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Author Topic: Freedom Of Speech  (Read 4550 times)

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BlueMeanie

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Freedom Of Speech
« on: December 12, 2007, 11:49:02 AM »

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?
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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2007, 12:10:50 PM »

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.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 03:11:05 PM »

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.

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'.

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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2007, 03:31:50 PM »

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.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2007, 03:36:54 PM »

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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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2007, 03:44:35 PM »

Quote from: 483
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.

"anyone who publicly endorses, denies or plays down the genocide against the Jews."
"Plays down" alone means you can be imprisioned for disputing the figures for the holocaust, let alone denying it.
 

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alexis

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 04:45:44 PM »

Quote from: 483
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?

With the caveat that I am not a legal scholar: There is a Constitutional tradition in the States that that behavior, even unpopular or controversial, is protected against the "tyrrany of the majority", and can't be infringed. Limits exist of course, most famously that one doesn't have the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. It's that same legal tradition that allows White Supremacy groups the right to hold marches and rallies on Main Street in mid-America towns (where, I should add, those views are generally extremely unpopular). Those with opposing views have the same right to protest, and of course often do.

I suspect that one could also publish a book denying the Holocaust here without fear of legal reprisal; probably even a book trying to justify pedophilia, or overthrow of the US. I believe the bright line is that one can't be reasonably perceived as inciting such illegal activity. So you could write a book saying that the overthrow of the US is the right thing to do, but you could be penalized if it were reasonably thought you were trying to get others to do it in an illegal fashion (violence, etc.).

Things have changed somewhat here over the past 7 years, but that's a different story, covered in other threads on this forum.
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Alexis

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 05:06:08 PM »

Nice post. In the UK it is now illegal to protest within 1km of Parliament Square (this includes the traditional start point of Trafalga Square) without consent from the police.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 05:28:13 PM »

I hear it is also illegal to fly the Flag Of St. George in England. It has to be the Union Jack! Is this true?
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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2007, 05:34:11 PM »

Quote from: 483
I hear it is also illegal to fly the Flag Of St. George in England. It has to be the Union Jack! Is this true?

No it's not (thank God). Though at every football tournament they appear and there is debate about it's racial overtones (though only among the middleclass Guardian reading types). Absurd really.
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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2007, 05:36:54 PM »

Quote from: 185

No it's not (thank God). Though at every football tournament they appear and there is debate about it's racial overtones (though only among the middleclass Guardian reading types). Absurd really.

Just found a website where someone was complaining about their neighbours flying a St George flag. Their complaint was that it was "common and tacky."  The class war lives on.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2007, 05:57:01 PM »

Quote from: 185

Just found a website where someone was complaining about their neighbours flying a St George flag. Their complaint was that it was "common and tacky."  The class war lives on.

They probably associate it with football fans! Actually it's only in recent years that England football fans have draped the St George's flag all over the stadium. Until about 5 years ago it was all Union Jacks. It's also about time The State National Anthem was dropped in favour of an English Anthem. Land Of Hope And Glory would rouse the fans and the team, instead of sending them to sleep.
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alexis

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2007, 06:27:00 PM »

Can you guys show the two flags for we ignoranti?
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2007, 07:26:17 PM »

Flag Of St. George (English Flag)


Union Flag (Flag of The United Kingdom)
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alexis

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2007, 07:41:18 PM »

Hmmph. Common and tacky doesn't come close.


( ;-) )
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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2007, 09:42:44 AM »

As a symbol of our nation the flag strangely aligns us with the nordic countries - it is of the same family as Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Yet that connection ended historically at Stamford Bridge in 1066. It bears no relation to the tricolors of our mainland neighbours (and the Irish) with whom we have much closer historical ties. I don't think we've ever forgiven them for Hastings.
I like flags. My favourites are Japan and Turkey. Simple and distinctive, they make excellent "trademarks". The one I despise the most is my own New Zealand flag. Derivitive and nondescript - it describes a nation not sure where it is or what it wants to be.
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Bobber

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2007, 10:16:14 AM »

Hans Teeuwen is a famous Dutch comedian. His ideas on Freedom Of Speech are controversial at times, but a lot of people here agree with him. Watch (it's underlined).

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adamzero

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2007, 08:48:56 PM »

I always liked Brazil's flag.  Nepal's is different (pennant-like more than flag).  Switzerland is classic.  I also like the Marshall Islands.  The EU flag is sorta boring.  
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Kevin

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2007, 09:39:30 AM »

Yep about the EU flag. Boring is as boring does. Might be something to do with the recent alternatives: (boring don't seem so bad)



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adamzero

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Re: Freedom Of Speech
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2007, 02:32:26 PM »

I guess that's why they went for baby blue.  Red's got some bad associations . . . .
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