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Is free speech an illusion?

 
 
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 12:40 pm
Quote from TV Show "Person of Interest": you are being watched.... [someone] has a system that spies on you every hour and every day....

You think you are free to express your opinions but you are not free at all. If you say Israel must be stopped, you are an anti-Semitic or Neo Nazi. If you support the Palestinians, you are a terrorist. If you citing factual statistics that a certain race is more prone to crimes, you are a racist. The list goes on...

The society itself is a machine that dictates what you can say and what you cannot. Non-conforming to His standards results in the non-conforming individual being alienated or even outcasted.
 
View best answer, chosen by Angelgz2
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 01:13 pm
@Angelgz2,
Free Speech is not an illusion. You just don't understand what it means.

The people calling you an anti-Semite or a Neo-Nazi or a racist or a terrorist are exercising their free speech, aren't they?

You can say whatever you want (with only a couple of very specific and reasonable exceptions). You have free speech. So does everyone else.

So go ahead. Say whatever you want.
Angelgz2
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 01:41 pm
@maxdancona,
I disagree. A right that is excercisable must be free of adverse consequences. Think of it like a stock option. I have right right to buy something for a higher than market price, but I would be stupid to do so. Same thing with the free speech. For instance, a formal colleague made a good point. She says that one can hold a banner at UCLA and say "we support Israel" and he will be praised and probably make some friends in the process. However if I hold a banner that says "Let's support the Palestanians!" There will be severely negative consequences and some of which may not have justifiable grounds. In essence, the consequences themselves becomes a barrier to free speech and these barriers are controlled by the invisible force called "society". This invisible force is sometimes influenced or strengthen by the ignorant media.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 03:06 pm
@Angelgz2,
Bullshit! There are lots of rights that you have that have negative consequences.

You have the right to smoke. You have to rack up debt with high interest credit cards. You have the right to have unprotected sex with strangers. All of these things are stupid (in my opinion) and they certainly have negative consequences. But if you want to do any of these things, no one will be able to stop you.

If Nazi's march down the street with swastikas (which they still do from time to time) they have every right to do so. No one will be able to stop them (as they have a legal right to free speech).
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 03:07 pm
@Angelgz2,
Let me ask you this Angel.

Do you really think that there should be a way to keep people from criticizing you?

How would you propose to keep people from saying mean things about you without taking away their free speech rights?
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  4  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 04:08 pm
@Angelgz2,
Angelgz2 wrote:

I disagree. A right that is excercisable must be free of adverse consequences. Think of it like a stock option. I have right right to buy something for a higher than market price, but I would be stupid to do so. Same thing with the free speech. For instance, a formal colleague made a good point. She says that one can hold a banner at UCLA and say "we support Israel" and he will be praised and probably make some friends in the process. However if I hold a banner that says "Let's support the Palestanians!" There will be severely negative consequences and some of which may not have justifiable grounds. In essence, the consequences themselves becomes a barrier to free speech and these barriers are controlled by the invisible force called "society". This invisible force is sometimes influenced or strengthen by the ignorant media.


Angelgz: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a prohibition on the federal government. The First Amendment declares, in relevant part, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech. . . ." The Supreme Court made the First Amendment applicable to the state government via the Fourteenth Amendment. That does not mean that all speech is protected. For instance, threatening another person's life and causing them to be in fear is considered conduct that the government may declare to be a crime and punish. The person who feels threatened by your conduct might petition a court (which is in the judicial branch of government) and obtain a restraining order against you.

The constitutional restriction on our federal and state governments does not apply to people. Let's look at your example about stock. If you told another person that you bought stock at a price higher than the market value, and that other person said, "that's stupid", that other person has not violated your right to free speech secured by the First Amendment. On the other hand, if the government arrested you for saying that, you might have something to complain about.

If you have an opinion on a matter that is subject to public debate, and you express that opinion through speech (either verbal or written), you can expect others to disagree or criticize your opinion. The constitution does not protect your words from being subject to the disagreement or criticism of others. Additionally, your expressed words and opinions will also enlighten other people about your character. If you engage in hate speech, other people might despise that kind of speech and express their outrage and call you names. Furthermore, if you defame someone, you might be liable in a civil court action to that person for monetary damages. You have the freedom to say whatever you want, you just don't have freedom from all possible consequences.

Read these United States Supreme Court cases and learn more:
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/394/705/case.html
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/376/254/case.html

And don't stop there ... google "freedom of speech" and keep reading and learning. Education is a wonderful thing. It gives you the tools necessary to express and defend your opinions even in the face of criticism. Smile

0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 04:13 pm
@Angelgz2,
Angelgz2 wrote:

I disagree. A right that is excercisable must be free of adverse consequences. Think of it like a stock option. I have right right to buy something for a higher than market price, but I would be stupid to do so. Same thing with the free speech. For instance, a formal colleague made a good point. She says that one can hold a banner at UCLA and say "we support Israel" and he will be praised and probably make some friends in the process. However if I hold a banner that says "Let's support the Palestanians!" There will be severely negative consequences and some of which may not have justifiable grounds. In essence, the consequences themselves becomes a barrier to free speech and these barriers are controlled by the invisible force called "society". This invisible force is sometimes influenced or strengthen by the ignorant media.

Although there is much greater support in the US for Israel and the Zionists than there is for the Palestinians, there's a strong anti-Israel BDS movement at UCLA and other university campuses throughout the US.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 04:56 pm
@InfraBlue,
I went to UCLA fifty plus years ago and worked there off and on for some years. Ferment came and went with vigor over the years and it is nothing new to the school, or many other schools. I'll agree with InfraBlue to the strong likelihood of plenty of support for the Palestians. People arguing with you is routine in any case.

I also agree strongly with Debra Law.

I've some interesting memories but I won't go on about them. Just one tidbit - I signed a petition to get David Alfaro Siqueiros (great mexican artist who painted a mural in LA that was loathed by many) out of jail. An early, if quiet, political act by me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Alfaro_Siqueiros
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 07:34 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

Although there is much greater support in the US for Israel and the Zionists than there is for the Palestinians, there's a strong anti-Israel BDS movement at UCLA and other university campuses throughout the US.


You left out all the closet anti-Semites that think they now have a legitimate reason to dislike Jews.

You also left out all the good Catholics that do not want the Arabs to think that all westerners are pro-Israeli, since many Arab countries have a Catholic community.

You also left out all the secular Europeans that want that Arab oil for their little cars, so saying they are anti-Israel might ensure a lower price for gasoline.

You also left out those that believe the canard of ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government), thinking that Jewish money has bought Congress (ignoring the tens of millions of Evangelicals that vote for those Congress people).

Don't worry. Jewish history has taught Jews there are few sincere friends. Those that are (sincere friends), are truly hearing the proverbial "different drummer."

maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 07:54 pm
@Foofie,
I love irony.

The evangelicals Foofie mentions are very supportive of the Israeli military aggression that is opposed by many Jewish Americans. Evangelicals are taught that the Jewish people are specially chosen by God and that they will all turn to Jesus to be saved in the end times. In fact, Evangelicals in the US are more blindly hawkish toward Israel than Jews.

There are many Jewish people around the world who are very critical of Israel's actions. In particular; the continuing occupation, the settlements, the use of excessive military force and policies that make a two-state solution more difficult.

Being anti-Israel is not the same as being antisemitic. Of course Foofie has the right to say whatever he pleases.




0 Replies
 
GorDie
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 08:32 pm
@Angelgz2,
free speech is not an illusion.

You just need to watch out for assholes who will subject you to abuse and harassment. As well as the fact hat you cannot be a **** disturber: If you are causing social Disorder over have surpassed your rights.

you do not have the right to cause a riot Or make personal attacks.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2015 04:04 pm
@Foofie,
I was specifically addressing Angelgz2's assertions concerning free speech about Israel/Palestine at UCLA.

Pointing out the Zionists' oppression of the Palestinian peoples and taking a stand against it is not anti-Semitic.
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2015 07:17 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

Pointing out the Zionists' oppression of the Palestinian peoples and taking a stand against it is not anti-Semitic.


Only if one ignores the four major wars to survive since 1948, and the obsessive requirement to have one's own state that never existed, on the land that was supposed to be a small token of compensation for European anti-Semitism in WWII. Otherwise, it is anti-Semitic in that the target has morphed to civilian Jews in Paris. Anti-Semitic in that taking a stand against Zionist dealings with Arabs emboldens Arabs that cannot accept a Jewish state existing on land that was once just for Moslems. It's just a turf war, and Europeans and Americans are taking sides. But, one side is not just anti-Israel today; it seems to include a bunch of concerned Gentiles that vent their anger at Jews everywhere. If you do not understand me, just ask any of your Jewish friends for an explanation.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2015 07:20 pm
@Foofie,
Bullshit. There are lots of Jewish people who are quite critical of Israel.

Foofie, maybe you should ask some of your Jewish friends to explain why you are full of crap.
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2015 07:27 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Bullshit. There are lots of Jewish people who are quite critical of Israel.

Foofie, maybe you should ask some of your Jewish friends to explain why you are full of crap.



Friends? What's a friend? I have acquaintences only. My Jewish acquaintences are pro-Israel. New York Jews might just be different than Boston Jews?

But, you at least used the phrase, "Jewish people," rather than just "Jews." You get "A" for effort. It also gave you away for being cosmopolitan. Have a great July 4th.
0 Replies
 
Angelgz2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 12:29 pm
@InfraBlue,
I concur with InfraBlue and Debra Law that consequences themselves are not necessarily a limitation to free speech. However, I must still point out that this freedom, although guaranteed by the constitution, can be influenced or limited by the society, or should I say more correctly, the media.

There's a sociology theory (I don't remember the formal name) that states if you see 2 restaurants, one with a huge line and the other with no one. Without knowing anything about these restaurants, studies have found that people tend to choose the more crowded one. People have this "pack mentality" that if everyone else believes something is good, it must be good. Even though it is possible for someone to believe otherwise initially, but it is much easier to convince someone to "join the pack" than to persuade someone to leave it. Even though the chooser may still believe otherwise, he has made his choice based on "the pack". It is much like a good attorney who is able to convince an unsuspecting jury to acquit a murderer.

I believe because of this "pack mentality", people are often reluctant to do their own research and come up with an objective view of the most critical issues. So really, the opinions many people give in public may not even be their own but rather the opinion of mass media that are probably ran by small interest groups.
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 02:22 pm
@Foofie,
Anti-catholics are not any better than anti-semites...
Debra Law
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 02:27 pm
@Angelgz2,
Angelgz2 wrote:

I concur with InfraBlue and Debra Law that consequences themselves are not necessarily a limitation to free speech. However, I must still point out that this freedom, although guaranteed by the constitution, can be influenced or limited by the society, or should I say more correctly, the media.

There's a sociology theory (I don't remember the formal name) that states if you see 2 restaurants, one with a huge line and the other with no one. Without knowing anything about these restaurants, studies have found that people tend to choose the more crowded one. People have this "pack mentality" that if everyone else believes something is good, it must be good. Even though it is possible for someone to believe otherwise initially, but it is much easier to convince someone to "join the pack" than to persuade someone to leave it. Even though the chooser may still believe otherwise, he has made his choice based on "the pack". It is much like a good attorney who is able to convince an unsuspecting jury to acquit a murderer.

I believe because of this "pack mentality", people are often reluctant to do their own research and come up with an objective view of the most critical issues. So really, the opinions many people give in public may not even be their own but rather the opinion of mass media that are probably ran by small interest groups.


I appreciate the thought you have given to this subject. It demonstrates that you are becoming an independent thinker and contemplating the ill effects of group think, peer pressure, media influence, and the like on members of our society. There are divide and conquer issues too, which may lead to the manufacturing and stoking of issues. There are very powerful people (who own or control media corporations) who benefit from getting the populace bickering among themselves about divisive social issues and blinding us from seeing the larger picture. Maybe the "ignorant media" that you deplore isn't so ignorant after all and rely upon the ignorance of people and their willingness to blindly follow where it leads, like lemmings over a cliff. This is something you are beginning to suspect when you surmise mass media is probably ran by special interest groups.

Feed and educate your own mind concerning the state of our country, and use your "freedom of speech" to speak and persuade others to work together for the common good. Don't be afraid of criticism; welcome it, study it, and learn how to rebut it in an effective manner. Smile
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2015 08:26 pm
@Debra Law,
Quote:
. Maybe the "ignorant media" that you deplore isn't so ignorant after all and rely upon the ignorance of people and their willingness to blindly follow where it leads, like lemmings over a cliff. This is something you are beginning to suspect when you surmise mass media is probably ran by special interest groups.


Ironically, the idea that lemmings run off cliffs is itself an example of people believing what mass media tells them.

Lemmings in nature don't run off of cliffs (which wouldn't make any evolutionary sense, would it?). The first famous video of lemmings running off of cliffs was faked as part of a Disney documentary-- the lemmings were actually forced off the cliff in the interest of better TV ratings.
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 04:41 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
. Maybe the "ignorant media" that you deplore isn't so ignorant after all and rely upon the ignorance of people and their willingness to blindly follow where it leads, like lemmings over a cliff. This is something you are beginning to suspect when you surmise mass media is probably ran by special interest groups.


Ironically, the idea that lemmings run off cliffs is itself an example of people believing what mass media tells them.

Lemmings in nature don't run off of cliffs (which wouldn't make any evolutionary sense, would it?). The first famous video of lemmings running off of cliffs was faked as part of a Disney documentary-- the lemmings were actually forced off the cliff in the interest of better TV ratings.


I didn't know that about lemmings, very interesting ... and very cruel.
0 Replies
 
 

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