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Wise words on free speech …

A correct understanding of which is becoming critical. Here:

What’s free speech? It’s freedom to speak my mind on any topic about which I have an opinion. It means I can say what I like regardless of how demonstrably false it may be; how much it may grate on the sense or sensitivity of others; how profoundly it may irk or offend the powerful and the fashionable, or how painfully it may hurt the feelings or self-esteem of the impoverished.

Freedom of speech protects both speech and speaker from being silenced or censored because of what others may regard as requirements of social harmony, good taste, decorum, history, science, political correctness, or the truth itself — but can’t protect anyone from being regarded by contemporaries as unpleasant, indecorous, shrill, uncouth, hysterical, tasteless, false, ignorant or stupid.

Freedom of speech isn’t my guarantee of being heard. I can’t make my freedom your obligation. Freedom of speech entitles me to the first available spot in Hyde Park. It doesn’t entitle me to halt traffic in Piccadilly Circus.

Those who want to limit free speech claim that it’s not absolute but this is false. Free speech is absolute; it’s just that using words doesn’t amount to a pass to break the law. It’s no licence to defraud, defame, incite a riot, enter a criminal conspiracy, betray an official secret, impersonate an officer, misrepresent a qualification, breach a fiduciary obligation, etc., nor should it be. Free speech should eliminate the censor and the “human rights” commissioner, but it’s not doing it yet. A pity. – George Jonas, National Post

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4 Responses to Wise words on free speech …

  1. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law … abridging the freedom of speech …

    Except when it doesn’t.

    Welcome to the USA

  2. We don’t have freedom of speech in our father’s home.
    We don’t have this freedom but rather governments can’t deny us freedom of speech. (well Canada aside).
    What america has is a deeper belief that to discover and have the truth on important things means freedom of speech should be a way of life.
    In reality few like freedom of speech because of its offensiveness and danger.

    It works out the establishment or aggressive groups actually control speech, and bosses, and the people can’t control it as they only work through the government.
    so today we have left wing control.

    We must come back to the simple idea that truth in important matters is the purpose for freedom of speech.
    Thats all.
    No freedom of pornography.

    the gov’t can’t impose and so neither should anyone else on important matters.
    Today truth is censored while bad stuff is free.
    Yet people allow censorship because they like it.
    My dad censored me.

  3. Do you understand the difference between censorship by ‘dad’ and censorship by LAW?

    “The amendment prohibits the making of any law … abridging the freedom of speech …”

  4. Mung
    Yes and my point was that freedom of speech doesn’t exist or ever will.
    All that exists is a spirit and moral right to have freedom of speech where important matters are involved.
    Therefore the gov’t can’t decide this.
    Yet neither can anyone else. like the left wing media and so on.
    The law takes away only the gov’t stopping the people but it doesn’t give the people freedom of speech.
    the purpose was to stop power from having control over speech.
    They never anticapated the modern world of where we are so connected.
    Thats why there is a problem with freedom today and a problem stopping pornography by law.

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