I guess you don't look at the news very much, because Europe doesn't seem to be in very good shape these days. Rioting in France and Greece, rampant European Muslim discrimination, libel/slander issues that have affected the entire world in the UK -- Europeans are hardly as free as Americans are.
Then please explain why EU countries score equal to or better than the US on every single objective and non-anecdotal system of freedom? I pointed you towards Freedom House, Privacy International and so on. I could get Amnesty International reports if you'd like as well?
Are the free speech laws connected to all of their problems? Not directly, no, it's really more of Europe's attitude of putting society at large over the individual's aspirations in damn near every situation.
Ah yes, that monolithic and culturally homogenous polity of Europe.
The bottom line is, you've failed to present any evidence whatsoever that offense tangibly permanently harms people. Being offended by a neutral expression of opinion is not the same thing as harassment -- which is repeated, targeted, and systematic -- yet you seem to be conflating the two for the purposes of forming your argument.
No. I'm all about preventing hararassment and hate speech. You have chosen to define 'offence' as "I don't like the colour of his shirt". Finding neutral and unbiased expression offensive is a very different kettle of fish to this. Maybe it's a question of definitional ambiguity, but I think 'offensive' suggests something far stronger than merely dislike or disagreement.
The bottom line for me is, I wouldn't want to live in a society where people are so thin-skinned and weak that they expect to be protected from offense.
I wouldn't want to live in a society where people are free to bully, assault, and harass. No. Wait. It wouldn't be a society at all, but rather a group of individuals who have no care for other people.
Get over it, man up, use whatever sort of mantra you like, but if you want the right to be able to express your opinions, whatever they are, you have to give people leeway to do the same.
Would I be right in assuming that you're white, male, middle class, heterosexual, and not visibly different from the rest of your community? Or maybe you're just made of sterner stuff than the people who kill themselves due to bullying on grounds of their skin colour, their religion, or their sexual orientation.
By the same token, if I get assaulted in the street, should I just suck it up and stop being such a wuss and a wimp for having the snot kicked out of me? If I were to be knifed again, should I just learn to run faster? Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away.
Setting up a system of oversensitive speech policing is a great way to halt the progress of new ideas -- another area Europe is lacking in.
Halting the progress of new ideas?! I could refer to you the number of nobel laureates (3 Americans, 4 Europeans, 2 Japanese, 1 Chinese, and 1 Peruvian), the Booker prize winner (British), the Palm D'Or at the Cannes film festival (In the last 10 years, 7 European, 2 American, 1 Thai), campaign financing reform, non-use of force to solve problems, non-use of unlawful rendition, non-use of torture, and so on, or the introduction of socialised health-care. Would you please narrow down to what area that Europe is lacking new ideas in?
And most importantly of all, you've failed to answer a very basic question Mystic: why? Why does this need to be done? Are people so fragile that they can't stand to have their delicate sensibilities offended by someone else's conflicting point of view? If so, that paints a very sad picture of humanity.Bullying
, and so on.
Excellent point, if we banned according to the majority opinion in America it would essentially be the same thing as torching the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If public opinion is any yardstick, it would be illegal to be homosexual, have an abortion, or be an atheist in an eyeblink.
Ah. Right. Of course. So we should trust in the judgment of long dead slave owning white males to decide how to run a society today? And of course, people are wrong if the disagree with what this document say. In find it endlessly amusing that the authors didn't think the include protection of freedom of speech in the document, but rather had to amend it.
It's okay to rule in offense when you think it's justified, but I have yet to see you address what happens when the majority becomes offended about homosexuality or abortions or health care because they feel it is threatening their way of life? That it's threatening to indoctrinate their children? So let's talk about that
There is a clear and obvious line between calling someone a "Dirty, stinking, Christ-killing Kike" and saying "I don't believe in health care reform". The purpose of restricting words is to prevent threatening, abusive, or insulting behaviour, to prevent harasment, alarm or distress from words chosen to hurt and injure.
Or for people with dark skin to go to school with people who have light skin.
Or for women to own property.
Hm, what else...
And these victories were clearly won by calling people 'faggot' and 'nigger' and 'whore'.