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Old 2008-12-30, 21:54   Link #41
Zakuraa
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The only time it is not okay is if it infringes on other peoples' rights. Weither it be peace, or respect. Expressing yourself shouldn't go as far as(for example) dressing 'Nazi like' near a Jewish population, just because your ancestors were nazi's. Yes they may've been, but you're disturbing peace that shouldn't be disturbed.



Get what I mean? I'm sucky at explaining things, but I hope you got the gist of it.
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Old 2008-12-30, 22:22   Link #42
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I can see a case for "anything goes", and I don't necessary object to it. But, there will be consequences, and if a majority thinks that they can deal with the fallout, then go ahead.
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Old 2008-12-30, 22:29   Link #43
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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
I don't see how that is a problem.

Case 1: If you happen to live in a neighbor where the others are as dumb as apes, you should move elsewhere. With such condition, even if nothing provokes them, sh** will happen.
That would be a solution: Walk away rather than argue with idiots spewing hateful nonsense.

Except that this isn't practical in most real-life cases. When you are tied down by obligations to job, friends and family, you can't simply pull up roots to move somewhere else. And let's not forget that there are many millions of people who are too poor to move, even if they wanted to. They are stuck where they are, like it or not, and they have to learn to live with circumstances as best as they can.

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Originally Posted by escimo View Post
I find offering censorship as a solution quite shortsighted. Sure speech is a powerful tool that can be used in extent that it becomes a lethal weapon but it's still one of the fundamental foundations of democracy.
What do you feel about self-censorship?

Because, while this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakuraa View Post
The only time it is not okay is if it infringes on other peoples' rights. Weither it be peace, or respect. Expressing yourself shouldn't go as far as(for example) dressing 'Nazi like' near a Jewish population, just because your ancestors were nazi's. Yes they may've been, but you're disturbing peace that shouldn't be disturbed.
...would be considered common courtesy and decent sense to some, others will see it as self-censorship.

Absolute freedom of expression means the freedom to say absolutely anything you want, without care about the consequences.
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Old 2008-12-30, 22:34   Link #44
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Originally Posted by Zakuraa View Post

Get what I mean? I'm sucky at explaining things, but I hope you got the gist of it.
Yes. But you can't make a law about that; as there are cases that people don't agree upon, like the drawing of the Prophet. The only thing you can make a law about is giving people free speech except when it violates other people's rights.
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Old 2008-12-30, 22:44   Link #45
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The cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed are excellent examples of the practical difficulties in defining what constitutes free speech, individual rights and respect for your neighbours' feelings.

To the Danish, the cartoons were ok — a valid expression of their collective opinion about Islam. But to Muslims (in Denmark and not just the rest of the world), they were blasphemous and a gross affront to their sensibilities.

Trouble is, why should religious sensibility be considered a right? What makes your religion so special that I can't insult it when I feel that it's really stupid and deserves ridicule?

So you see, "freedom of speech" doesn't imply total freedom at all — it was never meant to. Great power comes with the freedom to say whatever you want, but along with that power, comes the responsibility to say it as sensibly, and as tactfully, as you can.
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Old 2008-12-30, 23:09   Link #46
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That would be a solution: Walk away rather than argue with idiots spewing hateful nonsense.

Except that this isn't practical in most real-life cases. When you are tied down by obligations to job, friends and family, you can't simply pull up roots to move somewhere else. And let's not forget that there are many millions of people who are too poor to move, even if they wanted to. They are stuck where they are, like it or not, and they have to learn to live with circumstances as best as they can.
But don't you agree that if it were the case, freedom of speech should be the least of your problems? And maybe, just maybe, in that pit of a society, even words of a fool contain the truth?
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Old 2008-12-30, 23:15   Link #47
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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
But don't you agree that if it were the case, freedom of speech should be the least of your problems? And maybe, just maybe, in that pit of a society, even words of a fool contain the truth?
No, I don't agree. The lack of free expression is often at the heart of such problems. I'm thinking of the impoverished people of Pakistan in particular, who live under the restrictions of their village mullahs, most of whom have confused tribal customs with Islam. Their women are locked away, prisoners in their own societies, unable to get an education, let alone contribute to their communities' progress.

Is it any wonder then that the country is locked in fundamentalist strains of Islam, and has become one of the leading places in the world for producing radicalised militants?
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Old 2008-12-30, 23:25   Link #48
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But then what is the reason to take their freedom of speech away? If their 'spiteful' expressions can cause such a chaos, then maybe they have a point or maybe the society they dwell are facing dire problems.
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Old 2008-12-30, 23:38   Link #49
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

So you see, "freedom of speech" doesn't imply total freedom at all — it was never meant to. Great power comes with the freedom to say whatever you want, but along with that power, comes the responsibility to say it as sensibly, and as tactfully, as you can.
On the contrary, such freedom is based on power. If the power of those who support it is greater than those who oppose it, the freedom stands, and vice versa. And if the one exercising such freedom of speech has great enough power, he can do away with the responsibility of using it whatsoever. However, this is highly unlikely and exists only where a group of people repress another.

In short, when I am powerful enough, I can say whatever I want without regard for the fallout. If I can crush those who might react negatively to my words, then what is there to worry about? So in a repressive society, it is the power who exercises "freedom of speech"

and when these P.C. scumbags attain this power, their "inoffensive" viewpoint is the only one left unchallenged.
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Old 2008-12-31, 00:02   Link #50
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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
On the contrary, such freedom is based on power. If the power of those who support it is greater than those who oppose it, the freedom stands, and vice versa.
True, but you've slightly misread what I meant: With expression comes the power to oppose those who wish to crush it.

Even the mightiest brute currently in power needed, at one time, to use his powers of persuasion to gather his own minions.

Regardless of how oppressive a regime you live in, you are always free to speak your mind provided you are willing to live with the (potentially fatal) consequences.

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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
But then what is the reason to take their freedom of speech away? If their 'spiteful' expressions can cause such a chaos, then maybe they have a point or maybe the society they dwell are facing dire problems.
That's precisely the problem: One man's meat is another man's poison.

What's wrong with giving women education and access to jobs? But to the conservative mullahs of Pakistan, that is akin to the greatest sin to them, their women must be kept chaste, away from the corruption of society.

When you can't even read your alphabet, what can you hope to express?
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Old 2008-12-31, 00:16   Link #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That would be a solution: Walk away rather than argue with idiots spewing hateful nonsense.

Except that this isn't practical in most real-life cases. When you are tied down by obligations to job, friends and family, you can't simply pull up roots to move somewhere else. And let's not forget that there are many millions of people who are too poor to move, even if they wanted to. They are stuck where they are, like it or not, and they have to learn to live with circumstances as best as they can.



What do you feel about self-censorship?

Because, while this:



...would be considered common courtesy and decent sense to some, others will see it as self-censorship.

Absolute freedom of expression means the freedom to say absolutely anything you want, without care about the consequences.
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Yes. But you can't make a law about that; as there are cases that people don't agree upon, like the drawing of the Prophet. The only thing you can make a law about is giving people free speech except when it violates other people's rights.
You both have good points but, there's a line where it can be taken too far, and a bit too...yeah. There's a difference in having Freedom Of Expression, and just being downright wrong and using it as a way to be disrespectful.
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Old 2008-12-31, 00:23   Link #52
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Originally Posted by Zakuraa View Post
...there's a line where it can be taken too far, and a bit too...yeah. There's a difference in having Freedom Of Expression, and just being downright wrong and using it as a way to be disrespectful.
What line?

Disrespectful expression is still expression. The things I want to say to a dictactor would hardly seem respectful to him, I suspect.

In the end, I think too many people talk about the "freedom of expression" in academic terms. On the ground, the reality is different; is dynamic. When you exercise tact, judgement and a good sense of timing, a single word is all you need to effect change.
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Old 2008-12-31, 02:18   Link #53
Anh_Minh
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I find offering censorship as a solution quite shortsighted. Sure speech is a powerful tool that can be used in extent that it becomes a lethal weapon but it's still one of the fundamental foundations of democracy. Censorship is an extremely dangerous path to be treading on, as it grants the power even absolute power to control what ideals can be put through to the masses. That holds a temptation that very few will be strong enough to oppose. Assuming that they even wish to.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I've yet to see a single example where censorship wouldn't have been used to further the causes of those in power.

When the voice of opposition is suppressed the result is dictatorship, oligarchy or some other form of government not so pleasant for those who disagree with it's views. And even if the censorship is controlled by the majority where does that leave the minorities.

I think it'd be foolish to think that you could find someone who could objectively base the decisions concerning censorship on morality alone. Personal or popular agendas will come to play. I believe it to be inevitable. So regardless the fact that freedom of speech causes problems, I find the alternative far more frightening.
We have censorship here. We're still in a democracy. (Where, by the way, the President needs the popular vote to get elected. Just saying.) You see, when I say censorship, I don't mean "censorship of whatever the current government doesn't like". There are limits on what we censor - basically, hate speeches. What you're doing is either a straw man or a slippery slope argument.

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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
No. What you want is people to impose laws to stop the people who oppose their viewpoint under the guise of public safety. Dictators take advantage of that. Basically, your argument is we must stop these people at all costs, even if we violate certain constitutional rights in the process. That's exactly what I don't like... The use of legislation to impose on people.

Now I have a question:
1. Did all people who read Mein Kampf become little Hitlers? Because if not then the problem is not Hitler, but the idiot who read him.
The problem is that there are a lot of idiots. One must take that into account, when writing policy.
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Originally Posted by iLney View Post
I don't see how that is a problem.

Case 1: If you happen to live in a neighbor where the others are as dumb as apes, you should move elsewhere. With such condition, even if nothing provokes them, sh** will happen.

Case 2: you happen to live in a place where everyone else thinks differently than you do. You should either move somewhere else or adapt.

Case 3: you live in a place where the government and the economy are messed up. In other words, the people must live in rubbish which in turn emits CH4, and a single spark could cause the whole thing to explode. This is inevitable. Again, you would better move elsewhere or join the revolution.

Case 4: you live in a place where the economy is next to non-existence but the government puts everything under its iron heels effectively. Now this is paradise! No one has the right to say anything....

Case 5: you live a place where the economy is at its apex. Jobs are plentiful, incomes are desirable by other nations, the overall quality of life is high and your government doesn't mess up with others. In this condition, I don't think there would be enough carebears to pose a threat to the society.

........

The bottom line is if a random speech can seriously cause trouble for a community, then that community has tons of other problems and it can be safely inferred that the mentioned speech is just a direct consequence.
As TRL said, moving isn't always an option. Especially when you'd pretty much have to move to a whole different country. It also begs the question of where to move to.

And I agree on one point: Freedom of Speech, on its own, is not a problem. If everything else is perfect, hate speeches won't find purchase. But reality is cruel: everything else is imperfect. We have plenty of problems which won't go away with a snap of the fingers. A government can hope some censorship of the most radical, most violent opinions will at least quell some of the aggravating factors.


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Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
But that is how reality right now.
No, in reality, we have laws forbidding murder. We don't merely count on people being smart and not wanting to live in a society of killers. We don't count on people being afraid of their potential victims' loved ones.

Quote:
We have enough common sense that is why we do not choose anarchy. The consequences of killing someone is so huge that not enough people kill each other for society to become anarchy. It's all checks and balances.
And funnily enough, common sense is also why we have censorship.


Quote:
We do, and the laws never forbid, at least not in my constitution. The commandments say thou must not, while the laws say if p then q. If you don't want q to happen to you then for the love of God (other spiritual beings, etc...), don't do p. Back to the freedom of expression thing, all we have to do is make the consequences unfavorable enough for people to rethink some actions.
So you're for censorship, then? Because that's what it is. Writing laws making it unpleasant to say or publish stuff the government has decided is forbidden. (And no, it doesn't necessarily, or even often, mean any and all contrary opinion.)

Quote:
In summary: Yes to absolute freedom, but it's we who must decide if the consequences are worth it instead of some laws restricting us to express them.
Wait, you're not. What the hell are you even trying to say?

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Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Yes, speech can be a powerful and dangerous tool in the wrong hands. That's why it's important for others to also speak up to counter those who would use it for ill. Sure there will always be people who abuse freedoms, and those people should be punished. However, that doesn't mean others should have their freedoms restricted to stop those who would abuse them from causing harm.

It's up to the rest of us to make sure that those with hateful views are marginalized as much as possible. However, I think they should still have the right to express those views. When someone acts on those views, then punish them. When they try to spread their views, expose them for what they really are. Simply forbidding someone from expressing such views isn't going to change their mind about it. It'll just drive them underground. They'll still find an audience, but even if it's smaller, that audience won't be exposed to opposing viewpoints as often and may become more radicalized.
Yeah. So the question is, is it better to deal with a few hardcore radicals, or a lot of variously dedicated idiots?

For myself, I like the Patrician's idea of free speech: let people say whatever. Have someone take notes.
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Old 2008-12-31, 02:31   Link #54
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Sigh, you seem to not understand laws that forbids and laws that gives consequences.

In my view, if you forbid someone to do something, then it's the same punishment no matter what. For example, if there is a law forbidding to kill or else it is death, then no matter whom you kill, it will end in death. This means that you already know exactly what will happen to you before you commit the action.

Responsibilities and consequences are different. We have what we call trial which decides the degree of damage you have done. Your sentence is short or long depending on the severity of your actions, with no exact "rules." Thus, consequences are not censorship. It comes after the action, not before.

But of course, we will come to more misunderstandings without a concrete example, so let's take yours.

Instead of saying, "If you yell 'Fire' in a movie theatre, this will happen to you," we wait until someone yells "Fire" then punishes them depending on the result of their action.
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Old 2008-12-31, 02:47   Link #55
Thingle
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
The problem is that there are a lot of idiots. One must take that into account, when writing policy.
Are you so intelligent to actually appoint yourself as the one who will do the thinking for them?

I smell paternalism....

No different from dictators who "dictate" for common welfare. The free market takes care of the idiot situation, my friend.
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Old 2008-12-31, 03:01   Link #56
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Looking back, I feel that the problem here isn't if censorship/responsibilities/consequences or whatever you want to call it should be used, since we're basically discussing technicalities and not the problem itself. No matter if it's one thing or another, I keep asking myself if the comedian was at fault. I've always been a liberal and even though I do not like the joke, I really don't care, but I'm also not a Jew either so my opinion sort of doesn't count. I'm the type of person who may not support gay marriages but I'm not going to vote against it because I don't give a **** what other couples are doing. So what do I think? No to censorship, or whatever you may want to call it.

Let those who find his Jewish jokes funny come to his shows and those who don't find them funny/are offended not come to his shows. If enough people are offended, then he'll go broke/have to change his jokes. It's that simple.
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Old 2008-12-31, 03:05   Link #57
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^ seconded.
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Old 2008-12-31, 03:40   Link #58
yezhanquan
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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - what Voltaire might say to the topic at hand. It takes maturity and guts to follow that line, but the benefits are quite considerable.
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Old 2008-12-31, 03:58   Link #59
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
Sigh, you seem to not understand laws that forbids and laws that gives consequences.
That would be because it's a completely arbitrary separation, personal to yourself, that you didn't bother to explain before.

Quote:
In my view, if you forbid someone to do something, then it's the same punishment no matter what. For example, if there is a law forbidding to kill or else it is death, then no matter whom you kill, it will end in death. This means that you already know exactly what will happen to you before you commit the action.
BTW, it's not a very useful separation, because I've never heard of a law like that. You can contest parking tickets and take it to court, if you want. Murder charges means trial and a range of punishment. Maybe even acquittal, depending on the circumstances.

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Responsibilities and consequences are different. We have what we call trial which decides the degree of damage you have done. Your sentence is short or long depending on the severity of your actions, with no exact "rules." Thus, consequences are not censorship. It comes after the action, not before.
Kinda like prison terms after murders, then. I don't see the usefulness of the distinction. Heck, I don't see the distinction, period.

Quote:
But of course, we will come to more misunderstandings without a concrete example, so let's take yours.

Instead of saying, "If you yell 'Fire' in a movie theatre, this will happen to you," we wait until someone yells "Fire" then punishes them depending on the result of their action.
That would be because then, it wouldn't be yelling fire that's forbidden, but causing a panic. The law would look exactly like the other laws.

What you're trying to say, I think, is that we should allow free speech but place punishment on, say, lynching. (Which isn't really the same as your confusing spiel about consequences. Everything has consequences, including consequences.) By the same token, drunk driving should be allowed and there should be no speed limits. It's causing car accidents that should be forbidden, right? I personally feel that imprudent actions should be punished even if you luck out this timeand don't cause anything bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
Are you so intelligent to actually appoint yourself as the one who will do the thinking for them?

I smell paternalism....

No different from dictators who "dictate" for common welfare. The free market takes care of the idiot situation, my friend.
What does the free market has to do with racism? How does it "take care of it"?

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Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
Looking back, I feel that the problem here isn't if censorship/responsibilities/consequences or whatever you want to call it should be used, since we're basically discussing technicalities and not the problem itself. No matter if it's one thing or another, I keep asking myself if the comedian was at fault. I've always been a liberal and even though I do not like the joke, I really don't care, but I'm also not a Jew either so my opinion sort of doesn't count. I'm the type of person who may not support gay marriages but I'm not going to vote against it because I don't give a **** what other couples are doing. So what do I think? No to censorship, or whatever you may want to call it.

Let those who find his Jewish jokes funny come to his shows and those who don't find them funny/are offended not come to his shows. If enough people are offended, then he'll go broke/have to change his jokes. It's that simple.
But what if there are enough anti-semites to keep him afloat, or even well-off? What if, doing nothing, we send the message that it's ok to be anti-semite? For anti-semites to gather and unite and spread their hate and misinformation?
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Old 2008-12-31, 05:13   Link #60
Thingle
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post




What does the free market has to do with racism? How does it "take care of it"?


Eventually racists will all grow irrelevant. They are noticeable simply because there is demand for them.
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