Posted 15 August 2018 - 10:16 AM
Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:00 AM
Does "free speech" mean we should tolerate everything? Including intolerance?
Should we tolerate lies?
Should we tolerate blatant untruths?
Is the problem more that a proportion of the population are not going to make logical rational decisions based on the information they receive?
Many of the arguments put forward by those suggesting we tolerate "free speech" that seeks to change people's opinions on equality, are based on the assumption that people are rational, and that all will see through the flimsy but nonetheless intoxicating arguments.
However, we have very strong evidence that many people prefer to believe a nice fairy tale over cold hard facts, many people want to feel special, and many people want to believe they have a "god given right" to x or y and that they are superior.
In a Democratic society, we argue, we should defend the right of people to hold their own views, and live their own lives, but should we also defend those views if they seek to destroy the very democracy that allowed them to exist? Should we defend equally the views that seek to destroy equality?
"Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer"
Posted 16 August 2018 - 07:53 AM
I would suggest in this case free speech should be limited when it can cause harm to an innocent third party. See link above.
And living in an open democratic society it is healthy to occasionally discuss and decide where those limits lie.
But limits there must be.
Posted 16 August 2018 - 08:09 AM
Posted 16 August 2018 - 08:32 AM
To a point, the thing is that people are affected by rhetoric, they are influenced and inflamed by charismatic skillful speakers. Free speech has limits, currently if you or I stood up and called for people to be killed and encouraged others to do so we would be deep trouble. That's a limit. The discussion is where to set it.
Giving foreign racists a voice and providing public venues for them, nah. They can go and stand on street corners but they don't deserve a national spotlight. Brash is a racist but his views don't appear that way until you start to look closely at what hes really saying and the implications of it. He needs to be debated to expose it for what it is.
Posted 16 August 2018 - 09:05 AM
Posted 16 August 2018 - 09:22 AM
The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools. Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher 1820 - 1903
Posted 16 August 2018 - 09:55 AM
CH, its not for one person to be the arbiter of whats acceptable, that is a standard set by society. But if what you're saying is that it has the effect of reverse psychology or any attention is going to promote it then that's a weak position. Its better to say what you stand for and define boundaries, as for debating those viewpoints I think it has merit as we approach the border of our accepted norms are on matters such as racism, but there is a difference between a debate of ideas and a political rally. If the Nazi's had put their ideas up for honest public scrutiny then I doubt they would not have succeeded. I don't agree with the argument that everyone needs a voice to express their ideas, thats used both side of the political spectrum for their own selfish ends. Prevention is better than cure, so if the alt-right, the nativists, etc want to spread toxic lies that break society apart then make em work for it.
I also think the media model that we have (clicks, advertising revenue, cut throat competition etc) has made it far far worse, news is confused with sensation and its never been more true "if it bleeds it leads" most of what I read online pretending to be news is opinionated clickbait drivel.
Posted 16 August 2018 - 10:30 AM
Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:14 AM
Telling people what they can and can't hear, see or think because it offends someone has the opposite effect. Our laws adequately cover gross excessive abuse of the freedom of speech and expression so the best way to handle a situation like the visiting Canadians is surely to ignore them? They wouldn't even bother coming here if it was only going to be Don Brash sitting in the back of the room.
Agree with that, an evening with Brash would send them screaming for the exits
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