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Free speech

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Can a rational society maintain free speech/religion/policits in light of a growing irrational population?

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Free speech

Postby Kasper » Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:09 am

It seems we are stuck.

For centuries we, us great old westerners, have boasted the right to free speech, to religion, political persuasion! But the great old west is slowly being inhabited by those who have a very different opinion than we do: those who truly believe, something we have lost about 400-500 years. Faith that God is the almighty, and truly believe it, not just sing it in the same old songs on Sunday before morning tea and some tea and biscuits in the afternoon.

The irrational believers, that cannot be persuaded, cannot even be debated, because to debate a god is a sin in itself.

Rationalism fears irrationalism far more than vice versa. True irrationalism, after all, exists only in the moment, where as rationalist knows the past and fears the future.

How does a rational society deal with a growing number of irrational believers? Especially when those believers are being attacked by the rationalists with their free speech?

When a rationalist atheist uses this right to bluntly attack the faith of the irrational, whose entire existence is based upon their religious believes, should this be allowed? At what point do the irrational need protection? Do they need protection at all?

Let us take into account that such attacks can lead to outburst of violence against the free-speaker, for when a god is truly held to be sacred, he is not to be insulted or slighted. And to die for the honour of god, is true honour and eternal salvation.

Can we maintain free speech, when it leads to violence and civil disturbance? What is the purpose of free speech? Is freedom more important than order? Freedom or security?

Can irrationalism be dealt with by a rational state (habeas corpus and the rest)?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby EmptyMan » Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:23 am

I doubt we in the west will lose our free speech anytime soon. While silly judges have done things like ban saying the word Jesus at High-School graduations, and teachers sent kids home for talking about God, I doubt these people represent the attitude of the entire atheist community and I also doubt that they all will become that extreme. But who knows, when we look at Europe who ban Church sponsered fastings and preachings against homo-sexual lifestyles, whose to say we will not do the same? If Canada's disease bleeds through into America then we might have a problem but this won't be happening anytime soon.
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Postby Kasper » Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:33 am

I'm not so much asking whether we will loose it, but whether we should ban free speech in order to preserve order, if needed. What is more important, order or freedom?

Ps. I'm not aiming for a religious discussion here!!!
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Eureka » Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:53 am

Do you suggest we ostracise the irrationals, starting with the Family First Party, then moving on to Tony Abbot and anyone who's ever set foot inside the Hillsong Church?


But anyway, somebody one said, "The right to freedom of speech does not extend to shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater." In other words, if some causes damage (or incites violence) through their speech they can be held accountable for it.

As for this religious violence, such as the murder of the Dutch filmmaker a few days ago: It sounds as if you would blame the victim of the violence for offending the perpetrator. It is in the nature of irrational people to be offended. Offending someone is not a great crime, threatening them is.
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Postby Kasper » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:05 am

No no. I am not laying blame on anyone, I'm just trying to have an open debate.

In order to have free speech in a country the speaker's physical safety must be guaranteed. This is done at present by there being penalty (imprisonment / fine) on someone who attacks the speaker because of his (free) opinion.

If the threat of this penalty is no longer a deterent, and as an example I pointed to protecting the honor of a god, free speech becomes impossible to maintain because order would be lost.

But anyway, somebody one said, "The right to freedom of speech does not extend to shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater." In other words, if some causes damage (or incites violence) through their speech they can be held accountable for it.


Am I to understand then, that you believe free speech should indeed be limited?

In regard to Theo van Gogh, (the dutch filmmaker / columnist), should he have been silenced to protect himself from harm? Since his murder various mosques and consequently churches have been lighted, this would all not have happened if he would have been silenced.

I am not exerting my own opinion here, I'm only posing the question. Should free speech be limited to prevent violence?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Eureka » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:30 am

Kasper wrote:Am I to understand then, that you believe free speech should indeed be limited?

In regard to Theo van Gogh, (the dutch filmmaker / columnist), should he have been silenced to protect himself from harm? Since his murder various mosques and consequently churches have been lighted, this would all not have happened if he would have been silenced.

Theo van Gogh did not excite violence, he merely made a critical film. If he had excited people toward violence against muslims in a film, then he should have been held accountable for it. However, to my knowledge, he did not. It was only his death that incited the violence, something he could hardly be blamed for.

As I said, offending someone is not a crime. People get offended all the time, especially irrationals. It's only when speech causes harm (and I don't mean hurts people's feelings) that limits become appropriate.
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Postby Kasper » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:36 am

I agree that Van Gogh is in no sense accountable for his own death and the subsequent violence. However:

As I said, offending someone is not a crime. People get offended all the time, especially irrationals. It's only when speech causes harm (and I don't mean hurts people's feelings) that limits become appropriate.


Would you consider a movie that severely critizises someone's honest faith a speech which causes harm?

In the case of Van Gogh, it clearly has. Should his right to free speech therefore have been limited (as a matter of self-protection)?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Eureka » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:50 am

Kasper wrote:Would you consider a movie that severely critizises someone's honest faith a speech which causes harm?

Nope. Unless his movie implied that people should go out and bash muslims.
In the case of Van Gogh, it clearly has.

I disagree, the movie was not adequate provocation for his murder. His murder was an over-reaction.
Should his right to free speech therefore have been limited (as a matter of self-protection)?

No. Whatever happened to "freedom or death"?
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Postby Kasper » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:59 am

Well, the movie dealt with women being abused by muslim men. Certainly this movie had the effect or intention of putting Islam in a bad light. "Implied" can mean a lot, in a sense it certainly incited 'discontent' with Islam.

I disagree, the movie was not adequate provocation for his murder.


The murderer (and possible accomplices) found it adequate.

Whatever happened to "freedom or death"?


I suppose that is indeed the question. It's a great principle, 'give me liberty or give me death!'. Personally, if confronted with the option, I would choose life.

Is free speech a pillar or a product of western society?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Eureka » Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:45 am

Kasper wrote:Well, the movie dealt with women being abused by muslim men. Certainly this movie had the effect or intention of putting Islam in a bad light. "Implied" can mean a lot, in a sense it certainly incited 'discontent' with Islam.

That’s a long way from actually inciting violence. Many movies and documentaries paint someone in a bad light (usually truthfully). If it’s slander, the makers can be sued for it; if it’s hate-speech, the makers can be charged for it. What is not justified is vigilantly groups going around murdering people who offend them.
Kasper wrote:The murderer (and possible accomplices) found it adequate.

Evidently.
Kasper wrote:Is free speech a pillar or a product of western society?

Most of western history is barbaric, ignorant, and tyrannical. The good parts have been underpinned by free speech.
Kasper wrote:I suppose that is indeed the question. It's a great principle, 'give me liberty or give me death!'. Personally, if confronted with the option, I would choose life.

My point was that it is worth risking being killed by angry irrationals in order to have freedom.

There is no freedom without freedom of speech.
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Postby Phylax » Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:36 pm

But who knows, when we look at Europe who ban Church sponsered fastings and preachings against homo-sexual lifestyles,

This is most tantalizing, EmptyMan! Would you be willing to expand on your information on this here for us? I live in Europe, but what you are referring to (and if I'm understanding it right) seems to have passed me by entirely! :D
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:26 pm

For centuries we, us great old westerners, have boasted the right to free speech, to religion, political persuasion! But the great old west is slowly being inhabited by those who have a very different opinion than we do: those who truly believe, something we have lost about 400-500 years. Faith that God is the almighty, and truly believe it, not just sing it in the same old songs on Sunday before morning tea and some tea and biscuits in the afternoon.
How does a rational society deal with a growing number of irrational believers?


I disagree, for a great portion of those four to five thousand years religion or the Church (especially the Roman-Catholic Church) have been the dominating power in Europe. People have always and probably will always believe in religious things, but to say that things are getting worse – well I couldn’t agree less. Today society is more secularized than it ever was in the past millennia, today you can do things you wouldn’t have been able to do are dared to do before. The world could not be better from that point of view…
Things are getting better, but you just mustn’t forget that some people want to believe and probably will always want to believe.

Especially when those believers are being attacked by the rationalists with their free speech?

When a rationalist atheist uses this right to bluntly attack the faith of the irrational, whose entire existence is based upon their religious believes, should this be allowed? At what point do the irrational need protection? Do they need protection at all?


The believers and the non-believers have been ‘attacking each other for god only knows how long, it would be nice if that stopped, but it wont. The believers do not need protecting, the non-believers used to be burned for their views, but that didn’t stop people from not-believing-in-god, so just verbally attacking Christians can not be seen as such a threat.

Let us take into account that such attacks can lead to outburst of violence against the free-speaker, for when a god is truly held to be sacred, he is not to be insulted or slighted. And to die for the honour of god, is true honour and eternal salvation.


I think that basically the same protection should be given to Christians as is given to everyone else.
i.e. if some one says they don’t believe in Christianity and that he thinks all Christians are mad for believing it, well … it’s just like the Christians saying we’ll be damned for all eternity for being sinners.
Those are just words – what should not be and is not allowed is to really attack a belief though, e.g.: …and because the Christians are all irrational you should try and avoid them, do not employ them, don’t be friends with them, shun them… (kill them!!!!).
If someone chooses to rationally and sensibly attack Christianity and some people feel he should be harmed in any way because of this, then the State must of course pay for him to be protected, even if he is actually a real bastard (I'm thinking of some examples where this has happened in the past and States have had to pay out to protect some people). The State must protect those who are being unjustly threatened because of their believes, but not those who for example irrationally attack Chrisitanity for example by saying: 'Burn all Christians, come on people, you know it's the only solution!' (ok, over doing it a bit, but you get the point :wink: ). Instead they need to get locked up.

You are not allowed to stir up hate and violence (at least here that is - free speech yes, but not if that right is misused).
Democracy does not mean to be stupid. Some people think Democracies are stupid and allow people to destroy them, they don’t. You have the right of free speech, but you loose that right when you propagate hate and/or threaten core points of the constitution. In the privacy of your house you may say: I wish Bin Laden were here and would kill all the Jews and become the next Emperor of Germany, but if you say that in public in front of an audience you’ll find yourself in front of the court in Karlsruhe (highest German court, which deals with violations of the constitution) faster than lightning.

Then again – maybe there is no such thing as a right of free speech in Germany. The more I think about it the more it seems there isn’t such a think. What they have is ‘Meinungsfreiheit’ instead. You can make up your own mind and are free to have what ever opinion you want on a subject. Then you probably also have the right to tell people these opinions in public is they are not harmful to the public, i.e. if they propagate violence against other citizens or the state it’s not allowed.
(http://dejure.org/gesetze/GG/5.html)
Ok, just googled the German constitution, and it’s like this: in the constitution is says that you’re allowed to tell everyone what your opinion is, but there are certain things you are not allowed to do and those are governed by laws (not by the constitution itself).

I think this is sensible. Total freedom of speech for everyone (which I doubt exists in any state, if it does pls prove me wrong) is ridiculous, liberal rubbish in my books anyway. I mean total freedom, as in allowing people to even go so far as to attack the core principles of the state in public (core principles of the state basically being democracy, democracy and democracy) and to propagate hate and violence against other citizens without having to face a court charge. A democracy which allows that has taken freedom a bit too far I think. No one has the freedom to hurt others or to try and bring on the destruction of democracy.

I think the western world should be able to get to grips with all this.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:37 pm

Kasper wrote:In regard to Theo van Gogh, (the dutch filmmaker / columnist), should he have been silenced to protect himself from harm? Since his murder various mosques and consequently churches have been lighted, this would all not have happened if he would have been silenced.

I am not exerting my own opinion here, I'm only posing the question. Should free speech be limited to prevent violence?


It's like with Salman Rushdie - protect him from Muslims who want to kill him or not? It was decided to protect him, you know how much money has been spent by the UK and US just to protect this one man?! It seems that in the UK or US this could be used as a precedence, if there was not a similar case before that even. The State must protect someone who has voiced an opinion/written a critical book/film and so on and who is in grave danger because of it.

I do not know exactly what the situation was like with regards to Gogh. Maybe it was not clear that there was so much danger.
The Dutch problem goes much deeper though. A state with such an attitude as Holland's (i.e. 'we don't care, do what you like') on immigration and religion is probably heading for disaster anyway.

So basically what I'm saying is that the responsiblity of any democratic state to make sure people can voice their opinions. It must do everything to make sure this is possible and go so far as to protect those people with all it's might.
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Postby Turpissimus » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:04 pm

I do not know exactly what the situation was like with regards to Gogh. Maybe it was not clear that there was so much danger.
The Dutch problem goes much deeper though. A state with such an attitude as Holland's (i.e. 'we don't care, do what you like') on immigration and religion is probably heading for disaster anyway.


link

Apparently van Gogh refused police protection. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in a similar position, sought and received such protection. That woman is quite an interesting character:

wikipedia wrote:In an interview with the daily paper Trouw (Saturday 25 July 2003), she said of the prophet Mohammed: "Measured by our western standards, he is a perverse man. A tyrant". This referred to the fact that Mohammed married a nine-year-old girl. Several Islamic organisations and individual Muslims filed charges for discrimination. However, Hirsi Ali was not prosecuted. According to the prosecutor her criticism "does not contain any conclusions with regard to Muslims, and the worthiness of them as a group is not denied."


Let me put my cards on the table. I think speech which does not contain an incitement to violence, or is not a breach of the peace ought to be allowed. Other tests I think - for example, worthiness as a group, or "rational attack" - are too vague to be legally workable. And prosecutors, citizens, and most of all police officers ought to be educated on these points. If a man wants to hold up a placard in Brighton town centre which says "Stop Homosexuality. Stop Lesbianism. Stop Immorality", then his right to do so should be upheld. He should not be arrested on trumped-up charges of disturbing the peace, as has recently happened. We, as citizens, are best served by allowing him to continue voicing his strange beliefs. Free speech is a safety-valve, an early warning system. Beliefs are spread, not through television and newspapers but through each person's network of acquaintances. If we want to properly assess what kind of society we're living in, and what measures we need take to make it better, then we ought to allow people to voice their opinions about it. It seems to be that the Netherlands may have been a little too keen to silence it's citizens. Certainly the expectations of the people who wrote to the prosecutors seem to bear that out.
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Re: Free speech

Postby Rhuiden » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:30 am

Kasper wrote:It seems we are stuck.

For centuries we, us great old westerners, have boasted the right to free speech, to religion, political persuasion! But the great old west is slowly being inhabited by those who have a very different opinion than we do: those who truly believe, something we have lost about 400-500 years. Faith that God is the almighty, and truly believe it, not just sing it in the same old songs on Sunday before morning tea and some tea and biscuits in the afternoon.

The irrational believers, that cannot be persuaded, cannot even be debated, because to debate a god is a sin in itself.

Rationalism fears irrationalism far more than vice versa. True irrationalism, after all, exists only in the moment, where as rationalist knows the past and fears the future.

How does a rational society deal with a growing number of irrational believers? Especially when those believers are being attacked by the rationalists with their free speech?

When a rationalist atheist uses this right to bluntly attack the faith of the irrational, whose entire existence is based upon their religious believes, should this be allowed? At what point do the irrational need protection? Do they need protection at all?

Let us take into account that such attacks can lead to outburst of violence against the free-speaker, for when a god is truly held to be sacred, he is not to be insulted or slighted. And to die for the honour of god, is true honour and eternal salvation.

Can we maintain free speech, when it leads to violence and civil disturbance? What is the purpose of free speech? Is freedom more important than order? Freedom or security?

Can irrationalism be dealt with by a rational state (habeas corpus and the rest)?


A quick question, if you will allow me. Are you saying that religious people are irrational? If so, why?

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Postby Kasper » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:34 am

Sorry Rhuiden, but the question is so far beside the point that if you wish to discuss this please start a new thread.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Rhuiden » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:43 am

Kasper wrote:Sorry Rhuiden, but the question is so far beside the point that if you wish to discuss this please start a new thread.


I do not think it was beside the point. Your whole question seems to be based on the fact that religious people are irrational. I was only wondering if that was what you were saying.

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Postby Kasper » Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:07 am

Rhuiden: No, I do not think all religious people are wholly irrational.

What I was trying to do is to put forth the question that when free speech leads to violence and disorder in a society, should this right be limited?

The reason why I refered to 'religious people', and only as an example, was the murder of Theo van Gogh and the subsequent violence.

Where as the set punishments act as a deterrent for most people, when a person 'irrationally' believes (because e.g. faith is irrational - I do not mean stupid) that he will please (his) god by killing someone and/or dying himself, eg. suicide bombers, he will not be deterred by these secular punishments.

PS. I am not interested in a discussion about proving God and scientific evidence of His existence. I am trying to have a discussion on whether freedom must be maintained when it leads to chaos and disorder.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Rhuiden » Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:35 am

Kasper wrote:PS. I am not interested in a discussion about proving God and scientific evidence of His existence. I am trying to have a discussion on whether freedom must be maintained when it leads to chaos and disorder.


I also am not trying to turn the discussion into a debate about the existence of God. My concern was that you were lumping all religious people together. If you were meaning religious people to be the murdering muslim extremist, then I understand your reference.

Now, to your question, I believe that free speech has it limits. I also believe that a person is free to say whatever they wish but should expect to have to deal with the consequences of what they chose to say. I do not think it is right to ask the taxpayers of the country to protect them from whomever they may have offended. I am not saying that it is alright to hurt/kill someone who has said something that offends you. Just that when you say something that you know is inciteful, you should be prepared for the consequences.

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Postby Kasper » Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:59 am

Rhuiden wrote: I also am not trying to turn the discussion into a debate about the existence of God. My concern was that you were lumping all religious people together. If you were meaning religious people to be the murdering muslim extremist, then I understand your reference.


Okay, fair enough. I just didn't want to single out muslims - trying to keep things general.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Democritus » Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:27 am

Kasper wrote:No, I do not think all religious people are wholly irrational.


I agree with you. :) I think rationality and religious belief are orthogonal. Some people's religious beliefs are based on irrational experiences, but others are led to faith through pure reason. The same is true of non-religious people, too.

All people are capable of reasoned thinking, yet each of us is also motivated by the irrational parts of our nature. Simultaneously, we are both rational creatures and irrational creatures.

I voted "yes" in the poll. I think that reason is one of the best tools we have to fight the sorrier parts of our natures.

Kasper wrote:When a rationalist atheist uses this right to bluntly attack the faith of the irrational, whose entire existence is based upon their religious believes, should this be allowed? At what point do the irrational need protection?


We should be conscious of the metaphor being used here... the film only "attacked" metaphorically. Nobody was "injured" by the film. A film is not an act of violence.

More to the point -- the film itself did not necessitate the response of murder. There were other ways to respond. So, I don't agree that the film caused the murder.

Controversial or unpopular speech is precisely the kind of speech that needs protecting.
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Postby Kasper » Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:53 am

Democritus wrote: the film itself did not necessitate the response of murder. There were other ways to respond. So, I don't agree that the film caused the murder.

Controversial or unpopular speech is precisely the kind of speech that needs protecting.


The film was indeed only part of it of course, the spark that ignited it. For a long time he had been referring to muslims as.. uhm... capellam pedicatores (geiteneukers), and trying to put them in a bad light.

Of course the more people use controversial speech to the point where it does indeed become dangerous for them, the more tension will built within a society. Much of this tension could be prevented by limiting the free speech.
For example, in Holland where religious freedom is an important issue, the muslim population makes up about 10% of the population (source: www.trouw.nl). That is 1.6 million people.
If a quarter (it is probably less) of these 1.6 million are extremists/fundamentalists, wouldn't we save a lot of problems by preventing people from insulting them or Allah, in order to prevent them from terrorist attacks?

Is there a turning point at which you would say that the risk of innocent people being targeted becomes so great that free speech should be limited?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Bert » Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:31 pm

Democritus wrote:

We should be conscious of the metaphor being used here... the film only "attacked" metaphorically. Nobody was "injured" by the film. A film is not an act of violence.

I have not seen the film and have no urge to see it, but you argument sounds like "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"
Free speech does not mean that anything and everything may be said.
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Postby ingrid70 » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:03 pm

How far would you go limiting free speech? There are limits to it now (in the Netherlands), you're not allowed to insult groups of people, or cause hatred, discrimation or violence. In my opinion, that should be enough.

If you are not allowed to say anything that would in any way annoy people with a different opinion, what is there left to say? It reminds me of a scene in a Terry Pratchett novel where to leaders of opposing families only comment on the fact that all people in the room seem to be in an upright position - all other subjects would lead to arguments :).

In almost all 'groups of thought', be they religions, nationalities, social groups, vegetarians, anti-abortionists, etc. there are bound to be a few extremists. Look at the man who murdered Pim Fortuyn (who, oh my poor deluded country, is supposed to be the "Greatest Dutchman" :shock: ). There is no way you can keep those few happy.


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Postby Geoff » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:21 pm

One of the noblest services of Free Speech is the ability to expose irrationality. The irrational usually fail to see both this point and their irrationality once exposed.

The problem of free speech today is that common sense is uncommon, but worse, the modern concept of "dialogue" entails the acceptance of irrational thought approaches every situation with the assumption that every viewpoint is inherently valid and exposing fallacy is "unloving, biggoted and hatemongering" and thereby disqualifies that person from discussion.

In otherwords, the modern definition of free speech is nod when we spew forth meaningless drivel or be cast out.
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Postby Bert » Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:14 am

The limit to free speech I was refering to is 'slander'.
There are many things that should not be said but no law can be made against it. Eg; gossip.
However, no one should be able to slander under the guise of free speech.
Refering to someone using false derogatory terms false under the same category.
Calling Muslims 'capellam pedicatores' (I'm relying on Kasper's translation) is not in someone's freedom of speech.
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Postby Kasper » Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:37 am

Bert wrote:The limit to free speech I was refering to is 'slander'.
There are many things that should not be said but no law can be made against it. Eg; gossip.
However, no one should be able to slander under the guise of free speech.
Refering to someone using false derogatory terms false under the same category.
Calling Muslims 'capellam pedicatores' (I'm relying on Kasper's translation) is not in someone's freedom of speech.


(Haha! I've noticed you can use any vulgarity you like on Textkit as long as you use a classical language for it. And hey, both words I've learned from Virgil and Catullus, so how classical can you get?)

Bert, why can't a law be made against it? The purpose of law is afterall to create order in a state. When order is being threatened by free speech, it would be an imperative to the legislature to make laws limiting free speech in order to preserve the order of a state.
A state's (economical) existence depends on its' internal order. Is it not a facet of any living creature to choose life above anything else, even such freedom?

Is it possible for a state that has once granted this freedom of speech to got back on it?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Bert » Wed Nov 17, 2004 5:27 am

Kasper wrote:
Bert, why can't a law be made against it? The purpose of law is afterall to create order in a state. When order is being threatened by free speech, it would be an imperative to the legislature to make laws limiting free speech in order to preserve the order of a state.
A state's (economical) existence depends on its' internal order. Is it not a facet of any living creature to choose life above anything else, even such freedom?


A law can be made against slander but not against gossip.
(I view gossip as spreading truthful, but harmful stories about someone and slander as spreading lies about someone.)
Making a law against gossiping is trying to legislate morality.
It would also be a nightmare to enforce.
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