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Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is limiting free speech

concealment (2447304) writes | about 2 years ago

Censorship 4

concealment writes "In the face of the violence that frequently results from anti-religious expression, some world leaders seem to be losing their patience with free speech. After a video called “Innocence of Muslims” appeared on YouTube and sparked violent protests in several Muslim nations last month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that “when some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected.”

It appears that the one thing modern society can no longer tolerate is intolerance. As Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard put it in her recent speech before the United Nations, “Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.”"

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4 comments

Play nice and you can play too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657305)

Our freedom to talk about your religion also means that you have the freedom to talk about our religion.

If we can't talk about your religion, then you also can't talk about our religion.

If we can't talk about our religion, then you also can't talk about your religion.

No Exceptions (1)

Alien7 (310889) | about 2 years ago | (#41659871)

Free speech means you can say WHATEVER the fuck you want without being persecuted for it, end of story. That includes Westboro Baptist Church, Julian Assange, and the KKK. The second you make a limit it's no longer free, it's limited speech. Where does this sort of rhetoric end? If you're no longer allowed to criticize religion how long before you aren't allowed to criticize governments? It's especially dangerous when in places where there isn't a clear line where one stops and the other begins (like certain places in the middle east for example). If there is violence that follows persecute those that are violent, we must never persecute people for speaking their mind.

Re:No Exceptions (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 2 years ago | (#41660847)

So you think it's ok to shout "FIRE !" in the middle of a crowded theater or a rock concert ?
I was taught to believe that our freedoms must have limits, they end exactly where the others freedoms begin.
Unlimited free speech in theory is a great concept.
But the American constitution would certainly be done very differently if they knew anything about the Television, Radio, the 24x7 news cycle, the Internet.
Much like the right to bear arms is a great concept in theory, in a time where there were no automatic nor semi automatic weapons, nor compact grenades.
The libertarian platform is quite myopic.
I believe that people must have the freedom to say what they want, but must bear the consequences of what they say, specially if it leads to murder, wars, suicides. My suggestion is: You have the right to say whatever you want, but if you cause loss of life, or if you tell a lie and cause significant financial loss or some similar significant issue, then you shouldn't be able to defend yourself with the free speech "get out of jail free" card.
The freedom to bear arms is even worse. Even if 20% of Americans treat their guns with more than the necessary respect, this doesn't keep the 1% stupid from buying them and killing people on mass. Bottom line is you don't care, as long as I can keep mine, let them keep murdering innocents. That's not cool.
Get a grip. Its not cool to get others killed in order to keep your "Sacred freedoms".

In Brazil, its a crime to defend crime publicly! (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 2 years ago | (#41659939)

Brazil has this law that makes it illegal to write a song, a poem, news article that shines any type of crime as a good thing, including dealing illegal drugs.
I'm from Brazil, and even though I believe we have way too many laws (many of them poorly thought, unfair and even irresponsible), I do agree with that law. Is it a type of censorship ? you betcha !
However, this prevents gangsters and musicians that have deep relationships with crime from writing hit songs that makes very gullible teens from thinking that joining a gang or committing crimes is a good thing.
There has to be boundaries on freedom of speech. Absolutely unlimited freedom of speech isn't so great. Like shouting "FIRE !" in the middle of a crowded theater, causing a stampede.
In today's society, sexy/catchy songs end up in teenagers minds. Writing stuff that have a high likelihood of causing suicide, incentive bullying, incentive any kind of criminal activity should be considered an abuse of free speech. Perhaps abusing free speech doesn't need to be considered a crime, but means must be devised to some level of transparent censorship on such activities. However I stress the term transparent. Any kind of behind closed doors censorship, that kind we can't appeal, isn't fair either.
BTW, I have nothing against criticizing in the strongest ways the inhuman side of sharia law (making women strictly subject to men, instilling a sense of no fear of death to justify suicide attacks, being intolerant against other religions - kill the infidels). Sharia law is against minimum decency standards (for the western world), for me it's a human rights issue, not a religious issue. Some Muslims think they have the right to kill people that don't share their beliefs. That particular interpretation of Islam for me is no religion ! It's organized crime !

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