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The Right to Offend

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posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: DexterRiley




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


That's not cause and effect in any realistic sense.

Words do not float through the air causing those effects, as I explicitly argued in the OP. The only real effects of free speech is perhaps sound, perhaps the release of breath, perhaps the release of ink on paper. The whole "freedom of speech but not freedom from its consequences", as you yourself illustrate, is based on the erroneous assumption that speech in general causes some sort of adverse reaction in the interlocutor. Though I might agree after further analysis that there is a correlation, but there is no discernible causation between words and the reactions to them. The cause of any so-called consequences to free speech is fully in the domain of the listener, not the speaker.
edit on 19-11-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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Words can be beautiful and inspiring or ugly and offensive.
But it is not the words themselves that are beautiful or ugly ... it is the person using them

Words are communication and as such no word should ever be banned or censored ...
People take offence at lies and also truth ... such truths are home truths ...

"You are a miserable and mean human being" is it true or false and what was the motive for some one saying so.
Was it to inform "You" of a truth or perceived truth or an undermining false comment.

If it was a genuine remark ... perhaps it was made in order to see yourself as others see you

Or if it was to offend you and you take offence ... you take on the emotion of being offended ... in such a case offence can lead to more coarse reactions like actual physical violence in order to gain some personal satisfaction.

If the offensive remark was true ... it would be better to take a long look at yourself
If it is not politically correct to speak truth for fear of offending others ... then such politics are deeply flawed and the product of a weak mind

Yet truth itself is not an answer ... the real truth of any communication lays in it's intention

IMO



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope




Words do not float through the air


Sorry to interject and cherry pick edit your post and go off on a slight tangent of thought on the subject of the OP...

Those words you typed "Words do not float through the air" is both true and false

False in that words are many things ... they can be what we call silent thoughts or written or spoken or sung
As such words are sound ... internal or external ...
When we read words we hear their sound within our thoughts ... when we speak words we create sound waves as such you could argue that words indeed do float through the air

Hearing a beautiful voice sing a beautiful song ... floating in the air ... you can physically feel it if you turn UP the amps

But ... Of course sound is not only words

IMO



edit on 19-11-2015 by artistpoet because: Typo



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: artistpoet




Sorry to interject and cherry pick edit your post and go off on a slight tangent of thought on the subject of the OP...


Not a problem at all.



False in that words are many things ... they can be what we call silent thoughts or written or spoken or sung
As such words are sound ... internal or external ...
When we read words we hear their sound within our thoughts ... when we speak words we create sound waves as such you could argue that words indeed do float through the air


Sound waves float through the air, indeed. But words— their intended meaning, their history, their context, their syntax, etc.—do not. Words can be expressed in sound, but they are not sound.



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope




Sound waves float through the air, indeed. But words— their intended meaning, their history, their context, their syntax, etc.—do not. Words can be expressed in sound, but they are not sound.


Yes your description is more precise ...
Cheers



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 03:00 PM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley
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

Kicking a pit bull could get you killed and would be stupid.

The whole essence of "free speech" is where humanity is elevated slightly above the dog, where the concept of freedom is more important than dog-level reactions.

I get it, this can be broken into philosophical vs. "what really happens". But what i'm saying is you also have to ALWAYS be working against the assumption that free speech will get your ass handed to you.

Me kicking your butt for insulting my mama can easily be me kicking your butt for being in a certain party, or being positive toward a certain race or culture. You know, like those old KKK fellows.

That's what you're doing - making sure that one guy's "consequences" don't become a quasi-institutional KKK which becomes an institutional secret police or morals police.



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 03:05 PM
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a reply to: stevieray

There used to be a cute little saying that we expected even children to grasp - "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me".

Now we've somehow gone completely opposite of that to create these idiot college students around the country, with their "micro-aggressions" and 101 other equally stupid complaints.

It's moronic piled on top of criminal wrapped up in inane.



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

In consideration to evolution aggression is in effect a response to sounds. The brain responds and there are changes that relate to the body, that are related to a fight or flight response and in general.

In consideration these effects are not subjective in the sense they have objective consequences.

Sound has an objective consequence in relation to subjective conclusions as to its meaning.

Addressing sound and its effect in an altogether way does have its merit as in evolution patterns are expressed.


edit on 19-11-2015 by Kashai because: Added content



posted on Nov, 20 2015 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

First, let me compliment you on a well written and thought-provoking OP.



The only real effects of free speech is perhaps sound, perhaps the release of breath, perhaps the release of ink on paper.
I agree that those are, perhaps, the only measureable effects of exercising free speech. At least from the perspective of the speaker. However, that notion reminds us of the old saying: Sticks and Stones can break my bones. But words will never hurt me. From the perspective of the listener, that may not always be the case.

I wrote in my original post in this thread:

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.
Theoretically, a continuous stream of "free speech" will simply result in the physical manifestations you list. However the reality can be significantly different. Humans are not always in control of how they emotionally respond to the words of others.



The cause of any so-called consequences to free speech is fully in the domain of the listener, not the speaker.
I think that depends on the motive of the speaker. If the speaker's intentions are not benign, but come from the perspective of hatefulness, then the causality of any consequences can arguably be derived from the speaker's exercise of "free speech" not necessarily from the listener's response.

Upon reflection, I think the so-called "free speech" that I'm thinking about could come under the heading of "fighting words." Though my definition of that concept is definitely much more broad than that defined by the Supreme Court.

-dex



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