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Free Speech vs Hate Speech

DarthVitiosus
Posts: 624
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12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Should unregulated free speech be tolerated in society? Or perhaps we should restrict certain types of speech?

http://www.americanbar.org...

Thoughts?
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Anarcho-Socialist
Posts: 22
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2/27/2015 1:09:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
Should unregulated free speech be tolerated in society? Or perhaps we should restrict certain types of speech?

http://www.americanbar.org...


Thoughts?

Unless Anarcho-Communism is realized, then no.
Anarcho-Socialism
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." - Louis Blanc
"Voluntary self-segregation now, voluntary self-segregation tomorrow, voluntary self-segregation forever!" - Anonymous
PolyCarp
Posts: 63
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2/28/2015 8:20:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
http://www.americanbar.org...


Thoughts?

I think hate speech is just free speech the establishment hates.
"Perhaps the atheist cannot find God for the same reason the thief cannot find a policeman"

--G.K Chesterton
DarthVitiosus
Posts: 624
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3/1/2015 9:31:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/27/2015 1:09:18 PM, Anarcho-Socialist wrote:
At 12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
Should unregulated free speech be tolerated in society? Or perhaps we should restrict certain types of speech?

http://www.americanbar.org...


Thoughts?

Unless Anarcho-Communism is realized, then no.

What does Anarcho-Communism in particular have to do with this?
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#2. 10 people admit they have no interest in any one else's opinion other than their own.
#3. 10 people admit they are products of their environment and their ideas derive from said environment rather than doing any serious critical thinking and search for answers themselves.
DarthVitiosus
Posts: 624
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3/1/2015 9:33:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 8:20:50 PM, PolyCarp wrote:
At 12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
http://www.americanbar.org...


Thoughts?

I think hate speech is just free speech the establishment hates.

I can't say I disagree with this sentiment. According to you, who would be that establishment?
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#2. 10 people admit they have no interest in any one else's opinion other than their own.
#3. 10 people admit they are products of their environment and their ideas derive from said environment rather than doing any serious critical thinking and search for answers themselves.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/1/2015 9:56:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
Should unregulated free speech be tolerated in society? Or perhaps we should restrict certain types of speech?

http://www.americanbar.org...


Thoughts?

The idea of 'hate speech' cannot be reconciled with free speech. Hitchens delivers the argument beautifully.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/2/2015 5:04:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The problem of hate speech is not how to tolerate hate, but how to survive the evil it incites.

Hate speech is not rudeness, objection, disagreement or discourtesy. It is speech that expresses and incites the desire to violate and destroy the object of hatred.

In the US, the legal definition is:

Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like.

(http://definitions.uslegal.com...)

In other words, the sole meaning of hate speech is to express and justify the desire to destroy mortally, harm psychologically or hurt physically those whom the speaker hates -- qualities characterised by eminent psychologist Philip Zimbardo as the definition of evil. (http://www.ted.com...)

Hate speech is therefore nothing more nor less than the expression of man's evil intent against man. It should be no surprise then, that hate groups and hate crimes are monitored by security forces in many democratic countries. (http://www.fbi.gov...)

There is no doubt that free speech is critical to nurturing democracy and liberty. But is there any example where hate speech is necessary for those purposes? Does a war against a tyrant require hatred of the people he dominates? Does objection to religious belief require incitement to exterminate every single one of its adherents? Do fear and suspicion of homosexuality justify incitement to bullying gay teens?

I believe it does not.

So not only is hate speech unjustified by the interests of democracy, it can threaten the democratic rights to those it targets. Technically, you have the right to report crimes to the police, but if I can make the police hate you, do you have any recourse at all? Technically, you have the right to vote. But if I can pass hateful laws to keep your people out of public office, what good will your vote do you?

And this illustrates a key point: When hate is isolated, we can monitor hate groups, deter hate crimes and preserve democracy that way. But hate-speech is politically powerful, and can mobilise whole populations. And once a population is mobilised by hate speech, and laws are changed, or selectively enforced to compromise the democratic rights of hated groups -- even to the point of genocide. (http://www.ushmm.org...)

So while free speech is a friend to democracy, hate speech undermines the very equality underpinning democracy itself. When the safe can inflict unrelenting hate on the vulnerable, where is justice? We need only look at the high rate of attempted suicide of gay teens to see the profound effect hate speech can have -- and note how the rate comes down when the hatred abates. Or we could look at the use of hate speech to radicalise vulnerable youth to see how democratic freedoms can be turned against democracy itself.

Libertarian champions of hate speech itself are few, and their championship resides more in principle than in practice: the principle being that democracy is worth everyone potentially suffering hatred, regardless of who actually suffers. I hope I have shown the injustice and social danger of that position.

However libertarians also argue that policing hate-speech is impractical, because of the difficulty of judging intent, and the potential conflation between malice and unmalicious offense.

They have a point, albeit a naive one. It is true that lobby groups seek to use naive hate speech laws to privilege themselves against criticism, and excoriate unpopular or dissenting opinions. But it falls to justice to discern the difference between giving offence and inciting to violence, and I believe we can already do that -- since (for example), we can already tell that (say) Comedy Central is not a hate group.

But there is constant pressure from some groups to define any offence as hateful. Presently in US legal definition, it says:

Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.

(http://definitions.uslegal.com...)

But there are some who would argue that Hate speech IS any form of expression regarded as offensive -- so offence is sufficient, rather than necessary.

It is vital that democracies hold strong against this nuance, in the following way: it is within one's constitutional rights to be an ignorant, raving bigot; but it should not be lawful that ignorant, raving bigots can mobilise a population to bullying, violence, disenfranchisement, murder or genocide against their own.

I hope this may be useful.
DarthVitiosus
Posts: 624
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3/2/2015 7:53:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 9:56:09 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/27/2014 9:46:59 PM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
Should unregulated free speech be tolerated in society? Or perhaps we should restrict certain types of speech?

http://www.americanbar.org...


Thoughts?

The idea of 'hate speech' cannot be reconciled with free speech. Hitchens delivers the argument beautifully.



No offense but I don't like Hitchens as a person he comes across as a snob and it is not very funny to me. Admittedly, I do hold some of his views but I find him very difficult to listen to due to his snobbery. Maybe if he was apolitical, less of a prick, and more of a humorous snob like Mencken(search "The Libido of the Ugly" or the "Bathtub Hoax") I could listen.

If you don't mind, could state what he said?
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#2. 10 people admit they have no interest in any one else's opinion other than their own.
#3. 10 people admit they are products of their environment and their ideas derive from said environment rather than doing any serious critical thinking and search for answers themselves.
DarthVitiosus
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3/2/2015 8:24:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/2/2015 5:04:31 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Thanks for your detailed analysis. I am a bit confused by some of the things you said. Especially since you kept bringing up democracy in your post and seemed to be an underlying premise.

You do realize "Free Speech" has nothing to do with democracy? Do you know of the death of Socrates and how his speech incited his own death? I would also emphasize "liberty" has nothing to do with democracy either. Remember many of the Founding Fathers of the United States were against majority rule.

Then again, all of what I said really depends on what you consider a democracy. Let us not get caught in the confusion of what we are associating with a democracy too much. I think overall, you are really referring to liberalism(not modern liberalism) and the idea of "rights"(free speech, free press, etc.) that is commonly mistaken for being synonymous with democracy,
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#3. 10 people admit they are products of their environment and their ideas derive from said environment rather than doing any serious critical thinking and search for answers themselves.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/2/2015 8:30:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/2/2015 7:53:44 AM, DarthVitiosus wrote:
At 3/1/2015 9:56:09 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
The idea of 'hate speech' cannot be reconciled with free speech. Hitchens delivers the argument beautifully.


No offense but I don't like Hitchens as a person he comes across as a snob and it is not very funny to me. Admittedly, I do hold some of his views but I find him very difficult to listen to due to his snobbery. Maybe if he was apolitical, less of a prick, and more of a humorous snob like Mencken(search "The Libido of the Ugly" or the "Bathtub Hoax") I could listen.

If you don't mind, could state what he said?

He actually makes a couple jokes in this one, lol. He even begins the speech by shouting 'fire' in a crowded room.

I'll link to a transcript and post some of it.
http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com...

"Well, if everybody in North America is forced to attend at school training in sensitivity on Holocaust awareness and is taught to study the Final Solution -- about which nothing was actually done by this country, or North America, or by the United Kingdom while it was going on -- but let's say as if in compensation for that, everyone is made to swallow an official and unalterable story of it now, and it's taught as the great moral exemplar, the moral equivalent of the morally lacking elements of the Second World War, a way of stilling our uneasy conscience about that combat -- if that's the case with everybody, as it more or less is, and one person gets up and says:

"You know what, this Holocaust, I'm not sure it even happened. In fact, I'm pretty certain it didn't. Indeed, I begin to wonder if the only thing is that the Jews brought a little bit of violence on themselves." That person doesn't just have a right to speak, that person's right to speak must be given extra protection. Because what he has to say must have taken him some effort to come up with, might contain a grain of historical truth, might in any case give people to think about why do they know what they already think they know. How do I know that I know this, except that I've always been taught this and never heard anything else?

It's always worth establishing first principles. It's always worth saying, what would you do if you met a Flat Earth Society member? Come to think of it, how can I prove the earth is round? Am I sure about the theory of evolution? I know it's supposed to be true. Here"s someone who says there's no such thing, it's all intelligent design. How sure am I of my own views? Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think you"re bound to be okay, because you're in the safely moral majority."

~*~

"Now, I don't know how many of you don't feel you're grown up enough to decide this for yourselves, and think you need to be protected from David Irving-s edition of the Goebbels diaries, for example -- out of which I learned more about the Third Reich than I had from studying Hugh Trevor-Roper and A.J.P. Taylor combined when I was at Oxford.

But for those of you who do, I would recommend another short course of revision. Go again and see, not just the film and the play, but read the text from Robert Bolt's wonderful play "A Man for All Seasons" -- some of you must have seen it -- where Sir Thomas Moore decides that he would rather die than lie or betray his faith, and at one moment, Moore is arguing with a particularly vicious, witch-hunting prosecutor, a servant of the King and a hungry and ambitious man.

And Moore says to this man, "You'd break the law to punish the Devil, wouldn't you?"

And the prosecutor, the witch-hunter, he says, "Break it? I'd cut down every law in England if I could do that, if I could capture him!"

And Moore says, "Yes, you would, wouldn't you? And then when you'd cornered the Devil, and the Devil turned round to meet you, where would you run for protection, all the laws of England having been cut down and flattened? Who would protect you then?"

Bear in mind, ladies and gentlemen, that every time you violate or propose to violate the free speech of someone else, in potencia, you're making a rod for own back. Because the other question raised by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is simply this: who's going to decide?

To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful or who is the harmful speaker? Or determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be, that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor? Isn't it a famous old story that the man who has to read all the pornography, in order to decide what's fit to be passed and what's fit not to be, is the man most likely to be debauched?

Did you hear any speaker, the opposition to this motion -- eloquent as one of them was -- to whom you would delegate the task of deciding for you what you could read? To whom you would give the job of deciding for you, relieve you of the responsibility of hearing what you might have to hear?

Do you know anyone -- hands up -- do you know anyone to whom you'd give this job? Does anyone have a nominee? You mean there's no one in Canada good enough to decide what I can read? Or hear? I had no idea. But there's a law that says there must be such a person. Or there's a subsection of some piddling law that says it. Well, the hell with that law then. It"s inviting you to be liars and hypocrites and to deny what you evidently know already."

~*~

"Well, I tell you what: I don't think Muhammad ever heard those voices. I don't believe it. And the likelihood that I"m right, as opposed to the likelihood that a businessman who couldn't read had bits of the Old and New Testament re-dictated to him by an archangel, I think puts me much more near the position of being objectively correct.

But who is the one under threat? The person who promulgates this, and says I'd better listen, because if I don't I'm in danger, or me, who says, no, I think this is so silly you can even publish a cartoon about it.

And up go the placards, and up go the yells and the howls and the screams, "Behead those" -- this is in London, this is Toronto, this is in New York, it's right in our midst now -- "Behead those who cartoon Islam!"

Do they get arrested for hate speech? No. Might I get in trouble for saying what I've just said about the Prophet Muhammad? Yes, I might. Where are your priorities, ladies and gentlemen? You're giving away what is most precious in your own society, and you're giving it away without a fight, and you're even praising the people who want to deny you the right to resist it. Shame on you, while you do this. Make the best use of the time you've got left. This is really serious.

Now, if you look anywhere you like -- because we've had invocations of a rather drivelling and sickly kind tonight for our sympathy: "What about the poor f@gs? What about the poor Jews? The wretched women who can't take the abuse, and the slaves, and their descendents, and the tribes who didn't make it and were told their land was forfeit?" -- look anywhere you like for the warrant for slavery, for the subjection for women as chattel, for the burning and flogging of homosexuals, for ethnic cleansing, for antisemitism: for all of this, you can look no further than a famous book that's on every pulpit in this city, and in every synagogue, and in every mosque.

And then just see if you can square the fact that the force that is the main source of hatred is also the main caller for censorship. And when you've realized, therefore, that you're faced this evening with a gigantic false antithesis, I hope that still won't stop you from giving the motion before you the resounding endorsement that it deserves."
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
DarthVitiosus
Posts: 624
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3/2/2015 8:36:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/2/2015 8:30:10 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

Many thanks!
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RuvDraba
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3/2/2015 9:49:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/2/2015 8:24:03 AM, DarthVitiosus wrote:

You do realize "Free Speech" has nothing to do with democracy?

DV, I think that free speech has a great deal to do with the benefits of democracy, in that in a democracy where information is controlled, the polity can be manipulated to act against its own interests.

However if you're reminding us that the benefits of free speech extend beyond democracy then I'd agree with that too.

We could talk about its benefits to art, to philosophy (as you rightly mentioned with Socrates), the need for free speech in science, and its value in multiculturalism and foreign policy. I don't think I ever said free speech itself was not desirable in general, and I don't imagine anyone arguing otherwise.

But I think the significant impact of hate speech is that while it doesn't necessarily undermine art, philosophy or science, it can and does at times undermine democracy. Hence the focus of my argument.

I would also emphasize "liberty" has nothing to do with democracy either.

I think you're overstating the separation, DV. Narrow concentrations of power tend to legislate for the benefit of rule, and that can and often does impinge on liberty. See for example (http://dictatorshandbook.net...), or consider how definitions of sedition often extend to insulting a monarch, but seldom to insulting a parliament. One benefit of broadening the way political power is shared is that whomever you're sharing it with have some capacity to protect their own liberties and privileges, which helps to stabilise their concentration.

Note that I'm not saying democracy is required for liberty -- only that liberty tends to be stable in democracy as it is not in some other governance. Historically, the liberties of women, indigenes and emancipated slaves, for example, have improved when they have been seen as voting citizens, rather than clients.

I think overall, you are really referring to liberalism(not modern liberalism) and the idea of "rights"(free speech, free press, etc.) that is commonly mistaken for being synonymous with democracy,

I don't think liberalism has bearing on the argument. I think you just didn't understand why I targeted democracy as pivotal to the question. I hope these explanations clarify that.
DarthVitiosus
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3/3/2015 6:05:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/2/2015 9:49:16 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/2/2015 8:24:03 AM, DarthVitiosus wrote:

You do realize "Free Speech" has nothing to do with democracy?

DV, I think that free speech has a great deal to do with the benefits of democracy, in that in a democracy where information is controlled, the polity can be manipulated to act against its own interests.

However if you're reminding us that the benefits of free speech extend beyond democracy then I'd agree with that too.

We could talk about its benefits to art, to philosophy (as you rightly mentioned with Socrates), the need for free speech in science, and its value in multiculturalism and foreign policy. I don't think I ever said free speech itself was not desirable in general, and I don't imagine anyone arguing otherwise.

But I think the significant impact of hate speech is that while it doesn't necessarily undermine art, philosophy or science, it can and does at times undermine democracy. Hence the focus of my argument.

I would also emphasize "liberty" has nothing to do with democracy either.

I think you're overstating the separation, DV. Narrow concentrations of power tend to legislate for the benefit of rule, and that can and often does impinge on liberty. See for example (http://dictatorshandbook.net...), or consider how definitions of sedition often extend to insulting a monarch, but seldom to insulting a parliament. One benefit of broadening the way political power is shared is that whomever you're sharing it with have some capacity to protect their own liberties and privileges, which helps to stabilise their concentration.

Note that I'm not saying democracy is required for liberty -- only that liberty tends to be stable in democracy as it is not in some other governance. Historically, the liberties of women, indigenes and emancipated slaves, for example, have improved when they have been seen as voting citizens, rather than clients.

I think overall, you are really referring to liberalism(not modern liberalism) and the idea of "rights"(free speech, free press, etc.) that is commonly mistaken for being synonymous with democracy,

I don't think liberalism has bearing on the argument. I think you just didn't understand why I targeted democracy as pivotal to the question. I hope these explanations clarify that.

Interesting.
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#3. 10 people admit they are products of their environment and their ideas derive from said environment rather than doing any serious critical thinking and search for answers themselves.