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Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
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Harambe, it's always been a trade off of rights. At some point it was bound to happen that those who, in that trade-off have always come off worst because they haven't been in positions of authority have fought their way into a position where they can influence things so the trade off is not quite so biased against them.


 


Edited to add- your example of youths on bikes is interesting. You say you can't do anything about it.  Now imagine that wasn't because you didn't know who they were, but it was because their freedom to do that superceded your freedom to run.  Because the law would never be on your side, you keep quiet and put up with it.  Maybe you even stopped running because it became so bad you felt your life was in danger.  But because people thought you shouldn't be running in the first place, even though it wasn't illegal for you to run, nobody really cared about it.  And because nobody else cares about your rights, those boys don't either.   Then, one day, somebody says, 'well actually, you know what?  You live here too.  You aren't doing anything wrong.  You running isn't causing them physical harm.  There's a way you can fight this'.  Would you really not take it?  Would you really just say, 'well, I am happy to trade their right to harrass me for my safety and that of all other runners?'





SimianSavant

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
We have federal hate crime laws for that in the US. They are very messy. How do you know that person of race X did something to person of race Y because of their race? I haven't been killed YET in a crosswalk. This is not likely the sort of crime one can penalize/enforce until after the fact. Unless we put up cameras everywhere, like in England. Well we are probably getting to that.

One time I was driving and recognized a car that had swerved at me while I was running on the road. I followed that white asshole back to his house, and thought of what I could have done to him with that knowledge. And decided to leave it be. Too many people in the South have guns.

Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
On the camera thing, to be fair, it isn't quite as it seems. Half of them don't work,.

No, you can't tell if it's a hate crime unless you have several witnesses, so yes, it's messy. But you also can't tell if a rape accusation is genuine if there weren't independent witnesses, which is often the case. Should we not have that law either, because that's also messy? I mean, for a long time you couldn't accuse your husband of rape at all and rape cases so rarely went in the victim's favour we might as well not have had that law, but still...

The point is hate crimes were once overt in my country. I can't speak for yours. It wasn't that people didn't know they were hate crimes, it was that people didn't care because they were crimes against those considered 'less than'.

At one time, there were a lot of 'gay bashing' crimes. The victims knew damn well why they were getting beaten up, it was usually because it started with, 'oi, you dirty poofter', or some such. Whilst the victims knew, getting someone else to understand it and care about it was a lot harder. So, like rape, a lot of people just didn't bother reporting it.

There's fewer crimes like that now, because more people are listening and learning it's not acceptable in society any more. And that starts with people understanding how the language we use towards and about others, and how that language is perceived in society shapes our view. If we consider it acceptable to preach in the street that certain people shouldn't be allowed to practice for e.g homosexuality, we're perpetuating an ideology that says a person is 'less than' because of something beyond their control.

We have already seen what happens when those of us unaffected by it stand by and say it isn't a problem simply because it's not a problem for US. I would like the people for whom it has been a problem to be able to say so and feel they have the power to do something about it, instead of having to suck it up because the people who don't have the problem get to make all the decisions regarding who gets priority in the trade-off.

And that IS starting to happen. Of course, those used to getting the priority don't like it, despite the fact that all they are losing is their ability to be asshats, which really doesn't affect their day to day life in quite the same way as having to lie just so you get a choice of cake.

No, I don't think the guy in the video should have been jailed, but I also know the law in this country, and he would have got a fine at worst anyway. If he (which we don't know, just as we don't know what he actually said from the video) is one of those people who thinks gay people shouldn't be permitted to be openly gay, I would wonder how he would really square that with his idea that HE should be free to be who he IS.

There will always be a trade-off, because freedom is an illusion when we don't live in a vacuum and have to mix with others every day. You can't please everyone, but the trade-off has been weighted so heavily in favour in one direction, the balance needed to be addressed. It's hard to get that balance and it will be worse before it's better, but maybe those of us who have always had certain freedoms need to get over the tragedy of not having it all our own way.


SimianSavant

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
I'm a bit tight on time at the moment to offer a comprehensive reply. Part of the value of free speech is not just folks speaking up for themselves, but a free media where anyone can speak up for anyone. When that freedom is limited at all, we get situations like this: silenced opposition to the machine.

That's why I'll continue to argue for minimum regulation of speech. The limitation/regulation of it happens largely within its various platforms, eg all the humans and AI tools scrubbing out pedo videos on Facebook. Someone says something obscene? They might lose fans. We have sanitation laws designed to limit what children are exposed to.


Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
But whilst the media is still owned by rich old white guys, without legislation, there are whole sections of society that are still silenced against the machine. Because you must see they ARE the machine.

It's getting better, but ONLY because legislation is helping the rest of us to have a voice.

The machine doesn't want all of us to have a voice. That's why it shuts down any attempt to allow it through legislation. Because without legislation, it knows it can carry on as before, making sure it can say what it likes about those of us who aren't rich white males affiliated to the dominant religion without fear of reprisal.

The media isn't 'free'. It's owned, not by the government but by people who have enough money and influence to whisper in the government's ear.

And people think owners of the machine like Elon Musk are all about 'free speech', they aren't. They are about perpetuating the status quo, shutting down the new voices we have been hearing by telling everyone how dangerous they are and what a big threat it is to 'freedom' when legislation gives the people who never had this luxury a bit of space to open their mouths.

They don't care about everyone's freedom. They only care about keeping the freedom in the hands of those who always had it at the expense of those who never did.




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lancellot


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Wow!


Bananafish308

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Hmmm, I've been debating putting in my two cents since the start of this thread. The importance of this subject (especially in the current social and political climate) cannot be overstated. I have much to say on the topic (not surprising, I'm sure), but still haven't decided if it is worth the time and effort.

I will say now, though, that I think any reasonable, honest discussion on freedom of speech has to start with an understanding of what each party considers types of speech not protected by freedom of speech.

So, I pose this question to both Harambe and Lancelot: Do you believe there should be ANY limits to free speech, or do you feel a person should be able to say whatever they want, whenever they want, regardless of the consequences to others? If you do believe there are limits, what are they?

This is a specific question and it should be easy for any person who has given the subject serious thought to give a specific, direct answer.








Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
I know it sounds like I finally flipped and joined the tin foil hat brigade but...
I keep coming back to Harambe's wedding cake example.
Two people who have only recently been granted a freedom most of us take for granted - to marry the person they love - want a cake. Unlike the heterosexual majority, who have always been able to marry another consenting adult, they find that it's not even that simple to buy a cake, despite their new found freedom.
They want to take a stand against this prejudice, because, emboldened by their new found freedom to do what everyone else has been doing for centuries, they can. They don't have to hide. They don't have to lie any more.
So because they can take a stand, they do. They use a legal process that is available to them to challenge the bakery.
And a lot of people who never had that problem, never even needed to think about it, think this action is unreasonable. Myself included, for a while.
Why? Given the history of the situation, it isn't just about one couple and one bakery, it's about making a stand for an entire demographic that has had to put up with a lot of shit and has had enough.
Harambe commendably spoke of the media being able to stand up for other people, yet at the same time, takes issue with two people using a legal process to stand up for their rights. A legal process, I might add, that might not have gone in their favour.
If you want an example of 'silenced against the machine', the backlash in the media against the cake-buyers is a perfect example.
How dare those uppity gays demand a cake from a shop that makes cakes'.

It's not about the cake. It's about acceptance. It's about freedom. If we really are going to say it's wrong to fight for your right to buy a cake in a cake shop, then are we really pro 'freedom'? Do we really think every shop should be able to discriminate like this? Didn't a whole bunch of people fight for a very long time to beat the idea that businesses could refuse service based on long-standing prejudice?

Whilst it might seem this has got away from freedom of speech, it all has the same root. That gentleman in the video probably doesn't go a bundle on gay marriage. He may well be perfectly fine with it being a criminal offence for two gay people to marry. He may be one of those who thinks, 'ok, be gay, but keep it to yourselves'. Not exactly an advocate for freedom, then, wouldn't you say? And he's always been able to voice that view, whilst others with the opposite view have been...silenced.

The fact is, the censoring of voices we don't want to hear is hardly new. It's just that the traditional censors no longer have the monopoly on that censorship. It would be great if the monopoly could be challenged without having to resort to the tactics used by those who have silenced generations who don't believe in the right god, love the right people or who are of the right colour.

Scarbrems


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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
Hi, Banana, our posts must have crossed. Interesting thread, isn't it?

CD Richards

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RE: Why Freedom of speech is so important.
I too would love to hear Lancelott and Harambe's answer to Bill's question.

What I question, more than whether people should have a right to say anything they like, regardless of the consequences, is *why* they feel a need to do so.

What is it about us that makes us so determined to find fault with the activity of other humans that has absolutely no effect on us? I might find another person's behaviour, practices, or even their thoughts and beliefs undesirable or unacceptable (for me); but if such beliefs and behaviour pose no threat of harm to anyone other than the person(s) doing or thinking those things, what business is it of mine?

And why, for Pete's sake, does anyone feel a need to publicly deride others who think or act differently from themselves?

I have some suspicions. Firstly, is it all about insecurity in our own personal ethics? Do we feel a need to put others down in order to convince ourselves that our beliefs and lives are superior to theirs? Secondly, does it appeal to some primitive tribal instinct which demands that those who are not "one of us" must be our enemies?

Only so much can be achieved by legislation. Before we can call ourselves truly "evolved", humans must voluntarily become more inclined to work together and celebrate our shared hopes and interests instead of constantly seeking to drive a wedge between each other.

I believe there is some evidence of this, particularly in generations that have arrived after my own. A large number of younger people are more accepting and less judgmental of others. Unfortunately, accompanying this there is also a strong and vocal movement in the opposite direction.

I'd love to be a time traveler, able to jump 100 years into the future, and see what the human population of 2124 looks like, if it exists at all.

   
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