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Is it time "hate speech" were included in our freedom or speech? Watch

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    (Original post by abc:))
    It's interesting that you use the phrase 'so-called hate speech'. I guess you are alluding to the fact that it is loosely defined and often somebody will be barred from speaking because they have voiced controversial views which have been labelled as hate speech - which, obviously, is wrong.

    But surely the conclusion from that should be that hate speech should be more clearly defined, so that the definition can't be manipulated and abused - not that we should just allow people to freely voice hate speech?

    Basically I don't see any argument in your OP that supports the conclusion that we should ban hate speech
    Oh that wasn't an argument in my OP, more just some thoughts so I could start a conversation on this topic.

    And why should people not be allowed to freely voice their hate? (Not something I would do) Is that not a basic human right?

    How could it be defined more clearly though? There will always be people who will abuse that law...*cough* feminists *cough*
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    (Original post by JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN)
    People do not have the right to feel safe. Feelings of safety are purely subjective states of mind. Anything and everything can make a certain person feel unsafe--that doesn't mean we should mitigate or eliminate everything that makes people 'feel' unsafe. It is precisely this kind of weak emotional reasoning that justifies so called 'hate speech' laws. Hate speech laws exist for a reason, but that doesn't mean the reason is a good one.
    Kinell
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    (Original post by F.Nietzsche)
    But what is hate speech and who decides what falls under this category?
    Well, in the case of people being barred from speaking in universities, that would be the relevant body in the university. You ought to have a right to say whatever you want in my view, however hateful or ignorant, but you don't have a right to speak to an audience on someone else's property.

    That said, there is a problem with universities too readily stopping talks etc. The problem is that the censorious perpetually-offended crowd is so much louder than everyone else. I don't really see that changing, myself.
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    (Original post by F.Nietzsche)
    How does someone's race, sexuality or religion affect their ability to empathise to a situation?
    If the person does not possess characteristics which mean that there is an increased likelihood that they would be bullied over them, they can choose not to try to empathise and it is easy for them to do so.

    Bottom line is that verbal abuse for no reason other than the fact that someone is disabled or a different race, religion and so on is bullying, it is harmful and it infringes on the rights of others to safety. If such a fundamental right is being breached then it should take precedent over the right of bigots to bully people who they don't like, as long as it isn't physical.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Well, in the case of people being barred from speaking in universities, that would be the relevant body in the university. You ought to have a right to say whatever you want in my view, however hateful or ignorant, but you don't have a right to speak to an audience on someone else's property.
    I agree. It's the same with people who complain with being censored by Twitter. Twitter is a private company and is perfectly entitled to decide what it does and doesn't want to be posted using its server.
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    Hate speech is not black and white as some perceive, so it's hard to determine what is and what isn't. What commonly happens is people scream hate speech when someone expresses an opinion that they find offensive.
    My opinion is that almost nothing should be barred because words doesn't harm someone physically; and people are always going to be the victim of being silenced.
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    (Original post by WBZ144)
    There is very little difference between saying things like "go out and petrol bomb shops owned by Muslims and beat them on the streets" and saying "Muslims cannot be trusted because they are all taught to lie and are secretly plotting to take over Western countries". Neither are merely criticisms of a religion and the latter example still incites violence because it dehumanised an entire religious groups, as was the case with the Jews in the 1930s/40s.
    Do you apply that logic consistently though? Because if you did then religious texts would be banned for the similar language they contain against particular groups of people.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    People can't be trusted with true free speech. Last time anyone had that they decided the Jews caused all the problems in the world. They destroyed their shops and then voted in a government that tried to systematically exterminate them. People are too stupid for free speech, it's dangerous.
    you are literally such a little dictator, aren't you?
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    I don't think people really understand what freedom of speech entails. Freedom of speech does not give one the freedom to shout abuse at people on the street, or to walk up to a random religious person on the street and start criticising their religion. That is harassment and our current laws already deal with this.

    Freedom of speech entitles one to express their views and opinions as long as they use the appropriate medium. An academic setting such as a university, a newspaper, a debate forum etc... are all appropriate mediums which one can use. If one is easily offended, they can choose not to read an article or to not view a debate thread on a forum. Participating in such activities is a free choice. Unlike harassment, one chooses to come into contact with the views being expressed in such mediums, and they should expect their views to be challenged and maybe even to be offended. If the correct medium is being used, freedom of speech should not be limited.


    (Original post by JordanL_)
    People can't be trusted with true free speech. Last time anyone had that they decided the Jews caused all the problems in the world. They destroyed their shops and then voted in a government that tried to systematically exterminate them. People are too stupid for free speech, it's dangerous.
    Except the Nazi's did not permit freedom of speech but rather speech and writing was heavily censored. So what you are proposing is to give the government to have the power the Nazi's had, to decide what can and cannot be said?
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    No, absolutely not. I do agree that there have been issues with censorship in universities but to go to the other extreme and allow all speech regardless of how hateful it is would be a terrible idea.
    Two questions (whose significance may not be apparent), if you don't mind:

    1) Do you support a system of universal suffrage which makes it as easy as possible for eligible voters to vote (i.e. doesn't impose tests, property requirements, or other measures besides age and residence to determine who should be enfranchised)?
    2) Do you credit the argument that the current mechanism by which we elect MPs should be kept because it limits the influence of 'hateful' political parties?

    Laws against hate speech exist for a reason, to protect people's right to feel safe.
    I think you might be confusing hate speech with harassment.

    Also, I have to say, this 'right to feel safe' (in the sense that you mean, i.e. wanting to feel safe from speech at the expense of someone's right to that speech) finds no mention in the Enlightenment writings from which you presumably derive the concept of rights (I'm assuming that you mean natural rights rather than legal ones here, since you've implied that people have this right regardless of the law) in the first place.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    What do you think the legitimate purpose of inciting religious and racial hatred is?
    The government (elected by the people) decide which things are considered to be crimes and put them into law.

    Wht would you wnat to go round inciting religious and racial hatred? What's in it for you?
    I hope you can see the obvious fault in this. Majority rule is a fine idea in principle, provided there are defined constitutional rights and limits to the government's power. Having a system that is based simply on majority rule would not only allow a tyranny of the majority over minorities, but would also make it possible for a government to abolish the democratic system that elected it to begin with, thereby removing the rights of the majority as well. In other words, it would permit an easy transition to despotism, and it's clear why almost no democratic country in the world uses such a system.
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    (Original post by Grand High Witch)
    Do you apply that logic consistently though? Because if you did then religious texts would be banned for the similar language they contain against particular groups of people.
    You do have a point there, but religion is being somewhat regulated. I do believe that texts like the Qur'an, the Talmud and the OT contain passages which dehumanise non-believers and incite hatred towards them. That being said, they are ancient texts which need to be interpreted in ways which comply with modern-day values in order to be accepted. Religious clerics who preach hateful interpretations of their holy books have been dubbed as hate preachers. There are several instances in which they have been banned from universities, reviled for their views and even arrested for inciting hatred. I agree with this because they are encouraging their supporters to breach the right of the rest of the population to safety
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    (Original post by F.Nietzsche)
    Oh that wasn't an argument in my OP, more just some thoughts so I could start a conversation on this topic.

    And why should people not be allowed to freely voice their hate? (Not something I would do) Is that not a basic human right?

    How could it be defined more clearly though? There will always be people who will abuse that law...*cough* feminists *cough*
    Well, hate speech is not the same as 'voicing your hate'. It is [loosely, imo] defined as 'speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits'.

    Now, in terms of offending or insulting, I don't think this should be banned. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a basic human right like you do, but offence and insult literally cannot be defined and pinned down. So you may as well allow it.

    Speech that threatens, on the other hand, is A) more easy to pinpoint and B) more dangerous. If it were up to me I would define hate speech as being purely this, and ban it.
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    I think you should be able to express pretty much any opinion, so long as you are not inciting or threatening violence.
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    (Original post by abc:))
    Well, hate speech is not the same as 'voicing your hate'. It is [loosely, imo] defined as 'speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits'.

    Now, in terms of offending or insulting, I don't think this should be banned. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a basic human right like you do, but offence and insult literally cannot be defined and pinned down. So you may as well allow it.

    Speech that threatens, on the other hand, is A) more easy to pinpoint and B) more dangerous. If it were up to me I would define hate speech as being purely this, and ban it.
    Speech that offends is hate speech, I find that ridiculous.

    I would say it is a basic human right because I believe that you should be able to say whatever you like, I mean words are just words. Agree to disagree.
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    (Original post by F.Nietzsche)
    Speech that offends is hate speech, I find that ridiculous.

    I would say it is a basic human right because I believe that you should be able to say whatever you like, I mean words are just words. Agree to disagree. :h
    I agree, it is ridiculous for 'offence' to be included in the definition - please bear in mind though that my source wasn't a legal definition, just a general definition. I highly doubt that Hate Speech = Offensive speech is written into law. I would be very surprised if it is.

    I really disagree with your second point, words are not just words if they are threatening. An example of threatening hate speech could be sending a death threat to somebody. I certainly would not say that someone has a basic human right to send death threats. Examples like this are the cases which I would ban (and they are banned, thank god!).
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    (Original post by abc:))
    I agree, it is ridiculous for 'offence' to be included in the definition - please bear in mind though that my source wasn't a legal definition, just a general definition. I highly doubt that Hate Speech = Offensive speech is written into law. I would be very surprised if it is.

    I really disagree with your second point, words are not just words if they are threatening. An example of threatening hate speech could be sending a death threat to somebody. I certainly would not say that someone has a basic human right to send death threats. Examples like this are the cases which I would ban (and they are banned, thank god!).
    Ah I do agree that there is an issue with that I guess, death threats. But death threats are empty most of the time. And even with our current laws do people still receive death threats....? I'm afraid they do. Does banning hate speech do much to protect people then....?
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    (Original post by Hydeman)

    X
    What are your views on the matter?
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    No, absolutely not. I do agree that there have been issues with censorship in universities but to go to the other extreme and allow all speech regardless of how hateful it is would be a terrible idea. Laws against hate speech exist for a reason, to protect people's right to feel safe.
    why should somebody; "right" to feel an emotion supersede what should be a basic human right: to share your opinions with others without fearing consequences from either the mob or the state?

    Socrates was executed because conservative folk around him didn't feel like his questions were "safe".
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    (Original post by F.Nietzsche)
    Ah I do agree that there is an issue with that I guess, death threats. But death threats are empty most of the time. And even with our current laws do people still receive death threats....? I'm afraid they do. Does banning hate speech do much to protect people then....?
    Well I guess as a deterrent our current laws don't work very well. There are legal limitations of freedom of speech and threats is the biggie. But a lot of people don't realise that they are committing a crime - especially if they do it online.

    However it does at least mean that if you receive threats you can potentially get somebody prosecuted for it.

    Anyway an empty death threat is still damaging - depending on its wording and the manner in which it is delivered it can genuinely make you fearful in your day-to-day life. Nobody should be afforded the right to make somebody feel like that.

    So yeah in conclusion - offending people is not a crime but threatening people is. 'Hate speech' should be more clearly defined to reflect this and should remain banned as it currently is.
 
 
 
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