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The Right to Offend

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posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope


My attempt to discredit the power of words is mainly to demystify the superstition and the assumptions in myself. Personally this has helped me greatly and I will continue doing it.

What you just said here rings true. I've had to work to let go of some of my own hangups in other areas - so this is something I understand


But the beauty I see in language is the sole reason I do not wish to see any of it blamed and banned

I couldn't agree more

Language is almost too beautiful for words Les

:-)




posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 12:15 PM
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originally posted by: geezlouise
I'm becoming a firm believer that people understand their environment via language. A persons beliefs/understanding of the language and how much power they give to each word really determines how they will be affected by someone else's speech and how they communicate and how they see their surroundings and etc.

There are a couple of very fascinating posts here where the use of language as a propaganda technique is discussed.

Below is a quote:


originally posted by: NthOther
It is an orchestrated and systematic rewriting of our language in order to manipulate the way we think and more easily control us. However it is nothing new. It is a classic and powerful method of disseminating subtle-yet-ubiquitous propaganda. It's a much more dangerous game than any internet meme can possibly reflect.



posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 01:42 PM
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originally posted by: Spiramirabilis


In the city where I live, on our buses - there is a sign posted that says: Please respect your bus driver

Well, that's asking a bit much I think. But I think it's possible to show people respect regardless. Funny that they had to post a sign...nobody knows the bus driver


It is funny that they felt they needed to do that.
Respectful behavior, is an integral part of being a part of a society. We all know that. If someone is decided to not respect the cultural codes of respectful behavior, they are not going to change their minds in seeing that sign.

(-I am pretty sure the sign meant respectful behavior and not respectful sentiment. Asking passengers to feel admiration for him as an individual would be a bit much to ask - LOL)




If you say that the opinion of a stranger has no affect on you - what else can I do but take your word for it? But, it still doesn't seem likely. If you attack something someone believes - you attack them. It's still personal. This idea that we all have that our anonymity makes what we say less potent is - well, disingenuous at best


I guess I am quite used to being disliked by strangers or something? If they don't know you it isn't personal. My beliefs are not who I am anyway... they are perceptions at any given time that change as information allows.



posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 02:19 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



which I base purely on the notion that freedom of speech and taking offense to speech, has not injured, maimed or killed anyone in the history the world.


While I agree with your OP overall I have to disagree with this. The reason those in power in various places and various times have limited Freedom of Speech is because it can incite to violence, specifically to Revolution.

Edit to Add: I'd also like to point out, though I know you are using the term "offensive speech" in a different context, that governments also use hateful propaganda to stir hatred for various groups. Again I know you are mainly referring to the individual right to free speech, not speech coming down from some government body or political group.

Other than that I absolutely agree, Freedom of Speech is a crucial individual right that must apply to everyone, even those whose opinions we despise or find disagreeable (or even hateful).

Unfortunately too many are moving away from Individualism and the notion of individual rights and autonomy and going too far down the way of Collectivism, moving toward identify politics that lump all people according to race, gender, sexual orientation and then trying to stamp out any voices those marginalized groups might find somewhat offensive. This kind of social justice is actually making a huge category error, rather than going after legal changes that give equal rights to these groups they largely try to silence individuals and private companies/organizations that discriminate. The issue is that for most marginalized groups equal rights are LEGALLY secured, victory won, but there is still prejudice from some areas where private citizens and privately owned companies and organizations.



The words are only offensive insofar as the offended party is offended by them, and speech can never be fundamentally, intrinsically, or objectively offensive


I couldn't agree more... words do not have intrinsic meaning at all, all words are given meaning by us and how we react to those words is not under the control of the one who communicated them. This reminds me of the SJW campaign to get Stephen Colbert cancelled for a satirically racist joke that went over their heads and thus offended them. They formed a collectivist hate mob that dissolved after it was clear that Colbert wasn't going anywhere. Thankfully enough people on the internet understand what satire is and how important context is when dealing with comedy.



As such, the arguments against offensive speech are really not arguments at all, but are more confessions of how thin one’s skin is, and how he has been taught to treat expression in general


This bit is particularly brilliant. I'll leave it at that, Star and Flag!



edit on 17-11-2015 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 07:06 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
I'll just add my opinion quickly and leave.

People have the right to speak - but to offend, to and SEEK to offend, is just plain idiocy, arrogance, and narcissism.


Yes, it may be. And so what ?

The simplest of explanations - if you allow there to be any kind of law against any opinions or speech....it WILL get used to abuse others; most and quickest by the government. It's where "prosecution for disrespecting Dear Leader" comes from, every time. But along the way, it lets one religion persecute the others, one party persecute the others, etc.

The only way to avoid this classic fall into fascism is to essentially "outlaw" the outlawing of speech and opinions.

Which the American constitution did beautifully.

Speech which physically hurts someone (fire in a theater, insurrection, etc), or their reputation that costs $.....kick the ass of the speaker. Random opinions or even insults....nope. Just a terrible, dumb idea. Somebody will always think it's a great idea - the minority that it favors, which will let them abuse everyone else with it. Just like the 1% LGBT. Crimes for saying anything but superlatives about them.



posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 08:55 PM
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The right to offend is an interesting thing. By that I mean LM that I can consider that you are pompous, ignorant and deserving of further insults. But that does not mean that if both of us were in a foxhole and at war I would kill to insure your safety.


In the past people have killed because of beliefs and they still do.

Something that in context to human survival needs to change.




edit on 17-11-2015 by Kashai because: content edit



posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: Murgatroid

Thank you so much for the link, and that list of books. Wow!



posted on Nov, 17 2015 @ 09:35 PM
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Our society upon the world scale suffers from the problem that beliefs are worth killing for.

Any thoughts?



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 02:07 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope

When I speak of those under a spell and superstition of language, I am essentially referring to my own experiences.

But the beauty I see in language is the sole reason I do not wish to see any of it blamed and banned, and I will forever maintain its innocence. My attempt to discredit the power of words is mainly to demystify the superstition and the assumptions in myself. Personally this has helped me greatly and I will continue doing it. But I still hold that authorities limit expression they limit thought. Only when people do not fear words and language can they begin to utilize them freely and without restraint and boundary, which is a requirement of all free thought.



You expressed perfectly what I meant when I said, "sometimes speaking is done for the speaker", and why I consider it important and useful to be able to have free speech, and allow it for others.

(I do think there could be limits, when the speech has strong influencial power upon masses, but I see those as wider than the current modes of PC tend to draw out).

I usually see challenging expressions as people challenging their self first and foremost. Why do I go try to defend or explain french mentality in the presence of Americans? Because they can play the part of me that doesn't understand and finds them absurd, and I can jump into the other side and find understanding through my writing!

A person who challenges the status quo is one who is challenging their own conditioning and programming. Daring to question them and perhaps stretch their mind beyond, creating their self consciously. This is what I find admirable in the rebels, the ones who make us uncomfortable, the ones who speak that which is taboo. It is the personal process they are undetaking with themselves that is courageous.


edit on 18-11-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 02:11 AM
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Samuel Clemons offended people. Still does.
People missed his point. Still do.

In spite of all that, he was a damned clever writer.


edit on 11/18/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 03:47 AM
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originally posted by: Kashai
Our society upon the world scale suffers from the problem that beliefs are worth killing for.

Any thoughts?


Belief is the problem.

Why don't people more often just think thoughts, and forget believing altogether?



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 05:41 AM
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edit on 18-11-2015 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: Kashai
Our society upon the world scale suffers from the problem that beliefs are worth killing for.

Any thoughts?

Belief in a God and religion that abhor and forbid killing is useful. On the contrary, belief in a god and religion that condone killing and lying to spread the religion.....not so good. And remember, we are talking about now, 2015, not 500 or 1000 years ago.



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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originally posted by: Kashai
Our society upon the world scale suffers from the problem that beliefs are worth killing for.

Any thoughts?



*Freedom of speech" may give you the *right to offend*

But NOTHING on earth gives you the right to take a life.

A persons beliefs belong to them and are theirs alone,

they do not have the right to foist them onto another



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 01:25 PM
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I haven't read through the entire thread, so this issue has probably already been discussed. However, offensive speech can be harmful to one's psyche. Long term bullying in the form of hateful speech directed at an individual can cause that person permanent psychological harm.

I have no problem allowing as much freedom of expression as possible to anyone who desires it. I don't go along with any form of censorship. I was completely offended when the Confederate Battle Flag became the target of the politically correct crowd. I cringed to think that the Confederate flag was being painted over on the General Lee car from the Dukes of Hazard tv show. Not every instance of that symbol represents hate.

I don't like Nazis, the Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church, or any other hate group. But I defend the right of any hate group to have their say.


This is where the platitude “freedom of speech but not freedom from consequences” seems to come into play as a sophistical justification for the inevitable and irrational response to the offensive expression.

And that's the rub. I also defend the right of a group who has been so extremely disrespected to defend their honor as they see fit. If the offended party is ready to face the consequences for the defense of their honor, then so be it. The offender may have to face consequences for their free speech. The offended may have to face the consequences for their response.

When a hate group shows up at a peaceful Muslim rally with hate signs and a decapitated pig head, then I don't see it as the job of the police to protect these people. They deserve a good "beat down" if the attendees at the rally are willing to accept the consequences of their violent action.

I'm not advocating a race war. I think the authorities should intervene before it gets to that point. But I think that those who feel strongly enough about exercising their free speech should be aware that there may be consequences.

I personally will tolerate a great deal of hate speech directed at various groups of which I am a member. It's easier for me to ignore someone when I'm part of a group. But when those hurtful words or actions are directed at me specifically, I will act. I tolerate no disrespect. I am willing to accept the consequences for the defense of my honor, just as my offender should be willing to accept the consequences of their harmful action toward me.


-dex



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: Bluesma

So you believe that beliefs are a problem?



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 04:59 PM
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originally posted by: geezlouise
a reply to: Bluesma

So you believe that beliefs are a problem?


Nah... it's just my thought in the moment. I don't think I have any beliefs!



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley
I haven't read through the entire thread, so this issue has probably already been discussed. However, offensive speech can be harmful to one's psyche. Long term bullying in the form of hateful speech directed at an individual can cause that person permanent psychological harm.

I have no problem allowing as much freedom of expression as possible to anyone who desires it. I don't go along with any form of censorship. I was completely offended when the Confederate Battle Flag became the target of the politically correct crowd. I cringed to think that the Confederate flag was being painted over on the General Lee car from the Dukes of Hazard tv show. Not every instance of that symbol represents hate.

I don't like Nazis, the Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church, or any other hate group. But I defend the right of any hate group to have their say.


This is where the platitude “freedom of speech but not freedom from consequences” seems to come into play as a sophistical justification for the inevitable and irrational response to the offensive expression.

And that's the rub. I also defend the right of a group who has been so extremely disrespected to defend their honor as they see fit. If the offended party is ready to face the consequences for the defense of their honor, then so be it. The offender may have to face consequences for their free speech. The offended may have to face the consequences for their response.

When a hate group shows up at a peaceful Muslim rally with hate signs and a decapitated pig head, then I don't see it as the job of the police to protect these people. They deserve a good "beat down" if the attendees at the rally are willing to accept the consequences of their violent action.

I'm not advocating a race war. I think the authorities should intervene before it gets to that point. But I think that those who feel strongly enough about exercising their free speech should be aware that there may be consequences.

I personally will tolerate a great deal of hate speech directed at various groups of which I am a member. It's easier for me to ignore someone when I'm part of a group. But when those hurtful words or actions are directed at me specifically, I will act. I tolerate no disrespect. I am willing to accept the consequences for the defense of my honor, just as my offender should be willing to accept the consequences of their harmful action toward me.


-dex

Can you tell us where the "no freedom from consequences" platitude comes from ?

Because, really, "free speech" means no consequences. Really, it does. If you try and defend "consequences" then you are ending free speech right there.

Anybody can pay some meathead 100 dollars to kick your butt for your opinion. Every day, until you speak no more. So no, you really can't approve of this while claiming to be for free speech.

It's also how Hitler started. Roving bands of meatheads kicking ass wherever anybody didn't support Hitler.

Freedom of speech has zero qualifications, except where speech deprives somebody else of a larger right, such as fire !, or slander, etc.
edit on 18-11-2015 by stevieray because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-11-2015 by stevieray because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 07:51 PM
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originally posted by: Bluesma

originally posted by: Kashai
Our society upon the world scale suffers from the problem that beliefs are worth killing for.

Any thoughts?


Belief is the problem.

Why don't people more often just think thoughts, and forget believing altogether?


My thoughts exactly.



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: stevieray

Every action has consequences. In addition to free speech, I also support someone's right to commit suicide. For instance:

If a Caucasian person runs into the middle of a New Black Panther rally and screams "N*gg*r! N*gg*r! N*gg*r!" I fully support that person's right to do so. I won't put myself in harm's way to protect his free speech however. As I said, I also support anyone's right to commit suicide as well.

By the same token, if a Jewish person runs into the middle of a KKK rally and sets fire to one of their Confederate flags, I also support his right to do so. I might even agree with his actions. But for reasons of pragmatism I'm not going to jump into the middle of that fray to help him. But, I will celebrate his bravado by placing flowers on his grave a few days later.

On the other hand, there are certain situations where I *will* jump into the middle of something to protect someone's free speech. That's a decision of a my own free will, and I am willing in that case to accept the consequences for my decision.



Anybody can pay some meathead 100 dollars to kick your butt for your opinion. Every day, until you speak no more. So no, you really can't approve of this while claiming to be for free speech.

Action: Person A speaks freely.
Consequence: Person B kick Person A's butt.
Consequence: Person A kills Person B.
Consequence: Person A goes to the gallows for murder.
Pragmatism: Cause and Effect

If it appears that someone else's free speech is going to cause significant discord in society, then it the responsibility of the government to step in and intervene. For instance, it makes perfect sense for the government to stop a race war in its tracks.

My definition of free speech is "that anyone can say anything they want." But there are always consequences for our actions. If it looks like one person's "free" speech is going to get them killed, I'd suggest they go about a more clever way of voicing their opinion that won't get them killed.

-dex



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