Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
Philosophy Now
Posts: 724
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:49 am

Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Post by Philosophy Now » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:08 pm

Shaun O’Dwyer on reconciling free speech with protection against hate speech.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/123/Perfectionism_and_Hate_Speech_Law

Viveka
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:06 pm

Re: Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Post by Viveka » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:20 pm

The ideas of Equality and Freedom do not clash when everyone, in the State, is allowed free speech, be it hate or not. While denying hate speech is to put precedence of equality over freedom and to essentially deny the freedom of those who are supposedly equal to one another. In other words, it is in the pursuit of equality they are denying equality.

d63
Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Post by d63 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:37 pm

First of all, here’s the reference for anyone who is a subscriber: https://philosophynow.org/issues/123/Pe ... Speech_Law

That done, what I am mainly doing here is feeling my way to a letter to the editor on Shaun O’Dwyer’s ‘Perfectionism & Hate Speech’. I would first point out that O’Dwyer’s perfectionist approach works for me in that it creates a check and balance to hate speech by utilizing government resources (via public campaigns (to resist the normalization of hate speech. On top of that, this is one of those areas where (despite my social democratic tendencies (the market has truly been effective in normalizing traditionally unacceptable behaviors and their right to rights: women, LGBTs, and even pot smokers. We should also note (given the recent increase in accusations of sexual impropriety (how the recent discourse has changed things, much as it did when date-rape resulted in the no-means-no campaign. I cannot speak for the statistics, but as far as I know, the issue of date-rape has pretty much become a non-issue –and likely because of that campaign. So it seems to me that any public campaign against hate speech would be just as effective.

That said, what I mainly want to address on the issue is that we really need to consider the distinction between free speech and heckling. Free speech is about having a safe space to express your point of view while heckling is about disrupting that safe space. We see it all the time on the boards: you express a point of view only to have some troll ambush you with whatever cheap tactic they happen to have available to them. We have, of course (coming from the more idealistic and noble among us), this notion of compassionately and respectfully engaging such people. But that rarely works. I mean if you are giving a lecture in a hall and someone starts screaming in opposition from the back, what good will it do you to try to reason with them?

The point I’m trying to make here (and I believe this will have some constitutional backing (is that while free speech is beyond reproach, it comes with the condition that we make allowances for those who choose not to hear what the other has to say, that we make reasonable allowances for those who don’t want to hear it since refusing to listen is a form of free speech. This reflects back on the issue of sexual harassment: while men have every right to engage in “locker room talk”, no woman is obligated to be exposed to it. She has a right to her ideological PRIVATE space. And the same goes for hate speech. And this is what defines heckling: it violates this space, the space of the individual that would otherwise choose to hear what the other has to say.

To give you an example: While I am opposed to a lot of what goes on in churches, it would be inappropriate (a form of heckling (for me to go into a church and start screaming how I felt about what they were doing –especially when the only time they become an issue to me is when they attempt to change public and political policy.

And here’s where it hurts since I have to apply this same criteria to my komrads on the left: stop acting like hecklers. When a group of Neo-Nazi’s, KKK, and alt-right nerds go to Charlottesville to protest the removal of a confederate monument, don’t go to the same place and heckle them. You’re just playing in to their nonsense. Hold an alternate rally close by and count heads after. A girl got killed not just because some redneck drove a truck into a crowd, but because you chose to be confrontational.

I mean it: don’t. Stop. Quit being hecklers and step up to the intellectually and evolutionary position you are entitled to.

Impenitent
Posts: 1668
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Post by Impenitent » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:23 pm

freedom of speech is wonderful, and all politically correct speech is the epitome of hate

but your government speech masters will be perfect

all hail the ministry of truth

-Imp
Last edited by Impenitent on Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Impenitent
Posts: 1668
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Post by Impenitent » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:26 pm

repeated

Londoner
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Perfectionism & Hate Speech Law

Post by Londoner » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:55 am

d63 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:37 pm

...That said, what I mainly want to address on the issue is that we really need to consider the distinction between free speech and heckling. Free speech is about having a safe space to express your point of view while heckling is about disrupting that safe space. We see it all the time on the boards: you express a point of view only to have some troll ambush you with whatever cheap tactic they happen to have available to them. We have, of course (coming from the more idealistic and noble among us), this notion of compassionately and respectfully engaging such people. But that rarely works. I mean if you are giving a lecture in a hall and someone starts screaming in opposition from the back, what good will it do you to try to reason with them?

The point I’m trying to make here (and I believe this will have some constitutional backing (is that while free speech is beyond reproach, it comes with the condition that we make allowances for those who choose not to hear what the other has to say, that we make reasonable allowances for those who don’t want to hear it since refusing to listen is a form of free speech. This reflects back on the issue of sexual harassment: while men have every right to engage in “locker room talk”, no woman is obligated to be exposed to it. She has a right to her ideological PRIVATE space. And the same goes for hate speech. And this is what defines heckling: it violates this space, the space of the individual that would otherwise choose to hear what the other has to say.

To give you an example: While I am opposed to a lot of what goes on in churches, it would be inappropriate (a form of heckling (for me to go into a church and start screaming how I felt about what they were doing –especially when the only time they become an issue to me is when they attempt to change public and political policy...
Isn't the issue the one in your second sentence: Free speech is about having a safe space to express your point of view while heckling is about disrupting that safe space.?

The contrary arguement would be that in reality 'space' is mostly private property. If I am a student, then all the physical spaces I might use to address a meeting are owned by the institution. Indeed my position as a student is contingent on my keeping certain standards, so even if I only have an audience of one even that depends on my keeping what I say within certain limits.

And of course the media is private property. I have no right to space in a newspaper, or space on television.

So when it comes to 'heckling', the person with the minority view might argue that it is those with power over space are constantly 'heckling' them. For example, early feminists pointed out that while they were trying to put across their view, every advertisement, school book, film, etc. was putting out the contrary one.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests