View Full Version : limiting 'free' speech
09-27-2006, 11:24 AM
This is a philosophical question with practical application. It has long been accepted that our government can limit speech when there is a ‘clear and present’ danger such as making it illegal to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater where no fire existed. But I wonder if it wouldn’t be just as legitimate to limit the speech of someone advocating, for example, repeal of the first amendment and ending free speech altogether. Are we to just hope those wishing to end free speech will not win whatever argument put forth or would it be appropriate to snip such foolishness in the bud and make such advocacy illegal? The SC ruled in a unanimous decision that it was illegal to distribute literature opposing the draft prior the WWI but it is unlikely anything even close to that example would ever reach the floor for a vote in Congress today, let alone get to the courts again.
Since 1969, when the SC decided to protect the KKK, the standard to limit speech has been restricted to that which would cause imminent lawlessness like inciting a riot. But I think that some ideologies are antithetical to our freedom loving society and since we know this in advance, wouldn’t it be reasonable to strictly limit the teaching of the ideology, if not the ideology itself? We do know, from historical example, that sometimes the majority can get things very wrong so it seems to me that we should be more critical when of some speech and less protective.
09-27-2006, 01:03 PM
. But I think that some ideologies are antithetical to our freedom loving society and since we know this in advance, wouldn’t it be reasonable to strictly limit the teaching of the ideology, if not the ideology itself? We do know, from historical example, that sometimes the majority can get things very wrong so it seems to me that we should be more critical when of some speech and less protective.
So, we protect our right to free speech and assembly, by restricting those rights to "some" groups....and who decides ? And you admit the majority can "get things very wrong" yet in your other post, you advocate for all to support the majority!!! (groupthink, I believe is what you would like, as long as it's your group guiding the thinking)
It's a great idea to limit speech of those that propose limiting speech....I think Eric Blair had ideas along that line, and called it "newspeak"
09-27-2006, 01:05 PM
I have always felt people who disagree with me,should not be allowed to speak. Sometimes so strongly,that I move right now, only the Great Decider be allowed to enjoy writing the history of his affair with Iraq.
09-27-2006, 01:09 PM
That's a legitimate question. When are we letting
things go too far. Certainly the "exposes" of the
media come to mind.
What scares me is how far we will go in restricting
free speech? It's kind of like the NRA stance that
they will fight gun control all the way or one day
private citizens may not have guns. I happen to
agree with the NRA, by the way.
I'm just scared that as our rights start to slip away.
there will be a domino effect.
09-27-2006, 01:20 PM
a good example of limiting speech....or more correctly denying one's right to speak....is the recent fiasco over reporter Helen Thomas asking Bush a pointed question.
09-27-2006, 02:28 PM
Just because you have the right doesn't make it right.
People go too far and then claim they have the right. When people have no restraint or consideration for others in what they do, at what point does a civilized society restrain them?
The hippies used to talk about let it all hang out, rebel against the system. Are you happy with the results of their social experiment? We live with it every day. The old system was better.
We have taken common decency and replaced it with political correctness and call it being polite. These aren't religious values. They existed before religion did. They are the foundation of civilization itself.
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