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    Is freedom of speech an absolute right or should it be restricted by governments?
    Here in the West we are told that we have freedom to speak our minds, but in reality we don't, for our governments restrict what we can say with hate speech laws; so we don't really have freedom of speech.
    The only exeption is America, whose people are protected by the first amendment. So, do you want the freedom to speak your mind even if it causes offense to certain groups, or are you prepared to accept government censorship in the name of cracking down on.... "hate"?.
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    What is it with the far-right and demonising minorities free speech ?
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    What? The USA has unfettered freedom of speech? Since when?
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    (Original post by 2 + 2 = 5)
    What? The USA has unfettered freedom of speech? Since when?
    Since the Patriot Act. It guaranteed all sorts of freedoms. :rofl:
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    Yeah we're suppose to have 'freedom of speech' but because the country has to be so politically correct and the amount of mixed races here, it means you can't say anything, cant even fly the country's bloody flag in some places...ridiculous!
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    (Original post by blackswan)
    Yeah we're suppose to have 'freedom of speech' but because the country has to be so politically correct and the amount of mixed races here, it means you can't say anything, cant even fly the country's bloody flag in some places...ridiculous!
    And there was me thinking people who fly flags are complete tools. Blame immigrants! :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Invocation)
    And there was me thinking people who fly flags are complete tools. Blame immigrants! :rolleyes:
    You don't think it's wrong that you cannot fly your own flag in the country it belongs because it may cause racial tension or bloody fights? it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
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    (Original post by blackswan)
    You don't think it's wrong that you cannot fly your own flag in the country it belongs because it may cause racial tension or bloody fights? it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
    What are you on about? You're allowed to display flags?
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    (Original post by Invocation)
    What are you on about? You're allowed to display flags?
    but it has been suggested that people shouldnt as it might offend. Which is ridiculous of course.

    AS for freedom of speech, your are free to objectively criticise anything from government and yes even supposedly taboo issues such as immigration ("your dont like immigration polices OMG you racist and all that")

    You can objectively say that you dont like the way for instance that Islam places its women as second class citizans however you cannot say that all muslims are terrorists. That would come under inciting religious hatred which is wrong as obviously there not.
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    (Original post by Hengest)
    Is freedom of speech an absolute right or should it be restricted by governments?
    Depends what counts as freedom of speech. Do you include inciting somebody to commit a crime in that? Do you include the ability to shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre? What about slandering the good name of a rival businessman?

    It's not all about not being able to **** off Johnny Foreigner. Although I fully support the liberty to do that.

    hate speech laws
    "Hate speech"? What an ugly phrase.

    (Original post by blackswan)
    You don't think it's wrong that you cannot fly your own flag in the country it belongs because it may cause racial tension or bloody fights? it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
    To be fair, I manage to fly this country's flag regularly without molestation by anybody.

    Hehe... molestation.
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    I agree. If freedom of speech involves slander or libel then I'd rather be restricted.
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    I like the idea of free speech but it's all about common sense - if you're deliberately spreading hatred for the sake of spreading hatred you deserve to get your face smashed in.
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    what you suggest isn't free speech
    I mean lots of Government officials slander each other. While spreading pro-war views does the restriction have to in close all people’s views. If so what about papers, should all get free speech or just a select few, this is pointless each person has varying views on the subject, agreement will never be reached.
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    freedom of speech is always good, because even though we may sound offensive we are being true with ourselves and in the end both parties may come to a mutual understanding instead of hiding behind false selves.
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    (Original post by mudblood)
    I like the idea of free speech but it's all about common sense - if you're deliberately spreading hatred for the sake of spreading hatred you deserve to get your faced smashed in.
    I agree
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    (Original post by blackswan)
    You don't think it's wrong that you cannot fly your own flag in the country it belongs because it may cause racial tension or bloody fights? it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
    BS. Fly the flag, no one will stop you.

    Tbh, nowadays it's the people who shout "I hate PC" for everything that annoy me the most.
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    The people of this country are all for their rights, they're not so hot on the responsibilities that come with those rights.
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    The freedom to scream abuse is an absolute. So is the freedom to respond in kind if on the receiving end of said abuse. Making either illegal will not stop them.
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    You could never have pure, unfetted freedom of speech, and for damn good reason too. As someone once said, "A lie can be half way around the world before the truth has time to gets its boots on." Take libel or slander for example - all it takes is for one vindictive individual to dream up a sensational accusation and leak it to the press and a reputation is sullied. Moreover, having your reputation destroyed can have reprocussions in terms of your career, friends and family life. I don't think its much of a point of contention to protect individual from the vindictive, slanderous whims of others.

    However, when you start talking about incitement to hatred laws the waters start to muddy. When you can no longer objectively criticise the practices of a particular group then thats bad, because it allows those actions to go unchallenged. But as we've seen historically, minorities in nearly every society have been demonised by the majority - perhaps we should learn from the past and bring in legislative protection for minorities. Its about striking the right balance between objective criticism and slanderous, hateful remarks.
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    (Original post by DumberChild)
    You could never have pure, unfetted freedom of speech, and for damn good reason too. As someone once said, "A lie can be half way around the world before the truth has time to gets its boots on." Take libel or slander for example - all it takes is for one vindictive individual to dream up a sensational accusation and leak it to the press and a reputation is sullied. Moreover, having your reputation destroyed can have reprocussions in terms of your career, friends and family life. I don't think its much of a point of contention to protect individual from the vindictive, slanderous whims of others.
    True, but unless you're going to outlaw lying itself I don't see what relevance that has to the more topical angle on this subject, namely that of "hate speech".
 
 
 
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