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Are there limits to the freedom of speech?

Etudiant
Posts: 25
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8/26/2013 1:20:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Freedom of speech is a peculiar term. We have had this jargon in our lexicon for a long time, but people are still debating about its precise definition. More importantly, should there be any boundaries to the freedom of speech? I think there should be. As I see it, there could be only 2 types of possible restraints on the right of free speech. The first type can be refereed to as institutional or legal. The second sort of constraints is based on morality and sense of judgment ( in the social context). For example, in America, we believe that freedom of speech is the fundamental principle of our democratic system. In the US, if an individual is making racist comments, he/she will not be arrested or fined, however, that person would be condemned by a large group of people. This is what I consider a moral restraint on the freedom of speech. In contrast, French government went as far as actually banning the word "race", which is an example of legal constraint on the freedom of speech. So, how do you understand freedom of speech? Should there be any limitations on our freedom of speech and ,if yes, what should these limitations be?
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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8/26/2013 6:46:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/26/2013 1:20:37 AM, Etudiant wrote:
Freedom of speech is a peculiar term. We have had this jargon in our lexicon for a long time, but people are still debating about its precise definition. More importantly, should there be any boundaries to the freedom of speech? I think there should be. As I see it, there could be only 2 types of possible restraints on the right of free speech. The first type can be refereed to as institutional or legal. The second sort of constraints is based on morality and sense of judgment ( in the social context). For example, in America, we believe that freedom of speech is the fundamental principle of our democratic system. In the US, if an individual is making racist comments, he/she will not be arrested or fined, however, that person would be condemned by a large group of people. This is what I consider a moral restraint on the freedom of speech. In contrast, French government went as far as actually banning the word "race", which is an example of legal constraint on the freedom of speech. So, how do you understand freedom of speech? Should there be any limitations on our freedom of speech and ,if yes, what should these limitations be?

There should be some limitations, like with fraud and threats. However, things that are currently limited, like "fighting words" should not be. The legal restrictions should be severely limited, as the first amendment clearly states:

Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.

This indicates that it is a negative right, and fighting words should fall under speech, because no matter what, people have the choice of how to respond.
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Buddamoose
Posts: 19,448
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8/26/2013 10:38:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/26/2013 6:46:10 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
and fighting words should fall under speech, because no matter what, people have the choice of how to respond.

Thems fightin words, you wanna take this outside for a round of fisticuffs? XD
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leojm
Posts: 1,825
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8/26/2013 10:49:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yes we have limited freedom of speech. We can't say or talk about many things because they will accuse you of something you are not. Example-terrorist.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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8/26/2013 11:03:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yes there are limits. You don't have the right to openly threaten someone, and you don't have a right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. You have freedom of speech up until the point where it infringes upon the life, liberty, or property of others. That is why you don't have a right to cuss out your boss; you are on private property, so the company has a right to eject you from the property.
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DanT
Posts: 5,693
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8/26/2013 11:05:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/26/2013 11:03:29 AM, DanT wrote:
Yes there are limits. You don't have the right to openly threaten someone, and you don't have a right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. You have freedom of speech up until the point where it infringes upon the life, liberty, or property of others. That is why you don't have a right to cuss out your boss; you are on private property, so the company has a right to eject you from the property.

There are also social implications to what you say. Just because you have the right to say or do something, does not mean it is right to say or do it.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DeFool
Posts: 626
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8/26/2013 11:08:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The rights of expression can be legally restricted in three broad ways:

- These abilities can be restricted by law.
Examples include slander, counterfeiting, treason, terroristic threats, blackmail, lying under oath, school codes of conduct and dress, and limits on pictorial expression - such as child pornography.

- Wide ranges of expressive ability can be restricted by private, non-governmental forces where the American Constitution does not apply.
Examples of this include: A newspaper editor firing an incompetent copy-writer, Facebook's Terms Of Service Agreements that bar certain forms of speech, televised media decision makers enforcing a narrow political stance on all of it's reporters, and business advertising.

There is a danger when news media and political parties begin a symbiotic relationship, where the reporting is predictably slanted towards one party or another. This resembles "state-run" media far too much.

A second danger arises when these forces "crowd out" dissent; the freedom to speak is closely connected to the ability to be heard. The poor have no free speech rights, because these rights are unaffordable.

- The worst, and most prevalent restrictions to free expression are voluntary; the failure to speak truncates the ability to do so.
SitaraPorDios
Posts: 102
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8/27/2013 7:56:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/26/2013 1:20:37 AM, Etudiant wrote:
Freedom of speech is a peculiar term. We have had this jargon in our lexicon for a long time, but people are still debating about its precise definition. More importantly, should there be any boundaries to the freedom of speech? I think there should be. As I see it, there could be only 2 types of possible restraints on the right of free speech. The first type can be refereed to as institutional or legal. The second sort of constraints is based on morality and sense of judgment ( in the social context). For example, in America, we believe that freedom of speech is the fundamental principle of our democratic system. In the US, if an individual is making racist comments, he/she will not be arrested or fined, however, that person would be condemned by a large group of people. This is what I consider a moral restraint on the freedom of speech. In contrast, French government went as far as actually banning the word "race", which is an example of legal constraint on the freedom of speech. So, how do you understand freedom of speech? Should there be any limitations on our freedom of speech and ,if yes, what should these limitations be?

Abuse, bullying, slander, and libel are not protected by free speech.
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Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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8/27/2013 8:21:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/26/2013 6:46:10 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 8/26/2013 1:20:37 AM, Etudiant wrote:
Freedom of speech is a peculiar term. We have had this jargon in our lexicon for a long time, but people are still debating about its precise definition. More importantly, should there be any boundaries to the freedom of speech? I think there should be. As I see it, there could be only 2 types of possible restraints on the right of free speech. The first type can be refereed to as institutional or legal. The second sort of constraints is based on morality and sense of judgment ( in the social context). For example, in America, we believe that freedom of speech is the fundamental principle of our democratic system. In the US, if an individual is making racist comments, he/she will not be arrested or fined, however, that person would be condemned by a large group of people. This is what I consider a moral restraint on the freedom of speech. In contrast, French government went as far as actually banning the word "race", which is an example of legal constraint on the freedom of speech. So, how do you understand freedom of speech? Should there be any limitations on our freedom of speech and ,if yes, what should these limitations be?

There should be some limitations, like with fraud and threats. However, things that are currently limited, like "fighting words" should not be. The legal restrictions should be severely limited, as the first amendment clearly states:

Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.

This indicates that it is a negative right, and fighting words should fall under speech, because no matter what, people have the choice of how to respond.

You realize that "fighting words" are protected speech in the sense that the government cannot act on it, but that others may.
For example, if I said "I'm going to rape you now", and you punched me in the face, should you be arrested? No, because what I said was fighting words, and is tantamount to assault, but not actually assault (though it can be a threat or something else).
My work here is, finally, done.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/27/2013 8:29:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/27/2013 8:21:03 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 8/26/2013 6:46:10 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 8/26/2013 1:20:37 AM, Etudiant wrote:
Freedom of speech is a peculiar term. We have had this jargon in our lexicon for a long time, but people are still debating about its precise definition. More importantly, should there be any boundaries to the freedom of speech? I think there should be. As I see it, there could be only 2 types of possible restraints on the right of free speech. The first type can be refereed to as institutional or legal. The second sort of constraints is based on morality and sense of judgment ( in the social context). For example, in America, we believe that freedom of speech is the fundamental principle of our democratic system. In the US, if an individual is making racist comments, he/she will not be arrested or fined, however, that person would be condemned by a large group of people. This is what I consider a moral restraint on the freedom of speech. In contrast, French government went as far as actually banning the word "race", which is an example of legal constraint on the freedom of speech. So, how do you understand freedom of speech? Should there be any limitations on our freedom of speech and ,if yes, what should these limitations be?

There should be some limitations, like with fraud and threats. However, things that are currently limited, like "fighting words" should not be. The legal restrictions should be severely limited, as the first amendment clearly states:

Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.

This indicates that it is a negative right, and fighting words should fall under speech, because no matter what, people have the choice of how to respond.

You realize that "fighting words" are protected speech in the sense that the government cannot act on it, but that others may.
For example, if I said "I'm going to rape you now", and you punched me in the face, should you be arrested? No, because what I said was fighting words, and is tantamount to assault, but not actually assault (though it can be a threat or something else).

That doesn't sound right to me. You can't act on threats in a manner that's completely non-preventative. If you take the threat seriously, then appropriate reaction would be to either leave immediately or alert authorities. If you strike someone based purely on verbal gestures, you're not preventing whatever actions those words denote; all you're doing is initiating violence - which by all means, makes you at fault.
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Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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8/27/2013 8:32:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/27/2013 8:29:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/27/2013 8:21:03 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:

You realize that "fighting words" are protected speech in the sense that the government cannot act on it, but that others may.
For example, if I said "I'm going to rape you now", and you punched me in the face, should you be arrested? No, because what I said was fighting words, and is tantamount to assault, but not actually assault (though it can be a threat or something else).

That doesn't sound right to me. You can't act on threats in a manner that's completely non-preventative. If you take the threat seriously, then appropriate reaction would be to either leave immediately or alert authorities. If you strike someone based purely on verbal gestures, you're not preventing whatever actions those words denote; all you're doing is initiating violence - which by all means, makes you at fault.

Good, then my comment made sense.
Threat may be a bad example, but if I were to walk up to you and call you a racial epithet, what is your reaction likely to be? I committed no crime per se, but if you fight me because of what I said, I can't use the defense that I did nothing, as my speech wasn't protected. Ergo, the term "fighting words".
My work here is, finally, done.