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Freedom Of Speech

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BlueMeanie:
Just how far should one be allowed to go with regard to speaking their own mind. Freedom of speech is meant to be just that, but many people are critisised, and censured, if their views are deemed to be 'alternative', or differ greatly from the norm. Should you be allowed to stand up and be heard for instance, if your views are likely to cause great upset, and controversy, regardless of how passionate you believe in them?

David Irvings' view of the holocaust in 'Hitlers' War, for example, has been ridiculed, pilloried, and downright trashed. Indeed, he has even spent time in prison for having a view that differs from everyone else's, because he questioned an historic 'fact'. Is that not a breech of his human rights? Is his freedom to say what he believes in being denied?

Whether you agree with him or not, is not the issue here. It is though, that should anyone be denied the right to speak his mind because others don't agree with him, because it doesn't fit with their version of events?

Kevin:
We (I hope) wouldn't accept a book justifying  paedophilia, because if nothing else paedophilia is an illegal act. What Mr Irving did in Austria was (in Austria) also illegal.
But to my knowledge an academic wouldn't get imprisioned for writing the paedophilia book - he would get mocked, scorned, ignored and torn to pieces by his peers. But we wouldn't put him in prison.

BlueMeanie:

--- Quote from: 185 ---We (I hope) wouldn't accept a book justifying  paedophilia, because if nothing else paedophilia is an illegal act. What Mr Irving did in Austria was (in Austria) also illegal.
But to my knowledge an academic wouldn't get imprisioned for writing the paedophilia book - he would get mocked, scorned, ignored and torn to pieces by his peers. But we wouldn't put him in prison.
--- End quote ---

Strange that it should actually be illegal in Austria. I guess this is them trying to distance themselves from their past. It's more something you'd expect from a Middle Eastern country rather than a member of the EU. I expect Austria still allows people to be believe that God created the heavens and the earth? It strikes me as a little 'Big Brotherish', and I use the term cautiously, to deny someone a voice when he thinks he has evidence against an historical 'fact'.

Kevin:
The law exists in  13 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. Not many of those countries can hold their heads too high when it comes to the holocaust.
Attempts have been made to make the law europe wide, but thankfully this has been resisted by the UK and nordic nations.
Gallileo was imprisioned for writing that the earth revolved around the sun. (dangerous idea - it removes earth from the centre of the universe. If the earth isn't the centre, then how can we be God's chosen ones? And if we aren't God's chosen ones then how can the church assume ultimate power over our lives?)
We can't go back to those days.

BlueMeanie:
I actually find that quite frightening. I thought you'd come back with Germany, but never realised about the others. Is it actually illegal to speak about it publicly, or just to write about it/have a different opinion? When this sort of thing starts happening you wonder where it will stop.

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