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Forever
October 29th, 2011, 08:56 PM
Most of the people who will be reading this thread have the privilege of "freedom of speech". This, in other words, means you can voice your opinion on various issues and not be silenced by those in power. However, countries such as China get their Internet censored allowing them to not be able to express what's going on to the world via social networking sites, others have people who are too afraid to speak their minds due to fear of being killed and so on.

Now for some relevant questions to bring to the discussion (don't use dot points):
- do you think it's ever possible for China to have the freedom many of us have in terms of censorship?
- do you think even though free speech exists, you're still unable to express yourself in your own country? how could that be changed? is it that the government is afraid of criticism?
- do you feel the current freedom of speech law is too lax, or too strict?
- do you think wikileaks has gone too far in terms of freedom of information? (relevant to speech)
- do you feel a democratic society cannot exist without complete freedom of speech?

...and anything else you feel can be added, discuss!

psyanic
October 29th, 2011, 09:10 PM
I don't think it's possible unless they get rid of communism there. Communism bases of having equality, so having your own opinion would kind of violate that? I guess...

I do believe you're stinted when expressing yourself, even if freedom of speech exists. It mainly has to do with censorship of the arts, such as the media and, well, arts.

The government is definitely afraid of criticism, isn't everyone? They don't want bad publicity and all. That's why they're shunning WikiLeaks. I don't think they've gone too far though. Most of their stuff is really based on casualty reports that the government won't post. I don't find it to be a big deal.

I think the freedom of speech law is a bit... well not really anything listed. I mean, I've never had any problem with it. Either way, I can voice my opinion in any way I choose. So no problem for me anyway.

But democracy needs freedom of speech to be classified as a democracy in my book. I mean, the people have the right to choose, so they have the right to speak, right?

FreakyLocz14
October 29th, 2011, 09:59 PM
I think freedom of speech is so important, that it should never be restricted or regulated save for extreme cases.

Zet
October 29th, 2011, 11:32 PM
I think freedom of speech is so important, that it should never be restricted or regulated save for extreme cases.
> Because racists should be allowed to spread their hate where it will do damage.

The only time freedom of speech should be harsh is outside of people's homes. I don't want to see racists allowed to spread their hate outside harming anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

China isn't too bad. Sure some of their internet is filtered but there are lots of alternatives(including social networks) to choose from that aren't blocked, plus they have proxies to get passed the filter. I think it's just because they want their citizens to be intolerant of everyone but themselves; for they are the master race(nazi germany anyone?).

mondays suck
October 30th, 2011, 01:16 AM
I think it's just another way for countries to keep their population quiet, while freedom of speech works entirely different than a surveillance- and police state, the objective is the same. I view it as the new opium of the masses.Of course I still prefer it to its alternative, though, more comfortable conditions to live under.

FreakyLocz14
October 30th, 2011, 01:31 AM
> Because racists should be allowed to spread their hate where it will do damage.

The only time freedom of speech should be harsh is outside of people's homes. I don't want to see racists allowed to spread their hate outside harming anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

China isn't too bad. Sure some of their internet is filtered but there are lots of alternatives(including social networks) to choose from that aren't blocked, plus they have proxies to get passed the filter. I think it's just because they want their citizens to be intolerant of everyone but themselves; for they are the master race(nazi germany anyone?).

Yes, they should. This nation was founded on fundamental rights. Among those are some of the most permissive freedom of speech liberties in the world.

Anyone who would propose criminalizing certain speech, as you seem to be advocating for, would rightly be viewed as extreme and dangerous.

We don't have freedom of speech so that we can talk about the weather. We have freedom of speech so that we can say very controversial things.

Hikamaru
October 30th, 2011, 01:55 AM
I sometimes support freedom of speech despite my grudge on Wikileaks...

Esper
October 30th, 2011, 08:29 AM
I think freedom of speech is terribly important, but almost as important is being free from misinformation and being free from having your words twisted and your meaning lost. Like, it's not really freedom of speech if you can't make your voice heard.

As important as freedom of speech is, I think what is needed in the world right now just as badly is freedom from misinformation. I think that everything that gets said needs to be looked at in an open, honest light. When China censors its people I hate to read some government stooge there saying they're protecting their people.

Yes, they should. This nation was founded on fundamental rights. Among those are some of the most permissive freedom of speech liberties in the world.

Anyone who would propose criminalizing certain speech, as you seem to be advocating for, would rightly be viewed as extreme and dangerous.

We don't have freedom of speech so that we can talk about the weather. We have freedom of speech so that we can say very controversial things.
Zet (and lots of other people) aren't living in "this nation" a.k.a. the United States jsyk.

GGJ
October 30th, 2011, 08:35 AM
I think the freedom of speech will forever be, one of our more important rights.. I think as long as we can voice our opinion for OR against our government and laws we will be okay.

Look at my signature and you will see.

Alley Cat
October 30th, 2011, 08:40 AM
Freedom of Speech is by far the most fundamental right guaranteed to US citizens by the Constitution. It is essentially the freedom to think because what's the point of having an opinion if you can't/don't voice it? There isn't one much. Without freedom of speech, people can't pass on their knowledge, the government get's to better control their people. Freedom of Speech makes the government work for the people, not the people work for the government. This is one right that I would fight tooth and nail for.

Where in China they censor the internet, they block out anything that would be potentially harmful to their rule. People don't know, and thus they can't defend themselves as well as they might have. It makes people weaker, when the government restricts the flow of information, which is essentially the only reason a government would disallow freedom of speech.

FreakyLocz14
October 30th, 2011, 11:01 AM
Zet (and lots of other people) aren't living in "this nation" a.k.a. the United States jsyk.

I don't see how anybody, regardless of what country they are from, can be comfortable with their government setting such a dangerous precedent.

Impo
October 30th, 2011, 01:31 PM
I think freedom of speech is important, but people need to know when to shut up sometimes. That isn't in favour of censors, but there has been many fights I've heard along the lines of "free speech, I can say anything I want!"

Yoshikkko
October 30th, 2011, 02:00 PM
I think freedom of speech is very important. Everyone thinks differently and everyone needs to be able to express that. But I do think that some people don't know how to draw the line. Before you use freedom of speech as an excuse, keep in mind that something of equal importance is common decency.

- do you think it's ever possible for China to have the freedom many of us have in terms of censorship?
I think so, but I can't tell in how long. It's just gonna need a revolution.

- do you think even though free speech exists, you're still unable to express yourself in your own country? how could that be changed? is it that the government is afraid of criticism?
Nope. I live in The Netherlands, and we are known for our bluntness. Basically people have a 'say whatever you want, as long as you don't bother me with it' mentality. And we are very open and embrace eachother's opinions. In general of course.

- do you feel the current freedom of speech law is too lax, or too strict?
I don't really know how to answer this.

- do you think wikileaks has gone too far in terms of freedom of information? (relevant to speech)
Honestly I don't really care. I totally think the government keeps things secret that shouldn't be kept secret, so hey.

- do you feel a democratic society cannot exist without complete freedom of speech?
A little, yeah. The term 'democracy' comes from the Greek word dēmokratía, which means "rule of the people". If the people are not completely free to speak, then how is it a democracy?

Gold warehouse
October 30th, 2011, 02:09 PM
Freedom of speech is very important. We need libertarianism in the modern world; any restrictions of freedom, no matter how small they may seem, should be avoided. The largest atrocities are born from the smallest of infringements.

Yeah like Zet said, some people are objectively wrong; but we should still not restrict them from voicing their opinions. If we preach about equality, liberty and justice, then we should allow those freedoms for all people, not just those we agree with. Otherwise, we are as bad as fascists; restricting words or thoughts is a very dangerous path to go down. The way to combat racism, sexism and any other negative -ism is via education, not restriction.

Simply making people "shut up" is the quick and easy temporary solution; it is far from being the best solution to a problem, and definitely not a permanent solution.

PkMnTrainer Yellow
October 30th, 2011, 04:40 PM
do you think it's ever possible for China to have the freedom many of us have in terms of censorship?
Sure? There's nothing physically stopping them! =D Whether it's probable is another question entirely, and one I don't know the answer to. I'm afraid I don't pay much attention to China. Forgive me if what I say sounds rude, it's only intended to be honest... I don't exactly hear anything that makes them look like good role models.

do you think even though free speech exists, you're still unable to express yourself in your own country? how could that be changed? is it that the government is afraid of criticism?
Even the USA has problems with free speech not being enforced as much as it should. This is mostly the fault of the people themselves, who would rather silence those that stand against them even if it's in a non-aggressive manner. The only way to fix this is with government intervention or a miracle.

do you feel the current freedom of speech law is too lax, or too strict?
In the USA? The law itself seems fine to me, though I would say it's not enforced as much as it should be. Perhaps one solution could be making it more strict though.

do you feel a democratic society cannot exist without complete freedom of speech?
Absolutely not! Complete freedom of speech would be an abomination of the very ideals we sought after when we fought for the concept. Most things must be taken in moderation. Freedom of speech is not special.




To conclude, the most worrying thing to me today is that we the people have so little respect for freedom of speech when it comes to opinions and issues we don't agree with. It scares me because most people have this problem, meaning we have the power to legislate it if we so please.

Lalapizzame
November 1st, 2011, 05:54 PM
I enjoy my freedom of speech and while I may not like the person I'm talking to and vice-versa I would rather not have our conversation impeded by censorship and legality. Beware the censurer, for he intends to tame you.

Alley Cat
November 1st, 2011, 06:19 PM
Freedom of Speech: The freedom to say whatever you want. Common Sense: Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should. Because you CAN go jump off that bridge, should you? Only if you want to die.

The masses are untamed and unruly, if you don't give them direction, then a lot of them won't go anywhere. Don't set rules, then people will abuse the privilege. The fathers of the US constitution hardly created freedom of speech so they could insult their neighbor, but it just so happens that by freedom of speech, one is allowed to do that. Then it gets out of hand(i.e. bullying someone to death) and the line has to be drawn. Sadly, you cannot afford rights just to those who earn them. Not without violating the whole reason for giving people rights... you know?

Basically freedom of speech is a good concept, butchered by idiots.

FreakyLocz14
November 1st, 2011, 06:23 PM
I am in complete agreement that people should use common sense when speaking, but I don't believe that the government should enforce common sense. Individuals can give hate-mongers a pieces of their mind, though.

Lalapizzame
November 1st, 2011, 09:28 PM
As long as people may enforce their opposing views as well as hateful beings, I do not mind the latter group's free speech. They will bring it upon themselves should there be retribution.

Mr. X
November 2nd, 2011, 04:24 AM
We value this right because its one that we've held for so long. If we never had this right, then we wouldn't value it.

PkMnTrainer Yellow
November 2nd, 2011, 09:41 AM
We value this right because its one that we've held for so long. If we never had this right, then we wouldn't value it.

Tell that to the citizens of the oppressed countries in the world.

Mr. X
November 2nd, 2011, 09:56 AM
Cuba doesn't have freedom of speech.

So, they are oppressed.

But, they have free education (up to collage, unlike the US) and healthcare. And quite a few other pro's that we lack.

My point? No form of government is perfect. You look upon these oppressed countries and see nothing but negatives, completely disregarding any positives.

I look upon them and see both and realize that some people are willing to trade those rights for the perks that are given in exchange.

Anyway, as for oppressed countries in general. Let them rebel and get their own freedom. We paid in blood for our rights. Are the oppressed countries willing the pay the same?

FreakyLocz14
November 2nd, 2011, 10:39 AM
Cuba doesn't have freedom of speech.

So, they are oppressed.

But, they have free education (up to collage, unlike the US) and healthcare. And quite a few other pro's that we lack.

My point? No form of government is perfect. You look upon these oppressed countries and see nothing but negatives, completely disregarding any positives.

I look upon them and see both and realize that some people are willing to trade those rights for the perks that are given in exchange.

Anyway, as for oppressed countries in general. Let them rebel and get their own freedom. We paid in blood for our rights. Are the oppressed countries willing the pay the same?

Those aren't freedoms. Those are entitlements. Cuba also doesn't allow emigration, so those who want personal freedom over social entitlements are SOL.

Captain Fabio
November 2nd, 2011, 11:10 AM
Taking away our freedom of speech takes away our individuality.
We are all different and have different thoughts and that is how it should be.

Mr. X
November 2nd, 2011, 12:13 PM
Speech =/= a person.

A person is more then just mere words.

If your a mute do you lack individuality?

Blue Nocturne
November 2nd, 2011, 12:14 PM
Of course, people should legally have the right to say whatever they want. Anyone trying to restrict what people are allowed to say is being irrational, oppressive and just plain wrong. People may be racist, sexist, homophobic or objectively wrong, but they should still be free to voice their opinions. However, freedom of speech doesn't stop me, or anyone else, for thinking less of someone for their views, or indeed ridiculing and arguing against their views down to the toxic puddle that they are. However, I draw the line at free speech to be honest. I have just a teensy snaphoo with people beating the crap out of each other for their personal beliefs.

FreakyLocz14
November 2nd, 2011, 12:36 PM
Of course, people should legally have the right to say whatever they want. Anyone trying to restrict what people are allowed to say is being irrational, oppressive and just plain wrong. People may be racist, sexist, homophobic or objectively wrong, but they should still be free to voice their opinions. However, freedom of speech doesn't stop me, or anyone else, for thinking less of someone for their views, or indeed ridiculing and arguing against their views down to the toxic puddle that they are. However, I draw the line at free speech to be honest. I have just a teensy snaphoo with people beating the crap out of each other for their personal beliefs.

That's exactly right. Freedom of speech also allows you to tell ignorant people what you think about them.