Monday, April 11, 2005

Freedom of Speech

I am a huge fan of FOS. Huge. I am very-anti censorship. For all sorts of reasons, too many to list here. I want the sickest, nastiest, most extreme, bigoted and racist sectors of society to have the ability to say what they want. It means a lot to me. However much I hate what they7 have to say. They must be able to publish newspapers, write blogs, give lectures, draft books, make signs, stand on soap boxes and generally spout off on whatever subject they please. Insult me. Deny the Holocuast. Demand the immediate incarceration of blacks/Jews/Muslims/republicans/lesbians. Accuse the Jews of running Hollywood (don't we?).

Funnily enough, I don't get offended by talk. Any talk. Even the personal stuff. Sticks and stones and all that. I'm happy people have the right to try and offend me. I want them to have that right. They can say what they like, and I can say what I like in response to it. The marketplace of ideas. The crucible of modern minds. I may be too naive, and I know a charismatic evil manipulative genius in the Adolf Hitler/Gengis Kahn/Stalin mould can wreak havoc on society. I still believe in people's ability to distinguish wrong from right. Give them the full range of options. Incitement to violence is wrong however, and must be punishable by the criminal courts. Otherwise, let them speak, shout, scream, snarl, hurl abuse, invective, insults and bigotry. Bring it on I say.

As Voltaire is commonly believed to have said "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."



At 4/11/2005 5:25 PM, Anonymous C. Bong said...

1. Re: men being unreliable, how ironic your timing is for me.
2. Re: incitement of violence, you don't think demanding the incarceration of various groups is tantamount to inciting some level of violence?

At 4/11/2005 11:17 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


1) tell us what's wrong. you'll find only sympathetic ears here.
2)there is definitely a grey area but I think any definition of incitement to violence must be weighted in favor of free speech. Asking for all Jews to be locked away is close, but doesn't seem to be direct enough.



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