Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Radical free speech

WHAT did she say?
I believe in the concept of radical free speech. 

I am in favour of minimal control,  only disallowing overt threats to life and limb and certain types of slander, with truth being an absolute defence against charges of slander.  I am opposed to any curb on people expressing themselves on issues, however obnoxious I consider their opinions. Yes, I would allow hate speech, as long as it did not contain threats to life and limb. I have a strong belief in radical free speech that is not shared even by my Canadian compatriots. I do not believe that suppressing ideas stops them; it only makes them invisible, underground, hard to spot and even more dangerous.

This non-control pertains only to governmental control. Individual sites and groups have the right to set their own TOS (Terms of Service). For example FB has the right to ban porn and hate speech if they choose. I will continue - as an individual - to report sites I find hateful to the FB administration, but I will not report them to any government. This dovetails with the law (USA), which mandates the government not to infringe on free speech, but I am still free to control what is said in my home. A religious house is free to kick out a proselytizer from another religion. An atheist group has the right to ban proreligion speech within their own group.; they are not free to silence me in the public arena.  Voltaire summed up my stand perfectly:

"Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai jusqu'à la mort pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire."

[I do not agree with what you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."]

[Note: I had earlier listed child pornography in the exceptions because, while I completely 100% believe it should be outlawed, it is a different issue, not speech.]

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Sorry about the word verification thingy, but I was getting way too many spurious comments, some obscene, some just in bad taste.