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The Fair-Weather Friends of Free Speech

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posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:42 PM
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The Fair-Weather Friends of Free Speech

If you wish to observe what idiots think about free speech then read this aptly-named article “An Idiot's Guide to Free Speech" from the good folks at Jezebel. When tasked with defining freedom of speech to their readers, they immediately resort to the common sophistry found among those who are only fair-weather friends to principle. They equate and conflate the freedom of speech with the First Amendment as if they were one and the same. If you’ve ever argued with anyone about free speech in general, you might recognize this tendency.

Either they do not know what free speech is or are they are engaging in pretense. Though even a childish common sense can confirm that a law that protects a human right from government meddling is not the same as the human right itself, we are no less grappling with these kinds of absurdities in adult conversation. They seem to have lost the point.

From this one misconception arises a series of others.

First, reducing a principle to the laws that protect it leads to base circularity. We have free speech because the first amendment protects it. But why do we have the first amendment? To protect free speech. The literature, the arguments and the reasons of why free speech is protected by such laws is utterly lost on them.

Second, it forces one to engage in a pernicious relativism. Such-and-such country doesn’t have a law to protect free speech, therefor its citizens do not have a right to free speech—a dangerous non-sequitur. In other words, human rights are not rights for humans, but rights granted only to those privileged enough to to live outside of tyranny.

Perhaps worse is the expectation that freedom of expression can only be inhibited by the government, and no other entity. A company has the right to fire an employee for what he has said online and it isn't our duty to care whether that is a good or bad thing. Censoring our fellow citizens is permitted so long as it is legal, and not done by the government.

Following this is the typical cascade of conditions. “I believe in free speech, but not for hate speech”. “Free of speech, but only from the government”. “Freedom of speech, but not freedom from consequences”. One of the most notable victims of this relativism, Salman Rushdie, calls the people who deal in this piffle the "But Brigade”. They assert their belief in free speech but always with some caveat, some way to weasel out of it precisely when protecting it is most important. In other words, they do not believe in free speech.

Delivering this misinformation is the common tactic of those who pay lip-service to the principle for moral preening, but are in fact closet censors. Beware the fair-weather friends to free speech, because they will not be there for you when it is most required.

- LesMis




posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:51 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
Salman Rushdie, calls the people who deal in this piffle the "But Brigade”. They assert their belief in free speech but always with some caveat,

Judge me. I believe in free speech, but ... I believe in my right to cut your ever-lovin' tongue out of your throat if you're lying to me.

I'm sick of liars hiding behind the 1st.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:51 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It's been rather amazing watching the de-evolution of our freedoms. The "right" is now more liberal than the left when it comes to opposing thoughts. Google is changing it's algorithm to hide results it doesn't like and barely a whimper from the public. "We know what's best for you to see and hear". Trust in Alphabet. Do no Evil my ass.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

John Cleese has some relevant and blunt things to say about Political Correctness.



*Trigger warning if you are sensitive to being offended...


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posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: Snarl




Judge me. I believe in free speech, but ... I believe in my right to cut your ever-lovin' tongue out of your throat if you're lying to me.

I'm sick of liars hiding behind the 1st.


Cutting someone's tongue out because you cannot grapple with your emotions says nothing about freedom of speech, but of your own issues.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



but are in fact closet censors.


but are in fact closet censors. 


but are in fact closet censors.


Maybe if they see this enough. They might actually start to acknowledge it.

as usual.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:01 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: Snarl




Judge me. I believe in free speech, but ... I believe in my right to cut your ever-lovin' tongue out of your throat if you're lying to me.

I'm sick of liars hiding behind the 1st.


Cutting someone's tongue out because you cannot grapple with your emotions says nothing about freedom of speech, but of your own issues.

Fair enough. Because even if I was The Dick-tater, it's doubtful I'd change the way the 1st works.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:01 PM
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originally posted by: Snarl

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
Salman Rushdie, calls the people who deal in this piffle the "But Brigade”. They assert their belief in free speech but always with some caveat,

Judge me. I believe in free speech, but ... I believe in my right to cut your ever-lovin' tongue out of your throat if you're lying to me.

I'm sick of liars hiding behind the 1st.


You've left the bailiwick of "Free Speech" and have vaulted into the realm of vicious assault...very Taliban-ish of you.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:03 PM
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a reply to: Snarl




Fair enough. Because even if I was The Dick-tater, it's doubtful I'd change the way the 1st works.


You admitted to your desires to censor liars, even with violence. You may know what the first amendment is and enjoy its protections, but I doubt you know what free speech is and why it is protected.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:10 PM
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Heck even a self professed Marxist Like Slavoj Zizek claims that political correctness is authoritarianism.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:11 PM
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To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.".


Said a very wise man a very long time ago, and pretty damn famous.

That went by the name of Voltaire.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It is not sophistry to state that the only guaranteed protection of free speech is the 1st Amendment and it only protects from the government. It is reality. It doesn't make one a fair weather friend of free speech to acknowledge this.

What is it that you want from people on this issue that you insist on being a verbose broken record about? Do you want people to promise they won't criticize anyone ever? Never challenge hate speech? Never reprimand or terminate an employee for their speech? What? Spell it out.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:14 PM
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There's nothing more expensive than free.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:16 PM
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a reply to: Kali74

That's a load of something.

RIGHTS do not come from the people.

The come from the creator.

That piece of paper was created as a line that said the STATE shall not pass.

And by extension the MOB.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: Kali74



It is not sophistry to state that the only guaranteed protection of free speech is the 1st Amendment and it only protects from the government. It is reality. It doesn't make one a fair weather friend of free speech to acknowledge this.

What is it that you want from people on this issue that you insist on being a verbose broken record about? Do you want people to promise they won't criticize anyone ever? Never challenge hate speech? Never reprimand or terminate an employee for their speech? What? Spell it out.


I never said that. I said it was sophistry to equate the first amendment to the freedom of speech.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:20 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I agree with you.

Now I'll just sit back and watch everyone tell you how the free expression of speech is terrible.




posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:23 PM
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For the record speech is not conditional.

Free speech is free speech.

Freedom of expression is freedom of expression.

X has no RIGHT to infringe Y's RIGHT.

By all accounts it's a stalemate set in stone by those inalienable rights preserved in that piece of paper.

Government/STATE/People.

All the same damn animal.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:25 PM
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I believe in my right to cut your ever-lovin' tongue out of your throat if you're lying to me.

I'm sick of liars hiding behind the 1st.


It's a federal offense to threaten the President.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:26 PM
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a reply to: neo96

I didn't say one fking thing about rights coming from people.

And it's their creator, not the creator. There's a huge difference.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:27 PM
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a reply to: Kali74

Playing semantics is what got us here.

CREATOR.

Yeah that dirty three letter word.

Blah.



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