Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy
Explain to me please how the complete failure of strictly enforced hate laws in the Weimar Republic proves the need for same????
To apply a medical analogy, It seems obvious that if you heavily medicate a patient, and he immediately drops dead...........................the medication doesn't work.
Or it killed him.
Either way, the application of more hardly seems appropriate.
Explain this concept to me, and I will be happy.......
As well, in a society of ever-more regulated personal freedom, should we not err in favour of liberty instead of statist control???
I would suggest that you read the history of the Weimar Republic. Hate laws if there were certainly not enforced to any standard I am aware of. Hitler and others like him were allowed to spew their racist hatred unimpeded. The Nazis even ran their own newspaper and radio station without even moderate restrictions. Simply passing anti-hate laws is useless unless they are actually enforced.
Your medical analogy comment escapes me. I have not the least idea what you are talking about.
What you seem to fail to understand is that real freedom means not abusing the rights that we have. No right should be used to take away the rights of another or to intimidate or harm another member of society. Unrestricted free speech can cause severe harm to society when directed at minority groups who do not have the resources or numbers to fight back. There are so many examples of this that if I attempted to list hem all I would run out of room, but here are a few to illustrate my point.
Racist commentary delivered by organizations such as the KKK which resulted in the murders and intimidation of thousands of African-Americans.
Racist broadcasts in Rwanda that incited Hutus to murder their Tutsi neighbours.
Attacks on homosexuals in the USA initiated by anti-gay groups that operate openly in the US.
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM
It's not the speech that causes harm. Children grasp this, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me". That does seem fairly simple to me.
Given the choice between some jackass standing on a street corner ranting and spewing racist rhetoric or that same jackass in some dark corner whispering insidiously to others, I'll pick the street corner every single time. It is not going to go away just because we say it cannot be spoken out loud. It will just be left to grow, unobserved in the dark corners of society.
Further, while it is every persons right to speak their mind unfettered, opposing and rebutting the speech that we consider unpalatable is necessary and it's about time we stepped up and did a little more of that, imho. This is not just a right we are talking about, it's also a responsibility.
I suspect you are wrong about that. Societies that have and enforce hate laws have far fewer incidents of violence directed toward minority groups. As I pointed out to Colpy, unrestricted freedom of speech is quite capable of creating an atmosphere of violence that can do severe harm to society and unless you can prove otherwise I stand by what I said.
Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts
There never has been freedom of speech in that sense, and I don't think anyone is asking for it. There are all kinds of acceptable limits on speech, slander and libel being the most obvious examples. When we refer to freedom of speech, in most contexts we really mean freedom to express an opinion. Yelling fire in a crowded theatre is not an opinion, it's a malicious act. However, even yelling fire in a crowded theatre is perfectly acceptable, if the theatre is burning. That's the crux of the problem with the hate speech laws today - truth is no defense. You can't be convicted of slander if what you said is true, but you can be convicted of hate speech if what you said is true. Think about that. You can be prosecuted for speaking the truth. That just isn't right.
Actually as the case against James Keegstra in Alberta showed; if someone truly believes in the racist rubblish he spouts then it is not against the law. What got Keegstra convicted was evidence that he knew that some of what he was saying about Jews was wrong, but he said it anyway; that and the fact that Keegstra made his racist pronouncements in a public forum - namely a school classroom. I refer you to the article below which explains my point in more detail.
www.chrc-ccdp.ca/en/timePorta...es/128mile.asp (external - login to view)