Someone said that they believed in freedom of speech but believed that there must be a limit on what you can say. I said that what he just asked for is not freedom of speech, its controlling speech. No one should have the right to say what speech is right and wrong to say, that’s called censorship and again, goes against the entire idea of freedom of speech, also who has the right to do that? Who would you put in charge of my speech?
Anyone who wants to say anything abusive about or to me is quite free to do so and welcome in fact. I don’t need protection from hurtful words because I believe everyone has a right to say their opinion on me, no matter what it is. Now, I know people disagree with me on that because, daily, I see people protest certain people from public talks and seen people try and get anyone who disagrees with them suspended from the internet. That deeply offends me and shame on you if you ever want that because if they have a right to express their hate for certain views, someone should have a right to have them. I, personally, have a hatred of religion, I believe it rewards faith and devotion over reason and intelligence and I believe Islam is the most dangerous right now, but would I punish and silence people from believing in that? Never.
Past supporters of freedom of speech like Thomas Paine and John Stuart Mill have said that it’s not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone in the audience to listen and to hear. And every time you silence somebody, you make yourself a prisoner of your own action, because you deny yourself the right to hear something.
In other words, your own right to hear and be exposed is as much involved in all these cases as is the right of the other to voice his or her view. Indeed as John Stuart Mill said, if all in society were agreed on the truth and beauty and value of one proposition, all except one person, it would be most important — in fact, it would become even more important — that that one heretic be heard, because we would still benefit from his perhaps outrageous or appalling view. Rosa Luxemburg said that the freedom of speech is meaningless unless it means the freedom of the person who thinks differently. These are words that I think most of the people my age have ignored as they try and have only their view be the one that is heard.
For example, if you are in a History class and learning about the Holocaust and someone said “You know what, this Holocaust, I’m not sure it even happened. In fact, I’m pretty certain it didn’t. Indeed, I begin to wonder if the only thing is that the Jews brought a little bit of violence on themselves.” Not only would that person have a right to speak but I would listen to every word they would say, regardless of my view on it and how much I disagree with it because what they say must have taken them some effort to come up with, might contain a grain of historical truth, might in any case make people think about why do they know what they already think they know. How do I know that I know this, except that I’ve always been taught this and never heard anything else? It’s always worth saying things like, how can I prove the earth is round? Am I sure about the theory of evolution? I know it’s supposed to be true but here’s someone who says there’s no such thing, it’s all intelligent design. How sure am I of my own views? Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think you’re bound to be okay because you’re in the safely moral majority. Some people will always disagree with your stance on anything and everything.
When I see people demonize certain speech, saying that if they allow that kinda talk, they may as well live under fascist tyranny, I laugh because banning certain words is like living under fascist tyranny. You are the ones who wanna silence people from saying words that offend you but somehow, you have the nerve to say that you support freedom of speech and freedom of expression when in reality, you only support it if it complies with your views and opinions. It’s scandalous that you wanna ban certain words, I have opinions that many don’t agree with but I don’t care, they are mine to have as are yours and if you don’t like that, you can fuck off.