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Freedom of Speech, When Does it go To Far?

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posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:05 AM
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I live in the UK where we pride ourselves on how “tolerant” our society is. We have made huge differences in the last 50 years or so to stamp out discrimination of any type, whether you are back, white, homosexual, heterosexual, man, women or even if you are transgender our society says we accept you. It is fantastic and we are constantly moving towards a more tolerant society with the end goal being that everybody is accepted by who they are and not by their social label. It is a social taboo to discriminate, stereotype or insult somebody based on their social label, in fact it is a crime.

This is a crime we like to call “hate crime”, this means that if one was to use language that is offensive to a particular social group’s label one can be liable under the law to expect a punishment. This punishment is based on us not being a danger to society as a whole but because we have “offended” one group in society. These insults are a example however of one expressing freedom of speech, a natural right for all men and our society it seems will only tolerate freedom of speech as long as society agrees with what your are saying.

Makes the Idea of the tolerant society look suddenly ironic, I think it is something of an oxymoron to say we have a tolerant society with free speech, just so long as you tolerate what society says you must and you say what society says you should say.

Society itself is often not defined by the public but by the political and media elite who tell us what the society that we live in must tolerate. They do this through the laws that they pass the jurisprudence they preach and the media they brain wash us with. This in turn is helping in an indirect way to slowly limit our freedom of speech and even challenge our freedom of thought. We cannot say what we perhaps might want to say for freer of offending a group in society and being punished for it.

Let me use an analogy so as not to offend anyone one, sorry i stole it form Orwell. Let’s pretend there is a farm with one felid, in this felid we have 5 sheep 3 pigs and 1 farmer. The farmer says the sheep and pigs should not be discriminated so when it comes to feeding time he gives the sheep and pigs one bag of food. So the seep’s bag has to go 5 ways but the pig only goes 3 ways this upsets the sheep. So the sheep complains to the farmer but because of his fanatical belief that the pigs should not be discriminated, he punishes the sheep by taking away half of their food. The sheep have spoken against what the farmer (society) says is right and have been punished to appease a minority group.

That is what is going on in our society, we are legislating to appease minority groups in society with the long term goal to make us all the same. They are doing this by limiting our freedom of speech and thought. I agree with this, I think it is wrong to speak out against any group in society, I strongly defend their right not to be insulted and discriminated. But am i only doing this because of what society is telling me to do or I am doing it because it is what I truly believe. I would hope it is the later, but I know this means i must challenge the freedom of speech of those who disagree with me. This is not a problem for me because freedom of speech is systematic with the ideals of liberal progressiveness, an ideologically I find it difficult to agree with. I am against absolute freedom of speech both ideologically and because it limits moves for a tolerant society, which I support.

The question then is how far should freedom of speech go, were the line, when does asking questions and challenging groups in society become unacceptable. It is a contradiction to have a tolerant society coupled with absolute freedom of speech so where do you all think the line is. You may have completely different views than me feel free to shear them




posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:22 AM
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I spent a number of yearsengineering business processes. In the old days you would design a process to cover 80% of the norm and the 20% would be dealt with as exceptions.

Right around the turn of the century this actually turned upside down. The entire tech industry seemed to focus on reinventing wheels. From that point until today we now seem to have the exception as the rule and the rule does not apply to anyone.

My point in using the example is that all systems of thought seem to have been corrupting at the same pace in all walks of life.

I disagree with you on the freedom of speech item. I believe that everyone should be free to speak what is on their mind. Social graces have left us in a world where peole expect certain responses and that limits humanity from moving forward IMO.

Great post. How do we shepherd the sleepers safely through this time?



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by zroth
 


You see the problem i have with people seeking their mind is that sometimes it only serves to offend other people, i also like I said in the OP limits the possibilities of a tolerant society. The only way we can have a tolerant society is to silence the fascists and to do that we cannot have absolute freedom of speech. I understand that is a very unpopular statement but it’s just my opinion. If i had the answerer as to how we shepherd them I would have gone into politics. I don’t have the answers i have just identified the problem.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:48 AM
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You can't have freedom of speech without freedom of speech.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


That’s confused me a little bit. I think what you are saying is that for freedom of speech to exist people must first have the ability to speak out demand freedom of speech. Anyway where do you think the line should be or do you think there should even be a line.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:56 AM
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If there's something you cannot say you don't have freedom of speech. Gotta accept the bad with the good.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:57 AM
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Double post.

[edit on 23-7-2010 by 547000]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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If I say the Bible condems homosexuality, that is freedom of speech. If I say all homosexuals should be shot, that is hate speech. True tolerance is allowing freedom of speech thay may offend but not harm you. Saying atheist, Christians, or politicians are idiots is an opinion that should be tolerated no matter if it offends you. Calling for harm to them should never be tolerated.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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There are cases where limiting freedom of speech is justified - incinting violence or encouraging others to commit some crimes.

But to limit freedom of speech for offending someone is wrong. I dont think it is a governments job to protect you from others opinions, even those offensive ones to you. It is a slippery slope to let the elite choose what is offensive and what is not, and I believe it is just a question of time until it is misused.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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As for the Government. IT never goes too far.

As for personal incident by incident evaluations. It goes too far when I slap you and tell you so!

Say whatever you want. But if you insult me or my family in a public manner, and I am withing slapping distance. You will get a fresh one. Take it like a man, don't bow up and get sensitive. Don't try to fight about it.

Use your Freedom appropriately and politely. If you cross the line and get slapped, consider it a friendly lesson and move on.

That is how we do it in the SOUTH! Manners are not optional, and retribution is swift and appropriate. Apologize, take your lumps, move on, and we all get to keep our Freedoms! No need for Federal Government oversight or meddling.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I have to say i would never resort to violence, not because i am a pacifist but i think it’s a sign of stupidity if you can’t hit them back with a witty one liner.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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its too far when you get paid to say something, because what you say can influence.

at that point its no longer free speech, its paid speech, so what you say is an agenda, not your opinion, nor unbiased, but an agenda.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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Freedom of speech is not a stand-alone entity. It doesn't negate common decency or common sense or logic. And it probably goes too far when it is used to knowingly or intentionally used to hurt someone else or used as a shield to hide behind when displaying hate or ignorance or flat out lying or misleading. It's a tough one.

About a month ago, I was having dinner with a friend who happens to be gay. It was crowded, and the man in the booth behind my friend said something like, "These fags make me bleeping sick. They're diseased and should all be killed."

When someone at his own table responded by saying, "Wow, that's pretty rough, why would you even say something like that? How do they or what they do affect your life in any way?" the man replied, "I have freedom of speech and I'm gonna use it. Bleep this politically correct bleep."

Watching my friend's wasn't easy. Hearing this hurt him. And I know him well and knew he wasn't about to defend or even acknowledge this man because this would just inflame the situation further and would not change any minds. Was this man technically correct about his freedom of speech? Yeah, I guess. But does that make what he said right or fair or even acceptable in society? Nope.

The point is, we do have freedom of speech. But the point is too that this doesn't mean 1.) that people have the right to say anything they want and 2.) that other people in society as a whole have to tolerate what they say and the way they say it without a challenge. The point isn't that you have this freedom...it's more how you use it.

And abusing it too often may also just lead to giving people the ammunition they need to have this right stripped from all of us by those who might not have it at all.

[edit on 7/23/2010 by ~Lucidity]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by Myendica
 


I think you are right on that one, I will have to go and ask my pay masters at the Trilateral commission if I can add the personal touch to my next paid thread.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by kevinunknown
 


If only they could step in and bar haters from all forums...the nwo government I mean.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by davidmann
 


Well i am ideologically against the idea of absolute freedom of speech as a liberal concept. If legislation was to be introduced that made it a offence to post homophobic, racist or sexist comments on any public forum (including the internet) i would support it.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:50 AM
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Freedom of speech is fine, as long as the one speaking is using their brain when doing so, like being tactful and logical. When one does not use those, it normally ends up being hate filled. If one is not adept at using their brain when speaking, then that is where the line should be drawn.

Many have the problem of not thinking first before they talk, and that is what gets them into trouble every time.

[edit on 23-7-2010 by FiatLux]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:52 AM
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It’s really quite interesting the number of people saying that freedom of speech is ok as long as they say what society deems to be acceptable. That is not freedom of speech



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by kevinunknown
reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I have to say i would never resort to violence, not because i am a pacifist but i think it’s a sign of stupidity if you can’t hit them back with a witty one liner.


LOL! You might be right!


Personally I like the slap. A punch would be "violence." A slap is just a wake up call that they will remember for awhile. A witty one liner might be funny for a second, but they won't remember it in a few days. The quick sting of a slap next time they start to insult someone will hopefully remind them to think twice.

Admittedly though, I am not all that witty. Maybe if I were smarter, my wit could sting better than my slap?



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by kevinunknown
 


This is a tinderbox of potential.
In my opinion I think slander would be where I draw the line.
Some peoples feelers get hurt when you call them the real bad names or words but I say toughen up, words don't hurt.
But when a person speaks falsely that is a bad thing.
I love calling people names myself, the look on an adults face is absolutely price less when you call them a meanoldpoopoohead.
A lot of people cannot mentally come back from something like that as they are truly shocked that someone used such a rudimentary line on them.



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