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February 7th, 2010

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07:24 pm - free speech
so i have this assignment for con law that 6 hours ago would've been easy peasy, but now i'm torn. basically it's an opinion paper on first amendment limitations to regulating hate speech. no problem, yo! i am for absolute free speech! except one of the readings made the point (well, more like nudged me in the direction of the point) that in some ways absolute free speech is free the way the free market is free, or the way everything in a libertarian system is free. it's all well and good to protect people from govt oppression, but doing so too stringently prevents the govt from protecting people from other people's oppression. depends on who you trust more, i suppose.
np: Karate - Diazapam | Powered by Last.fm

(1 shot upside the head | en garde!)


Date:February 8th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Hi Dan. I am of the longstanding opinion that freedom for the individual should be unlimited as long as that person's speech or actions are not effecting someone else negatively. Therefore, I think it is all right to:
eat brocolli in the park (legal), drink a glass of wine in the park (illegal in NH), watch sparrows in the park (legal), smoke marijuana in the park (illegal), but not okay to drive a car if uncoordinated with poor reaction time after drinking/smoking/taking antihistamines, etc. I also think it is all right to: have a fistfight in the park as long as both participants want to do it (illegal), play a guitar loudly in the park (legal)as long as no one else minds, but NOT all right to play it loudly if someone else objects (legal).
From this perspective, it would not be all right to use hate speech because it hurts people's feelings. But this is a very subjective subject - one person's hate speech is someone else's honest observations about people of another race/religion/ethnicity/etc. How do we decide? Well, that's what judges are for.

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