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Forum Post: Censorship of ideas

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 9, 2012, 2:58 p.m. EST by FreeDiscussion4 (70)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

How much censorship against freedom of speech are you in favor of?

55 Comments

55 Comments


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[-] 4 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Speech should not be censored unless it causes real harm to someone. If in a crowd I start chanting "kill the person with blue hair" and that incites the crowd to start beating that person to death I should be held accountable.

Otherwise all speech should be protected. Controversial speech, speech that we do not agree with, is the only speech that rally needs protection. Other speech does not need protection because nobody is offended.

[-] 2 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Intentionally fundamentally false statements, false witness, or any other form of intentional incompetence or unfounded intolerance or verbal abuse by those intending to disadvantage others for questionable agendas, do not have any fundamental merit and should not be 'protected'...

[-] -1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago
  1. You cannot ban false statements. You would have no novels, short stories, science fiction...
  2. How do you define verbal abuse? If I say the president is a pampas ass do I go to jail?
  3. What the hell is intentional incompetence?
  4. To ban questionable agendas would be the biggest step back for freedom I can think of.
  5. Speech that does not have merit should definitely be protected or Listof40 would be in jail.
[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

That said, there needs to be a distinction between saying things and saying things from a position of authority. What you or I or anyone else chooses to say on the street is pretty much impossible to regulate (and so it should be). What the homeless dude with the New World Order sign or the self-appointed subway minister hollers at passersby is once again a subset of that speech and needs to be left alone (if you're stupid enough to listen to them then that's your problem).

That said, what people on TV do and don't say is a different story. The general assumption there is that if someone is spending the money for you to get up on TV that you can be trusted to know what you're talking about. Further, if you're going to be providing us news then the news you provide has to be as accurate and impartial as you can possibly make it. No spin, no slant, just as much information as you can pack into an hour of TV (with appropriate context, of course).

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

You can say whatever you want on TV or in a movie as long as you do not harm anyone. People do it all the time. It is very hard to measure something like this because you can mislead without lying. I would say misleading people is protected as long as you do not harm them.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

By TV I don't mean movies or fiction or anything of that sort. I'm talking about journalism in particular. I really don't care who yells what in whose general direction as long as there exists a reasonably accessible, universally trustworthy and unbiased source of news that everyone can refer to and a corresponding set of facts that everyone can agree on. I don't really want to suppress any sort of speech, but I want to elevate the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth above the rest of the clamor.

I would criminalize outright lying on the news (I encourage outside organizations to hunt down and call out people on either side of the aisle who play fast and loose with the truth, but since it can't be quantified it can't really be criminalized) in which proof of such an event would fall under the same standards and procedures as would be required to prosecute libel, and I would fight for the growth of independent (non-corporate) television and programs such as the News Hour.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Folks in the media mislead people all the time without lying. Probable the greatest examples in our time are Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore.

There is an essay on the 11 propaganda techniques used by Michael Moore in both Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Mr Moore even admitted that he used these techniques because his agenda that was more important than presenting a cohesive picture of reality. The techniques Moore used are:

  1. Omissions
  2. Contextualization
  3. Ingroup/Outgroup Manipulations
  4. Cynicism
  5. Traps
  6. Manipulating Cause & Effect
  7. Modeling the Convert Communicator
  8. Pacing and Distraction
  9. Associations
  10. Numeric Deceptions
  11. "Shutting Down the Opposition"

Here is a link to the analysis: http://tinyurl.com/3z95v

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

You make some good points here... What i am saying is not to create a police state, quite the opposite...

Teaching principles of fair speech and action is what I am saying, and to foster and assist with this with as much empathy and encouragement as possible...

There is a difference between someone making false statement in order to institute policies that are intended to be harmful to the public well-being, and general conversational styles of language...

It is important to draw the line against abuses of speech that are fundamentally abusive and harmful... This is more really about calling somebody on it, if they are doing it... rather than just saying it is 'ok' or somehow 'okie dokie'...

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

'Fundamentally false statements' are in regards to 'fundamental truth or concerns' like areas that directly affect the well-being of others, like false witness or lying about putting toxic chemicals in the ground water of others who use it... this would not include poetic license or literary speech forms, or comedic or 'conversational styles' of language, etc, which are of course perfectly ok...

'Verbal abuse by those those intending to disadvantage others for questionable agendas' would be like mental abuse by bullying or intimidation for pathological enjoyment or to attack people for trying to stand up and defend themselves against exploitation...

intentional incompetence would be like to make false statements in order to disadvantage others for improper reasons...

Fundamentally corrupt practices in order to harm or exploit the public well-being is an example of a 'questionable agenda'.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

Please re-read the first paragraph of my comment which you responded to.

You said "lying about putting toxic chemicals in the ground water of others " First of all that does harm to others and second, there is a difference between lying under oath in a criminal proceeding and the right to free speech.

Bullying is a grey area. If I cause incite physical harm sure. It is difficult to measure psychological harm. I do have a right to call someone a stupid ass even if it makes them feel bad or sad.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

I already responded, please re-read my reply.... 'Lying about putting toxic chemicals in the ground water' and 'false witness' are examples of 'fundamentally false statements' as mentioned...

Mental abuse or causing psychological trauma in order to disadvantage others for questionable agendas or pathological enjoyment, is not appropriate regardless if u can get legally away with it or not...

If you are not sure when you are verbal abusing someone for questionable reasons that is not causing psychological harm, you should probably avoid doing it...

[-] -1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

I said the first post that you responded to. The one where I said.

"Speech should not be censored unless it causes real harm to someone. If in a crowd I start chanting "kill the person with blue hair" and that incites the crowd to start beating that person to death I should be held accountable."

All of your examples do harm to someone so according to my first statement they would not be protected.

"you should probably avoid doing it" does not mean I do not have the right to.

You are a dumb ass ignorant dick head fuck face pussy ass bitch.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

There are a lot of ways to cause harm using false statements, including excessive verbal abuse...

It can also indirectly cause harm to people by advocating for bad policies or opposing progress that could help protect people from abuses...

We shouldn't just do things based on whether we can legally get away with it or not... the idea is not make laws about every tiny little thing because people can't regulate themselves, rather is better if people choose to be helpful and genuine instead of trying to exploit each other...

You do realize this can be a hostile environment in which to discuss things sometimes... if someone genuinely wants to discuss something that can be a complex subject, that is fine, but sometimes it is difficult depending on what the real intent is, whether to be helpful or disruptive to serve a questionable agenda... so sometimes that background concern, does not always tend to create open discussions, so that can be a consideration too...

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 2 years ago

The question in the post was NOT what should we say or not say. The question was about CENSORSHIP of speech. Just because people feel I should not say something does not mean I should be censored.

There is a reason freedom of speech is the FIRST amendment. Once you start chipping away at that freedom you cannot predict where it will go.

In some countries people are tortured for saying things that the Establishment feels are not appropriate. The military in Egypt this month is rounding up people that are speaking pro democracy because it is an "inappropriate form of government that leads to immorality".

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Not sure if you understand what I am saying.. I don't think free speech should be used as a tool to exploit the public, for questionable interests or agendas using fundamentally false statements, if u think this should be protected I have no idea...

But this can be a complex subject and not sure I want to debate this infinitely....

[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

This is not about "hurt feelings" or anything so trivial as that; if people want to run around spewing bile then that's what they're going to do and it's then the responsibility of the rest of us to either ignore them or shout them down. My problem is when people start trying to blur the lines between news, editorialization, and flat-out bile such that they can say what they please without fact-checking and still lend their words the weight of the serious objective journalist.

Aside from ridiculous stuff like SOPA and PIPA, the kind of censorship you're most likely to see now isn't the kind where important things get shut up or suppressed. Instead, things like that are now simply drowned out by a constant drumbeat of bile and misinformation. There needs to be some way of determining and making publicly available the journalistic quality of the work presented to the public, and then requiring that low-quality or editorial work label itself as such.

[+] -4 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Throught most of recorded history, homosexuality has not been allowed or tolerated. Today in most of the middle east you can be killed. I agree with recorded history and I am labeled with the term hate. Just because a minority of people believe in homosexuality does not give them the right to call the MAJORITY of the world, as haters. Censorship must allow the majority to talk

[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Throughout most of recorded history, slavery was considered quite acceptable and normal, and a majority of the world practiced it. Some places still do, and yet today if I were to keep a black man as property I would be labeled all sorts of lovely things. The belief of a small minority of people that nonwhites could actually be equal to whites didn't give them the right to accuse the rest of the world of bigotry and hatred, right? After all, such equality was considered quite unnatural, as much so as homosexuality was, and there were plenty of scientific theories that were quite commonly accepted at the time backing up that position.

Just to recap, bigotry is bigotry no matter who or what it's aimed at or how many people do or don't subscribe to it, and having the majority of the world subscribe to such bigotry does not lend it any moral weight. Society marches on, and call me optimistic but I hope that someday you will too.

[-] -3 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

I can SEE homosexuality, today. Taking a favorite lesson from liberals, there is no such thing or proof that Christ existed. Since I have no proof and can not see slavery, maybe that was a lie too. See how that works?

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

And I'm sure a whole lot of people SAW Benjamin Banneker and were deeply offended that he existed as well.

[-] -3 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Very interesting that you selected Banneker. Never heard of him. However, I did Wiki him and I copied and pasted the EXACT wording with NO corrections. Please note the word "FREE" in the Wiki, which you can wiki yourself to know I'm telling the truth. So basically, there was NO slavery. Thank you for bring this up to support my comments.

(Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 9, 1806) was a free African American astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, almanac author and farmer.)

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22091) 2 years ago

You see. You would make a very bad historian. Do you know what a primary source is? A secondary source? These are the things we use to decipher the past. Not wikipedia and not the life of one single person.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

I didnt select Banneker as the example, ARod did. If you are going to "toss" something as a fact then you should toss a good one.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22091) 2 years ago

I think what ARod tossed to you was lost on you.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

My point was the idea of a free black man being that close to the president was as much of an affront to most ordinary whites back then as homosexuality is to you now, and yet in the time since then, black people have taken on a degree of equality in our society that would have scared even Lincoln shitless (including a black president). If you want to talk to me about slavery, then all you have to do is look at the story of Harriet Tubman, the writings of Frederick Douglass, the Emancipation Proclamation (why issue it if there were no slaves?) and so on.

[-] -3 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

So you changed from one black that you thought would present a slavery issue and you were not successful so you divert to others. I have read the Bible and it has every fact that I need. Yes FACT. If you cant believe that fact then how can you believe in a slavery fact that you can not prove other than words on paper, just like the Bible. THere was no slavery.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

The Bible is a great piece of literature and is great for documenting large pieces of the history and culture of the pre-Roman diaspora Jewish people. However, by your estimation the sun goes around the earth (which is in fact a 10,000-year-old flat surface) and the years between the crucifixion and your birth never happened. Either that, or you're trolling. I'm assuming the latter is the case, and I find that laughable.

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Wow,, flat earth for 10,000 years? How did that come into the discussion? From the first history book you had in your hand during grade school and into college references BC and AD for historical events. I have no idea where flat earth came out of your mind.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

You said that the Bible has every fact that you need. That statement quite strongly implies that everything we know about the world can in fact be deduced from the Bible the same way all of mathematics can be deduced from Zermelo-Fraenkel with choice (ZFC). This sort of deduction is how Archbishop Ussher deduced that the world was created in 4004BC and how we wound up with the geocentric theory of planetary motion (which Galileo wound up in so much trouble for disproving). I will admit that the "flat earth" comment was a snark, but the rest of what I said stands.

[-] -3 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

God created the heavens, the earth and man, it states in the Bible. No where else is man or even a molecule of man or life. The Bible should have said there was life in other places, if there was. Today, after decades and decades of space crafts going to the moon, Mars and deep space,,,,,, ,guess what,,,,,, not one molecule of man or life has been found. The Bible has a better track record than BILLIONS of dollars spent trying to prove it wrong. You have not proved it wrong.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

And if the batteries of my clock died with the hands stuck pointing to the 4 and the 12, it would still be correct every day at 4AM and 4PM. Furthermore, the fact that we haven't disproved anything doesn't mean that the search stops. There is an old saying that I believe applies in this case: "Those who say something is impossible should stay out of the way of those currently doing it."

The laws of the universe are the laws of the universe, and naming an outside entity of some sort as an agent in situations where those laws break down is fine until we can develop a more universal set of laws that cover those situations. God created the universe by inducing the Big Bang? Fine, at least until we can figure out what actually did. That's still very different from "Fuck facts, I've got the Bible!" and the latter mentality is flat-out dangerous.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

What Big Bang? We are told eggs are bad for you by scientist, then they say they are good for you. This will cause cancer, so say researchers, then it does not. Big Bang today, no big bank later. God said life on earth and you cant find it anywhere else. The really amazing thing about that is, you would have assumed, just to cover your butt, someone in the Bibile would have said, "There COULD be life somewhere on one of the shiny lights up there." But they didnt because God didnt say there was,,,,, and you cant either. Amazing. Hands on a broken clock,,,,,, really,,,, that was a funny on your part,,, right?

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

"Big Bang today, no big bank[sic] later." That's the whole damn point; as we continue to learn our models of the world and the universe have to adapt to accommodate the new information learned. As we know more and more, the situations in which old theories no longer hold become more and more exotic, and simple everyday life may function just fine with something quite old (most colleges tend to cover relativity and quantum mechanics in classes for physics majors because people in most other lines of work can get away with using Newtonian mechanics), although this is less true now that we have things like GPS (which relies on general relativity to work), but that's no excuse for writing off the whole enterprise. Questioning and original ideas are fine (otherwise there would be no progress), but something as blatantly scientifically inaccurate as the Bible has no business dictating scientific knowledge.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

I certainly think that claiming that any deity is putting words into my mouth should be lambasted and ridiculed.

In a society where innocence is the default state, as opposed to guilt, how can anyone in a position of authority claim to be speaking on behalf of an unproven deity, from a book of prose dated centuries ago?

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Unproven? God is know around the world more than Lady Gaga. How would people from around the world for centuries follow something that is unknown? Yet people spend billions of dollars on law suites to fight something that they claim does not exist.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Judaism is one of many beliefs. No more or less recognised than Hinduism, Bhuddism, Islam, etc.

None are proven, and all are based on the words of men. Can you honestly say that the bible you read today is the same bible that was written? You do know that Jesus (Yahwey) was an Arab?

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

You say there is no Jesus and then you claim the person that you say does not exist is an Arab?????? Are you nuts or do you have two personalities? Make up your mind if you really want to win a fight.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

You're putting words in my mouth. Jesus is a historical figure in Roman literature.

Creating a myth about his status is from the old testament, which is so full of bullshit, it is being denied by current christians. Get with the program.

I'm not here to "win" anything. You want to rant about religion, remember that christianity is just one of the many.

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Was Jesus Arab as you stated or not? Yes or No?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Of course he was an Arab. You do know where Jerusalem is, don't you?

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

HE was an Arab,, you say. I thought you said "Jesus is a historical figure in Roman literature" which creates a "myth" about his status...... You have really lost me. He was an Arab but he was a myth.......???.......????? What are you drinking?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

I gotta laugh at you christians who are clueless about their own belief system. You do have a bible, right? Try reading it sometime.

[-] 0 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

I do regularly. Can you direct me to the part where Jesus was a myth since you claim you know so much about it. Where does it say that?

[-] 2 points by DonnaEvans (16) 2 years ago

Homophobes should be banned. Especially those who use evil Christian lies like saying that gay sex is like cow sex or pedophilia.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

It is amazing that YOU have the right to decide who and what can be said.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

The spirit of freedom of speech is not to create an orgy of incompetence, unfounded intolerance, non-objectivity or false statements...

Whining about not being able to practice any of the above is not appropriate...

The spirit of freedom of speech is to prevent ideas of merit from being obstructed by those with questionable interests or by who intend to disadvantage others thru improper means...

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 2 years ago

Hey! You can't say that!

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23968) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Funny

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Since this comes up so often, it begs an answer to what you consider censorship.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (3095) 2 years ago

what a couple of pukes - really this girls's had enough - there are those of us who intend to high-jack your movement little kids - u don't know what the hell you're doing - let's the big kids have a chance now ...fuck censorship yes I said fuck oh boy - cover your ears

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[-] 0 points by Mowat (164) 2 years ago

I like censorship only against profane posts.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Me too,,, I agree. Yesterday I was minding my own business and commented that I did not agree,,, AGREE,,,, with a gay marriage,,,, remember,,, did not AGREE,,,, and this guy blasts me and tells me i should be killed and tortured. Well that was not very nice. I should die and get tortured,,,,,. Anyway you just cant let someone get in your face and tell you he wanted to kill you. it pretty much upset me peaceful way of life and I defended myself. So yes I agree that profane posts should not be allowed unless you put your fist in someones face. Glad you agree.

[-] 0 points by Mowat (164) 2 years ago

Don't be intimidated.

I should add "threats" must not be allowed either.

[-] -2 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

if you censor speech than you have no freedom of speech as guranteed in the 1st amendment.

[-] -3 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 2 years ago

Thank you. I agree. I dont agree with gay marriage.