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Is it always ok to allow someone to voice their opinion in public, no matter what it is? Is freedom of speech absolute?

Asked by: darkspeed
  • Freedom of speech

    Freedom of speech is a fundamental right for men and women, and no matter what you're saying, as long as it doesn't harm or cause harm, it's fine. If you want to preach your religion, voice your opinion or just ramble, I'm OK with that, just don't hurt anyone else.

  • Yes, to a certain extent.

    The freedom of speech only to the point that what the person is saying is not a threat to the public. If what this person is saying makes people angry or if people start to fight over the matter, than that persons freedom of speech is no longer their right. Most of the time, however, one can voice their mind in America without facing punishment (from the government at least).

  • In America, or where it's accepted. Yes.

    I believe in freedom of speech, even hate speech. Like critique and reviews could be considered hateful but its usually to help the consumer to be aware of problems they may have , so they can be informed to make the right decisions. To anyone, who disagrees. To discuss banning of hate speech. Trying to stop any form of opinion being said aloud, is pointless and usually creates more problems. Making racist or sexist comments illegal will never change the person's hateful opinion or actions it may actually make their hateful opinions stronger if your being fined or tossed in the slammer because you said an offensive joke and it will make it harder to avoid people you'd normally avoid if they started spewing hateful things. Them keeping silent just makes you not know how hateful that individual is. Which just makes life harder. Having everyone being able to speak their minds, right or wrong. Makes everyone more aware of their surroundings. Which is always a good thing.

  • This can be answered with a simple sentence:

    Freedom of Speech is absolute, freedom from persecution for speaking is not. You can say whatever you want, when you want, how you want, to whoever you want, but someone somewhere will take offense to what you say. Just because there are laws and social rules for what "not" to say, doesn't mean you're prevented from speaking your mind. Plus, if you're good enough at speaking, you can get away with saying anything without any problems.

  • Yes they can

    People can say whatever they want publicly. Some will agree and some may not. However, if this speech is directed towards a certain person, or if it is harassment, then it is not okay. This country gives everyone a freedom a speech, so even hateful groups can spit their ignorance.

  • Sure why not.

    If someone has something to say let them. It does not mean you cannot criticize them for their idiotic ideas. I mean look at me I criticize theists all the time :) But seriously why not, sometimes we just don't want to be offended but really we should not get offended unless its something that we feel needs work in our own lives and thats why we don't want to hear it.

  • Freedom of speech should not be absolute

    Telling someone at an airport that you have a bomb when you don't shouldn't be allowed, lying under oath should not be allowed, threatening to murder or rape a person or their familiy should not be allowed, falsely accusing someone of a crime you know they didn't commit shouldn't be allowed, etc.

  • Cant yell fire

    Freedom of speech isn't absolute, you cant ever enter a crowded theater and yell fire, its against the law. The government is allowed to limit individuals freedom of speech. Imagine a world where people constantly yelled hateful things and caused mass pandemonium by claiming there were disasters 24/7 it would stink.

  • That's not what "Freedom of Speech" even is...:

    Three facts.

    1. "Freedom of Speech" refers specifically to political speech and public dissent of the government. It refers to absolutely nothing else.

    2. "Freedom of Speech" is likely the most misunderstood and misconstrued concept in the Constitution (even more so than the 2nd amendment and the "standing militia" concept) because none of what you say, absolutely none of it, is protected if it has nothing to do with governmental dissent. The entire reason there are laws specifically dictating that you cannot be punished for whistleblowing is because the Constitution does NOT protect you from corporate or private tyranny and it never has.

    3. "Freedom of Speech" does not and never will incorporate public endangerment, libel, slander, or hate speech. For one those are all private sector crimes and secondly all of those crimes, esp defamation of character via prejudice, are actually guaranteed against by the Constitution (14th amendment) dictated by equal protection under the law.

    It saddens me to see so many Americans really don't even know how it works. :(

  • Arguments, wars and violence.

    It means that offensive views are considered.
    It allows minorities to be marginalised.
    It can incite people to extremism.
    Powerful orators can sway moderate people.
    It can encourage racism.
    It can influence young people to develop extreme opinions
    Groups against gays, lesbians, races, ethnic groups, and even religious groups are able to speak against them and hurt people.
    People are stretching the freedom of speech
    People can get offended by some views other people are being able to say using the freedom of speech

  • "Free" speech isn't free

    If I have the freedom to say what I want, when I want, no matter what it is, the repercussions can be massive. If I can lie and speak hate, then I can cause things like the Holocaust and if I want I could constantly run someone down and spread lie upon lie about them ruining their life. Obviously you can't slander someone and cannot harass them so it's not absolute. And as far as voicing your opinion whenever you want, no. As others have said, you have the right to your informed opinion, not your ignorant opinion.

  • Freedom of Speech is Inaccurately Defined by Society

    All right, so from what I know of the subject and from its definition:

    Freedom of speech means that everyone is entitled to express their own opinion. Freedom of speech does not mean that anyone can shoot their mouth off at anybody anywhere they like.

    If we live in a society where there is no sensitivity, nobody takes each other's words too seriously or get easily hurt, then complete freedom of speech would be probable. —of course, that sort of society would lay host to a lot of other problems—

    Reason is, as much as one can speak their mind, everyone else can respond accordingly. One view would be that if person A is entitled to absolute freedom of speech, person B, C, D and so on are also entitled to respond accordingly with absolute freedom of speech. This would lead to society becoming a mass of arguments and crudely unacceptable behaviour.

    Not only that, the definition of 'freedom of speech' states that it is fine to state one's opinions only if their companion is willing to receive them.

    This means that it is not okay for someone to voice their opinions in public because they don't know if those who are listening wants to hear their opinions. Those who do it over radio or the telly is fine because if whoever's listening didn't want to hear their opinion, they wouldn't have turned the news on. But those who walk in public don't necessarily give their permission to hear the contents of someone else's projected opinions.

    The above applies to all kinds of behaviour and intentions as well.

    Besides, if exceptions —like laws against blasphemy of religion or deliberately inducing panic— exist, then freedom of speech cannot be called 'absolute'.

  • Freedom of speech is not absolute.

    And it shouldn't be...Unfortunately humankind cannot be trusted without restrictions. No exceptions. That includes speech. There are a multitude of examples that come to mind of how it can be (and often is) abused, some of which the above posters already mentioned. Imagine a pedophile approaching your son or daughter and saying every naughty thing they can think of that they would do to them? That's not okay.


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