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  1. #1
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Free Speech Lost

    I see the item below this morning and think of Voltaire.

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...2/s1574398.htm


    As an aside. The Swiss are a bunch of filthy anti-semetics who justwant to pretend they care. I reckon the [edit*: Austrians] are trying to appease the Jewish lobby because of the way they got into bed with the Nasis to steal everything from the Jews.

    *edit: An example of transference
    Last edited by PHAT; 21-02-2006 at 09:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Sweeney
    As an aside. The Swiss are a bunch of filthy anti-semetics who justwant to pretend they care. I reckon the Swiss are trying to appease the Jewish lobby because of the way they got into bed with the Nasis to steal everything from the Jews.
    What exactly has the Swiss got to do it? It's the Austrian's who found him guilty.
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  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Matt, there must always be practical limits. If, for example, I stand outside your house with a megaphone, proclaiming you a hater of religion and incite a crowd to stone you and your family to death ... do you think that my right of free speech should be protected? If so, why? If not, then aren't we now simply disagreeing about WHERE to draw the line and not about WHETHER to draw a line at all?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  4. #4
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Matt, there must always be practical limits. ...aren't we now simply disagreeing about WHERE to draw the line and not about WHETHER to draw a line at all?
    It is of course a matter of where to draw the line.

    Incitement to riot poses a direct and immeadiate danger to the liberty of others. Therefore, for good order, it has been made a criminal act.

    Irving's ratbaggery is equal in its danger to, the mostly enlighten state we live in, as say, your religious ratbaggery. Shut down Irving, then shut down your church, then shut down, all unPC, then we are all up Shit Creek.

  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Irving
    History is a constantly growing tree and I've learnt a lot since 1989.
    One might say Irving is a very slow learner.

    My view is that it is better to ridicule his kind than to punish them harshly and risk martyring them. But at the same time, his case is comparable to Australian drug-runners in SE Asia. He should have known better than to set foot in Austria ever again. I have no sympathy for him.

    What I want to know is how he got in. Why didn't Austria simply ban him from entry for his views, or can't you do that sort of thing in Europe anymore?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Sweeney
    It is of course a matter of where to draw the line.

    Incitement to riot poses a direct and immeadiate danger to the liberty of others. Therefore, for good order, it has been made a criminal act.
    I disagree with where you have drawn the line. In Frosty's example he refers to two acts. One is to incite a crowd to stone you, the other is the actual stoning itself. In my mind the latter is the crime, not the former, and the line should be drawn between them.
    If you are to defend free speech then (IMHO) you have to be quite clear that speech in and of its self does not cause physical harm or deprive people of liberty. If acts then occur based on that speech, then punish the acts themselves.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Matt's line is very similar to the classic John Stuart Mill line:

    an opinion that corn dealers are starvers of the poor, ought to be unmolested when simply circulated through the press, but [not] when delivered orally to an excited mob assembled before the house of a corn dealer
    (as opposed to the Howard Government line in which the international-politics equivalent of the former is also considered "incitement"). I'm also sceptical about the need for laws against even genuine incitement, but I do think you need something to cover for cases where someone in a position of power over someone else orders or encourages them to perform a violent act.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    I disagree with where you have drawn the line. In Frosty's example he refers to two acts. One is to incite a crowd to stone you, the other is the actual stoning itself. In my mind the latter is the crime, not the former, and the line should be drawn between them.
    How can incitement to commit a crime not be as punishable as the crime it's self? If I incite someone else to kill someone I want dead, how am I not as guilty as the one who did the killing?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Matt's line is very similar to the classic John Stuart Mill line:



    (as opposed to the Howard Government line in which the international-politics equivalent of the former is also considered "incitement"). I'm also sceptical about the need for laws against even genuine incitement, but I do think you need something to cover for cases where someone in a position of power over someone else orders or encourages them to perform a violent act.
    The crime only exists once the act has been performed or attempted, not before. And once again their are already statutes that exist to deal with this, that don't impinge on my rights to state "I wish someone would stab John Howard in the eye with a pencil and wiggle it around in his brain cavity".

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    The crime only exists once the act has been performed or attempted, not before. And once again their are already statutes that exist to deal with this, that don't impinge on my rights to state "I wish someone would stab John Howard in the eye with a pencil and wiggle it around in his brain cavity".
    Yes - the same point was made by those criticising Howard's laws while defending existing laws against incitement.
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  11. #11
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    I disagree with where you have drawn the line. ... If you are to defend free speech then (IMHO) you have to be quite clear that speech in and of its self does not cause physical harm or deprive people of liberty. If acts then occur based on that speech, then punish the acts themselves.
    Sorry mate, but speech/words in and of thems selves do deprive people of liberty - "She's a witch!" Sounds/words/speech can cause the environment (a social setting) to become malevelant.

    I think you are arguing that causing direct physical harm is not OK, but we ought to allow indirect physical harm. This is obviously such a principle applied in a general sense, is inarguably impractical for any society. I therefore suppose you are claiming special privaledge for the use of language to freely wreak havock.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    The crime only exists once the act has been performed or attempted, not before. And once again their are already statutes that exist to deal with this, that don't impinge on my rights to state "I wish someone would stab John Howard in the eye with a pencil and wiggle it around in his brain cavity".
    As you and I and a angry mob burst throught the door of the Priministers Office, you yell, "I wish someone would stab John Howard in the eye with a pencil and wiggle it around in his brain cavity." I snatch a pencil from your breast pocket and proceed to meet your wish.

    I doubt that you would escape a gaol term.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Sweeney
    As you and I and a angry mob burst throught the door of the Priministers Office, you yell, "I wish someone would stab John Howard in the eye with a pencil and wiggle it around in his brain cavity." I snatch a pencil from your breast pocket and proceed to meet your wish.

    I doubt that you would escape a gaol term.
    And I'm not saying I would. The real question is "What if no one did as I suggested? Should I still go to jail?"

  14. #14
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    And I'm not saying I would. The real question is "What if no one did as I suggested? Should I still go to jail?"
    Apply that logic to driving through red lights. If no accident occurs, should anyone be fined for driving through a red light?

    We rightly have taffic laws relating to "driving in a manner dangerous." Are you suggesting that there be no laws relating to "speaking in a manner dangerous."

  15. #15
    CC FIDE Master Southpaw Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    The real question is "What if no one did as I suggested? Should I still go to jail?"
    I think the real answer lies in the fact that you can't control what others will or won't do once you've said it. The idea is to discourage the inciter from creating conditions realistically conducive to violence.

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