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What is freedom of speech or expression?


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There are countries that outlaw any public criticism of someone else's religion.  I don't think that is the case in America or Canada.  There are some authoritarian countries that forbid public speaking about many subjects, places such as China, Russia, Iran, and N. Korea.  Some countries you could end up in prison or even sentenced to death for saying the wrong thing.

I was wondering how far freedom of speech should be permitted to go.  Should there be limits and what should those limits be?  Who determines what the limits should be?

 

Edited by blackbird
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6 hours ago, blackbird said:

 

There are countries that outlaw any public criticism of someone else's religion.  I don't think that is the case in America or Canada.  There are some authoritarian countries that forbid public speaking about many subjects, places such as China, Russia, Iran, and N. Korea.  Some countries you could end up in prison or even sentenced to death for saying the wrong thing.

I was wondering how far freedom of speech should be permitted to go.  Should there be limits and what should those limits be?  Who determines what the limits should be?

 

I would tend to argue that it should go to the point where you're either putting someone's life at risk, infringing on a right of theirs, or advocating for harm or illegal activty

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19 minutes ago, CdnFox said:

I would tend to argue that it should go to the point where you're either putting someone's life at risk, infringing on a right of theirs, or advocating for harm or illegal activty

That may be the criteria in Canada.  I am not sure about the part about infringing on the right of others because many people interpret anything contrary to their own view as infringing on their rights.  Where it gets very controversial is on LGBTQ issues.  Governments, school boards have been infringing on people's rights to free speech in those areas in Canada as you know.  The end result it has a chilling effect on reasonable discussion in a supposedly free and democratic society.

Human rights tribunals are another thing that should be examined closely.  They should never have the power to go after or punish people for expressing opinions unless there is real proof that the opinion has caused harm and is false.  I thought we already had courts and laws that govern libel or slander anyway.

Edited by blackbird
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27 minutes ago, blackbird said:

That may be the criteria in Canada. 

Not currently. They throw in 'hate speech' which is basically just saying you don't like something.

27 minutes ago, blackbird said:

I am not sure about the part about infringing on the right of others because many people interpret anything contrary to their own view as infringing on their rights. 

Well  that is always the risk.  Having said that we do have our rights relatively well defined by the courts and such a law would require that someone else demonstrate how your speech hurts their rights to a judge, and that's a little less frivolous. But sure - it has the potential to be a problem.

 

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11 hours ago, blackbird said:

I was wondering how far freedom of speech should be permitted to go.  Should there be limits and what should those limits be?  Who determines what the limits should be?

I agree with America's laws on speech. Generally speaking, everything is legal as long as there's no direct threats of violence, defamation of character, lies that could cause immediate danger, or verbal encouraging of someone else to commit a crime.

So while it's legal to criticize any religion, it's illegal to call for violence against people who believe in a religion.

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