You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 01:57:59 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion  (Read 1818 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline consortium11

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2015, 08:41:50 PM »
I'll have a replier up for you later Kythia (likely tomorrow).

I'd also point out that you continue to use 'Fighting words' as a basis of your argument. The problem is the federal ruling you're using as a basis was set in 1942 and every notable case where it was brought to the Supreme Court it was not upheld.

In every Supreme Court case since where fighting words has been brought up they have upheld it. They may well have narrowed the previous scope or struck down specific applications of it but the doctrine itself has been jurisprudentially uncontroversial.

You (this is more a plural you address Consortium and Kythia) also seem to be confusing free speech with 'I cannot be held accountable for anything I say'. That is not what freedom of speech is, freedom of speech is simply a right, and to me it is an unalienable one, that every human being has the right to express themselves without fear of persecution.

I defined it as "one cannot be punished by the state for what one says (using "says" in a general sense to convey all forms of expression, not merely the physical act of speaking)" earlier in the thread which strikes me as functionally identical to the definition you use.

Stealing classified documents is... theft. Has nothing to do with free speech.

Yes, if someone removed the physical documents then they could be prosecuted for the theft of however many sheets of paper they were on. But if they took photos of them? If they photocopied them? If they copied them by hand? If they emailed them? If they learned them by heart and recited them to their contact? All of those are examples of expressing oneself and as such under genuine, 100% free speech the state could not punish someone for doing so.

Fraud is... yep, fraud. Money changes hands, this is not one person talking and someone just handing them money cause they talk so good (those we call actors. And lawyers).

Fraud is generally defined as obtaining a pecuniary (normally cash itself but it could be something else) advantage by means of deliberate deception. The fact that there was deception is the key part of the crime. And how do we deceive others? By expressing ourselves. If I tell someone that I'm a Nigerian Prince and that I have $100,000,000 that I need transferring out of the country but that I need their help to do so then I have expressed myself. If the government punishes me for doing so they are infringing on my free speech. If I create a fake prospectus for a company which paints it in a brilliant light to encourage people to invest then I am expressing myself. If I deliberately tell lies to inflate the price of some shares I own before dumping them then I am expressing myself.

Stalking (as in the actual crime) involves physically following a person. Again, not speech.

What version of freedom of speech doesn't include freedom to travel? Why is physically walking somewhere not counted as expressing myself?

You're actually physically following someone around in an aggressive manner as you can't be charged with stalking if, for example, you live on the same bus route as a woman and eat at the same sandwich shop at lunch every day while working across the street. Technically you have followed that woman pretty much all day for days at at time, but it's not stalking.

But even if I am following someone deliberately (and aggressively) why isn't that expressing myself? Isn't the government saying where I can go and what I can do while going there (and once I get there) a clear example of them restricting how I express myself?

And aren't phonecalls, emails and letters through the post all simply me expressing myself?

Death threats and child porn are two of the only true 'gray areas', and really only death threats to be honest. Child porn isn't merely an image or a speech or a statement or even a song. It actually uses the physical body of someone else to commit a crime and documents it. Which is no more 'free speech' than murdering someone on camera and calling it 'free speech' is, because free speech is an individual right. You can't 'free speech' for someone (IE a victim) just like you can't '2nd amendment' someone else and force them to carry a rifle for you or '5th amendment' someone and force them not to say something to incriminate themselves.

As I said, the original creator would still be liable for abusing a child. But taking photos/video? That's expressing themselves. Receiving photos/video? Expressing oneself. Distributing those images to more people? Expressing oneself.

Let's be clear here... is speaking expressing oneself? If it is then anything one says cannot be restricted or punished by the state under genuine free speech. Is writing expressing oneself? If it is then anything one writes cannot be restricted or punished by the state under genuine free speech. Is moving your body expressing oneself? If then it cannot be restricted or punished by the state... and thus going somewhere or following someone cannot... under genuine free speech (with an obvious caveat about physically touching someone else). Is creating media like video or photos expressing oneself? If it is then it cannot be restricted or punished by the state under genuine free speech.

Offline Tairis

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2015, 11:01:29 PM »
In every Supreme Court case since where fighting words has been brought up they have upheld it. They may well have narrowed the previous scope or struck down specific applications of it but the doctrine itself has been jurisprudentially uncontroversial.

Except in all of those cases the 'Fighting Words' laws have been deemed non-applicable. Those court cases were not brought to the supreme court to strike down the 1942 ruling on 'Fighting Words', they were brought based upon each case and government bodies attempting to use the Fighting Words ruling to suppress free speech. They didn't uphold the 1942 ruling, they have steadily whittled away at it over the years until its scope has become more and more narrow. They would not invalid it completely unless a case was brought up directly against the ruling itself.

IE someone pushed a case that the ruling itself was unconstitutional. These sorts of laws and rulings are the reason we have unenforced, archaic laws that linger for decades like those in various southern states that prohibit everything from tying alligators to fire hydrants to having sex in anything other than the missionary position with spouse being technically illegal in Georgia. Said law exists on the books, but generally only because no one has brought a case to have it struck down. It's simply not worth the cost to 99% of the population.

Quote
Yes, if someone removed the physical documents then they could be prosecuted for the theft of however many sheets of paper they were on. But if they took photos of them? If they photocopied them? If they copied them by hand? If they emailed them? If they learned them by heart and recited them to their contact? All of those are examples of expressing oneself and as such under genuine, 100% free speech the state could not punish someone for doing so.

This isn't a free speech issue, this is an intellectual property argument which is an entire other massive and thorny issue that we haven't even come close to solving in the digital age. If you acknowledge that individuals can own 'ideas' or the like then this again isn't expression, it's theft.

Quote
Fraud is generally defined as obtaining a pecuniary (normally cash itself but it could be something else) advantage by means of deliberate deception. The fact that there was deception is the key part of the crime. And how do we deceive others? By expressing ourselves. If I tell someone that I'm a Nigerian Prince and that I have $100,000,000 that I need transferring out of the country but that I need their help to do so then I have expressed myself. If the government punishes me for doing so they are infringing on my free speech. If I create a fake prospectus for a company which paints it in a brilliant light to encourage people to invest then I am expressing myself. If I deliberately tell lies to inflate the price of some shares I own before dumping them then I am expressing myself.

Except if money never changes hands, no crime is actually committed. The act of speech isn't the crime, the act of the financial gain related to your speech is the crime.

Quote
What version of freedom of speech doesn't include freedom to travel? Why is physically walking somewhere not counted as expressing myself?

Freedom of travel actually doesn't fall under free speech. It's also oddly not one of the rights that are actually in the Bill of Rights. Again this is US centric, but it is still illegal for a US citizen to visit Cuba for example except under some exceptions.

Quote
But even if I am following someone deliberately (and aggressively) why isn't that expressing myself? Isn't the government saying where I can go and what I can do while going there (and once I get there) a clear example of them restricting how I express myself?

And aren't phonecalls, emails and letters through the post all simply me expressing myself?

As I said, the original creator would still be liable for abusing a child. But taking photos/video? That's expressing themselves. Receiving photos/video? Expressing oneself. Distributing those images to more people? Expressing oneself.

There is some clear dissonance here. 'Expressing yourself' is not a catch phrase for 'do whatever you want'. Also as mentioned above, physical travel is oddly absent from the bill of rights for example. In addition there also has to be some understanding that individual rights can only be applied to that individual. YOU have the right to express yourself. That does not give YOU the right to harm or restrict the rights of ANOTHER. (In this case an abused child or someone being stalked).

Quote
Let's be clear here... is speaking expressing oneself? If it is then anything one says cannot be restricted or punished by the state under genuine free speech. Is writing expressing oneself? If it is then anything one writes cannot be restricted or punished by the state under genuine free speech. Is moving your body expressing oneself? If then it cannot be restricted or punished by the state... and thus going somewhere or following someone cannot... under genuine free speech (with an obvious caveat about physically touching someone else). Is creating media like video or photos expressing oneself? If it is then it cannot be restricted or punished by the state under genuine free speech.

As I said before, death threats are the only real grey area but they can also easily fall under personal property and use of public service laws and avoid the free speech issue entirely. You are completely within your rights to say you want to stab John Doe with an icepick in his eye. It's your right to write it down, post it, make a fucking song about it. But if you're sending a letter to John Doe's house about it?

Well either a) you sent it through the postal service, which is illegal or b) you physically went to their house and left a note or something

In situation a) it has nothing to do with free speech, you are using a provided and optional service and they have the right to restrict that. In situation b) you are trespassing on private property and leaving threats.

The only area that we truly lack in, and sadly will continue to for some years I suspect, is the digital realm. While you can file a restraining order against someone stalking you or sending you letters, the internet has made it very hard to get away from threats, slander, etc. That's our real grey area that eventually we will have to define where one's personal 'space' in cyberspace begins and ends.

Either way waving a flag of 'You don't REALLY want free speech' has nothing to do with the fact that the essential point of this thread is that some people believe they have the right to suppress the speech of another because their personal beliefs are offended. And you are right, we do not have truly completely free speech in the US or anywhere else in the world that I know of.

But it doesn't mean I'm going to sit by and agree that we should legislate that things like Charlie Hebo's cartoons and writings should be made illegal because they are 'provocative' towards religion or anything else.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 11:05:01 PM by Tairis »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2015, 12:13:48 PM »
 Very well put Tairis. Very well put

Offline consortium11

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2015, 04:10:13 PM »
Except in all of those cases the 'Fighting Words' laws have been deemed non-applicable. Those court cases were not brought to the supreme court to strike down the 1942 ruling on 'Fighting Words', they were brought based upon each case and government bodies attempting to use the Fighting Words ruling to suppress free speech. They didn't uphold the 1942 ruling, they have steadily whittled away at it over the years until its scope has become more and more narrow. They would not invalid it completely unless a case was brought up directly against the ruling itself.

If they didn't uphold the ruling they'd have overturned it. They didn't. Each and every time "Fighting Words" has come up before the Supreme Court the Court has reaffirmed that "Fighting Words" exist and are not a protected category of speech. They may refine how it's used and in some circumstances restrict the scope but that in no way weakens or damages the underlying doctrine.

IE someone pushed a case that the ruling itself was unconstitutional. These sorts of laws and rulings are the reason we have unenforced, archaic laws that linger for decades like those in various southern states that prohibit everything from tying alligators to fire hydrants to having sex in anything other than the missionary position with spouse being technically illegal in Georgia. Said law exists on the books, but generally only because no one has brought a case to have it struck down. It's simply not worth the cost to 99% of the population.

1) The "tying alligators to fire hydrants" law doesn't exist. It's an ordnance rather than a law to begin with, it doesn't mention alligators (or any other specific animal), it's simply about keeping fire hydrants unobstructed and it was repealed and replaced.

2) I can find precisely no references to it being illegal to have sex in a position other than missionary in Georgia. There's mention of that being the case in Washington DC but if one tries to verify it rather than simply believe it because it's on the internet one discovers that it's a misreading of a sodomy law in Washington DC that was repealed in 1976. So no, it's not on the books either.

3) If the US Supreme Court wants to overturn a doctrine related to a case they have they will. In Citizens United they overruled Austin even though neither party argued to overturn it... the Supreme Court actually went back to the parties and told them that they needed to argue the point as the Supreme Court wanted to decide on it (the original scope of Citizens United was much narrower). In every case where "Fighting Words" has been raised the Court could decide to overturn it. They haven't... instead they've reinforced that it exists.

This isn't a free speech issue, this is an intellectual property argument which is an entire other massive and thorny issue that we haven't even come close to solving in the digital age. If you acknowledge that individuals can own 'ideas' or the like then this again isn't expression, it's theft.

No, it's a free speech issue (if we want actual, genuine 100% free speech). Ames and Hanssen (the two people I mentioned in this context) weren't prosecuted for intellectual property crimes, they were prosecuted for espionage. Their methods generally involved writing or directly talking to the Soviets. Hence, expression, hence a restriction on freedom of speech.

If you want to extend the discussion to IP laws and how they'd also almost all disappear if we had genuine, 100% free speech that's fine. But if we have genuine, 100% freedom of expression then how can I be prosecuted for what I express... even if that expression is revealing secrets to the Soviets?

Except if money never changes hands, no crime is actually committed.

1) Money doesn't need to change hands for their to be a fraud; pecuniary advantage is enough.

2) If there's no deception there's no crime.

The act of speech isn't the crime, the act of the financial gain related to your speech is the crime.

But my expression is still being restricted. Lying is still expressing oneself. If I lie and as a result gain a pecuniary advantage I have still expressed myself. If the state then prosecutes me for that I am still having my speech punished. Again, how is preventing me from saying that my company is about to make a $100,000,000 profit when it's actually made a $100,000,000 loss not restricting what I can say?

Freedom of travel actually doesn't fall under free speech. It's also oddly not one of the rights that are actually in the Bill of Rights. Again this is US centric, but it is still illegal for a US citizen to visit Cuba for example except under some exceptions.

1) Technically it's not illegal to visit Cuba; the restrictions apply to trading or providing money to them.

2) Freedom of travel is certainly a freedom of expression/speech issue when one debates the theory and not the current legal framework. Otherwise a law requiring everyone to stay in the exact spot they currently occupy would have no freedom of expression/speech implications. Clearly it does.

There is some clear dissonance here. 'Expressing yourself' is not a catch phrase for 'do whatever you want'. Also as mentioned above, physical travel is oddly absent from the bill of rights for example. In addition there also has to be some understanding that individual rights can only be applied to that individual. YOU have the right to express yourself.

And that right is being restricted...

That does not give YOU the right to harm or restrict the rights of ANOTHER. (In this case an abused child or someone being stalked).

1) In the child abuse examples I gave the person in question isn't directly harming the child. They're simply looking at/distributing pictures/video of them.

2) Remember, we're talking about actual, genuine 100% freedom of speech. Complete freedom of speech. Freedom to speak without restriction. In such a situation the fact that I'm expressing myself trumps everything else. If anything else is more important then you're not talking about free speech, you're talking about some form of regulated and restricted speech. It may be incredibly lightly restricted speech but it is still not free. That's the point. Free speech, much like meritocracy, is a nice sounding concept that virtually everyone wants to support... but when actually looked at it becomes pretty damn dystopian.

As I said before, death threats are the only real grey area but they can also easily fall under personal property and use of public service laws and avoid the free speech issue entirely.

Again, they can't avoid the free speech issue. If there is a restriction on what I say or how I express myself then there is a free speech issue and in a 100%, genuine free speech situation any restriction of it would have to be removed. Trying to lawyer around it doesn't make a difference. If expression is restricted then free speech is being infringed.

You are completely within your rights to say you want to stab John Doe with an icepick in his eye. It's your right to write it down, post it, make a fucking song about it. But if you're sending a letter to John Doe's house about it?

Well either a) you sent it through the postal service, which is illegal or b) you physically went to their house and left a note or something

In situation a) it has nothing to do with free speech, you are using a provided and optional service and they have the right to restrict that. In situation b) you are trespassing on private property and leaving threats.

1) If the postal service was completely privatized then they would have the right to refuse to carry my letters. Whether a non-privatized post service has that right is somewhat more complex. Regardless, the state would still have no right to punish me. The death threat is simply me expressing myself. If you go through the US Code on threats through the mail for example you'll see that all of the crimes within relate to what is said in the letter... i.e. the expression. That's an open and clear restriction on freedom of speech; I am allowed to write a letter expressing how I dislike someone. I am not allowed to write a letter expressing how I dislike someone and intend to kill them. That's a restriction on what I can express.

2) Criminal trespass generally requires the person in question to have been explicitly refused permission to enter another's property. Until they have been refused permission (or been asked to leave) they are free to go there. This would also only apply in circumstances where the person being stalked/threatened owns where the message could be posted/delivered; if there was a post box or a post room (such as in some apartment blocks) in a public area (or in a communal area that the stalker/threatener also has permission to be in) then it wouldn't apply.

The only area that we truly lack in, and sadly will continue to for some years I suspect, is the digital realm. While you can file a restraining order against someone stalking you or sending you letters, the internet has made it very hard to get away from threats, slander, etc. That's our real grey area that eventually we will have to define where one's personal 'space' in cyberspace begins and ends.

There's nothing fundamentally different about the online world to the offline one. An email is the equivalent to a letter. A post on a forum is the equivalent to putting something in a public correspondence journal. An article on a website is the equivalent to an article in a newspaper. A post on twitter is the equivalent of posting something on a (physical) notice board (and if you @ someone the equivalent of an open letter that you send to the person in question and also post publicly). The scale and ease that things may be seen has changed but the underlying principles remain the same.

Either way waving a flag of 'You don't REALLY want free speech' has nothing to do with the fact that the essential point of this thread is that some people believe they have the right to suppress the speech of another because their personal beliefs are offended. And you are right, we do not have truly completely free speech in the US or anywhere else in the world that I know of.

But it doesn't mean I'm going to sit by and agree that we should legislate that things like Charlie Hebo's cartoons and writings should be made illegal because they are 'provocative' towards religion or anything else.

1) Unless I'm misreading the OP and Kythia's following posts, the essential point of the thread was about whether (in moral rather than legal terms) it was possible to be so offensive that you deserve a punch?  Should it be allowed to be that offensive?  Should it be allowed to get that punch?  And so forth.

2) But it does mean that on in turn can't wave a flag going "freedom of speech" alone as the reason for why someone should be allowed to offend others. There are restrictions on freedom of speech... the very ones I mention here... that virtually everyone agrees with. And once you've agreed that freedom of speech can be rightfully restricted in some circumstances then the question is no longer about freedom of speech itself, it's about where's the correct place to draw the line. And that's a different question.





Indeed, and I've always - to veer off topic for a bit - suspected this is one of the reasons I've never heard a good defence of it, most attempts are kinda stupid.  It's because people act as though, and possible believe, they are defending some abstract philosophical principle but what they are actually trying to defend is a considerably more mundane series of compromises with reality.  Admitting that means they don't support the philosophical ideal, though, and so consciously or no they try to defend a position they don't hold using language inappropriate to the situation.

Agreed... as I mentioned above "Freedom of Speech" is a nice soundbite that has some emotional power behind it but when one gets behind the flag waving and tendency to die on a hill it turns out actual, genuine, 100% freedom of speech is actually pretty awful. Do you think it should be a crime to betray your country by telling a rival all your secrets? Do you think it should be a crime to send death threats to someone? Do you think it should be a crime to do the sort of "romance scams" which one sees where someone forges a fake romantic relationship with someone and then repeatedly tries to get them to give them money? Do you think viewing, owning and distributing child porn (albeit not creating) should be a crime? Then you don't believe in actual, genuine, 100% freedom of speech. You may believe in very, very, very, very, very, very, very lightly restricted speech... but that's not free speech and it's not as catchy a doctrine to support.

Actually no.  I promise I'm not just being deliberately obstructionist here.  I've not yet fully decided where I stand on this but I am increasingly leaning towards the "overreaction" viewpoint not the "wrong in principle" viewpoint.

I think we're slightly at cross-purposes here; the "issue" I was pointing out largely follows your own thinking. Once we accept that one can be morally justified in punching someone who insults your child we can no longer argue that it was wrong in principle for people to physically attack the Charlie Hebdo staff. The terms of the discussion have gone beyond whether it was right or wrong for them to do so and instead gone on to whether it was right or wrong for them to attack as severely as they did.

I think I disagree with the intent behind "because something is more justifiable doesn't make it justified".  Sticking a "necessarily" in in there to clarify (what I see as your) point.

The intent is basically this; I think it's more justifiable for a battered wife who has put up with years of mental and physical abuse to kill her husband in his sleep then it is for a wife who has been in no way abused or attacked to do so simply because she felt like it... but I do not consider either killing justified. I can have more sympathy for someone who punches someone else after the second person insults their child then I would for someone who punched simply because they felt like it but I can still feel it's wrong to do so.

I'm an offended Muslim, I have a range of options.  Terrorist attack on one end, sucking it up on the other.  Various stuff in the middle.  And as "atrocity-ness" increases in one direction, so "justifiability" increases in the other.  I presume we can agree on that.

Somewhat semantically, I actually don't. I think an offended Muslim would be absolutely justified in doing a whole range of actions (generally related to peaceful protest) in relation to Charlie Hebdo that are a long step away from simply sucking it up. There is a point where things become justified... I don't think they can then become "justified+"

You mention that there's a "chilling effect" on speech - defined broadly - if we're to take the offence caused by our words in to effect.  But, well, we do.  It's part and parcel of not being a fucking dickhead.  We phrase things so as not to offend others around us.  E has a civility rule.  When we're talking with our friends, we might gloss over politics and stick to football because we know we'll disagree.  Hundreds of tiny concessions to insult and offence we give every day just because we're a social species.

I generally follow a "don't be a dick" rule in my own life and it serves me fairly well. But even when not being a dick (or not being a dick deliberately) one can offend people. I've used this example before but some people consider facial hair and Movember offensive. I frequently have facial hair and have taken part in Movember for years. Yet I am offending them. Worse I now know I'm offending them and yet I'll continue to do it anyway. For me, that passes the "don't be a dick rule". In essence I balance out how deeply I care about something/how much I want to do it vs the offence caused and how legitimately I view the offence.

Your argument seems to expand to call that a "chilling effect" which is nothing short of alarmist.  Saying "yeah, he seems nice" on meeting a new boyfriend who doesn't isn't being censored, its being able to hold conversations with actual human beings.  We accept that there is an onus on us to do that if we want to have friends.

Yes, there are compromises. And there are some compromises we should not be willing to make. To go with one simple example, if you look at what happened regarding abuse by Muslims of children in the UK prior to the release of the official report and you'll see significant numbers of frequently well-meaning people more worried about how offended Muslims would be then with protecting children. To go with another Life of Brian caused massive amounts of offense... if causing offense was the defining issue then it would never have been made. Animal Farm was offensive to those who supported the Soviet Union... it would never have been written. Harry Potter offended... it would never have been written. I could go on and on and on.

Should we take the amount of offence we cause into account when deciding how to express ourselves? Of course. But it shouldn't be the only or even simply the prime consideration. And basing it on how violently we expect people to react is giving the most violent and reactionary the biggest voice and actively punishing those who don't got to extremes. I may self-censor myself more because I'm scared of their reaction but that has no moral strength to it; to go back to the first example used I don't believe there is any difference in how morally justified I am in insulting the two daughters of two men both of whom would be equally offended but one of whom I know will punch me and the other of whom I know will take it and possibly even laugh it off (while crying inside).

My "don't be a dick" test is about me, not about the other person. I don't want to offend them because I don't particularly like to offend people, not because I don't want them to be offended. Their beliefs only indirectly cause my self-censorship; the direct cause is my beliefs. And I don't think it's morally justified to punch someone who insulted your daughter just as I don't think it would have been morally justified for the people who commited the Charlie Hebdo attack to have gone to the office and "just" beaten them up. Reacting to words with violence (outside of words which make me reasonably suspect that violence is about to be inflicted on me) crosses the Rubicon for me. It may be more justifiable but it is not justified. It may be understandable but it is not right.

Offline Tairis

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2015, 07:38:14 PM »

2) I can find precisely no references to it being illegal to have sex in a position other than missionary in Georgia. There's mention of that being the case in Washington DC but if one tries to verify it rather than simply believe it because it's on the internet one discovers that it's a misreading of a sodomy law in Washington DC that was repealed in 1976. So no, it's not on the books either.

Just for reference, this is the court case in question:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowers_v._Hardwick

Not quite correct, it was all oral and anal sex was illegal in the state of GA.

Quote
No, it's a free speech issue (if we want actual, genuine 100% free speech). Ames and Hanssen (the two people I mentioned in this context) weren't prosecuted for intellectual property crimes, they were prosecuted for espionage. Their methods generally involved writing or directly talking to the Soviets. Hence, expression, hence a restriction on freedom of speech.

If you want to extend the discussion to IP laws and how they'd also almost all disappear if we had genuine, 100% free speech that's fine. But if we have genuine, 100% freedom of expression then how can I be prosecuted for what I express... even if that expression is revealing secrets to the Soviets?

They were prosecuted for espionage because espionage fit their crime. At it's most basic level, though, classified information is information owned by the government. You are taking something owned by someone else and giving it away.

Quote
1) Money doesn't need to change hands for their to be a fraud; pecuniary advantage is enough.

2) If there's no deception there's no crime.

But my expression is still being restricted. Lying is still expressing oneself. If I lie and as a result gain a pecuniary advantage I have still expressed myself. If the state then prosecutes me for that I am still having my speech punished. Again, how is preventing me from saying that my company is about to make a $100,000,000 profit when it's actually made a $100,000,000 loss not restricting what I can say?

Money HAS to change hands for you to have a pecuniary advantage. It might not be as blatant as 'You wired me 5000 dollars' but somehow MONEY has to be involved. You have to be gaining money somewhere for you to be committing fraud.

Quote
1) Technically it's not illegal to visit Cuba; the restrictions apply to trading or providing money to them.

2) Freedom of travel is certainly a freedom of expression/speech issue when one debates the theory and not the current legal framework. Otherwise a law requiring everyone to stay in the exact spot they currently occupy would have no freedom of expression/speech implications. Clearly it does.

Yes, you are correct it's *technically* legal to visit Cuba, but for all extents and purposes it is illegal as you commit a crime by spending any money there. One of many things I disagree with.

Freedom of travel and freedom of speech, however, I consider two separate rights. Yes they are definitely related but they aren't one and the same.

Quote
1) In the child abuse examples I gave the person in question isn't directly harming the child. They're simply looking at/distributing pictures/video of them.

This once again ties into the idea of ownership of ideas, images, etc. But you are effectively trading someone else's personal image without their consent. A fact compounded by the fact that they werent old enough to consent in the first place.

Quote
2) Remember, we're talking about actual, genuine 100% freedom of speech. Complete freedom of speech. Freedom to speak without restriction. In such a situation the fact that I'm expressing myself trumps everything else. If anything else is more important then you're not talking about free speech, you're talking about some form of regulated and restricted speech. It may be incredibly lightly restricted speech but it is still not free. That's the point. Free speech, much like meritocracy, is a nice sounding concept that virtually everyone wants to support... but when actually looked at it becomes pretty damn dystopian.

Again, they can't avoid the free speech issue. If there is a restriction on what I say or how I express myself then there is a free speech issue and in a 100%, genuine free speech situation any restriction of it would have to be removed. Trying to lawyer around it doesn't make a difference. If expression is restricted then free speech is being infringed.

This is completely circular reasoning.

Suppressing someone's expression is a violation of free speech. But everything is an expression so you're always suppressing free speech. This chain only works if you allow anyone to legally qualify anything as 'expression' regardless of its infringing upon the rights of others.  As I have repeatedly stated, free speech is an individual right, as in an individual can exercise it.

You do not get to use it to commit crimes against others and call it free speech because then you are violating other rights.

Your definition of free speech has nothing to do with speech. It's basically just the baseline argument of anarchy because in your terms literally anything a human being does is 'expression'. 'You can't tell me not to do something if I have a right to be free because then I'm not truly free'.

Quote
1) If the postal service was completely privatized then they would have the right to refuse to carry my letters. Whether a non-privatized post service has that right is somewhat more complex. Regardless, the state would still have no right to punish me. The death threat is simply me expressing myself. If you go through the US Code on threats through the mail for example you'll see that all of the crimes within relate to what is said in the letter... i.e. the expression. That's an open and clear restriction on freedom of speech; I am allowed to write a letter expressing how I dislike someone. I am not allowed to write a letter expressing how I dislike someone and intend to kill them. That's a restriction on what I can express.

Except... the postal service is not a right? The US postal service is not legally or constitutionally obligated to deliver your mail as a basic part of you being a citizen. You have to pay them to do it. You have to abide by their rules to use their service.

Quote
2) Criminal trespass generally requires the person in question to have been explicitly refused permission to enter another's property. Until they have been refused permission (or been asked to leave) they are free to go there. This would also only apply in circumstances where the person being stalked/threatened owns where the message could be posted/delivered; if there was a post box or a post room (such as in some apartment blocks) in a public area (or in a communal area that the stalker/threatener also has permission to be in) then it wouldn't apply.

Quite right... which means someone comes and leaves you a death note. You tell them not to do so again and not to come back. If they continue they are now... trespassing. I'm not saying its a perfect system, few are. Stalking laws in general are byzantine and often ineffective things. But they have little to do with speech and much more to do with actions. No one is telling person A it's illegal to write what they write. What they do with those writings and how they act towards the victim is the problem.

Quote
There's nothing fundamentally different about the online world to the offline one. An email is the equivalent to a letter. A post on a forum is the equivalent to putting something in a public correspondence journal. An article on a website is the equivalent to an article in a newspaper. A post on twitter is the equivalent of posting something on a (physical) notice board (and if you @ someone the equivalent of an open letter that you send to the person in question and also post publicly). The scale and ease that things may be seen has changed but the underlying principles remain the same.

Except none of that is true. A post on a forum is not the same as writing in a journal or twitter post being a bulletin board post. That is a flaw in the way we think about the digital world, we want to force it to conform to the physical world we're familiar with. It's not going to.

Digital correspondence can't be physically destroyed or protected in the same manner, it's reach is vastly longer than that of almost any physical medium. It can be more easily manipulated and misrepresented. It IS a different animal and until we start treating it as such... we're always going to be one step behind.

Quote
1) Unless I'm misreading the OP and Kythia's following posts, the essential point of the thread was about whether (in moral rather than legal terms) it was possible to be so offensive that you deserve a punch?  Should it be allowed to be that offensive?  Should it be allowed to get that punch?  And so forth.

2) But it does mean that on in turn can't wave a flag going "freedom of speech" alone as the reason for why someone should be allowed to offend others. There are restrictions on freedom of speech... the very ones I mention here... that virtually everyone agrees with. And once you've agreed that freedom of speech can be rightfully restricted in some circumstances then the question is no longer about freedom of speech itself, it's about where's the correct place to draw the line. And that's a different question.

And my answer remains the same: No, you NEVER have the right to punch someone because they're offending you. Because you do not possess the right to make it a crime to offend you.

That is what freedom of speech is about. It's the right of the individual to express their views, desires, emotions, etc. It is not the right to abuse the rights of others and call it 'expression'.

If you want to say that stopping someone from doing anything is stopping them from expressing themselves? Then this entire conversation is completely irrelevant because the concept of freedom itself is irrelevant in your world. By that definition there can be no freedom of any kind because something is always going to restrict your right to freedom, ergo you cannot actually be free since there is a restriction on you. The same circular path of reasoning.

My stance is and always will be very simple: rights are possessed by an individual and should be inviolate but they only extend as far as the individual. One person's right doesn't allow them to cancel out someone else's like some kind of card game.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2015, 03:31:04 PM »
Intentions aren't magical fairy dust that you can sprinkle over things to change what you actually do.  If I say something offensive to you, its not magically less offensive because I didn't really mean it.

I meant to comment on this, forgot all about it, then read up on something that reminded me of it.  I figured I'd share.

http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/129146/sorry-you-called-me-what

There's a nasty stereotype out there concerning Jews and money.  Stereotypes come up in one of two ways: either someone honestly believes it and states it as a fact, or someone laughs and is trying to be funny by playing on old stereotypes.

The article uses the words naivete and malice, which I'll adopt myself.

I don't think we should punish naivete.  We're taught that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but there are particular words that would cause great offense that I've only ever used once, in a three word sentence asking my mother "What's a ******?"

If we accept naivete but punish malice, we merely encourage the malicious to feign naivete.  For example, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/11/charlie-rangel-calling-tea-partiers-white-crackers/  Naivete or malice?  How could we possibly get into that?  Another recent example at http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/politics/joe-biden-jewish-term/

Encouraging silence does not change minds or hearts.  Instead, we simply allow bad ideas to fester.  The best way to educate people on this stuff is to find them, and the best way to do that is to let them say that they have such beliefs openly, and enter a debate to disprove them.

That's my suggestion for legal, though.  Morally, I'd consider it bad to be malicious but not to be naive.

Admittedly I'm not doing well in keeping up with this thread.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #56 on: February 02, 2015, 03:31:38 PM »
So, I have a knack for seeing things in a perspective which seems to match up pretty well to me, even though people don't always agree.  I welcome people to point out differences, but I saw this article: http://www.kutv.com/news/features/local-news/stories/Lone-Peak-sparks-controversy-after-asking-girl-to-wear-coat-over-dress-at-dance-71495.shtml#.VMh9Vovqv1c

Quote
“Somehow my shoulders are sexualized,” Finlayson said. “Like it's my responsibility to make sure the boys’ thoughts are not unclean.”

I believe the general consensus on Elliquiy is that women should be able to wear whatever they want and that no matter how provocative the clothing, we don't expect the choice of garment to override the wishes of the individual.  Rage and lust, however, are both very passionate emotions where reason is often overwhelmed, and speech and clothing are both methods of expression.

For the people who believe that women should be able to wear whatever they want without the expectation of someone becoming so impassioned as to do something they don't want (like cop a feel), but don't believe that people should be able to say whatever they want without the expectation of someone becoming so impassioned as to do something that they don't want (like punch them in the mouth) - or if anyone who doesn't believe the first and believes the second - I would be curious to know the delineation.

Offline KythiaTopic starter

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2015, 04:19:13 PM »
Sorry consortium11, I missed your comments somehow.  In short I think we might have reached a point where we just plain disagree.  I'm willing to accept that there are situations that call for violence (above and beyond "immediate self defence") and I think once you accept that you have to accept that there is nothing inherently unjustifiable about a violent reaction.  Which makes the Charlie Hebdo attacks wrong because the level of violence was disproportionate, not wrong because violence qua violence is an unacceptable solution to a problem.  Different problems have different maximum levels of acceptable violence and we could argue that the maximum level here was "none" - which is the case for many problems.  But I don't believe avenging/retaliating to insults against self or others with violence is on the other side of a moral event horizon.

AndyZ

Well, first lets just clarify.  I don't think anyone thinks that people should wear whatever they feel like in any situation.  If I hang around with small children with my tits up to my ears and a microskirt on I think people would find that inappropriate, and they'd find it even more inappropriate if you did it.  The issue isn't that clothing can be inappropriate, I don't think thats in question, its that you're not responsible for the reactions your clothes cause in others.  Slightly different.  It's possible to dress inappropriately and still not be "begging for it" or similar.

In this case, I'm not sure I see an issue.  I only scanned the article and haven't read round it, but it feels a little manufactured to me.  The school had a dress code - as schools are wont to do - and she breached it so it was enforced.  The quote is hers, not the schools, and is merely her interpretation.  Preventing unclean thoughts from boys may have been the intent behind the rule - indeed I suspect that did at least factor in to it - but we accept that schools have a right to enforce dress codes and they, at least, clearly felt it was breached.  The school dress code said to wear a shawl over thin straps and whatever you may think of that, that was all that was enforced.  I must be honest, looking at the still image from the video (I couldn't be bothered to watch it) the straps do actually seem wider than 2" to me, but I could easily be mistaken.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #58 on: February 02, 2015, 04:42:37 PM »
I should clarify that I only linked the article because it set me down that train of thought, not that I really consider shoulders provocative.  Just that when I heard those words, it instantly reminded me of this thread, and I saw a similarity that others may not see.  I was curious if other people did.

If I was in a place where a girl was wearing the jeans in your avatar picture, I may very well feel a fire burning within me to do something that's every bit as strong as the anger I might feel about someone saying something terrible about my mother.  Back in the day, we expected women to cover themselves so that such urges wouldn't arise in men, and insults could lead to fistfights.

It seems like we're moving more towards a time where (even if it may be inappropriate in specific locations) I can't say "She put that hole in her jeans just big enough to slip my dick in!  I couldn't help it!"  So I would imagine equally so that I can't say "He called my mother a three-penny whore!  I couldn't help it!"

The two may very well be very different in ways I'm not easily seeing, though.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #59 on: February 02, 2015, 04:47:08 PM »
In this case, I'm not sure I see an issue.  I only scanned the article and haven't read round it, but it feels a little manufactured to me.  The school had a dress code - as schools are wont to do - and she breached it so it was enforced.  The quote is hers, not the schools, and is merely her interpretation.  Preventing unclean thoughts from boys may have been the intent behind the rule - indeed I suspect that did at least factor in to it - but we accept that schools have a right to enforce dress codes and they, at least, clearly felt it was breached.  The school dress code said to wear a shawl over thin straps and whatever you may think of that, that was all that was enforced.  I must be honest, looking at the still image from the video (I couldn't be bothered to watch it) the straps do actually seem wider than 2" to me, but I could easily be mistaken.

I actually read the article yesterday - her straps were actually within the dress-code standards.  There was also a bit in it about how other girls were wearing far more revealing dresses and not dinged on the dress-code.

Offline KythiaTopic starter

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #60 on: February 02, 2015, 04:49:22 PM »
I actually read the article yesterday - her straps were actually within the dress-code standards.  There was also a bit in it about how other girls were wearing far more revealing dresses and not dinged on the dress-code.

If that's the case it would seem to argue against her interpretation then.  If other girls were wearing things more likely to inflame boys' lusts and no mention was made, it makes it a little hard to support her assertion that thats why it was done. 

I think we have the age old problem of "teacher doesn't like me" here, rather than anything else.

Online gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Pope Francis' Comments on Freedom of Religion
« Reply #61 on: February 02, 2015, 05:30:51 PM »
If that's the case it would seem to argue against her interpretation then.  If other girls were wearing things more likely to inflame boys' lusts and no mention was made, it makes it a little hard to support her assertion that thats why it was done. 

I think we have the age old problem of "teacher doesn't like me" here, rather than anything else.

Well, if she was well within the dress code as upheld by her school, and wasn't wearing anything seen as quite out of place either (such as e.g. a clown outfit or clothing imitating some partiular job uniform) and she still got rebuked for what she wore by the staff, then it begs the question: was she getting chastized simply because of the kind of person she was? for her "attitude" (verbal and non-verbal)? Or because the teacher had a thorn in the side to her from before? - or well, for no reason at all?
 
And if she was being put down on ay of those grounds, but using her dress as a pretext, wasn't that rather unprofessional?


(The pictures of the dress in question certainly don't look like it's unduly revealing to me, the cut is rather modest...)  ;)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:38:50 PM by gaggedLouise »