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  1. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    Censorship

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ojduffelworth, Jan 31, 2011.

    What are your opinions on Censorship? Should some topics not be discussed, even in a polite, informed manner?
     
  2. PapaSmurfberry
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    PapaSmurfberry Active Member

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    I think all things should be discussed but there is not as many "informed" (or polite for that matter) people as you would think. People mostly just show up to argue and they usually ruin it for the rest of us.
     
  3. punk
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    punk Active Member

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    Every topic that is eligible for censorship is worth discussing, unless it's just trollish.

    The problem with discussing controversial issues arises when emotion controls a person's thoughts. Then it just turns into a giant fit fest.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm against censorship in most cases. As others have already said, all things are worth discussing, no matter how trivial or controversial.
     
  5. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    If you mean on this board, the mods have proven that discussion of censorship will result in post and thread deletions. I will not be surprised if the more vocal members are banned to quell the comments.

    Off the board, censorship is used as a means if maintaining control of an oppressed nation. If you are being censored, you are being oppressed. Inciting violence or hatred for the reason of doing violence that is a gray area.
     
  6. PapaSmurfberry
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    PapaSmurfberry Active Member

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    What do you mean by the miss?
     
  7. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    The problem is that some people don't have the ability to discuss an opposing point of view without becoming aggressive or insulting and in an open discussion on a forum, such as this, there is going to be the odd clash.

    But that shouldn't stop any discussion. If it gets a bit rough - then o.k. maybe you have to close it down, but until then, nothing should be out of bounds.
     
  8. PapaSmurfberry
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    PapaSmurfberry Active Member

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    Yeah that is so true, not to mention that when you type things and people cannot see the emotions behind the words things can seem a little more insulting to people.
     
  9. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    @papa re read my post, and the reason for edit.
     
  10. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do not believe in censorship. I do believe in holding people accountable for your actions. I won't prevent you from spewing your violent hate speech. Just don't be surprised when you swallow your front teeth.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    This is ironic. You're essentially stating that expressing a hateful thought in the form of speech is worse than your actual physical violence. This approach is really only a small step removed from actual censorship.
     
  12. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    For some reason I read that as someone else might get violent with them, not him. Sort of a "If you do X, I won't do anything- but don't be surprised if Y happens."
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I took the phrase "holding people accountable" to be a justification. Just thought it was funny in references to violent "speech," given the fact that only the reaction to the speech is actually violent.

    A violent reaction to speech one does not like is probably the oldest form of censorship, right? The effect is to make others afraid to say similar things, or maybe make the same person afraid to say similar things, for fear of being attacked. Except for the scale, it's not too dissimilar from what repressive governments do. The concept is the same: you say something we don't like, and we're going to use physical force to punish you.

    Kind of amounts to a defense of censorship, wouldn't you say? After all, if we say that a certain viewpoint is "censored" in a given country, it doesn't mean people are somehow physically prevented from expressing that viewpoint, it generally means that once it is expressed it will be met with some form of physical violence.
     
  14. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bah, we'll have to wait for him to clarify, I guess.
     
  15. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm anticipating Sabreur's clarification but this slight slip might be illuminating. I go with Steerpike's interpretation but not his conclusion. Punching somebody is sometimes quite the best thing for the punched, the puncher and wider society.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    And if you ask the leadership in places like Iran or China, punishing the speech they don't like is also the best thing for wider society (and even the punished, who may need to be re-educated) :D
     
  17. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Life: a complicated thing, dear boy.:)
     
  18. Pen
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    Those who believe that violence is a reasonable response to speech, either against the speaker or the target of his ire, should be held accountable (and not in the sense that we should make them "swallow their front teeth"). For authorities to permit violence against those who say unpopular things is every bit as bad as inflicting it themselves.
     
  19. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mmmmm, conversation!

    I didn't mean that the only viable response to violent speech was violent action. That is silly, I agree. My comment was tongue-in-cheek. However, I do believe that people should not hide behind the mantle of "free speech" as if that justifies their vitriol. Yes, say what you want. I do not dispute that. However, speaking is an action and actions have consequences. Would I hit someone for something they say to me? Probably not. Free speech does not mean free reign for idiocy, however and if someone is allowed to do something, that does not mean they should.

    Thoughts?

    EDIT: I'm glad there are no humor tags on the internet. I wouldn't upset so many people if they could see me smiling ;)
     
  20. Pen
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    I can't think of an instance where somebody's justification for the things they say was simply "because I can".

    Free societies hold that speech or writing is a communication of thoughts or ideas rather than an action in the sense that kicking out your leg is an action- the only restrictions imposed historically have been those on speech that is a component part of a greater crime, as in conspiracy or incitement, where you have formed a desire to commit a crime or see others do so and communicate the same in the hopes of seeing it happen- a sort of distributed agency for your thoughts.

    Your notion of what people "should" say might well be different from mine, in any case. Would I be justified in telling you what you should and shouldn't say? What if I had greater capacity for force than you?
     
  21. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Makes for good conversation, eh?

    I agree that just because you have free speech doesn't mean that you should always say anything you like. But I can't think of a scenario where I'd favor punishing speech, no matter what was said, unless you could show a very direct, immediate, and serious harm to life or limb as a result.

    That said, if someone was burying their child, and Fred Phelps showed up to protest the funeral, and that parent became enraged and punched Fred Phelps in the nose, I'd vote to acquit if I were on a jury. On the other hand, if a person heard about Phelps and went to the funeral solely with the intention of punching Phelps in the nose, then I think it would be right to bring assault charges.
     
  22. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are misinterpreting my words. Stop that. :p

    I do not mean that force should dictate who gets to say what. What I mean is that speech is an action. In this case, not an action of the same degree or perhaps even type as a physical action, but an action nonetheless. The paradigm that free speech means a lack of consequence is a flawed notion, to put it kindly.

    Obviously, this is a complicated issue and I do not wish to oversimplify it. Since speech is such a delicate tool, interpreting what others say is difficult at best. I do not advocate censorship, nor violence (as I agree, violence is censorship.) However, I do advocate people being held accountable for their actions. If your speech infringes on another person's rights, what right do you have to that speech?
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Can't think of too many instances where pure speech infringes on the rights of others, though. What do you have in mind?
     
  24. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    An example may be the Westboro Baptists and their insistence on protesting funerals. Don't the families have a right to emotional well-being? The caterwauling of the Westboro Baptists maliciously infringes upon that well-being.

    I do agree with you in that finding examples of this is difficult. I do not think that I would advocate for legislation based on this concept. Perhaps it is more a moral quandry of mine.
     
  25. Pen
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    I don't see how speech can infringe another's rights unless it is a conspiracy or incitement to carry out a criminal act against him, both of which are rightly punished. Libel and slander, as in lying about him, are civil matters. Indeed, to firstly say that you do not advocate censorship, and then to say that it is justified to protect the rights of others, would seem to agree with me that the legitimate restrictions on speech are those I detail above.

    If speech is an action, but not of the same degree as action itself, then how many speeches make an action? How responsible are you for people's interpretations of what you said or wrote? The current test for incitement is that there needs to be immediacy (the crime can be committed then and there), an explicit, specific suggestion (Murder Bloggs!), and that it be communicated to people who are able to do so, and I think those are fair restrictions, the burden being on the prosecutor to prove you had the "evil mind" and communicated the same to others who carried out the "evil act".

    E: Net went down for a bit and I fired this in without reading the newer posts.
     
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