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  1. #1
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Default Freedom of speech vs the right to offend

    Figured this is a good topic for debate.

    Please no debate competition antics, they're tiresome and boring.

    Question - does freedom of speech necessitate a right to offend?

    (hope this hasn't come up before, limited in searches on a phone)
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #2
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Yes, it does necessitate a right to offend, as well as a right to respond to the offense.

    First off, different people are offended by different things. How do we decide whose offense is more worth avoiding? Inevitably, it's going to seem rather arbitrary.

    Second, people can be offended by stupid things. Some people are offended by bacon. Should we institute a rule that people cannot speak of bacon?
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  3. #3
    Member OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Yes, it does necessitate a right to offend, ...
    Agreed.
    Sup Dude?

    I'll go straight to the Godwin to make my point.

    It's a very offensive notion to allow Neo-Nazis to parade down a street in a Jewish neighborhood, but we must allow it because where would you draw the line on who could be permitted to parade???

    Who would decide this???

    What History tells us is that when we empower governments to suppress a political view, even when it is about as vile as one could imagine, then we ourselves are on the road to becoming Nazis.
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  4. #4
    Pubic Enemy #1 Crabs's Avatar
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    the freedom of speech necessitates the right to offend or be offended, but i don't think it necessitates the right to verbally accost anyone you please in any context. speech shouldn't be censored at all in various forms of media, but i think people should be able to walk around freely without enduring harassment by trolls. law-enforcement needs to maintain a sense of peace, which includes ticketing people for blasting their stereos above a certain decibel level and driving around without a muffler.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrionzRevenge View Post
    It's a very offensive notion to allow Neo-Nazis to parade down a street in a Jewish neighborhood, but we must allow it because where would you draw the line on who could be permitted to parade???

    Who would decide this???

    What History tells us is that when we empower governments to suppress a political view, even when it is about as vile as one could imagine, then we ourselves are on the road to becoming Nazis.
    i don't think people should be allowed to parade through residential areas anyway, especially for the purpose of spreading some political ideology. why can't people sit on their porch in peace without being subjected to incessant noise pollution?

  5. #5
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    This is an iffy topic for me, and I know not everyone is going to agree with me. I'm not sure if I'll debate it further or not.

    I think there needs to be restrictions on "free speech", or repercussions upon some forms of speech, because in this modern era there are types of speech that do cause real, tangible harm. Example: anti-vaccine crowds (though I am not advocating choking that off).

    It's difficult to regulate though, and often it's argued that it could lead to restrictions on things that shouldn't be. Yes, it's wrong to shout at people in a publically disruptive manner that they deserve to die, or something to that effect. Yes, it's wrong to deny historical events like the holocaust. These things can be harmful and should be limited or blocked.
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  6. #6
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    As with anything I believe people do what they want and should accept any repercussions.

    If you think it's worth saying then just say it and take responsibility. Censorship allows issues to stagnate and people who get offended end up controlling everything. A topic that can't be talked about is a topic that never moves forward, and all sorts of things pertaining to race, religion, sexuality etc. have fallen into this pit at some time or other and it's often difficult to extricate.
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  7. #7
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    I think freedom of speech for many is fine, until it is pointed at them.

    If we are to embrace it then it has to be accepted that you as an individual will be offended at some point. So the answer is to offend right back, not deliberately (although maybe sometimes) but as a consequence of putting forth your thoughts and opinions; just like the offender did.

    Or another answer is to ignore but depending on the view that could cause more damage from your perspective. It's a terribly catchall concept that in attempting to cater to everyone is rarely satisfying to anyone.

    The truth for me is that we're all hypocrites and everyone gets offended to some degree depending on context (though many will deny it) and you can only realise the struggle is an endless ebb and flow of recycled values and emotional reactions.

    What's more interesting to me is that people experience emotions in different ways and to different extents. Are we to assume that all people can hold to the same level of emotional stability? So freedom of speech is a big subjective mess and sometimes you will be punished for it.

    Because we like control. The right to offend and the right to offend back.

    Well unless it causes psychological damage to someone or trauma. Then words are hurting like sticks and stones.

    With the neo-nazi parade example, what if it could be proven that the march induced a Jewish individual to suicide? Was it so harmless and fair?
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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  8. #8
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    I think freedom of speech for many is fine, until it is pointed at them.

    If we are to embrace it then it has to be accepted that you as an individual will be offended at some point. So the answer is to offend right back, not deliberately (although maybe sometimes) but as a consequence of putting forth your thoughts and opinions; just like the offender did.

    Or another answer is to ignore but depending on the view that could cause more damage from your perspective. It's a terribly catchall concept that in attempting to cater to everyone is rarely satisfying to anyone.

    The truth for me is that we're all hypocrites and everyone gets offended to some degree depending on context (though many will deny it) and you can only realise the struggle is an endless ebb and flow of recycled values and emotional reactions.

    What's more interesting to me is that people experience emotions in different ways and to different extents. Are we to assume that all people can hold to the same level of emotional stability? So freedom of speech is a big subjective mess and sometimes you will be punished for it.

    Because we like control. The right to offend and the right to offend back.

    Well unless it causes psychological damage to someone or trauma. Then words are hurting like sticks and stones.

    With the neo-nazi parade example, what if it could be proven that the march induced a Jewish individual to suicide? Was it so harmless and fair?
    It's not harmless nor fair like a lot of things but I believe there's no crime until the damage is actually done. Just like we can't accuse someone of murder before they've actually killed anyone I don't believe we can always preempt things based on mere possibilities.

    People do what they want. If it turns out badly, they pay for it then, not before. Everyone needs to be able to make their case at least once and if they screw it up badly enough then that's on them and sanctions might be in order, but not up until that point (unless we already know they are a problem, similar to how we handle convicted felons)

  9. #9
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    It's not harmless nor fair like a lot of things but I believe there's no crime until the damage is actually done. Just like we can't accuse someone of murder before they've actually killed anyone I don't believe we can always preempt things based on mere possibilities.

    People do what they want. If it turns out badly, they pay for it then, not before. Everyone needs to be able to make their case at least once and if they screw it up badly enough then that's on them and sanctions might be in order, but not up until that point (unless we already know they are a problem, similar to how we handle convicted felons)
    What about prevention and premeditation? Or is all crime a retrospective act?
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  10. #10
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    What about prevention and premeditation? Or is all crime a retrospective act?
    Of course it's retrospective.

    If someone is suspicious for example, you can't do anything but investigate, can you?

    If someone is trespassing, you get them for trespassing, not for thinking about it. If someone is being reckless and dangerous, you nab them for being reckless and dangerous - and that's all you nab them for if they didn't actually hurt anyone. If someone attempts to kidnap, you stop them indict them for the attempt, not anything else.

    Direct, immediate, and realistic. Once we start reaching into possibilities and 'prevention' then we don't really know where it ends.

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