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Old 25.10.2015, 11:09
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Free Speech and Phobias

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34613855

Interesting article on how politicians/law are eroding the ability to question/argue/discuss various subjects.

Are we losing these rights under laws against inciting hatred? Should such laws be more clearly defined?
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Old 25.10.2015, 13:06
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

Politicians usually have to keep to the party's official stance, or leave and become independent, so we cannot do too much about improving "free speech" in Parliament.

I also abhor the modern trend to avoid serious discussion. A female student at Cardiff University tried to ban Germaine Greer from speaking there on "Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century" The reason was that she had previously spoken about transgenic people.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-sou...wales-34626450

Universities used to be centres of free speech and informed discussion, but today can we simply ban people because we don't like their opinions?
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Old 25.10.2015, 17:15
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

Exactly. When does an opinion become hatred?
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Old 25.10.2015, 17:31
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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Exactly. When does an opinion become hatred?
When it is deemed homophobic, misogynistic and/or racist.
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Old 25.10.2015, 17:39
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

depends too if the university or organisation is paying the 'speaker' a big fat fee - in which case they have the right to choose whomever they want to. Germaine Greer has the right to say she does not think transgender women are not ... women in her eyes- but she should not be surprised if some groups choose not to pay her that fat fee for airing her views at their venue, no?
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Old 25.10.2015, 20:29
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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When it is deemed homophobic, misogynistic and/or racist.
But if I say I think wearing the burka is demeaning to women and has nothing to do with religion and someone else screams Islamaphobic at me then theoretically I could be arrested and charged under UK law, even though I'm only expressing my opinion. Am I inciting hatred for simply offering a different viewpoint?
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Old 25.10.2015, 22:03
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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But if I say I think wearing the burka is demeaning to women and has nothing to do with religion and someone else screams Islamaphobic at me then theoretically I could be arrested and charged under UK law,?
Really? That's how it works? I'm going to scream "shoplifter!" at everyone in front of me in the supermarket queue so they're taken out of my way and locked up.
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Old 25.10.2015, 22:19
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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But if I say I think wearing the burka is demeaning to women and has nothing to do with religion and someone else screams Islamaphobic at me then theoretically I could be arrested and charged under UK law, even though I'm only expressing my opinion. Am I inciting hatred for simply offering a different viewpoint?
Yes. Well, legally you'll be at risk from it. Personally, however, I think no.

I think the laws desperately need redefining.
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Old 25.10.2015, 22:33
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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Really? That's how it works? I'm going to scream "shoplifter!" at everyone in front of me in the supermarket queue so they're taken out of my way and locked up.
No, because the law on theft is quite precise. But the law on "inciting hatred" isn't. There's no definition as such laid down in law as to what constitutes "inciting hatred" and what doesn't. It's just a vague term that could mean anything.
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Old 26.10.2015, 12:07
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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Really? That's how it works? I'm going to scream "shoplifter!" at everyone in front of me in the supermarket queue so they're taken out of my way and locked up.
That's a very pejorati... Oh... Shop.. Nover mind. Carry on.
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Old 26.10.2015, 14:55
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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When it is deemed homophobic, misogynistic and/or racist.
Let's pretend somebody honestly said "I hate niggers". That sounds like a racist, but it's just an opinion, not what I'd call hate speech.
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Old 26.10.2015, 14:59
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

The probably with "Free Speech" is that it allows people a platform to say things I disagree with.

That's not how it should work. "Free Speech" should only be for those who I agree with.
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Old 26.10.2015, 15:05
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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No, because the law on theft is quite precise. But the law on "inciting hatred" isn't. There's no definition as such laid down in law as to what constitutes "inciting hatred" and what doesn't. It's just a vague term that could mean anything.
The law on theft bases on the definition of property which is far from being free of loopholes. For example if you buy software the T&Cs may be inside the package or maybe even only be displayed electronically when you start the installation. Thus when buying you are on good faith agreeing to something you have not read. I may thus not find out whether or not I have stolen anything until I get home.
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Old 26.10.2015, 15:05
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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Let's pretend somebody honestly said "I hate niggers". That sounds like a racist, but it's just an opinion, not what I'd call hate speech.
So what would a racist say instead to convey the same meaning?
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Old 26.10.2015, 15:09
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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Let's pretend somebody honestly said "I hate niggers". That sounds like a racist, but it's just an opinion, not what I'd call hate speech.
The laws of hate speech just tell that person he's not allowed to be honest about his thoughts or motives.

So recently there was a case in the USA I think about a baker refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding. Basically the court said that he had to make the cake nevertheless. Now if that was my wedding i wouldn't want to eat that cake as i wouldn't know if he'd spat in it or worse, so I'd prefer him to be honest about his thoughts beforehand and i'd find a different supplier. But hate speech says dishonesty is better.
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Old 26.10.2015, 16:25
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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The laws of hate speech just tell that person he's not allowed to be honest about his thoughts or motives. ...
No. You can be honest, you simply may not express those opinions in public. The baker was rightly prosecuted - and must face the consequences of his act. Said consequences should not, however, consist of making a cake!

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Let's pretend somebody honestly said "I hate niggers". That sounds like a racist, but it's just an opinion, not what I'd call hate speech.
Saying it is not just an opinion. It is expressing an opinion. As a matter of fact, you are not, under law, permitted to express all opinions you might hold. That's why there are laws against defamation.

Obviously the example opinion doesn't fall foul of defamation, however it should, I think, be considered hate speech. First of all, there is the use of pejorative word. Secondly, the expression"I hate non-paled-skinned people" is self-evidently hate speech. You can tell by the positive use of the word "hate".

I think the suppression of certain opinions is a good thing. It hinders the ability of hate filled and hate fuelled people from finding a peer group from which to propagate their opinions. It also reduces the chances of people on the fringes moving to the core.
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Old 26.10.2015, 16:34
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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No. You can be honest, you simply may not express those opinions in public. The baker was rightly prosecuted - and must face the consequences of his act. Said consequences should not, however, consist of making a cake!
If a man walks into your shop or phones you or sends you an email. Is what you or he says then "in public"?

If somebody walks into a tailor's shop and orders a KKK outfit, would you feel in the same way about it? Or would the tailor be in his rights to tell him to f@@k @ff and never come back?

I would consider that a private business has (maybe within certain limitations) the right to refuse any work for whatever reason and shouldn't be forced to invent fake reasons in order not to have to mention the real one.
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Old 26.10.2015, 16:36
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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If somebody walks into a tailor's shop and orders a KKK outfit, would you feel in the same way about it? Or would the tailor be in his rights to tell him to f@@k @ff and never come back?
How much tailoring does a "putting a white sheet over your head and cutting a couple of eye holes" take?

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Old 26.10.2015, 16:37
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

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If somebody walks into a tailor's shop and orders a KKK outfit, would you feel in the same way about it? Or would the tailor be in his rights to tell him to f@@k @ff and never come back?
Hmm. This isn't the same as the baker story, is it? My understanding (based on guessing, I've not actually cared enough to read the story) is that the baker refused to make a standard cake for a gay couple, not that the baker was asked to make a wedding cake representing two guys shagging or something.

So your analogy should be "could the tailor refuse to make a standard suit for someone who proclaimed to belong to the KKK".
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Old 26.10.2015, 16:45
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Re: Free Speech and Phobias

In practice, whoever cries, screams, whines and threatens the loudest can use it to shut off dissenting views. So police, universities and organisation can react according to complaints, even though whether or not an offence has taken place has not been judged in a court of law.

Its basically mind control for the masses. The authorities are not interested in philosophical dramas and discussions, they just would rather you move along without causing any trouble, thank you.
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