The Fine Line Between Hate Speech and Freedom Of Speech

Discussion in 'Civil Liberties' started by TheUnenlightenedMind, May 6, 2017.

  1. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    Freedom of Speech is a right. And like all rights, it has it's limits (take, for example, the right to liberty can be taken away when one commits a crime forcing him to be incarcerated, or in some country, the right to life is taken away with the death penalty)

    With the Freedom of Speech, the limit is hate speech. But what makes it hate speech? Where do we draw the line? I would like to know your thought on this matter. If a person says that he does not believe in gay marriage, would that then be hate speech? Or would this just be an opinion? I am curious, and, as you can tell by my username, I am quite unenlightened, so I hope you lovely folks could enlighten me with your point of view :)
     
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  2. Brett Nortje

    Brett Nortje Well-Known Member

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    There are no rights. these are social constructs, while there are "rites." these are ways to get what you want from some entity. these are rules of engagement. please tell me where rights naturally occur in nature?
     
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  3. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    Hello Brett!
    If we look at it through the lens of an atheist(meaning we take God out of the picture), then yes, these are just social constructs. These are rules of engagement to ensure that we, as human beings, live in harmony with one another. But just because it is a social construct in this sense does not make it any less real. For example, Culture is a social construct. But one cannot deny that culture does not exist. But why do I say they are inherent rights? Why the term inherent? Because these are truths universally acknowledged to varying degrees across the entire human race. Murder is without a doubt considered wrong. Stealing is considered wrong.

    If you want to talk about rights occurring in nature, then ah, unfortunately, we have to bring God into the picture. It's a weak argument, especially when said to one who does not believe in God (I do not know your stance on religion, though). I think that the whole concept of inherent rights being part of one's nature stems from the idea that the human race was created in the image and likeness of a superior being, thus endowing him with these rights. As a Catholic, this is the argument that I prefer (although I know it lacks scientific facts hahahaha but it's more of a personal preference) Inherent rights is a rather romantic concept, don't you think?

    Anyway, you still haven't answered my question. Assuming, in this scenario, inherent rights do exist, where does one draw the line between freedom of speech and hate speech? :)
     
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  4. Brett Nortje

    Brett Nortje Well-Known Member

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    We come from completely different worlds. i believe in censoring media, as, the panic caused by some things could be too much for some people to handle. this in your view is most probably wrong, yes?

    Freedom of speech is about a culture accepting some things as being 'right.' if someone said something stupid, they would be covered by said media as being stupid, yes? imagine a president saying it is easy to get rid of aids? that would be considered wrong and not accepted by the media, although he would be free to say these things, even if it is not hate speech.

    Hate speech is common in propaganda. in my country, as in yours, the hate seething from elections and campaign slander is quite common. the lines are blurred in this whole thing, if you ask me.
     
  5. Soupnazi

    Soupnazi Well-Known Member

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    The limit is NOT hate speech.

    Hate speech is in fact protected speech.

    Hate speech is strictly subjective and cannot be objectively defined which is why there are no laws against and there never should be.

    We have adequate limitations on speech such as threatening others or directly calling for violence. Other than such specific examples there are no such limits as you claim.

    HAte speech is not one of those limits.
     
  6. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    What makes hate speech? Damn good question. I think it's just a label that's convenient for some people who get fussed too easily. The point is the law - in most jurisdictions I think - draws a line at incitement, so hate speech is a concept which is really unnecessary.
     
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  7. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    I will agree hare speech IS protected speech in the US, not outside it.
     
  8. Ronstar

    Ronstar Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    there is no court in the USA who will say that bigotry does not count as Protected Speech under the 1st Amendment
     
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  9. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. At least in the US, "hate speech" is constitutionally protected free speech. The whole idea of hate speech is dumb anyway. It's just trying to censor things you don't like.
     
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  10. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    It's certainly looking like that. Hate speech is simple bigotry. Bigots have a right to speech and that speech can be identified for what it is. The criminal law can deal with real incitement.
     
  11. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I've always thought the term "hate speech" is a misnomer in this context. There's no jurisdiction where simply expressing hatred for someone or something is illegal. The confusion is that the kind of speech that is often restricted comes from a position of hatred.

    Likely (or actual) harm. "Hate speech" is typically restricted because it's deemed likely to cause harm, by promoting or supporting acts in response to the hatred. There's lots of opinion, speculation and perception involved in assessing that though, which is why it's such a difficult area in the first place.
     
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  12. Woolley

    Woolley Well-Known Member

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    I guess the answer to these questions lie in history. In order to judge whether or not something should be banned or considered taboo, one can look to examples in history where speech did turn otherwise uninterested or casual observers into something that we no longer want to see again, ever. One obvious example is the rhetoric of Hitler and the rise of Nazism. Another would be the racism many of us over the age of 60 saw almost on an everyday basis become normal. Anti-semitism is yet another example where repeated use of hate filled speech resulted in pogroms or other such forms of cruelty. In the last two decades, this has included anti-gay speech. The most obvious example of hate speech lies within two religions, Christianity and Islam. Both used speech to justify killing non-believers across every continent and over hundreds of years. You cannot claim that Christianity from around 500 to the 1800s did not practice hate speech. Islam made it into a way of controlling minds and peoples to force Islam down the throats of one and all they conquered. When we think of hate speech today, we do not think of religion but religion over the ages has been the single biggest source of hate speech.

    Now where you draw the line is difficult to define which is why so many are alarmed at making any form of speech like this a crime. I cannot define it myself but I certainly understand that once this type of speech becomes normalized or allowed, it always ends up training people to hate the target of that very same speech. In right wing media, it has become popular to use hate speech against Democrats and liberals. I see it on right wing blogs every single day. Kill all the liberals is a very common theme. This is how wars start. So, does free speech enable hate or prevent it? Should a society ignore speech and assume that it cannot lead to what history teaches us it always leads to? I think not. If I have to give up my right to say kill all liberals or conservatives in order to prevent that from happening, I will do it.

    Americans tend to believe that our institutions will and can protect us from the horrors of the past. You cannot read our own history and believe that to be true. Just ask any Cherokee.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  13. Jimmy79

    Jimmy79 Banned

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    The whole point of freedom of speech IS to protect hate speech.
     
  14. robini123

    robini123 Well-Known Member

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    Great question. Freedom of speech allows for hate speech so long as said hate speech is not used to incite violence against those hated. As with many rules there are some exceptions to the rule such as I can say that I hate ISIS and hope that Trump directs the military to hunt them down and eliminate them with extreme prejudice!

    No, but saying "I hate gays" would be, and saying "good Americans should kill gays on sight" would be a criminal form of hate speech as it is a call for violence. (Note, the preceding was an example of two different forms of hate speech neither of which I subscribe to nor endorse.)

    Saying "I do not believe in gay marriage" is an opinion that does not cross the line into hate speech.

    Your openness and willingness to lay bare your ignorance is a sign of one who is enlightened or well on their way to becoming enlightened. Socrates once said "All I know is that I know nothing at all (paraphrased). I would say that all I know when measured against all there is to know renders what I know to be next to nothing at all.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  15. robini123

    robini123 Well-Known Member

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    Cannot a right be a social construct? If no, why?
     
  16. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't agree with criminalizing hate speech, however it may be defined. Doing so treats us as wards who can't be trusted to think and act for ourselves, as it presumes that hate speech will incite others to commit atrocities. Without that, there would be no justification at all for criminalizing it, and I don't feel that that justification is strong enough.
     
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  17. Woolley

    Woolley Well-Known Member

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    What if Trump or someone like him said the following:

    "The world has sufficient space for settlement, but we must once and for all get rid of the opinion that the Jewish race was only created by God for the purpose of being in a certain percentage a parasite living on the body and the productive work of other nations. The Jewish race will have to adapt itself to sound constructive activity as other nations do, or sooner or later it will succumb to a crisis of an inconceivable magnitude.

    One thing I should like to say on this day, which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power, it was in the first instance the Jewish race that only received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State and with it that of the whole nation and that I would then, among many other things, settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face."

    What if you substitute Mexican, Arab, Black, Native American, Gay, Atheist or liberal for Jew in this speech. We let people say this because we value free speech but what if this type of speech became so common and so dominant that it became our national zeitgeist? We have seen our own ancestors say very similar things in our past. It justified atrocities against Native Americans first. Then it was used to enslave blacks, persecute Chinese, Italians, Poles, Portuguese, kill Mexicans in Mexico, kill Phillipinos in the Phillipines, we did it over and over again like Cortez or Pizarro looking for gold. So, if you think this will never happen again what is the basis for your reasoning? We have already done it over and over again in our first 200 years. At some point, don't you think we need to stop allowing this stuff to become mainstreamed?
     
  18. jmblt2000

    jmblt2000 Well-Known Member

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    The right to live life the way I want...too hold as much territory as I wish and can defend...the right to procreate and pass along my genes, as long as I am strong enough too take it from another male...The right too survive as long as I am strong enough too defend myself from another

    These are the rights in nature...Would you wish to go back to these rules?
     
  19. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    In your first point, I think it depends on what exactly the information is. I think, as a general rule, media should not be censored, even if it may cause panic, as people have a right to information (ah, again with the rights! hahahaha but it's a personal belief :) ) But not all should be freely distributed to the public, like in the case of the movie Watchmen (have you seen Watchmen? It's used to be comic book before it became a movie hahaha I'm a huge nerd :D ) Now the question here would be who gets to decide what kind of information should be kept secret? And what are the standards we should place?

    I always thought that freedom of speech was the ability to give opposing opinions. Like in the case of transgenders. I have both liberal and conservative friends. Everytime my conservative friends say that they think that being a transgender is not normal, by liberal friends get awfully angry and say that they are spreading hate. I am quite unsure as to why my liberal friends think this way; after all, it seems like an opinion only, and my conservative friends do treat transgenders with respect, although they feel like being a transgender is not exactly the norm. Another thing that baffles me is that liberalism is supposed to be about freedom of speech, and yet my liberal friends grow indignant when they hear these things. You are right about a president saying stupid things hahahaha but presidents are wont to do that :p

    It's true though; the lines are very blurred!
     
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  20. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    In your first point, I think it depends on what exactly the information is. I think, as a general rule, media should not be censored, even if it may cause panic, as people have a right to information (ah, again with the rights! hahahaha but it's a personal belief :) ) But not all should be freely distributed to the public, like in the case of the movie Watchmen (have you seen Watchmen? It's used to be comic book before it became a movie hahaha I'm a huge nerd :D ) Now the question here would be who gets to decide what kind of information should be kept secret? And what are the standards we should place?

    I always thought that freedom of speech was the ability to give opposing opinions. Like in the case of transgenders. I have both liberal and conservative friends. Everytime my conservative friends say that they think that being a transgender is not normal, by liberal friends get awfully angry and say that they are spreading hate. I am quite unsure as to why my liberal friends think this way; after all, it seems like an opinion only, and my conservative friends do treat transgenders with respect, although they feel like being a transgender is not exactly the norm. Another thing that baffles me is that liberalism is supposed to be about freedom of speech, and yet my liberal friends grow indignant when they hear these things. You are right about a president saying stupid things hahahaha but presidents are wont to do that :p

    It's true though; the lines are very blurred!
     
  21. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    Thank you! :)

    Do you mind if I ask you a question? You see, I have many conservative friends, and they enjoy watching Milo Yiannopolis (I am uncertain if I spelled that correctly) and Ben Shapiro. But my friends from the other side of the political line say that these people engage in hate speech. We have established that hate speech is protected, but are their statements hate speech? What are your thoughts on the matter? :)
     
  22. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    Thank you for your input! I am not an American; I get all my news about your country from television and youtube. It's just that the word 'hate speech' is thrown a lot in your media nowadays, isn't it? Everything seems to be hate speech now, and this flusters me, because things that you could say here in my country that would have no one batting an eyelash seems to be terrible in your country. You censor a lot of words, and even some comedians. Thank you for bringing up the law. I myself am studying to be a lawyer in my own country, and am glad that the law in your country knows where to draw the line.
     
  23. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    Thank you very much! This was very informative :)
     
  24. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    Hahahaha true! However, in the point of view of ISIS, that is hate speech :p All the same, thank you so much for your comment! :)
     
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  25. TheUnenlightenedMind

    TheUnenlightenedMind New Member

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    What an interesting way to look at it! :D Thank you :)
     

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