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The freedom to be rude and insulting

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posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 05:54 AM
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Something has been troubling me of late... an internal argument raging regarding the recent “innocence of Muslims” video.

Now my personal belief is that the outrage this video has caused, while not surprising, is completely over the top. To take human life, because someone has offended your God in this manner, is absurd! Not least because God is an omnipotent being, and therefore more than capable of dishing out his own vengeance on these offenders.

Having said that, why would someone want to create a video that they know will deliberately offend, enrage, and deeply insult a large portion of the world’s population? And while I personally believe that this video was deliberately created to inflame and raise tensions, so that the obviously bigoted and hate filled individuals could point their fingers at the Muslims and say “we told you so”, I also find it frustrating that segments of the worlds Muslim population played straight into their hands.
Even more importantly to me though, is the issues surrounding the defence of this video. I have had many questions going around inside my head.

Freedom of speech is, and must remain, a fundamental part of a free and open society (not that we’re really free but you get what I mean) and it is important that we defend this freedom. But is this really about freedom of speech? Or is it actually about the freedom to insult and offend? Now we could argue that there is no difference, freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult, and I would have to agree to an extent. But the point is this... why would we want to insult?

And this is not just about religion. There is a distinct pattern I am seeing, in society, whereby it seems to be cool and hip, when confronted with an opposing view or opinion, to insult and mock. We seem to have lost the ability to argue our case in a grown up manner and debate the facts and our differences. We all seem to be polarised and entrenched and express our views using crass insults and playground tactics. What’s more, we do it with an air of arrogance, superiority, and smugness.

What is causing this apathetic attitude to rudeness? In my home country of Britain we once prided ourselves on politeness and “being a gentleman”... I must confess I laughed as I typed that last bit... I do realise that there has always been rude and obnoxious people. However, It cannot be denied that this sad trait is becoming more prevalent in society. People are far more inward looking and “ out for themselves”. We have lost out patience with the needs of others and seem to be only interested in what affects us directly. We dismiss others views and only listen to those who believe the same things as ourselves. Maybe it is this mixture of narcissism and laziness that is causing this change in attitudes! We can’t be bothered to discuss differences, so we just throw insults because it’s easier than thinking up a sensible argument!

But then I guess even this should not surprise me. We are raised on a diet of adverts, telling us that “you are the most important person in the world” and that our worth is defined by that which we own. Materialism is king. We look down our noses at those with less and do not believe that a man who lives in a hut could ever have an opinion worthy of our ears. And heaven forbid if he ever becomes offended when we ridicule his culture, and beliefs, for our own entertainment.

I think this attitude was never more evident than in the film Borat. The opening sequence of this film featured the character Borat walking around his “home” village describing how people sleep with their sisters and pointing to individuals and making statements such as “this is the local rapists”
Now while people were splitting their sides in the cinemas, what many didn’t realise was that the village featured, during this opening sequence, was real. This wasn’t a stage with actors, these were real people who had no idea that they, their village, and their culture, was being made a mockery of. In essence, they were exploited for our entertainment. As shocking as this was, what I found most disturbing was people’s attitudes when I explained to them about this exploitation... many just shrugged and mumbled some poor excuse like “well they probably got paid loads” or something similar.

And I think that this is one of the fundamental floors in today’s society. We seem to believe that the answer to everything is money. Money is king because it gives us all the possessions that elevate us above our neighbours. And once we are elevated, do we really need to listen to their opinions? Do their opinions even have any worth?

I guess my own conclusion to all this is that, while I wouldn’t want this video censored or banned, I will however express my disgust and revulsion at the videos crassness, rudeness, and extremely poor production
And I think it is this that bothers me the most; people seem to feel that it is completely acceptable, funny, and entertaining to offend entire groups of people.

From the Muslim standpoint I am disappointed because they could have reacted to this video by laughing at its poor quality, and used it to demonstrate the intellectual and artistic abilities (Or should I say inabilities) of the bigots who created it. Had the Muslim protesters used their initiative they could have used it as a weapon against the very people who forged it.

I must apologise ATS, for rambling... I confess that this thread is just a pouring out of thoughts, and I also realise that it will not be one of the 200 star and flag threadathons that I would have gotten had I written a thread about Obama being a gay Muslim and Islamifying America!! But just felt I needed to express it... where else if not ATS?

Peace


edit on 20-9-2012 by Muckster because: added link

edit on 20-9-2012 by Muckster because: Spelling

edit on 20-9-2012 by Muckster because: more spelling





posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 06:33 AM
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I would like to agree with pretty much everything you have said here and I feel many of our other members may share the same belief.

I would just like to add a historical perspective. The crusades and the numerous witch trials have dotted catholisms past and executions regularly happened for blasphemy. In the grand scheme of things, it has been relatively recent that killing people on behalf of your religion was no longer acceptable. Perhaps it is only a matter of time the t all religion will adopt the same policy. Of course this only applies to people who take their faiths to the extreme.

I hope we are going to get along eventually.
edit on 20-9-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 06:50 AM
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When it comes down to it, In our countries we will not put up with their crap along with the crap of other groups. When it comes to their countries, they don't give a crap about our opinions and will continue to kill, burn, storm embassies etc. To me, the best thing to do is just leave their religion alone because if we keep insulting them, they will continue to attack and kill our people in the middle east and we will also have to put up with their shenanigans on our shores to the point some may even start carrying out attacks.

There is only one thing I have noticed about this whole scenario. Westerners are godless.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 06:51 AM
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reply to post by Muckster
 

Muckster said,

But is this really about freedom of speech? Or is it actually about the freedom to insult and offend?


It's about Freedom of Speech AND it's about the Freedom to Insult and Offend. They are one and the same.

With Freedom of Speech you get all or nothing. It's just WORDS (or pictures). If you don't agree, fine, use WORDS (or pictures) back, not guns, knives and violence that kills.

Go ahead. Insult me. Really, I want you to. I'll just laugh or perhaps I'll insult you back but I am an American, and I will not harm you just because of silly words. That's so 1500's.

If you start censoring Freedom of Speech simply because someone may get so offended they may hurt someone then the powers that be will have the precedent set to censor other things and it snowballs from there into you having no more freedoms. Because of this, we can't give an inch. No one in their right mind should expect us to.

If there is any blame here it is on those who acted with malice, not the silly words or pictures.

So yes, Be Rude. Be Insulting, Be Offensive - big deal but Be a gentleman about it, no hurting people. That is The Place to draw the line.

I see you're from Britain. I don't know what your laws say about Freedom of Speech or how close they are to ours but here, Freedom of Speech is a sacred right given to us by the most holy document in the land, the U.S. Constitution. We take it very seriously.
edit on 20-9-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: addition



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 06:59 AM
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Freedom if speech is important and should be preserved.

It's can be dangerous though. Like when people use it to try and enrage other people into attacking them so they can then "defend themselves".

It's obvious what's going on with that video and that French magazine. Time is running out for TPTB to start their final war and they need a good excuse.

I hope the muslims understand they are being baited by all of this and don't fall into the trap...



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 07:18 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 





Muckster said,

"But is this really about freedom of speech? Or is it actually about the freedom to insult and offend?"


It's about Freedom of Speech AND it's about the Freedom to Insult and Offend. They are one and the same.


But Muckster also said...

"Now we could argue that there is no difference, freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult, and I would have to agree to an extent. But the point is this... why would we want to insult? "





Go ahead. Insult me. Really, I want you to. I'll just laugh or perhaps I'll insult you back but I am an American, and I will not harm you just because of silly words. That's so 1500's.


But the point is that people shouldn’t want to insult you and your beliefs... disagree with you, sure, but insult you? why?

Also, you obviously have a thick skin... thats great, so do i over most things... but there is normally something that is the achilles heal... it could be a friend, wife, husband, child, religion, politics, whatever... there is normally something that people simply don't want insulted or mocked. We are human and have emotions after all.

It’s about respect, and lack of, by some people!





If you start censoring Freedom of Speech simply because someone may get so offended they may hurt someone then the powers that be will have the precedent set to censor other things and it snowballs from there into you having no more freedoms. Because of this, we can't give an inch. No one in their right mind should expect us to.


I never once said that we should censor... in fact what i did say was...

"I guess my own conclusion to all this is that, while I wouldn’t want this video censored or banned, I will however express my disgust and revulsion at the videos crassness, rudeness, and extremely poor production And I think it is this that bothers me the most; people seem to feel that it is completely acceptable, funny, and entertaining to offend entire groups of people."

I think that maybe you should read my OP in its entirety, because it appears that you have skimmed it.

Peace



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by Muckster
Having said that, why would someone want to create a video that they know will deliberately offend, enrage, and deeply insult a large portion of the world’s population?


Why would someone want to accuse George Bush of terrorism or endorsing sex crime? It's their opinion I guess regardless of how offensive it is.


But is this really about freedom of speech? Or is it actually about the freedom to insult and offend? [sic] why would we want to insult?


As above. We regularly accuse flesh and blood people of being evil on ATS every day.


There is a distinct pattern I am seeing, in society, whereby it seems to be cool and hip, when confronted with an opposing view or opinion, to insult and mock. We seem to have lost the ability to argue our case in a grown up manner and debate the facts and our differences.


I'm not sure that's anything new. Some humans historically assumed certain other ones were stupid and enslaved them. If the most I have to endure here is being called a few names I'm pretty happy these days.


We dismiss others views and only listen to those who believe the same things as ourselves. Maybe it is this mixture of narcissism and laziness that is causing this change in attitudes!


I think that's partly because the internet removes the need to 'convert' persons and replaces it with the ability to belong to a 'group' or like minded others. So this part I've kind of observed.

I don't think it's new but I think it's much easier to achieve a group of people that agree with you furiously for better (support) or worse (hate).

I'm not disagreeing that we have a lot to work on or that persons can be needlessly insulting. They can and often are sometimes without even meaning to ... I think if anything the internet has slammed us all together in the last 20 years to create more conflict. 1940s we didn't have to deal with distant religions head on, the TV just told us what was right or wrong and we got on with it. Now I can talk to persons thousands of miles away like you are to me now and we can disagree.


I used to only disagree with my neighbour I guess, and now I get to disagree with the whole planet.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 07:23 AM
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reply to post by DarknStormy
 


I am one of the godless westerners your talking about. God is a joke, a fairy tale, told to those that lack the mental accuity to see the truth.

All religions are a farse, like a god that is all powerful, needs an ignorant uneducated serf to kill someone for a suppossed insult to said entity.

If your god were real, he would be more than capable of metting out his own wrath where it is necessary. In this life, and the after life, or is your god the only one that doesn't promise an eternity of ultimate suffering, for a few small erroros in a crap life of pain and suffering?

BTW using the term "godless" was meant to be an insult, but I was not insulted, I found it to be a compliment, as I am "godless" in most religions oppinions. I don't go to church, I don't believe in a god, I don't waste my money paying a corrupt. Building full of pedophiles, to tell me what's acceptable behavior.

I hope I was not overly offensive here, I only meant to be mildly offensive, as I find ignorance to be mildly offensive.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by Muckster

But Muckster also said...

"Now we could argue that there is no difference, freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult, and I would have to agree to an extent. But the point is this... why would we want to insult? "


The intent is not at the heart of the matter. What is at the heart of the matter is protecting the right to free speech. As soon as you put restrictions on it for any reason, you lose all of it.

Liars should be easily spotted, and their words refuted.

I still fail to see why there is such an outcry over this... there was hardly a whisper when this was made in 1987.


....is a 1987 photograph by the American artist and photographer Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine. The piece was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art's "Awards in the Visual Arts" competition,[1] which was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a United States Government agency that offers support and funding for artistic projects. A print of the photograph was damaged using a screwdriver or icepick on April 17, 2011 while on exhibit in Avignon, France.[2]


It got damaged with an icepick. How this is contrasted by what we're seeing today... absurdity.

Link



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 07:49 AM
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What is laugh out loud hilarious to one person, is deeply insulting to another. Here lies the problem. An even more important thought....Americans have freedom of speech, but other nations do not necessarily have it. The concept of freedom of speech is lost on them, and because they are raised in a different culture, they have a hard time understanding how our culture tolerates and upholds something like freedom of speech, I'm sure from their perspective it must seem like shameful, rude maddness to be allowed to go around saying whatever you please without any filter to your thoughts or consideration of others.

Americans do not have to filter anything they say......but IMO, they should out of simple respect to their fellow humans. Just because you can make fun of an entire religion doesnt mean you should. People love satire, I know I do, but when it is dealing with something as sensitive as the Muslim faith, a religion that we all know takes itself that seriously, I'd say it's better, and far wiser to keep your mouth shut on it....satire is lost on those who hold their god to such a high degree. And if the point of the film was to get muslims to laugh at their religion, well, I am sure there are plenty who did, who got the joke.....but the ones who did not sure let it be known how they felt.

Was it worth it?

In the end, I'd say no. We as humans have a responsibility to make the world a better place, whenever we create anything, whether it be a movie, song, car, or piece of art, we should strive to make that creation something that benefits humanity.....that is what I personally believe we SHOULD do........but no where is there a rule saying we have to. There in lies the rub of the whole thing.

Should the guys freedom of speech be censored? No, of course not. Should he be hit upside the head for being a insensitive and irresponsible dumbkopf.....yeah, IMO. Should the offended Muslims have murdered over a simple film? NO! People get insulted every day of every week......if that were the case, then everytime a person were insulted, they be murdering....by the end of the week everyone would be dead! It's maddness all the way around!

To us, in the west it is insane that someone would kill over an insult.....that seems so strange, but it wasn't that long ago in our history that gentlemen where dueling over things far more petty than religion, just because someone insulted their "honor". So, this whole "Muslims live in the stone age" line that has been tossed around, seems a bit of an exaggeration, unless you consider the 1800s stone age. It was really not that long ago, we Americans did similar things.

If a person wants to use satire at the expense of an entire group of people, they should really consider if the people themselves can take the joke, otherwise the entire point of the satire is lost on them and the entire endeavor is pointless. Obviously the majority of Muslims, did not get the joke and a tiny radical segment of them were willing to kill over it, so all we got out of this little film is a bunch of dead people, and multiple nations of people angered and insulted, and our nation is left to try to deal with it. Awesome stuff.....I am sure all this was worth it, just to get a few laughs......and yes, that is sarcasm....folks, a style of humor, some people don't get either.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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The way radical Islamists are reacting to this silly movie is beyond out of line. That being said, with freedom of speech comes responsibility, hell, freedom of anything has its responsibilities. For example, if I was out somewhere with my mom, and some guy uses his freedom of speech to call her a b!tch, or anything in that capacity, a mighty fine ass whipping is en route. Freedom of speech can also have serious repercussions.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 08:12 AM
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Those movies and pictures don't mock God, they mock a Man, a dead man.

American television, movies and literature regularly mock God and the muslims don't do or say anything...but mock a flesh and blood man that lived for a short time and they start burning down things and killing people.

muslims care nothing of anything called God...they care for the creations of their own hands.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by inverslyproportional
reply to post by DarknStormy
 


I am one of the godless westerners your talking about. God is a joke, a fairy tale, told to those that lack the mental accuity to see the truth.

All religions are a farse, like a god that is all powerful, needs an ignorant uneducated serf to kill someone for a suppossed insult to said entity.

If your god were real, he would be more than capable of metting out his own wrath where it is necessary. In this life, and the after life, or is your god the only one that doesn't promise an eternity of ultimate suffering, for a few small erroros in a crap life of pain and suffering?

BTW using the term "godless" was meant to be an insult, but I was not insulted, I found it to be a compliment, as I am "godless" in most religions oppinions. I don't go to church, I don't believe in a god, I don't waste my money paying a corrupt. Building full of pedophiles, to tell me what's acceptable behavior.

I hope I was not overly offensive here, I only meant to be mildly offensive, as I find ignorance to be mildly offensive.


What do you think you offended me or something? Holy Shz..

When did I say I actually believed in a religious god? What is the truth genius?



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by DarknStormy
 


Why thank you! though I am no genius, just so you know.

I meant in general to everyone who would read my post, not so much to you in general. Although you obviously took offense, hence your obtuse reply.

Thanks for playing, see you next time, on how to anger people without even insulting them!



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Muckster
reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 



Muckster said,

"But is this really about freedom of speech? Or is it actually about the freedom to insult and offend?"

It's about Freedom of Speech AND it's about the Freedom to Insult and Offend. They are one and the same.


But Muckster also said...

"Now we could argue that there is no difference, freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult, and I would have to agree to an extent. But the point is this... why would we want to insult? "

But the point is that people shouldn’t want to insult you and your beliefs... disagree with you, sure, but insult you? why?

Also, you obviously have a thick skin... thats great, so do i over most things... but there is normally something that is the achilles heal... it could be a friend, wife, husband, child, religion, politics, whatever... there is normally something that people simply don't want insulted or mocked. We are human and have emotions after all.

It’s about respect, and lack of, by some people!

I never once said that we should censor... in fact what i did say was...

"I guess my own conclusion to all this is that, while I wouldn’t want this video censored or banned, I will however express my disgust and revulsion at the videos crassness, rudeness, and extremely poor production And I think it is this that bothers me the most; people seem to feel that it is completely acceptable, funny, and entertaining to offend entire groups of people."

Peace


Fair enough. You always refer to yourself in the first person? - don't answer that ... I'm just giving you a hard time in jest.

Why did the french magazine make and release those cartoons just now? Of course in the wake of the video they knew they would offend someone. Yes, it's funny, it's acceptable to insult whole groups of people. Everyone does it.. no.. that doesn't make it right - but it doesn't make it wrong either. It's a way to express yourself over the politics or world view of another group you probably don't agree with. Most everyone understands this is just some guys opinion and it's his way of blowing off steam.Some will agree and some wont, it really makes no difference. It doesn't mean you are necessarily trying to hurt anyone's feelings personally. This is different than making fun of something thats more personal, like making fun of an individual. With individuals you have to be more careful with your jesting. You never know especially with the internet who you are going to push off a bridge - you don't want that. Mohammad is dead, he's been dead for years, he's fair game. We live in a world where everything has been said about everyone and it happens all the time. Entire groups should be grown up enough collectively to not let these things bother them. It doesn't mean you don't respect people as individuals simply because you insult the group they belong to. People today should be more mature and not take that personally. Everyone knows people who are members of groups they are on good terms with, even though they don't accept the beliefs of the group. It's all water under the bridge.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by inverslyproportional
 


Offended at what? You are going to have to come up with something much better than that dribble to offend me. I have better things to think about like watching a mob of Muslims burning down another embassy in the middle east.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by Muckster
 


The propaganda film you are talking about is a false flag psyop.

It exists to cause division and to make a convenient excuse for the CIA/Mossad/MI5 cooped "protesters" in the middle east to cause more mayhem while keeping the US sheeple still in the pro-war easter egg hunt psychosis.


Problem. Reaction. Solution.
1)CIA/Mossad/MI5 controlled terrorists cause trouble.
2)Psychotically suggestible sheeple public react with fear,anger, etc and OBEY what they are told by the current bought/rented puppet regime.
3)Military Industrial Complex/Big Oil/Big Minerals/Big Opium wins. Repeat step 1.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by Pinke
 

Well - Pinke, that was pretty good!
As you said - at another time, none of this would even be an issue.
Example: I was raised in a zealously extreme version of Protestant Christianity. They had their reasons (historical) to count all of the other versions of "Christianity" as "the Devil's own"...and, believe it or not, I never heard a bad word or thought (other than - "they need to be saved") about Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or the "witch doctor religions of uncivilized lands"...but was vehemently taught to BEWARE the Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, Catholic, etc...
Nowadays - however - with the generally-accepted notion (propogated by our government & media) that Jihad is the ultimate programme (MK-Ultra-esque) of Islam...the former grudges & biases toward Satan's many versions of Christianity have been subverted. It is certainly true that this is only temporary...like the various Allies in a World War that returned to each other's throats as soon as their common foe had cowered.
It does seem to me that - regardless of the progress of our "civilized societies", we are just as maleable as all those simple sheep in Orwells 1984. This week - "Europe is our ally and always has been, and Islam is nothing but evil"... Next week - "Islamic nations and peoples are our loyal and honored allies, and Europe is the slime of all creation."
As to "group-think"...one need look no further than the present trend of television commercials that have taken hold.
Absolute stupidity...but - guess what - those who write the commercials think it's "cutting edge" and "cute" and "funny"..."and, that's all that counts".
Used to be that during the Super Bowl, the best/funniest/cutest/edgiest commercials of the entire year would air... 2/3 to 3/4 of them might catch your attention/imagination... Now, that proportion has been reversed.
Rambling - I know.
Thought your thoughts were poignant and...they were appreciated.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 09:04 PM
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Freedom of Speech incurs the responsiblity to use said freedom consciously, with the respect and honor that such a sacred right deserves.

In other words, yes have the Freedom to say anything you may want; but you have the responsibility to excercise that right intelligently.


Insults, Ad Hominem verbal assults, are the product of weak, limited, and immature minds; minds which lack the skill to express their thoughts objectively, and the maturity to realize thier verbal short-commings.


As to the violent reaction we are seeing in the Islamic world, that which is the product of true offense (not merely politicised polemics) , is indicative of every "young" religion.


It seems, at least as far as what Frank Herbert would have called Desert-born Religions", that a "violent phase must be endured before the passions which fueled the belief's "birth" damp back to a long-term smoulder.


It may seem, in the midst of the turmoil we are witnessing now,perhaps overly-optomistic, But This Too Shall Pass.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 09:32 PM
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Originally posted by Bhadhidar
Freedom of Speech incurs the responsiblity to use said freedom consciously, with the respect and honor that such a sacred right deserves.

In other words, yes have the Freedom to say anything you may want; but you have the responsibility to excercise that right intelligently.


Insults, Ad Hominem verbal assults, are the product of weak, limited, and immature minds; minds which lack the skill to express their thoughts objectively, and the maturity to realize thier verbal short-commings.


As to the violent reaction we are seeing in the Islamic world, that which is the product of true offense (not merely politicised polemics) , is indicative of every "young" religion.


It seems, at least as far as what Frank Herbert would have called Desert-born Religions", that a "violent phase must be endured before the passions which fueled the belief's "birth" damp back to a long-term smoulder.


It may seem, in the midst of the turmoil we are witnessing now,perhaps overly-optomistic, But This Too Shall Pass.

Don't know that I entirely disagree with your post...but, do wonder where the notion that "freedom of speech/expression" is "sacred" came from.
IMO - week-minded insulters will only insult (and inspire a response from) week-minded people.
We see THE SAME things happening day in and day out in all/most of the other nations of the world -- The Nightly News is chock-full of it...
Monty Python mocked Christianity in every movie they made. Atheists mock Christians, Christians mock Atheists, Buddhists mock Buddhists, Muslims mock Muslims... I have mocked my own parents...and, recall (shamefully) times when I mocked those even-more-dear to me than they (my parents).
Likewise, I am no stranger to "being mocked"...having received abundant crops of the same throughout my lifetime. Sometimes for "what I believed/thought"...sometimes for foolish actions and mistakes. As a rule, however, I adopted the philosophy of joining my mockers...and even out-mocking myself, rather than retaliating. They generally lose motivation if they don't get a "rise" out of you.
If we had any intelligent people (whose concern was the welfare of the governed/faithful) at the helm...(in either Islam or USA)...little would be made of the "insults" (and retailiations). But, alas...those at the helm are either unintelligent...or...unconcerned for the general welfare of...us.



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