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A Point of View: Why we should defend the right to be offensive

Discussion in 'Personal' started by George_Randle, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. George_Randle

    George_Randle Senior commenter

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34613855

    It is not falsehood that causes the greatest offence, but truth. You can endure insults and abuse when you know them to be false. But if the remarks that offend you are true, their truth becomes a dagger in the soul - you cry "lies!" at the top of your voice, and know that you must silence the one who utters them.

    Is this a cutting and true statement that lays bare the psychology of those who would criminalize certain opinions, or is Roger Scruton just another usual suspect who should check his privilege?
     
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    That is sometimes the case. That people will do their very best to resist the truth being bruited abroad.

    It is also the case that others oppose the dissemination of lies which are repeated sufficiently often in the public domain that they appear as if they simply must be true.
     
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    There's a world of difference between telling the truth and being offensive.
     
    needabreak and ilovesooty like this.
  4. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    But both get you banned on here.
     
    Vladimir likes this.
  5. maurice-r

    maurice-r Established commenter

    The truth must out though the heavens fall. To hell with PC.
     
    Vladimir likes this.
  6. yfel_endwerce

    yfel_endwerce Established commenter

    Sometimes the truth can be offensive
    But it remains the truth
     
    monicabilongame likes this.
  7. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Unfortunately one person's truth is another person's lie.

    Offense can often be found in the confusion between the two of these.
     
    needabreak and grumpydogwoman like this.
  8. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    It is a true statement in my opinion. Free speech is very much under attack. This is also true

    "But is giving offence a reason to convict someone of a crime? The robust English view used to be that the correct response to offensive words is to ignore them, or to answer them with a rebuke. If you invoke the law at all, it should be to protect the one who gives the offence, and not the one who takes it. Now, it seems, it is all the other way round."

    The approach has been turned on its head. I also agree with this

    "The fear of accusation, of standing aside from the crowd, of not being impeccably on the side of the received opinion, explains much of the legislation attacking free speech in this country. Politicians have not sufficiently examined what they meant by "stirring up hatred". They have been too keen to show that they are on the side of Muslims and also of homosexuals notwithstanding the manifest conflict between the two."

    Open debate is, as the writer says, the only way to end conflicts.
     
    Vladimir and maurice-r like this.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Open debate.

    That tends to suggest a level playing-field. Until very recently few people would take anything a gay man might say with anything but derision. Nancy poofter pansy. Nancy poofter pansy who, if he engages in open debate, gets his head kicked in next time he ventures out alone. Melodramatic? Exaggerated? Yes. And also no. Because that has happened.

    Open debate? All for it. Not as easy as it seems when the odds are stacked against you.

    14 months before I was born Alan Turing died (probably at his own hand).

    Genuinely open debate? Bring it on.
     
  10. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    Proper open debate does need a level playing field.
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines]
    That kind of thing hasn't happened for a long time. Can you name any times a gay man engaging in open debate got his "head kicked in next time he ventures out alone"?
     
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

  12. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    How come that quote from grumpydogwoman was deleted but not from her post?
     
  13. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    I guess you had to look around for some time before finding anything. Horrible attack but not what we are talking about. My question was

    This was your own criteria.
     
  14. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    How ironic on a free speech thread! When you quote a comment from another post but it's deleted while the original comment isn't, it just goes to show there isn't any.
     
    maurice-r likes this.
  15. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Beliefs (including religious beliefs) are things, they cannot be offended, they do not have rights.

    People have rights. They have the right to believe what they want, say what they want and act the way they want( under the law of course). They have a right to go about their day to day business unmolested. The have a right to go out and about without fear of verbal or physical attack.

    People do not have the right never to be offended.
     
  16. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    Totally agree. But some seek to make taking offense into a right and to use legislation to make it so.
     
  17. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Totally agree and this needs to be resisted at all costs.
     
  18. Memphismojo

    Memphismojo Established commenter

    You're right. I just wonder at the motives of those who constantly want to attack free speech. Is it an intolerance of others having different opinions to them? If so, why? What do they gain?
     
    maurice-r likes this.
  19. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I'm not too fussed about those who seek to give offense... it's more protecting the right to free expression AND if by a side effect of that free expression some offense is taken, well... tough.

    Katie Hopkins for example, she seems to have built a recent career largely on the foundations of peeing off mumsnet. Well... OK. She has freedom of expression and I'm for that. But obviously there are consequences for her to her free expression.

    Of course, we have to know where to draw a line and that is probably something for people a lot more learned in the law than I am to decide.
     
  20. felltogroundinberkeleysquare

    felltogroundinberkeleysquare Established commenter

    Hmm, I regret that you think freedom of speech is a right in this country. It isn't. It is simply who you know and not what you know.
     

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