Freedom of Speech

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Freedom of Speech

Postby beowulf7 » 28 Aug 2019, 16:33

What does "Freedom of Speech" mean?

What it is it that the speech is "free" from? Restrictions? Repercussions? Responsibility?

Does "Freedom of Speech" give you the right to be deliberately offensive? To preach hate?

Are there no boundaries?

(Please be aware of the differences between USA and the rest of the world about the level of legal protection - arguments based on "constitutional rights" will be discarded (as the only apply in USA and serve to disguise the underlying beliefs)
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby Strategus » 28 Aug 2019, 20:22

beowulf7 wrote:What does "Freedom of Speech" mean?

What it is it that the speech is "free" from? Restrictions? Repercussions? Responsibility?

Does "Freedom of Speech" give you the right to be deliberately offensive? To preach hate?

Are there no boundaries?

(Please be aware of the differences between USA and the rest of the world about the level of legal protection - arguments based on "constitutional rights" will be discarded (as the only apply in USA and serve to disguise the underlying beliefs)

Define freedom.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby joe92 » 28 Aug 2019, 21:51

Strategus wrote:
beowulf7 wrote:What does "Freedom of Speech" mean?

What it is it that the speech is "free" from? Restrictions? Repercussions? Responsibility?

Does "Freedom of Speech" give you the right to be deliberately offensive? To preach hate?

Are there no boundaries?

(Please be aware of the differences between USA and the rest of the world about the level of legal protection - arguments based on "constitutional rights" will be discarded (as the only apply in USA and serve to disguise the underlying beliefs)

Define freedom.

His point is literally for us to define freedom...
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby Strategus » 28 Aug 2019, 22:20

Can't you do it?
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby DavidMaletsky » 29 Aug 2019, 01:18

The freedom I think you’re asking about is the freedom to express oneself without fear of censure.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby DavidMaletsky » 29 Aug 2019, 01:24

Further, offensiveness is subjective; what you find offensive, others may not, and vice versa.

Hate is more complicated; probably it should be censurable, but there are slippery slope concerns about policing intent.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby DavidMaletsky » 29 Aug 2019, 01:29

Definition of freedom for this context is probably something like not being subject to external control.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby beowulf7 » 29 Aug 2019, 14:26

Ok, let's explore that a bit

"without fear of censure". Why is that a requirement? In US it is but outside US there are limits. Is freedom to speak without "fear of censure" any different to absolving the speaker of responsibility for the consequences. If I say "I think immigrants should be shot", am I free of any responsibility when someone quotes me and then does exactly that? Or is everyone assuming that "free" speech actually has limits? US (generally) is the "land of personal responsibility" yet you dont have to be responsible for the outcome of what you say?

"Offensiveness" - A wiser man than me (on here) used to say "you don't have the right to not be offended". A bit of a mouthful but nonetheless true. Otherwise religious rules start to clamp down on everything. But, on the other hand, is society really benefiting by giving me the right to stand in the Church and shout "you're all idiots! There Is No God! The Church is a haven for pedophiles!". I offend people all the time and I am offended by others. If I was fined for being rude but allowed to be rude - is that still"free speech"?

"Hate should be censured - maybe" So we start to move towards boundaries :)

The "Slippery slope" argument is often a bit misguided. Few things in the world are binary and most are spectrumed (certainly social stuff). USA sits closer to "free speech" than most but even there you try bad mouthing the government, wiki-leaking, etc and you see there are limits. Europe generally tends to restrict things (but ironically not the things the US does) so is somewhere on your slope but seems to have no problem or momentum towards complete control.

I guess I come back to the same place - why is censuring hate speech, or speech likely to cause a breach of the peace (UK) a bad thing? What do we lose by standing on that slope?
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby schocker » 29 Aug 2019, 15:23

As you are aware, the banning of speech whether it is hate or just offensive will then requires somebody to determine what speech fits that definition. That is the problem. Who gets to censure that speech? The government? The courts? With any selection there are problems. This is also the problem with "red flag" laws which are being proposed in the US. Who gets to flag that student? The AP, a teacher, parents of other students? With each of these propsals we as a society are proposing to restrict freedom for some greater good but at what cost.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby WHSeward » 29 Aug 2019, 15:33

beowulf7 wrote:"without fear of censure". Why is that a requirement? In US it is but outside US there are limits. Is freedom to speak without "fear of censure" any different to absolving the speaker of responsibility for the consequences. If I say "I think immigrants should be shot", am I free of any responsibility when someone quotes me and then does exactly that? Or is everyone assuming that "free" speech actually has limits? US (generally) is the "land of personal responsibility" yet you dont have to be responsible for the outcome of what you say?


That characterization of US legal and social attitudes toward speech is just wrong. Getting a handle on the social aspects would be a long slog, but you can research the legal aspects quickly enough with a google search. Try

"First amendment liable"
Or
"First amendment limitations"

I always recommend the "site:.edu" qualifier to weed out some chaff on research of that nature.
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