Does freedom of speech give us the right to offend?

  • This is pretty elementary.

    The right to free speech means nothing if it does not include the right to be free from regulation of speech deemed offensive by somebody or some group. That is the whole point of freedom of speech. But the right to freedom of speech is the right to be free of governmental restriction on speech. There is no right to be free of private consequences of offensive speech.

  • That's the Whole Point!

    Many people who voted "No" said that is is wrong to deliberately offend others. True. But Free Speech still affords people the right to do that anyway. While someone who deliberately offends someone else might not be in the right, They do still have the right.

    If you start locking up people for offensive speech, Then you end up with a state of affairs where "only speech that I like is free, " which isn't really free speech at all!

    There are some types of speech that do get you locked up. For example, Leaking government secrets or literally and seriously calling for violence. These types of speech are directly, Tangibly harmful, Potentially to many people, And it is good that they are restricted.

    But speech that merely *offends* a person (or even a group of people)? Grow up, Deal with it, And move on! It's not actually harmful. It's not directly, Tangibly harmful. It's just offensive. And that kind of speech is fair game, And ought to remain that way for ever - Free Speech, No strings attached.

  • Who decides what is offensive and what is not?

    Saying that offensive speech is not protected by free speech is a VERY dangerous slope to be on. Should we be offensive on purpose to other people? That is an obvious no. With that being said free speech gives us the right to speak our mind even if some people are offended by our views. Free speech is what makes America so great.

  • Freedom of speech and right to not offend are incompatible, with freedom of speech being more important for the liberal world we live in.

    If we value freedom of speech, then we need to make it absolute, without drawing arbitrary lines in the sand. Not offending people may sound like a decent ideal, but is incompatible with freedom of speech, as different people are going to be offended by different things, and if you want to have the risk of offence to be at 0, you cannot say anything out of fear of offending. This sparing of others feelings comes at the cost of your own freedom of speech.
    Thus comes the question, if these are incompatible values, which one should we value more? This is based on one's personal ethics, however, the liberal world that we live in is built upon free speech, with us being free to vote, think and spend however we please. If we value the liberal world we live in, freedom of speech is more important than the right to not offend.

  • It's a human sentiment

    It is well cognizant that using hate speech is bewailing and very bestial. However, as long as it is not causing any physical harm to any individual, it is not a crime. So, no matter how hurtful or offensive it may seem, verbally, it is the person's choice to say this and to suffer the consequences such as recieving hate from his/her's vicinity, having a bad reputation or/and being lonely and less-cared in the society. But still, the person would still have the right to continue verbally abusing individuals without any punishment unless it is led to the person physically abusing individuals.

  • The right to offend does not deny the right to take offence

    I frequently feel offended by something I've read or heard or seen. I have the right to express my opposition to that which offends me. However, unless the object of my indignation is illegal or puts me or others in danger, I have no right to actually prevent or restrict ideas or views or other content that I find offensive. If you offend me, you are exercising your right to do so. If I take offence, I am exercising my right to do so.
    I have a right to prevent anything that libels me, compromises my right to confidentiality or puts me at risk of harm and there are laws in place to protect these rights. But what is deemed "offensive" is subjective and so protection from feeling offended cannot be defined as a "right".

  • The elites, who seem to speak for everyone have themselves become so politically correct that anyone is encouraged to be offended by any comment.

    Most of the middle class does not agree with the views of the rich, elite liberals who seem to speak for everyone because of their money or prominence. And I'm one of them from the most liberal state in the Union, California. Your freedom ends where the other guys nose begins.

  • Freedom from Offense is Offensive!

    Freedom to offend does not equal freedom to physically harm. The notion that I can't offend with my speech means no one can offend with their speech which would be a very quiet world. It's impossible to live a life free from the possibility of being offended. But I find that the "freedom from offense" is usually levied against Christians.

  • You should be able to speak your beliefs.

    So, say you are Anti-Muslim, and you are on the street saying why you are anti Muslim. Muslim people are probably going to be offended. Doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to speak out to people why you are against, or with a group of people.

    Another scenario:
    For all the people who said No to this, what if somebody in the yes section is offended by what you said? Should they take away the right for you to say No, and explain why? I don't think they should take away that right.

  • Peace and war

    Free speech means the liberty of saying things which are or may be offensive to others. Of course it has limits: treason, assaulting a public official, impersonating someone or an official in order to gain advantages and have opotunities for misconduct etc. - these are criminal offenses which are already punished by law in a civilized society.

    Any other obstacle that would barr free speech is dictatorial or totalitarian in nature and has some pretty perverse and violent effects. Baring free speech is abusive and illegitimate violence against the other and condones and sollicitates a violent response. Moreover and more important, barring free speech distorts reality and social relations and produces a climate of fear and public deceit that produces grave dangers to freedoms and rights.

    Disturbing the peace means offending the liberties and rights of private individuals to enjoy their private life in their private environment. It cannot be used as a criminal offense for public manifestations, protests or expressions of opinion which do not engage in any other form of criminal behaviour (stealing, heists, beating people up, smashing windows, phisically molesting people, burning cars, producing high level noises during the night or even during the day that impedes private individuals from carrying on their life and activities etc.).

    Verbally assaulting an adult by another adult in public may be free speech if the assault does not imply other criminal behaviour and it was provoked by antecedents between the two persons. I think that in such a situation in can be even more regarded as free speech if the discussion is political in nature or the verbally assaulted person is a political figure. - Of course that entails the liberty of the verbally assaulted to respond in likewise manner, as one sees fit.

  • It can lead to harmful or unintended consequences.

    Imagine a parent tells his/her 6 year old child to go jump off a building because the child is annoying the parent for any reason. This child actually goes and does it, how useful is freedom of speech in this situation?

    What if a 40 year old man wants to verbally abuse a 10 year old girl, who he sees in the subway, with sexual comments? Obviously the little girl might be offended, and even the people around to hear it might be offended. What use is freedom of speech here? For those of you who believe in morals, this example should appeal to you.

    What about a cult? Should a cult have the freedom to indocrinate people and children through speech?

    And how do "rights" come about? How can you prove that freedom of speech, or anything, grants us certain rights? Nothing, but nature, can grant us rights. A human concept like freedom of speech cannot.

    I am not saying that we should completely oppress people's speech, but it would benefit us all if we have limits.

  • No...When did that become an absolute virtue if at all?

    Of course, whenever truth is spoken people will be offended because ideas do not exist in a vacuum - they exist in people's minds. We must be able to have discussion separating an idea and the person who holds it. When "offending" is the primary intention in a discussion then it is absolutely useless, you don't win over the person and it's akin to abuse (namecalling, irreverence etc.). Free speech is not absolute...That's always why there are hate laws!

  • How can you say no to classroom bullies but say yes to adult bullies using politics to look down upon others?

    This is absolute nonsense. Freedom of speech means expressing one's opinion, nowhere does it say you may also look down upon other fellow human beings and make them feel worthless while you try to spread your opinion. I can easily, and matter of fact anyone in this whole planet can offer or suggest or express their opinion without being a bully and insulting others.
    A bully may easily use social media or even in classroom use profanities and insults on other classmates but that somehow is not considered a freedom of speech, why shouldn't it be, cause he is just expressing his view that the other kid looks ugly, but its not ok because the child is left with emotional scars.And insecurities and its pure evil to make anyone go through something like that despite age, cast, religion, colour. Whether adult or child, opinions may be expressed truly matter when they benefit the society and not offend the other half by making things worse.

  • It's possible to say what you need without being rude and hateful

    Everyone has the right to voice their own opinion, but that does not mean that you need to use hate speech. You can politely and kindly say what you want, without turning someone else down. If you wouldn't want someone turning down your idea, don't turn down there's. T.H.I.N.K. Is what you're saying, True? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind? If it doesn't fit into these categories, then keep it to yourself. You don't need to use offensive language or words in order to get your point out. If you don't think that that is possible, then you probably shouldn't say it. It all goes back to the simple Golden Rule: "Treat others how you want to be treated". There's another phrase that says "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." These may be simple rules and phrases, but they still hold true. It is possible to say what you need without being rude and hateful.

  • It doesn't justify

    You can't go around speaking badly about somebody's opinions or views and just call it freedom of speech. You belittle the other person and call it your right. You don't have the right to murder, you don't have the right to steal, why should you have the right to harm somebody using words? It's just as bad.

  • My man left me

    One night i was working late for the prez of da usa and dat man wanted to hit me up in his circle office thing, on dat wooden desk of his, where he made me film him and his hoe. He asked me because i was the only black maid there. And that offended me.
    And when i got home to my trailer. I caught my husband who is my 3rd cuz (he's not my 1st or 2nd so it's ight) and i caught him with his hand up my sisters clit. And that offended me. Because im half white and half black. Like im kinda a carmel not a piece of dark chocolate. And that offends me.

  • Order of words matter.

    Even though the yes side of this argument speaks sense, you have to remember that the way you express an opinion or view matters. If someone said "all Muslims are terrorists" this would offend all those who can prove that this statement or opinion is false. The way this is worded sounds like a fact and will therefore offend people. But if someone said "in my opinion, I feel that many Muslims are terrorists" this would cause less problems as it is obvious that it is an opinion. Therefore the person could calmly be reasoned with to change his / her opinion. Seeing as word order matters, it does not give us the right to offend someone especially not purposely. We should not abuse the fact that we have freedom of speech.

  • Hate speech should not be apart of the free speech catogory.

    Using hate speech again st other people can lead to self-harm and suicide. For example when you go up to a kid and tell them 3 simple words "I hate you" they take seriously. The phrase "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" doesn't work in this generation because there are so many kids say mean words that really dig deep into peoples hearts.

  • Offending the freedom

    The right of having freedom of speech grants us liberty but not the right to hurt others by shouting racial slurs or homophobic comments to people who might be different than you or because you feel that you might just want to get some fun out of. Freedom of speech was given to us by our fore fathers not intended to be used for terrible comments

  • No offence no problem

    As long as a person does no harm ,injury and causes no loss you can say what you like .But when you intentionally go out to cause offence
    As your right to freedom of speech expect (rightly so) the right to be hurt some wher some time ,at that point shut up and eat your words ,force fed or not .

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