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Freedom of expression VS. inciting violence in others.






Should it matter if the violent people agree with the public figure or not?
Should matter.
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Should not matter.
87%
 87%  [ 7 ]
There's no such thing as violence, this is a perfect world.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 8

ocalhoun
So, I've noticed another example of 'this public figure should not have said ________ because it caused ________ to kill ___________'.

This is being used to condemn people who speak out, and then acts of violence are carried out by people that agree with them.


Consider the opposing example though:
The infamous danish cartoons of Muhammad.
A public 'figure' published something that caused a great deal of violence, and yet, I don't see them being condemned for it (by reasonable people).


The only fundamental difference I can see in the two cases is that in one, the people committing violence agreed with the public figure, where in the other, the violent people were opposed to the public 'figure'.

My objection to this is that it shouldn't matter if the people committing violence agree with the public figure or not. If inciting violence like this is wrong, it should always be wrong (which gives terrorists a great deal of power). If it is not wrong, then it should never be wrong.
Bikerman
Incitement is a tricky area of law. The general principle is that free speech is the default and that people should only be prohibited/restrained from that free speech when their intent is to incite hatred or violence.
Now, there is obviously a grey area here - which is what the courts are for - but I think most people have an instinctive sense of where the boundary is.
If I say that I don't personally like Islam, I don't believe that Sharia law has any place in a western democracy and I intend to respond vigorously to any attempt to introduce it, then I would say I am free to express myself. If some loony takes my words and uses them as an excuse to murder Muslims then I would feel no responsibility at all.

If, on the other hand, I say that I don't like Islam and I believe that all Muslims are 'scum' who should be either 'repatriated' or 'done away with', then I think that crosses the line into incitement, and I would bear some responsibility for any violence that occurred as a result.

Each case will be different, obviously.
deanhills
I agree with Ocalhoun. Violence is wrong. In the case of the cartoons the people who rioted broke Danish law. The fact that they were offended cannot be justification for violence. I still think that the cartoon in its own was not the cause of the riots. Yes, Islamic people were offended, but there were radicals who got the riots going.
atul2242
Incitement is a tricky area of law. But it cannot be viewed with just a legal eye.
I quote from 2 examples:
M.F. HUssain was boycotted and many precious art objects destroyed by crowds who said that they were offended by Hussain's paintings of Hindu gods. All these people were obviously incited by various political/religious people. Many people got hurt, property was destroyed and the greatest damage which occurred was to free speaking individual and freedom of art in general. And none of the people who incited the crowds were even booked. Mad

Next I refer to Mark Antony's famous speech in Julius Ceaser, ' Friends, Romans and countrymen lend me your ears...
hunnyhiteshseth
I second ocalhoun's thoughts. We should be as objective as possible. But only problem with this approach is practicality. Democracy is funny thing. It legalises and promotes 'herd mentality', so if public think in a certain way, whether right or wrong, it is generally accepted and this is the reason for our evolution of such hypocritical laws.
deanhills
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I second ocalhoun's thoughts. We should be as objective as possible. But only problem with this approach is practicality. Democracy is funny thing. It legalises and promotes 'herd mentality', so if public think in a certain way, whether right or wrong, it is generally accepted and this is the reason for our evolution of such hypocritical laws.
This is a really good posting and point hunnyhiteshseth. Enjoyed it. Is Iran a democracy? Or perhaps they have a pretense of one with elections that ain't quite elections? But I agree, once the herd has been instigated there is little one can do to hold them back. When they are in a frenzy all it takes is a suggestion and all rational thinking is out the door.
hunnyhiteshseth
deanhills wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I second ocalhoun's thoughts. We should be as objective as possible. But only problem with this approach is practicality. Democracy is funny thing. It legalises and promotes 'herd mentality', so if public think in a certain way, whether right or wrong, it is generally accepted and this is the reason for our evolution of such hypocritical laws.
This is a really good posting and point hunnyhiteshseth. Enjoyed it. Is Iran a democracy? Or perhaps they have a pretense of one with elections that ain't quite elections? But I agree, once the herd has been instigated there is little one can do to hold them back. When they are in a frenzy all it takes is a suggestion and all rational thinking is out the door.

lolz.. Laughing thanks.
Exactly! Thats the problem with herd and more importantly, herd can be 'made' on the basis of other factors like religion, race or locality which can be then manipulated against for other issues.

If it was practically possible, and I think within next decade using IT it should be, then for all issues we could have a plebiscite with weighted-average according to education. So, for example, a PhD could be given more weight than a say school drop-out.
deanhills
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
deanhills wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I second ocalhoun's thoughts. We should be as objective as possible. But only problem with this approach is practicality. Democracy is funny thing. It legalises and promotes 'herd mentality', so if public think in a certain way, whether right or wrong, it is generally accepted and this is the reason for our evolution of such hypocritical laws.
This is a really good posting and point hunnyhiteshseth. Enjoyed it. Is Iran a democracy? Or perhaps they have a pretense of one with elections that ain't quite elections? But I agree, once the herd has been instigated there is little one can do to hold them back. When they are in a frenzy all it takes is a suggestion and all rational thinking is out the door.

lolz.. Laughing thanks.
Exactly! Thats the problem with herd and more importantly, herd can be 'made' on the basis of other factors like religion, race or locality which can be then manipulated against for other issues.

If it was practically possible, and I think within next decade using IT it should be, then for all issues we could have a plebiscite with weighted-average according to education. So, for example, a PhD could be given more weight than a say school drop-out.
Here's the thing though, sometimes a school drop-out has more common sense and savvy than a PhD. How would one make allowances for that from an IT point of view? I know of many school drop-outs who became millionnaires and made great contributions to society. Smile

But agreed the herd mentality is everywhere. Probably will never get past it. Maybe that is one reason why we could never really freely express ourselves. We always have to check what we say.
hunnyhiteshseth
deanhills wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
deanhills wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I second ocalhoun's thoughts. We should be as objective as possible. But only problem with this approach is practicality. Democracy is funny thing. It legalises and promotes 'herd mentality', so if public think in a certain way, whether right or wrong, it is generally accepted and this is the reason for our evolution of such hypocritical laws.
This is a really good posting and point hunnyhiteshseth. Enjoyed it. Is Iran a democracy? Or perhaps they have a pretense of one with elections that ain't quite elections? But I agree, once the herd has been instigated there is little one can do to hold them back. When they are in a frenzy all it takes is a suggestion and all rational thinking is out the door.

lolz.. Laughing thanks.
Exactly! Thats the problem with herd and more importantly, herd can be 'made' on the basis of other factors like religion, race or locality which can be then manipulated against for other issues.

If it was practically possible, and I think within next decade using IT it should be, then for all issues we could have a plebiscite with weighted-average according to education. So, for example, a PhD could be given more weight than a say school drop-out.
Here's the thing though, sometimes a school drop-out has more common sense and savvy than a PhD. How would one make allowances for that from an IT point of view? I know of many school drop-outs who became millionnaires and made great contributions to society. Smile

But agreed the herd mentality is everywhere. Probably will never get past it. Maybe that is one reason why we could never really freely express ourselves. We always have to check what we say.


True. Even while typing above post, example of Bill Gates came to my mind.. but the important thing is we need some parameter to judge that. And obviously, education will have much higher correlation to correct decision than any thing else.
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