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Author Topic: Limits to Free Speech
Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Mynnion:
Pete-
quote:
If we make personal opinions about religion into national security issues, then there's too little of what our nation used to stand for to enthusiastically defend.
We have all sorts of measures in place to track money, communications, etc. to prevent the terrorist attacks both at home and abroad. This isn't really about religion. It is about knowingly acting in a way that is likely to cause death and destruction.

I seem to remember individuals on this board calling for Spike Lees arrest for the tweets he sent.

Not exactly the same but both could be considered incitement.

Actually, I called for Spike Lee's case to be submitted to Grand Jury; I would not have him arrested unless a Grand Jury indicted.

I strongly agree that incitement is incitement, regardless of religious cloak. But I would not go have Spike Lee's twitter following arrested -- or indicted.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
It's too bad we're misreading each other.

At least we're working past it.

quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Going back to my theory/practice saying, I'm asking how anybody can implement such a policy. VL adds the necessary further element that there has to be international agreement and support for such an exclusionary rule.

Not necessary or desirable with my proposal, since immigration and naturalization restrictions are entirely within Congressional purview.

quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
It gets even harder when many countries support religions we might object to as their official state religion.

Not sure how it makes it hard for us to say, that's all fine and right by you, but keep that murder voodoo away from our borders.

quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
I'm not trying to be absurd, but in asking for the practical implementation of the ideal you so enthusiastically support.

I'm saying that if someone lionizes or supports groups that solicit murder, we don't want that person to come here or to obtain new rights in this country. No bride burners, no apostate killers, no female genital mutilators ... Don't know if we can keep them out, but we can at least force them to perjure themselves to get in.

If you don't think my proposal is "good," then say so and move on. But Please don't respond by asking me if I'd support some ridiculous proposal that obviously doesn't fall under what I proposed.

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AI Wessex
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You're being peppered with questions and challenges because it's not practical, not because the sentiment isn't valid. It'll never happen and it would never work. I'm ready to move on.
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Pete at Home
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I'd be more convinced of that if the challenges related remotely to my proposal, rather off the wall bizarre questions about why I wanted to bury my grandmother in the desert.

I was talking about nothing more or less than an immigration restriction.

in other news, Salman Rushdie condemns the film in hars terms.

I haven't seen the film and don't feel qualify to weigh in.

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MattP
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Is there a film? As far as I know there's only a trailer, much of which is overdubbed because the actors didn't actually recite any of the anti-Islam stuff while filming what they thought was a movie about something else.
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hobsen
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The entire film was allegedly shown at the Vine Theatre in Hollywood on June 30, 2012 to an audience of about ten people, some of whom left before the picture finished. The Wikipedia entry for "Innocence of Muslims" includes a photograph of the theatre with the film advertized as "Innocence of Bn Laden" (sic), as it was for about two weeks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocence_of_Muslims

While this film was stridently anti-Muslim as shown, nobody seems to know whether it contained the same material as the alleged excerpts dubbed in Arabic posted on YouTube more than two months later. With an audience of ten, it is hard to find people who were there, and they might not remember anyway.

[ September 17, 2012, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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seekingprometheus
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Re Spike Lee:

It should go without saying that speech that solicits or directly calls for violence is a different animal than speech that intends to mock or disparage.

If I say: "Go kill so and so," it can be argued that my speech acts to indirectly cause a specific, definable result of murder. My speech is designed with that intent, to help produce an outcome I myself am defining.

If I say: "Your prophet is a stupid-head," it can't really be argued that my intent is to cause you to go kill someone--my intent was clearly to demean your prophet. One can argue that my intent is also to give offense, and we can discuss the ethicality of giving offense, and we can even argue that, by giving offense, I am ethically responsible for establishing a narrowed range of foreseeable responses for the offended individual, but the ethicality of the offended individual's response within that range of reasonably foreseeable responses is their responsibility, not mine.

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D.W.
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Hostage taker: If anyone calls this phone again I'm going to start shooting.

Jerk: <starts dialing> I’m going to call that hostage taker and let him know how ridiculous he’s being!

Phone rings and hostage taker starts executing people.

Police: What did you do that for you jerk?

Jerk: I can call whoever I want! It wasn’t me who pulled the trigger!


quote:
but the ethicality of the offended individual's response within that range of reasonably foreseeable responses is their responsibility, not mine.
It’s just not that simple.

So we have unstable people who have in effect taken the whole world as their hostage. In their mind WE not they are responsible for their actions. We can disagree but that doesn’t matter. We can choose not to change our behavior or actions and deal with the consequences. We can debate and demonstrate to each other how this unstable group is morally and/or legally in the wrong.

The problem with this discussion is you can’t treat people who believe an insult to their religion is an offence punishable by death as a reasonable person responsible for their own actions. You cannot appease or come to an understanding with these people. You can either do your best not to trigger their violent reactions as they move the line of acceptable behavior or you can treat them as an enemy intent on your destruction.

When someone uses their free speech to trigger that reaction and another person must pay the price we need to question how we define “protecting” free speech. It’s no longer just the speaker who needs protecting.

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Pete at Home
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DW. If fundamentalist Muslims had taken the whole world hostage, then you would expect us to be seizing them left and right, putting them on trial for an actual crime. Because we do that even with unstable persons that take hostages, if we don't kill them. Let them plead insanity in court; have their lawyers argue they should not be treated as responsible for their actions. If we're counting speech that fans the flames as incitement to murder, then shouldn't we also be nabbing folks that are criticizing and bringing attention to the stupid movie?
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Pete at Home
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Hostage taker: If anyone calls this phone again I'm going to start shooting.

Jerk: <starts dialing> I’m going to call that hostage taker and let him know how ridiculous he’s being!

Phone rings and hostage taker kills a hostage.

Sensitive guy: Oh, that's awful! I'm going to call that hostage taker and apologize for that awful guy that called him.

Hostage taker executes another hostage.

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Wayward Son
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Your analogy falls apart, Pete, because no one is getting killed because we apologize for rude behavior.

Mainly because they don't give a s**t about our apology. [Wink]

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DonaldD
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quote:
If I say: "Go kill so and so," it can be argued that my speech acts to indirectly cause a specific, definable result of murder. My speech is designed with that intent, to help produce an outcome I myself am defining.
Actually, the second sentence does not necessarily follow the first. This becomes more clear when we get to your next point:
quote:
If I say: "Your prophet is a stupid-head," it can't really be argued that my intent is to cause you to go kill someone
Actually, it certainly can. The question of intent is, in the end, a question of fact: you cannot ascertain intent exclusively from the direct meaning of the words used in this case. It is absolutely possible that a Machiavellian individual had the specific intent of causing death in your hypothetical situation. Similarly, someone who says "go kill so and so" may not in fact have the intent of killing that person
quote:
--my intent was clearly to demean your prophet. One can argue that my intent is also to give offense, and we can discuss the ethicality of giving offense, and we can even argue that, by giving offense, I am ethically responsible for establishing a narrowed range of foreseeable responses for the offended individual, but the ethicality of the offended individual's response within that range of reasonably foreseeable responses is their responsibility, not mine.
That your seemingly obvious intent was to offend does not preclude other intentions that were not so obvious but that you may also have held at the time.

I do agree with most of your last point, though; I would say rather that the person doing the killing is as ethically responsible for the action of killing someone as he would have been absent your speaker's words, and that the ethical responsibility of the speaker is limited to what he could expect to happen as a result of his own actions. Responsibility is not a zero-sum game; your speaker's words do not limit the killer's responsibility, but neither does the killer's action or inaction reduce the speaker's ethical responsibility.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If fundamentalist Muslims had taken the whole world hostage, then you would expect us to be seizing them left and right, putting them on trial for an actual crime.
Individual fundamentalist Muslims have indeed taken "the whole world" -- or, at least that part of the world they can reach -- hostage. The problem is that not all or even most fundamentalist Muslims have done so.

And when somebody takes a hostage, you don't arrest the guy who lives next door.

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D.W.
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You’re right Pete. The second caller, (those criticizing and bringing attention to the stupid movie) is just as responsible. Both caused the death of a third party by their actions. They can be malicious or naïve but they triggered the condition the hostage taker (violent fundamentalist) laid out.

My point wasn’t so much to say we need to muzzle the callers. It was that we do not understand that our freedom of speech has a cost. We as individuals may be protected by the law so that we can say pretty much anything we want. The repercussions of what we say may target those who our laws cannot protect.

[ September 18, 2012, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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D.W.
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Now if you want to talk solutions to the problem I’d suggest the following.

Domestic suggestion:
Make it a crime for any person to teach/preach or otherwise promote the following views;

1. Anyone attempting to leave the religion should be forcibly prevented from doing so.

2. Anyone who leaves the religion should be physically harmed or killed as a result of this action.

3. Anyone speaking or acting in a manner contrary to the teaching of the religion should be physically harmed or killed as a result.

4. Actions of violence in service to the religion will earn the favor of the divine or merit rewards in this life or the next.

Anyone found guilty of this crime will be sentenced as if they personally took the action they taught/preached or otherwise promoted. No other crime need be permitted by them or by their students/congregation or any other person listening to or reading the views of the guilty party. Sentencing for unspecified violence will be subject to the discretion of the judge.

Make it a misdemeanor with fine for failure to report the witnessing of the crime above.

Foreign suggestion:

Have an international body set up the same laws and all member nations must accept and be shown to enforce them to the best of their ability as a condition of membership. Failure to enforce these laws will be terms for sanctions first then ejection from the international body if immediate action to enforce these laws are not taken.

Any non member country found to act contrary to these laws will be embargoed. There is no veto power. A panel made up of one representative from each member country will make the determination on whether a non member country is indeed acting contrary to these laws. A simple majority is all that is necessary. Member countries found violating this embargo will suffer sanctions first then ejection from the international body if they do not immediately abide by the embargo.

Unilateral foreign solution should the above prove… well ridiculously unrealistic:

Provide or deny humanitarian aid on a basis of the recipients endeavoring to reject anyone guilty of the above “unacceptable” teaching.

Cut all economic ties with countries unwilling to reject the above “unacceptable” teaching.

Failure of our allies or economic partners to not do the same will be a point of negotiation for any future agreements and cause to reevaluate/void any previous agreement.

And lastly if possible with a high degree of success, and minimal risk to those executing the mission, assassinate any leader/teacher/preacher promoting the above views who themselves or who’s followers are acting upon such teaching.

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seekingprometheus
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DD:

I'll give you this much, quibblemeister: anything can be argued. Bad wording, should have been "doesn't constitute evidence of intent," or some such.

DW:
quote:
It’s just not that simple
Sure it is--given the simple, but flexible way I constructed it. This doesn't mean we can't add variables like a hostage situation, and specific ultimatums.

Such situations would alter our view of how an action restricts the range of reasonably foreseeable responses--if someone is acting violently, and has given an ultimatum, it is reasonably foreseeable that acting out one of options of the ultimatum will restrict the range of responses to "follow through with threat, or don't follow through with threat.

The ethics of dialing up the terrorist in response to the threat is still in the way one has constricted the reasonably foreseeable set of potential responses--just like I said.

But I'm curious if it's universally agreed that this is a hostage/ultimatum situation. If so, I'll simply reply that it surprises me that so many people seem to be calling for us to begin negotiating our values--I didn't think our policy was to negotiate with terrorists...

[ September 18, 2012, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Your analogy falls apart, Pete, because no one is getting killed because we apologize for rude behavior.

Mainly because they don't give a s**t about our apology. [Wink]

I disagree. I think our apology makes them think that we fear them.

China commits atrocity after atrocity against its Muslim population, and I can't imagine they've shown great respect to Muslim holy writ, and yet they aren't a target. Hell, the Pakistanis even gave them part of Kashmir just to kiss ass.

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Pete at Home
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I guess we'd better inform all our embassy staff in Muslim lands that part of their job description is that they and their families are hostages for the polite behavior of 200 million Americans. Because we can't defend them, even if the host country gives us a three day warning that an attack is coming.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I guess we'd better inform all our embassy staff in Muslim lands that part of their job description is that they and their families are hostages for the polite behavior of 200 million Americans. Because we can't defend them, even if the host country gives us a three day warning that an attack is coming.

That's may not be correct. We probably can defend them, or at least put up a much greater fight. The administration may well have decided to minimize security in order avoid creating 'tensions'.
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yossarian22c
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The officials were at a consulate, not out on a street. There are reports of 7-10 Libyan security personnel being killed or wounded in the attack. Not to mention the two former Navy seals that were killed. Consulates and embassies ultimately rely on their host nation for protection. A consulate is not a fortress nor should it be. Having enough security in every American outpost in the middle east to repel a heavily armed assault in the middle of a riot is impractical. If there really was a specific warning of a threat an evacuation would be the more practical and feasible response than having enough marines to repel 50-60 heavily armed attackers.
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cherrypoptart
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You might like this Pete, a parody of a scene in the movie "The Box." It's better if you've seen the movie, but not necessary for this conversation. Might be a spoiler.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHvDS-MlIBU

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