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Is what happened to the "free speech" thread an index of the quality of this forum?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Sid_Pubes, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Sid_Pubes

    Sid_Pubes Senior commenter

    And if so, then is there any possibility of their being grown up discussion among intelligent people with a point of view and a robust style of expressing it?

    Free speech involves risking the giving of offence: as witness David Tennant on this evening's HIGNFY. In the Odd One Out round he wrapped up the answer with the following:

    "Some Tibetan Buddhist priests believe that in the moment of his death, the re-incarnated Dalai Lama enters the body of a small child, whereas some Catholic priests think “why wait?".

    As a joke that is tasteless, offensive, insulting to and belittling of people of faith.

    It is also extremely funny.

    And, crucially, I think it important that we continue to live in a country where making such jokes is possible. More than that we should make the most of the opportunity. In the totally privatised media of the future, no-one will dare to crack a joke like this - the advertising agencies and sponsors will simply not allow it.
    George_Randle and Vladimir like this.
  2. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    On the other thread you wrote:

    'Freedom of speech has to be absolute, or it is not freedom of speech.'

    I'm not sure about this, simply because there are probably contexts in which we would like to make certain types of speech illegal.

    John Stuart Mill's famous Harm Principle could be a useful rule of thumb to guide decision making in this respect.

    Mill's idea is that we should be free to go about our business and exercise freedom of expression up to the point where there is a real possibility of physical harm being inflicted on others by our actions. For Mill, context was important. A letter to a newspaper expressing an offensively racist point of view is not something that Mill would have found problematic. But if the content of that letter was made in the form of a speech to an inflamed mob of racists outside the homes of innocent members of a minority group then Mill would probably think that this was a case where free speech should be curtailed.

    As far as the Web is concerned, a link to a pro-anorexia website posted in a forum frequented by teenage girls with body image problems might be something that Mill could not condone.

    Mill's principle takes no account of psychological harm. Drawing the line there too might be tricky. One often reads of people claiming that they have had their 'lives ruined' by the press. But for freedom of speech to be absolute, wouldn't that entail that there would have to be no legal consequences resulting from, say, phone hacking? Or if there were, wouldn't the lines that are drawn in law about things like, say, invasion of privacy, in a way be setting a boundary on free speech?

    I don't know.But I do know that I may be starting to sound like Mr Logic from Viz Comic. So I'd better stop.

    I like the name 'Sid *****', though. And I like Tennant's joke. And I think free speech should trump other considerations in most cases. I'm just not sure that free speech could ever be absolute.

    Of course, on this forum we are bound by the usual terms and conditions that place limits on free expression. That's just the way it is.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
    kibosh likes this.
  3. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    The media are already reporting in a totally biased, dishonest way, so what difference would it make?
  4. Sid_Pubes

    Sid_Pubes Senior commenter

    Of course media reporting is dishonest and biased, and always has been. My point is that this is still mainly EDITORIAL policy decided by the newspaper itself, rather than COMMERCIAL policy which is based on financial expediency and nothing else.
  5. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    I don't find it at all funny.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Jokes. Banter.

    Like the Bloomingdale's advert that seems to condone date rape? That got published.

    The Tennant joke was broadcast. They don't film live. It wasn't cut.

    It's the defence kids use at school. "It was only a joke, Miss! I didn't MEAN it." Yeah, right.

    “Most people do not really want others to have freedom of speech, they just want others to be given the freedom to say want they want to hear.”
    Mokokoma Mokhonoana

    Free speech? Often a simple excuse to justify a tirade of invective against a group or an individual.

    The Tennant joke? Just a way of saying he's shocked by the hypocritical behaviour of some priests. It doesn't uphold any great values. If he hadn't said it I hardly think we'd be worse off. It's not
    Aung San Suu Kyi, is it?
  7. VanEyssen

    VanEyssen Established commenter

    Depressingly so. Even more depressingly so in universities with "No Platforming"
  8. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    As with most things in life, it (free speech) comes at a price. On the TES forum it will get you banned. In the middle east it will get you killed or maimed. In the UK it might land you in court. Makes you wonder if it really exists.
  9. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Jokes are down to taste and possibly what you have been supping...what seems funny witha few pints down yo can seem unfunny when sober.Jokes can serve many purposes but the essence is to ridicule or point out a view which might be crass or downright nasty.
  10. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    What about self deprecation or irony?
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Irony? OK, it's ironical, I suppose, that
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    claim Christian values of love and would probably say they would want to protect little children whereas some of them are simultaneously child-abusers. Irony? Hypocrisy certainly.

    Is it funny? Matter of taste. It was aired. What's the problem?

    Freedom to go on and on and on about how (all) persons who profess a certain faith are child-abusers or terrorists or misogynists or scroungers? You can certainly see why TES may not want to provide a platform for that.

    Someone else has reminded us that twitter is pretty well unregulated. If we must evangelise about an issue that TES doesn't want to acknowledge then we have alternatives.
  12. FlutterPetal_Fairydust

    FlutterPetal_Fairydust New commenter

    I love flowers and kitties - they are so sweet and lovely.
  13. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    You should be careful not to condemn all for a few rotten ones.
    As a Catholic I have met a quite a few priests and all (bar one) were very caring and followed the RC Christian values. One however was convicted of abusing boys in a boarding school and is now serving time, he got 14 years if i remember correctly. Personally I would have preferred him to have had surgery without anaesthetic, he was one bad in many who were/are good.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I should most certainly have followed my own guidelines and made it absolutely clear I referred to only a very few or 'some' RC priests. I didn't mean to suggest that all RC priests are tarred with the same brush. Poor editing on my part. I apologise.

    I should have been more careful. Although on re-reading I had hoped to make it plain that whilst ALL would subscribe to the highest standards SOME fail to meet them. Hmm. But point taken.
    lexus300 likes this.
  15. OnlyOneOpinion

    OnlyOneOpinion Occasional commenter

    Looking at the OP i ask, is there a problem with free speech here?
  16. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Only in so far as 'group think' goes;)
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    What about that Storm Abigail. Talk about rain.
  18. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Got all chilly here... cranking up the heating!

    No sign of a storm yet though.
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It's been chucking it down here on & off for the best part of twenty hours, gusting loudly too. I love it but no chance of a run while it's like this. My gear is warm and wicks well but even with a hood I get too much rain in my eyes.

    A hood as in a hoody, that is, not one of those ninja masks.
  20. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Nah, don't chance it... no need to be a martyr... [unless you're in ISIS!, which you aren't doh]

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