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The 'freedom of speech' fallacy

Diqiucun_Cunmin
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3/3/2015 6:59:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I've just watched the full video of a television interview with Paul Shieh, the very vocal former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and one of the points he raised sparked my interest. He believes that 'freedom of speech' is sometimes misused as a defence.

Freedom of speech is the legal concept that one cannot be sanctioned by a court because of his or her speech. However, it is often used to defend what one has said. In the interview, the interviewer asked Shieh about his opinion on the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao's censure of Prof. Johannes Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. It is widely believed that the newspapers aimed at attacking the Occupy movement last year since one of the leaders (if we can really call them leaders) was Benny Tai, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong's law department. Many have come to their defence as it was the newspapers' freedom of speech to say this. Shieh responded that nobody was calling for the newspapers to be penalised for what they said, so it is not a matter of freedom of speech.

He gave a similar response when asked about CY Leung's public criticisms of the Undergrad, a publication by the University of Hong Kong's student association, for publishing materials he considered separatist. This was seen by some as an infringement of academic freedom (with which I disagree, by the way). Again, some defended him as it was his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, but Shieh believes the matter doesn't concern FOS because nobody is trying to get CY in jail for what he said.

Now that I think of it, there are many instances of this 'freedom of speech fallacy'. For example, there was a primary school teacher who swore in public in 2013 when she was criticising the police's handling of a conflict between a pro-government association and the Falun Gong cult. She received both widespread criticism and applause for her actions, and at one time, her 'fan club' and her critics protested simultaneously. Some used freedom of speech to defend her actions. In retrospect, this argument was also fallacious because she had violated a teacher's code of ethics, which doesn't mean they're urging her to be sanctioned by law.

I've only raised examples from Hong Kong, but I'm sure people also use this argument elsewhere. What do you think?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Chang29
Posts: 732
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3/3/2015 8:05:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 6:59:33 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
I've just watched the full video of a television interview with Paul Shieh, the very vocal former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and one of the points he raised sparked my interest. He believes that 'freedom of speech' is sometimes misused as a defence.

Freedom of speech is the legal concept that one cannot be sanctioned by a court because of his or her speech. However, it is often used to defend what one has said. In the interview, the interviewer asked Shieh about his opinion on the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao's censure of Prof. Johannes Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. It is widely believed that the newspapers aimed at attacking the Occupy movement last year since one of the leaders (if we can really call them leaders) was Benny Tai, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong's law department. Many have come to their defence as it was the newspapers' freedom of speech to say this. Shieh responded that nobody was calling for the newspapers to be penalised for what they said, so it is not a matter of freedom of speech.

He gave a similar response when asked about CY Leung's public criticisms of the Undergrad, a publication by the University of Hong Kong's student association, for publishing materials he considered separatist. This was seen by some as an infringement of academic freedom (with which I disagree, by the way). Again, some defended him as it was his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, but Shieh believes the matter doesn't concern FOS because nobody is trying to get CY in jail for what he said.

Now that I think of it, there are many instances of this 'freedom of speech fallacy'. For example, there was a primary school teacher who swore in public in 2013 when she was criticising the police's handling of a conflict between a pro-government association and the Falun Gong cult. She received both widespread criticism and applause for her actions, and at one time, her 'fan club' and her critics protested simultaneously. Some used freedom of speech to defend her actions. In retrospect, this argument was also fallacious because she had violated a teacher's code of ethics, which doesn't mean they're urging her to be sanctioned by law.

I've only raised examples from Hong Kong, but I'm sure people also use this argument elsewhere. What do you think?

Every person is born with freedom of speech. Governmnets can not grant or sanction speech, only take it away.
A free market anti-capitalist

If it can be de-centralized, it will be de-centralized.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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3/5/2015 4:43:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 6:59:33 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
I've just watched the full video of a television interview with Paul Shieh, the very vocal former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and one of the points he raised sparked my interest. He believes that 'freedom of speech' is sometimes misused as a defence.

Freedom of speech is the legal concept that one cannot be sanctioned by a court because of his or her speech. However, it is often used to defend what one has said. In the interview, the interviewer asked Shieh about his opinion on the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao's censure of Prof. Johannes Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. It is widely believed that the newspapers aimed at attacking the Occupy movement last year since one of the leaders (if we can really call them leaders) was Benny Tai, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong's law department. Many have come to their defence as it was the newspapers' freedom of speech to say this. Shieh responded that nobody was calling for the newspapers to be penalised for what they said, so it is not a matter of freedom of speech.

He gave a similar response when asked about CY Leung's public criticisms of the Undergrad, a publication by the University of Hong Kong's student association, for publishing materials he considered separatist. This was seen by some as an infringement of academic freedom (with which I disagree, by the way). Again, some defended him as it was his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, but Shieh believes the matter doesn't concern FOS because nobody is trying to get CY in jail for what he said.

Now that I think of it, there are many instances of this 'freedom of speech fallacy'. For example, there was a primary school teacher who swore in public in 2013 when she was criticising the police's handling of a conflict between a pro-government association and the Falun Gong cult. She received both widespread criticism and applause for her actions, and at one time, her 'fan club' and her critics protested simultaneously. Some used freedom of speech to defend her actions. In retrospect, this argument was also fallacious because she had violated a teacher's code of ethics, which doesn't mean they're urging her to be sanctioned by law.

I've only raised examples from Hong Kong, but I'm sure people also use this argument elsewhere. What do you think?

These appeals to "freedom of speech" seem to translate to attempts to appeal to a Western audience. People in the West would just see the headlines that Hong Kong has a problem with "freedom of speech" and reinforce their biases against the CCP occupation. It's an appeal to ignorance...unfortunately the West is rather ignorant of what goes on in east Asia so the appeals typically succeed.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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3/5/2015 8:20:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/5/2015 4:43:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/3/2015 6:59:33 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
I've just watched the full video of a television interview with Paul Shieh, the very vocal former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and one of the points he raised sparked my interest. He believes that 'freedom of speech' is sometimes misused as a defence.

Freedom of speech is the legal concept that one cannot be sanctioned by a court because of his or her speech. However, it is often used to defend what one has said. In the interview, the interviewer asked Shieh about his opinion on the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao's censure of Prof. Johannes Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. It is widely believed that the newspapers aimed at attacking the Occupy movement last year since one of the leaders (if we can really call them leaders) was Benny Tai, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong's law department. Many have come to their defence as it was the newspapers' freedom of speech to say this. Shieh responded that nobody was calling for the newspapers to be penalised for what they said, so it is not a matter of freedom of speech.

He gave a similar response when asked about CY Leung's public criticisms of the Undergrad, a publication by the University of Hong Kong's student association, for publishing materials he considered separatist. This was seen by some as an infringement of academic freedom (with which I disagree, by the way). Again, some defended him as it was his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, but Shieh believes the matter doesn't concern FOS because nobody is trying to get CY in jail for what he said.

Now that I think of it, there are many instances of this 'freedom of speech fallacy'. For example, there was a primary school teacher who swore in public in 2013 when she was criticising the police's handling of a conflict between a pro-government association and the Falun Gong cult. She received both widespread criticism and applause for her actions, and at one time, her 'fan club' and her critics protested simultaneously. Some used freedom of speech to defend her actions. In retrospect, this argument was also fallacious because she had violated a teacher's code of ethics, which doesn't mean they're urging her to be sanctioned by law.

I've only raised examples from Hong Kong, but I'm sure people also use this argument elsewhere. What do you think?

These appeals to "freedom of speech" seem to translate to attempts to appeal to a Western audience. People in the West would just see the headlines that Hong Kong has a problem with "freedom of speech" and reinforce their biases against the CCP occupation. It's an appeal to ignorance...unfortunately the West is rather ignorant of what goes on in east Asia so the appeals typically succeed.

I'm not sure you understood what I meant wrichcirw. People here, both pro- and anti-government, are defending the stupid things they say with 'freedom of speech'. Example: 'The sun rises from the west.' 'You're dumb!' 'Hey, I have the freedom of speech to say this!' (This isn't actually likely to happen, of course, but it's a simplification of what's happen.)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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3/5/2015 8:39:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/5/2015 8:20:55 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 3/5/2015 4:43:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/3/2015 6:59:33 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
I've just watched the full video of a television interview with Paul Shieh, the very vocal former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and one of the points he raised sparked my interest. He believes that 'freedom of speech' is sometimes misused as a defence.

Freedom of speech is the legal concept that one cannot be sanctioned by a court because of his or her speech. However, it is often used to defend what one has said. In the interview, the interviewer asked Shieh about his opinion on the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao's censure of Prof. Johannes Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. It is widely believed that the newspapers aimed at attacking the Occupy movement last year since one of the leaders (if we can really call them leaders) was Benny Tai, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong's law department. Many have come to their defence as it was the newspapers' freedom of speech to say this. Shieh responded that nobody was calling for the newspapers to be penalised for what they said, so it is not a matter of freedom of speech.

He gave a similar response when asked about CY Leung's public criticisms of the Undergrad, a publication by the University of Hong Kong's student association, for publishing materials he considered separatist. This was seen by some as an infringement of academic freedom (with which I disagree, by the way). Again, some defended him as it was his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, but Shieh believes the matter doesn't concern FOS because nobody is trying to get CY in jail for what he said.

Now that I think of it, there are many instances of this 'freedom of speech fallacy'. For example, there was a primary school teacher who swore in public in 2013 when she was criticising the police's handling of a conflict between a pro-government association and the Falun Gong cult. She received both widespread criticism and applause for her actions, and at one time, her 'fan club' and her critics protested simultaneously. Some used freedom of speech to defend her actions. In retrospect, this argument was also fallacious because she had violated a teacher's code of ethics, which doesn't mean they're urging her to be sanctioned by law.

I've only raised examples from Hong Kong, but I'm sure people also use this argument elsewhere. What do you think?

These appeals to "freedom of speech" seem to translate to attempts to appeal to a Western audience. People in the West would just see the headlines that Hong Kong has a problem with "freedom of speech" and reinforce their biases against the CCP occupation. It's an appeal to ignorance...unfortunately the West is rather ignorant of what goes on in east Asia so the appeals typically succeed.

I'm not sure you understood what I meant wrichcirw. People here, both pro- and anti-government, are defending the stupid things they say with 'freedom of speech'. Example: 'The sun rises from the west.' 'You're dumb!' 'Hey, I have the freedom of speech to say this!' (This isn't actually likely to happen, of course, but it's a simplification of what's happen.)

Do any of your examples cite a government outlet citing "freedom of speech"?

All three seem to deal with private actors citing their rights to protest without inhibition, regardless of whether or not their rights were being infringed. The last one however clearly deals with protesting the government's censorship of the Falun Gong, which is clearly a freedom of speech issue.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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3/5/2015 8:55:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/5/2015 8:39:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/5/2015 8:20:55 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 3/5/2015 4:43:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/3/2015 6:59:33 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
I've just watched the full video of a television interview with Paul Shieh, the very vocal former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and one of the points he raised sparked my interest. He believes that 'freedom of speech' is sometimes misused as a defence.

Freedom of speech is the legal concept that one cannot be sanctioned by a court because of his or her speech. However, it is often used to defend what one has said. In the interview, the interviewer asked Shieh about his opinion on the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao's censure of Prof. Johannes Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. It is widely believed that the newspapers aimed at attacking the Occupy movement last year since one of the leaders (if we can really call them leaders) was Benny Tai, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong's law department. Many have come to their defence as it was the newspapers' freedom of speech to say this. Shieh responded that nobody was calling for the newspapers to be penalised for what they said, so it is not a matter of freedom of speech.

He gave a similar response when asked about CY Leung's public criticisms of the Undergrad, a publication by the University of Hong Kong's student association, for publishing materials he considered separatist. This was seen by some as an infringement of academic freedom (with which I disagree, by the way). Again, some defended him as it was his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, but Shieh believes the matter doesn't concern FOS because nobody is trying to get CY in jail for what he said.

Now that I think of it, there are many instances of this 'freedom of speech fallacy'. For example, there was a primary school teacher who swore in public in 2013 when she was criticising the police's handling of a conflict between a pro-government association and the Falun Gong cult. She received both widespread criticism and applause for her actions, and at one time, her 'fan club' and her critics protested simultaneously. Some used freedom of speech to defend her actions. In retrospect, this argument was also fallacious because she had violated a teacher's code of ethics, which doesn't mean they're urging her to be sanctioned by law.

I've only raised examples from Hong Kong, but I'm sure people also use this argument elsewhere. What do you think?

These appeals to "freedom of speech" seem to translate to attempts to appeal to a Western audience. People in the West would just see the headlines that Hong Kong has a problem with "freedom of speech" and reinforce their biases against the CCP occupation. It's an appeal to ignorance...unfortunately the West is rather ignorant of what goes on in east Asia so the appeals typically succeed.

I'm not sure you understood what I meant wrichcirw. People here, both pro- and anti-government, are defending the stupid things they say with 'freedom of speech'. Example: 'The sun rises from the west.' 'You're dumb!' 'Hey, I have the freedom of speech to say this!' (This isn't actually likely to happen, of course, but it's a simplification of what's happen.)

Do any of your examples cite a government outlet citing "freedom of speech"?
Government outlets? No, they don't do that.

All three seem to deal with private actors citing their rights to protest without inhibition, regardless of whether or not their rights were being infringed.
Yep, one can say that.
The last one however clearly deals with protesting the government's censorship of the Falun Gong, which is clearly a freedom of speech issue.
The government's censorship of the Falun Gong is a freedom of speech issue, but my point was that the ensuing censure that the teacher received for swearing in public is not a FOS issue. Even though the organisers of the groups who protested against her were generally pro-government groups, she was not legally prosecuted in any way. (Now, the Mong Kok crime squad did get into an investigation of her. If she gets arrested in the future in a manner similar to the Melody Chan case, then I'd say it becomes a FOS issue - but if this doesn't happen, her rights to FOS aren't violated.)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...