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Current time: December 9, 2019, 4:34 pm

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Two wrong ideas on free speech
Two wrong ideas on free speech
There's a group of lunatics who think free speech is acceptable for as long as your opinion remains politically correct, nice and doesn't offend anyone. This idea of free speech is wrong, but I'm not here to talk about that group. I'm here to talk about the other side of the spectrum, the group that cries free speech at every instance they can without justifiable reasons to, the group that screams "oppression" when a private entity doesn't provide them a megaphone to shout their opinion all day.

Regardless of what the dictionary says, free speech (legal definition) means the ability to individually or collectively express one's opinion, viewpoint and ideas trough a variety of means like words, paper, radio, art, etc - All without government censorship and persecution. That's what free speech means. Free speech doesn't mean freedom from the consequences of your actions - If you have a very unpopular opinion and express it, people have the right to call you out, to boycott your business, to write articles debunking your position - You have the right to be an idiot, and people can call you an idiot. Free speech doesn't mean:

- The right to have other people listening to you all the time. No one is forced to listen to you. People can shut their ears, leave the room, ignore you or even whistle. It happens
- The right to be allowed to speak at every event organized by private or public entities. Depending on the rules, you can't just go to any event and deliver a public speech of any topic you want. There's rules and duties to follow - Sure, on the street you can say everything you want, but other entities with legal autonomy don't need to listen to you if they don't want to. If you're a well known racist and the university doesn't want to ruin their reputation by allowing you to deliver a lecture, it is their right to do so.
- The right to be exempt from criticism. You are allowed to have any opinion, and other people are allowed to disagree with you. Crying "free speech!" when people call out your ignorant ideas isn't valid - You are not exempt from logical critiques, and having unpopular or bigoted positions has consequences.

- The right to no consequences - From the moment you reveal what you stand up for using free speech, you are responsible for the social consequences you may face - If someone doesn't want to hire you because you are a self-professed conspiracy theorist or believer in genocide of gays, it is their right to do so. If someone doesn't want to invite you to a public event anymore, it is their right to do so. If your employer fires you because the workplace has a pro-LGBT rule, it is their right (and, in this case, duty...) to do so. If people boycott your business, that's a consequence you are responsible for.

All of this to say not that censorship is acceptable, but that it isn't an infringement of free speech to face the consequences of your actions and words - It is a natural and foreseeable result. I abhor people who want to censor free speech (mostly liberals), but I also abhor people who think free speech means freedom to say anything without consequences, otherwise you are being "oppressed". It's how like works. The right to deny the Holocaust does not encompass the right to be taken seriously. Grow up.

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you


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