how do you define "Freedom of speech"

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how do you define "Freedom of speech" Empty how do you define "Freedom of speech"

Post by Lupi Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:39 pm

what is the elementary signs that portrait a country with freedom of speech
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Post by Cruijf Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:02 pm

It's very subjective. A country might claim to have freedom of speech, but if a Western citizen were to look at it they'd be shocked that something like that is considered such.

It really comes down to the laws of the country. This came up a while ago in another thread, but basically the UK has much stricter laws on what you're allowed to say than the US, but they're both considered to have freedom of speech.

If you were to ask me personally, I'd say that a country that allows it's citizens to express opinions or concerns freely, no matter how controversial, would be a country that has freedom of speech in my books. Of course there's exceptions in that publicly insulting people with no intention except to offend should not be protected IMO.

But overall it's a very subjective thing and you'll find a lot of differences in what's considered freedom of speech from country to country.
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Post by VivaStPauli Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:02 pm

Guaranteed freedom of expression, backed by an independent court of law - lots of countries have pro forma freedom of speech, but you need to be able to defend that right in front of a proper court, if push comes to shove.

Most countries have some non-essential limits, but they usually concern decency, iE you can't necessarily say it how you like, but you can probably say what you like.

Exceptions are the countries with anti-fascism laws like Austria, Germany, France etc. where varying kinds of "hate speech" are illegal. Though even the US and UK have limits on it via the slander laws.

So usually the hallmarks of classic freedom of speech are some kinds of guarantees for (political) freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the countries constitution, which must realistically be enforced by independent courts, that anyone must have access to.

Basically I think it's okay to curtail "rude" or "offensive" language, even though I personally think it's wrong, while it is not okay to restrict expression of political and religious opinion.
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Post by che Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:45 am

VivaStPauli wrote:

Basically I think it's okay to curtail "rude" or "offensive" language, even though I personally think it's wrong, while it is not okay to restrict expression of political and religious opinion.

eh, why? practically speaking, this would just lead (and does lead) to policing of politically correct speech because everyone would be offended by something... not being offended isn't a right

you should be able to say whatever the hell you want so long as you're not advocating bodily harm to others or causing them significant financial losses... and this goes both ways, a lunatic cleric should have as much right to call gays sinners as i should have calling him and his ideology idiotic
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Post by Bellabong Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:51 pm

Except said lunatic clerics are abusing the fear of God to influence politics whilst homosexuals just want the same marital/adoption rights as heterosexual couples. As for the advocating bodily harm/causing financial losses where do you draw the line?
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Post by VivaStPauli Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:06 pm

che wrote:eh, why? practically speaking, this would just lead (and does lead) to policing of politically correct speech because everyone would be offended by something... not being offended isn't a right

Because censoring vulgar language doesn't change the point being made. "The Nazis are f*cking idiots and also f*cking wrong" isn't making any different arguments from "The Nazis are wrong, and therefor idiots", so I understand why you can censor the f-bombs and still have free speech, technically.

Personally I wouldn't censor anything, because hearing the f-bomb dropped is far less offensive than conservatives denying vast parts of the population equal rights.
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Post by stevieg8 Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:37 pm

Phritz wrote:Except said lunatic clerics are abusing the fear of God to influence politics whilst homosexuals just want the same marital/adoption rights as heterosexual couples. As for the advocating bodily harm/causing financial losses where do you draw the line?

If you restrict anyone from influencing politics because you disagree with their opinion, you set a massively disturbing precedent. No one should be silenced, regardless of their views. Controversial political speech must be protected, otherwise the entire purpose of the right is destroyed.

That's why there are restrictions on the rights of the government. As long as systems of checks and balances remain in place to keep small groups from gaining absolute power, hate speech will be unable to grow into hate action - which I agree is necessary. However, if we allow hate speech to be restricted, than you and I are simply a legislative reclassification away from being jailed for holding progressive views in the same manner that you think those clergy should be.

VivaStPauli wrote:
che wrote:eh, why? practically speaking, this would just lead (and does lead) to policing of politically correct speech because everyone would be offended by something... not being offended isn't a right

Because censoring vulgar language doesn't change the point being made. "The Nazis are f*cking idiots and also f*cking wrong" isn't making any different arguments from "The Nazis are wrong, and therefor idiots", so I understand why you can censor the f-bombs and still have free speech, technically.

Personally I wouldn't censor anything, because hearing the f-bomb dropped is far less offensive than conservatives denying vast parts of the population equal rights.

I disagree. The first sentence makes a very different argument than the second, it's just not about the substance but the structure. It makes an argument about censorship and vulgarity, one that I think is reasonable and should be heard. If an author, speech writer, activist, talk show host or guy with a soapbox wants to write paragraphs consisting only of the word "f***," I think they should be allowed to do so. Because like I said above, the beginning of restrictions on obscenity leaves me just a reclassification away from being fined or jailed for saying "killing civilians without due process is not a right the government has." Once one thing is deemed acceptable, the other has the same legal rationale - all you need is to find someone offended by it, and I don't think the Justice Department would have to look very far.
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Post by VivaStPauli Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:42 pm

Well, maybe I was being not precise enough, what I meant to say is more explicit:
I think it's okay, albeit stupid, to have censorship of vulgarity in a limited manner like the US of A do. Like having the FCC, and having beeps.

Editing an authors words and just removing all the vulgarities would be wrong. But if you changed all the f-bombs to "f**k" everyone still knows what he means. The meaning is not changed.

I think it's ridiculous, but it really doesn't conflict with free speech all that much.
Mind you, I would prefer zero censorship of any kind.
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Post by che Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:05 pm

Phritz wrote:Except said lunatic clerics are abusing the fear of God to influence politics whilst homosexuals just want the same marital/adoption rights as heterosexual couples. As for the advocating bodily harm/causing financial losses where do you draw the line?

and homosexuals aren't trying to influence politics?

everyone should have the same right to present their opinions, just like everyone should have the same right to call each other a *bleep* retard for holding a particular opinion if they so desire

as for the line, continental europe seems to be doing reasonably well in this aspect

VivaStPauli wrote:

Because censoring vulgar language doesn't change the point being made. "The Nazis are f*cking idiots and also f*cking wrong" isn't making any different arguments from "The Nazis are wrong, and therefor idiots", so I understand why you can censor the f-bombs and still have free speech, technically.

sure, but what's the point of this kind of censorship? the only reason i can think of is that some words are offensive to some people, and where do you draw the line there?

let's say that, hypothetically, there's an influential group of people who are offended by a drawing of a particular person... should any drawing of that particular person be censored because it offends some people?
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Post by stevieg8 Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:12 pm

VivaStPauli wrote:Well, maybe I was being not precise enough, what I meant to say is more explicit:
I think it's okay, albeit stupid, to have censorship of vulgarity in a limited manner like the US of A do. Like having the FCC, and having beeps.

Editing an authors words and just removing all the vulgarities would be wrong. But if you changed all the f-bombs to "f**k" everyone still knows what he means. The meaning is not changed.

I think it's ridiculous, but it really doesn't conflict with free speech all that much.
Mind you, I would prefer zero censorship of any kind.

Oh ok, I agree with that. Public spaces and modes of communication should have reasonable censorship rules based on what is/isn't societally acceptable, and they should review those on a regular basis to keep them updated on the reality of society. I thought you meant certain offensive phrases should be forbidden at all times (like Holocaust denial in Germany, although my understanding of that may be offbase), and that's a different issue.
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