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Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Consequences.

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posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 05:49 PM
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I think we’ve all heard the argument “freedom speech, but not freedom from consequences” from some obscurantist or other. But baked into this piece of amoral hubris is the criticism that the speaker should expect certain consequences for his speech: that if only the speaker had shut up, had not said anything at all, he would not have met with the unfortunate consequences, whatever those may be. From this we are one step closer to advocating for censorship.

This half-argument, as daft and dangerous as it is, proliferated in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The New York Times even published an opinion piece titled “Freedom of speech, Not freedom of consequences”, in which Yousef Munayyer argues that writers and artists should “expect that provocative expressions will provoke and what exactly it provokes is impossible to know”, and because of this, “each writer, artist and publisher must decide for themselves which risks they are willing to take”. I can only imagine what he says about provocative clothing and what that provokes.

Salman Rushdie did in fact expect consequences for his Satanic Verses, though it came as a surprise that a state leader called for his assassination. Unfortunately, his Japanese translator, whom was murdered and mutilated, and his Norwegian publisher, whom was shot in the back and left for dead, didn’t. I guess we should amend the “freedom of speech” part with “the freedom to publish” before the nauseating caveat “but not freedom of consequences”. Give it time and we can lay all fundamental rights at the alter of someone’s feelings.

But what about Mashal Kahn from Pakistan, whom was beaten to death by his fellow students for criticizing a religion? Adding insult to his murder, his funeral was disrupted by fire-breathing clerics, who ridiculed and slurred the dead student over loud-speaker as his family mourned over his coffin. Imagine the apologists for self-censorship dispensing their silly advice here. “Well, old boy, freedom of speech but not freedom from consequences, am I right? If only you had kept your mouth shut, you’d still be alive.”

Perhaps it is naive to expect those who enjoy fundamental freedoms to defend them at all costs, and most especially from unjustified threat, coercion and violence. Instead we are given the logic of victim-blaming, and the capitulation to the dogmatic and the superstitious. We are told we have to adapt the posture of self-censorship just in case the violent cannot control their actions.

It is never the duty of the writer or publisher to weigh in advance the future possibility of violent reprisal for writing or speaking—it is always, and always will be, the duty of the offended to get over their feelings before they start beating people to death.

LesMis




edit on 18-4-2017 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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That is the most ridicules thing anyone has ever tried to say.....Don't you agree?

The whole purpose of Freedom of Speech...... is for there to be no consequences from it.... or else you are not free to speak..... but afraid to speak.

Anyone caught repeating "but not free from the consequences"...should be made to go sit in the corner with a Dunce Hat on



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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Through my experiences with my outspokenness in mixed company, in a free society, I still notice some rage, yet violence, I believe would not have been out of the question if the two of us were alone and without witnesses or others to intervene. So, now, yes I do, self-censor myself if I do not know the character of the person I am discussing sensitive subjects with, although, having said that, I was led into a political discussion with my brother-in-law and because my replies were quick and factual, that, too, strayed into something 'angry' on his part.


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posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

My grandmother used to say in an Edith Bunker like voice, "if you don't have anything nice to say shut your God damn mouth."

I think it is in our better human nature to try to be kind and considerate to other people's feelings. And that includes when it comes to speech. If I'm in the left lane and a car speeds up behind me I pull to the right and get out of their way. If I am at the mall, and my family eats at a table, I make sure the table is completely clean for the next people. I think having empathy for other people's feelings is good thing.

Now I understand artist like to find edges of controversy. Artist will push the limits of what society will bear. When I see something on TV I find offensive I just turn the channel. I think if an artist knows what they say will get people so mad that there might be violent reprisals then maybe the artist is responsible for their efforts on some level.

For example, I would not go to the corner of Lincoln Street and Court Street in Newark New Jersey and shout out the N word at the top of your lungs. It may be some form of white supremacists art but I guarantee you the local audience is not going to receive the message with an over abundance of enlightenment.


edit on 18-4-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
For example, I would not go to the corner of Lincoln Street and Court Street in Newark New Jersey and shout the N word at the top of your lungs. It may be some form of white supremacists art but I guarantee you the local audience is not going to receive the message with an over abundance of enlightenment.

So ... serious question: Why do black people get a pass?



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

That's a matter of personal morality and ethics. But if you do not believe in free speech for everyone, including the obscene and nasty, you do not believe in free speech.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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I think people should be able to say whatever the hell they want without getting murdered over it.

If religious folks (Islam) are so insecure in their beliefs it can't take criticism?

That sword has two edges.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:13 PM
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Everyone needs to grow the # up. Seriously. "Awe. You hurted my feeling."

With every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Say the wrong thing to the wrong person and expect what is coming. That's all there is.

We give these cry babies a voice as the "Internet" but for all of us who are free thinking and not completely mind washed know better. Or at least I hope.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: Snarl

originally posted by: dfnj2015
For example, I would not go to the corner of Lincoln Street and Court Street in Newark New Jersey and shout the N word at the top of your lungs. It may be some form of white supremacists art but I guarantee you the local audience is not going to receive the message with an over abundance of enlightenment.

So ... serious question: Why do black people get a pass?


I live in New Jersey. I know you all are going to find this completely ridiculous. But since Obama has been president the black people that I interact with have been much much nicer. Maybe it's me and I'm some kind of racists. But I just feel like the people I interact with are friendlier. They seem to meet me eye-to-eye and talk with me more than before.

But I agree with you. I do not think black people should get a pass for being prejudice. But at the same time, you do get my point about shouting out the N word on the most dangerous street corner in New Jersey. If you shout out that word I would tend to think you deserve to get beat up for not having basic human respect.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: ConscienceZombie

It's funny how a skunk can't smell their own stink.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

So we should stifle intellectual progress for the sake of someone's feelings?

Of course, we should all strive to be kind to each other, but trying to oppress an opinion because it triggers an uncomfortable feeling in another is in no way being "kind".
In fact I would go so far as to say that it's a disservice to humanity in general.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015




If you shout out that word I would tend to think you deserve to get beat up for not having basic human respect.


That's a pernicious outlook. In no alternate reality is a spoken word a justification for violence, unless you hold your own feelings above the sanctity of life.
edit on 18-4-2017 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:21 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: dfnj2015

That's a matter of personal morality and ethics. But if you do not believe in free speech for everyone, including the obscene and nasty, you do not believe in free speech.


I love your OP. And I love the questions.

It's not that I don't believe in free speech. I just believe not offending someone out of consideration of their feelings is my own personal choice to make. I know many people choose to say things that are offensive. And sometimes people are too sensitive. However, I think there is always a way to elevate people's consciousness so they are not so easily offended without being a complete a hole in the process.

At this point in my life, I really don't think there is anything that anyone could say to me that I would be offended by. I just assume everyone else has character flaws and personal issues that are so great they can't help themselves from being a complete a hole. So I'm in a continuous state of forgiveness assuming the people around me may have an a hole outburst at any moment.

I think what drives me insane though is when one of my kids does something that is callously inconsiderate. Then I am forced to speak up. The world had enough a holes. My hope is I will not be adding to that population group with my contribution.


edit on 18-4-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:26 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

While we are guaranteed to have freedom of speech nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of protection from the consequences of that speech. If what you say offends the majority there will be backlash in any number of ways- anything from verbal retaliation to your house being fireballed or worse. If you're married and your wife asks "do these pants make me look fat?" you are free to answer as you please- but shouldn't be surprised when you're forced to spend the night on the sofa because of it. You are also free to post whatever you would like to say on ATS but should not be surprised if your account ends up banned if what you post breaks with the established boundaries of what is acceptable.

The point is you can say what you want but to act unaware that there can be consequences is foolish. The law only protects you from crimes in retaliation if the police are actually present to stop them, otherwise all they can do is apprehend criminals and prosecute after the fact- which is no protection at all.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:28 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I must conclude that people want the same freedoms as those in North Korea.

There, you can say whatever you like, but you must also suffer the consequences.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:32 PM
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originally posted by: GeauxHomeYoureDrunk
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

While we are guaranteed to have freedom of speech nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of protection from the consequences of that speech. If what you say offends the majority there will be backlash in any number of ways- anything from verbal retaliation to your house being fireballed or worse. If you're married and your wife asks "do these pants make me look fat?" you are free to answer as you please- but shouldn't be surprised when you're forced to spend the night on the sofa because of it. You are also free to post whatever you would like to say on ATS but should not be surprised if your account ends up banned if what you post breaks with the established boundaries of what is acceptable.

The point is you can say what you want but to act unaware that there can be consequences is foolish. The law only protects you from crimes in retaliation if the police are actually present to stop them, otherwise all they can do is apprehend criminals and prosecute after the fact- which is no protection at all.


What is foolish is pretending the speech leads to the consequences, and not the irrationality of the offended.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:34 PM
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originally posted by: GeauxHomeYoureDrunk
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

While we are guaranteed to have freedom of speech nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of protection from the consequences of that speech. If what you say offends the majority there will be backlash in any number of ways- anything from verbal retaliation to your house being fireballed or worse. If you're married and your wife asks "do these pants make me look fat?" you are free to answer as you please- but shouldn't be surprised when you're forced to spend the night on the sofa because of it. You are also free to post whatever you would like to say on ATS but should not be surprised if your account ends up banned if what you post breaks with the established boundaries of what is acceptable.

The point is you can say what you want but to act unaware that there can be consequences is foolish. The law only protects you from crimes in retaliation if the police are actually present to stop them, otherwise all they can do is apprehend criminals and prosecute after the fact- which is no protection at all.


Prosecution after the fact is protection. There are 320 million people in this country. There are only 20,000 murders per year. It's really quite spectacular the number of people who wake up everyday without experiencing serious or violent crime the previous day. You have a much greater chance of dying from alcohol or tobacco than you do from being murder.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy




I must conclude that people want the same freedoms as those in North Korea.

There, you can say whatever you like, but you must also suffer the consequences.


If only Galileo understood the consequences of his expression, he wouldn't have been jailed by the Inquisition. If Socrates understood the consequences of his expression, he wouldn't have been executed. If Martin Luther King had understood the consequence of his speech, he wouldn't have been assassinated. Imagine if these people had never spoken for fear of violent and oppressive reprisal.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:36 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
What is foolish is pretending the speech leads to the consequences, and not the irrationality of the offended.


Irrationality is in the eyes of the beholder.



posted on Apr, 18 2017 @ 06:37 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I must conclude that people want the same freedoms as those in North Korea.

There, you can say whatever you like, but you must also suffer the consequences.


In this country, when you are in a group meeting with your peers and your boss, there just is certain things you can't say to your boss and expect to keep your job. Trust me on this!


edit on 18-4-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-4-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)




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