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Thread: What price Freedom?

  1. #1
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar

    What price Freedom?

    Freedom of Speech

    How far does it go?

    I am sure that we all agree that every individual has the right to freedom of speech.

    The question is are there limits?
    Should there be?
    If so where?

    Is it freedom of speech to stand in a packed auditorium and shout FIRE?

    Is it freedom of speech when you get repetitive hoax telephone calls?

    *Is it frredom of speech when your thread gets hijacked?*

    What about if we were to contact aliens. Should any old Joe have the freedom to tell them 'We're gonna kill you' and precipitate war?

    I think you get my drift.
    Last edited by esp; 04-18-02 at 10:29 AM.

  2. #2
    In any given setting, freedom of speech must be absolute or it does not exist at all. If it is not absolute, then who gets to decide what the limits are? Who gets to decide who can say what, and when, and how? The moment there is one rule affecting what can and can't be said/expressed, then you have some form of authority deciding what is allowed to be expressed. Even one such rule, to me, is doubleplusungoodthink, or some such.

    PS: I have encountered internet message board operators who claim to support free thought/speech, yet place hard limits on what they allow to be expressed in their forums. I'm very glad that so far I have not seen such hypocrisy here.

  3. #3
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar
    Does that mean that I can call in a bomb threat in the middle of the FA Cup final or Superbowl or whatever and avoid prosecution on the grounds of free speech?

  4. #4
    It means unfortunately people don't seem responsible enough to handle such rights. The existence of police forces demonstrates that humans are not capable of behaving in a civilised manner without such behaviours being enforced by external factors.

    People suck.

  5. #5
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar
    My point being that totally free speech is not necessarily always a good thing.

  6. #6
    Not now maybe. But I think our species should try to achieve a state in which we are worthy of absolute free speech.

  7. #7
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar

    Betterment of the species is always desirable.
    Have you any suggestions on how to procede?

  8. #8
    Absolutely. Follow these steps:

    1) The world agrees to put me in charge, and in return I promise to solve nearly all the world's problems. (Remember, you all have to call me El Presidente!)

    2) I forge the militaries of all participants into one gigantic force. I stomp around the world saying "You have a choice. Put down all your guns and every other weapon you have, and accept my rule, I I force the issue and you get nothing."

    3) After the initial stomping, I disband the majority of the military and maintain a sizable force to handle any sudden resurgances of violence, any rebel armies and such.

    4) Civilians (apart from police with maybe stun weapons, and park rangers with tranq rifles and such) caught with weapons go to jail. The penalty for producing, selling, or using illegal weapons in committing a crime goes to life in prison. The police may come up against crims with guns, which is why you maintain armed response groups ready to go at all hours, like in England.

    5) Institute a global standard for schooling, health care, et cetera, and global fair labour laws. Where does the money come from? I'm El Presidente, if they don't hand it over I take it.

    6) Make it absolutely illegal to physical hurt anyone except in defence. Police, too, must have evidence to support their claims of the necessity to use force, so they'd all be wearing video cameras which transmit to both police and non-partisan storage facilities.

    7) Put a HUGE amount of our world's resources and efforts into getting out into space, further and further. If we can colonise other star systems, you say "All right, any of you want to belong to whatever specific group and not to humanity as a whole, go to that planet over there and good riddance."

    8) Introduce a flat tax, reduced only by the amount of money employers contribute into each employee's super-annuation fund. Example: If they pay 1% of the employee's yearly salary into the super, they get a 0.1% tax cut; 2% gets them 0.2%, and so on. Note: Super installments come from company earnings, not from a cut out of the employee's earnings.

    9) I'll make up the rest later.

  9. #9
    By the way, I'm reasonably certain that a benevolent dictatorship is by far the best form of government. A dictator who is smart should realise that he can only stay in power if the people are happy. Thus a dictator should do things the people want. Meanwhile, a dictator simply amkes decisions and things get done, not like our bollocks representative democracies in which it takes 34 committees 16 months to challenge the findings of another committee and they end up proving the first committee was wrong so it's all back to square one anyway. Screw that.

  10. #10
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar
    Well, you get my vote.

  11. #11
    Registered Senior Member
    The standard for limiting free speech has been (historically) what's called "imminent danger". This means that you immediately put people in danger by what you say. That would include shouting "fire" in a crouded theatre. It probably wouldn't include horking off an alien, but I think that there might be some sort of other charges drawn up for you starting a war.

  12. #12


    Your right actually

    We were doing a ledership corse for the scouts and we learned about the different forms of leadership and an autocratic style is the best for getting things done

    the problem comes in when its a self intrested ruler

  13. #13
    Yep. There's a very good reason why a ship has only one captain, not a committee of elected captains. Democracy is an nice idea, but it really is the slow and clunky way to progress.

  14. #14
    Registered Senior Member
    I think that we might be overlooking that freedom and self-governance are inherent rights of individuals, and that dictatorships invariably spiral into despotic and violent governments, simply because autocratic systems deny that individuals have inherent rights, and that everyone is [More or less] equal.

  15. #15
    Registered Senior Member Tyler's Avatar
    Think about this for a minute.

    If every single human just unquestionably did whatever I told them to, there would be no war, hate, crime, murder..... and so forth.

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Riomacleod
    I think that we might be overlooking that freedom and self-governance are inherent rights of individuals, and that dictatorships invariably spiral into despotic and violent governments, simply because autocratic systems deny that individuals have inherent rights, and that everyone is [More or less] equal.
    I think you might be overlooking something. Why must a dictatorship deny human rights? Why must such a state spiral downward? What if the dictator allowed voting by the general public on important matters regarding the state's direction? What would be different for you if you lived under a benevolent dictatorship rather than the system you live under today?

  17. #17
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar

    Cool Pointless

    What price freedom?

    To judge by the tone of the ongoing discussion, it would appear that freedom itself is the price of freedom.

    Here, esp, I have $100 .... I'd like to buy $100. Will you sell me $100 for my $100?

    What price one-hundred dollars?


  18. #18
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar
    About seventy pounds!

  19. #19
    Registered Senior Member esp's Avatar
    Just joking!

    I think you may have missed the point. The question was what lengths should we go to (or allow) to ensure true and complete freedom of speech?

  20. #20
    There are 2 problems with autocratic rulership and ONLY 2

    what happens if the ruler is evil

    and what happens if the ruler gets a cold

    The problems with democrasy is that its SLOW and selfintrested

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