Proposal: Hate Speech needs to be protected

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by kororoti, Apr 15, 2010.

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  1. kororoti Registered Senior Member

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    My perspective is simple:

    If hate speech is not protected, then any speech that presents any group or individual in a bad light has the risk of being subject to legislation or punishment. If a group that has ever been subject to persecution takes power, that could easily mean you can't criticize your own government.

    The line between hate speech and ordinary criticism is often very difficult to draw, as evidenced by the tendency of Israel to try and cast any criticism of its policies as "anti-semitism". Because we tend to want to err on the side of caution, any difficulty in drawing clear lines is usually going to mean we don't draw a line at all. We just consider the two things to be identical. So, by association, the entire spectrum of free speech is threatened, whenever a group is allowed to cry "racism" to shut someone up. What guarantees do we have that they will always be shutting them up for the right reason?


    So, does this danger outweigh the opposite danger, that racists will abuse their freedom of speech in ways that are detrimental to the health and welfare of ethnic minorities?

    I think there's enough subjectivity for a good debate. Does anyone want to take it up?
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Much criticism of Israel is by people who are anti-semitic, but that doesn't mean I think there should be any special category called "hate speech". We have the freedom to hate whom we wish to hate.
     
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  5. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    The first problem you have is with the title of your OP. 'Hate Speech'? Come one, defending 'freedom of speech' is one thing, but 'Hate Speech'?

    Take sciforums as an example of how people like to run communities. If I lambast you with foul language, just because I take a dislike to you, I'll get banned. Why should larger societies have lesser standards?
     
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  7. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    SciForums is privately owned and, therefore, we are subject to the rules proposed by its owner(s). Having rules for conduct on your own property is very different from the government censoring offensive and/or hateful speech.

    Anyway; I agree that "hate speech" needs to be protected. People have a right to like or dislike anyone they want and also have the right to express their opinions of those various groups. We may not like it, but we should respect their right to do it.
     
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Hate speech can hurt others, sometimes even cause others to do harmful things to either themselves or others as well. Hate speech isn't a way to show intelligence but a way of undermining it instead. If we cannot speak and convey our emotions without being hateful then we should not say a thing. Otherwise saying what we want without being hateful but being careful as to what you say can only improve ones quality of life.
     
  9. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't limiting freedom of speech to only what improves our lives pretty broad? Also; who gets to decide what improves our lives? And keep in mind that Neo-Nazis, religious weirdos, pedophiles, etc. probably believe that what they're advocating is an improvement over whatever we have now.

    I also believe that in the long run censorship will do more to diminish the quality of our lives than anything spouted by some idiot on a street corner or the internet.
     
  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not saying censorship is right only that being careful in not being hurtful with what you say is something that we should do moraly in order to become better humans.
     
  11. siledre Registered Senior Member

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    lack of free speech really doesn't diminish anything other than someones right to make a fool of themselves but it doesn't really hurt anything either to have free speech unless your advocating hate, the only purpose for outwardly hating someone in public is to incite more hate and that is harmful, especially in a country where you have so many different races and religions, I could say for the public good but more than that if we can't get along then freedom isn't going to last anyway.
     
  12. kororoti Registered Senior Member

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    Can you name one right in the constitution that doesn't have the potential to be misused?

    I agree we shouldn't do it (depending on how narrowly the concept is defined), but should we be required by law not to do it?

    What if I'm criticizing a cultural value, or a culture's behavior with the intent that something be done to cause that culture to behave another way? For example: anger over illegal immigration could be interpreted as hate speech, especially if it advocates making life miserable for illegal immigrants (with the goal of making them want to leave and go home).

    What if I criticize the Muslim religion for it's inability to adequately denounce terrorist activities in a way that would motivate jihadists to feel truly ashamed of themselves? I think it hedges the topic, rather than outright denouncing it in a way that would be clear. (Or it both denounces and praises, thus sending a mixed message.) Would it be unreasonable to want action to be taken? Maybe my followers decide to boycott all Muslim owned businesses until this concern is addressed by their religious leaders? (Note this is counter-factual. I really don't have any followers.

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  13. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    Of course freedom of speech should be protected.
     
  14. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    You'll get no arguement from me. I personally believe free speech is a right, and that even if what they say offends me, they have the right to say it.
     
  15. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    OK, now imagine that someone with a similar name in your area is discovered to have been a paedophile, and served jail time at some point in their past. But people are standing outside your house, waving placards, and threatening to do you harm, in a case of mistaken identity.

    You call the Police, and they say 'Sorry, it's their right to free speech, I don't care if they say they are going to shoot you in the head as soon as you step out of your front door, I can't do anything until they break the law.'

    Now, imagine that just a few decades ago, they might have done the same if you were merely black, or gay.

    I think we all realise hate speech is wrong, but people that excuse it probably just aren't in a minority, or cannot empathise with a minority that are on the receiving end.

    Nobody should have to live in fear, with threats of violence, and intimidation, to uphold some abstract concept of freedom.
     
  16. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Ownership makes no difference. As citizens of the USA, you 'own' the USA, phrases like 'of the people, by the people' mean anything to you? It's simply community, what standards do you want to live by?

    It's often not the message, but the delivery. Expressing you don't like something is one thing, but threatening violence because of an irrational hatred is something different. The latter is where is crosses into 'Hate speech' and I don't really believe you think that it's OK to advocate violence. You must admit there is a line somewhere, or you'll have to admit to supporting this;

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  17. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    If you want to argue that America is "owned" by its citizens, fine. The difference would be that SciForums is privately owned by a few people, whereas America is "owned" by 300 million different people. What makes your share of ownership of America any more important than mine or some other guy's?

    I haven't seen much support in this thread (or among free speech advocates in general) for sending death threats to people. As far as burning a cross goes, I think it's acceptable as long as it's done on private property with the consent of the property owner.
     
  18. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    So who gets to determine if a comment makes one look foolish? You? Me? Al Sharpton? David Duke?

    And the rest of your post sounds like you're using America's racial diversity as an excuse to infringe on freedom of speech. :shrug:
     
  19. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    all speech needs to be protected, it is a human right in the western world, and part of being free, if my Government tried to take our basic rights away.......
     
  20. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    So you believe there should be limits on free speech and people should not be allowed to make death threats?
     
  21. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    You have a right to freedom of speech. You don't have a right to use your speech to violate the rights of others (slander, death threats, etc.). Your rights end when another person's rights begins.
     
  22. Anarcho Union No Gods No Masters Registered Senior Member

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    Expression needs to be protected. I believe in full freedom of speech and expression, thus 'hate speech' is, as wrong as it may be, the right of those speaking it. Plus, what exactly is hate speech? "God I f*ckin' hate that show." Hate speech can be extended to anything. If we begin restrections on certain hate speech against certan groups, that allows for the extenstion to hate speech against lets say... the government.
     
  23. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    You just contradicted yourself. You said people have a right to speak freely, and then said people don't have a right to say certain things. Which is it?
     
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