Freedom of speech (was:this is why i hate ethics class)

What is right? Is there right? Are you right?

Freedom of speech (was:this is why i hate ethics class)

Post by banon on Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:06 pm
([msg=15259]see Freedom of speech (was:this is why i hate ethics class)[/msg])

in my ethics class there was a true or false question that was "should free speech ever have limitations?"
i of course said it should not, and i got the question wrong. i am (of course) very pissed of that she is allowed to mark me on whether my views match her views.

anyway, i was wondering what you guys thought on the subject of if conditional "free" speech is even free speech.
Last edited by comperr on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: topic name changed
i am the eggman, i am the eggman, i am the walrus, goo goo ga choo - john lennon
banon
New User
New User
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:43 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by TrogDor4 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:46 pm
([msg=15260]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

You got counted off for having a seperate opinion? That's a horrible teacher.
TrogDor4
New User
New User
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:00 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by ImToast on Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:33 pm
([msg=15262]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

You should research on what Free speach really is, i don't know if every country is different to each others.

Then when you find out what it is (I'm sure you know what is) but print it all out and give it to your teacher and say "Stick this up your you know what"
ImToast
Experienced User
Experienced User
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:23 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by sidebottom on Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:35 am
([msg=15266]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

banon wrote:in my ethics class there was a true or false question that was "should free speech ever have limitations?"


First of all, that is not a true/false question.

Second, if your teacher is asking you for your opinion, well of course you should argue the results. However, if the question is "Should free speech have limitations?" and not "Do you think free speech should have limitations?" you obviously got the question wrong. There should be limitations on everything, including free speech, don't you agree? Think about the classic example of someone yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theater. Wouldn't you want to be protected from offensive speech or expression? What about when your "rights" to free speech impinge on an other's right to privacy or safety? What about offensive hate speech?

If you're interested in reading more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of ... _of_speech

By the way, I find it ironic that HTS denounces freedom of speech in many of its own "missions." For example, the goal in realistic mission #2 is to take away the freedom of speech against "The American Nazi Party." We may all disagree with these racist, hateful views, but if HTS is so adamant about protecting free speech, shouldn't they support ALL speech, not just views they agree with?

Try to open your mind a bit and think for yourself. Good luck in the rest of your ethics class.
sidebottom
Poster
Poster
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:09 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by banon on Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:44 pm
([msg=15395]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

i changed the phrase a bit thinking it would not matter
but if you want to be all technical the actual question was:
t/f, there should be no limitations on free speech, i put true

as for the theater example, you would be angry at the man not because of the inapropriateness of where/when he said it.
freedom of speech is (to me) about not discriminating by what you are saying.
it should have nothing to do with location because that is not speech, you could have put anything into that example and it still would do the same thing (say the man fires a gun, or pops a ballon, its not about what he is doing, but when he does it)

but say the goverment does not like what person x is saying about them, and they decide to capture that person. that is a case of freedom of speech, it is based on the idea of the person, and i think you will find it is a bit different then making random noises at a theater

as for the american nazi party mission, i have to say that i agree with you on that one... but it is just an example for people to try out, it is not actually real (i guess that is obvious)

as for opening my mind, i guess i can see how having everybody saying excatally what the want at all times could be harmfull to society, but what is the price of our freedom?
i am the eggman, i am the eggman, i am the walrus, goo goo ga choo - john lennon
banon
New User
New User
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:43 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by Vinylmaniac on Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:27 pm
([msg=15405]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

Actually this is a very complex and sensitive subject that cannot be answered with a simple true or false. There are a lot of variables to consider, one of them being the morality and the values of the society.

In an ideal society limitations wouldn't occur. Everyone cares for each other and there's no reason to express something that will harm someone. So racist or any other "inferiority complex" ideas are out of the question, not because it's prohibited, but of the way people think based on the values of this perfect society.

But that is a a perfect society so let's stay in reality and what's going on today. There's a saying that goes like this "My freedom ends where your freedom begins". So based on that I assume there are limitation in speech, at least on papers. For example, minor issues like trash talk or exposure of someones privacy and major issues such us ideas that will harm a group of people. I agree with sidebottom but for the racist party, ideas like these shouldn't even be expressed. Let's not forget what this particular idea caused to mankind.

Anyway all these are "on papers". Today, we got an ironic situation most of the governments in the world talk about liberty and freedom of speech but at the same time their actions are in the opposite direction but that's another story.
Finally I may be wrong cause I made some assumptions based on my beliefs and how I interact with people. Honestly, this question doesn't have a black or white answer and there's no sense correcting it. I really wonder what was the purpose of this question put by your teacher.

Sorry about my English as it's not my native language.
Cheers :)
Vinylmaniac
New User
New User
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:30 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by sidebottom on Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:04 pm
([msg=15410]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

banon wrote:...freedom of speech is (to me) about not discriminating by what you are saying.


This is the reason you got the question wrong; you were thinking too specifically and more about freedom to express ideas rather than physically saying something. This is what I meant about having a more open mind and thinking about all aspects of a situation. Thinking like that is what I feel "hacking" is all about. For example, some machine/software is supposed to work a certain way and follow certain rules, but what happens if I do X or Y, how does that change its functionality?

Same goes with this subject. To you, until recently, freedom of speech may have been a black and white issue. You should have the right to speak whatever ideas you want, and if someone tries to silence you, that's bad. But as with hacking, what happens if you think outside the box and start messing with stuff? How about NAMBLA? Should they be able to say whatever they want whenever they want even though their ideas are illegal and downright disgusting? The Nazi example: Do you want people inciting riots with hate speech? How about if someone got a hold on your most private secrets? Would you want them to be able to post them on the evening news? What if someone posted lies about you on the evening news? Should they have the right to say whatever they want even if its false?

Like hacking, things that may have seemed so straightforward start to break down once we throw in some "unexpected input."

By the way, the movie theater example was just an one of someone saying something that would cause panic and could possibly injure people, cause loss of money to the theater and patrons....basically its bad for all parties involved. Maybe not the best example, I admit, but still proof that you should be allowed to say anything you want in certain situations.

Like Vinylmaniac said, this is a very complex subject and to be honest, the question was really a bit of a trick-question so don't be sore about getting it wrong; I think your teacher counted on 90% of the class thinking the way you did probably so he/she could point out your error and make him/herself feel smarter.

As far as the racist/hate speech example, let me play the "devil's advocate" for a bit. I think everybody here would agree that groups like the KKK and Nazis are contemptible (and the reprobates who subscribe to their hateful views probably shouldn't be allowed to be part of our society). But what happens if the majority of the country believes that what HTS stands for is bad for society. What if 90% of people feel that we are doing wrong by studying the faults of software and intentionally breaking computers which can subsequently be used by bad people to do bad things. Should we be silenced then? I would assume that all of us would shout "of course not!" in unison.

How about almost 200 years ago when slavery was commonplace and well accepted? The abolitionists were probably considered as radical and despicable by the majority of the country then as the majority of the country considers the Nazis or the KKK today. So if we want to silence the radical speech of the KKK or Nazis today, does that mean the abolitionists should have been silenced too? What about the revolutionaries of tomorrow? A sticky situation indeed...

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it." - Voltaire
sidebottom
Poster
Poster
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:09 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by banon on Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:23 pm
([msg=15411]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

Vinylmaniac wrote:Actually this is a very complex and sensitive subject that cannot be answered with a simple true or false.


thats probably true, but that just shows that they should not mark you on that question if there is no definitive answer (it opinion).

and to sidebottom, you are also thinking to literally, you are talking about speech in the physical sense of talking. i say speech is expressing an idea, you can "speak" over the internet, stephen hawking can "speak" even thought he is not literally speaking.

and as for nambla (i know i am about to get flamed), we may not agree with what they are saying, but if we say they can not express there idea`s then we have no right talking about free speech, sure we can have laws to prevent rapings, but if they want to say that those laws are wrong then (as long as they do not break the law) we must give them there right to express there idea`s

and no, freedom is not black and white to me either, i simply choose the side of one of the polar extremes, i can see how one may think i belive it is a binary issue, but i am well aware it is not, i have just decided to interperet "free speech" as truly "free", because true freedom to me is when i have control over what i say and believe, and there is no legal way anybody can persecute me for simply saying it.

to give another example fitting with the title of this thread, she also once argued that every single person who commited a high school shooting was involved in fps gaming

also:

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it." - Voltaire

thats what i am saying, are you arguing against me or what :?:

also,i find it ironic that the people (like my teacher) who say that free speech should be conditional, are infact protected to be able to say that by there right to free speech.
i am the eggman, i am the eggman, i am the walrus, goo goo ga choo - john lennon
banon
New User
New User
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:43 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by sidebottom on Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:17 am
([msg=15415]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

banon wrote:thats what i am saying, are you arguing against me or what :?:


Actually I wasn't arguing with OR against you, as I have not stated my point-of-view on the subject. I was simply offering some dissenting views to help fuel your mind a bit and to get you to start challenging what you think you know.

Now here is my point-of-view (whether you are interested or not ;) ): I am a strong proponent of freedom of speech (the right to express your thoughts, ideas, feelings etc.) as long as it does not impinge on an other's rights. I do feel strongly that freedom of speech should be protected and almost all of the limitations of free speech should be through self-censorship. What I mean by that is, a journalist should make the decision whether to print libelous articles so a higher authority (i.e. government) does not have to. Where the less-than-scrupulous fail perform to self-censorship, I do think their should be legal restrictions and I guarantee you do too.

Sorry if you misunderstood me and took me too literally, but I am not talking about the act of "speaking" but the act of expressing ideas publicly through words or other more tangible means (images, art, music, pantomime, etc.). Again, though, don't think of freedom of speech as JUST being able to say what you believe; it is broader than that.

You seem to still be incorrectly defining freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is not just about expressing ideas but HOW you express them. There is a difference between you and me having a conversation about something and us publicly expressing it where it can encroach on an other person's rights; that makes all the difference. I completely agree with you that IDEAS should not be silenced, however, HOW, WHEN, and WHERE the ideas can be expressed should be limited. No one should go to jail for having certain views (no matter how radical) but if someone has an offensive view, then I feel that they should not have the categorical right to express it in a way that will infringe my rights (take a public display of pornography or something equally offensive, for example.).

A free speech purist (which I am guessing you are not) would say that anyone has the right to "say" anything, anywhere, anytime. This will obviously conflict constantly with other peoples rights. For example, say person A is giving a speech in front of millions of audience members and TV viewers. Now person B who disagrees vehemently with person A runs up on stage, interrupts the speech and starts exercising their right to free speech. Well, either you accost person B for the interruption (taking away their right to free speech) or you allow the interruption to continue (taking away person A's right to free speech). Either way someone's rights have been taken away, in a sense. Both person A and B should have the right to say their point-of-views to their own audiences, but neither should interfere with the other's right to do the same.

There are MANY instances in US federal laws where freedom of speech is limited and they are actually necessary in our society.

Section 8 of the US Constitution grants congress the power "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." This is the basis of the US intellectual property rights laws. Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights are all, in essence, a limitation of an other's free speech, aren't they? If you know anything about intellectual property, I think you would agree that these laws are absolutely necessary to "promote the progress of science and useful arts..." even though they circumscribe the free speech rights of others.

Pornography, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and the speech example are what I offer to you as legitimate reasons to limit free speech and I don't think you argue those in general. You wouldn't want someone interrupting you while you exercise your right to free speech, nor would you want to be bombarded with pornography every where you go (some of you perverts may object to this, but I guarantee you that there is some kind of pornography that you wouldn't want to see constantly while walking down the street ;) ).

So, to wrap things up (finally):

You are right when you say that the right to express an idea, no matter how radical, should never be punished by a government or other authority. However, the expression of that right must be limited to some extent so it does not interfere with other people's rights as in the previous examples and that's what your teacher means by conditional. You just need to rethink your definition of free speech.

By the way: That school shooting/FPS correlation provided by your teacher, well...it's probably technically true. I dare you to find a kid in a public high-school that hasn't played an FPS at least once! :D
sidebottom
Poster
Poster
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:09 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Re: this is why i hate ethics class

Post by banon on Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:53 pm
([msg=15470]see Re: this is why i hate ethics class[/msg])

i may not completly agree with you, but i can definitly see that point of view.

i do not think i would consider myself a freespeech purist if it means you can say anything and be protected legally, but that is because good most examples (at least the ones that i can think of) would have deeper legal issues than just the expression of idea's.

say somebody runs down the street at 3:00 am yelling "FUCK YOU ALL", he should get arrested, not for what he was trying to communicate, but because he woke everybody up at 3:00 am in the morning.

so while i do not think idea's should ever be censored, "free speech" should not protect people from other laws that they may break in the process of communicating an idea.

the pornography example is a perfect case of the company's that would display it self censoring themselves, a billboard company would not allow a giant porn picture to be put up. the goverment should have no say what companies do (if they do not break the law), but the billboard company would censor themselves due to morality/fear of public backlash/car crashes ;)

so i guess my idea's may not be so far from yours in retrospect.

ps: dosen't it all really depend on how one defines freedom of speech? unfortunatly freedom of speech is extremly hard to define so this argument is very difficult
i am the eggman, i am the eggman, i am the walrus, goo goo ga choo - john lennon
banon
New User
New User
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:43 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Next

Return to Ethics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron