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Hate Speech is not Free Speech

Opening Argument

The concept of free speech, means that all types of expressions and opinions should be allowed without any repercussion from the government. It is important to note that things like shouting fire in a crowded theater, liable, or slander are not protected under the concept of free speech, as these uses of speech do not express an opinion, which is completely what free speech is about.

Hate speech ought to be protected under the first amendment, As repulsive and disgusting certain speech can be, it is important we do not leave it up to big brother to decide what is acceptable and what is not. Currently in Europe and Canada, they do not have a right to free speech, which has already lead to negative outcomes.

For example Europe has two main regulations on speech, which are countering the spreading of terrorism, and protection of minorities from hatred or potential hate crimes. On the surface, most people would probably say this sounds alright, however when put in practice, it is shown to often infringe on the right of citizens to express themselves. Recently in Spain a two man puppet group have been indited on charges of "glorifying terrorism", due to them performing a puppet show, featuring a landlord, a witch and a squatter, which theme in small part satirically revolved around terrorism. The reason these specific pieces of legislation are being passed, result from fear of recent terrorist attacks in Europe, however this is exactly what the terrorist want. It is only in a jihadists best interests, that foreign governments try to suppress any material, content, or speech, that even slightly resembles Islam. These laws are recruiting gold for groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda. 

SilverishGoldNova
  1. Is Hate Speech Free Speech?

    7 votes
    1. Yes
      71.43%
    2. No
      28.57%

Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • Yes unfortunately, it is free speech. 
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? " ~Epicurus

    "We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." ~Gene Roddenberry


  • Making vague exceptions to free speech is not the answer. These types of laws can easily be manipulated to benefit a particular group only, as it already is. 
  • AmpersandAmpersand 78 Pts
    edited November 24
    The analysis in the OP is incorrect and fails to take into account the fact that people have multiple rights and that free speech isn't automatically the most important. When rights come into conflict, there is no reason to assume free speech always takes precedence.

    Indeed in the US there are multiple examples of gag orders prohibiting people from speaking out on issues due to national security implications.

    I also note that the OP seems to accept free speech being restricted if it is an opinion - which would include hate speech.

    Lastly the Spanish puppeteer issue was dropped and was primarily to do with ETA, the Basque separatist movement. Spain has a substantial history of non-islamic terrorism. It by no means involves the idea that "that foreign governments try to suppress any material, content, or speech, that even slightly resembles Islam".

  • @Ampersand in the beginning of your argument, you mention the idea of an arbitrary ranking system, in which is decided, what rights shall be me important than others. However, this seems to be irrelevant to my argument, as I stated, free speech is the right of one to express themselves and their opinions. This means that gag orders by the government as you mentioned, are not supressing anyone right to express themselves. This is the same with defamation, copy right, death threats, and so on.
     
    "OP seems to accept free speech being restricted if it is an opinion" 
    I don't seem to understand where you get this from as I specifically argue if it is an opinion, it should not be restricted, no matter how hateful. 

    The one challenge I offer to you is this: give me an example of a realistic situation in which ones freedom to express themselves and their opinion, ought to be suppressed.
  • This post is nothing but the left wanting to punishing you for speaking again mst their irrational worldview.  They cannot win with rational arguments and so they must punish those who disagree with them.  It is the philosophy of the sand box, not that of mature men.
    DrCereal
  • @ViceRegent what argument in particular is, as you say "the left wanting to punish you for speaking"?
  • @KingHarris

    I was phone posting, so apologies if I was a bit vague.

     in the beginning of your argument, you mention the idea of an arbitrary ranking system, in which is decided, what rights shall be me important than others. However, this seems to be irrelevant to my argument, as I stated, free speech is the right of one to express themselves and their opinions.

    Do you agree that rights other than the right to free speech also exist?

    Do you agree that sometimes these rights can come into conflict with the right to free speech - see for example someone who wants to say something which would damage the security of the state and therefore put other lives at risk, endangering the right to health and happiness of others?

    Therefore my point is that if you insist that the right to free speech can never be abridged then YOU are the one assigning arbitrary rankings to rights by setting the right to free speech above other rights.

    This means that gag orders by the government as you mentioned, are not supressing anyone right to express themselves. This is the same with defamation, copy right, death threats, and so on.

    Perhaps a gag order is a British term that doesn't carry its meaning across well. A gag order is a legal instruction which restricts someone's free speech. Therefore by definition is is supressing people's right to express themselves, that's the very point of gag orders. 

    I don't seem to understand where you get this from as I specifically argue if it is an opinion, it should not be restricted, no matter how hateful. 

    But if it's an opinion that damages the net worth of a rich person or their ability to make money, you are happy for the opinion to be treated as defamation and the right to free speech abridged. Why the distinction? "The fact that a statement is one’s opinion does not necessarily make one immune from a defamation lawsuit" and you support defamation laws which restrict free speech.


    The one challenge I offer to you is this: give me an example of a realistic situation in which ones freedom to express themselves and their opinion, ought to be suppressed.

    I would support the European conception of using abusive language - especially but not limited to racially abusive language - as something that can be legislated.
  • "Do you agree that sometimes these rights can come into conflict with the right to free speech - see for example someone who wants to say something which would damage the security of the state and therefore put other lives at risk, endangering the right to health and happiness of others?"
    It seems you are not taking into consideration one of my main points; Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech are two different things. The vague example you give, which is to suggest some rights are more important than others, has nothing to do with the argument I made, that hate speech is encompassed under freedom of expression. Yes their are times freedom of speech has to be suppressed, but never freedom of expression.


    Perhaps a gag order is a British term that doesn't carry its meaning across well. A gag order is a legal instruction which restricts someone's free speech. Therefore by definition is is supressing people's right to express themselves, that's the very point of gag orders. 
    This whole refutation point fails to address the other example of speech that are not protected by the government. such as copy right, death threats, Blackmail, child pornography and so on. None of these examples are types of expression but only of speech. 


    "The fact that a statement is one’s opinion does not necessarily make one immune from a defamation lawsuit" and you support defamation laws which restrict free speech.
    Labeling a statement an opinion does not automatically make it an opinion. In fact that is the opening sentence in the article you linked, which I believe you didn't read fully. The article makes it clear after reading through the details, that a pure opinion, which does not present any false or legally confidential information, with a few other exceptions, is immune from defamation suites. However if you are doing any of these things like making false statements with intent to harm, or releasing classified information, you are not truly expressing an opinion, but expressing speech. Hate speech falls under expression of opinion, not any of these categories.

    In closing I pose the same question to you as I did before, give me an example of a realistic situation in which ones freedom to express themselves and their opinion, ought to be suppressed.
    Instead of answering the question, you just cited some legislation you would be in an agreement with, which would lead to a whole different debate, so all I ask is answer the question as specifically as possible. Thank you.
  • It seems you are not taking into consideration one of my main points; Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech are two different things. The vague example you give, which is to suggest some rights are more important than others, has nothing to do with the argument I made, that hate speech is encompassed under freedom of expression. Yes their are times freedom of speech has to be suppressed, but never freedom of expression.

    I can't see any place in this thread you've made that argument. If anything, the opposite, e.g:

    "The concept of free speech, means that all types of expressions and opinions should be allowed without any repercussion from the government."]

    That's the very first line of your very first post and you explicitly lay out that freedom of speech = freedom for all types of expression. That is the complete opposite from freedom of expression and freedom of speech being two different things which is what you are now claiming.

    Also my argument is intimately connected to hate speech. If other rights exist (which they do) and if other rights can come into conflict with the right to freedom of speech and can abridge that right (which they do), then if there are rights which protect people from discrimination or abuse (which there are) then you would not expect hate speech to automatically be included as part fo freedom of speech. there's also the fact that other conventions of rights specifically do not give unlimited freedom of speech.

    The ECHR for instance states in relation to the freedom of speech: The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    Really your argument seems analagous to "But if I have a right to freedom, how is it possible for the government to imprison me?"

    This whole refutation point fails to address the other example of speech that are not protected by the government. such as copy right, death threats, Blackmail, child pornography and so on. None of these examples are types of expression but only of speech. 

    All of those are examples of expression and not of speech.

    You can copyright a work of art. Death threats are usually written rather than spoken. Child pornography is usually image based not spoken. All freedom of expression, not speech contrary to your claims.

    Of course before that you would need to lay out exactly what your claims are about this distinction between freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

    Labeling a statement an opinion does not automatically make it an opinion. In fact that is the opening sentence in the article you linked, which I believe you didn't read fully. The article makes it clear after reading through the details, that a pure opinion, which does not present any false or legally confidential information, with a few other exceptions, is immune from defamation suites. However if you are doing any of these things like making false statements with intent to harm, or releasing classified information, you are not truly expressing an opinion, but expressing speech. Hate speech falls under expression of opinion, not any of these categories.

    Yes, it makes it clear that some opinions would not be defamatory - which is exceedingly obvious and not under contention. At no point did I claim otherwise. What it does do is point out that some opinions can be which is contrary to your claims and although you try to mitigate it, even you accept here that opinions can be defamatory and therefore your previous claims work wrong.

    Take the claim you made here that you think I didn't read fully through the article. There's a good case to be made that that would breach the principles of defamation according to the principles laid out in my link.

    In closing I pose the same question to you as I did before, give me an example of a realistic situation in which ones freedom to express themselves and their opinion, ought to be suppressed.
    Instead of answering the question, you just cited some legislation you would be in an agreement with, which would lead to a whole different debate, so all I ask is answer the question as specifically as possible. Thank you.

    As we're talking about sweeping and unviersal rights I think it misses the point to focus on one individual example, but if you insist:

    A person is walking down the street and spots a person of another ethnicity. The first person starts hurling vile racist abuse at the person. The first person's right to free speech should be suppressed. 
    KingHarris
  • The exercise of freedom of speech, essential to individual freedom, will not always be pleasant to experience, but such unpleasantness does not change the need to protect it. It is inevitable that such an environment will from time to time appear to threaten the larger community in which it exists. When, as they will, speakers from within or from outside political or ethnic groups challenge the moral, spiritual, economic or political consensus of the community, people are uneasy, disturbed and at times outraged. But freedom of thought and freedom of expression cannot be influenced by circumstances. They exist only if they are inviolable.



  • @Vincent_Costanzo

    You seem to be talking about absolute freedom of speech, which is nothing any country on earth recognises. All of them, when they implement the right to free speech place restrictions on it.

    Now you can make the argument that absolute freedom of speech should be put in place - but really that seems absurd. I mean for one governments tend to only revolve around freedom of speech in relation to the government, they allow plenty of other forms of repression on free speech(social pressure, requirements at your job, etc) as a matter of course.

    Not only that, but the analysis only revolves around that one right. What happens when other rights come into conflict as with examples raised earlier in this thread, like someone who wants to give away state secrets that would put millions of people in danger? How does your philisophical code say that should be handled - is it just Freedom of Speech trumping all other freedoms and rights forever?
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