89 Connect Forums Policy "Tolerance of the intolerant is intolerant"

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Castor Comploj 04/03/2020, 15:50.

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  • #4429
    Castor Comploj
    Castor Comploj
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    Karl Popper’s famous opinion the concept of free speech if often quoted.

    But how free should free speech really be? Who should be the one to judge whether something is not acceptable to be said in the public or private sphere? In an opposing point of view, should people be allowed to insult others on the basis of xenophobia, racism, ecc.?

    I am asking this question as I personally do not know the answer as to whether anything should even be censored. I would be happy to have some personal opinions from your side.

  • #4510
    Robert Crest
    Robert Crest
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    Interesting topic Castor, especially because we have treated a similar one only referred to the media sphere, while you go at the basis of the question.

    I think it’s hard to find the right answer, maybe because there is not a single one that satisfy everyone. However, I do believe that there are moral beliefs above us, identified by our culture, and that may help us in judging our actions. I won’t speak for the private sphere (I think you can say whatever you want inside your house, maybe yelling at the television), but in public there is a right and a wrong behaviour and insulting people usually belongs to the second case.
    You may be a racist but you shouldn’t insult anybody.

  • #4514
    Jakub Zientala
    Jakub Zientala
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    The answer depends on certain factors. What are your beliefs, ( political) and where do you live. In the USA the freedom of speech offered by the 1st amendment to the constitution is far greater than European  Countries allow. And there are hate speech laws that protect the rights of various minorities.

    Overall in the private conversation, I would say you can afford for a greater degree of freedom than in the public sphere. Tho it really depends on with whom are you talking.

    I am a social liberal, and I live by the good old motto, don’t do to another what is not nice to you. But then, I will disagree with people on the left side of the political spectrum, on that what is hate speech and what is not. Social justice is important, but being very radical about that leads to whole new dimension of problems.  The modern-day progressive left wants to ”thought police” you and does throw a lot of blanket statements on you. Thus making a discussion about certain issues impossible. And it’s harder to say something when you’re a white and straight male because if your presumed privilege.

    The right side of the spectrum, ( especially the extreme right) assumes they are right… on everything.  And that’s where they’re wrong. They tend to use the language and flip the definitions to fit their narratives. Or they take away from victims their status and they try to put themselves as victims.
    Essentially what is wrong with modern-day left and right is that both assume to have the total knowledge of everything and they want to force it down your throat.

    What is a hate speech and what is not, really depends on the context of that where you are and whom are you addressing.  And that’s the key to the whole situation. Use your common sense, situational awareness, and cultural sensitivity, and ofc don’t go and inslut people.

    To bring a kind of unrelated example. I have two close friends, one is Asian and the other is half-British- half Jamaican. We call each other following nicknames: Chinigga, Nigga and Whigga. Are they racist? Objectively speaking yes. But we’re all friends, and these are our nicknames for each other, which adds to that comedic value, thus negating the racism vibe in them

    I hope that cleared out a bit things for you.

  • #4519
    Costas Vlychos
    Costas Vlychos
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    These are very thin lines. If freedom of speech preaches hate, racism, sexism, or anything else along those lines, then society risks allowing these trends to proliferate. Nevertheless, it is not so much a question of restricting freedom of opinion, but rather of restricting the spread of news that is not factual or verifiable. The biggest challenge of today is to grapple with a wild west style Internet space, where anything goes. Better Internet regulation and mechanisms to curb fake news should be prioritised over any attempt to contain freedom of expression.

  • #4538
    Castor Comploj
    Castor Comploj
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    See, all of these are interesting thoughts you have added to the conversation. Thank you for this.

    I do, however, believe there should be civil (or criminal) law as well as common moral values which should be established in a society which one would like to create, through punishment, and through education.

    In fact, it is possible to teach values (which is what the EU has tried to do while I was growing up). While personal points of view on free speech may be allowed in a society of free speech, I support the opinion that rules need to be set up from top-down. The EU is often criticized by media organizations (as well as individuals in my hometown) for censoring information and “indoctrinating people”.

    @Jakub I agree with you on the respect that freedom of speech is one of the key principles of American society, but even in America one cannot tell of a policeman. It is also not possible to execute hate speech without being potentially prosecuted.

    Certainly, we could discuss until eternity to through arguments for or against absolute freedom of expression without (physically hurting anyone). Would this make bullying at school acceptable? Or would it be possible to find a way to punish some actions while keeping “absolute” freedom of expression?

    I like to come to conclusions, and I hope you guys can help me with this.

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