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    (Original post by chloem257)
    It seems like Mill is quite a common denominator in this debate - spot on I think. I'd recommend reading a bit of On Liberty before your debate if you have time, you can find commentaries and the like in most good philosophy textbooks. The whole argument is a Utilitarian one ultimately, the majority versus the individual, positive versus negative freedom and whether or not the oppression of individual rights can be justified because it's what is right for society as a whole.
    It's the progressive liberal "harm principle." You need to, to quote Mill, "give the greatest possible liberty consistent with liberty for all." Isiah Berlin gets this bang on in his famous "freedom for the pike is death for the minnows" quote. Having unlimited freedom is ultimately harmful for some but beneficial to one. the moral basis for this is often contested, but that is what you will have to focus on in this debate. It's also the best tactic i think, as your opponent(s) will be expecting you to prattle on about national security and terrorists and blah blah blah. Surprise them, make them think on their toes. Also expect examples from the recent Iranian election results - a blindingly obvious one there. And also the Chinese government got google to give up the details of citizens who had visited Free Tibet websites - ultimately bad for the protestors.
    Oh yeah definitely, I think making an argument that it's about utilitarianism rather than the rights of an individual is stronger, and how to protect society would be better than to protect the rights of an individual.

    You say about Iran, do you mean about allegations of fraud, etc.? Sorry about all of this, it's just I've been quite ill today and I'm not at my peak of intellectual thinking.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Is that Peter "relaxed about people getting filthy rich" Mandelson?

    You really shouldn't comment on things you know nothing about, it just makes the ideological blinkers painfully obvious.
    I beg your pardon. :awesome: I was merely making a disparaging reference to his youth in fact, but, yeah, whatever, people can change. :rolleyes:
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    I've always believed that free speech isn't a necessity, as long as censorship doesn't become too excessive.
    I shouldn't be allowed to walk into the centre of town with a sign saying "I hate *******!" in big letters, shouting through a megaphone about how black people are the spawn of satan.
    As obsurd as it would be for me to do something like that, it should be prevented as it is potentially harmful/offensive to other people.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I believe in limited free speech; to the point where it becomes harmful to others, when it should be prohibited.
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    No not a problem, when you're feeling sicky intellectual debate isn't usually the first thing you want to think about haha

    I was thinking more about how Ahmadinejad banned social networking sites such as facebook to try and silence supporters of Mr Moussavi. That could be used as an example of how suppression of free speech ends up as an immensely powerful tool of dictatorships, I think that will be one that is thrown at you, and it is quite hard to get around.

    But if I were you, I would argue that regulation of anything can be abused to such an extent - it does not mean, though, that it should be de-regulated to try and prevent this from happening. For example, dictators often abuse the military in order to preserve their power base. Should, then, the military also be totally free? De-regulation can cause equal, if not deeper, trouble as too much regulation (back to the Isiah Berlin quote here I think.) Just because something MAY be abused doesn't mean that we need to take away the controls that could eventually lead to this abuse.
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    Watch A Clockwork Orange, that should give you some valid points :P
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    I know, but the phrase "propagation of error" is from On Liberty, I'm fairly certain.
    I'm not doubting that, I just didn't want one of the most articulate and influential proponents of free speech to be represented differently.
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    (Original post by Dan-IW)
    I'm not doubting that, I just didn't want one of the most articulate and influential proponents of free speech to be represented differently.
    Yeah, all right, I should have put in that Mill was pro free speech.

    It's just that one of the counterarguments he puts up (and knocks down) regarding free speech is the propagation of error point.
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    (Original post by yesioo)
    We don't say what we think incase we cause offense. Which really makes no sense because anything you say could technically offend someone. Also, our country is so annoyingly politically correct.
    Tis true we have some of the strictest freedom of speech laws in the world.

    Also your sig is so cuteeeee :awesome:
 
 
 
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