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Old 06-11-2008, 09:17 PM   #1
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Hate Speech or Free Speech?

Hate speech or free speech? What much of West bans is protected in U.S. - International Herald Tribune
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:48 PM   #2
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"Hate Speech or Free Speech?"

Well it can be both...
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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No it can't, once you introduce the "hate speech" label into the law and have that category subject to different treatment it diminishes free speech.

It should all be free speech.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
It should all be free speech.
I agree.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:40 PM   #5
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I disagree with both of you.

I believe there are instances where restrictions on free speech are justifiable in a free and democratic society.

Just like those restrictions reasonably placed on other forms of freedom, like the freedom of expression, freedom of religion, etc.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:42 PM   #6
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Nonetheless, it should be pointed out that, while the U.S. is a staunch protector of hate speech, it certainly has its censorship hangups too.

FCC wants free broadband service, plus content filtering

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FCC wants free broadband service, plus content filtering

...

There will be one more requirement for the service. A spokesperson for the Commission has told Ars that the FCC wants it to include "content filters." For what? We asked. "To protect children," came the reply.
Oh yes. "Protecting the children." Isn't that just Orwellian-sounding these days?
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:49 PM   #7
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I believe there are instances where restrictions on free speech are justifiable in a free and democratic society.
I guess it all depends on whether one can trust the "wisdom" of government to tell you what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to say.

Frankly, I don't think government has a great track record when it comes to this kind of stuff, and I don't trust it. Our lack of hate speech laws have not been a problem. We do have our lunatics, who march into a city and say all kind of hateful crap. At the same time, we also have a good number of protesters to come in and put them in their places.

I guess it all begs the question as to what we hope to accomplish with anti-hate speech laws. I'm not convinced that they really do anything of lasting merit, except for making "martyrs" out of bigots when their court cases go into the news media.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:58 PM   #8
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No it can't, once you introduce the "hate speech" label into the law and have that category subject to different treatment it diminishes free speech.

It should all be free speech.
Really?

So all ******* should die!

Is that free speech or hate speech?
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
I disagree with both of you.

I believe there are instances where restrictions on free speech are justifiable in a free and democratic society.

Just like those restrictions reasonably placed on other forms of freedom, like the freedom of expression, freedom of religion, etc.
I deliberately wrote 'should', how things ought be in principle is different from the practical. I would not define myself as an absolutist, there are points where freedom of speech may deny what I (and society in general) considers fundamental rights.

Incitement to violence is an example on restriction on freedom of speech.

Any pornography that involves harm to a non-consenting party should be illegal.

The protection of state secrets where national security as a justification for censorship does exist.

The point where the freedom of speech or religious expression is positively harming non-consenting parties is where limits should sit.

Hate speech cases that involve Muslims with hurt feelings chasing after Evangelical Christians or crackpot Nazi holocaust deniers sitting in prison cells for writing books seem unjustified to me. For the most part the cases are innocuous and having laws is different than enforcing them but I feel that having those sorts of restrictions is unwarranted. There is a cost in freedom and I don't see the positive benefit.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:26 PM   #10
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Really?

So all ******* should die!

Is that free speech or hate speech?
I think that speech reflects a hateful sentiment, but if I was to categorise it I would go with protected free speech.

It isn't promoting violent action, if it said "all ******* must die" that could be inciting violence and I would say it could be banned (although context is key, if it was "all Jews must die or convert for Jesus to return" that would just be regular).

If it was all atheists should die! I may feel that the person saying it is mean, I may feel personally wounded by the comment but my taking offence doesn't seem like enough harm to make it a crime.
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:58 PM   #11
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I believe there are instances where restrictions on free speech are justifiable in a free and democratic society.
What's your opinion on the Maclean's case?

While I do find the particular (and familiar) narrative the Maclean's article seemed to be invoking--they're gonna rot our culture and our nation from the inside out; they'll outbreed us and then they'll kill us all !!--especially disturbing on account of the historical consequences of that kind of fearmongering in the West, nonetheless, the "injures their dignity, feelings and self respect" argument hardly sounds to me like convincing grounds for censorship, and in general Steyn's rhetoric strikes me as still falling well within the bounds of what can reasonably be resisted by the 'best-answer-to-offensive-free-speech-is-more-free-speech' strategy.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:26 PM   #12
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free speech is a cop out
it's identifying how difficult it is to draw a line to what is justifiable and what isn't and not wanting to deal with this

the law has no problem restricting whatever bit of freedom when it sees fit
the entire "free speech" thing is such a contradiction to everything else in law and society that it basically is just laughable
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:16 AM   #13
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free speech is a cop out
it's identifying how difficult it is to draw a line to what is justifiable and what isn't and not wanting to deal with this

the law has no problem restricting whatever bit of freedom when it sees fit
the entire "free speech" thing is such a contradiction to everything else in law and society that it basically is just laughable
It becomes a contradiction with arbitrary laws introduced to pander to certain sections of the community.

Fuck them.
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