Free Speech

The Union vs. Soviet Union

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#1 Hyper  Icon User is offline

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Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:39 AM

Does "free speech" really exist in either country, land?
Does "free speech" really exist in either Government type (Republic vs. Communist)?

I'm censored by both countries, one's just "more extreme" than the other.
The same goes with Religion; Communism censors religion to an almost absolute! Republic just censors it (as much as it can) from Government ran places.
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#2 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:47 AM

Free speech in public places (i.e. not private businesses, private web sites, moderated forums, or other non-government funded/protected location) I think is pretty protected. The KKK gets a police escort if they have a rally to protect their freedom of speech. However, if the KKK goes in to a Denny's restaurant, the owner does have the right to refuse service and ask them to leave. They can stand out front on the publicly owned street, but nobody has to let them inside or on the property.

I think there is more of a threat from the "politically correct" crowd, than the government when it comes to free speech, especially in the US right now. But there is certainly restrictions in other countries that most of us have never had to experience.

Would a "fairness doctrine" encroach on free speech. Publicly controlled airwaves. The opposite of freedom of speech. It would be more like forced speech. You MUST talk about this for this amount of time.

Interesting.
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#3 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:57 AM

Interesting topic, I think before it get's out of hand (and most threads like this do) I'm moving this to the Heated TOpics forum
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#4 Hyper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:09 AM

skyhawk, I made this thread just out of curiosity of what people would say.
My father says, "Freedom is not absolute."

This post has been edited by Hyper: 27 February 2009 - 11:10 AM

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#5 richiebee  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:15 AM

The chinese believed they were "freeing" the people of Tibet from a fuedal monarcy (just like America was about 200 years ago) so i would say it's a matter of opinion...
Just glad the internet is the new forum for free speech!

This post has been edited by richiebee: 27 February 2009 - 11:15 AM

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#6 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:29 AM

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Just glad the internet is the new forum for free speech!


I think there is a pretty common misconception about this. Free speech is granted to you by the government. If you are referring to your ability to create your own blog, web site, etc. and say what you want, then you would be partially correct. The government can not step in and say "no, you can't have that web site bashing the president" or "no, you can't have that web site preaching your religion". But if you signup for Blogspot through Google, Google has every right to refuse you service and ask you to move your blog elsewhere. Most companies require users agree to a terms of service in which they reserve the right to terminate that agreement at any time for any reason.

Hate Speech, Libel/Slander, and other extreme forms of speech are also not protected under "Free Speech". So I think Hyper's father would be right in that there is no absolute freedom.
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#7 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:03 PM

I think absolute freedom would be a stupid thing to ask for anyway. I think to really have true "freedom" one would have to live off the grid and as far away from others as possible -- to form a society we must forsake some of our freedoms for the "greater good".

I think youtube comments are a good example of what happens when you open up the door on free speech -- if people spoke that way in civil society we would no long have a civil society. Plenty of wars have started over less. (Can you imagine Ghengis Kahn's reaction if when telling of his latest conquests some smart ass gave a typical youtube-comment? "Thats not how you slaughter people you f*ing n00b! Your such a poser!"

So just living among others limits what you can say.

The little boy who cried wolf was probably crying about "freedom of speech" while his dad was whooping his ass for lying.

Freedom is not absolute, nor should it be, nor can it be in any society.
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#8 computerfox  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:39 PM

i agree with nick to some extent. there should be a limit of what you say, but at the same time you shouldn't sugar coat anything or lie. i believe that if you sugar coat something, it's almost telling a lie, but if you tell the truth as civil as possible then i think you did the right thing. freedom of speech-yes, but it also includes being civil regardless who you're talking to.
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#9 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:24 PM

Lies are often necessary. I am not saying that there are laws that say that you HAVE to lie, but often there are laws that say you can't tell the truth.

For example, last December at a big conference our CEO stood in front of us and told us how important our organization was and how bright our future was. A week later 1/3 of those people were laid off. The CEO was caught between a rock and a hard place -- there are laws that prevent him from saying, "we are about to lay a bunch of people off mid-holiday season", as well as his duties that require him to always inspire confidence in the company. To tell the truth he winds up in jail (well...) to just avoid the question lands him in hot water with the board of directors.

There are a number of situations in American life where the law says that you can't answer a question honestly.

Take for example veggie-libel laws -- Poor Oprah Winfrey may hate Texas Beef, she just can't SAY that. (note that veggie libel laws do NOT sit well with me since they prevent valuable consumer information from being given to consumers -- at the same time, I understand WHY they exist).

Now it is probably possible to live you life and never tell a lie, like I said, I don't think there are any laws that really say you HAVE to lie, just ones that say you can't tell the truth because the truth would harm others.
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#10 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:23 PM

In a national sense, free speech is to be ability to criticize the government without reprisal.

You can still say what you like in the US. Not only can you disagree loudly with any given policy, you can also insult public figures without fear. You don't get away with that in Thailand.

Sure, you can't say something stupid like "I want to kill X." Because that's a threat and the authorities will react accordingly. However, you can say "I think X is a poster child for birth control" without worrying too much about it.

Free speech means you can express your opinions unfettered. That doesn't mean others can't disagree with those opinions. If your vocal opinion is that Microsoft sucks, that's fine, but chances are you're not getting a job there.
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#11 computerfox  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:06 PM

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Lies are often necessary. I am not saying that there are laws that say that you HAVE to lie, but often there are laws that say you can't tell the truth.



does that still mean that you trust the law and government?
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#12 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:37 PM

View PostNickDMax, on 28 Feb, 2009 - 12:24 PM, said:

Lies are often necessary...


Lies, to me, are something that happens when your spirit falters and you allow yourself to rationalize such an act somehow. Everyone has their one thing that can truly get to them, and deception is the one worst thing I can think of. Whenever I have done it, I can feel the punishment from my own self quite greatly.

What you do instead, is to choose your words carefully so that you are able to say and convey what you originally intended without compromising the honesty of yourself. This is why, when someone demands a straight yes or no answer from me, I refuse to give them one as either one would be false. There's only one person who has done that to me, and he has said everything from 'you're a quibbler!' to 'you're not being honest!' to try and break me. Needless to say, eventually, I just gave up trying to say anything at all as I am wasting my time, willpower, and thought.
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#13 computerfox  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:22 AM

i don't know, but i can't stand when people aren't just straight forward with me. if someone tries to hide the truth aka lie, that to me tells me that they are not serious with the conversation, but aren't trying to tell me a joke so i just take that as not being sincere, so just wasting my time in a way. whatever you think or believe about a certain topic just be completely honest with me (be rational don't just tell me about your emotions) and i'll have a higher respect for you. anytime i use "you" in a conversation like this, i mean it in a general form.
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#14 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:45 PM

I think sometimes, one's emotions are very important. Hard logic hardly gets what is really important done (strange, coming from a programmer here).
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#15 computerfox  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Speech

Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:53 PM

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Hard logic hardly gets what is really important done (strange, coming from a programmer here).


haha yeah i try to be unique, but my opinion about emotions is that many times they take us away from reality because emotions are about what's going on in those few seconds or something that is just temporary and we tend to forget about the facts.
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