U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Canada
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-12-2012, 05:46 PM
 
1,460 posts, read 1,674,964 times
Reputation: 1400

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by MexiQuebecois View Post
+1

I haven't read the book so I won't comment on it.

But in regards to free speech, where do you draw the line?

The world isn't (shouldn't be!) a free-for-all where everyone can just say whatever they want. The freedom of moving your arm freely ends when it touches my nose.

Can I yell "FIRE!" in a movie theatre? Or why can't I just call people from a different ethnicity racial slurs if I'm not hurting anyone? Well because saying whatever you want is not allowed, especially if it will promote violence/prejudice against someone else.

I don't really care if the government is threatening me to send me to jail if I call someone a racial slur or anything like that. You know why? Because I don't do it! I'm respectful and don't judge someone based on the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, their height, etc.

But of course I'm just taking advantage of my freedom of speech and expressing my opinion on this forum
Excellent post...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-12-2012, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Mexico City (Montreal soon!)
179 posts, read 663,438 times
Reputation: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshineleith View Post
I think that you will fit in well in Canada - your attitude pretty much sums up how most Canadians that I know, see "freedom of speech". I find the Canadian approach well balanced. I agree with your post 100%.
Believe it or not, it was thanks to Canada that I have this view. I admit it that before moving there I lived in a very homogenous society, and you do hear a lot of things and create a prejudice without being fair, which happens in a lot of societies. Jerks come in all races. It's also why rural communities tend to be more racist and close-minded. Once you live in an urban and multicultural city, you find out the mutual benefits of multiculturalism.

Canada also does a lot better in integrating their immigrants, which is why multiculturalism there works.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,513,984 times
Reputation: 4898
I've heard Canadian society characterized as being like American society without the extremes (a useful characterization only up until a point). We've never had the same widespread acceptance of Libertarian ideals the U.S. did as we are a constitutional monarchy that broke off from a larger empire. Your motto was 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'. Ours was 'Peace, Order, and Good Government'. As such, we never quite had the total civil liberties of the US and free speech has always had some restrictions, like regulations against hate speech. On the other hand, this is not some totalitarian country and as has been said above people aren't particularly upset about the minor restrictions on behaviour. Our deep respect for order and good government has translated into a respect for due process and laws based on logical enlightenment ideals. So what I'm saying is we aren't starting from the same baseline of license to do stuff as the US, but the right we've got also aren't disappearing at the rate they are in the US, and when they are infringed upon it's mostly at the behest of the US government putting pressure on our country. So we passed anti terrorism laws after 911, not quite as harsh as the patriot act though, and we recently tabled internet copyright law at a similar time as SOPA and PIPA were in the US legislatures. At the same time though, we didn't do things like try to pass the NDAA act or create a Guantonomo Bay. So our rights are curtailed a bit due to US pressures to conform to their policies, we all know they exert considerable influence on us, but it`s not quite so bad because we`re not a superpower trying to hold onto control of world power so our government has less fear motivating them to pass these kinds of scary laws.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Lower east side of Toronto
10,586 posts, read 10,798,751 times
Reputation: 9293
Here in the great white north...they are a little more cunning when it comes to taking away your rights- they do it a tiny bit at a time. A few years ago I was helping my younger brother with a law suit...in effect we were litigating against an agent of the government..They had stolen his two infant sons..after the mother had some sort of break down that consisted of a disease called power and greed...

We fought them for five y ears all the way to the Supreme court of Canada- we lost - because they CHEATED....One is to disclose all documents...full disclosure...out of the 500 or so documents..ONE the primary one to win the case...was hidden until the very end...it was an endorsement...from the first judge..that stated that on a certain date - we were in the body of the court...and we granted "consent".............once it was over- we traced down this document...WE were NOT there - we were NOT present- Point being-

Our rights to a fair hearing and a true and honest litigation against the offenders was denied- The government was caught red handed doing something that was illegal - and to escape justice- they had to LIE.....this is common practice...

When it gets down to the nitty gritty...........the out come was already carved in stone before we even began to take on big brother...what a waste of time- and what a huge disappointment in the system//


That they were cowardly and did not obey their own laws.....at this point- I have no respect for them what so ever- the powers that be were more interested in maintaining power at all cost- and do NOT serve the people...you really have no rights...none!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,656,734 times
Reputation: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by MexiQuebecois View Post
The world isn't (shouldn't be!) a free-for-all where everyone can just say whatever they want. The freedom of moving your arm freely ends when it touches my nose.

Can I yell "FIRE!" in a movie theatre? Or why can't I just call people from a different ethnicity racial slurs if I'm not hurting anyone? Well because saying whatever you want is not allowed, especially if it will promote violence/prejudice against someone else.

I don't really care if the government is threatening me to send me to jail if I call someone a racial slur or anything like that. You know why? Because I don't do it! I'm respectful and don't judge someone based on the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, their height, etc.

But of course I'm just taking advantage of my freedom of speech and expressing my opinion on this forum
I respectfully disagree (strongly!) with much of this post.

One of the difficulties with freedom of speech and opinion is that we have to accept that the most offensive, ignorant, boorish people share the same rights that the rest of us do.

It's fundamentally important to protect unreasonable speech. No social progress has ever been made without the use of unreasonable speech, often with the use of offensive language. I'm not suggesting that blatant hate speech is socially progressive, only that it's not for lawmakers to decide which side of an argument is right or wrong.

It's conceivable that at some point, you or I would hold an opinion that runs counter to prevailing public or government attitudes (which are often wrong). If we're willing to allow arbitrary restrictions (and they are arbitrary) then we've eroded that check which allows us to speak out against that wrong.

Not only that, but if we allow that offensive language is criminal, how do we determine context, reasonableness or offensiveness? None of these are really quantifiable. Is Patti Smith equal to David Duke? Both used the same language. Are we to leave it to the courts to interpret artistic context?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
6,480 posts, read 6,214,723 times
Reputation: 6960
Quote:
Originally Posted by MexiQuebecois View Post
+1

I haven't read the book so I won't comment on it.

But in regards to free speech, where do you draw the line?

The world isn't (shouldn't be!) a free-for-all where everyone can just say whatever they want. The freedom of moving your arm freely ends when it touches my nose.

Can I yell "FIRE!" in a movie theatre? Or why can't I just call people from a different ethnicity racial slurs if I'm not hurting anyone? Well because saying whatever you want is not allowed, especially if it will promote violence/prejudice against someone else.

I don't really care if the government is threatening me to send me to jail if I call someone a racial slur or anything like that. You know why? Because I don't do it! I'm respectful and don't judge someone based on the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, their height, etc.

But of course I'm just taking advantage of my freedom of speech and expressing my opinion on this forum
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshineleith View Post
I think that you will fit in well in Canada - your attitude pretty much sums up how most Canadians that I know, see "freedom of speech". I find the Canadian approach well balanced. I agree with your post 100%.
That doesn't explain why Mark Steyn was accused of a crime.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
6,480 posts, read 6,214,723 times
Reputation: 6960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
I respectfully disagree (strongly!) with much of this post.

One of the difficulties with freedom of speech and opinion is that we have to accept that the most offensive, ignorant, boorish people share the same rights that the rest of us do.

It's fundamentally important to protect unreasonable speech. No social progress has ever been made without the use of unreasonable speech, often with the use of offensive language. I'm not suggesting that blatant hate speech is socially progressive, only that it's not for lawmakers to decide which side of an argument is right or wrong.

It's conceivable that at some point, you or I would hold an opinion that runs counter to prevailing public or government attitudes (which are often wrong). If we're willing to allow arbitrary restrictions (and they are arbitrary) then we've eroded that check which allows us to speak out against that wrong.

Not only that, but if we allow that offensive language is criminal, how do we determine context, reasonableness or offensiveness? None of these are really quantifiable. Is Patti Smith equal to David Duke? Both used the same language. Are we to leave it to the courts to interpret artistic context?
Put another way, inoffensive speech doesn't need protection.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Mexico City (Montreal soon!)
179 posts, read 663,438 times
Reputation: 155
Replied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
I respectfully disagree (strongly!) with much of this post.

One of the difficulties with freedom of speech and opinion is that we have to accept that the most offensive, ignorant, boorish people share the same rights that the rest of us do.

Yes they do, but they also share the same obligations and responsibilities as the rest of us, and they have to be held accountable for their actions just like anyone else

It's fundamentally important to protect unreasonable speech. No social progress has ever been made without the use of unreasonable speech, often with the use of offensive language. I'm not suggesting that blatant hate speech is socially progressive, only that it's not for lawmakers to decide which side of an argument is right or wrong.

I disagree, we've seen countless times throughout history that unreasonable speech is very dangerous, especially under the control of certain individuals (Hitler). While we may agree that common sense is not so common as we think, one thing where I think that everyone should agree is that violence doesn't solve anything, and unreasonable speech (as you call it) such as racial slurs and misinformation about certain groups does lead to violence. I find it perfectly O.K. for lawmakers to say "you can't be going around promoting a riot against blacks/Mexicans/Jews/etc." Or do you think people should be allowed to do that? If you do then no offence but I'd find that pretty disturbing and I'm be glad that you're not running for a government position

It's conceivable that at some point, you or I would hold an opinion that runs counter to prevailing public or government attitudes (which are often wrong). If we're willing to allow arbitrary restrictions (and they are arbitrary) then we've eroded that check which allows us to speak out against that wrong.

I'm gonna need some clarification here, what exactly is arbitrary? Most racism stems out of ignorance and fear of the unknown and I don't see anything arbitrary in prohibiting hate speech that will lead to violence or even yelling things at certain places that would endanger the public.

Answer this: What's your position on someone yelling "Fire!" inside a crowded movie theatre? Or what about someone yelling "BOMB!" at an airport? Should they be held accountable because that action just created panic and people would die crushed while everyone tries to escape? Or should they be protected because it's their fundamental right of free speech and their opinion that it's perfectly okay to say this "runs counter to prevailing government attitudes"?

Not only that, but if we allow that offensive language is criminal, how do we determine context, reasonableness or offensiveness? None of these are really quantifiable. Is Patti Smith equal to David Duke? Both used the same language. Are we to leave it to the courts to interpret artistic context?

So because it's not offensive enough in your opinion we should just let people say whatever they want? Yes Patti Smith and David Duke are both equal human beings and deserve the same respect as Lin Mei and Jorge Rodriguez, all four of them also have the same obligations and will be held accountable equally if they commit a crime, none of them should be offending one another though. How can a society function like that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Mexico City (Montreal soon!)
179 posts, read 663,438 times
Reputation: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavaturaccioli View Post
That doesn't explain why Mark Steyn was accused of a crime.
I haven't read the book (And have no intention of doing so) but here's what the article says:

The complaint states that the article "discriminates against Muslims on the basis of their religion. It exposes Muslims to hatred and contempt due to their religion." Elmasry complains that Steyn's book tars entire Muslim communities as complicit in violent jihad.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,656,734 times
Reputation: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by MexiQuebecois View Post

Yes they do, but they also share the same obligations and responsibilities as the rest of us, and they have to be held accountable for their actions just like anyone else

So, why hold them to a different degree of scrutiny than the rest of us? If I offend someone with a piece of outsider art, should I be jailed for it?



Quote:
I disagree, we've seen countless times throughout history that unreasonable speech is very dangerous, especially under the control of certain individuals (Hitler). While we may agree that common sense is not so common as we think, one thing where I think that everyone should agree is that violence doesn't solve anything, and unreasonable speech (as you call it) such as racial slurs and misinformation about certain groups does lead to violence. I find it perfectly O.K. for lawmakers to say "you can't be going around promoting a riot against blacks/Mexicans/Jews/etc." Or do you think people should be allowed to do that? If you do then no offence but I'd find that pretty disturbing and I'm be glad that you're not running for a government position

Women's suffrage, racial rights, gay rights, the anti-war movements, etc. have all been considered unreasonable in the eyes of authority figures. So, you're making a judgement call, based on your own opinion of right and wrong, as to who's allowed to make a speech that goes against the grain of public opinion.

You can't do that, because there's no guarantee that somebody who agrees with you is going to be in that position of authority. Freedom of speech doesn't mean much when everyone agrees with you and things are rosy. It would mean an awful lot if society were to take an ugly turn and you couldn't say anything for fear of arrest.

Quote:
I'm gonna need some clarification here, what exactly is arbitrary? Most racism stems out of ignorance and fear of the unknown and I don't see anything arbitrary in prohibiting hate speech that will lead to violence or even yelling things at certain places that would endanger the public.

The limits you want to put on speech are arbitrary. Who gets to decide what's hate speech, what's ignorant blustering and what's genuine questioning of the status quo?

Quote:
Answer this: What's your position on someone yelling "Fire!" inside a crowded movie theatre? Or what about someone yelling "BOMB!" at an airport? Should they be held accountable because that action just created panic and people would die crushed while everyone tries to escape? Or should they be protected because it's their fundamental right of free speech and their opinion that it's perfectly okay to say this "runs counter to prevailing government attitudes"?

Your example of FIRE! is already covered under the criminal code as mischief. Incitement to riot and conspiracy to commit a crime are also already criminal code violations, too.

There's an incredible difference between somebody saying "I don't like you such-and-such people" as compared to "Let's all go kill a such-and-such person". The first one is an expression of opinion (as ignorant as it may be), the second is conspiracy to commit a crime, which is already a crime, regardless of hate speech laws.


Quote:
So because it's not offensive enough in your opinion we should just let people say whatever they want? Yes Patti Smith and David Duke are both equal human beings and deserve the same respect as Lin Mei and Jorge Rodriguez, all four of them also have the same obligations and will be held accountable equally if they commit a crime, none of them should be offending one another though. How can a society function like that?

My opinion has nothing to do with this -that's the whole point. In regards to what people are allowed to say, whether or not I like it shouldn't have any relevance.

You can't have context and offensiveness matter because neither of them is quantifiable. How can we possibly make a rational decision about where we draw the line? How can society function if we're making things illegal and we can't even decide what they are?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Canada
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top