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Title: Free Speech
Description: Where does free speech end?


Moneke - August 30, 2007 07:53 AM (GMT)
I have been wondering about this for a while.

Where does free speech end? When do you overstep the mark? Should we give people the opportunity to voice crazy view because of free speech? Should governments be able to block some forms of free speech?

What the hell is free speech anyways?

QUOTE
Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. It is often regarded as an integral concept in modern liberal democracies. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law through numerous human rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.


but should people be free to spread crazy ideas, like Neo-Nazism and Extremist views?

Alternativly shouldn't people be able to have legitimate protest against governments.

Where is the line drawn?

Esau of Isaac - August 30, 2007 07:56 AM (GMT)
Yes, adults should be allowed to exercise their speech, even if the contents of the speech are not appreciated. But depending upon the place you are at that right may change subtly or drastically, and that is to be expected.

Moridin - August 30, 2007 08:01 AM (GMT)
Should extremist viewpoints be allowed to be voiced? Certainly. Free speech hinges on one main factor: that all viewpoints are able to be voiced. If someone hears both an extremist viewpoint and a more moderate one, if they are a reasonable person, they will think it through and favor the moderate one. If they favor the extremist viewpoint, then they were predisposed to it in the first place, and the prevention of free speech would not have helped it.

Of course, free speech ends at the point where it becomes what is now referred to as "fighting words", where speech is exploited purely to offend someone rather than put forward a viewpoint.

Opethian - August 30, 2007 01:36 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Moneke @ Aug 30 2007, 03:53 AM)



but should people be free to spread crazy ideas, like Neo-Nazism and Extremist views?



Yes. They should also be arrested if they enact on those views in any illigal ways.



Lord Sharpe - August 30, 2007 02:00 PM (GMT)
You are allowed to say whatever you ant as long as it does not infringe on others.

That, of course, does not mean you SHOULD. People need to realize this. Just because you can say something doesnt mean you must.

Nikanor - August 30, 2007 02:02 PM (GMT)
I think the line should be drawn when someone starts getting into other's affairs and of course it should never cross civil boundaries. Basically, if you say something about someone, expect someone else to be able to say the same thing.

Certains words should not have to be used by one race/nationality only.

Gustave5436 - August 30, 2007 02:04 PM (GMT)
Don't shout "fire" in a crowded theater.

Daver - August 30, 2007 02:06 PM (GMT)
I'm opposed to free speech, so I say the moment it gets extreme it stops. I have no problem with someone saying, "That's not fair!" but I do have a problem when someone says, "We must kill all that oppose us!". As is (I'm in the USA) I could go on a NAZI rant and nothing would happen. In my view, if I was to do such a thing I should be strung up from the nearest tree.

Japan - August 30, 2007 02:16 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Daver @ Aug 30 2007, 08:06 AM)
I'm opposed to free speech, so I say the moment it gets extreme it stops. I have no problem with someone saying, "That's not fair!" but I do have a problem when someone says, "We must kill all that oppose us!". As is (I'm in the USA) I could go on a NAZI rant and nothing would happen. In my view, if I was to do such a thing I should be strung up from the nearest tree.

And the extremist viewpoint you hold is allowed to be expressed because of free speach.

Irony FTW

Daver - August 30, 2007 02:30 PM (GMT)
In no way is it an extreme view. An extreme view is NO FREE SPEECH, I still agree with limited free speech.

Non-mainstream =/= extreme.

Kevin the Great - August 30, 2007 02:37 PM (GMT)
Limited free speech is not free speech. That's "free" speech on the condition that you don't piss off the government or someone well connected.

Azaghul - August 30, 2007 02:53 PM (GMT)
I support absolute free speech with regard to ideas. No ideas should be censored because the mainstream finds them deplorable. Sometimes extremist viewpoints are actually the right one. Abolitionist viewpoints were very extreme when they first started appearing, especially in the south.

You can't stop bad ideas from spreading anyway. Allowing them to be debated in an open way allows a way for them to be refuted and defeated.

I only support punishing speech when it directly insights violence in a volatile situation (like you encourage a crowd to kill someone that you have there at the moment) or some limited cases of slandering a private citizen.

Frank Carbonni - August 30, 2007 03:11 PM (GMT)
Free speech in all cases with the exception of comments with the intent to cause harm. Examples would be the ordering of a murder or yelling "Fire!" in a crowded place.

I have no problem with extremist views, because most mainstream views were considered extreme at one point or another and the worst views are usually mocked anyways.

Esau of Isaac - August 30, 2007 06:50 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Daver @ Aug 30 2007, 06:06 AM)
I'm opposed to free speech, so I say the moment it gets extreme it stops. I have no problem with someone saying, "That's not fair!" but I do have a problem when someone says, "We must kill all that oppose us!". As is (I'm in the USA) I could go on a NAZI rant and nothing would happen. In my view, if I was to do such a thing I should be strung up from the nearest tree.

No, if you threaten to kill an individual you can expect yourself to be in some deep trouble. In a country where you can get slapped with a harassment charge for the simplest of things, and you go without charges for killing someone. I don't think so.

smallfrog - August 30, 2007 07:00 PM (GMT)
I don't know about the U.S, but freedom of speech is an odd issue in the U.K.


The law tries to create the balance. You can say what you like, criticise what you like, as long as you don't;

1. Insight violence. Standing at the front of a rally and saying, "lets go kill all those #@$! people over there," will get you arrested.

2. You are also not allowed to insight religious hatred. So you can say, "I think all religious people are fools, their religion is a pack of lies," but can't say, "I think we should all despise religious people because they are stupid enough to believe what they believe."

The point of this is to safeguard as much free speech as possible whilst safeguarding my right to work in an animal experimentation lab without having the living hell beaten out of me by animal rights terrorists.

TheSIN - August 30, 2007 07:03 PM (GMT)
Free speech ends when you infringe on someone's else's rights.

Jesse, Bad Boy - August 30, 2007 09:21 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (TheSIN @ Aug 30 2007, 01:03 PM)
Free speech ends when you infringe on someone's else's rights.

This, simply.


Otherwise, there should be no limits to free speech. This includes threats and likewise low-life remarks, because up until they actually act on those remarks, they're precisely as what I described: Low-lifes.

El Pilchinator - August 30, 2007 09:56 PM (GMT)
Freedom of speech ends when you infringe on another person's rights.

gamerz53 - August 30, 2007 10:00 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (El Pilchinator @ Aug 30 2007, 05:56 PM)
Freedom of speech ends when you infringe on another person's rights.

Yea, this.

Though I find that the above is only in place because people take too many comments to heart, and sadly act malevolently upon it. Though in my utopian world, there is no limits to free speech :)

mastab - August 30, 2007 10:02 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Moneke @ Aug 30 2007, 01:53 AM)
I have been wondering about this for a while.

Where does free speech end? When do you overstep the mark? Should we give people the opportunity to voice crazy view because of free speech? Should governments be able to block some forms of free speech?

What the hell is free speech anyways?



but should people be free to spread crazy ideas, like Neo-Nazism and Extremist views?

Alternativly shouldn't people be able to have legitimate protest against governments.

Where is the line drawn?

Freedom of speech is universal, and you cannot disciminate against anyone - whether nazi, conspirorist, or rebellion insighter - with it. If I have something I want to say, no one should stop me.

QUOTE
Freedom of speech ends when you infringe on another person's rights.

How can saying something take away somone else's rights? It's the resulting action that does that, not the words themselves.

TheDave - August 30, 2007 10:05 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Moneke @ Aug 30 2007, 08:53 AM)
Where does free speech end?

Free speech must be limitless. By definition, if it is given an ending point it is no longer free speech.

Moneke - August 31, 2007 05:58 AM (GMT)
if you notice they were all questions <reddev>

I think everyone should be able to express their opinions on things but not blatantly force them on others. But extremism draws a different problem, extremism shows that you are willing to use violence and "hate" the "opposition", these views should not be spread as they infringe on others rights.

Talking about very extremist views will eventually lead to hate and violence. It always does. You can't say people wont act on those views.


Kenadian_2006 - August 31, 2007 06:00 AM (GMT)
I think there should only be limits in given circumstances or positions. IE: A teacher who teaches his students Ebil Jewish Cunspiracy BS and even has the gaul to put it on the exam. True story.

Azaghul - August 31, 2007 08:58 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Moneke @ Aug 30 2007, 11:58 PM)
if you notice they were all questions  <reddev>

I think everyone should be able to express their opinions on things but not blatantly force them on others. But extremism draws a different problem, extremism shows that you are willing to use violence and "hate" the "opposition", these views should not be spread as they infringe on others rights.

Talking about very extremist views will eventually lead to hate and violence. It always does. You can't say people wont act on those views.

The problem is, how do you define "extremism"? Who decides what is alright and what is? Giving anyone the power to censor speech is much more dangerous than allowing extremist views to be stated openly, as allowing the censoring of ideas is the first step towards authoritarianism and a power easily abused. Remember, abolitionism and talk of racial equality were once considered to be extremist and dangerous.

Censoring extremes ideas and making them illegal wont stop them from spreading, won't stop people from believing them, and won't stop people from committing violence acts because of them In fact they give them a "victim" status and give them unearned legitimacy. Not only that, but if views cant be discussed in the open they can't be confronted and refuted. Plus, what do extremist groups like anarchists or the KKK or neo-nazis gain by being allowed to speak openly? They only make themselves look ridiculous. By allowing extremists to think they are advancing their cause through rallies and other peaceful and legal ways of speaking out, you make them less likely to try to make their views known through violent and illegal acts.

FlameDarkfire - August 31, 2007 09:00 PM (GMT)
You free speech ends when it infringes on my rights.

Arbaces - August 31, 2007 09:03 PM (GMT)
The Freedom of Speech should end nowhere.

FlameDarkfire - August 31, 2007 09:12 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Arbaces @ Aug 31 2007, 03:03 PM)
The Freedom of Speech should end nowhere.

Let us examine that statement.

When the Continental Congress, and later the Constitutional Conventions, got together, they decided that people have certain rights that should not/cannot be infringed upon. This includes when, in the course of exercising a right, that infringes on someone else's right. For instance, I have the right to worship a higher power in the way I see fit. However, with your rhetoric you get something passed that says I cannot worship that way anymore (the method is inconsequential). You have effectively infringed on my right of religion with your right of speech. Now, neither should be infringed upon, so the ball is in your court.

And also, you're saying someone should be able to walk into a crowded theater and yell "Fire!" or "Bomb!" or even threaten another person?

Arbaces - August 31, 2007 09:49 PM (GMT)
Yes, if it exceeds 20-30 db or hell know how many decibels; I mean when it is so loud that it interferes with public order or simillar, such as in theatres or cinemas like you said I agree, that freedom of noise should be restrained. When I'm in a theatre I'm there to watch the play, don't really care for bombs or earthquackes so I smack him who would do this.

QUOTE
However, with your rhetoric you get something passed that says I cannot worship that way anymore (the method is inconsequential).

But this, is not a very good example; because perhaps through the way you practice your religion, you infringe on other people's rights.



Arbaces.

smallfrog - August 31, 2007 09:59 PM (GMT)
I think there is a very basic way of defining when someone has gone to far. If they are mobbed to death, they went to far.


FlameDarkfire - August 31, 2007 09:59 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Arbaces @ Aug 31 2007, 03:49 PM)
Yes, if it exceeds 20-30 db or hell know how many decibels; I mean when it is so loud that it interferes with public order or simillar, such as in theatres or cinemas like you said I agree, that freedom of noise should be restrained. When I'm in a theatre I'm there to watch the play, don't really care for bombs or earthquackes so I smack him who would do this.

Bombs, earthquakes, fires, and other things take lives. I think you'd care a lot if someone yelled about any of them being in a theater, simply because they're serious enough that you'd pay attention. Even if you pay them no heed, others will. The general thought is that by doing so then that will cause a riot as people are trying to escape. That's definitely abusing your right, as people get hurt in riots.

electric frog - August 31, 2007 10:10 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Daver @ Aug 30 2007, 09:06 AM)
I'm opposed to free speech, so I say the moment it gets extreme it stops. I have no problem with someone saying, "That's not fair!" but I do have a problem when someone says, "We must kill all that oppose us!". As is (I'm in the USA) I could go on a NAZI rant and nothing would happen. In my view, if I was to do such a thing I should be strung up from the nearest tree.

the firing squad is waiting, please make an oderly line against the wall and our kind executioners will be with you in a moment. fascist states are not necessarly nazis you know. dont like something thats said ignore the ignorance! Education fights the ignorance and stupidity not censorship.

Jesse, Bad Boy - August 31, 2007 11:15 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (FlameDarkfire @ Aug 31 2007, 03:12 PM)
Let us examine that statement.

When the Continental Congress, and later the Constitutional Conventions, got together, they decided that people have certain rights that should not/cannot be infringed upon. This includes when, in the course of exercising a right, that infringes on someone else's right. For instance, I have the right to worship a higher power in the way I see fit. However, with your rhetoric you get something passed that says I cannot worship that way anymore (the method is inconsequential). You have effectively infringed on my right of religion with your right of speech. Now, neither should be infringed upon, so the ball is in your court.

That's ridiculous. You're asserting that his speech eliminates all notions of free will and individual responsibility. Intent in itself is not a crime. To enact an aggression against someone simply because you think that they might aggress against you in the future makes you the aggressor. It is not legitimate to enact force on people simply because they have ill desires towards others. You can only enact force in defense once they have actually overtly presented the threat. If I punch you in the nose because you, while on your own property to boot, insulted my character verbally or advocated verbally that the institutions I personally like should be done away with, then I am guilty of assault. Justifying initiations of aggression by alluding to intent or "psychic damage" is the oldest trick in the book.

That's like me paying you for a service, and then you use that money for underage Thai hookers, and me getting blamed for giving you the money.

QUOTE
And also, you're saying someone should be able to walk into a crowded theater and yell "Fire!" or "Bomb!"


Not if the theater is privately owned.

QUOTE
or even threaten another person?


A criminal is a criminal because they act out their ugly intentions. On the other hand, someone who simply has ugly intentions, but lacks the courage or willpower to actually carry them out in physical action against others, does not constitute a criminal. A low-life perhaps, but not an aggressor.

Azaghul - September 1, 2007 12:52 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (FlameDarkfire @ Aug 31 2007, 03:12 PM)
Let us examine that statement.

When the Continental Congress, and later the Constitutional Conventions, got together, they decided that people have certain rights that should not/cannot be infringed upon.  This includes when, in the course of exercising a right, that infringes on someone else's right.  For instance, I have the right to worship a higher power in the way I see fit.  However, with your rhetoric you get something passed that says I cannot worship that way anymore (the method is inconsequential).  You have effectively infringed on my right of religion with your right of speech.  Now, neither should be infringed upon, so the ball is in your court.

And also, you're saying someone should be able to walk into a crowded theater and yell "Fire!" or "Bomb!" or even threaten another person?

If legislation was passed that infringed on religious freedom, it would be unconstitutional and the courts would throw it out. However, saying that a law doing that should be enacted has no direct affect on your rights, and should be legal.

Kind of like, you can say you hate some group, but as long as you don't act on it, you aren't breaking the law.

FlameDarkfire - September 1, 2007 03:43 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Jesse, Bad Boy @ Aug 31 2007, 05:15 PM)
Not if the theater is privately owned.

Well then any public place; you pick one. The point is you can be charged with intent to start a riot for doing so fraudulently, and obviously if you're stupid enough to yell "bomb" in a crowded area (again, you pick the public space) then you must have wanted people to react. Which they will, because even the mention of it sets off alarms. I could walk into school carrying wooden dowel rods painted to look like sticks of TNT and a mock up detonator box and can be arrested and kicked out of school for it. That's because it was simply the idea of them being real that was enough to get people scared. And that's terroristic threatening, which is a crime, which by your definition would be protected under free speech. How would you like people to be calling you at all hours of the day saying that your house is rigged to explode? Isn't the threat of it being true enough to get you scared?

Generalissimo - September 1, 2007 03:51 AM (GMT)
Where does free speech end?

It doesn't. There is a line between free speech and free action, however, that many do no seem to understand. Actions that make a statement are not free speech. Free speech should refer to free dialog (verbal, textual, ect...).

FlameDarkfire - September 1, 2007 08:22 PM (GMT)
We have the right to free speech... until we're accused of terroristic threatening
We have the right to free press (extended to tv and radio)... just tread lightly around the FCC
We have the right to freedom of religion... as long as it doesn't preach hate against others
We have the right to freely assemble peacefully... as long as you have a permit

Roland Verne - September 1, 2007 09:40 PM (GMT)
"Free speech" is freedom of speech that the right to speak without censorship. Freedom of speech is connected to democracies, especially liberterian democracies. A democracy cannot exist truly without the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. :D

timewarp - September 1, 2007 11:52 PM (GMT)
Free speech is only that when it is wholly unrestricted. Anything else isn't free speech, now is it?

Genre - September 2, 2007 12:26 AM (GMT)
No one has a right to violate anyone else's rights. Free speech (I don't feel like coming up with a completely new term for it) up to the point where it violates someone else's rights is ideal.

timewarp - September 2, 2007 12:55 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Genre @ Sep 1 2007, 08:26 PM)
No one has a right to violate anyone else's rights. Free speech (I don't feel like coming up with a completely new term for it) up to the point where it violates someone else's rights is ideal.

Speech does not violate anyone's rights, as people do not have the right not to be offended.




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