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lancellot


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
I think the concept of Freedom of Speech varies from individual to individual, nation to nation and across cultures.

The US and European nations have historical, cultural and legal differences with that. At the end of the day, it is for the people of each nation to decide for themselves

But it is a good discussion topic, if we one day have a one world government. I hope we never do, but who knows.



SimianSavant

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
What counts as a public sphere? Is the Internet included? I will be running for President this year, and some people will be mad and try to repress my campaign ads as disinformation.

Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Well, it depends if you are going to flood Amazon marketplace with rhetoric implying people exercising their freedom to love a consenting adult should not be permitted to do so. That would be an equivalency to the video.

On your own website that people have chosen to visit because they want to know what you stand for and can decide not to visit again, go for it. Just as that pastor could have said what he liked in his own church, and I would like to bet would have been calling the cops if any group had turned up to heckle his sermon.

There's a time and a place to get your dick out. We accept that the high street isn't it, to the point of having legislation which means you can be arrested for it, even if the only thing you do with your dick is get it out.

Why do we accept a legislation that I would bet is common in both our nations, but balk at the idea of legislation respecting people getting their opinions out which are just as offensive to some as dicks are to others and just as inappropriate in the high street?






SimianSavant

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
If I understand what you are saying correctly, there is an enormous difference. Both on the Internet, as well as in a forum like Amazon, users get to choose what kind of content they view (usually). Exposure to public nudity is involuntary. In the US, there is a general offense known as disturbing the peace. This is likely to be interpreted differently by local governments. In a general sense, this seems ideal. Let Amazon decide what they are going to allow on their marketplace, and let your town decide what it allows in its town center, to a point. If your town decides to have a nude bicycle run once a year, word will get around and people can decide whether they want to be there for it or not.

Uh oh, someone didn't know about the nude run and stumbled into it, and now they are scarred for life. Now there is a lawsuit.

Oh no, enough people voted for Harambe in 2024 that neither Biden nor Trump got enough electoral votes for anyone to win. This is obviously why Harambe was shot in 2016.

Some of the more complicated cases are not going to be ones about whether or not there should be free speech, but about which party's free speech trumps the other. If we get to a tort system that lets you sue people for your pain and suffering even if their action was not illegal, things are gonna get messy, and we are pretty much there now with wedding cakes.


CD Richards

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Message edited:

The flip side of that argument is that people being dicks is a lot more common, a lot more harmful and a lot more difficult to eradicate than people breaking the law.

In my observation, many people who are almost exclusively and obsessively concerned with upholding every jot and tittle of the law (as it benefits them, of course) are often the ones who cause the most distress and the most division, and who have the least compassion and empathy.

I'm pretty confident in asserting that the sum-total of misery caused by law-abiding thoughtless and bigoted individuals not minding their own business is several orders of magnitude greater than that caused by criminals.

As one example, many minority groups have appallingly high self-harm and suicide rates due to anxiety and depression caused by people exercising their "free speech". Why should there not be laws to protect these minorities from such heartless and potentially fatal attacks? Or is it the responsibility of the victims to "harden up"? Is it a crime to be sensitive?



Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Having an organised nude bike ride is very different to a random bloke getting his dick out, just as having an organised rally for the religious right is very different to a random bloke shouting in the street. Both the rally and the bike ride would be publicised events.

If I happen to stumble into an event that's been organised and publicised, yes, that's on me. But on a day to day basis, I still think people should feel they can shop without suddenly encountering someone advocating that 'people like them' shouldn't exist.

Here's the thing. It doesn't really bother me, just like nudity doesn't. But I have never been beaten up for being a white heterosexual. It's a bit different when considered from the perspective of a group of people who know only too well that it doesn't stop at words.

You see, it's part of a culture. You can't change what people think or believe. You can't legislate against that. But you can stop it from being perceived as acceptable in society to push those views. Views which, in the not so very distant past, were so accepted that when it went too far and people were getting physically hurt, nobody did much about it, because 'gay bashing' was accepted as ok, because gay people were doing something wrong. People hid their sexuality because of this, because of the attitude. And, ultimately, because Joe bigot Bloggs' right to say what he liked was far more important than Johnny Gay's right to openly be who he really was. Despite the fact that Johnny, by this point, wasn't breaking any laws.

Is it really so much more important that Joe bigot Bloggs' gets to have his say anywhere and everywhere than that Johnny Gay doesn't have to lie about who he is just so he won't get abused?

Whilst I might broadly agree that people get too easily offended, I have a really good memory. I remember when homophobia was an accepted part of British culture, and I remember when gay people had to hide within straight marriages. Not much 'freedom of speech' for them when they can't even admit to who they are, whilst everybody else gets to joke and jeer without consequence.

Come to that, as a young woman growing up in the eighties, I didn't always have much of a voice in some ways, either. Because culturally it was acceptable for men to view my body as their right to comment on, whistle at, etc, I didn't have the freedom to object if I didn't like it. Where was my freedom of speech when speaking out about a male co-worker would potentially lead to me losing my job?

So we put up and shut up so the dominant force in our culture got to have all his freedom at the expense of ours.

Do I think things are going a little too far the other way? Yes. But also I think some of the people banging on about their rights and freedoms maybe don't appreciate how much that freedom has been at the expense of the freedom and rights of other people.

It's a painful process, but hopefully at the end of all this we might see the birth of more freedom for everyone, not just freedom for the culturally and socially dominant 'norm'.

Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Message edited:

Deleted because posted twice, but actually whilst I am here, a word about wedding cakes.  I thought at first that the whole sueing because one shop wouldn't make a cake was ridiculous.


Then I thought about it.  It's another freedom isn't it?  One I would have had as a heterosexual choosing a cake.  I could have gone into any shop, no bother.  Didn't even have to think about it.  Imagine for a moment not having that freedom.  A freedom I took for granted when I got married, only to think it so unimportant when someone else wanted the same freedom when they, legally and lawfully tied the knot.


Made me think a bit about what freedoms I take for granted and why they might be a bit more important to those who don't automatically get that without question.  It's only no big deal to me that someone was refused a cake at a bakery because there wasn't any danger of it happening to me.



CD Richards

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Message edited:

Admittedly, this analogy wouldn't work so well in the US, where the vast majority of the population claims to be religious. In my country, roughly 40% of citizens identify as non-religious.

Can you imagine the uproar if 40% of those making a living from service industries suddenly declined those services to people who expressed religious beliefs that went against their personal ideology?


"Sorry, Mr Jones, I can't mow your grass, you're a Christian, and I'm offended by your beliefs."


"Unfortunately, Mrs Prakesh, we don't accept Hinduism, so we'll be unable to rent you a room."


My mother (a Presbyterian) witnessed this same sort of bigotry when she was a young woman. She entered a building to attend a job interview, saw the sign on the wall that read "Catholics need not apply", and walked out without interviewing.


The list of puerile reasons we humans produce for not being able to get along with one another is mind-blowing.




SimianSavant

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Again it's a trade-off of rights. Someone's right to compel another person to produce a certain type of art for them with which they disagree, verses the other person's right to chose their slant. Why can't people just get revenge through Yelp and leave it be? This works very effectively.

I have never heard of a gay person getting beat up by straight person. More likely for an Asian person to get beat up by [self-censored]. And there seems to be a thing with white teenagers trying to run me down when I am running on the road or in a crosswalk. Not sure why. But I don't know who those people are, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
I agree, Craig. And again, those of us with rather long memories in my own country might recall, 'no hawkers, no blacks, no Irish' on boarding house front doors.

I don't believe any of us here today wouldn't be outraged if businesses were still permitted to openly refuse access to anyone based on race, yet as little as 30 years ago, it was still accepted. It's changed through legislation and I don't think any one of us thinks that is a bad thing. So why, when it comes to gay people, do we still think businesses should have this 'right'?

Is it because we still haven't all got the message that being gay is no more a choice than being black or Irish?

Or is it because it is still held, even in nations with a separate Church and State, that the dominant religion has precedence when it comes to 'rights'?

Ultimately, however much all those of us enjoying the 'freedoms' of the Western world don't like to admit it, our freedom is dictated by those who have the most power. Historically, in my country, that has been people belonging to a certain race, gender and religion. Those people, therefore, have enjoyed the highest level of rights and freedoms my nation has to offer, whilst using their positions to both covertly and overtly ensure that those who aren't the 'right' race, religion or gender never get near to the top.

Now the problem is that, owing to some hard-fought battles, those 'wrong' people have the freedom to get higher up the ladder. And having got there, they get a say in what 'freedom' is. And the minute it restricts the old guard even in the tiniest way in comparison, it's going to be a problem. Even though it isn't about having 'more' rights, it's about what it takes to get the SAME rights.


   
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