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Freedom of Speech is an Oxymoron. [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-2-19 22:49:22 |Display all floors
People often talk of freedom of speech in this forum and do so in an absolute manner.

In reality very few things in life are absolutes.

The sun rising in the east every day at a known time, is an absolute.

But freedom of speech is a concept and a belief, and it is not an absolute.

Freedom of speech depends on many variables, such as country, religion, politics, and socio-variables. Pragmatics affects the way people use speech to suit the grade, level, situation or even society.

In many countries, if you verbally threaten to kill someone then you might go to jail, or you might go to jail for racist comments.

There are certain countries where inappropriate utterances are culturally offensive. Everyday language is not necessarily used in front of children and it is taboo to do so, anyone who breaks this code might find themselves being ostracized.

Those who do fall foul of the laws of freedom of speech, the fact it has laws is a hint, often know they are committing a crime.

People have the ability to change their pragmatics to suit the situation and even though they are not free to use certain aspects of communication they somehow manage not to fall foul of the law.

Nevertheless, freedom of speech as a concept is not an absolute and therefore does not exist as one.

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Post time 2010-2-19 23:14:24 |Display all floors
Not totally agree with you

Because we are human and beyond our cultural difference we share same mental structures:

Some peoples will justificate the most terrible things with this so called "difference", but this is a big lie because human are always share more common points than differences!

And that's why UNO exist. And that's why Hitler, the red Khmers, Saddam or Milosevic lost.

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Post time 2010-2-19 23:35:19 |Display all floors
And Stalin won.

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Post time 2010-2-20 00:57:38 |Display all floors
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"My way or Guantanamo Bay"

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Post time 2010-2-20 06:15:17 |Display all floors
Absolutely agree with you expatter. This idea that in the west especially you're free to say whatever you want is nonsense. That's not to say that the west isn't more open than many other nations, but the governments fool their people into thinking that they have "free speech".

Free speech is almost always limited. There are almost always political constraints, one cannot just shout what they want.

What is deemed "hate" speech in one country is not in another. There are cultural, national, historical forces which bind "free speech" within nations. Germany for example has stricter speech when it comes to the holocaust than many other nations, because of the history of the nation.

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Post time 2010-2-20 06:19:44 |Display all floors
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Post time 2010-2-20 11:14:16 |Display all floors

wanderer

A good example.

I know a German, and he told me that the holocaust is a taboo subject.

Denying it can land you in jail.

So not only is freedom of speech denied.

But also the right to express any certain opinion banned by the government.

Sound familiar?

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