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What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

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What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post Neon Knight on Sat 25 Nov - 21:54

I found this article and thought it was good news - about time:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5112585/New-student-watchdog-boss-vows-end-curbs-free-speech.html

Universities that tolerate curbs on free speech will face intervention, the head of the new student watchdog has warned. Chairman Sir Michael Barber said the Office for Students (OfS) will force institutions to allow diverse opinions to be heard amid concerns that some views are being shut down.

The regulator was created this year in an effort to ensure universities are providing good value for money for students and the taxpayer.

Sir Michael said universities must allow every point of view to be heard – even if some are considered offensive to students . . . ‘Ideally, we will never have to intervene,’ he said. ‘But if we do, it will be to widen freedom of speech rather than restrict it.’


Then next to it was another article on a similar theme which was encouraging up to a point:

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/daily-mail/20171124/281711204956556

A GRAMMAR school is providing pupils with an ‘antidote to political correctness’ by running classes where Hitler’s Mein Kampf and other controversial issues are confronted head-on.

Simon Langton in Canterbury, Kent, is creating a forum named ‘The Unsafe Space’ to counter growing challenges to free speech. Sixth-form pupils will be asked to look at ‘the most beautifully disturbed and disturbing ideas, all of them presented without trigger warnings’. Scheduled lectures include the subjects ‘women versus feminism’ and ‘not all cultures are created equal’ . . .

Some parents criticised the idea but Head of School Ken Moffatt insisted yesterday that the forum will uphold the British value of tolerance.

‘We are not so gullible as to believe that “freedom of speech” means the right to say anything at all,’ he said. ‘It does not mean we will indulge homophobic, xenophobic, racist or sexist beliefs.’

It is that last quote where I think the project runs away from itself. Should beliefs that have been labelled homphobic/xenophobic/racist/sexist not be examined and evaluated? Why not? Who applied those labels in the first place? The god of moral philosophy?

I would agree that there should be rules or laws against extreme insults and against encouraging crimes, but such rules should not prevent any idea (whatsoever) being discussed or even promoted in a civilised way.

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Post Vendég on Sat 25 Nov - 22:30

He didn't say it's forbidden to discuss homophobic, xenophobic, racist or sexist beliefs, but there will be a limit. I think they are afraid that student's every second sentence will be like these:

e.g.  "Every woman is a bitch." etc.

Yeah, the moral philosophy created these labels.

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Re: What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post Neon Knight on Sat 25 Nov - 22:41

Magyar Lány wrote:He didn't say it's forbidden to discuss homophobic, xenophobic, racist or sexist beliefs, but there will be a limit. I think they are afraid that student's every second sentence will be like these:

e.g.  "Every woman is a bitch." etc.

Yeah, you're right actually. I didn't absorb it properly. He says those beliefs will not be indulged which doesn't mean they will not be discussed.

But my main question still stands: what limits - if any - would you put on free speech?


Last edited by Neon Knight on Sat 25 Nov - 23:09; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post Sary on Sun 26 Nov - 14:48

I think that there should be some limits on free speech.
Saying what is on your mind does not give you the right to incite violence or panic. Some people feel the need to spread obscenity and pornography.
Free speech was intended to promote a flow of ideas,it has so how become distorted.
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Re: What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post de Burgh on Sun 26 Nov - 19:31

I would mostly ascribe by a authoritarian approach; it helps mitigate internal strife, criminality and other undesirable variables. Freedom of speech should be a privilege only reserved to those resonating with wisdom/or logical, well-substantiated claims that can better one's society; through meritocratic means. In order to weed out domestic terrorism, self-destructive ideologies and other extraneous factors that seeks to undermine a society's potential.

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'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piercing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. [...]'
˜ H.P. Lovecraft
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Re: What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post Neon Knight on Mon 27 Nov - 22:34

Suppose there were people native to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with naturally yellow eyes, some of whom had emigrated to other countries. Consider which of the following statements you would allow under the ideal of free speech:

1. Yellow-eyed people should not be allowed into this country.

2. Blue-eyed and yellow-eyed people should not have children together.

3. Yellow-eyed people should go back to the country of their ancestors.

4. Yellow-eyed people should be sterilised.

5. Yellow-eyed people should be shot.

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Post Vendég on Thu 30 Nov - 19:58

@Neon Knight wrote:Suppose there were people native to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with naturally yellow eyes, some of whom had emigrated to other countries. Consider which of the following statements you would allow under the ideal of free speech:

1. Yellow-eyed people should not be allowed into this country.

2. Blue-eyed and yellow-eyed people should not have children together.

3. Yellow-eyed people should go back to the country of their ancestors.

4. Yellow-eyed people should be sterilised.

5. Yellow-eyed people should be shot.

I would allow the first to the third, but the last two remind me of the Third Reich.

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Re: What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post Neon Knight on Fri 1 Dec - 21:15

Magyar Lány wrote:
@Neon Knight wrote:Suppose there were people native to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with naturally yellow eyes, some of whom had emigrated to other countries. Consider which of the following statements you would allow under the ideal of free speech:

1. Yellow-eyed people should not be allowed into this country.

2. Blue-eyed and yellow-eyed people should not have children together.

3. Yellow-eyed people should go back to the country of their ancestors.

4. Yellow-eyed people should be sterilised.

5. Yellow-eyed people should be shot.

I would allow the first to the third, but the last two remind me of the Third Reich.

Number 5 is at the extreme, almost ridiculous, so I agree that statement (in a serious  context) should be off-limits. But, with regard to number 4, suppose a politician wrote on his party website: "If we are elected we will give all yellow-eyed women who have one or more children a choice between sterilisation or payment of a heavy fine". Should that be allowed? He is not inciting violence, just saying what he thinks the law should be.

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Post Vendég on Fri 1 Dec - 21:35

@Neon Knight wrote:
Magyar Lány wrote:
@Neon Knight wrote:Suppose there were people native to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with naturally yellow eyes, some of whom had emigrated to other countries. Consider which of the following statements you would allow under the ideal of free speech:

1. Yellow-eyed people should not be allowed into this country.

2. Blue-eyed and yellow-eyed people should not have children together.

3. Yellow-eyed people should go back to the country of their ancestors.

4. Yellow-eyed people should be sterilised.

5. Yellow-eyed people should be shot.

I would allow the first to the third, but the last two remind me of the Third Reich.

Number 5 is at the extreme, almost ridiculous, so I agree that statement (in a serious  context) should be off-limits. But, with regard to number 4, suppose a politician wrote on his party website: "If we are elected we will give all yellow-eyed women who have one or more children a choice between sterilisation or payment of a heavy fine". Should that be allowed? He is not inciting violence, just saying what he thinks the law should be.

Okay, he's allowed to write such things, but maybe I will beat the bastard after it. He wouldn't write any violent thing, just encourages racism. I'm sure writing such ideas isn't forbidden in any country, 4. is on the "borderline."

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Re: What limits - if any - would you put on free speech?

Post Sary on Fri 1 Dec - 21:55

I am rethinking what I said before. People should have the freedom to say what ever they want,no matter how repugnant it may be.

If the person excercising their right to freely speak is public figure and they have a permit to speak,they should be protected from counter protesters.
The violence that we have been seeing lately is coming from people that are allowed to attend events with the sole purpose to disrupt and incite violence because ,they do not agree with what is being said.

If you are just a regular person and want to voice your opinion,you should probably have your facts straight and know your audience.
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