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What does "free speech" really mean?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

    A slightly worse one.
    Trying to find a formulation for this that'd be helpful, but I'm really afraid that's not possible, and the attempt will just backfire.

    Let's try starting by saying I don't want a public answer, or even a private answer to this question. I don't even want you to think about it. I just want it to be a question you'd consider thinking about. Why is it okay to grant grace to a racist who's being honored by a plaque or monument or whatever it was while denying that grace to a public servant who's devoted his life to preventing deaths from infectious diseases?

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

      There is a slew of would-be euphemisms that have failed sequentially. Each replacement for retarded, which was originally created as a euphemism, has had a shorter and shorter half-life, it seems to me. Special became challenged became ...
      That's because you can't solve the underlying issue by changing it's name. The underlying issue is that the people referenced by those euphemism's are looked down upon and seen as lesser. By linking someone to that group of people (i.e. by calling them the euphemism) you are saying they are lesser, and deserving of scorn. So each new euphemism is simply fated to become a new insult until the issue is changed, not the word.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        Considering the thread's title "What does "Free Speech" really mean?"

        My answer is that in public it is advisable to employ tact and good manners and even, on occasion, keep one's mouth shut [or at the very least count to twenty before saying what is in one's mind].
        Your answer to free speech is "keep one's mouth shut" in certain situations? How is that at all related to free speech?
        Last edited by CivilDiscourse; 04-18-2021, 08:09 AM.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

          That is an interesting but ultimately useless observation. You could say the same about any protection in any of the Amendments. If they don't mean what they say, it is evidence that the Framers failed.
          Perhaps I should say that the term refers to a well understood concept, one that was not considered vague by the Founders. For instance, I doubt they thought the concept of "free speech" included the right to say something with the malicious intent of getting someone killed.
          Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
          But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
          Than a fool in the eyes of God


          From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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          • #50
            Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

            Your answer to free speech is "keep one's mouth shut" in certain situations? How is that at all related to free speech?
            Tact is sometimes the best option along with good manners of course.
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

              Tact is sometimes the best option along with good manners of course.
              That doesn't answer the question:

              How is that at all related to free speech?

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              • #52
                Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                That doesn't answer the question:

                How is that at all related to free speech?
                In my opinion there are occasions when it is judicious not to utilise the freedom of free speech. I hope that makes it clearer for you.

                I also refer you to my oft mentioned observations on Streicher.
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                  You definitely can't prove that from the actual text of the First Amendment.

                  Frankly, I think the Framers blew it by not being more prescient and specific in their wording. They left too much up to later interpreters.
                  ask yourself this how would the people in the time the Constitution interpret it and what was on teh framers minds when they wrote it(hint read the Federalist papers for this.)

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                    In my opinion there are occasions when it is judicious not to utilise the freedom of free speech. I hope that makes it clearer for you.

                    I also refer you to my oft mentioned observations on Streicher.
                    Which is interesting. But that's not an answer to the question of "What is free speech" which you claimed this was an answer to.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                      While acknowledging the need to form an accessible alternative, I dislike that formulation because of its awkwardness.

                      I refuse to use it in conversation myself, even if it means a constant struggle to work around it, often at the expense of the brevity I prefer. In fact, if anyone's interested, most of my posts start out as long-winded rambles that are then pruned back ruthlessly until just the gist remains, or at least, that's the plan, lol.

                      Before I'll use that phrase, I'll reformulate it as "words or phrases that are hurtful based on having historically been used to denigrate whole classes of people based on their race." I balk at "people of color" for the same reason, but I'll use it while pointing out obliquely that replacing the preposition with the natural adjective runs afoul of the same historical minefield.

                      There is a slew of would-be euphemisms that have failed sequentially. Each replacement for retarded, which was originally created as a euphemism, has had a shorter and shorter half-life, it seems to me. Special became challenged became ...

                      Perhaps it's too reductionist, and it doesn't always work for me, but my principle is pretty simple: Think about how you'd treat your neighbor's dog, and try to treat your neighbor at least as well as that. When it works for me, I feel good about myself, and when it doesn't, I don't.
                      The whole euphemism issue is another aspect of this. Euphemisms get used until they become associated with negative aspects, and then a euphemism for the euphemism must be found. A good example is the place we all must visit several times a day. To begin with (I think this is the sequence, but I've not made a complete study), it was a 'water closet'. That became too coarse - everybody knew what happened in there. So we started using 'toilet' (which is from the French and there originally meant the normal daily cleansing activities - washing the face, brushing the teeth, combing the hair, putting makeup on, etc. Gradually the meaning of it moved from the activity to the place where the activity happens). But 'toilet' started becoming too gross, so we moved to 'bathroom'. Lately that's tending to become not nice, and 'restroom' is the go (there's an amusing scene in one of the Doctor Who specials when the doctor's offsider is asking someone who is American where the toilet is. She responds "The restroom is down the corridor, to the left." He shakes his head and says "No, the toilet." This goes back and forth a few times with she thinking he's unspeakably coarse and he thinking she's unspeakably stupid or deaf. Eventually he wanders off, mumbling to himself "I don't want to have a rest; I want the toilet."). Interestingly, with respect to the toilet, at least, this seems to be primarily an American thing. In England and Australia, 'toilet' is quite acceptable and common (as are words like 'loo', which is what I primarily use) and calling it a restroom, while not rare, is certainly a minority.

                      As you touch on, a similar journey can be taken through the acceptable terms for people of African descent in America. Words used decades (or even centuries) ago in polite company to describe such a person might get you a slap in the face (at best) today. To my (limited) knowledge, today "person of colour" is acceptable...yet "coloured person" is not. I don't really see the logic there.
                      America - too good to let the conservatives drag it back to 1950.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Electric Skeptic View Post
                        To my (limited) knowledge, today "person of colour" is acceptable...yet "coloured person" is not. I don't really see the logic there.
                        It's a history thing, not a logic thing.

                        colored.jpg

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                          Which is interesting. But that's not an answer to the question of "What is free speech" which you claimed this was an answer to.
                          The question posed in the thread's title is "What does 'Free Speech' really mean?" Not "What is free speech?"

                          Hence my opinion on what it "means" seems to make sense. We are free to employ free speech but on occasion it is judicious not to do so.
                          "It ain't necessarily so
                          The things that you're liable
                          To read in the Bible
                          It ain't necessarily so
                          ."

                          Sportin' Life
                          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                            The question posed in the thread's title is "What does 'Free Speech' really mean?" Not "What is free speech?"

                            Hence my opinion on what it "means" seems to make sense. We are free to employ free speech but on occasion it is judicious not to do so.
                            So, you think free speech really means "don't voice opinions" at certain times.

                            Sounds alot like Gay Marriage really means "Don't get married" in certain areas.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                              So, you think free speech really means "don't voice opinions" at certain times.
                              Predicated on my reference to good manners and tact sometimes it is best to keep one's opinions to oneself and say nothing.


                              "It ain't necessarily so
                              The things that you're liable
                              To read in the Bible
                              It ain't necessarily so
                              ."

                              Sportin' Life
                              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                                Predicated on my reference to good manners and tact sometimes it is best to keep one's opinions to oneself and say nothing.

                                Predicated on my reference to good manners and tact, sometimes it is best to keep one's gay relationships to oneself and do nothing.

                                Comment

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