AmericanDreaming's avatar

So Vital is Free Speech

48 Favourites
40 Comments
725 Views
From "The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times," (2015) by A.C. Grayling.  See my review Here.

Free speech is the heartbeat that pulses through free, healthy, and open societies. As it goes, so goes everything else.


I Dissaprove of What You Say by AmericanDreaming  The Freedom of Expression by AmericanDreaming  The Privilege of Speech by AmericanDreaming

See more in my A.C. Grayling folder.


I'm on YouTube.
:twitter:  twitter.com/AmericnDreaming
IMAGE DETAILS
Image size
1920x1080px 940.04 KB
Published:
© 2017 - 2020 AmericanDreaming
Comments40
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Zeonista's avatar
Got nothing to say here, really, he said it all. Nod 
labbaART's avatar
labbaARTHobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi! European here (Italian, to be precise): I read the conversation you had with that other guy here... oh gosh, you'd be shocked if you checked the laws of my country. :XD:

Here in Italy, offensive speech is generally not permitted; but if you think I'm just referring to things like "Hitler was right" or "You should die"... well, you don't know how wrong you are. Here's a list of actual criminal offences (according to the Italian legal system):

— publicly insulting the Italian nation, or the Republic, or the Government, or the Parliament, or the Armed Forces (fine up to 5,447 USD);
— insulting the President of Italy (imprisonment for up to 5 years);
— publicly insulting the national flag (fine up to 5,447 USD);
— publicly insulting a police officer (imprisonment for up to 3 years);
— insulting a political party, at the presence of the party itself (fine up to 5,447 USD);
— insulting a judge during a trial (imprisonment for up to 3 years);
— publicly insulting a religion by offending those who believe in it (fine up to 5,447 USD);
— publicly insulting the gods worshipped by a certain religion (fine up to 336 USD);
— threatening someone (fine up to 1,124 USD);
— libel (fine up to 1,124 USD);
— publicly insulting dead people (don't... even ask why this is a thing; fine up to 336 USD).

There are also several other criminal offence that don't exactly deal with offensive or abusive language, but that still limit freedom of speech and expression as intended by the American Constitution, such as: 

— dirtying or ripping or destroying the national flag (imprisonment for up to 2 years);
— insulting a religion by destroying holy objects (e.g. burning a Bible or the Quran; imprisonment for up to 2 years);
— spreading fake news with the purpose of causing public disorder (fine up to 336 USD);
— threatening the whole population (like ISIS does with their videos, let's say; imprisonment for up to 1 year);
— dirtying or breaking or destroying tombstones (imprisonment for up to 3 years).

Pretty much every European country has laws like the ones I just listed. I think our idea of "freedom of speech" is a bit different from yours... :laughing:
aceking90's avatar
Those are all pretty horrible. Well except for the one about spreading fake news, that law I would be willing to think about implementing. Also in America it's also illegal to threaten someone. 
labbaART's avatar
labbaARTHobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, thanks for replying! :hug:

Well, I should mention that this doesn't really prevent or hinder political discourse: for example, criticizing the government or the President in a rational way is okay because this is protected under article 21 of our Constitution; on the other hand, insults are not protected at all. This means that saying "I believe the President is wrong because he did X and Y, but these things are actually detrimental to our country and he should have done Z instead" is fine, but saying "The President is an idiot" without even trying to justify your statement is punishable under article 278 of our Criminal Code (link).

This is why I can't say I'm against these laws. =) I mean, the whole point of a language is to communicate ideas: if you say "Italy is a bad country because X, Y and Z", no judge will ever punish you because you're just trying to express your opinion in a polite way so that others can become aware of those flaws and try to correct them; but if you say "Italy is shit"... what's the whole point of saying that? You'd just be saying something offensive, without even explaining why you think that or how we could fix that; and you'd immediately be fined for contempt of nation (link; I had to use Google Translate because I couldn't find an English version, but it's an article about a man who has been fined for saying those exact words while being on a bus).

Plus, one shouldn't forget the big difference between America's and Europe's recent history: Europe is a continent on which two world wars have been fought, and European countries have been at war with each other for centuries. When we finally managed to achieve peace, we agreed that peace and harmony are the most important things we have, so we're willing to sacrifice some individual rights in order to ensure them. You could say we're a collection of little countries who learned to live together, so we think that the well-being of society is worth more than the well-being of a single person. On the other hand, the US come from the opposite situation: they were originally part of something bigger (the British Empire), then seceded and became their own country. They believe that the well-being of even just one citizen is a lot more important than the well-being of the whole country... and I can't even say they're wrong, because there's no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to things like these.

They're just different points of view, I guess! :huggle:
aceking90's avatar
That was very well written, thank you for allowing me to read it.
labbaART's avatar
labbaARTHobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww, thank you so much! You're welcome! :hug:
Iridium191's avatar
If we aren't allowed to make speeches that are offensive to some people, then we have no way of discussing the controversial. If that happens, societal and cultural progress is impossible.
Zeonista's avatar
"We don't like it because it is offensive" has been the statement of the oppressor throughout history. Agree, disagree, talk it out and see what is possible, and what is not. The current intense drive towards group consensus as the defining condition of progress stifles it. "You have to agree that...." No, I am agreeing to no such such position beforehand. Want me to agree? Persuade me to agree through argument and example instead of shutting me down as the enemy of your position. (Not all arguments are or need be hostile; the members of the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention did a lot of arguing.) 
Iridium191's avatar
One problem with trying to engage someone on more extreme issues nowadays is that if you take the opposite position as them, they will instantly hate you and call for your blood to be spilled out.
Zeonista's avatar
Yeah, it's the political version of a gaming t-shirt a friend of mine owns. "The rules not only say you're wrong, you're also a dick!" 
Iridium191's avatar
It's like can't we discuss anything without degenerating into insane monkeys?
Zeonista's avatar
Like Sargon of Akka said in his discussion of the Berkely Brawl, when it's boiled down to Fascist Versus Communists, the only thing left over to do is punch people in the face. 
Iridium191's avatar
Meh. I don't much care for these vitriolic alt right people because of their extremist views. But I do agree that if we don't put a stop to the hate, everyone will lose.
Zeonista's avatar
Got to watch out for those vitriolic alt rights, you never know when you might be speaking with one. Wink/Razz 
View all replies
AmericanDreaming's avatar
Well said. :nod:
Iridium191's avatar
Your profile pic looks retarded.
Iridium191's avatar
I don't know who this god is but it sounds disappointing.
Crimzen250's avatar
Crimzen250Hobbyist General Artist
'Knows' in the biblical sense? lol
troll
WorldsandCenturies's avatar
Why not? Retard is an actual medical diagnosis and if you want to expose yourself as an abhorrent racist by calling people "nigger", is that not your right? 
AmericanDreaming's avatar
I think this guy's just trolling.
WorldsandCenturies's avatar
I think so to. Still, I know there's people out there that legitimately do share the belief that certain words should be outright banned for one reason or another. 
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In