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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Two arguments for free speech

A few notes concerning the recent pair of Darkstreams on free speech:
A man can never be hindered from thinking whatever he chooses so long as he conceals what he thinks. The working of his mind is limited only by the bounds of his experience and the power of his imagination. But this natural liberty of private thinking is of little value. It is unsatisfactory and even painful to the thinker himself, if he is not permitted to communicate his thoughts to others, and it is obviously of no value to his neighbours. Moreover it is extremely difficult to hide thoughts that have any power over the mind. If a man’s thinking leads him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behaviour of those about him, to reject beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some have preferred, like Socrates, some would prefer to-day, to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus freedom of thought, in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech.
- JB Bury, A History of the Freedom of Thought

In the case of Bury, his core argument in defense of freedom of speech is constructed as follows:
  1. Man's thoughts are free because they cannot be known or hindered by other parties.
  2. Man cannot refrain from speaking his thoughts.
  3. Therefore, freedom of speech is an intrinsic right of Man.
I trust the two major flaws in this syllogism are obvious to the reader. First, if Man's thoughts are free because they cannot be known or hindered, then Man's speech cannot be for that same reason. Second, we have evidence every single day that Man is capable of concealing his thoughts, or at the very least, not converting them to speech. The conclusion simply does not follow logically from the premises.

The ineptitude of the Erasmusian case for the freedom of speech is even worse. His 1516 The Education of a Christian Prince is often cited by free speech advocates because it contains the phrase, "In a free state, tongues too should be free."

But what did Erasmus actually write?

Even the emperor Hadrian, a pagan and not to be classed among the good princes, would never listen to a charge of lese-majeste; and not even that cruel monster Nero gave much heed to secret accusation on that charge. There was another one who paid no attention at all to charges of this sort and said, "In a free country, tongues likewise should be free." Therefore, there are no crimes which a good prince will pardon more readily or more gladly than those which affect him alone.
- Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince

Now the punchline. Erasmus not defending free speech, he is encouraging the prince, like King Lune of Archenland, to be the most magnanimous man in the kingdom. And the phrase in question is not his own, as he is quoting "another one". Who is this "another one" of whom Erasmus writes?

Why, it is none other than the Emperor Tiberius, as quoted by Suetonius, the Roman Emperor infamous for the Senatorial purges and treason trials conducted in his name by his chosen right-hand man, Sejanus. A less-convincing historical champion of free speech would be difficult to conjure!

Freedom of speech is manifestly not a right, and the observably inept attempts of its advocates to establish it as one should be more than sufficient to convince every rational observer of the inherently nonsensical nature of the claim.

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250 Comments:

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Blogger Mr.MantraMan February 28, 2019 11:06 AM  

There is a certain author going on and on about free speech and rights over on twitter, that bastion of good think.

Blogger Don't Call Me Len February 28, 2019 11:24 AM  

"If a man’s thinking leads him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behaviour of those about him, to reject beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions."

Pork sandwiches! He's basing the 'right' of free speech on the behavior of vegans!

Blogger JGP February 28, 2019 11:32 AM  

My argument for free speech is utilitarian. Whether we call it a "Right" or not (and that is a loaded term with a lot of historical baggage) it is my observation that a society which tolerates some measure of dissenting speech will more beneficial to the body politic than one that does not. Opposition to abortion, is, as it stands today, dissenting speech. So is opposition to the warmist hoax. The warmists have made attempts to suppress speech.
I would like to understand how Vox's critique of Free Speech deals with social controversies of that kind.

Blogger Moritz Krämer February 28, 2019 11:35 AM  

This is probably the best defense I know of. Milo Yiannopolous said something similar, that societies which allow debate tend not to resolve their political differences in war

Blogger Silent Draco February 28, 2019 11:44 AM  

Tiberius was engaging in some terse, brutal Roman humor. The Emperor can have his little joke, making the offender sweat bullets before Caesar pardons him, perhaps sending the hapless wight off with a few sesterces. If it was treason, then he gave the accused something to think about during crucifixion. The prince must know when to be stern, and when to be magnanimous.

I can understand and support a description of Man's thoughts being free. Man's speech can be seen as a liberty, where ability to speak and its goal must be balanced against costs and consequences beforehand. Be ready to accept and pay the cost of speaking.

Blogger tz February 28, 2019 11:45 AM  

I do have one problem with the discussion. The definition of "free speech" is never given, and the First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech".

The founding fathers meant something quite different from the nine nazgul with secret decoder rings that allow them to see emanations and penumbras and rainbows we cannot.

It did NOT include incitement, defamation, slander, blasphemy, obscenity or pornography (which was included in the then uncontroversial Comstock laws around 1875 along with Abortion or Contraceptives).

The first test was the Alien and Sedition Acts which was used as a club to stifle Republican dissent.

While I can attempt to quantify what I think the First Amendment is protecting by its wording, I don't know if it would be accepted by any side.

There's also the Criminal v.s. Civil aspects, and even Copyrights get caught up in the issue. (And remembering the problem over the bad DVD crypto CSS when one key was leaked everywhere over the internet in various forms including music and poetry).

Some of the issues are prudential - would you be willing to have a SWAT team with a no-knock raid at your house if someone posted the wrong meme from what appeared to be your account?

I bring this up because it seems everyone is talking past each other, not merely two, but maybe dozens of different points or ideas. Everyone has a clear idea of what they personally mean by "free speech" in their mind, but in all the words pro or con, I can't even tell what is being defended or attacked, and enforcement is a critical component as well.

I think I could argue for or against it, depending on what it actually is I'm arguing about.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 11:52 AM  

Specifically and singly, on number two, “unsatisfactory,” “painful,” and “almost impossible,” “some have preferred” is not the argument that man can not refrain. I agree to the extent that it is probably what he wanted to say, that man can not refrain, but it looks as though he took care not to speak in such an absolute. It looks like he appealed rhetorically, not dialectically at number two, “it just hurts so darn much.” This is not an addressing of one, three, or any of the other, I would have to re-watch to recall.

Blogger Cloom February 28, 2019 11:54 AM  

I wondered what Martin Luther used as a defence for his free speech, at 1521. Here it is:

http://www.sjsu.edu/people/james.lindahl/courses/Hum1B/s3/Luther-Speech-Worms-1521.pdf

[... He was then reminded that he should answer a simple question: whether he would retract or not. Thus he continued:]

Since your most serene majesty and your high mightinesses require of me a simple, clear and direct answer, I will give one, and it is this: I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the council, because it is as clear as noonday that they have fallen into error and even into glaring inconsistency with themselves. If, then, I am not convinced by proof from Holy Scripture, or by cogent reasons, if I am not satisfied by the very text I have cited, and if my judgment is not in this way brought into subjection to God’s word, I neither can nor will retract anything; for it cannot be either safe or honest for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise; God help me! Amen.

His defence higher up in the text is from John 18:23: Yet, as I am a mere man, and not God, I will defend myself after the example of Jesus Christ, who said: , “If I have spoken evil, bear witness against me; but if well, why doest thou strike me?”

The full context is: "The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 11:54 AM  

My argument for free speech is utilitarian.

Then it is wrong, like all utilitarianism.

it is my observation that a society which tolerates some measure of dissenting speech will more beneficial to the body politic than one that does not.

Your observation is totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. One doesn't argue about the optimal tariff rate when the topic is whether tariffs are just or unjust. Why would you think anyone cares about your observation or opinion in a philosophical discussion?

Blogger Stilicho February 28, 2019 11:55 AM  

It is not an inherent right such as freedom of thought or the right of self defense. It exists in our Constitution (reflective of common law recognition of Anglo Saxon custom and usage) as a proscription against govt action. The treatment of it as an absolute by later courts was just juridical posturing to justify the intended result (much like the converse situation with respect to self defense/second amendment case law creating juridical limitations to achieve a political purpose). Both are logically flawed, but do create the practical/political result they were intended to create by courts/govts without the authority to do so. Unfortunately, these jokers have sufficient power to get their way when resistance is limited.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 11:57 AM  

I agree to the extent that it is probably what he wanted to say, that man can not refrain, but it looks as though he took care not to speak in such an absolute.

Exactly, because he was utilizing pseudo-dialectical rhetoric. I converted it into actual dialectic in order to respond in dialectic.

Otherwise, I might as well have called Bury a dead nincompoop and ignored his argument altogether. The point, as I anticipate you will gradually come to see, is that there is no actual Enlightenment case for free speech. It's rhetoric all the way down.

Blogger Jack Amok February 28, 2019 11:59 AM  

When it comes to mortal man ordering his affairs in this realm, the most fundamental fact is that being accepted into someone's society must be accepted as a privilege, not a right. All the wreckage progs, SJWs, (((tribalists))) and every other immavasioner have created is a result of us getting this wrong.

Once you accept membership in society is a privilege, then it's obvious Freedom of Speech - and every other "freedom" - isn't really a freedom but also a privilege, and is contingent upon respecting the mos maiorum of society.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 February 28, 2019 12:01 PM  

In a truly free society, if such a thing is possible, you are held accountable for everything you say freely. That is very different from modern concepts of free speech.

Even this ideal, however, is a practical impossibility. Not even the social media giants, with their advanced algorithms and scores of employees who monitor the medium, are able to hold everyone accountable for what they write each and every day.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 12:02 PM  

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Blogger Steampunk Koala February 28, 2019 12:02 PM  

JGP wrote:My argument for free speech is utilitarian. Whether we call it a "Right" or not (and that is a loaded term with a lot of historical baggage) it is my observation that a society which tolerates some measure of dissenting speech will more beneficial to the body politic than one that does not. Opposition to abortion, is, as it stands today, dissenting speech. So is opposition to the warmist hoax. The warmists have made attempts to suppress speech.

I would like to understand how Vox's critique of Free Speech deals with social controversies of that kind.


I would suggest you consider, were it not for adherence to free speech, whether we would need to be arguing against abortion or global warming as a dissenting opinion in the first place. The problem was caused by the very thing you propose as a solution.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 12:06 PM  

Vox, all this discussion about free speech is based on multiple misnomers.

No, it is not. You are wrong, you are stupid, and you are a sodomite. Do not attempt to correct your intellectual superiors. We find inept attempts like these to be annoying and pointless.

And save your rhetoric for those incapable of seeing right through it. There is absolutely no point in attempting to utilize it against someone who literally wrote the modern book on it.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 12:07 PM  

The problem was caused by the very thing you propose as a solution.

(nods)

Blogger Lushtree February 28, 2019 12:16 PM  

Forgive my impertinence, but granting the (to me rather terrifying) proposition that there is no right to Freedom of Speech, then what is our other option? What should we be espousing instead?

Or am I asking the question prematurely?

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 12:20 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Jack Amok February 28, 2019 12:25 PM  

what is our other option? What should we be espousing instead?

Responsible behavior. Citizens shouldn't abuse the latitude society grants them, authorities shouldn't abuse the power they're given to enforce rules.

People who can't learn to be responsible don't have the same privileges as people who can. Otherwise we end up with a world run by children, sociopaths and idiots.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch February 28, 2019 12:25 PM  

Has Bury never heard of self control?

Blogger Welleran February 28, 2019 12:26 PM  

If speech be righteous let it be free, if speech be wicked let it not. If we can arrest the freedom of a man's body by his works then why not the freedom of his tongue by his words? God commands us to be good, not free, the fact that Christian slaves are ordered not to disobey their masters is proof of that.

Blogger Jimmy February 28, 2019 12:30 PM  

The first amendment Free Speech clause regulates the government. It does not regulate the individual. Justice Oliver Wendel Homes covered the common sense stuff long ago.

A real question is when do corporations or individuals take on governmental function? And can thay be regulated under the First.

Blogger Lushtree February 28, 2019 12:31 PM  

While I agree that promoting responsible speech is preferable, the issue I have is that, practically, who do we give the power to regulate speech? I do not trust anyone with that power.

Then again, it seems that our 'protections' do not do much anyway, so I am perhaps paranoid about creating problems that already exist.

Blogger Steb February 28, 2019 12:32 PM  

If there are situations where it would be immoral for us to remain silent, then it follows that we must have a right to free speech.
Otherwise we could be put under a moral obligation to commit an immoral act (of ommission). If God is just then he wouldn't create a moral system that would put us in a situation where it was impossible to act morally.

There are situations where it would be immoral to remain silent, therefore we have a right to free speech.

Blogger The Cooler February 28, 2019 12:36 PM  

A man [...] The working of his mind is limited only by the bounds of his experience and the power of his imagination.

Bury begins with a premise against freedom of speech as a right.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 12:50 PM  

Maybe address points i made, if it is not too difficult. If i am wrong on them, i am wrong, but i would like to know how and why i am wrong.

Are you really so stupid that you don't understand that is precisely what I have done? Inventing imaginary and irrelevant justifications for free speech is what cowardly sodomites do. I responded to you precisely as you deserve, you moronic degenerate.

Blogger Nate73 February 28, 2019 12:50 PM  

Which current countries if any have more free speech than the US? How do they view porn, libel, and blasphemy?

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 12:52 PM  

There are situations where it would be immoral to remain silent, therefore we have a right to free speech.

Totally nonsensical. Consider: "There are situations where it would be immoral to remain silent, therefore we have a right to advocate immorality."

The greatest minds of the Enlightenment couldn't do it, but you guys who have never, ever, contemplated the matter seriously imagine you're going to magically succeed where they failed.

I am amused.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 12:53 PM  

Or am I asking the question prematurely?

Yes. When one subject is being debated, don't change the subject.

Blogger Damelon Brinn February 28, 2019 12:53 PM  

who do we give the power to regulate speech? I do not trust anyone with that power.

The Left have shown that, if they are in power, they care not what is written on any piece of paper. Ask a pro-life protester who tries to talk to women as they enter an abortion mill what his Free Speech is worth. So enshrining Free Speech in law or as one of society's moral absolutes only gives the Left freedom and a weapon to use against the reasonable. We've proven by now that bad people in charge will do bad things regardless of what laws you try to box them in with.

A healthy civilization can have reasonable restrictions on behavior and let them go mostly unenforced. For instance, libertines love to point at the sodomy laws that used to be on the books in many US states. They were almost entirely unenforced, as far as the letter of the law, but having them meant society had some recourse against truly offensive behavior in that area. But they had to be erased on the theory that someday a married couple might be arrested for having oral sex in their bedroom.

Reasonable restrictions on speech would work the same way, as they already do with matters like slander, as tz pointed out above. A blasphemy law, for instance, wouldn't mean you get arrested for taking the Lord's name in vain in your home or at the bar, but you couldn't do it on a billboard.

Blogger Damn the torpedos February 28, 2019 12:55 PM  

Vox do any “rights” exist or are they all enlightenment dribble designed to distract from the fact that right and wrong exist?

Meaning, is this philosophy of rights just the utilitarians pathetic attempt to justify morality without God?

Blogger InformationMerchant February 28, 2019 12:57 PM  

The Libertarians for all their failures had the right idea here. Property rights solve this problem.

Ironically, the majority of well known AnCaps consider themselves free speech absolutists despite their wish for 100% private property.

The game theory and empirical evidence suggests the right isn't going to be capable of defending free speech anyway, in much the same way as they're incapable of defending 2A. The middle position of no infringement will be chipped away over time. The result is the left being free to imprison the right for right wing speech patterns and the right being incapable of imprisoning the left for left wing speech patterns.

Even if people on the right do want societal free speech, the way to stop the left from speech policing the west would've been to force the left to take a free speech position like they did in the past because they didn't want to be censored, rather than being able to drop that position for a pro censorship position as soon as they had the power to censor others and no one wanted to censor them.

Same thing for 2A. Arguing "just no more restrictions, the current ones are fine" is how you lose. Trying to undo restrictions will force the left to take defensive positions again.

If Europe would've made "refugees welcome" an imprisonable offense, maybe fewer people would be imprisoned for hate speech.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 12:57 PM  

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Anonymous Anonymous February 28, 2019 12:58 PM  

I always thought the enlightenment case for free speech was as articulated by Christopher Hitchens - your old favourite.. he said the classic texts for free speech were:

Areo Pegittica by John Milton: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/areopagitica/text.html

"I shall now attend with such a Homily, as shall lay before ye, first the inventors of it to bee those whom ye will be loath to own; next what is to be thought in generall of reading, what ever sort the Books be; and that this Order avails nothing to the suppressing of scandalous, seditious, and libellous Books, which were mainly intended to be supprest. Last, that it will be primely to the discouragement of all learning, and the stop of Truth, not only by disexercising and blunting our abilities in what we know already, but by hindring and cropping the discovery that might bee yet further made both in religious and civill Wisdome."

Thomas Paine's introduction to the Age of Reason: http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/intro.htm

"TO MY FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

I PUT the following work under your protection. It contains my opinions upon Religion. You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it."

And John Stuart Mill's essay "On Liberty": https://www.bartleby.com/130/

"The acts of an individual may be hurtful to others, or wanting in due consideration for their welfare, without going the length of violating any of their constituted rights. The offender may then be justly punished by opinion, though not by law. As soon as any part of a person's conduct affects prejudicially the interests of others, society has jurisdiction over it, and the question whether the general welfare will or will not be promoted by interfering with it, becomes open to discussion. But there is no room for entertaining any such question when a person's conduct affects the interests of no persons besides himself, or needs not affect them unless they like (all the persons concerned being of full age, and the ordinary amount of understanding). In all such cases there should be perfect freedom, legal and social, to do the action and stand the consequences."
- I thought that this passage was the basis for what I regard as the facile argument that freedom of speech is not freedom of consequences. I also know that Mill actually sets out a case for quite extensive curtailment of individual freedom, including speech, in the course of that essay.

I know you've just limited your evaluation to Bury and Erasmus. But do you think any of Milton, Paine, or Mill successfully established a right to free speech, or that free speech is desirable or possible?

And I am taking this directly from a Hitchens contribution to a debate on Free Speech held in Canada - here. These are not my original thoughts.

I have to admit that despite his usual bombastic, exaggerated, overly polemical manner, I thought Hitchens provided quite a good rhetorical case for free speech in this debate.

Blogger ash February 28, 2019 12:58 PM  

OT: Talking about free speech, Alex Jones' appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast was epic.

Blogger John Best February 28, 2019 1:02 PM  

With a lot of things history proves freedom of speech is a lie and evil, used to undermine Christianity, the King and decency within a nation. The same people who claimed to be for freedom of Speech, will gladly put a dissenter in jail for their speech. So free speech never existed and if it did it would be terrible. The Whigs locked up Henry Sacheverell for a sermon against the English bill of rights, so in the end you have freedom of speech until you speak against rights themselves, then they throw you in jail for 3 years.

Better to enforce order, beauty and decency, with clear speech laws which protect the institutions of the nation from attack by the enablers of evil.

Blogger maniacprovost February 28, 2019 1:12 PM  

is this philosophy of rights just the utilitarians pathetic attempt to

I'm not Vox but geez. No. Rights ethics and utilitarianism are completely opposed.

Utilitarians will, from time to time, advocate certain rights that they find convenient. They do not actually believe in rights as rights. That's why they can make up silly rights like weekends off, paid dog adoption leave, and infanticide.

Anonymous Anonymous February 28, 2019 1:16 PM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z2uzEM0ugY - sorry here is the link.

Anyway I know this post concerns Bury and Erasmus - not those men. But your readers might be interested.

I agree with you that Free Speech has served to undermine and subvert Christianity and today either doesn't exist or selectively and partially exists only to the advantage of the enemies of the West as you've defined it.

Blogger Damn the torpedos February 28, 2019 1:16 PM  

“I'm not Vox but geez. No. Rights ethics and utilitarianism are completely opposed.”

Forgive my ignorance and thank you for the correction.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 1:17 PM  

@11
Cool, thanks Vox.

Blogger GammaCatch February 28, 2019 1:24 PM  

If all speech is permitted, then no speech will be permitted. "Free Speech" is a monument built against itself. If those who want to destroy an institution use the powers of the institution against itself, then that structure is doomed to failure. Yet another case of the ideal not reflecting reality. If the policy is not to shut anyone up, including those who want to shut you up, then they will shut you up; continuing to speak themselves. Non aggression does not work against aggressors.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 1:25 PM  

The question is not whether you shall have Free Speech. You never have, and you never will. No one ever has. The question is who is to be the censor.

The Catholic Church's position on the Right of Free Speech was and nominally still is "Error has no rights." No one has the right to lie, to blaspheme, to commit sacrilege or to preach heresy.

Andris Falks wrote:With all due respect, if your arguments are calling me names, then i guess i will never know why i am wrong. Too bad.
Because your "argument" consisted entirely of emotional manipulation and name calling. He is not obligated to respond to that as if it were an actual argument.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 1:31 PM  

@14
If there are no God given rights, what does it matter if someone puts restrictions on your ability to speak other that you may not like it and others may suffer? Who cares, and who cares if someone cares? If I can be rich and have you as my slave, live and die without repercussion? Why not? Because I would not be a very nice person? Because society might suffer? Who cares? Without Divine retribution, without so defined rights and limitations, anything goes. It certainly is not the way I want to live, and even if I was an atheist, there is no way in heck I would want anyone else to be, because it has some scary s**t when one is honest about the implications right in line with the most hard core Satanism, because atheism is "do what thou wilt" if you can get away with it.

Blogger Desdichado February 28, 2019 1:39 PM  

People like Thomas Paine and John Stuart Mill and the entire American concept of Free Speech should be caveated. Within the guidelines that the British, Christian colonists of the Americans considered acceptable speech, speech should be free. When government's who's authority they did not recognize as legitimate infringed on that by trying to impose restrictions on speech that the community believed was OK to use, they rebelled and proclaimed the right of free speech.

Some things like blasphemy or obscenity were never meant to be covered by free speech because they were outside the bounds of what the community deemed acceptable. It wasn't until "Jewish-Americans" and their proteges corrupted the concept of free speech to tear down community morality that we got concepts that bear any resemblance to free speech as it's often legally understood today.

As with libertarianism, free speech only works in a community of people who share the same morality and sense of what is right and what is unacceptable. Break apart the community, or import foreigners who have different morality and values, and your peaceful, prosperous community doesn't work anymore because you're not all on the same page.

Free speech, working backwards towards what most good people who value the concept REALLY want, as with every other legal and cultural American tradition that they also value, requires nationalism.

Blogger Andrew Brown February 28, 2019 1:42 PM  

Compare: Vox is the modern day Aristolte and you're too short for this ride.

Vox has written works (books and articles) on rhetoric and free speech which you clearly have not read, thus you're not understanding this article or his replies.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 1:46 PM  

But do you think any of Milton, Paine, or Mill successfully established a right to free speech... I thought Hitchens provided quite a good rhetorical case for free speech in this debate.

The seeds of the answer to your question are in the question. No, Milton, Paine, Mill, and Hitchens all completely failed to successfully make a convincing, let alone conclusive, case for free speech.

It's rhetoric all the way down.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch February 28, 2019 1:49 PM  

Question for Vox or anybody: what about the idea of a speech-regulated society with special forums that permit free speech?

Blogger Thomas Fitz February 28, 2019 1:55 PM  

Let me see if I am getting this. A dialectical argument, which is what's under discussion, would place freedom of speech as intrinsic to the human person. A right is what someone has or is owed by virtue of being human.

Man is an animal that speaks, yes. Freedom of speech doesn't grant the right to speak falsehood, as laws (however defined and enforced) against libel, slander, etc., indicate. Falsehood is by definition not right.

The purpose of speech is truth. So speaking truth to those ignorant of it, discussing and considering what is true among other seekers of it, is the proper area of speech. But ignorance is vast, and perception of truth, limited. So what is commonly understood as "freedom of speech" in the West is really a practical recognition of MPAI. Instead of an intrinsic part of man's nature, a function of his Fall.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 1:57 PM  

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Blogger 360 February 28, 2019 2:04 PM  

This is what I think.

If that is not a classic gamma tell...

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 2:06 PM  

360 wrote:This is what I think.

If that is not a classic gamma tell...

Call me how you want, it matters not, i want to understand where and if i am wrong.

Blogger The Cooler February 28, 2019 2:11 PM  

Most people are average: They have average intellect, average experience, average imagination.

We know that the world, being fallen, tends toward falsity and fraudulence.

The average man, being average, will fall prey just as easily to falsity and fraudulence as he will truth; thus ruminating, experiencing and imagining the world falsely as much as he does truthfully.

Ergo, the conveyance of the average man, of his thoughts, to his mouth, to open air, necessarily transmits as much falsity and fraudulence as it does truth.

Whether or not the average man has an intrinsic right to his thoughts is not in question as he will have them regardless. The question is whether or not, or to what extent, he has an intrinsic right to opine on any matter whatsoever in virtue of the equal likelihood, whether intentionally or unintentionally, of his transmitting falsity and fraudulence as opposed to truth.

A 50/50 shot a transmitting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is, by any reasonable measure, insufficient to grant freedom of speech to the average man, let alone axiomatically assert freedom of speech as the intrinsic right of all, assuming, of course, we are aiming for a more truthful world and insofar as that aim is not futile.

Blogger Meanoldbasterd February 28, 2019 2:12 PM  

Will there be baskets of ripe tomatoes available?

Anonymous Anonymous February 28, 2019 2:14 PM  

VD wrote:The seeds of the answer to your question are in the question. No, Milton, Paine, Mill, and Hitchens all completely failed to successfully make a convincing, let alone conclusive, case for free speech.

It's rhetoric all the way down.


Thanks, yeah deliberately so in acquiescence to your judgement when I read what you said - I went back and re-read those essays after I read your book and On Rhetoric and I suddenly realised why I'd never been able to become a full devotee of Free Speech - but I didn't know why.

I always thought even when I was a kid that if you establish that something is true and good, the only reason to question that conclusion is to perniciously modify it for self-serving ends. Of course I couldn't articulate that, and I didn't even know about dialectic and rhetoric when I first read those essays. But I always had an itch about them I couldn't scratch. Paine in particular. Surely you can't be a slave to a true proposition or conclusion - because it's true. How can truth constrain when truth always leads to more truth? If you find out one true thing, it serves as the foundation for another for which the first truth is a pre-condition for understanding. And if you allow truth to be contended by other's preferences, don't you then in actuality become a slave to the preferences of others? In every case, the Enlightenment guys even then were really saying that everything is just an opinion - when many things are not an opinion. We shouldn't have to constantly affirm and re-affirm truth because some people feel constrained by it and compelled to rebel against it.

It was also clear to me even back then that free speech absolutely cannot exist under conditions of diversity - where you have lots of different people all with very different paradigms, assumptions and emphases genuinely free speech must guarantee conflict and separation. There would always have to be tacit censorship. And I always thought it would have to be in favour of the kid or group of friends who were the most sensitive or the most volatile or violent.

Anyway - thanks for replying. Agree - complicated rhetoric all the way down. It's a shame. It would be nice to think that it had ever been real and it's proponents genuine.



Blogger 360 February 28, 2019 2:16 PM  

I am going to save VD the time because we see this play out all the time here on the blog.

Before you post again, you need to do a couple of things. 1) Go read the rules of the blog, up above. 2) Search for gamma up in the search bar and read the first couple of entries you find. 3) Let it sink into your brain that this isn't your space to "understand where and if I am wrong", this isn't about you at all. 4) Go somewhere else.

And of course, the outcome will inevitably be that you can't/won't let up, continue to post, you get banned, and we add another case study on how gammas operate in the wild.

Blogger maniacprovost February 28, 2019 2:18 PM  

I believe in natural rights, but

Explain precisely what the right to "free speech" would mean. It doesn't cover fraud, threats, or conspiracy to commit communism. It doesn't allow you to speak at 140 decibels and physically injure listeners. It doesn't allow you to trespass ontoy property to speak to me. It doesn't allow you to steal paper and ink. It doesn't allow you to violate a contract like an NDA. It doesn't require people to do business with you.

So what, exactly, is left?

I would define free speech quite narrowly as per enlightenment above: It is unethical to physically assault/jail or rob/fine someone unless they do something to infringe your rights first. Attempting to infringe your rights, threatening to do so, or encouraging others to arr all "speech" actions that merit retaliation.

Criticism and stupid opinions are generally allowed.

This conception of "free speech" is not a right, but just a vacuum that is left over as a consequence of the right to liberty.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 2:26 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Desdichado February 28, 2019 2:26 PM  

The other thing that people forget is that "free speech" isn't "free speech." What it says in the Bill of RIghts is that CONGRESS shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech."

It was specifically understood that the local communities would decide what was acceptable speech within the community and would police speech as such. It does not mean that NOBODY will abridge freedom of speech.

Blogger mgh February 28, 2019 2:26 PM  

Wow. Now I get it. And I must agree with you that it is time to enforce the blasphemy laws.

Blogger 1st Earl Hardwicke February 28, 2019 2:33 PM  

Erasmus quoting Tiberius, I would like to say was as funny as heck, but I found it quite disturbing. Too blatant be an error, not enough sufficient people figured this out? Couldn't have promoted another figure? Something fishy about being linked to the EU.

Given that Tiberius was the predecessor to CALIGULA!!! Well there something note quite right somewhere. Reminded a lot of the Command and Conquer games. Tiberium representing corruption, KANE LIVES IN DEATH!

"In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king." IS literally Satanic! I originally heard the quote from the movie "Minority Report", a Spielberg film.

Question: "You want the old clarity or new clarity?" Answer: New Clarity. Reply: Well as my FATHER used to say; in the land of the blind the one eyed man is King. (Bloke has no eyes).

Blogger Unknown February 28, 2019 2:35 PM  

During the second day discussion of free speech, I realized Vox is using free speech to encompass all speech. I don't generally think of free speech in such terms. Free speech derives from self autonomy, or the right against non consensual interactions (I will fully grant that I cannot defend this right other than by appealing to consequences). Under right to self autonomy, some speech are seen as violating someone else's self autonomy and therefore not protected. I will be happy to elaborate if you are interested.

Blogger Balam February 28, 2019 2:39 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:Sure it is not about me, i never said it was,

Stop lying. You already have a response from xevious2030 you have completely ignored so you can continue your mad rambling.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 2:41 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:4)If you argue that some things are very valuable like - God, country and family and at the same time argue that free speech can destroy them, don't you have to ask yourself how can it be that something so important can be destroyed by free speech, by allowing people to say what they think?
"How can these important things be destroyed by free speech?"
These are incommensurable. The importance of a thing has nothing whatever to do with the ability to destroy it, or which means are efficacious to do so. And since actual experience has shown us that these things can be and in fact have been and are being destroyed through freeze peach, is obviously not dialectic. That you posed it as a question rather than as an assertion demonstrates that you don't believe it either.You just want us to accept it as a premise, which no-one would ever do if stated forthrightly. "Important crucial things to the function of human society cannot be destroyed by free speech." It is ludicrous.

That assertion is just too stupid to be an argument. The assumption is that it's just an insult. And that's why people are responding to you with insults in return.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 2:42 PM  

Unknown wrote:Free speech derives from self autonomy, or the right against non consensual interactions
No, it does not so derive. Don't keep dragging your discredited Libertarianism in here. Nobody but idiots and degenerates believes in it any more.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora February 28, 2019 2:49 PM  

Free speech is intrinsically rhetorical. How many people actually believe in unconditionally free speech? Most people who say they believe in free speech support laws against defamation, the distribution of certain kinds of porn, and not inciting violence. It has always been an argument over the degrees of restriction and where those restrictions apply. When someone says they support free speech they're almost always trying to have it both ways while taking the moral high ground.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 2:50 PM  

@ Cloom #*

Good post. You might want to explain, though, what was meant at that time by "conscience." IT was nothing even remotely like what that word means today, even to the VD Commentariat.

Blogger steb February 28, 2019 2:50 PM  

VOX WROTE: 'Totally nonsensical. Consider: "There are situations where it would be immoral to remain silent, therefore we have a right to advocate immorality."'

Obviously there is no such thing as an unfettered right. The right to bear arms doesn't mean you can own a nuclear bomb any more than the right to life makes you immortal.
To restate my case more clearly, you have the right to say anything which you have sufficient reason to believe to be true and, if it were true, it would be immoral not to say.
This covers the right to political speech and to criticism, without giving rights to slander or pornography.

Blogger tublecane February 28, 2019 2:53 PM  

"convince every rational observer of the inherently nonsensical nature of the claim"

That's true. but there's the claim of free speech as Truth, then there're the practical games being played behind all the philosophizin'. Though Enlightened thinkers were at pains to draw everything out from first principles as though they were doing geometry, we must bear in mind that there were always compromises being made and power being asserted or grabbed at.

"Free" "speech" is a tool, for compromise, cooperation, and conquest. It's not some holy principle brought down from the mountain.

Blogger tublecane February 28, 2019 2:56 PM  

@3- Dude, you're just saying it's not a right. Don't muddy the waters .

Blogger JG February 28, 2019 2:59 PM  

Desdichado wrote:The other thing that people forget is that "free speech" isn't "free speech." What it says in the Bill of RIghts is that CONGRESS shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech."

It was specifically understood that the local communities would decide what was acceptable speech within the community and would police speech as such. It does not mean that NOBODY will abridge freedom of speech.


You may be right that what you describe is what the founding fathers meant and wanted, but the Supreme Court has a different opinion, and have extended the first amendment to apply to all of the states.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 3:00 PM  

@51
Here goes again.
I’ll change the order, for cause and effect, where appropriate.
1) There are no rights, so there is no free speech right. [The premise there are no rights has no proof, your first error] [A right and a capability are not the same thing and one does not necessarily cancel out another]
2) [Competence and discernment are not equally distributed across a population]
3) [You can not ensure others will not limit it, they most assuredly will]
4) [Words do not destroy God, but people may be lead astray] [As for family and country, they can be destroyed] [Half the brain (speaking in generalization) is emotion, does not follow logic] [People do not always say what they think, a number lie, convincingly, to the inept (see my number 2)]
What are you missing, where are you wrong?

Well, there are two main sorts of rights, one is that which is morally allowable, and that which is allowable legally. So to say there are no rights, indicates the exclusion of what is allowed morally, and morally is dependent on an ultimate arbiter, a deity by even the lowest of definition. Thereby the exclusion of deity, means either the absence of a deity (atheism) or the rejection of the authority of the deity (Satanism). Flip sides on the same coin in effect.

And you offer, that in the absence of this divine morality, self-interest in a manner of societal benefit is the best outcome, and that your actions will bring about reciprocity, which are both BS assumptions, considering the lack of a permanent and consistent arbiter along with self-interest being defined by the individual as they feel in the “I am god” based attempt at morality.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 3:01 PM  

i want to understand where and if i am wrong.

And we don't care what you want. If someone wants to walk you through it, fine. I'm not inclined to do so.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 3:03 PM  

To restate my case more clearly, you have the right to say anything which you have sufficient reason to believe to be true and, if it were true, it would be immoral not to say.

That is not the Enlightenment right of free speech that is being addressed. It's the retreat to the pre-Enlightenment position which I specifically said I was not discussing and should not be called "free speech" in the first place.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 3:03 PM  

@24 Lushtree

Speech was restricted in various ways in the English-speaking world until as recently as the 1960s, and there was absolutely NO problem whatsoever with it. But there was a pretty homogenous population and a functioning, intact sulture, so there was a near-universal understanding and agreement on what was acceptable and what was not. "That is done" and "That is not done" would be a good way to put it.


But we no longer have a homogenous population or a functioning culture, which is why the law has become so intrusive and why the US has about 50% of all the lawyers in the WORLD. Anyway, we functioned beautifully for centuries with various restrictions on "free speech."It was just that we had Anglo-Saxons governing Anglo-Saxons, so it worked smoothly and well. Now we don't have Anglo-Saxons governing Anglo-Saxons or deciding what is "done and what "not done." And therein lies the problem. It used not to be particularly important who decided what was okay to say and what was not. But now it is.

That's all.

Blogger tz February 28, 2019 3:04 PM  

QED.

Here's my description, based on an old Archbishop Fulton J Sheen show:

He described communism as having the "freedom to do what you must", which isn't really freedom. But the opposite, "freedom to do what you please" leads to anarchy and there is no more liberty because what pleases you might harm me. The Aristotelian mean is "Freedom to do what you ought". There are infinite good things you can do and you are free to do any of them.

If you apply that to free speech, it is the freedom to say what you ought, which can be opinion, speculation, even honest, reasoned, dissent. As man is fallen, although there is no freedom to speak error, we don't have accurate knowledge. We see through the glass darkly and many have ill intent, or commit error with good intent, so we ought to be careful. Yet speech is used to inform and correct, and even entertain.

We used to have a healthy understanding that not everything that will send you to hell should send you to prison. God sees hearts, we can at best see effects.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 3:04 PM  

When someone says they support free speech they're almost always trying to have it both ways while taking the moral high ground.

(nods)

Blogger maniacprovost February 28, 2019 3:08 PM  

have the right to say anything which you have sufficient reason to believe to be true and, if it were true, it would be immoral not to say

The second part is so subjective as to be useless. It's also very rare that you are morally obligated to speak.

covers the right to political speech and to criticism, without giving rights to slander or pornography.

Despite not agreeing with your reasoning, I concur you don't have a right to pornography... I just don't think it should be punished by force.

There are so many nonviolent ways to punish people. You can shun them to death. So why would we need to jail someone for porn?

Blogger The Service February 28, 2019 3:09 PM  

Vox: "Freedom of speech is manifestly not a right, and the observably inept attempts of its advocates to establish it as one should be more than sufficient to convince every rational observer of the inherently nonsensical nature of the claim."

Vox has demonstrated well the flaws in the arguments he has cited. But one doesn't need those arguments in order to hold that free speech is a right, nor even that it should be a right.

Constitutionally, free speech manifestly IS a right. We can argue about whether that should be so, but it's just a fact that it IS so. That is simply true.

The best argument for treating free speech as a right is pragmatic: if speech can be silenced, then politics becomes a war between factions over who gets to use the coercive power of government to silence whom.

Moreover, whichever faction acquires this power reliably abuses it to insulate itself from justified criticism.

The abuse by the state of "hate speech" laws in Europe as a pretext for persecuting nationalist political dissidents is an all-too-typical case in point.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 3:09 PM  

@ 25 Steb

"[…] If God is just then he wouldn't create a moral system that would put us in a situation where it was impossible to act morally. […]"


What?

What "moral system" did God create? Do you mean the Ten Commandments? Or what? IF so, what have the 10 Comandments to do with "freedom of speech" or some imagined moral system that God has laid as a trap for people so that they are obliged to break His laws?

I'm not joking. I have NO idea what your post means.

Blogger DonReynolds February 28, 2019 3:10 PM  

I find arguments for or against Free Speech to be the same arguments regarding Sex....and often they are in the same context.

Arguments that insist that the individual needs or wants Free Speech to express themselves rank right up there with the use of "sexual emergency" to excuse forcible rape. What the individual needs or wants does not interest me very much.

The only arguments in favor of Free Speech that are valid (to me) would be how Free Speech benefits the larger society of others. Likewise, Sex also benefits the larger society. Both are necessary for the long-term survival and prosperity of any society.

Free Speech is essential for invention and innovation to occur, not only in scientific discovery, but also in the arts. Novels have revealed truths and situations that may be mirrored in the larger society. Paintings and sculptures and theater and political discussions are part of our public life and a national treasure.

Is Sex an individual right? Of course not. Is Free Speech an individual right? Of course not. Neither are absolute rights nor do they contribute to society in every instance or occasion. These rights are conditional. Does the state have the right to suppress dangerous speech, or seditious speech, or speech by foreign agents or provocateurs or those who would agitate a riot? Most certainly. The same limitation would apply to Sex.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 3:15 PM  

xevious2030 wrote:@14

If there are no God given rights, what does it matter if someone puts restrictions on your ability to speak other that you may not like it and others may suffer? Who cares, and who cares if someone cares? If I can be rich and have you as my slave, live and die without repercussion? Why not? Because I would not be a very nice person? Because society might suffer? Who cares? Without Divine retribution, without so defined rights and limitations, anything goes. It certainly is not the way I want to live, and even if I was an atheist, there is no way in heck I would want anyone else to be, because it has some scary s**t when one is honest about the implications right in line with the most hard core Satanism, because atheism is "do what thou wilt" if you can get away with it.

I get your point, however what you argue is that God and his retribution should be a sort of moral guide to human being, which is fine, but it does not address the issue of limiting free speech. Free speech is an idea, it does not rely on God or havoc that would ensue in societies without certain moral rules dictated by God or law or otherwise. Society agrees on certain rules of behavior and punishes those who do not follow them. There are societies where free speech is punished and those societies are just rotten. Those societies which allow free speech prosper. Would you disagree?
Snidely Whiplash wrote:Andris Falks wrote:4)If you argue that some things are very valuable like - God, country and family and at the same time argue that free speech can destroy them, don't you have to ask yourself how can it be that something so important can be destroyed by free speech, by allowing people to say what they think?

"How can these important things be destroyed by free speech?"

These are incommensurable. The importance of a thing has nothing whatever to do with the ability to destroy it, or which means are efficacious to do so. And since actual experience has shown us that these things can be and in fact have been and are being destroyed through freeze peach, is obviously not dialectic. That you posed it as a question rather than as an assertion demonstrates that you don't believe it either.You just want us to accept it as a premise, which no-one would ever do if stated forthrightly. "Important crucial things to the function of human society cannot be destroyed by free speech." It is ludicrous.

That assertion is just too stupid to be an argument. The assumption is that it's just an insult. And that's why people are responding to you with insults in return.

I disagree and here is why - we are talking about ideas or faith if you are so inclined, not physical things. So important ideas, foundational ideas like God should not be destroyed by free speech if they are valid, it is like saying that you can talk your way in to proving 2+2 is not 4. You can not. We do not have to look for examples far - Vox Day has written a book where he uses his free speech to prove God exists, has he not.
If your God is 2+2=4, then you do not have to fear any freedom of any speech. Anyone who will say it is 5 or 333 will just be laught at. Maybe problem is that your God is 2+2=7 and there fore it has failed, or at least people who have worked in Gods name true ages have somehow perverted God from 2+2=4 to 7 and now are scared from free speech. like inquisition was? Did Christ forbid people from speaking? Was he not talking to anyone?
Maybe, just maybe God in west, Christianity was destroyed by other means, not free speech? Is it not possible at all?

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 3:18 PM  

Constitutionally, free speech manifestly IS a right. We can argue about whether that should be so, but it's just a fact that it IS so. That is simply true.

We're not talking about US law.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 3:21 PM  

@42 Gammacatch

Bingo! I know a man who believes in freedom of religion and, based upon "the American tradition" of letting Muslims continue to immigrate and have the traditional "freedom of religion," which we OW to them. And I cannot seem to get it through his--yes, Libertarian--skull that what he is advocating is the destruction of religious liberty--in the name of religious liberty.

Anyway, good post. Thanks.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 3:26 PM  

@45 Desdichado

Perfectly stated. I wish I'd read your comment before replying to an earlier one. I said what you have said, but not nearly so well as you.

Anyway, what you (we) are saying seems obvious, but, well …




Blogger steb February 28, 2019 3:28 PM  

Mr Darcy wrote:
What "moral system" did God create? Do you mean the Ten Commandments? Or what? IF so, what have the 10 Comandments to do with "freedom of speech" or some imagined moral system that God has laid as a trap for people so that they are obliged to break His laws?

I'm not joking. I have NO idea what your post means.



Morality describes a way of acting.
All true morality flows from God. The giving of the Ten commandments is an example, but most Christian traditions recognise that God guides our moral understanding in some way.
God wishes us to live morally.
If God wishes something then He would have made it possible.

Blogger tublecane February 28, 2019 3:28 PM  

@21- "Has Bury never heard of self-control?"

Wasn't he (fightin') Irish? Cut Paddy some slack. But

@81- The culture that produced some of the greatest architecture, statuary, philosophy, and drama in human history also condemned Socrates to death for bad speech.

@75- There's a show called the Deuce about the New York sex industry around the time of Deep Throat, and in discussion with one of his actresses a (obviously Jewish) porn director mentions that things might be changing soon. Judges weren't throwing the book at them anymore.

Something about "community standards." He says, "Apparently we have none." And in a sense, that was true.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 3:30 PM  

@ 49 Thomas Fitz

" […] A right is what someone has or is owed by virtue of being human. […]"

No, for a right is not a right unless it can be enforced. ONe might claim a right or assert a right as a matter of theory or belief, but if something--anything--called a "right" cannot be enforced (by law), then it is not a right.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 3:37 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:So important ideas, foundational ideas like God should not be destroyed by free speech if they are valid, it is like saying that you can talk your way in to proving 2+2 is not
People do this all the time. Are you blind or stupid?

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 3:37 PM  

@ 50 Andris Falks

" […] 4)If you argue that some things are very valuable like - God, country and family and at the same time argue that free speech can destroy them, don't you have to ask yourself how can it be that something so important can be destroyed by free speech, by allowing people to say what they think?
What am i missing?"

At least one thing you are missing is that most people are idiots. And that most people are weak-minded and susceptible to fast-talking shysters. And your question demonstrates that you are confused about what it is that is destroyed by "free speech." God is not destroyed. But the faith in God that weak-minded people-sheeple--may have had is destroyed. The country is not destroyed by "free speech," but weak-minded people (whose very nature is that they want to be able to do things that they ought not to do) are led astray by "free speech" and those people then destroy a country.

And so on. Your thinking is fuzzy. Speech does not destroy anything, but it can induce stupid, selfish, immature, undisciplined, thoughtless, short-sighted, self-centered, self-indulgent nitwits to destroy all kinds of things.

And if you think that free speech or indeed anything else can destroy God, then you really are in over your head here.

Blogger Stilicho February 28, 2019 3:37 PM  

It is also useful to recall that the leftist demogogues and tech moguls who are so fond of saying that free speech has repercussions when firing/doxing/swatting/deplatforming someone on the right are in fact claiming that there is no such thing as free speech.

Why on earth would we argue to protect a nonexistent right for our enemies that they acknowledge does not exist?

Make them feel the pain. For a rhetorical response, simply advocate for "free speech for me but not for thee" and watch their fighting withdrawal with amusement. Reinstitute/enforce the blasphemy laws... as we are reliably informed by the left that some actual speech is simply too horrible to allow. They want to ban "hate" speech (anything they don't like), nah, instead let's ban degenerate speech (e.g. Any speech supporting pedophilia, socialism, immivasion, homosexuality, etc. Any of the left's favorite degeneracies).

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 3:38 PM  

tublecane wrote:The culture that produced some of the greatest architecture, statuary, philosophy, and drama in human history also condemned Socrates to death for bad speech.
These facts are neither contrary nor unrelated.

Blogger tublecane February 28, 2019 3:40 PM  

@84- You're describing the paradox of tolerance, which is insurmountable. People are always going to have to embrace intolerance in order tolerate select things.

The left is fine with this. No guilt follows smashing the skull of a "fascist" while calling themselves tolerant.

We should bear in mind that the Enlightenment sprung up around a time of great religious wars. Toleration of opposing faiths and ideas was a compromise in the name of peace. Well, not toleration of everything. Because if you're John Locke keeping the Cavaliers and Roundheads from eachother's throats, just because this and that Protestant sect must get along doesn't mean you can't cast out dirty papists.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 3:40 PM  

Mr Darcy wrote:And if you think that free speech or indeed anything else can destroy God, then you really are in over your head here.
Since he's obviously an Atheist, it's certain that he is in over his head, and also certain that he does not realize it. They always are and they never do.

Blogger DonReynolds February 28, 2019 3:42 PM  

@87 tublecane
"The culture that produced some of the greatest architecture, statuary, philosophy, and drama in human history also condemned Socrates to death for bad speech."

That is untrue. Socrates spoke against a tyrant and was ordered exiled. Not a surprising verdict, but like other Greeks, Socrates chose to drink hemlock rather than exile.

Many Greeks thought exile was worse than death....to live the rest of their life without the beauty that was Greece, to live among barbarians, with their strange ways and tongues. Would be better for a good Greek to suffer death rather than exile. Socrates committed suicide as a final act of resistance to a dictator. He could have left the country and waited for Jimmy Carter to give him amnesty later. He could have doused himself with gasoline like the Buddhist monks in Vietnam, before he was arrested or ordered out of the country. He could have tried to assassinate the tyrant or get others to do so. But Socrates died in protest, by his own hand.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 3:45 PM  

@ 90 Mr Darcy
Ok, let us assume that what you say is right.
Then questions arise
1)who has the monopoly on truth and how will they claim it and keep it?
2)who will decide what is and is not true
3)who will punish those who say what is not true
4)If people are Mr Darcy wrote:weak-minded and susceptible to fast-talking shysters, then is not humanity doomed no matter what?

Blogger 1st Earl Hardwicke February 28, 2019 3:47 PM  

The best argument for treating free speech as a right is pragmatic: if speech can be silenced, then politics becomes a war between factions over who gets to use the coercive power of government to silence whom.

Pragmatism is Evil though, is that what you meant?

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 3:51 PM  

@82
Now you are meandering. If you sit in a closet and speak incessantly, there is no societal impact (though, taking a deity into account, there may be repercussions on the individual). Which is not relevant to the questions you raised. And the impact, “improved,” [#14.2)] is. What is being discussed it the transfer of ideas from one individual to another, using speech, and what it does as an impact. As for societies and “rotten,” depends on what you use to qualify under the really huge umbrella of rotten. If my parents lived in New York today, and they used free speech to have elected representatives allow abortion even at the time of birth, and I had been aborted, I’d say free speech is pretty rotten (except for being dead and unable to speak). I mean, how do you want me to cherry-pick “rotten.” Do you want me to use generalities? Ok, pretty much everywhere is rotten, free speech or not. And pretty much everywhere is beautiful, free speech or not. Shall we cherry-pick what prosper means? Not really feeling it, so I probably won’t. [And I’m being rhetorical as to what you want me to say or do, we’re way off into a roving argument into the area of how I feel about something as pertinant. At this point I’m so done with feeling about it that I don’t really care how I feel about it, and would guess no one else cares about how I feel about it, this is not the “how does Xevious2030 feel about it” blog]

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 4:01 PM  

@ 98 xevious2030
xevious2030 wrote:If you sit in a closet and speak incessantly, there is no societal impact
Actually there might be, let me give you simple example - if i have discovered, say a cure, or healing method, but i am forbidden from speaking about it and can only yell about it in my closet in anger, then there is plenty of societal impact.
Also you are mixing two things - free speech and abortion. I despise abortion and think it is a murder, yet people talking about abortion is not a murder, see the difference.
As for prosper it is quite objective, take countries with least freedom of speech, like Nkorea or some muslim shithole like ISIS controlled territory and you (or any reasonable person) will find it to be very much worse then NY, with all of its numerous horrible flaws, which are not abundance of free speech, but certain actions like abortion.

Blogger sammibandit February 28, 2019 4:05 PM  

If you want a good laugh, read the 1215 Magna Carta from the perspective that it codifies liberties and not obligations. Hard to believe the Guardian wrote that this document is the cornerstone of liberty... [in England]. Click on transcript to read the document in translation.

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/magna-carta-1215

>Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.

Blogger steb February 28, 2019 4:10 PM  

VD wrote:That is not the Enlightenment right of free speech that is being addressed. It's the retreat to the pre-Enlightenment position which I specifically said I was not discussing and should not be called "free speech" in the first place.

There's a difference between the Enlightenment and the Hellfire Club.

In the past you have called yourself an Open Theist. Do you think you should be prosecuted for heresy, or do you think it's the classical theists who should be burnt at the stake?

Blogger Stilicho February 28, 2019 4:16 PM  

The proper response to a leftist accusing you of hypocrisy is "that's the nicest thing a degenerate commie sodomite has ever said about me".

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:17 PM  

@78 maniacprovost

" […]There are so many nonviolent ways to punish people. You can shun them to death. So why would we need to jail someone for porn?"

For the same reasons we punish anybody who sells addictive substances to other people: Because it not only has the potential to destroy lives--and that includes lives (and property) of those around the consumer of porn (or whatever). Selling addictive things to people is not a victimless crime. That's why it is rightfully punished. It's true that you can't legislate morality, but you most certainly CAN legislate punishment for those who actively do things that destroy other people.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch February 28, 2019 4:24 PM  

I actually ended up writing against Free Speech on the blog a couple of years ago. Its a terrible idea. And yet, we're getting upset at Leftist deplatforming (recently, Rotten Tomatoes. But also Google, Facebook, Twitter.)

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 4:34 PM  

Laramie Hirsch wrote:And yet, we're getting upset at Leftist deplatforming
Do you still think there are principles involved? All that's left is naked assertion of power. We complain about it because we need to get powerful allies to punish them.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:36 PM  

" […] disagree and here is why - we are talking about ideas or faith if you are so inclined, not physical things."

Like ALL so-called "liberals," you live in the fantasy world of discarnate abstractions. The people who comment here live in a real world of flesh and blood. Real people. Actual living, breathing human beings. So no, we are, in fact, NOT talking about what you say we are talking about. That's what YOU are talking about and what you THINK we are talking about, but that's because you live inside your head in this discarnate world of meaningless (and impossible) abstractions rather than in the real world of real people. In short, you do not understand us, and you never will. It's as thought you were standing in front of a 20-thousand ton boulder saying, "Be moved!" and then asking the boulder for an explanation of why your magical incantation did not produce the expected effect. Your attempts to manipulate us as though you were Dr Pavlov and we your hapless dog are simply a non-starter with the commenters on this blog because we are older and more experienced than you; because we live in the real world and not in a world of dopey abstractions; and because we are honest, clear-thinking people (mostly men) who are able to look something in the eye and call it by its right name. You really should go to Breitbart or someplace like that and try your luck at getting people to salivate to the sound of your bell. Your appeals to these abstractions that you (wrongly) utter as though they were magical words of power are going to get you nothing here except what they have already gotten. If you are a glutton for such punishment, and if Vox is willing to put up with you, the n have at it. Knock yourself out. But you are really on the wrong website. Try your luck somewhere else.


" […] So important ideas, foundational ideas like God should not be destroyed by free speech if they are valid, it is like saying that you can talk your way in to proving 2+2 is not 4. You can not."

See UN Agenda 21 and consensus math. And keep up with what is actually going on in the world.



You are simply ignorant of what is happening in the real world. I can see that you are quite young--20-something--so you have a lot to learn, but IN FACT, UN Agenda 21 (or whatever its new name is) is promoting "consensus mathematics" in which 2 + 2 is whatever is arrived at by negotiation (which is "facilitated" by a UN "facilitator" by the way.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:39 PM  

@86 steb

Thank you for the courtesy of your reply, but it does not answer my question.

Blogger 1st Earl Hardwicke February 28, 2019 4:41 PM  

If you want a good laugh, read the 1215 Magna Carta from the perspective that it codifies liberties and not obligations. Hard to believe the Guardian wrote that this document is the cornerstone of liberty... [in England]. Click on transcript to read the document in translation.

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/magna-carta-1215

>Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.


There's a difference between taking liberties and organising to preserve dignity. The keyword being viewing it as perspective. And instead try to see truth eventually as a whole, my strategy anyway, not sure if it's working.

"In for a penny in for a pound."

Why not just "borrow" or use a persons assets. Go swimming in a neighbours pool, if they say anything. Just say, yeah but you weren't using it.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:44 PM  

@ 91 & 92 Stilicho & Snidely

I like it! Well said!

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 4:49 PM  

@106 Mr Darcy
I will skip all the paragraphs of how you are better then me, because it is not about me, and go to your only paragraph on the point.
Mr Darcy wrote:See UN Agenda 21 and consensus math. And keep up with what is actually going on in the world.
This is perfect example on
1)Why you can not talk your way in proving 2+2 is not 4 no matter who does talking, may it be UN or some more noble force representing something better.
2)This is why free speech is so important - you can laugh at these insane lunatics at UN.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:51 PM  

@94 snidely

I know. You're right. But he's an inexperienced 20-something, so I was trying to spell it out for him. And also because--like ALL leftists--he is *utterly* lacking in self-awareness. And he hasn't the faintest notion of who we are here at VD. He doesn't understand us and never will. I told him that somewhere in this thread, although I suspect he left some time ago when he found that his buzz-words and catch-phrases did not produce the expected effect. But there again, it's a symptom of ALL of "them" that they are totally divorced from the real world because they live in an world of discarnate, impossible *abstractions.* With "them," it is *always* and *only* abstractions; *never* common sense or flesh-and-blood reality.


Blogger Laramie Hirsch February 28, 2019 4:54 PM  

@105 Yes.

Also, the Magna Carta set up a politburo.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:58 PM  

@96:

Thanks for your reply. But you are asking things that I (and others better than I) have already written in this very thread.

The only advice I can give you a young man like you is to try with all your might an main to get out of your own head. Get familiar with real life and real people. With history. Stop living in the fantasy world of discarnate and impossible abstractions.

About everything and everybody being "doomed anyway," as I think you put it, I can say only that many ARE doomed, but many are not. But as you are an atheist, it seems pointless for me to go into that with you, at least in a place like a comment thread where there simply is not enough time to talk seriously about this particular matter.

Also, I have to be going in 5 mins or so. But think about what people here have told you, and DO try to get out of your own head and away from these impossible abstractions and to observe REAL people in the REAL world.

All the best.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 5:02 PM  

@99
“Free speech is an […, blah, blah, blah…] or otherwise.” There was a context for my “[…, blah, blah, blah…] impact.” As for abortion, you asked a hugely open ended question about “rotten,” and about “disagree,” and I asked how you wanted me to cherry-pick my criteria. If you can’t figure out your error on the rest of #99, sucks. Hint: your moving goalposts back and forth; you’re assuming you are the definition of reasonable. You’re all over the road, so I’m going to go ahead and exit ‘cause, well, just because.

Blogger Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 5:04 PM  

@102 Stilicho

LOL! Damn, bro! You on a ROLL today! Lovin' it!

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 5:10 PM  

I know you said no one cares about Arminian soteriology, but I thought considering you are saying there are no logical cases for freedom of speech I would place the basis of their argument here. There are Christian's who may find it interesting.

They argued as followers:

God does not force anyone to believe anything but seeks to persuade them with words, rather than force. By sending prophets (including his son) and Apostles. Therefore if God will not force someone to believe but gives them a free choice, and uses words to persuade them, than how much more should we use words to persuade people to believe instead of using force of law. In return they should be able to freely respond and seek to persuade us with words.

This was the New Testament basis for free speech advocated by the Arminian theologians who influenced Locke, and Spinoza.

This was coupled with the Old and New Testament idea that God does not like lip service, as in empty words devoid of belief. Therefore people should be free to speak according to their conscience, especially when worshipping God, as compelled speech worshipping God is something he despises. To worship him with the lips and not true belief of heart is anathema to him.

I recognize that these arguments only hold water in a society where people care what God thinks and what the Bible says. But isn't that the society we all want to work towards?

Note in relation to your arguments against Calvinism. It was specifically Arminians who developed this argument, because Calvinists actually do believe God compels us to believe. An idea O think we both agree is abhorrent and anti-Biblical.

Blogger tublecane February 28, 2019 5:13 PM  

@95- The exile/death choice is beside the point. Exiling a person for politically unacceptable speech is every bit as intolerant as putting them to death. In neither case is Socrates' speech free.

As for all other fantasy options, you wouldn't say the U.S. doesn't proscribe murder simply because convicted murderers can escape from prison.

I don't know what tyrant to which you refer. The so-called Thirty Tyrants had been overthrown and democracy restored by the time Socrates was charged. Anyway, that had been an oligarchic tyranny composed of some of Socrates' buddies. The democratic faction was more his opponent.

Blogger freddie_mac February 28, 2019 5:14 PM  

@12 Jack Amok
Once you accept membership in society is a privilege, then it's obvious Freedom of Speech - and every other "freedom" - isn't really a freedom but also a privilege, and is contingent upon respecting the mos maiorum of society.

@45 Desdichado
As with libertarianism, free speech only works in a community of people who share the same morality and sense of what is right and what is unacceptable. Break apart the community, or import foreigners who have different morality and values, and your peaceful, prosperous community doesn't work anymore because you're not all on the same page.

@81 DonReynolds
Is Sex an individual right? Of course not. Is Free Speech an individual right? Of course not. Neither are absolute rights nor do they contribute to society in every instance or occasion. These rights are conditional. Does the state have the right to suppress dangerous speech, or seditious speech, or speech by foreign agents or provocateurs or those who would agitate a riot? Most certainly. The same limitation would apply to Sex.

Lots of great comments on this thread; the three excerpts above have really helped me crystallize my own thoughts on the issue.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 5:15 PM  

@113 Mr Darcy
Since you so stubbornly keep talking about me, rather then topic at hand, and keep saying things you have no idea about, i would like to correct you. I am neither leftist, nor atheist, nor 20 year old, nor living in my head, i have seen real life more then i would want to, i have had men dying meters from me, i play football, go to gym i have read countless history books, i am sitting right now in my library with about 300 - 400 books, mostly history.
One thing tho is true from what you said - i will probably not understand you. I have been watching Vox stream for some time now, some things are interesting some not so much, it is normal, nobody is perfect, but i really did not expect in he's blog to have so many people who's first, second, third etc, reaction to somebody disagreeing and showing why - would be Ad hominem and absurd, and most importantly meaningless conjectures.
I was hoping to see something more like -
your point 1 is incorrect because A, B, C, your point 2 is incorrect because A B C , etc - it may be that it is my fault and that is not how things are done here, where i speak with people that is how it usually is done.
I am sorry if i have wasted your time.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 5:16 PM  

I recognize that this version of the free speech argument is tempered by Christian morality. People will only seek to speak what they believe to be true, because they believe they will be judged by God. What free speech has become is abhorrent precisely because society has rejected God and his morality.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 5:30 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:1)Why you can not talk your way in proving 2+2 is not 4 no matter who does talking, may it be UN or some more noble force representing something better.
Are you blind or stupid?

Andris Falks wrote:Since you so stubbornly keep talking about me, rather then topic at hand,
You, not we, have made you and what you think the topic of your conversation.
Andris Falks wrote:i really did not expect in he's blog to have so many people who's first, second, third etc, reaction to somebody disagreeing and showing why - would be Ad hominem and absurd, and most importantly meaningless conjectures.

I was hoping to see something more like -

your point 1 is incorrect because A, B, C, your point 2 is incorrect because A B C , etc - it may be that it is my fault and that is not how things are done here, where i speak with people that is how it usually is done.

Our reaction is not to you disagreeing. Do you really not know how the real world works? Do you not know that women will not only lie to themselves but believe the lies they tell themselves rather than be excluded from the group? Do you not know than the vast majority of men are cowards? Do you not see the damaging effect of lying sneering blasphemy every day? Or do you merely pretend not to see because it supports your prejudices?
You came here with frankly stupid assertions based in rhetoric, we called you out on them. If you want dialectic, start in dialectic. Really, you're not near as smart nor as educated as you seem to think.

Blogger Dave Dave February 28, 2019 5:37 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Dave Dave February 28, 2019 5:38 PM  

If free speech was a God-given right, excusing that it contradicts God's 10 Commandments, the results of free speech would be good since it is from God. Instead, we see that the results of free speech have been bad and destructive, so therefore it contradicts either the premise that what comes from God is good, or that free speech is not good because it doesn't come from God. We've seen consistently that what comes from God has been good, and if free speech does not follow this rule, it is not from God. Therefore, it's not a God-given right.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 5:43 PM  

@121 Snidely Whiplash
Snidely Whiplash wrote:1)Why you can not talk your way in proving 2+2 is not 4 no matter who does talking, may it be UN or some more noble force representing something better.

Are you blind or stupid?

???
Snidely Whiplash wrote:You, not we, have made you and what you think the topic of your conversation
I made topic of this conversation why i think free speech is good and productive.
Snidely Whiplash wrote:Do you not know that women will not only lie to themselves but believe the lies they tell themselves rather than be excluded from the group? Do you not know than the vast majority of men are cowards? Do you not see the damaging effect of lying sneering blasphemy every day? Or do you merely pretend not to see because it supports your prejudices?
How does it change any of the arguments i provided. Yes people lie. All the time. Now what, let us ban free speech, and then... and then... what????
Snidely Whiplash wrote:You came here with frankly stupid assertions based in rhetoric, we called you out on them
No.
Snidely Whiplash wrote:If you want dialectic, start in dialectic.
I did.
Snidely Whiplash wrote:Really, you're not near as smart nor as educated as you seem to think.
Ok.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 5:43 PM  

@119
Ok, you're not an atheist. So what then?

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 5:45 PM  

@125 xevious2030
Does it matter as far as free speech goes? I am not Satanist if that is what you are asking.

Blogger Dave Dave February 28, 2019 5:46 PM  

On one hand I feel like sub-70 IQ for getting ahead of myself and structuring my sentences poorly. On the other hand, I see an actual sub-70 IQ like Andris who avoids answering the questions given to him and possesses the mental capabilities of a twelve year old.

Andris, why do you really want free speech? For most intellectual children, it's so they can say whatever they want free of consequences. That's the very thing that destroys free speech. If you're the intellectual child I'm assuming you are, you ruin free speech far more than any other commenters do.

Blogger SirHamster February 28, 2019 5:50 PM  

Lushtree wrote:Forgive my impertinence, but granting the (to me rather terrifying) proposition that there is no right to Freedom of Speech, then what is our other option? What should we be espousing instead?



Speak truthfully, act justly, and love mercy.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 5:53 PM  

@127 Dave Dave
So insults, insinuations are norm here. Ok, fair enough. I will not, however stoop to that level, because i will get banned probably.
As for your question -
Dave Dave wrote:Andris, why do you really want free speech?
I have already answered it - it is beneficial to society. Yes it has it's drawbacks, but what you need to understand is that if you have no free speech, that is you have restrictions on free speech you still have same drawbacks, for example lies, except now you have new tension in society with very far going consequences up to civil war.

Blogger Dave Dave February 28, 2019 5:56 PM  

Name me one civil war that was specifically fought over free speech.

Blogger Rickaby007 February 28, 2019 5:57 PM  

The enlightenment: providing us with bad arguments, even in the current year.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 5:59 PM  

Easy - most recent one fall of USSR.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:00 PM  

"1)Free speech is not a right, it can not be, because there are no rights. That is based on simple observation. If they did exist, they would influence certain actions violating these rights, but they do not. Most important right is right to life - yet you can kill anyone. Free speech is an idea - you can support it or not.
2)Free speech helps to spread information, life blood of civilization. Yes it can also spread misinformation, but it is always up to person to decided which is which and always will be with or without free speech.
3)If you limit free speech, how do you limit and how will you insure that others will not limit your speech?
4)If you argue that some things are very valuable like - God, country and family and at the same time argue that free speech can destroy them, don't you have to ask yourself how can it be that something so important can be destroyed by free speech, by allowing people to say what they think?"


#1: This depends on how you define "rights". Most people don't actually mean things that are necessarily enforced by natural law. A more reasonable definition would be things that are beneficial and necessary to a well-functioning society.

#2: In practice, good information will spread whether it is "allowed" by human law or not. Free speech is not being used to propagate good information, rather it is being used to skate free on lies and to flaunt indecencies.

#3: "Free speech" is going to be limited anyway. It already is limited. There are many ways to punish it, ranging from social ostracism to execution for sedition. The question isn't "how do I evade consequences for my speech", because you ultimately can't. Even if man did not punish you, nature can and does.

A society in which no information but that which is true, good, and beautiful is to be propagated has to punish, restrict, and eliminate propagation of everything else. The honest question is "what are good standards of speech to be enforced". Asking for free speech isn't asking to be able to speak truth -- it's asking to not be punished for speaking lies.

#4: God cannot be destroyed by man's speech. That is next-level retarded begging the question. As for the others, what sort of question is this? That something can potentially be destroyed does not mean either that it should be destroyed or that it is not valuable.


No one made that argument but yourself. You can't seriously have concluded that without being some sort of defiler, despoiler, corrupter or destroyer yourself.

Blogger Dave Dave February 28, 2019 6:01 PM  

The USSR did not collapse because of free speech, and that wasn't a civil war.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 28, 2019 6:01 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:

Are you blind or stupid?

???

Stupid then. Good choice. it absolves you for fault, though not blame or consequences.

Andris Falks wrote:So insults, insinuations are norm here. Ok, fair enough. I will not, however stoop to that level, because i will get banned probably.
When (not if) you get banned, it will be for your inability to add to the discourse, because you don't understand what is said to you.

That said, I'm done with you, you too dumb for words.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 6:05 PM  

@134 I lived in it and it did and it was. You can argue economic reasons or nationalism in smaller republics, but ultimately it was about being forced to be silent for many decades and therefore inability to correct and improve bad system. And yes it was civil war and it is still happening.

Blogger Dave Dave February 28, 2019 6:10 PM  

You're too stupid to bother talking to. You're wrong about everything, which is alarming because stupidity usually gets it right every so often. Come back when you're capable of discussing these topics with us.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:11 PM  

Andris, your arguments all amount to:

#1: "There are no necessities."
#2: "There should be no consequences, because I would be punished."
#3: "I'm weak and afraid."
#4: "I want to defile things, and it can be done, so I have a right to do it."

That's probably why Vox said you were stupid, your arguments were rhetorical, and that you were a sodomite. Because that's how you've spoken.

Blogger eclecticme February 28, 2019 6:13 PM  

@6. tz February 28, 2019 11:45 AM
I do have one problem with the discussion. The definition of "free speech" is never given...

It did NOT include incitement, defamation, slander, blasphemy, obscenity or pornography (which was included in the then uncontroversial Comstock laws around 1875 along with Abortion or Contraceptives).


There's also the Criminal v.s. Civil aspects, and even Copyrights get caught up in the issue. ...

I bring this up because it seems everyone is talking past each other, not merely two, but maybe dozens of different points or ideas. Everyone has a clear idea of what they personally mean by "free speech" in their mind, but in all the words pro or con, I can't even tell what is being defended or attacked, and enforcement is a critical component as well.

I think I could argue for or against it, depending on what it actually is I'm arguing about.


Exactly. I cannot even see what the argument is about because I can think of so many different examples. Maybe it is because there are dozens of different arguments using the same words.

I always map words to specific examples in my thinking. When I parse the phrase 'free speech I come up with too many specific examples that are different from each other.

We do not have absolute free speech in the US nor should we. Same with other cultures. See the above examples.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 6:14 PM  

@133 Azure Amaranthine
Thank you for answer.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:In practice, good information will spread whether it is "allowed" by human law or not. Free speech is not being used to propagate good information, rather it is being used to skate free on lies and to flaunt indecencies.
That is precisely the point - information will flow, it is better not to stiffen it. Let the liars be seen and heard, rather them being hidden in basements and whispering in shadows.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:#3: "Free speech" is going to be limited anyway. It already is limited. There are many ways to punish it, ranging from social ostracism to execution for sedition. The question isn't "how do I evade consequences for my speech", because you ultimately can't. Even if man did not punish you, nature can and does.
I agree it is being limited, to the detriment of society.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:A society in which no information but that which is true, good, and beautiful is to be propagated has to punish, restrict, and eliminate propagation of everything else. The honest question is "what are good standards of speech to be enforced". Asking for free speech isn't asking to be able to speak truth -- it's asking to not be punished for speaking lies.
Here lies one of great problems - who decides these things - what is true, what can and can not be said, etc? It leads to dark places.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:#4: God cannot be destroyed by man's speech. That is next-level retarded begging the question. As for the others, what sort of question is this? That something can potentially be destroyed does not mean either that it should be destroyed or that it is not valuable.
My point is if God and Christianity were destroyed (partially in society) by free speech as Vox argues,
then how was it possible? How could it be that free speech could destroy truth? Should not God, his son and his teachings be strong enough to withstand winds of free speech and if not, then why not? I already gave example of 2+2=4. Speak as much as you want you can not say it is wrong.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 6:19 PM  

@126
No, I was asking what you are, not what you aren’t.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:21 PM  

"That is precisely the point - information will flow, it is better not to stiffen it."

Absolutely not. Information that should not flow should be restricted and punished. You are arguing that because the standards might not be to your liking, that there should be no standards.

"Here lies one of great problems - who decides these things - what is true, what can and can not be said, etc? It leads to dark places."

That something could potentially be abused does not excuse allowing abuse on the outset.

"My point is if God and Christianity were destroyed (partially in society) by free speech as Vox argues"

Vox does not argue that.

"then how was it possible? How could it be that free speech could destroy truth? Should not God, his son and his teachings be strong enough to withstand winds of free speech and if not, then why not?"

Should not your body be strong enough to withstand being drawn and quartered and subsequently paraded as an example of what happens to agents of perversion? Even if not, why should you be spared?

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 February 28, 2019 6:22 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:I agree it is being limited, to the detriment of society.

In full agreement.

Andris Falks wrote:My point is if God and Christianity were destroyed (partially in society) by free speech as Vox argues,

then how was it possible?


I would argue that the moral cowardice of many nominally Christian leaders destroyed God's position in our society. Much of Progressive thought is prima facie nonsense, and it gets worse the deeper you dig into it - there is no way for it to compete in the realm of ideas. So Progs don't try - instead they moralize and browbeat. The only way this can work is if their opposition concedes the moral principles at stake and instead tries to argue the terms of surrender.

Why did they surrender the *moral* dimension of the battlefield?

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 6:22 PM  

139. Azure Amaranthine
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Andris, your arguments all amount to:

#1: "There are no necessities."

#2: "There should be no consequences, because I would be punished."

#3: "I'm weak and afraid."

#4: "I want to defile things, and it can be done, so I have a right to do it."

That's probably why Vox said you were stupid, your arguments were rhetorical, and that you were a sodomite. Because that's how you've spoken.


Could you please point out where in my arguments i say there are no necessities? That is wrong.
Where did i say there should be no consequences? That is also wrong.
Rest is just nonsense.
There are necessities - but they have nothing to do with ideas as such and exchange of information.
And there, no question, should be consequences if what you said caused, provably, harm. No question. But this is a tricky thing - harm will be defined in different way and for different reasons - if you say there is no God in certain places they will kill you, because you harmed religion - is that a valid consequence? I think not. But yelling fire in crowded cinema, causing stampeded should be punishable. You get my point, consequences are tricky thing in this matter.

Blogger eclecticme February 28, 2019 6:25 PM  

There was a local example of 'censorship' in Minneapolis that I found funny. Lib vs. lib.

The Mpls public library (a govt institution, so US 1st amendment applies) has lots of computers hooked up to the internet. People, including lots of homeless, used to watch porn and play with themselves.

Should the govt engage in 'censorship'? OMG, no! /sarcasm

If having a women in bikinis calendar in the workplace constitutes a 'hostile workplace environment' for women then what is wall to wall effing and sucking on computer screens in front of the librarians?

The later argument won out and porn filters were installed.

'Free speech' thus died in Minneapolis as govt censorship raised its ugly head. /sarcasm

Blogger The Cooler February 28, 2019 6:30 PM  

Andris Falks: exemplar of the Average Man.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 6:31 PM  

@143
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Absolutely not. Information that should not flow should be restricted and punished. You are arguing that because the standards might not be to your liking, that there should be no standards
And what if they will not be to your liking hmm?
Azure Amaranthine wrote:That something could potentially be abused does not excuse allowing abuse on the outset.


Free flow of information is not abuse. Lies can be proven as lies without installing censorship in society, however if you install it truth can become lies and forbidden very fast.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:"My point is if God and Christianity were destroyed (partially in society) by free speech as Vox argues"

Vox does not argue that.

I may have misunderstood him then, but as i understood him he argued that enlightenment was a tool to destroy Christianity and free speech was one of the tools used by enlightenment. I could be wrong, but that is what i understood.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Should not your body be strong enough to withstand being drawn and quartered and subsequently paraded as an example of what happens to agents of perversion? Even if not, why should you be spared?
!!??

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:34 PM  

"Could you please point out where in my arguments i say there are no necessities? That is wrong."

You said that if something can be violated it is therefore not a right. Because all of the physical world is to an extent malleable, all of the physical world can be to an extent violated, and therefore by your argument the physical world does not "rightly" exist. Look, these interpretations are only going to look worse and worse for you. Stop while I'm still on the relatively nice ones.

"Where did i say there should be no consequences? That is also wrong."

What the hell do you think restriction, censoring, and punishment are? They are types of consequence that you don't want.

"there, no question, should be consequences if what you said caused, provably, harm. No question. But this is a tricky thing - harm will be defined in different way and for different reasons"

So you admit that there necessarily will be consequences of interaction with other human beings. It doesn't matter if what you said provably caused harm or not. Consequences from the natural law are based on the objective nature of your actions. Nature knows what you did, and it's going to punish you, whether you can conceal it from men or not.

"But yelling fire in crowded cinema, causing stampeded should be punishable."

And then you admit that not only will there be consequences, but that there should be.

So really, you don't believe in free speech at all. You believe that what you want said should be protected by free speech and other things should be punished.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd February 28, 2019 6:34 PM  

Can't legislate morality? Nonsense! You can't legislate anything else!

If you legalize porn, you are forcing your pro-porn morality on the rest of us. If you outlaw porn, you are forcing your anti-porn morality on the rest of us. All legislation is nothing but legislating morality - somebody forcing his ideas on somebody else.

Legislation must be kept minimal, which means our society must be kept Anglo-Saxon.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd February 28, 2019 6:35 PM  

If we are worried about who is going to police our speech, that's a sign that our society is insufficiently homogeneous.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 6:37 PM  

Do you think you should be prosecuted for heresy, or do you think it's the classical theists who should be burnt at the stake?

Are you really THAT stupid? Do you also ask economists discussing interest rates how large their mortgage is?

The fact that you would ask that question of me demonstrates how totally unprepared you are to join in the discourse here. When you wonder why I ignore your questions in the future, this is why.

Blogger xevious2030 February 28, 2019 6:40 PM  

@126
If we're to the point of you answering questions with questions, after your thing about just wanting straight answers, eat shit.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:40 PM  

"And what if they will not be to your liking hmm?"

Because I'm not a little bitch I'll either endure it or do my duty toward changing them if they are objectively evil. That's what I'm already doing, as point of fact.

You don't seem to get it. Your speech is already restricted. There's no going back. You either win or get erased, and being a pussy who refuses to fight is voting for your own erasure.

"Free flow of information is not abuse. Lies can be proven as lies without installing censorship in society, however if you install it truth can become lies and forbidden very fast. "

Flow of lies, perversions, and filth is abuse, and they will flow if information flows freely.

Lies will drown you under miles of deceits before you can disprove a tiny fraction of them. They must be combated at every level, juncture, and moment by every individual and polity.

Truth is already being called lies, so when you tell me not to censor lies, I'm going to tell you to go fuck yourself.

"!!??"

It is an exact clone of your argument with only the subject changed. If your argument was valid, so is this one.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 6:42 PM  

I've never understood why porn even comes into the free speech debate. Porn is not speech, it is action recorded on video, or photo, or other media format.

Speech is written or spoken words.

I think those who argued that porn should be defined as speech were perverted and perverted the free speech argument deliberately to enable porn to flow freely.

I agree porn is bad, but it's not speech. So banning it is not banning free speech. It's banning the display of an act.

Blogger eclecticme February 28, 2019 6:44 PM  

@103. Mr Darcy February 28, 2019 4:17 PM
@78 maniacprovost
" […]There are so many nonviolent ways to punish people. You can shun them to death. So why would we need to jail someone for porn?"

For the same reasons we punish anybody who sells addictive substances to other people: Because it not only has the potential to destroy lives--and that includes lives (and property) of those around the consumer of porn (or whatever). Selling addictive things to people is not a victimless crime. That's why it is rightfully punished. It's true that you can't legislate morality, but you most certainly CAN legislate punishment for those who actively do things that destroy other people.


The SCOTUS has pretty much legalized all porn except child porn, and even that if it is simulated or animated, not actual photography. They even ruled that naked dancing (strippers) is covered under free expression.

I don't know if porn destroys lives but it changes the social fabric and for the worse IMO. Driving it underground is an improvement, as it is in many cultures.

Federal courts impose dress codes and speech codes in the court room. They do this so they maintain 'decorum' and manage the process. Violate these and get sanctioned or tossed in jail. They do not like chaos and vulgarity in the courtroom. There is no free speech in the courtroom.

They do not care what their rulings do to society outside of the courtroom.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 6:47 PM  

@149
Azure Amaranthine wrote:You said that if something can be violated it is therefore not a right. Because all of the physical world is to an extent malleable, all of the physical world can be to an extent violated, and therefore by your argument the physical world does not "rightly" exist.
That is just sophistry. Physical world still exists no matter how you violate it. Human once killed is dead - so right to life does not exist outside moral concepts - ideas.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:What the hell do you think restriction, censoring, and punishment are? They are types of consequence that you don't want.
This could be more to the point. I think where we differ and i could be wrong is that you and Vox and most of ppl here argue that there should be a certain things about which nobody should talk and if they do - punishment. I gave example about God in ISIS cities. Said no God = dead. I believe there should be consequences if it is provable that some harm has been done - so not active censorship, but reactive if you will.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:So you admit that there necessarily will be consequences of interaction with other human beings. It doesn't matter if what you said provably caused harm or not. Consequences from the natural law are based on the objective nature of your actions. Nature knows what you did, and it's going to punish you, whether you can conceal it from men or not.


Well that is all together different matter, God or nature has not censored anyone yet, at least while alive.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:47 PM  

"I've never understood why porn even comes into the free speech debate."

Because it's protected under arguments for free speech.

Blogger sammibandit February 28, 2019 6:52 PM  

If you support free speech especially in the Enlightenment vein you must support books like 120 Days of Sodom and Justine. Without going into whether or not those books are fiction or non-fiction we can easily see they are pornographic. Some of the most disturbing sets of words put to print and they are still being printed came from the hands of this fiend.

The Marquis being a vocal libertine may have looked on the obligations codified in the Magna Carta as an infringement on his nature. But we know by now that freedom cannot be decoupled from obligation.

In Braveheart Mel Gibson's William Wallace was given the freedom to recant in exchange for a swift death. He chose not to and was obligated to a harsher execution.

Such that it was the Maquis' nature to be a thorn in the side of all that is decent and good, degeneracy for the sake of degeneracy is connoted with him and violence for pleasure is denoted with him. How are we supposed to think he did a good when these are the fruits he bears?

BBC provides a serviceable description of free speech as hedonist pornography posted below, though they labour unsuccessfully to demonstrate his novels are not pornographic. More on that in a bit. It's well worth a read to see how cancerous this man was in the collective consciousness of the West.

>"We rail against the passions,” [the Maquis] wrote, “but never think that it is from their flame that philosophy lights its torch.” For Sade, vile and cruel desires are not aberrations. They are fundamental, even constitutive aspects of human nature. And what is more, said Sade, those faculties of reason that Enlightenment thinkers held in such high esteem are only a byproduct of these deep-seated desires: humans are governed by these desires far more than by any rational impetus. Nobility is a fraud. Cruelty is natural. Immorality is the only morality, vice the only virtue.

The quoted sentence above is supposed to convince us that his primary concern was philosophy, love of knowledge, and not degeneracy and sodomy. If he wanted to say that all decisions have an emotional component he could have said that, but he didn't. He said degeneracy inspires his philosophy. Not the inverse.

Consider the BBC's description of 120 Days of Sodom,

>His early 120 Days of Sodom, with its endless lists of slicings, fractures, immolations, exsanguinations and death, offers no sexual titillation at all.

I don't think the author agrees it's not pornographic. And he doesn't need to have an opinion because it is clearly pornographic. Pornography doesn't need to titillate, it just needs to be sexual and/or obscene.

Is this what you support, free speech sodomites?

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20141006-marquis-de-sade-still-shocking

Blogger 1st Earl Hardwicke February 28, 2019 6:53 PM  

Protection of minors is I think a good reason not to have Free Speech.
There is a Victor Hugo, illustration somewhere that say something like "The law protects the weak."

-------------
The scandal and abuses brought about by these clandestine marriages became so great that they became the object of special legislation. In 1753, Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act[4] was passed, which required, under pain of annulment, that banns should be published or a licence obtained; that, in either case, the marriage should be solemnized in church by a recognised clergyman; and that in the case of minors, marriage by licence must be by the consent of parent or guardian; and that at least two witnesses must be present. Jewish and Quaker ceremonies were exempt. Clergymen conducting clandestine marriages were liable to transportation[5].

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 6:54 PM  

"That is just sophistry."

It's just like your sophistry.

The physical world can, and under current understanding will, eventually be reduced to an expanding cloud of radiation. World once gone is gone, so rightness of world does not exist outside of current conceptual delusion of it.

What, don't like your own arguments when they apply to things you didn't expect?

"you and Vox and most of ppl here argue that there should be a certain things about which nobody should talk and if they do - punishment."

Not only that there should be, but that there already are, and that there necessarily will be. Once your pieces are on the board, refusing to play only means that you automatically lose.

"I believe there should be consequences if it is provable that some harm has been done"

Proof as used by humans is arbitrary. All you've done is moved the burden from objective law to subjective instantial jurisdiction. Less proof will be enough if the arbiter thinks it is. More proof will be insufficient if the arbiter thinks it is.

"Well that is all together different matter, God or nature has not censored anyone yet, at least while alive."

Hahhaahahahahahahaa. That response deserves nothing but ridicule, so great is the contained ignorance.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 6:58 PM  

@153
Think about what you write here very carefully
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Flow of lies, perversions, and filth is abuse, and they will flow if information flows freely.

Lies will drown you under miles of deceits before you can disprove a tiny fraction of them.

Think about that very carefully. If it is so, then how will you censor it? How will you distinguish what is what? Think about it very carefully.

Azure Amaranthine wrote:Truth is already being called lies, so when you tell me not to censor lies, I'm going to tell you to go fuck yourself.
You are barking at the wrong tree, i am not calling truth lies. Also i am not telling you to do anything.
All i am saying is societies benefit when information can flow freely and IF there are provable cases of lies, punishing liars, otherwise if you censor opinions, or ideas it is counterproductive and creates reaction, not to mention it can be directed at you or me, as it is now in all sorts of social media platforms.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 7:02 PM  

"The quoted sentence above is supposed to convince us that his primary concern was philosophy, love of knowledge, and not degeneracy and sodomy. If he wanted to say that all decisions have an emotional component he could have said that, but he didn't. He said degeneracy inspires his philosophy. Not the inverse."

Sade was absolutely right about the enlightenment thinkers though. Without God, reason is passion's bitch.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:04 PM  

I understand it is protected under such arguments. But those arguments are a perversion of free speech. First they have to change the term to "freedom of expression", then define that term as broadly as possible to sneak it under.

Those who first made the arguments, and those who passed it into law have really just perverted free speech for immoral means.

Blogger Kurt February 28, 2019 7:05 PM  

1. There is no such thing as a right to do wrong;

2. Blasphemy is wrong;

3. Ergo, there is no right to free speech.

Blogger steve brown February 28, 2019 7:07 PM  

@53 The Cooler

You have won the coveted "best comment of the thread" award. Good job!

Now if only Vox could muster a little more tolerance for that "average man," but then Spacebunny would not have near the opportunities to set him straight.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:07 PM  

"Without God reason is passions bitch."

Hardly a truer word has ever been spoken.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 7:08 PM  

"Think about that very carefully. If it is so, then how will you censor it? How will you distinguish what is what? Think about it very carefully."

It's already happening. Refusing to play isn't going to save you. Man up or get ravaged in the rear, your choice. Take control or be controlled. Subject or be subjected.

"All i am saying is societies benefit when information can flow freely and IF there are provable cases of lies, punishing liars, otherwise if you censor opinions, or ideas it is counterproductive and creates reaction, not to mention it can be directed at you or me, as it is now in all sorts of social media platforms."

Society is the intercourse of individuals, and human law is the restrictions we choose to apply to improve that intercourse. As one of the main vectors of social intercourse, speech can and must be subject to lawful restrictions.

Yes I will fall on the bad side of some of those restrictions. Sometimes it will be deserved. If I am not wholly evil, sometimes it may be undeserved. That I might be punished in no way makes me think that refusing to punish evil is a good idea.

You are arguing for a coalition of degenerates to protect each other from consequences. I am not that degenerate. Burn bitch burn.

Blogger maniacprovost February 28, 2019 7:12 PM  

" […]There are so many nonviolent ways to punish people. You can shun them to death. So why would we need to jail someone for porn?"

For the same reasons we punish anybody who sells addictive substances to other people: Because


Punish does not equal jail. That should have been the point of my argument.

When we allow the (Federal, Imperial) state to punish people for speech, they will punish based on what suits their need to maintain power, not on what is good/beautiful/truthful.

If we shun and deplatform people for speech, the punishment is still variable in severity and duration, up to the point of death; but no one party can unilaterally enforce their whims. In my opinion this method is much more reliable and equally as effective. We could certainly debate that point.

I judge ethical principles partly by how well they accord with pragmatic principles. This method requires a better than average understanding of pragmatism... most people can't grasp Lean production, much less emergent self organization, which is why we don't have either. But then, most people can't use math or induction to reason either. The point is that in this case, my ethical sense jibes with what I believe to be practical, so I am confident in both.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 7:15 PM  

"There are so many nonviolent ways to punish people. You can shun them to death. So why would we need to jail someone for porn?"

Death by shunning only works in extremely integrated societies. Because the human capacity for integration is limited, sufficiently large societies necessarily become unable to kill their malefactors by shunning them, because not everyone can track every malefactor.

Therefore prison.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 7:18 PM  

@167
Azure Amaranthine wrote:It's already happening. Refusing to play isn't going to save you. Man up or get ravaged in the rear, your choice. Take control or be controlled. Subject or be subjected.
That is just evil. So if there is a profitable abortion clinic that is making millions i should do same in my clinic, because "it is already happening"?
You realize you are justifying action just because others are doing it. I say it is wrong no matter who does it.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Society is the intercourse of individuals, and human law is the restrictions we choose to apply to improve that intercourse. As one of the main vectors of social intercourse, speech can and must be subject to lawful restrictions.
Only if it is reactive. If it is active - saying you can not talk about A, B, C etc it will lead society to very dark places, because you can always ad E, F etc. and use it (censorship) as a tool vs others not as something that is revealing lies
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Yes I will fall on the bad side of some of those restrictions. Sometimes it will be deserved. If I am not wholly evil, sometimes it may be undeserved. That I might be punished in no way makes me think that refusing to punish evil is a good idea.
Punish evil is a good idea, punish innocent is bad idea.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:You are arguing for a coalition of degenerates to protect each other from consequences. I am not that degenerate
No.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Burn bitch burn.
Why would you want to burn me. I mean seriously? Have you ever smelled burning human flesh? Do you know what it is like to be burned alive? I really do not understand this hostility.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:19 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:20 PM  

Kurt wrote:1. There is no such thing as a right to do wrong;

2. Blasphemy is wrong;

3. Ergo, there is no right to free speech.


1. There is no such thing as a right to do wrong.

2. Blasphemy is wrong; but Christians do not fully agree on what is blasphemy;

3. Ergo, free speech is necessary to persuade and reason with people to come to conclusions about blasphemy.

4. Jesus told us to not seek to rip out the tears, lest we destroy the wheat,

5. Ergo if we use force to compels people's speech we have disobeyed Christ command, and cannot be guaranteed to have prevented blasphemy.

6. So reason free speech is necessary to be faithful to the commands of Christ.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:21 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:27 PM  

*reasoned free speech

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 7:28 PM  

"That is just evil. So if there is a profitable abortion clinic that is making millions i should do same in my clinic, because "it is already happening"?
You realize you are justifying action just because others are doing it. I say it is wrong no matter who does it."


You slimy little liar. Properly formed, my argument says that because abortions are being performed they should be regulated, not that I should be performing them too.

"Only if it is reactive. If it is active - saying you can not talk about A, B, C etc it will lead society to very dark places"

No, it won't. It keeps them out of very dark places. Active enforcement is one of many integrated levels of solution.

I will apply again: Active enforcement already happens. Active enforcement is a logically necessary consequence of social intercourse occurring in the first place. Therefore, it should be subjugated to good.

"Punish evil is a good idea"

Therefore punish evil speech is a good idea.

"Why would you want to burn me. I mean seriously? Have you ever smelled burning human flesh? Do you know what it is like to be burned alive? I really do not understand this hostility."

You know how when you see a cute puppy, you want to pet it? Or when you see a poisonous spider you want to either kill it or flee? I'm more the fight than the flight sort, and my initial impression of you is that you are something to be squashed. I couldn't say exactly how I derived my initial impressions, only that they are accurate and that I am constantly moderating my actions based on them to better fit their level of accuracy in hindsight.

Blogger tublecane February 28, 2019 7:29 PM  

@158- Haven't read 120 Days of Sodom or Justine, But I did read Bedroom Philosophy. It was boring more than anything else, while at the same time being inarguably pornographic and obscene. If it didn't titillate the BBC or myself, that may be a matter of taste.

They associate transgression with excitement, and the two go together often. At least in the initial rush. But titillating things grow tiresome quickly.

Blogger Kurt February 28, 2019 7:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2019 7:33 PM  

"Blasphemy is wrong; but Christians do not fully agree on what is blasphemy;

3. Ergo, free speech is necessary to persuade and reason with people to come to conclusions about blasphemy. "


That they do not fully agree does not mean that they do not agree at all and that blasphemy should not be punished.

From the perspective of cohesion it is necessary to either discipline, kill, or exile the outliers, otherwise your group as a cohesive entity ceases to exist. Groups that are incoherent will be defeated by more coherent groups. Sufficiently deviant definitions of blasphemy should also be subject to such.

Obviously discipline or exile are ideal, but discipline can only bend someone so much without breaking them, and the world only has so much space for exile, especially when previous exiles who don't die form their own groups to populate more of the given space.

Blogger LP916 February 28, 2019 7:34 PM  

Thank you for posting the two authors, reading is much more enjoyable in the written form for this matter.

Porn is terrible for women and men. It is a misuse and and abuse of the soul - today the glutes are sold to men and it is profoundly homosexual.

What is the problem?

Partially is this the sin of coveting? People today think they can do and have and be whatever they want like fish on bikes, women in college, empowering them gave us this cultural 'moral awfulness, political anarchy' etc.

All because I want to say something doesn't mean I should, like ever.

Why are you talking about that guy, he literally tied up women and beat them for kicks. Oscar Wilde was another one but he didn't tie things and people up like a psycho. Both are horrendous pieces of trash in history.

"Even the emperor Hadrian, a pagan and not to be classed among the good princes, would never listen to a charge of lese-majeste; and not even that cruel monster Nero gave much heed to secret accusation on that charge. There was another one who paid no attention at all to charges of this sort and said, "In a free country, tongues likewise should be free." Therefore, there are no crimes which a good prince will pardon more readily or more gladly than those which affect him alone.
- Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince"

I have to sit back and digest that, rather shocking. Not the thread debating porn but what seem reasonable is not reasonable when I read that in modernity or today in 2019.

Blogger Andris Falks February 28, 2019 7:37 PM  

@175
Azure Amaranthine wrote:You slimy little liar. Properly formed, my argument says that because abortions are being performed they should be regulated, not that I should be performing them too.
Yeah and my argument is they should not be performed.

Azure Amaranthine wrote:No, it won't. It keeps them out of very dark places. Active enforcement is one of many integrated levels of solution.

I will apply again: Active enforcement already happens. Active enforcement is a logically necessary consequence of social intercourse occurring in the first place. Therefore, it should be subjugated to good.

Really? Let me give you a simple example. In UK you are censored to speak badly about islam and pakis. Result? About 10000 children and women raped by paki gang. Cops being afraid to be called racist (consequences) and fired just ignored it and hush hushed it.
Azure Amaranthine wrote:Therefore punish evil speech is a good idea.
Sure, you just have to prove it actually is evil. Same as sniper taking out hostile is good, but B52 dropping 20 tons of bombs on village, because there might be one bad guy is bad and evil in itself.

Azure Amaranthine wrote:You know how when you see a cute puppy, you want to pet it? Or when you see a poisonous spider you want to either kill it or flee? I'm more the fight than the flight sort, and my initial impression of you is that you are something to be squashed. I couldn't say exactly how I derived my initial impressions, only that they are accurate and that I am constantly moderating my actions based on them to better fit their level of accuracy in hindsight.
Strange, i do not get this at all especially via internet.

Blogger LP916 February 28, 2019 7:38 PM  

179 That guy meaning DeSade -

Anyways, those stupid old dead people pushed Flynt the porn seller thru the courts and the sickos even gave him a movie in 80s or 90s.

Blogger Primus Pilus February 28, 2019 7:44 PM  

We can look around ourselves this very second and see what "Free Speech" results in. It results in the absolute ascendance of Marxist thought, while Right-wing speech is de facto criminalized, even when not de jure criminalized.

Debating the merit of the concept in the abstract at this point is about as pointless as debating what the answer to 2+2 might be in a completely alien set of mathematics. We know what 2+2 results in in our world, and we know what "free speech" results in in our world.

Blogger SirHamster February 28, 2019 7:45 PM  

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:2. Blasphemy is wrong; but Christians do not fully agree on what is blasphemy;
So?

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:3. Ergo, free speech is necessary to persuade and reason with people to come to conclusions about blasphemy.
Untrue. Blasphemy was recognized and punished long before free speech was invented.

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:4. Jesus told us to not seek to rip out the tears, lest we destroy the wheat,
No he didn't.

You don't have any right to make false statements about what Jesus said.

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:5. Ergo if we use force to compels people's speech we have disobeyed Christ command, and cannot be guaranteed to have prevented blasphemy.
Punishing bad speech is not compelling speech.

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:6. So reason free speech is necessary to be faithful to the commands of Christ.
4 is untrue, so 6 does not hold.

Putting words in Jesus's mouth is stepping on the line of blasphemy, you ought tread carefully.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:46 PM  

I agree with you that cohesion is necessary for society to work. The pre-enlightenment arguments made for freedom of speech and religion were designed and argued in a context where everyone was Christian. They were proposed as a way for Christians to co-exist in society peacefully, and to do so successfully, and they worked for a very long time. So the basis of my understanding of free speech is you need a mostly (almost exclusively) Christian and largely moral society for it to work.

You are wrong though the exile, discipline and punishment by burning worked. It actually severely broke down in the 15-17th centuries. Killing people did not stop the ideas flowing. It in fact exacerbated the problem in many cases. Often reasonable mon-conformist leaders were killed, and less reasonable ones took their place and caused more damage, this is what happened in Munster in the 1530's, as just one example.

I think where free speech really started to become dangerous was when society was flooded by immigrants from societies that were not Christian in anyway, they along, with social Marxists, have used our tolerance as a way to destroy us. In fact those Marxists have used immigration to import in voters without Christian values to achieve their ends.

So cohesion is necessary, but using force against dissenting Christians is not necessarily the best way to create cohesion of ideas. Defending our borders and favouring the native citizens is the best way.

Blogger The Contrarian February 28, 2019 7:49 PM  

Vox, just started reading SJWs Always Lie. If you're ever "challenged" again by the likes of Scalzi for pageviews, just do a few more blogs on free speech, and the competition won't stand a chance.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:50 PM  

SirHamster wrote:Matrim's Mutterings wrote:2. Blasphemy is wrong; but Christians do not fully agree on what is blasphemy;

So?

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:3. Ergo, free speech is necessary to persuade and reason with people to come to conclusions about blasphemy.

Untrue. Blasphemy was recognized and punished long before free speech was invented.

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:4. Jesus told us to not seek to rip out the tears, lest we destroy the wheat,

No he didn't.

You don't have any right to make false statements about what Jesus said.

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:5. Ergo if we use force to compels people's speech we have disobeyed Christ command, and cannot be guaranteed to have prevented blasphemy.

Punishing bad speech is not compelling speech.

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:6. So reason free speech is necessary to be faithful to the commands of Christ.

4 is untrue, so 6 does not hold.

Putting words in Jesus's mouth is stepping on the line of blasphemy, you ought tread carefully.


Ah yes he did:

24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds[c] among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants[d] of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13:24-30)

Ah we not his servants? He told us not to rip out the tares lest we destroy the wheat.


Also free speech was necessary to work out blasphemy, that was all sorted out in the pre-Christendom councils held in Rome, where people discussed freely.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 7:53 PM  

SirHamster if you want to disagree with me about the application of Jesus' words that's fine. But I did not put words in his mouth. I simply applied what he said to this topic, which is exactly how Christians in the 16th and 17th centuries applied those words.

Blogger maniacprovost February 28, 2019 7:58 PM  

Death by shunning only works in extremely integrated societies. Because the human capacity for integration is limited, sufficiently large societies necessarily become unable to kill their malefactors by shunning them, because not everyone can track every malefactor.

That's why larger societies require more organization, which may require more technology. Take China's social credit system, or the SJW punishment of right wing speech.

It's true that, in the USA, a community in Georgia can't shun a community in Hollywood to death. It requires a majority who are passively willing to go along with the norm. The passive majority allows all of us to be censored, kicked off social media, denied banking services, fired from corporations, etc. How successful would pornographers be without homes, utilities, or internet service?

Corporate America can enforce subtle rules on appropriate speech and attire to the extent that the culture is homogenous... surely if we wanted, they could shut down the porn industry within a week.

On the other hand, neither they nor the government nor Anarchist Vigilantes can stop all porn or all drugs. Duterte can't. Islam can't. China can't.

On the gripping hand, if we as a people do NOT want to get rid of porn via corporate bullying or social shaming, then we're not going to do it via Republican electoral politics either.

Blogger Kurt February 28, 2019 8:00 PM  

I responded to your removed comment, so I'm posting my response here again.

The fact that we may disagree on what blasphemy is does not change the nature of authority and government. Authority is the capacity to make moral demands that subjects are obligated to obey. From this we can conclude that "freedom" means putting the right people in jail. Nevertheless, you have given an argument for a prudential reason to allow certain speech, not an absolute right to free speech.

Blogger SirHamster February 28, 2019 8:11 PM  

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:Ah we not his servants? He told us not to rip out the tares lest we destroy the wheat.

That is a parable. It's an analogy to help disciples understand something about the kingdom of heaven.

"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a ..."

A comparison is not a command.

A command is something like this: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34)


Matrim's Mutterings wrote:But I did not put words in his mouth.

You made a category mistake. You do not want to make any mistakes about "What Jesus told us to do". Teachers are held to a higher standard.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 8:15 PM  

The kingdom of heaven is like a place where the master tells his servants not to tear out the tares, lest we destroy the wheat.

You say it is a category mistake to call that a command, but if the master wishes his kingdom to be like that, his wish is my command.

Blogger VD February 28, 2019 8:16 PM  

1. There is no such thing as a right to do wrong.

2. Blasphemy is wrong; but Christians do not fully agree on what is blasphemy;

3. Ergo, free speech is necessary to persuade and reason with people to come to conclusions about blasphemy.


Premise 2 is incorrect, moreover, 3 does not follow even if 2 had been correct.

Blogger birdman February 28, 2019 8:23 PM  

Can't deny that

Blogger sammibandit February 28, 2019 8:23 PM  

Sade was absolutely right about the enlightenment thinkers though. Without God, reason is passion's bitch.

Good call. If I may paraphrase to check that I understand, if one is not devoted to God then that one may be free to use reason instrumentally in serving one's passions all else equal? I.E. "whuteva, whuteva, I do what I want?"

By the way, I really appreciate your commenting style especially when I learned in your replies to Adris that your flight/fight response is usually locked on fight. I believe I will be learning a lot from you.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 8:24 PM  

Plus when Jesus explains the parable he says he will send his Angel's to clear out the sinners and law breakers at the end of the age. In other words: vengeance is the Lord's. If the Angel's must wait till the end of the age, even more so should we, and Christ certainly never commanded us to harm someone because we disagree with them.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 8:27 PM  

There are Christian who believe that open theism is blasphemy, that Arminianism is blasphemy, and that infant baptism is blasphemy. I disagree with those who think that way. Hence what do you mean by saying premise two is incorrect?

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 8:36 PM  

Another good example is the Eastern Orthodox church. I have read some brilliant articles about how Orthodox theologians argue that the determinism of Calvinist theologians is blasphemy. I thought they were being a bit harsh, even though I reject Calvinist determinism. But this again hi-lights that Christians do disagree about what should be put in the category of blasphemy. Though there are things I am sure we all agree with, across denominations.

Blogger SirHamster February 28, 2019 8:39 PM  

Matrim's Mutterings wrote:You say it is a category mistake to call that a command, but if the master wishes his kingdom to be like that, his wish is my command.

You said Jesus told us, and called it a command.

Now you say it's a wish, which you are treating as a command. Your interpretation of Jesus's wishes is not the same thing as a command from Jesus.

You cannot afford to be this sloppy with words while telling others to do as you say.


Matrim's Mutterings wrote:Plus when Jesus explains the parable he says he will send his Angel's to clear out the sinners and law breakers at the end of the age. In other words: vengeance is the Lord's. If the Angel's must wait till the end of the age, even more so should we, and Christ certainly never commanded us to harm someone because we disagree with them.

So you already know that the parable has to do with the final harvest.

Then you know you are the wheat/tares, not the servant. Jesus isn't giving you a command here. He's telling you why the angels are held back from sorting out the wicked and righteous until Judgment day.

You can use that to see God's intentions and purpose, but you cannot call that a command. You have made an error and you need to retract it.

Otherwise you are a liar lying about what Jesus commands.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 8:42 PM  

Perhaps you are right that premise 3 does not have to follow as written, I could have better put it:

3. Ergo, reasoned free speech is helpful to persuade and reason with people to come to conclusions about blasphemy.

Blogger Matrim's Mutterings February 28, 2019 8:48 PM  

Ok, I will retract it as a direct command given to us.

But I still think it shows us: 1) How Jesus wants the wheat and tares to be treated till judgment day. 2) It shows us that the kingdom of heaven here on earth is not somewhere that bloodshed should be used to settle disputes. 3) I do take the Lord's wishes to be my command, if he wishes his angels to refrain from using violence for this purpose until the judgement day, then I too believe we should also refrain from using violence for this purpose. If you see it differently that is fine.

But you must then provide a Christian rationale for doing otherwise. I am interested to hear what you would say.

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