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"New York Philosophy" Message Board › Free Speech Meetup Pre-discussion.

Free Speech Meetup Pre-discussion.

user 9101728
New York, NY
Post #: 1

Premise 1) The use of force, except in the case of self-defense, is immoral.

Premise 2) All governments, for thousands of years, have granted themselves the unilateral right to use force against the individuals it claims to have sovereignty over.
(For example: Taxation is theft. If you don't pay your taxes, force will be used against you.Personal desire to pay taxes does not remove the reality of unilateral government force.)

Conclusion: Therefore, all forms of government are immoral.


Premise 1) We need governments to enforce hate speech laws since no one likes hate speech.

Premise 2) If someone is using hate speech anywhere, people will move away from them physically, socially, and economically, and they will be ostracized. Since few, if any will want to engage in economic activity with them, they will have undermined their ability to continue using hate speech since hunger and thirst from poverty will eventually stop them in their tracks. Yes, they may have a few friends that might help them out, but that wouldn't last for long since they'd be collectively and socially smoked out as well.

Conclusion:A state apparatus is not required to enforce hate speech laws.

William C.
user 16367121
New York, NY
Post #: 4
Howdy Steve

I will agree that no one likes hate speech.

I do not think that very few people who engages in hate speech thinks-believes that they are engaging in hate speech.

A tiny minority of those who would admit to using hate speech do so because they think-believe that they using it in "self-defense".

There are some people who say that Muhammad was a pedophile. It is reasonable to think that most if not all Muslims would think that this is "offensive" speech It is also clear that some if not most Muslims would consider such a statement to be "hate" speech." However I think that most Muslims, wether even if they do think that it is "hate" speech, "offensive" or both do not think or believe that those who engage in such speech should be either threatened or harmed because of such speech.

However there are a tiny minority of Muslims who do think that those who say that Muhammad was a pedophile should be punished for such offensive hate speech. I do think that the government has the right to prosecute those tiny minority of Muslims.

It is clear to me that saying Muhammad was a pedophile is "offensive"
It is clear to me that saying ALL Muslims are pedohiles is not only "offensive but is not true.
It is clear to me that saying ALL Muslims should be killed is BOTH "offensive" speech AND "hate" speech.

However it is also clear to me that offensive speech sometimes leads to "hate" speech and "hate" actions.

The most notable example of this Nazi Germany. The Nazi Party clearly engaged in hate speech. Not only against "the Jews" but against "democracy. The problem is that it is clear in hindsight.

I doubt that most Germans knew what the Nazi Party would lead to the holocaust and the destruction of that it would bring to Germany.

In "hindsight" it would have been in the best interest of the wellbeing of Germany-Germans to "censor" the Nazis speech.

user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 184
A couple of people have said that the political right engages in name-calling and attempts to censor the left. Could anyone make clear what names, in particular, they feel the right is using, and what speech on the part of the left that the right is censoring?

I quit paying for cable for awhile, so the problem may be that I haven't been watching much Fox News. When I was, I remember Glenn Beck talking a lot about how much he disliked "progressives". However, liberals generally LIKE being called "progressives" -- it's not really "name calling" every time you use a noun. "Name-calling" is when you're trying to shut someone up by calling them a name they don't like being called.
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 185
William Carter,

I think most people would agree we would all have been much better off if someone had put a bullet through Hitler's brain in 1928. This does not extend to political assasinations generally being acceptable behavior.

A filter on hate speech might have prevented the Nazis from coming to power, though this is highly debatable. if Hitler had been prevented from saying anything anti-semitic, but restricted himself to saying how badly screwed Gerrmany had been by the treaty of Versailles (now accepted as being true), and promoting pro-German nationalism, he might have come to power anyway.

-- Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 186
In fact, to discuss Nazi Germany further, when Hitler, after assuming power, clamped down on free speech, it didn't result in an uprising against him because Germans at that time didn't have a strong tradition of free speech. The Nazis' ability to restrict debate to what they thought deemed acceptable was instrumental to their being able to get away with horrible excesses.

For this reason, we should tolerate free speech with as few exceptions as possible, so that should a belligerent government someday attempt to suppress dissent, there will be popular outrage against them.
Kevin T
user 26476282
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 75
... sorry, I haven't been able to read, much less reply, for the past few days ... I'll do my best to get there, but the gravy of life has had just too much flour recently ...
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 187
Kevin, it will be interesting to see if you are actually willing to take a position and stand behind it, rather than constantly covering yourself with "What I'm saying doesn't necessarily refllect what I actually believe" disclaimers.
A former member
Post #: 2
"I remember Glenn Beck talking a lot about how much he disliked "progressives". However, liberals generally LIKE being called "progressives" -- it's not really "name calling" every time you use a noun. "Name-calling" is when you're trying to shut someone up by calling them a name they don't like being called."

The latter sentence says it perfectly. Note your having included the word "trying." You cite Glenn Beck's use of the label progressives. Was he using it as a complement? Was he trying to inspire support for and admiration of the people to who he was referring? Or was he hoping liberals would cringe from that characterization and hopefully be more restrained in the expression of their views. Perhaps that couldn't silence them, but at least it might force them to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out a way to adjust their expression so as to avoid the "progressive" label. Actually, though, as you make clear, the "censorship" effort fails. Liberals not only aren't afraid of the "progressive" label, they actually like it. So as censorship competence goes, Glen Beck fares poorly. He tried to censor. He failed.

As to other instances of name calling, it's not hard to find them, especially in an election year: "liberal," "tax-and-spend," "profligate," "socialist" (this seems mainly reserved for Obama). Then, too, we have the close variation on name calling, where one characterizes an opponent's views in ways that while not factually accurate are expected to be beneficial for the speaker. The classic lately has been claims that health-care advocates propose to establish "death panels."

Are any of these instances of name-calling as potentially hurtful as use of the word "racist?" In a playground sense ("Mommy, mommy, he called me a bad name. Make him stop."), probably not (although "death panel" might at least be in the ballpark). But we're not talking about the playground. We're talking about attempts to censor speech, and if being called a liberal can inhibit one from expressing views, then it's an attempt at censorship. (Again, it's easy to try to censor this way; it's harder to succeed.) What constitutes name calling that rises to the level of attempted censorship is a matter of context. Fort example, in some contexts, being called a "liberal" would be seen as praise. But in others, it can be a piece of verbal ammunition.
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 188
There is general agreement that in the '50's, conservatives went wild with the term "communist", and over-used to terrify and silence their opposition. The cure was not a ban on anyone using the term "communist"; it was an undermining of the credibility of such claims. Then, in the '60's, you had Marxists running wild on college campuses, quoting Mao and waving North Vietnamese flags, and labeling them "communist" wasn't going to stop them.

I see a similar result happening with the "racist" label. Liberals are over-using it, and they are wearing it out.

I don't see anything similar happening to "progressive" or "liberal" -- they don't scare anybody, and never did. I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that Glenn Beck thinks he's intimidating anyone by calling them a "progressive". "Socialist" maybe.
A former member
Post #: 3
"I see a similar result happening with the "racist" label. Liberals are over-using it, and they are wearing it out."

Free-market type dynamics operating to quash efforts to censor . . . . How good is that!

"I don't see anything similar happening to "progressive" or "liberal" -- they don't scare anybody, and never did. "

Mitt, meet Bill. He's involved in an interesting debate on censorship and questions whether anyone might be tempted to restrain speech lest one be accused of being liberal. Bill, meet Mitt. He's the presumptive Republican nominee for president . . . .
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