• T Clark
    3.8k
    Of course there are, as there are restrictions. Just like everywhere.hairy belly

    No. The administrators and moderators have total control over what is written here. There is no countervailing force except for their commitment to good philosophy, fairness, and open discussion and their desire to have a successful and active forum. As I said, that is as it should be.

    "Rights apply to governments". Nonsense. Rights apply to whomever states decide they apply.hairy belly

    Decide that rights apply to you all you want. That doesn't mean anything without a force of some kind to back you up. That force may be legal, moral, practical, political....

    This is a public forum. The communication here is public, not private.hairy belly

    As I said, this forum is owned and controlled by private parties who are in complete control of it. It's public only in that they allow access to it. Just because I invite you onto my property, that doesn't mean you have any rights of access. I can tell you to leave, ban you, vote you off the island, any time I want.

    Your speech is already restricted and these restrictions are already misapplied. What you fear so much is already happening. Your precious constitution does that, that's generally what constitutions do.hairy belly

    Again, you are mixing up what is a right and what is allowed. As for my precious Constitution, and constitutions in general, no, it does not primarily act to apply restrictions. The US Constitution does two primary things 1) it sets the rules and procedures for government and political action and 2) it provides protections against government action. 2) is primarily accomplished in what is known as "The Bill of Rights," the first 10 amendments ratified along with the original Constitution, as well as additional amendments added later. The Bill of Rights was specifically added to prevent the types of government intrusion which took place before the Revolution. The Constitution wouldn't have been ratified without it.
  • Judaka
    366

    I was talking about the government - to go through every context, each one needs to be dealt with individually. The government needs to protect free speech and that may include regulating businesses like Google and Facebook. The responsibilities and powers of privately owned venues like this forum are negotiated but ultimately decided by the owner, that is fine. I would look at the ramifications rather than just the action alone though. Some businesses are too influential and powerful to allow to censor their users for political gain.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    I was talking about the government - to go through every context, each one needs to be dealt with individually. The government needs to protect free speech and that may include regulating businesses like Google and Facebook. The responsibilities and powers of privately owned venues like this forum are negotiated but ultimately decided by the owner, that is fine. I would look at the ramifications rather than just the action alone though. Some businesses are too influential and powerful to allow to censor their users for political gain.Judaka

    You and I agree.
  • Wittgenstein
    170

    When I look at the West today, it seems to me that free speech shouldn't be taken for granted at all. Criticising religions like Islam is already hard in many Western countries and that's just one example.
    The choice of words here is really important. There are muslims who regard mockery of their religion to fall in category of hate speech and most of them allow criticism in an academic way, but many westerners regard mockery as also a part of criticism and in broader context, freedom of expression. Would you allow ISIS narrative in your country under the banner of free speech ?
    Do not incite violence, don't compare a race of people to rodents and other extremes seem like easy bans. Why allow such rhetoric when it has no merit at all. It isn't that kind of stuff that I want to protect. Will people be allowed to criticise religions freely, will they be able to express their thoughts on gender honestly, will people be free to challenge the government on immigration policies. Some Western countries already consider some of those things to be hate speech.
    I think we are on the same page, as you wouldn't mind banning racist speech or those which instigate violence.
    But in my opinion, most western countries do allow discussion on religions,gender and immigration policies too but sometimes they are not politically correct topics to talk about. For example in the UK, a lot of pedophilic rings are reported among south asian mans but the media won't talk in such terms. There are countless other topics which media sweeps under the rug for winning popular support.There should a be counter culture for most of the political incorrect topics so that people are not afraid to speak about them.
  • Judaka
    366

    ISIS is a poor example that you keep going to as their narrative is characterised by a call to jihad - violence. I have said I do not approve of inciting violence and that banning that kind of speech is easy enough, in fact, it's fine for it to be criminalised.

    I do not hyperbolise the situation of the West, freedom of speech is not something that should be taken for granted. Much like many will agree America is a rather flawed democracy - despite being the champion of democracy. The West will support free speech, the danger are "caveats" like hate speech which are misused. A dismantlement of free speech would certainly come under the guise of something like this and really, that's already happening. Most western countries do allow things like Islam to be criticised and etc but it's not hard to see that this is coming under threat, a problem, a concern, which wasn't there before.
  • Wittgenstein
    170

    I think you've understood our point, we don't claim there is no harm from what you call "hate speech," only that there is more harm, much more harm, from restricting it.
    I never characterized disclosure of classified information as hate speech as you can see "There is also another form of free speech which l have no problem with since it causes more good than harm " . I used the phrase, another form of free speech. What l meant by harm wasn't equivalent to the harm done by hate speeches. If a document reveals certain military operations conducted by a country in which war crimes were committed. It harms the person in authority and it is well deserved a lot of the time. It may also damage the legitimacy of moral high ground of certain powerful people, again it is well placed. The benefit is always greater but in a different context. Hate speech does not carry any benefit and is harmful most of the time. I do understand your points but l don't agree with you on most of them.
    Again, I think you've missed the point - restrictions against what you call "hate speech," perfect or imperfect, cause severe damage to the exercise of "unalienable rights." Imperfect would be better than perfect. Non-existent would be much better.

    Is it possible for the government to censor hate speech and protect all other forms of free speech. Yes, it is.

    Can the government censor legitimate free speech as the next step , once they censor hate speech. Yes , that's possible too.

    That's why its important to know who you are voting for and to always know when the government is crossing the line. The public decides what is hate speech and the government implements restriction on it. That does not happen in a capitalist democracy because the reins of power are controlled by the capitalist. It does not happen in a authoritarian government for reasons obvious. In feudal democracy, as in most developing countries, that does not happen. However there are other possibilities such as socialist democracy where such legal maneuvering manages to preserve freedom of speech.
    There are many western countries that do not allow hate speech and still manage to be safe havens for advocates of free speech.
  • Wittgenstein
    170

    The West will support free speech, the danger are "caveats" like hate speech which are misused. A dismantlement of free speech would certainly come under the guise of something like this and really, that's already happening. Most western countries do allow things like Islam to be criticised and etc but it's not hard to see that this is coming under threat, a problem, a concern, which wasn't there before.
    That's why it is important to discuss hate speech. In the present day and age, we can see the rise of right wing political parties in many European countries and USA obviously. I don't think that would be a cause of restrictions placed on hate speeches. I am not saying that right wing politics is primarily linked to hate speeches but they do overlap. This may have been caused by a certain phobia of other cultures and also the negative interactions and the lack of integration from the minority or immigrants but in my opinion human race as a whole will one day cherish freedom of expression and the barriers which cause misunderstandings will be removed. Hate speech originates from a desire to suppress others and freedom of expression desires to liberate the human mind. If hate is lessened and tolerance builds in an ideal society, we may not need to ban hate speech as it would be rare.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    I never characterized disclosure of classified information as hate speech as you can seeWittgenstein

    I was responding to your indication that speech should not be restricted if it does more good than harm. My point was that whether or not it does harm is not the important thing. It's almost backwards. Except in a limited number of specific cases, It does more harm to restrict speech, even speech we think is vile, than it does to leave it alone.

    Is it possible for the government to censor hate speech and protect all other forms of free speech. Yes, it is.Wittgenstein

    No it isn't.

    That's why its important to know who you are voting for and to always know when the government is crossing the line. The public decides what is hate speech and the government implements restriction on it.Wittgenstein

    You have what I would consider a naive faith in the public. That's why rule of law is important - to limit decision making by public opinion in cases where important rights are at stake.

    There are many western countries that do not allow hate speech and still manage to be safe havens for advocates of free speech.Wittgenstein

    As I said previously, I won't criticize other countries that find their own ways of protecting speech.
  • hairy belly
    32
    No. The administrators and moderators have total control over what is written here. There is no countervailing force except for their commitment to good philosophy, fairness, and open discussion and their desire to have a successful and active forum. As I said, that is as it should be.T Clark

    They set the rules (according to the laws of the state they fall under) and enforce them. Other actors exert power to the best of their ability. What does this remind me? Oh, a state!

    Decide that rights apply to you all you want. That doesn't mean anything without a force of some kind to back you up. That force may be legal, moral, practical, political....T Clark

    Didn't you read what I wrote? States decide who has rights. That's the force you're looking for.

    As I said, this forum is owned and controlled by private parties who are in complete control of it. It's public only in that they allow access to it. Just because I invite you onto my property, that doesn't mean you have any rights of access. I can tell you to leave, ban you, vote you off the island, any time I want.T Clark

    This is a business. Businesses are run according to laws. These laws are not directly decided by the businesses. They are decided by states and their lawmakers which are under the influence of various actors. What are we even discussing?

    Again, you are mixing up what is a right and what is allowed. As for my precious Constitution, and constitutions in general, no, it does not primarily act to apply restrictions. The US Constitution does two primary things 1) it sets the rules and procedures for government and political action and 2) it provides protections against government action. 2) is primarily accomplished in what is known as "The Bill of Rights," the first 10 amendments ratified along with the original Constitution, as well as additional amendments added later. The Bill of Rights was specifically added to prevent the types of government intrusion which took place before the Revolution. The Constitution wouldn't have been ratified without it.T Clark

    I'm not mixing up anything.

    I see. Rules, procedures and protections are not restrictions. Who would have guessed!
  • T Clark
    3.8k


    You and I are not getting anywhere. I think we're using words to mean different things. Let's leave it at that.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    True, but one bird of influence in the hand is worth two birds of causation in the bush.Bitter Crank

    Huh? :brow:
  • Wittgenstein
    170

    As I said previously, I won't criticize other countries that find their own ways of protecting speech.
    Is it possible for the government to censor hate speech and protect all other forms of free speech. Yes, it is.
    — Wittgenstein

    No it isn't.
    You are criticizing other countries for how they protect free speech, ( which includes banning hate speech) by
    specifying it is impossible to ban hate speech and
    enforce other forms of free speech.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    There are muslims who regard mockery of their religion to fall in category of hate speech and most of them allow criticism in an academic way, but many westerners regard mockery as also a part of criticism and in broader context, freedom of expression.Wittgenstein

    Americans, in particular, consider freedom of speech to be their freedom to insult. They believe they can say anything at all to anyone, without any kind of comeback or consequence. The man who can't endure it, and is provoked to violence? He must be punished. Even if someone just threatened to rape his 3yo son.

    There is nothing to recommend hate speech; it should not be permitted. :roll:
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    There is nothing to recommend hate speech; it should not be permittedPattern-chaser

    Why would you say that it shouldn't be permitted?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    Because hate speech has consequences, as everything does. But in the case of hate speech, all of the consequences are negative and undesirable. It should not be permitted because it has no positive benefits or attributes. It does only harm.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    You are criticizing other countries for how they protect free speech, ( which includes banning hate speech) by
    specifying it is impossible to ban hate speech and
    enforce other forms of free speech.
    Wittgenstein

    No, I'm not. If I say "If you drop that rock on your sister's head, it will hurt her," it's not criticism, it's a statement of what I see as fact.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    You are criticizing other countries for how they protect free speech, ( which includes banning hate speech) by
    specifying it is impossible to ban hate speech and
    enforce other forms of free speech.
    Wittgenstein

    I think it's just like this forum. We avoid ad hominem attacks, but otherwise speak (write) freely. That's all this is about: hate speech is an ad hominem attack, and carries no benefit of any sort. No-brainer? :chin:
  • Judaka
    366

    Between the radical right-wing being free to publicly utter their hate speech and the radical left-wing dictating what can and can't be said by their political opponents, I choose the former. I think that outside of trying to incite violence or targetting races for pointless slandering, banning hate speech becomes very hard. The left will, of course, always say that they're just trying to protect the vulnerable, that's their shtick and it's what they always do. It's easy when you use terms like hate speech but when I hear about what others consider hate speech, I become deeply concerned.

    I think that a discussion where the term "hate speech" is banned and you have to actually say precisely what you want to ban would play out in an entirely different way.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    I think that a discussion where the term "hate speech" is banned and you have to actually say precisely what you want to ban would play out in an entirely different way.Judaka

    I like this idea. Let's make a list of statements that would/should/could be included in hate speech. We'll delete specifics. I don't think the moderators will tolerate some:


    • [A certain group of people] are not capable of being rational. They are slaves to their emotions. Giving them the vote was a mistake.
    • [A certain ethnic group of people] control the government for their own financial gain.
    • [A certain racial group of people] are genetically less intelligent than [another group of people.]
    • [A certain ethnic group of people] are mostly involved in organized crime.
    • All
    This content is for members only.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    Because hate speech has consequences, as everything does. But in the case of hate speech, all of the consequences are negative and undesirable. It should not be permitted because it has no positive benefits or attributes. It does only harm.Pattern-chaser

    Consequences such as?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    Consequences such as?Terrapin Station

    Violence, for one example. Maybe the most significant example.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    Violence, for one example. Maybe the most significant example.Pattern-chaser

    You're claiming that speech causes violence? You don't believe in free will then?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    Now you're being provocative for the sake of it. You know what is meant. I will not rehearse a well-known argument just to amuse you. :up:
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k


    I'm being serious though. Why should something be prohibited if it's not the cause of what you have a problem with?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    It does cause violence, albeit indirectly.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    It does cause violence, albeit indirectlyPattern-chaser

    Indirect causes being further back in the causal chain?

    For example, in a Rube Goldberg contraption, setting a billiard ball in a slot causes a level to lower, which causes a chain to move, which causes a lighter to light . . . etc. all the way until we get to a hammer cracking an egg? (So then the billiard ball is an "indirect cause" of the egg cracking?)
  • Purple Pond
    567
    Should all forms of hate speech be allowed, including the racist ones.Wittgenstein
    Depends. For example, on the philosophy forum, which is a privately owned forum, no. If a neo-nazi is in his own home, he can say whatever he wants, as long as it's not commands to hurt anyone.

    Should hate speech which instigates violence be allowed ?Wittgenstein
    Again, it depends on the nature of the speech and where the speech is. Is the speaker commanding or hinting to anyone they should harm anyone? If it's not commands to hurt anyone and it's it's a private platform, then it's all up to the owner.

    If we ban a certain type of offensive speeches and usually the arguments are oriented around feelings being hurt. We may also argue against criticizing a religion or an ideology.Wittgenstein
    Some feelings are okay to hurt.

    Just my two cents.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    Depends. For example, on the philosophy forum, which is a privately owned forum, no. If a neo-nazi is in his own home, he can say whatever he wants, as long as it's not commands to hurt anyone.Purple Pond

    I think it's important to make the distinction between what is allowed by society and what is allowed by the government. The term "freedom of speech" as most often used, and as I''m using it here, applies to prevention of government restrictions on speech. In my view, a neo-Nazi should not be restricted by the government from speaking his vile thoughts not just in private, but in public. As you indicated, there are some restrictions on this.
  • Purple Pond
    567
    I think agree with your view, although there's a huge cost (literally) letting neo-nazis marching down streets and shouting hatred. Tax-payers are left with the bill for all the police protection. Why should tax payers have to pay for all the security needed to protect the neo-nazis, especially when they entice people to attack them? If they want extra protection from the police, more than ordinary citizens, perhaps they should pay for some of it. I'm also not so happy about them disrupting the peace.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    I think agree, although there's a huge cost (literally) letting neo-nazis marching down streets and shouting hatred. Tax-payers are left with the bill for all the police protection. Why should tax payers have to pay for all the security needed to protect the neo-nazis, especially when they entice people to attack them? If they want extra protection from the police, more than ordinary citizens, perhaps they should pay for some of it. I'm also not so happy about them disrupting the peace.Purple Pond

    The "huge cost" you are talking about are incurred no matter who's doing the talking and what they're saying. Who paid for the police costs for the Woman's March the day before President Trump's inauguration?
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.