once we know, use it.


You might want to reconsider that stance. First, no sentence, no matter how draconian, will deter all crime simply because most criminals either believe they will get away with it, or they're so stupid/angry/crazy that they don't think about consequences at all. Second, there is a big moral price to pay for draconian measures. It's why the United States has the 8th Amendment. Consider two possible outcomes...

You have an 18 year old dickhead from a well-to-do background (I assume he's from your upper middle class neighborhood) who got bored or drunk one night and thought it would be edgy/rebellious/exciting to act out some atavistic, racist Kabuki theater on some poor family's lawn. You have two options:

1. Slap him with 300 hours of community service, make him apologize face to face to the people he tried to terrorize and listen to their response, and put a mark on his record that can only be lived down through years of good deeds.

Result: You get a very contrite 18-year old whose parents (probably) come down on him like ten tons of shit, who probably feels like crap for how he made his neighbors feel, and who will do virtually anything to get his life back on track.

2. Put him in prison for a 20 year sentence, of which he will serve about half.

Result: Ten years from now you get a committed 28-year old white supremacist out on the street who had to join the Aryan Nation and cover himself with swastikas in order to survive prison, who has been acclimated to extreme violence, who will never have the life he was headed for before his bad decision, and who most likely blames his situation on black people.

Draconian measures for people who do things you abhor always sound good, and they make you feel good when you implement them, but that doesn't mean they're a good idea.
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