UnDebate:Is it ever right to restrict freedom of speech?

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Is it ever right to restrict freedom of speech?

Background and context

Freedom of speech is often considered to be one of the most basic tenets of democracy. As a fundamental right it is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.

Ambiguity: Is "free speech" too ambiguous a concept, requiring clarification?

Yes

Free speech is an inherently ambiguous concept that requires definition and interpretation. Without having hard and fast guidelines as to what the meaning of free speech is, we allow ourselves to be placed in a position where anarchy can reign, and anyone will be allowed to broadcast whatever they like.

If we were to allow there to be no limits to free speech, this would mean the dissemination of material that is copyright would be perfectly acceptable. This of course would lead to material being available for free download which otherwise would only be available through legal means, such as going to the cinemas or buying a DVD. Without the monetary resources going into these, the poor executives at record companies and movie studios would find themselves destitute.

No

Nobody can be trusted as an arbiter of free speech; it is a God-given and inalienable right. Many political theorists argue that checks and balances need to be put in place in order to prevent Governmental abuse. The right to freedom of speech is too important to leave in the hands of Government.

And as God has given us the right to have a freedom of speech this then mean that to place boundaries on this would be to place boundaries on God, and God is infinite, and therefore outside of the bounds that humanity place on him.

The whole concept of having boundaries to communication is not only dangerous on a political level - it is a form of blasphemy, and should not be allowed.

Is it considered morally acceptible to be criticial of another's religious convictions?

Yes

Going on from your argument before, you state that we cannot define free speech as this would be a form of blasphemy. So doesn't that mean by allowing any individual to place a boundary on free speech that you are then effectively saying that free speech is acceptable as long as it doesn't contravene a religious belief.

By using this form of logic, then if I were to state that it was my God-given belief that pornography is evil, then by the same token this means that we should ban all forms of pornography. There are many, many talented actresses that work in the pornographic industry - this would then put these ladies in a position where they have no income.

No

You completely misunderstand what I'm saying: America is based upon a Judeo-Christian philosophy. The majority of Americans are Christian or Jewish, and by talking against God then you are discriminating against their belief systems.

And you're argument about pornography is ludicrous. Of course we should be censoring pornography. Are you really telling me that it is right and good to be showing images of a pornographic nature to our children. Pornography is evil, and we must ban it in order to save our children. For God's sake, won't anybody think of the children.

National Security: Is a government justified in suppressing freedom of speech in the interest of national security?

Yes

Hang on, let's go back to what you were saying before - Pornography is evil so it must be stopped, but anything against religion is evil so it must be stopped - doesn't this just mean that you become the arbiter of what is fair for people to say and display, and what is not.

So you are telling me, seriously, that you think it is okay for you to ignore the beliefs of people who are in support of free speech as it relates to pornography as it doesn't fit in with your belief system. Doesn't this make you one of the worst types of hypocrite? Seriously?

No

You're getting off topic. But that's not surprising. You're obviously a fan of pornography and pop culture, and most likely have the attention span of a gnat. Haven't you even noticed that the topic has gone on to national security? We should be talking about that.

However, just to satisfy your tiny mind, I will be a little more detailed in what I'm saying. The majority rules in a democracy, which means that things that are against the majority opinion can be censored. Pornography, violent films, homosexuality - the supporters of these things are in the extreme minority. Nobody marches on the White House with placards saying Let me see pictures of men performing fellatio after all, do they? Majority is the best - to hell with the rest.

Acting on speech: Does "bad" speech lead to "bad" acts?

Yes

Are you being serious? Because most people aren't homosexual we should ban homosexual imagery? You homophobe! As homosexuals we have every right to express our love and desire for each other as heterosexuals do. It is a freedom that we hold dear to our hearts, and we will not let go.

I bet you used to pick on the gay kids in school as well, didn't you? I know your type. Gun toting Christian freaks who believe they run the world. It's bastards like you who made us go to war in Iraq.

No

Oh, of course, you would be a freaking boy loving faggot, wouldn't you? Yeah, I own a gun, and I vote, and I'm an American.

And how dare you attack our boys in Iraq. I don't see you going over there and facing death each day for minimal pay. Our boys are over there trying to free the country from the rule of a despot and all you can do is sit on your faggot, bleeding backside and criticize them. You pinko liberal faggot!

Protecting minors: Should governments protect minors from speech they deem to be potentially harmful or corrupting to these particular groups?

Yes

Fuck you! You stupid redneck asshole! They're not trying to save the country from a Despot - Saddam Hussein is dead. DEAD! How the hell do you think the boys over there are saving the country from a despotic rule?

All you redneck war-hawk freaks are the same. I bet you voted for Bush at the last election as well, you ignorant hillbilly.

No

I'd say fuck you back, but you'd probably enjoy that, you stupid cock sucking moron. And of course I voted for Bush. You voted for a black guy who's not even born in America, didn't you? And what has he done for this country? Nothing!

Ban warning

Due to the inflammatory nature of this debate, this has been stopped by order of administrators. Anybody adding anything to this page will face a permanent ban. The Baninator!

Does anyone else find it ironic that a debate about free speech was arbitrarily shut down under threat of bans? SCHRÖDINGER'S PRIMATE

(Block log) . . The Baninator (Talk | contribs) blocked Schrödinger's Primate (Talk) with an expiry time of infinity (I did warn you!)

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