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Rowan Atkinson on free speech


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Thanks a lot.

Now I am going to spend my day thinking about the vast differences of common sense and logic depending on one's POV.

 

Haven't learned anything much more about freedom though...Wish I had some real freedom as I am about to go into Walmart today, it often makes me want to help out Darwin. 

 

Thank for starting this thread OP.

Hope it stays open

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17 minutes ago, The Lock said:

Anyway my thought on this stuff is this. If we are to go with what "free speech" is supposed to mean. Full disclaimer, I can't say I watched the whole video.

 

1. Everyone has the right to be critical of everything.

2. Everyone also has the right to be offended by anything.

3. Everyone also has the right to be offended by people who are offended.

4. Everyone also has the right to be offended by the people who are offended at the people who are offended.

 

Might seem silly what I just stated, but my point is that it's a double-edged sword and it's easy to forget that there's more to free speech than just making simple statements.

 

Is someone allowed to say racist things? Yes.

Are people allowed to cancel the person who said that racist thing; thus, creating a consequence for that person's action? Also yes.

 

Complaining about people being cancelled, you are using your free speech. The people who are trying to cancel are also using free speech.

Some people just want things both ways. Not to be criticized because they are just "exercising their opinion to free speech", all the while being a douchebag (racist or otherwise) while hiding under the guise of said free speech.

 

It makes one wonder whether the ones who truly have fragile skin are the ones who talk about racist language being acceptable. They are the ones who want to throw rocks at glass houses, but not the other way around.

 

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6 minutes ago, Dazzle said:

Some people just want things both ways. Not to be criticized because they are just "exercising their opinion to free speech", all the while being a douchebag (racist or otherwise) while hiding under the guise of said free speech.

 

It makes one wonder whether the ones who truly have fragile skin are the ones who talk about racist language being acceptable. They are the ones who want to throw rocks at glass houses, but not the other way around.

 

I think part of the problem is the notion that "free speech" is supposed to be about there being "no fear of retaliation". If we are to look at being critical of others as being potentially retaliatory, suddenly that whole notion falls flat on its face.

 

If 1 person says something that offends a 2nd person and the 2nd person becomes critical about it and an argument ensues. They're both enacting their free speech; yet, there's retaliatory action taking place and suddenly we're at an impass on what free speech even is.

Edited by The Lock
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1 hour ago, bishopshodan said:

Hate speech might be the wrong term but...

Why is it an insult? why is calling someone a sister an insult? because they are physically weaker 'certain group 'of people?

 

Sorry havn't had enough coffee this morn and I am interested in this convo. 

 

Edit: just to follow up on my thought process...

 

https://medium.com/grandstandcentral/the-sedin-twins-brought-out-the-worst-in-hockey-culture-85a5e32e191a

"Media coverage has always been problematic with the twins. That “sisters” line, as horribly misogynistic.."

 

Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women. It is a form of sexism that is used to keep women at a lower social status than men, thus maintaining the social roles of patriarchy.

It still isn't hate speech, per se, because hate speech is reserved for a general group of people (i.e. ethnic/religious group). The Twins are people, but they are not a GROUP of people. At the bare minimum, calling the Sedins "sisters" is worthy of that person being criticized for using misogynistic and sexist language, but it's still not hate speech. Now if you were to say that the Swedish people are <insult remark> then that could qualify as hate speech. When someone incites violence on a group, there should not be any doubt that it is hate speech.

 

Freedom of speech means you can say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean there aren't consequences. Abusing that freedom of speech to express hateful language should get some people in trouble, whether that is a physical confrontation from someone else (I'm not condoning vigilante justice), or employer consequence. Inciting violence on someone is never ok under free speech.

Edited by Dazzle
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22 minutes ago, The Lock said:

I think part of the problem is the notion that "free speech" is supposed to be about there being "no fear of retaliation". If we are to look at being critical of others as being potentially retaliatory, suddenly that whole notion falls flat on its face.

 

If 1 person says something that offends a 2nd person and the 2nd person becomes critical about it and an argument ensues. They're both enacting their free speech; yet, there's retaliatory action taking place and suddenly we're at an impass on what free speech even is.

Yes, you're absolutely right. It's a shame that in one of the most educated parts of the world, the very principle that we take for granted - free speech - is misunderstood by people who clearly have no intention of educating themselves on the matter.

 

I'd like to add that some people lack critical thinking skills. By that, I am referring to the fact that those people readily agree with a celebrity figure without questioning him in any way. When his arguments are challenged, those people can't form a defense to those criticisms. That should make you question whether or not his arguments are any good. Personally, I think Rowan is wrong with his approach, which I explained above.

 

Being unable to use racist or hateful language is not censorship. People can still say it. It's not like it is banned from use. However, don't expect not to have consequences, whether that is angry confrontation from others (again, not condoning violence), or consequences when an employer finds out. Freedom of speech means that you can criticize government, whether that is the one in power or not, without being jailed or arrested, so long as you are not inciting violence on any one person.

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The question is, who gets to decide what is bannable/worthy of fines.

 

Even on CDC we have users referring to Russians as "orcs" or calling people from Alberta "inbred". Why are these remarks deemed safe to say?

 

I am all for calling out racists or hateful people but it's a slippery slope if we start fining people for speech unless it's a call to action for violence. (" fire" in a crowded room, "I'll pay you $100 to hurt that person")

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, bishopshodan said:

So using my super math skills, after finding out the vid is 8 years old...that puts this law at 33 years old.

 

I see it as a tool for the police.

For example, the gay horse comment was more about harassing the police not about saying the word gay. 

I have no problem with the police having the 'tool' to arrest people if they are reducing hateful harassment. 

 

By the way.

If you want more freedom in what you say...put it in song. I could provide a dozen examples of 'offside' language in a matter of minutes. 

 

Thanks Dee Snyder, Frank zappa and John Denver. ;)

We will have to agree to disagree in general as I am further down the side that's in support of free speech as opposed to harassment being penalized. If you give any authorities, not just police, the tools to reprimand people you can bet that they will be used and not always for the spirit of the law. 

 

Russia is a prime example of a place where laws are being used to imprison people that are against Putin, against the war, and in favour of alternative lifestyles. 

 

Anyways, appreciate your open mindedness and the last part of Rowan's speech covers a lot of what you mentioned in your first message. 

 

Cheers 

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6 minutes ago, VancouverHabitant said:

We will have to agree to disagree 

The irony of someone, telling someone else, that he will have to agree to disagree, in a thread about freedom, has not escaped me.

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1 minute ago, Gurn said:

The irony of someone, telling someone else, that he will have to agree to disagree, in a thread about freedom, has not escaped me.

Go on, tell me what's ironic about agreeing to disagree? 

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6 minutes ago, VancouverHabitant said:

Go on, tell me what's ironic about agreeing to disagree? 

You are telling him what he WILL have to do, thus stripping his freedom from him, in a thread about freedom of speech.

He could have changed his mind, and agreed with you, but you took that from him.

 

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Just now, Gurn said:

You are telling him what he WILL have to do, thus stripping his freedom from him, in a thread about freedom of speech.

He could have changed his mind, and agreed with you, but you took that from him.

 

You can't be for real? 

 

I'm telling him that I have read his point of view and that I'm not intending to try and convince him to change it as it's perfectly well reasoned. 

 

It's called agreeing to disagree. 

 

He doesn't need to do anything. 

 

Is that all you wanted to bring up in this exchange as the third man in? 

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3 minutes ago, VancouverHabitant said:

You can't be for real? 

 

I'm telling him that I have read his point of view and that I'm not intending to try and convince him to change it as it's perfectly well reasoned. 

 

It's called agreeing to disagree. 

 

He doesn't need to do anything. 

 

Is that all you wanted to bring up in this exchange as the third man in? 

And if he doesn't agree to do that?  You can propose he does, but he doesn't have to.

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7 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

And if he doesn't agree to do that?  You can propose he does, but he doesn't have to.

Of course he doesn't have to agree. Saying "we'll have to agree to disagree" is an expression, I'm not going to anyone's front door to sign a waiver that we officially disagree. 

 

@Gurn has made a sport of following me around different topics and trying to start arguments over semantics. 

 

So where do you stand on the topic at hand? Freedom of speech vs harassment. 

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34 minutes ago, VancouverHabitant said:

 has made a sport of following me around different topics and trying to start arguments over semantics. 

your perception of me, following you around, is false.

 

But if you want to bring other threads into this:

 

Are you still looking for the post of Roger Neilson's Towell saying he's ok with people vandalizing Ma and Pa Lucic's house?

Or did you give up, because you realize he never said that?

 

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31 minutes ago, VancouverHabitant said:

Of course he doesn't have to agree. Saying "we'll have to agree to disagree" is an expression, I'm not going to anyone's front door to sign a waiver that we officially disagree. 

 

@Gurn has made a sport of following me around different topics and trying to start arguments over semantics. 

 

So where do you stand on the topic at hand? Freedom of speech vs harassment. 

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.  We have hate speech laws in Canada for a reason and I support them.

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So I did it.

Went to Walmart with common sense and logic thoughts floating around in my head.

Walmart, not offering a digital copy of passport photos doesn't seem very logical in this day and age.

Shoppers Drug Mart, you are the sponsored google ad for passport photos. Doesn't seem very logical to tell me that you only do them when you have staff available...'maybe tomorrow'. Not using much common sense spending advertising dollars on a service you only kinda offer.

London Drugs, advertises it, does it, digital format available. You win today. 

 

Imagine if we actaully enforced what I will call general western classic common sense and logic?

i call it 'classic western' as I pointed out to the joke of 'eating yellow snow' that in many cultures urine consumption is a health treatment. 

 

So imagine if we enforced this common sense and logic.

It is common sense and logical to not be over weight, to not smoke, to not drink.

All those things cause tremendous health issues. Don't we all pay for our health care?  even if it is heavily taxed and even if those dollars go to health care ( not enough), it still clogs up our system.

 

Wouldn't it be logical and common sense to deny health services to those that don't use common sense and logic in their poor decisions of consumption?

 

I know this is along the lines of my 'misogyny is hateful speech to a group of people, but is allowed' . So fogive me for stirring the pot a bit. 

I just think there are soo many layers to this onion. 

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1 hour ago, VancouverHabitant said:

We will have to agree to disagree in general as I am further down the side that's in support of free speech as opposed to harassment being penalized. If you give any authorities, not just police, the tools to reprimand people you can bet that they will be used and not always for the spirit of the law. 

 

Russia is a prime example of a place where laws are being used to imprison people that are against Putin, against the war, and in favour of alternative lifestyles. 

 

Anyways, appreciate your open mindedness and the last part of Rowan's speech covers a lot of what you mentioned in your first message. 

 

Cheers 

But thats what the court systems are for. Those that abuse the essence of the law. It's 33 years old.

Which brings me to RA's assertion of thousands of cases we don't hear about. Are there? I would love to see just a couple examples out of these thousands. Ones that can be deemed an insult to most but are doing a sentence for a hate crime.

 

I have a soft spot for the poilce. The good ones are some of the best people in the world. People that put their lives on the line for our safety. I suppose they shouldn't have used this law as they knew the 'gay horse' comment was more intended to harass them than the dude honestly trying to hurt the horses' feelings. They simply should have a 'no harassing the cops' law. They are trying to do a very hard job/ 

 

Russia is a place where a guy has been in power for 20+years, opposition get poisoned or windowed and gay people arn't allowed. So I agree, that is a country we dont want to emulate. 

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3 hours ago, Dazzle said:

It makes one wonder whether the ones who truly have fragile skin are the ones who talk about racist language being acceptable. They are the ones who want to throw rocks at glass houses, but not the other way around.

 

To be fair though, have you ever tried to throw a glass house at stones? :P

On a more topical note, it seems people fail to understand what can constitute hate speech. Calling (for example) a black man a n****r in an aggressive tone is no different than taking a swing at him. You are deliberately being antagonistic, and have gone beyond being insulting.

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And to add: I'm sitting here looking at a news story that someone painted "All f*****s must die!" on the side of a gay-friendly church. Perhaps Mr. Atkinson can explain if this is just a harmless jape not worthy of persecution or something else entirely.

Feel free to enlighten me on how this is not a Hate Crime.

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1 hour ago, King Heffy said:

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.  We have hate speech laws in Canada for a reason and I support them.

I agree, but I think that those consequences shouldn't be necessarily handled by the law. Who gets to define what hate speech is?

 

I've read your messages where you've called players and coaches pieces of shit, gutless, worthless humans, and all kinds of things. 

 

I wouldn't call that hate speech, but one could certainly make a strong argument for it especially if you project 5 years into the future of where we are headed. 

 

There will never be terms taken out of the hate speech definitions, it's a list that will forever keep on growing as more and more people get offended in different ways. 

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