Free Speech.

enlightenment

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But going back to free speech in general.

One of the many issues with curtailing it, is who decides, and why is their opinion the closer?

Rather than debate issues, however ludicrous they might be, what we do is martyr the person, and perhaps even their views. The young are more likely to go seek out the views of a political activist, if they were banned from national tv, for example - it is how people are.

You end up doing the opposite of what you set out to do, you draw more attention to them, and what they wrote, not less.

Suddenly, they go from being banned officially, to getting more hits on the net, and selling more books than they ever could have dreamed.

I think most of us would find it offensive and patently racist to call a black person a 'bloody n****r'.

But would you really go as far as to make it a crime to utter the words 'stupid Scotsman', 'Welsh fool', 'daft Jew' etc?

Even if their most offensive context they are hardly Earth stopping are they? If someone were to call me a 'stupid Scotsman' (even in England), I don't think I would be that bent out of shape as to think it a crime, even if I did think the person saying it was a dickhead.

Crimes that prohibit the distribution of 'hate material' may have been well intended, but let's not forget, for each of these laws passed, we actually potentially set ourselves up for that law to then be misused.

A group of students distributing material that listed the perceived failings of Cameron, and in a very forthright way, could be deemed, by the powers that be, to be 'distributing hate material' - at least potentially.

We only need look to how the Patriot Act was used as a back door way to negate the freedoms of many Americans. The state have more of an insight into the lives of Americans now than ever, and they get away with it under the Patriot Act, a much loathed piece of legislation, which it is said was hastily drawn up, and signed by lawmakers who were not even permitted to see it..

We should guard our free speech and that of others with jealousy.

Many nations in the world do not have it, why would we want to vote any of it away, even if it does mean it sometimes produces people that society regards as controversial? Isn't the area of controversy often one that can actually be productive, in that it not only stirs debate over an issue, but it means that some uncomfortable area is being looked at?

If he mute those we regard as controversial, then we damage our own position, imo.

As a society.
 

enlightenment

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Steve,
 
If a child is raped or murdered, it is NOT proof that the child was a rapist or murderer in a previous life. It was terrible of that lady to say that. I have told the story before of a man who had committed suicide and had been forced to reincarnate as a doctor in order to save suicide victims and thereby burn off the bad karma he had created. Perhaps the lady you talked to would say all doctors are reincarnated suicide victims?
 
I am sorry to hear that you met some obnoxious lady who started to preach to you and tried to force the idea of reincarnation on you. She had no right to do that to you. She was being very dogmatic as well as pompous. Also, her idea was an oversimplification of the idea of reincarnation and karma: The child was probably not a rapist and killer in a previous life. The lady was also acting like a hate-monger when she said that. Many people use religion as an excuse to be preachy and obnoxious.
 
It is clear that the ideas of reincarnation and karma do not fit into your own personal belief system. That works for me. I think we can both agree to disagree on this, and we should be able to carry on in a friendly matter while still disagreeing on these ideas.

Yeah Nick - obnoxious she was, both in this, and how she turned out to be.

She used to try to fill my ex's head full of stuff like this, and I would do this :rolleyes:, well, what else can you do when faced with such palpable nonsense?

Here's a true story.

I went to the cinema with my ex one night, and afterwards, she found her phone was not on her.

I reasoned that the most likely thing was it either slipped out of her bag (which was under her chair), or that maybe someone behind had lifted it.

Her suggestion (and yes, she was being serious)..

Her idea was that there are angels who sometimes act as guardian angels, and there are those that play tricks, like taking her phone.

For one hour I sat there, expecting the punchline.

Never came.

Deadly serious.

Rather than my suggestions...
 
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