Free Speech Can Cause Real Harm

People from outside one culture or circle should feel free to express their opinions and not have them dismissed so easily. With debate, we learn to extend our empathy and understanding beyond what we consider familiar. However unnecessarily controversial or aggressive statements can undermine everything that the notion of free speech has given us, ridiculing it or reducing it to silly debates.

Perhaps, ironically in states that are not free it is essential to have minimal limitations on free speech, almost like allowing ourselves to brainstorm. While in those enjoying long-lasting and unthreatened democracy, there has to be more emphasis on justifying or accounting for our motives and reason that determines the way we think. We should probably value logic in the same way we value differences and originality.

I suppose it is understandable that people are, now and then, seduced by the idea of complete and utter freedom of expression but we have to acknowledge that the times are changing and whatever it is that we want to express, it might have a visible influence on other people’s lives.

 

Remembering that freedom of expression is not freedom to abuse is the single most important thought we have to keep in mind. After all, we all fight for the world to be a better place, not worse and debating, if done properly, can be a very powerful instrument in shaping reality so we shouldn’t allow it to be brought down to low-level, petty fights. 

 

Discussion on whether freedom of speech should have limits and what would they be - http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/theminefield/is-freedom-of-...

 

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