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message 1: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 09, 2016 09:59PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Admittedly, free speech is not hate speech. How much is too much?


message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments The boundaries differ between the countries, but most support libel/defamation doctrine as the grounds for civil liability and criminal one for incitement of something unlawful, and some - for racism.


message 3: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan If you don't have free speech, how can you speak truth to power?


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Sure, free speech is paramount, it's hate speech that is problematic, but I think it has less restrictions when directed to powers, more - when to individuals -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik wrote: "Sure, free speech is paramount, it's hate speech that is problematic, but I think it has less restrictions when directed to powers, more - when to individuals -:)"

This is an excellent distinction.


message 6: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Graeme, free speech does not mean the freedom to whatever pops into ones head. Then Trump should become president today. The use of proper etiquette wouldn't impede free speech or attainment of truth in any way in my view. However, it is important to know what is acceptable and what is not - as Nik says, racial comments, bigotry so on and so forth.


message 7: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Nik wrote: "Sure, free speech is paramount, it's hate speech that is problematic, but I think it has less restrictions when directed to powers, more - when to individuals -:)"

Quite right Nik.


message 8: by J.J. (last edited Oct 11, 2016 07:25AM) (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2250 comments If you're trying to maintain true free speech, then banning hate speech becomes a problematic, slippery slope. Society in general at a particular time can largely agree on what constitutes hate speech and people can rally behind banning it. But all it takes is one corrupt politician gaining the leadership, and they set out to ban less controversial speech. Maybe they start to ban anything that sounds negative about them, because if we define "hate speech" with any level of ambiguity, then a politician can use it to ban the opposition.

Take the example of Donald Trump. If Obama and the Justice Department were to bring charges under a hypothetical hate speech law, how could we the public know those charges were brought because of the speech, and not because the administration is trying to silence the opposition candidate? How could you differentiate the hatred and/or bigotry he espouses towards minorities and women from the anti-Russian rhetoric Clinton tosses out? On the surface, the two are nowhere near the same, but if you're Russian-American, maybe you find it just as hurtful as legal Mexicans find anti-illegal talk.

Or should Trump win the election, theoretically he could use those same hypothetical hate speech laws to punish liberals for opposing him. Maybe he could charge establishment Republicans for opposing him and refusing to back him during the election, claiming something they said constituted hate speech. Maybe the ruling party directs the police to round up anyone with a yard sign for the opposition, claiming their support represents hate speech.

We'd like to think this scenario is too far-fetched to happen in our civilized countries, but history is full of examples where leaders abuse their power to silence opposition under the guise of existing laws. It's no difference with any other right in the US guaranteed in the Constitution, but once you create exemptions for those rights, you open the door to more restrictive exemptions in the future.

If you're in a country with nearly unrestricted free speech, the best way to combat hate speech is with positive speech. After all, just because hate groups have a right to spew hate, that doesn't mean you don't have the right to denounce them and their message. After all, free speech is meant to disseminate ideas, and you can't have a truly informed discussion if you silence one side of the argument, no matter how vile it is.


message 9: by Nik (last edited Oct 11, 2016 08:29AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Declared freedoms still seem to be subject to ideology.
As an example, freedom of speech or not, looks like Communist Party of the USA was effectively denied it, like any alien ideology would - in a non-democratic country -:)


message 10: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy One very important free speech issue to me is that I am totally opposed to any blasphemy laws. Here is a brief rundown where they exist now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphe...


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Interesting map and overview. From a quick a glance look like about half of the world is still with blasphemy laws..


message 12: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 11, 2016 10:32PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Nik wrote: "Declared freedoms still seem to be subject to ideology.
As an example, freedom of speech or not, looks like Communist Party of the USA was effectively denied it, like any alien ideology would - in ..."



Right Again. What does democracy mean? Can we weed out hatred?


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Mehreen wrote: "What does democracy mean? Can we weed out hatred?..."

Democracy? Usually the rule of majority and protection from abuse of minority. For different reasons it is narrowed down to distorted elections. Not sure the system works as it was designed or assumed...

As of hatred - it's one of the basic, although negative, feelings, like love. Through education we can maybe reduce it towards bad weather or ex-boyfriends/gf?-:)


message 14: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2250 comments Nik wrote: "Declared freedoms still seem to be subject to ideology.
As an example, freedom of speech or not, looks like Communist Party of the USA was effectively denied it, like any alien ideology would - in ..."


And that is what happens when we start justifying the limitations of freedoms we claim to hold dear...We might be ideologically opposed to Communism and everything it represents, but the self-proclaimed American Communists or socialists or whatever weren't and aren't hatemongers like other groups in this country. But because we deemed them anti-American, any high profile individual with public views even similar to Communism were dragged in front of Congress during the height of the Cold War and had their careers severely damaged if not destroyed all together.


message 15: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Nik wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "What does democracy mean? Can we weed out hatred?..."

Democracy? Usually the rule of majority and protection from abuse of minority. For different reasons it is narrowed down to di..."


Lol!!! So true.


message 16: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments As much as I can't stand him, Trump has a right to say what he wants. Just like the people have a right to turn him off or not elect him.

Everyone is offended by someone. Society needs to chill.

The only thing I am TOTALLY against are those religious nuts who attend funerals for homosexuals and military, holding signs and chanting they deserved to die and they'll burn in hell. I don't understand how they have a right to attend a sacred ceremony. Now that's blasphemy.


message 17: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan If you take away hatred you will take away humanity as well.

I.e. Without hatred, people are no longer human.

Not advocating hatred - just acknowledging its intrinsic presence in the human condition.


message 18: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I'm an advocate for the value of emotional resilience.

I advocate for the maximisation of free speech and emotional resilience.

Ask yourself this - are you more empowered in a world where free speech and emotional resilience are maximised, or not.


message 19: by Nihar (new)

Nihar Suthar (niharsuthar) | 38 comments I agree with people above. Personally, I draw the line between free speech and hate speech when I am physically or emotionally harming somebody with my words. Of course, in some instances this may not always be true (everybody has arguments here and there, but you probably don't have the intention of hurting the other person on purpose), and requires some more thought in these scenarios.

This is just my personal opinion, though.

-Nihar
www.niharsuthar.com


message 20: by Michael (last edited Oct 12, 2016 08:34AM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments There really should be no restriction to speech other than those that have the distinct ability to cause immediate harm - the yelling fire in a theater example so many like to use.

Hate speech that does not incite immediate violence should not be restricted. Its far too slippery of a slope to stand upon.

Hate speech is not discrimination, harassment, threats or violence – all of which are qualitatively worse and are rightly criminalized.

Being a racist is not the same of being one who discriminates.

The criminalization of hate speech comes too close to the idea of a thought police.


message 21: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan If I'm opposed to someone's ideas, the last thing that I want to do is silence them, for the following reasons.

[1] I want them out in the open where I can see them.

[2] I do not want to reinforce in my opponents mind the idea that they are right. There is nothing like public persecution of an idea to reinforce and validate it in the minds of those that believe it.

[3] I would be gifting to my opponent a platform of moral righteousness as the "persecuted one, who is oppressed by the powerful" that can prove attractive to others - swelling his ranks.

[4] I want to keep ideas that I disagree with out in the open where they can be combatted, not forced underground to fester and metastasize.

The bottom line - the suppression of speech that you disagree with is a process of giving in to a desire for temporary emotional satisfaction at the expense of self disempowerment.

If I say - "You musn't speak those disagreeable words." - I am the one who becomes weaker.

And I find personal disempowerment to be intolerable.


message 22: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments I'd rather keep my speech to myself, if I know it is going to hurt somebody. Is this a possible scenario?


message 23: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Of course.

I'm not into hurting people and I self censor when it matters.

But the key is to keep it voluntary.

We can only know each other through words and deeds.


message 24: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 12, 2016 04:57PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Of course.

I'm not into hurting people and I self censor when it matters.

But the key is to keep it voluntary.

We can only know each other through words and deeds."


That is good to know. Not let the genie out of the bottle. Lol. Then we have it Islamphobia, Anti-semitism, homophobia, and God knows what else. That's hate man, totally armageddon.


message 25: by Michael (last edited Oct 12, 2016 05:29PM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Mehreen wrote: "Islamphobia, Anti-semitism, homophobia, and God knows what else."


To believe all of that is permissible. You can hate whoever you want. You have the right to deny the very existence of God.

To act on it those prejudices is something else. When we begin to silence people for the way they think - we as a society lose out tremendously.

It is not accident or mistake that the First Amendment of the Constitution is indeed the first enumerated right. And it is no mistake that the First Amendment is protected by the Second Amendment. There is no right to free speech unless it can be defended, at times, by force, if necessary.


message 26: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I'm very much with Michael on this.

Every Totalitarian society smashes free speech - and they do it to maintain control.


message 27: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 12, 2016 09:37PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Then you are declaring war. Because once hatred is spewed, war is inevitable.


message 28: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Mehreen,

Possible responses to hate speech.

[1] Join in - Conformity/adoption.

[2] Active suppression - I.e. Legal and/or violent sanction.

[3] Disengagement - i.e Shunning

[4] Indifference - I.e. Ignoring

[5] Engagement - I.e. Persuasion, argument, etc.

Only one of these responses has any hope of defusing hatred.

We are both on the same side here.

Please re-read my message #21 above. Active suppression cedes the moral high ground to the hate speaker, they then feel morally compelled to persist with their hatred as they are the "oppressed".

If you want to understand hatred, and you have to understand hatred if you want to diffuse it. Then it is mandatory to understand hatred from the inside. You have to put yourself into the shoes of the hater to understand what is going on for them.

As I have said in other fora, humanity lives on a moral knife edge and the world is filled with both beauty and horror.

Every human problem, and hatred is very much a human problem can only be solved with the most thorough going engagement - nothing less will do.


message 29: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Hi Mehreen,

Possible responses to hate speech.

[1] Join in - Conformity/adoption.

[2] Active suppression - I.e. Legal and/or violent sanction.

[3] Disengagement - i.e Shunning

[4] Indifference..."


I most sincerely hope you are right on this.


message 30: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I just have a POV.


message 31: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments To add some controversy - sometimes the borderline between incitement and free speech may blur.. When a cleric glorifies the act of terror or describes to flock how excellent it is to be a martyr, what is it?


message 32: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Well Nik, that is an excellent question.


message 33: by Michael (last edited Oct 13, 2016 07:51AM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Mehreen wrote: "Then you are declaring war. Because once hatred is spewed, war is inevitable."

War is inevitable. It is a part of the human condition no less than death. It has been a part of our society since man/woman settled in communities and fought for natural resources and survival. Nothing has changed in 10,000 years. It will not change in another 10,000, unless resources can be made plentiful for everyone. Which is highly unlikely.

Hate speech doesnt cause war, its a symptom of intolerance.

Nik wrote: "To add some controversy - sometimes the borderline between incitement and free speech may blur.. When a cleric glorifies the act of terror or describes to flock how excellent it is to be a martyr, ..."

Its free speech. Even criminalization of the act of sedition is questionable. Revolution is necessary.

The man who wrote the Constitution said this...

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

It is necessary to violently overthrow governments when they no longer represent or meet the needs of their citizens. Any such act today would be called domestic terrorism. One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Free speech cannot be subjective.


message 34: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Well, I'm not a big fan of revolutions -:), but I do believe the government should 'represent or meet the needs of their citizens'.
I can understand though the dilemmas the Supreme Court needed to deal with in shaping the current legal doctrine:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...


message 35: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Nik wrote: "Well, I'm not a big fan of revolutions -:), but I do believe the government should 'represent or meet the needs of their citizens'.
I can understand though the dilemmas the Supreme Court needed to ..."


Seconded.


message 36: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Nik wrote: "Well, I'm not a big fan of revolutions -:), "

Without them progress is impossible.

There has been literally hundreds to thousands of revolutions in the past 5000 years, some good some bad. But overall, without them, we would not be where we are right now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...


message 37: by Mehreen (last edited Oct 14, 2016 01:14AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Michael wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "Then you are declaring war. Because once hatred is spewed, war is inevitable."

War is inevitable. It is a part of the human condition no less than death. It has been a part of our ..."


Really? Then why are people intolerant? Hate surely has a place in it. Not everyone is like us. Speaking freely and yet loving each other like one big family.


message 38: by Segilola (new)

Segilola Salami (segilolasalami) | 405 comments seems I'm late to the party . . .

is hate speech really hate speech? surely having strong views about something isn't bad. doing something harmful as a result is a different kettle of fish.

I had this same conversation with someone a few weeks ago when I read that post brexit, the UK is no longer sticking to the human rights act. Anyhoos, this person I was chatting with said that there's freedom of speech only as long as your speech is in the trending topics of the moment. for instance if you said in public 'I don't like homosexuals', just see how quickly your behind would get thrown into jail. I don't think that's hate speech, that's a personal opinion.

or let's say vegetarianism was the in thing and a meat eater like me says I don't understand why anyone would want to eat grass alone. could that then be seen as hate speech?

I think like has rightly been said, we should, as a society, be more welcoming to opinions that clash with ours. everyone is free to say what they agree with or do not agree with.

What I would find personally offensive is abusive or hateful actions eg I will kill you if you do not denounce meat. That there is not freedom of speech.


message 39: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Segilola wrote: "seems I'm late to the party . . . ..."

The Party is on-going and admittedly without the hate speech -:)


message 40: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Nik wrote: "Segilola wrote: "seems I'm late to the party . . . ..."

The Party is on-going and admittedly without the hate speech -:)"


There is hope for us.


message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Michael wrote: "But overall, without them, we would not be where we are right now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of... ..."


That's an interesting list per se..
Surely, revolutions were and are (as they are ongoing in some places as we speak) a big factor in bringing more progressive systems, but there is usually a toll in human lives and subsequent terror against opposition.
The revolutions are frequently against something and more rarely 'for' something. What would be nowadays a more progressive idea to shift to whether through revolutionary or other means?


message 42: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan In our modern society which is utterly dependent for it's operation on a large number of highly technical interlocking systems of systems.

Energy systems, telecommunications, banking, our logistics systems are built round just in time delivery, etc.

Could we actually have a real, old time, revolution without destroying not just the fabric of society, but it's foundation as well.

I.e. Could a real shoot em up revolution fundamentally, and irreparably crash the systems on which society and most of us rely upon for our survival.

Are we past a threshold were we could not afford to risk a revolution, even if we otherwise desperately wanted one?


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Are we past a threshold were we could not afford to risk a revolution, even if we otherwise desperately wanted one?..."

Revolution is the means, not the goal. We can probably destroy the systems and we seem to be good in destruction -:(, but what do we want instead? What should be the goal, in your opinion, - just anarchy or something more progressive, sophisticated or vice versa - simplified? What should replace the systems?


message 44: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2250 comments Nik wrote: "To add some controversy - sometimes the borderline between incitement and free speech may blur.. When a cleric glorifies the act of terror or describes to flock how excellent it is to be a martyr, ..."
I don't think it's as blurry as you think. Free speech would allow for a cleric to say "America is evil because A, B, and C." But when the cleric says "Go out and commit an act of violence," that's where you've crossed the line.


message 45: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14912 comments J.J. wrote: "But when the cleric says "Go out and commit an act of violence," that's where you've crossed the line...."

Yeah, that's why some use allegories...


message 46: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Nik wrote: "Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Are we past a threshold were we could not afford to risk a revolution, even if we otherwise desperately wanted one?..."

Revolution is the means, not the goal. We can proba..."


As a practical matter, I doubt that revolution is still feasible.

I fall more in the camp of
...“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

― Jalaluddin Rumi


message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "As a practical matter, I doubt that revolution is still feasible."

You might want to look at the link I shared.

The Arab Spring and pretty much everything that ISIS is doing is considered a revolution. Millions have been displaced, injured and murdered by just these two revolutions.

The situation caused by ISIS is effecting world politics, down to the US Presidential election. It basically caused Brexit and may bring about the end of the European Union and could ultimately begin WW3.

If thats not a revolution, Im not sure what qualifies as such in your mind.


message 48: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I was thinking in the West.

I have my doubts - not certain (I.e. I could easily be wrong).


message 49: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Michael wrote: "Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "As a practical matter, I doubt that revolution is still feasible."

You might want to look at the link I shared.

The Arab Spring and pretty much everything that ISIS is d..."


Well, of course what ISIS is doing is wrong and that is revolution of one kind. However, there is always a domino effect. And equally hard to find the source of who started what. Only History silently records it all.


message 50: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "I was thinking in the West."

Revolutions dont always end were they start. The American Revolution was the precursor and cause of the French Revolution.

If you dont think the ISIS revolution is reverberating in the West, that might be because you are in Australia and it hasnt reached you yet. Its certainly effecting the US. Just this week Russia has been saying that relations with the US are at its lowest point since 1973 because of what's happening in Syria because of ISIS. We are on the brink of nuclear war.

And Farage used the immigration of refugees into the UK from the war with ISIS as a catapult to cause Brexit.

Those are two pretty profound effects of a revolution.


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