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Old 07-09-2010, 05:41 PM
 
86 posts, read 119,738 times
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Think about it. What is it that most every American demands?
Their 1st Amendment Rights, (and many, their 2nd Amendment rights as well.) Let's review these, as they've been in place since ratification in 1791.

Freedom of Religion: The dearest and most fundamental of all rights, listed 1st in the Bill of Rigths. This guarantees the individual citizen freedom to choose what they will and will not accept as truth. A theist may be a theist and disagree with some or all other theists in the country with no legal reprocussions. An atheist has the right to be atheist as well. The government will also use no public monies to fund any or all religious activities, or to endorse any. The government takes no stance on this matter. (Non-establishment)

However, as you exercise such right, others will too, and what they choose will vary and may not agree with your choice. If their practice is offensive, that's just the price we must pay for having this right.

"It does not break my leg if my neighbor says there is no god, or if there are twenty gods." -- Thomas Jefferson (paraphrased)

Freedom of Speech: Another fundamental right of humanity. The freedom to speak one's mind was a long fight through the ages. Same applies. As you speak your opinions, so shall others. Your speech could be just as offensive to them as their speech is to you. If we are all going to enjoy this right, then we can enjoy no government protection from offensive speech from striking our ears.

If you are black and some toothless redneck yells, "Hey, I's hates n***rs!" well, the government does not babysit. If a black man yells, "Yo crackah, I don't dig yo' white *****!" Ditto! If both parties remain in their personal space without violence, then there's no cause for government intervention.

Freedom of Press, Peaceful Assembly and Petition: Same applies.
Now, to keep a society free, there can be no social engineering among numerical minorities. The govenment's job is to to protect these liberties and prosecute those who violate those liberites of others. There is no provision to make people love, appreciate or celebrate any religion, culture, lifestyle or sexual preference. After all, that's the true defintion of 'equality.'

Preferences/Quotas <> equalitly.

So basically the moral should be, "If you want these freedoms, prepare to be offended." How shall humanity advance and evolve from its savage self, unless its forced to peacefully endure opposition of ideas and practices?
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:44 PM
 
29,719 posts, read 16,424,516 times
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Why how dare you!
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:46 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,200,064 times
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It doesn't have to be; however, there is little regard for civility in our current society.

Freedom means allowing people to say and do things with which you disagree. Too bad we can't seem to manage that with less venome.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:18 AM
Status: "I'm an Unmherkun puppy-kicking Socialist" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,036 posts, read 2,117,590 times
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Is a FREE SOCIETY an OFFENSIVE SOCIETY?

I may be misreading you, but I take "offensive" to include calmly and rationally expressed speech that overturns one' cherished beliefs (religion, politics, philosophy, etc).

If so, I consider this a false conflation. Lots of societies widely considered free and democratic do have speech restrictions on non-slanderous, non-libelous, perhaps even truthful speech (Canada, most major Western European nations, etc). Yet these societies do protect controversial speech expressed in a calm and civilized manner concerning religion, economics, politics, philosophy, etc. and so are still considered free ones. Of course that one's a subjective call for anybody to claim such societies are not truly free, but it is very difficult to find anyone who actually considers Canada and W. European countries unfree.

Nevertheless, I don't see initiating rudeness as in the proper spirit of free speech, for such attitudes are well-observed to shut down communication and cause people to dig in and fight when, in absence of such disrespect, would continue to discuss the matter. In other words, deliberate offensiveness tends to hamper efficient flow of communication, which is, at best, malfunctioning free speech - or free speech that defeats its own purpose, which is to allow the best ideas to be aired, considered, and debated.

Polite free speech may take longer in the short run to achieve its results, but in the long run will lead to a more genuine agreement to change the practices with much less risk of horrid bloodshed, war, damaged national unity, etc. (if the Civil Rights movement had turned into an actual guerrilla war, odds are pretty high racism would be quite a bit more intense today). Similar principle for Gay Rights - calm, polite, reasoned persuasion, followed by intense but polite exercise of "soft power" is in the long term much more efficient than showing general contempt - for that forces people into defensive positions and makes change much slower and/or more painful in the long run than it has to be.

Hence, initiating rudeness or other disrespects toward one's opponents ultimately leads to a malfunctioning democracy and general political process (as evidenced by what we see on Capitol Hill today, when it's even worse than it was within even my own lifetime -- I'm 46 now). Dan Fincke has a lot to say about rudeness and general slurring of one's opponents (chiefly in a religious debate context, but I see it every bit as applicable to any discussion topic). While I don't favor arresting people for intense disrespect, such people who engage in it need to be SEVERELY sanctioned by the public at large, perhaps especially by their own organizations (hence I refuse to have anything to do with most religion (non)debates or anything in which shouting matches predominate over calm, non-caricatured venom-spitting).

Last edited by Phil75230; 08-30-2014 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:38 AM
 
78,825 posts, read 33,532,796 times
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In other countries without the freedoms noted above, women can't drive. They must keep their heads covered. etc, etc, etc.

Our rights do not create offense, there is offense where there are no rights. Our rights stop the government from prosecuting you simply for being offensive.
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Old 08-30-2014, 05:28 AM
 
9,472 posts, read 5,901,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
In other countries without the freedoms noted above, women can't drive. They must keep their heads covered. etc, etc, etc.

Our rights do not create offense, there is offense where there are no rights. Our rights stop the government from prosecuting you simply for being offensive.
Let me correct you slightly...

Our rights stop the government from prosecuting you simply for being offensive to those in or who influence government.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:37 AM
 
32,063 posts, read 32,962,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Let me correct you slightly...

Our rights stop the government from prosecuting you simply for being offensive to those in or who influence government.
Sounds about right to me!
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:01 AM
 
2,025 posts, read 2,969,286 times
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people of weak minds and convictions may find free speech offensive. Thus we have the professionally offended class who seek to curb such speech. If you dont like it turn the channel, move along, noone says you have to listen.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:04 AM
 
39,225 posts, read 20,343,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
It doesn't have to be; however, there is little regard for civility in our current society.

Freedom means allowing people to say and do things with which you disagree. Too bad we can't seem to manage that with less venome.
Freedom of speech also allows people to disparage others. You have the right to lie. Politicians know this well and if we have a lapdog media the politician gets away with those lies. There is nothing worse than making important decisions based on lies.
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Old 08-30-2014, 05:52 PM
 
8,335 posts, read 9,794,366 times
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Wow, ooooold thread but I'll add this: It is precisely because speech may offend that it has to be protected in the first place. So the answer to your question is yes. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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