Besides the obvious "fire in a crowded theatre" there a raft of things you may not say:
• you are not permitted to reveal to people material classified in certain ways
• you are not permitted to broadcast copyrighted material
• you may not make death threats against people even if you can prove that you are not a threat to them
• you may not reveal information about certain companies if you are in certain positions
These are speech of 'any' sort and I'm comfortable with the penalties (sometimes criminal) for them. I don't think they're dangerously close to criminalising certain ideas and thoughts. In almost every case you're free to think what you want and imagine what you want.
Any opposition to laws that attempt to abridge hate speech cannot derive from a general opposition to abridging freedom of speech unless one also objects to the restrictions I mentioned earlier.
> classified material - potential threat against life
> copyrighted material - protected by the constitution elsewhere
> death threats - direct threat against life (ability is irrelevant)
> corporate espionage - generally falls under contract law
Any and all of these may be abused regularly, that doesn't mean that any of them are protected under free speech.
You have rights; you are responsible for the consequences of exercising them.
This was the justification for banning so-called trolls from twitter.
If you don't like their ideas, it's your duty as a member of a free society to engage with with them in meaningful dialog to show them (and everyone else paying attention) what's wrong with those ideas.
Free speech is the mechanism by which people resolve their disagreements without killing each other - Jordan B. Peterson
That's only because your pet ideology (whatever it is, I have no idea who you are or what your politics are) hasn't yet been criminalized as hate speech.
Recall that there's no objective definition of "hate speech," and in practice the definition will always be tuned by the loudest faction as a weapon against its enemies.
Because if it's the first, I suggest you look again, and if it's the later, I don't see how it is relevant.
Therefore humans are required to emulate that classifier. Perhaps we call them "judges" or "arbitration panels" or whatever, the name doesn't matter.
My point is that politics will guide the emulation of the classifier, such that it emits results favorable to the loud faction and unfavorable to that faction's enemies.
So, that's like every other criminal law ever created.
I do agree this is something bad (for Law in general). But it does not lead to your point that the definition will increase unexpectedly in scope.
> It's an incitement to violence
No, it's not. Otherwise, wouldn't that imply we should outlaw being mean altogether? Is being mean always an incitement for violence? Yes/No? I think it's clear, it's not.
> it's horrifically bad for the mental health
> as a form of discrimination against those people
Again, no. Discrimination requires that it be 'unjust or prejudicial treatment', hate speech does not. Hate speech could be as little as explaining factual reasons you don't like another race.
Part of the problem in this discussion seems to be that people have different definitions of 'hate speech'. That definition could be applicable to their country of origin or personal belief but it's pretty clear that definitions aren't even remotely compatible and it makes any sort of level-headed debate very difficult.
>> No, it's not. Otherwise, wouldn't that imply we should outlaw being mean altogether?
I don't understand what you're trying to imply here, it doesn't seem to make sense. Being mean could be telling someone they look ugly in those clothes. No incitement to violence. "All minority are evil, kill all *minority" would be an incitement to violence. Pretty clear cut. Being 'mean' has nothing to do with it.
>> Hate speech could be as little as explaining factual reasons you don't like another race.
Citation needed. Where is this law or definition of hate speech?
We don't need hate speech to cover that. That's just called incitement to violence.
I'd probably draw the line at a limit number of items (e.g. 5 or 10 or 100 specifically named items, I believe similar to Germany). If the government decides something new is important enough to be regulated, they must decide whether it's important enough to replace one of the previous items.
So those are already covered.
You certainly can consider a very large set of potential victims - there are a lot of real people who get gravely offended by cases of blasphemy.
Your statement that God isn't real is, in the eyes of such court, saying something clearly untrue that offends others and harms the social order. The existence and reality of God is an undisputed axiom in many legal systems - the court will rule that God is real, the legal acts will explicitly state that God is real, and it might even be enshrined in their constitution as a fact above all law. It's even plausible that the holy text e.g. Quran is the basis of all law there; there may be additional regulations but the core of law comes from God.
What states like Saudi Arabia or Iran do in their law should simply not be accepted.
Even Turkey was officially secular until at least recently.
I'd agree that it would be nice that if it was differently, but saying "shouldn't be accepted" is just like wishing for a pony, it has no connection to reality - we simply don't get a say in such matters, and I'd bet dollars to pennies that a magical totally fair democratic vote in those countries would prove that the average voter there definitely supports prohibiting blasphemy and restricting speech to do so.
It's ridiculous to simply unilaterally declare that your moral system is more valid than someone else's, and forcing your constitution on some other place is just as reasonable as someone else wanting to replace your constitution with theirs.
Well my moral system is that I can do exactly that.
If morality is relative, then your opinion that I shouldn't do this isn't any better than my opinion that I should do this.
So I am just going to go ahead and do that.
What, are you going to call me immoral? YOU are the one who believes in moral relativism.
Too many people take our current state for granted. It is actually the result of the centuries of the fight against the backwardness (especially religious). If we give up we'll lose what we've already and with a lot of fight achieved.
We have to offend the superstitious and those that want to protect the backwardness, otherwise we're doing it wrong, and we'll lose so much we can't even imagine.
We have what we have today in spite of the religious texts not because of tbem. Otherwise there would still be more burnings at the stake and beheadings. Not to mention the treatment of the women.
We should never forget that, and we should act. It's getting critical again.
If literal concentration camps or starving literal millions of people to death aren't sufficient to bring real action, is it realistic to believe that free speech of all things will be the reason because of which we will start to topple regimes that we consider immoral?
If we can achieve a consensus sufficient for action on regimes who kill and torture people just because, then it might be appropriate to consider stopping (as opposed to just criticizing) regimes that simply repress people not following an arbitrary social code of conduct.
The problem, though, is that when you go around toppling regimes, millions end up dead, when before only 10s of thousands were being killed by the secret police.
So yes, if I could wave a magic wand and give human rights to the entire North Korean population, with no negative side effects, I'd do it.
But we don't have that magic wand, and we have to balance the good that we'd be doing by fixing North Korea, with the bad that'd be done through the millions that would end up dead.
The U.S has a huge history of the direct organization of toppling the regimes only on the principle "they don't do what we want them to do." Therefore, Saudi Arabia, one of the most intolerant places on the Earth "are the friends" and the dictators are somewhere else. And these "friends" thanks to that "friendly" support magnificently exported their mind-boggling intolerance all around the world. And some circles bend over backwards to teach us that "it's good so."
If I could topple NK overnight and get rid of the death camps I would do so.
My opinion on Saudi Arabia is the same. That dictatorship should be toppled as well, hopefully by their own population.
Historically, most of the thinking world already once managed to see the mentioned books as the stories which aren't to be taken seriously. The superstition is fighting back now thanks significantly to our forgetting what is it actually about. Not caring for the intolerant being "offended" is our moral duty.
North Korea "has long sought a peace treaty with the United States and other parties in the 1950-53 Korean War, as well as an end to military exercises by South Korea and the United States, which has about 28,500 troops based in South Korea." The U.S. rejects the peace talks every time.
> it's not bad for mental health
Causing someone to doubt and/or lose their religion is extremely damaging. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health crisis.
> it doesn't discriminate
Islam gets a lot more flak, than, say, Buddhists.
> It doesn't actually harm people, it merely offends them.
Speech is a weapon and can be very harmful. That's one of the major reasons totalitarian governments are terrified of free speech. In the West we've largely decided that the benefits of free speech outweigh the costs.
That's not even remotely what "incitement to violence" means.
> Causing someone to doubt and/or lose their religion is extremely damaging.
People blaspheming is not generally believed to cause religious adherents to lose faith. And even if it did, losing faith is not generally considered to be harmful either.
> It can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health crisis.
Citation please. I've never heard this argument before. And since you brought it up, I could just as easily say that losing religion can help cure mental issues. A classic example would be a gay person who has been brought up to believe that they're going to hell for being gay. Losing religion is probably the best thing that could happen to their mental health.
> Islam gets a lot more flak, than, say, Buddhists.
"it doesn't discriminate" doesn't mean all religions are equally blasphemed, and I can't imagine what sort of confusion would lead you to think that made any sense.
> Speech is a weapon and can be very harmful. That's one of the major reasons totalitarian governments are terrified of free speech.
Wrong type of harm. You're talking about spreading ideas that people don't like. I'm talking about the very words themselves harming the victims.