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On the Freedom of Expression

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posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 09:37 PM
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Howdy,

Apologies if this doesn't quite belong here, or if the topic has been covered extensively already, but I would like to express my views on this important topic.

I believe the root of Western personal liberty is one’s freedom of expression. It is the foundation upon which we as Western culture have grown scientifically, technologically, and even ideologically. It seems to me that the West is forgetting the importance of this freedom, as well as the duty we as citizens have to protect this valued asset.

Now, this being a conspiracy site, I’m sure we might agree that free expression is valued more highly here than in some other localities, yet I have seen disturbing lapses of respect for this liberty in these fora. I hope to discuss further this troubling trend (mainly in Western society) as well as clarify my claims.

First, let me begin by exposing what I see as a problem. I frequently lurk in topics involving the natural sciences, which oftentimes have members of opposing views to my own. My views are usually those of the mainstream sciences, and it is no shock to me to see conspiratorial views against the mainstream position on ATS. However, I have seen on some occasions that ideas are simply deemed “eccentric,” crazy, and ignored without further discussion of expressed ideas. This is the behavior that troubles me. Simply dismissing ideas without further dialectic is not far from closed-minded, institutionalized censorship. Although I think such behavior is inconsistent with a search for truth, the more pressing issues of infringing upon the freedom of expression are occurring in Western society as a whole.

It seems like I’m being a bit of an alarmist when I write this, but I believe the freedom of expression is currently in dire straits, attacked from multiple directions. In most cases, I think extremism in some philosophy or ideology is to blame for these infringements. Censorship, blasphemy laws, and institutionalized closed-mindedness are encroaching upon our most valued personal liberties. I’m all for egalitarian principles, but does anyone remember the extremist feminists who attempted to “Ban bossy?” Of course, radical Islam is an easy target for blasphemy with violence in response to the publishing of Muhammad drawings. Perhaps more insidious is this general “Social Justice Warrior” trend running rampant through (at least in my case) liberal arts colleges. I think the Tim Hunt fiasco could be a good example of overreaction in such a field, or maybe Gamergate. Perhaps another symptom of this is the current Confederate flag issue (which I encourage you to not discuss here… there are plenty of other threads on that specific topic).

We need to protect our freedom of expression by unabashedly acting with it. It is our duty to our society to both express our views AND listen to the expressed views of others. Serious dialectic is the only way to ensure our rights are protected. We must actively listen to opposing views so that we can better understand our own; we must challenge our own beliefs by allowing others to express their own. If you live in a democracy or a republic, it is your DUTY to express your views. If you hold the freedom of expression as highly as I do, it is your duty to fight against blasphemy laws, censorship, and the protection of feelings over the protection of free expression. We need to fight institutionalized closed-mindedness and encourage critical thinking, even if that means protecting the speaker whose views with which you disagree.

Some of you may disagree with me, and I respect your right to do so in all regards. I encourage disagreements, but I encourage you to try to persuade with evidence rather than disregard claims outright.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman




posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 09:48 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

I get your point entirely but, something in me feels an obligation to try and change the minds of people proclaiming the truths of aliens from antlantis riding sea donkeys, brainwashing our politicians to spray DNA altering chemicals from our passenger jets on an unsuspecting public.

Just sayin
edit on 16-7-2015 by In4ormant because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Howdy,

Oh, I certainly agree that you should attempt to persuade people holding such beliefs to hold what one might consider more "rational" thoughts. I'm not suggesting we stop arguing. In fact, I'm asking for more of it. The purpose of dialectic is to get to the truth (whether or not dialectic can achieve that is another story...), and I think that is the goal of most ATS'ers, right? But one cannot engage in proper dialectic if one refuses to listen as well as express.

Sincerely,
Hydeman



posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

The root issue is emotional thinking. These days, America is morally split. When an issue over steps either side's moral boundaries, emotional thinking kicks in and respect for personal liberties go out the window.

America has forgotten how to think apart from emotional biases.



posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

Agreed. I think we would all consider the act of trying to convince someone of an idea a benevolent one. After all, why convince your neighbor the aliens are visiting his house at 2a.m. if not to help him? I try and stay civil but I am also guilty of having a frustrated mindset at some posters. There is a part of me that always begs the question of them, why is the most outlandish of reasons so easily believed yet the most simple so easily dismissed by you?

Im glad I can still see the apathy in the reason for some posts, if not the reasoning.



posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant




I think we would all consider the act of trying to convince someone of an idea a benevolent one.

Hitler!



posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

Mine is not our fathers' benevolence
edit on 16-7-2015 by In4ormant because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

I agree.

I have noted that on particular thread topics, the majority of responders do not so much express their views, as post a snide quip, supportive of their opinion but not directly stating it, or providing any cogent argument or self expression.

Perhaps, though, these 'drive-by' commenters are actually unable to express themselves properly. They certainly seem to lack cognition of the subtleties of alternate views.



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