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  • Originally posted by Jan
    But by that token, people should be afraid to express any unpopular viewpoint 'just in case'. Sorry, I don't agree in any way, shape or form because that just leads to blaming the victim for other people's actions.
    Sorry, I disagree. People should be aware of the fact that their words have consequences. When they do, and still want to say it, they have every right to do so. But you cannot hide behind the law when it comes to emotion. At most the Law is a deterrent against violence. But I don't see how it could ever prevent all violence. After all, any law is retro-active. That is all that I was trying to say. I still do not agree with people who use phrases and (beautiful) ideas like 'Freedom of speech' as a security-blanket that will protect them from harm because the government says so and puts it in a law. In any democracy it should be, but it just isn't. Say that the Holocaust is a myth and you will be persecuted in Germany. After the fact, face the consequences.

    Face it, *nothing* protects *anybody* from violent outbursts from unstable social maladroits whether it's due to an opinion or encountering road rage or a myriad or other causes. Does that mean we should never leave our house? Never have an opinion? Never work for a cause? Never help somebody for fear of the consequences? Not for me, thanks.

    Jan
    As I said, that is not what I mean. Are you of the opinion that laws make everything right? Surely not? I can't imagine that. I'm not saying that violence as a response to words is justified, never. Which is what I read in your words a bit(?). I'm just saying real life works differently.

    @rallybtk : If you(and Jan) mean to say that it takes courage to exercise your freedom of speech, my answer would be 'yes'. You only have to look at what happened when those Danish cartoons were published to realize that. But that is of course only my opinion.

    WillyStealAndHow has a very fine signature indeed. It used to be the reason why the dutch thought they were oh so tolerant about everything. In the Netherlands there was an almost absolute(practical) monopoly on violence by the State. You cannot just buy a gun because you're not allowed to use it anyway. Well, almost never, self-defence under strict circumstances is an exception, and that always goes to court. Not anymore nowadays, the problem is that it takes two to tango. So here I against touch religion, as this whole shift in ideas was started because of the rise of the extremist islam, even in the Netherlands. That is also why Van Gogh's killing was such a shock to the system. Especially since it came not too long after Pim Fortuyn's murder. The first political murder in Holland in over 150 years.

    So yes, there should be freedom of speech for everyone. But alas, not the whole world is quite ready to see it that way.


    As an afterthough : Freedom of speech is guaranteed by American(and Dutch) law. But that surely doesn't include slander and the likes? So why does it have to be so hard to draw a line in the sand?
    Last edited by Towelmaster; 05-31-2006, 09:22 AM.
    "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Towelmaster
      Sorry, I disagree. People should be aware of the fact that their words have consequences. When they do, and still want to say it, they have every right to do so. But you cannot hide behind the law when it comes to emotion. At most the Law is a deterrent against violence. But I don't see how it could ever prevent all violence. After all, any law is retro-active. That is all that I was trying to say.
      Of course not. People are expected to control themselves...at all times regardless of provocation. The law only provides consequences if they allow themselves to lose control. I'm not sure where you got the impression that I thought that laws could prevent anything, really. Violence is not now and never has been an acceptable consequence of being offended.

      I still do not agree with people who use phrases and (beautiful) ideas like 'Freedom of speech' as a security-blanket that will protect them from harm because the government says so and puts it in a law. In any democracy it should be, but it just isn't. Say that the Holocaust is a myth and you will be persecuted in Germany. After the fact, face the consequences.
      I'm not sure what you're saying here...Germany and the other counties with laws against denying the Holocaust don't pretend to have freedom of speech. So what does that have to do with this discussion?

      As I said, that is not what I mean. Are you of the opinion that laws make everything right? Surely not? I can't imagine that. I'm not saying that violence as a response to words is justified, never. Which is what I read in your words a bit(?). I'm just saying real life works differently.
      I don't buy it. It seems to be out of fashion for people to excercise self-control. And you won't find anyplace where I implied that laws make anything better. Hell, this entire conversation is because I disagree with the law passed targeting that church. In my opinion it's totally unnecessary.

      So yes, there should be freedom of speech for everyone. But alas, not the whole world is quite ready to see it that way.
      Tough. Then they can just stay home and stick their fingers in their ears and hum real loud until people stop saying things that offend them. Or they can grow up.

      As an afterthough : Freedom of speech is guaranteed by American(and Dutch) law. But that surely doesn't include slander and the likes? So why does it have to be so hard to draw a line in the sand?
      Because people are infinitely inventive.
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

      Comment


      • Because people are infinitely inventive.
        As we say in the tech sector - a system can never be completely foolproof, no matter how hard you try, because nature is constantly evolving newer and better idiots to break it for you.
        Radhil Trebors
        Persona Under Construction

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Jan
          Of course not. People are expected to control themselves...at all times regardless of provocation. The law only provides consequences if they allow themselves to lose control. I'm not sure where you got the impression that I thought that laws could prevent anything, really. Violence is not now and never has been an acceptable consequence of being offended.
          I did not specifically target you I think, it was more a question of a discussion that started between you and me after my initial posting. It was certainly for the most part a general question : "why do people expect that a law will protect them pro-actively?". "Why do people think that more words will solve everything as long as those words are called 'law'?"

          Of course violence is not to be permitted. We are having a hard time trying to limit it in our societies. But that is - again - both the law and your and my opinion. It does not alway correlate with the real world. Maybe I was saying that a discussion about freedom of speech inevitably turns theoretical.

          And d*mn, I still ain't no American! Can we continue in dutch please?

          I'm not sure what you're saying here...Germany and the other counties with laws against denying the Holocaust don't pretend to have freedom of speech. So what does that have to do with this discussion?
          It was an illustration that there are certainly(pro-active) restrictions to freedom of speech. Even in a democracy like Germany. An example to illustrate the point, nothing more.


          I don't buy it. It seems to be out of fashion for people to excercise self-control. And you won't find anyplace where I implied that laws make anything better. Hell, this entire conversation is because I disagree with the law passed targeting that church. In my opinion it's totally unnecessary.
          Erm... that is another thing yes, the tendency is toward more violence in society, not less. Deplorable. But why is it unnecessary to make a law about it because apparently there are people who want to behave like uncivilized assholes?

          Tough. Then they can just stay home and stick their fingers in their ears and hum real loud until people stop saying things that offend them. Or they can grow up.
          Yes. Or they can buy a gun and shoot you. Wrong, very wrong. But what is there to stop them before they actually do it? To be honest, I think that to say that they can just go stick their fingers in their ears etcetera, is not so much incorrect and I agree with you to a very high degree. But it is unfactual(?). The facts prove that people do worse than that. Of course I agree with you. I'm just saying that to do nothing and ignore them(let them use their fingers + ears) is a dangerous notion. Especially when there is religion involved, any religion really. Absolute truths, wisdoms and dogmas do not a great cooperation make.

          Because people are infinitely inventive.
          Yeah, but so are the politicians and the lawyers... *just kidding, I know what you mean*
          "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Jan
            Hell, this entire conversation is because I disagree with the law passed targeting that church. In my opinion it's totally unnecessary.
            One small distinction, Jan. It doesn't target the church, it targets a behavior (or tactic if you wish to give them greater credit than I do ) that is considered unacceptable. If it targeted that church, the behaviors covered would probably be larger in scope. As is, I take comfort in the fact the legislation is drawn fairly narrowly. That provides protection against the erosion of freedom of speech. Imagine if they really were trying to legislate against hurting someone's feelings! In essence, a behavior came into existence that was judged by our legislative body to be inappropriate to the rule of law. That it has so far been used by a single group doesn't alter the nature of the behavior. Over time, the behavior could easily become more widespread, particularly if there was any indication that it had an impact or got publicity for the group.

            That behavior was interfering with the ability of other people to conduct their completely legitimate activities.
            "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Towelmaster
              I did not specifically target you I think, it was more a question of a discussion that started between you and me after my initial posting. It was certainly for the most part a general question : "why do people expect that a law will protect them pro-actively?". "Why do people think that more words will solve everything as long as those words are called 'law'?"
              Oh, I don't. But then turn it around and ask why people allow mere words to infuriate them so?

              Of course violence is not to be permitted. We are having a hard time trying to limit it in our societies. But that is - again - both the law and your and my opinion. It does not alway correlate with the real world. Maybe I was saying that a discussion about freedom of speech inevitably turns theoretical.
              Actually, I don't think that people losing control and acting violently is really all the prevalent in the real world. It may seem like that but that's because that behavior gets all the press. That's what gets people to tune in to the news and buy the newspapers but it's hardly an accurate picture of reality.

              And d*mn, I still ain't no American! Can we continue in dutch please?
              Sure! Of course I failed at every language I ever attempted so I'm not sure how much actual communication we'd achieve.

              Erm... that is another thing yes, the tendency is toward more violence in society, not less. Deplorable. But why is it unnecessary to make a law about it because apparently there are people who want to behave like uncivilized assholes?
              Because nothing less has even been attempted before doing so. Look, they pass this silly law targeting that silly church and it stays on the books forever. Then the next time something comes along that offends people, it's that much easier to pass another, just slightly more restrictive law. And so on, in increments that hardly anybody notices until they find themselves on the receiving end of the restrictions.

              Yes. Or they can buy a gun and shoot you.
              Yes, they could. But what are the odds that they actually *will*? Pretty negligable, I think.

              Jan
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

              Comment


              • One of the best statements in this thread was the one that somebody made about slander. The FA doesn't protect speakers from slander or journalists from libel.
                Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                Comment


                • LIBEL! That was the other one I was looking for! Indeed. So you can't be kept from saying what you want in advance, but you can be punished for it afterwards. Seems a fine enough deal for me...

                  Originally posted by Jan
                  Oh, I don't. But then turn it around and ask why people allow mere words to infuriate them so?
                  If you answer that question - and find a solution - you will probably win the Nobel Peace Prize...

                  Actually, I don't think that people losing control and acting violently is really all the prevalent in the real world. It may seem like that but that's because that behavior gets all the press. That's what gets people to tune in to the news and buy the newspapers but it's hardly an accurate picture of reality.
                  Everything is magnified nowadays. But I do think that there is *more* violence today than there was a couple of years ago. Or rather : violence of a disturbing nature, violence aimed at groups of anonymous people. Just to 'make a point'.

                  Sure! Of course I failed at every language I ever attempted so I'm not sure how much actual communication we'd achieve.
                  O.K. Lesson # 1 : Als jij in Nederland zou wonen dan zou je vrij links stemmen.

                  Because nothing less has even been attempted before doing so. Look, they pass this silly law targeting that silly church and it stays on the books forever. Then the next time something comes along that offends people, it's that much easier to pass another, just slightly more restrictive law. And so on, in increments that hardly anybody notices until they find themselves on the receiving end of the restrictions.
                  Ah, so you don't have emergency-laws in America? Over here, if the mayor deems it necessary he can instate a temporary local law. Of course he has to explain why, especially afterwards. But his powers are quite considerable in this respect. And you may set a precedent but you don't create another eternal law.

                  Yes, they could. But what are the odds that they actually *will*? Pretty negligable, I think.

                  Jan
                  That may be different in the States, I haven't heard about many killings over religious issues there. In Europe it happens more and more often. And don't forget : that stuff about the Danish cartoons? The response of the moslim world caused a big uproar here. The people basically said 'Up Yours'. It was only the politicians who tried to quell that fire by being diplomatical. Most people in Europe have had *quite enough* of people telling them they can't say specific things. And because the taboo on criticism of the christian church has disappeared, people do not now want to be restricted by some strange religion in a far away land. A matter of 'Oh No, Not Again", to quote the late great Douglas Adams.



                  Mind you, this is only a suspicion, but Europe is much much closer to the moslim world than the United Stated. We are cautious. There is a chasm between the western(christian-based) society and the Arab(islam-based) world. It is just huge! And one of the things that are radically different is...freedom of speech.

                  Which brings me back to the religious angle of this thread... Gotta keep tryin'
                  "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                  Comment


                  • Here is a good example of differing speech laws from the US to Germany.

                    Originally posted by Wikipedia
                    Many observers considered Layfield's future in WWE to be in doubt after an incident that occurred during a WWE house show in Munich, Germany, on June 5, 2004. In an attempt to draw a negative reaction, he gave the crowd several Nazi salutes and goose-stepped around the ring. Such a display, if used to incite riots or for other political purposes, is illegal in Germany. However, since the display was intended as part of the showmanship of wrestling, it was not illegal; and so no action was taken.

                    On June 8, 2004, CNBC, which had recently hired Layfield to regularly appear on one of its shows after he had become prominent as a financial commentator, terminated its relationship with Layfield for his actions in Munich. However, Layfield's actions did not prevent WWE from putting its championship belt on him. Some have even speculated that it was this incident which encouraged and strengthened the decision to make him WWE champion. Shortly thereafter, he was rehired by Fox News Channel (where he previously did guest appearances) as part of the Saturday morning business block.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Layfield
                    Way to stick up for your employees, CNBC! Like anybody who watched their crappy shows even knew who he was or what he had done as a performance, anyways.
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Towelmaster
                      Everything is magnified nowadays. But I do think that there is *more* violence today than there was a couple of years ago. Or rather : violence of a disturbing nature, violence aimed at groups of anonymous people. Just to 'make a point'.
                      I wonder. As time has passed, I've noticed that news coverage seems to follow...fads, for want of a better word. Right now it's religious violence, group violence. A couple of years ago it was the homeless. Call me cynical but I don't believe that anything's changed, just the focus is on that particular news item.
                      O.K. Lesson # 1 : Als jij in Nederland zou wonen dan zou je vrij links stemmen.
                      Which Babelfish translates as:
                      If you will vote you in the Netherlands live then rather left.
                      To which I respond with a heartfelt and sincere "HUH??"

                      Ah, so you don't have emergency-laws in America? Over here, if the mayor deems it necessary he can instate a temporary local law. Of course he has to explain why, especially afterwards. But his powers are quite considerable in this respect. And you may set a precedent but you don't create another eternal law.
                      Vyce could probably give a bette opinion on this but no, as far as I know, once a law is passed, it has to be specifically repealed *unless*, like the PATRIOT bill, it has a built-in expiration date at the time of passing.

                      Mind you, this is only a suspicion, but Europe is much much closer to the moslim world than the United Stated. We are cautious. There is a chasm between the western(christian-based) society and the Arab(islam-based) world. It is just huge! And one of the things that are radically different is...freedom of speech.
                      Sigh...I have to grant you that. I simply don't comprehend the Islam way where one's entire life is completely wrapped around the religion. But then, no god I'd be interested in worshipping (which I'm not anyway but you get what I mean) could be 'humiliated' by little drawings. I mean, c'mon...the entity/being who created solar systems and galaxies and atoms worried about a cartoon?

                      Which brings me back to the religious angle of this thread... Gotta keep tryin'
                      See? I joined in!

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Freetranslation.com
                        If you in the Netherlands then you would live will court left votes
                        ___________
                        Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                        Comment


                        • While this federal law targets a specific "church's" actions on federal cemetaries, the law does not prohibit their speech in any way. They can protest funerals to their hearts content...outside the buffer zone around federal cemetaries. It may be 500ft or 1000yds. I'm not sure what the actual measurements are.

                          Besides, what is the point of protesting a funeral? The hole isn't deep enough? You don't like the headstone? The casket isn't a particular model you fancy?

                          Every. single. family. that is holding a funeral for their family member who has died would view ANY protest of their funeral as harassment. Harassing speech is not protected by the first amendment.

                          You mentioned freedom of the press a while back. That freedom does not cover libel or slander nor does it cover plagiarism.

                          If someone was protesting a funeral of one of my family members, those protesters would have to spend at least an hour picking up their teeth from their ground. I would gladly face any criminal charges for my actions in this non-existent hypothetical comment.
                          RIP Coach Larry Finch
                          Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                          Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

                          Comment


                          • @Jan : Yeah, but the Babelfish Online sucks...

                            "If you would live in the Netherlands you would probably vote leftish."

                            Which does not mean communist or anything like that! The Netherlands has a clear distinction between leftish and rightish parties at the moment, with some extremes that are not important enough to make a real difference. Your observation about how you think, that it is mainly the publicity that makes some crimes stand out more than before, is exactly the same as the Labour Party over here makes. While the Tories/conservatives emphasize that there is in fact more of that type of crime.

                            Mind you: The Labourparty in Holland is led by a former Shell-manager... :lol:

                            Anyway; hence the remark.
                            "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Towelmaster
                              @Jan : Yeah, but the Babelfish Online sucks...

                              "If you would live in the Netherlands you would probably vote leftish."

                              Which does not mean communist or anything like that! The Netherlands has a clear distinction between leftish and rightish parties at the moment, with some extremes that are not important enough to make a real difference. Your observation about how you think, that it is mainly the publicity that makes some crimes stand out more than before, is exactly the same as the Labour Party over here makes. While the Tories/conservatives emphasize that there is in fact more of that type of crime.
                              As soon as they come up with figures that factor in population density and changes over time and the definitions for exactly what they're counting, I'll consider whether I believe there's actually more of that kind of crime. Until then I'll remain cynical. Lies, damn lies and statistics, you know.

                              As for leftish/rightish/somewhere-in-between-ish, I've never noticed that any three people define those terms the same way so I don't accept labels and that's why I try to keep conversations here to specific views, not agendas/labels. Well...except the honorific bestowed on me by somebody on another forum. There's just something about being a 'flaming liberal whackjob' that I can't resist. I seem to test out as being fairly moderate to liberal, though.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                              Comment


                              • "fairly moderate to liberal". Exactly! And that is also exactly what the 'labourparty' is in Holland.

                                Believe me, nothing is what it seems in dutch politics...

                                Anyway, how about the other way around: the news of this type of violence was never reported although it was there. Only recently have the media picked up on it properly. Who's to say...?

                                Me, I'm a kind of middle-of-the-road kinda guy, with some very strong convictions that every now and then seem to surprise people because they are sometimes leftwing and sometimes rightwing.
                                Like you, I stopped believing in left and right years ago. I only use the comparison to keep it simple, and because the real politics in Holland still do have left and right parties.
                                "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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