Do we really have freedom of speech?

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  1. irachx profile image56
    irachxposted 14 years ago

    Do we really have freedom of speech?

    1. MizBejabbers profile image88
      MizBejabbersposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Anyone who says we do not have freedom of speech has not spent two weeks in Russia like I have. While it is true that some of our speech is restricted, it is for public safety, like yelling fire in a crowded theater. People do have to pay the consequences sometimes for things they say. Public opinion can sometimes be unfair.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image77
        Castlepalomaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        It is more dangerous not knowing under all these secret societies or hidden information..
        Than to be fully expressing ourselves and options. We can always correct or adjust anything as we go along.

  2. Kebennett1 profile image59
    Kebennett1posted 14 years ago

    No because if we did, when the Dixie Chicks spoke out against President Bush and the Iraq War they would not have been ostracized! If you said the word bomb in a conversation at the airport you wouldn't be arrested! Not that I think that is a smart thing to do! Anyways you get the idea!

  3. Hiperion profile image60
    Hiperionposted 14 years ago

    We say we have freedom of speech but we really don´t have it, because everything we say will be judged by others.
    Before we say something, we must think twice because if we say something that our society disagree we´ll be judged.

    1. terrance Smith profile image59
      terrance Smithposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      fear no judgement it dont really do anything but spread opinions like legs
      everybody got a pair to spread if not just spread the love positively thinking im just here dont mind my opinion

  4. Lady_E profile image61
    Lady_Eposted 14 years ago

    It depends on what country you live in...........

  5. dabeaner profile image60
    dabeanerposted 14 years ago

    Definitely yes.  As long as you are by yourself and no one else can hear you (or nowadays, bug you).

  6. Quilligrapher profile image72
    Quilligrapherposted 14 years ago

    The Constitution of the United States garantees freedom of Speech.  However, "freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of that speech. While the language in our Constitution protects our right to say almost anything in public, rulings by the Supreme Court still hold us responsible if our utterances are deemed to have been libel, slander, or caused harm to others." -

    1. faith-hope-love profile image70
      faith-hope-loveposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Freedom of speech should be coupled with responsibility for that speech. Use with consideration of what harm or good is done by that speech.

  7. missgel profile image60
    missgelposted 14 years ago

    Yes and no. Truly we have freedom of whatever we want to have freedom of! Depending on what you consider "free". We, as Americans can say whatever we want, therefore we are free to speak. BUT! We are not free of consequence. We are not free, nor is our SPEECH or RELIGION or anything else that is governed "free" by law really FREE if we worry about the opinions or reactions of others. Freedom itself lives within each of us.

  8. manchito profile image59
    manchitoposted 14 years ago

    You don't wanna know what's not to have freedom of speech. Being Venezuelan I do know that... Peek at the news and you shall see what we are suffering.

    I meant no disrespect in this post, by the way. Just my sincere opinion.

  9. ixwa profile image79
    ixwaposted 14 years ago

    Being free is one of the tenets of democracy, yet, that freedom is in danger of being eroded. When we voted for Obama, we were free to make our choice as to who we want to be president. But, this has come around to have the voters right to be question as to their freedom of choice. So, Freedom of Speech is what is being threatened. Freedom of Speech for who? Where? About what issues? The very selection and doubt engendered in ones attempts to express 'freely' what they deem wrong or right, does not make Freedom of Speech 'Free". If Society tolerates abuse of others, shuts down the right to point out right or wrong, uses race, religion, and ones place of origin to determine whether you have the right to free speech, then that  is not freedom; a free society and freedom of speech are inextricably linked and cannot be separated. If tolerance, human compassion and 'the act of being human' is the norm, some semblance of freedom of speech, democracy, society and Free Speech can be in the horizon of hope.

  10. EdG. profile image61
    EdG.posted 14 years ago

    To quote a favorite punk band of mine:

    "You have the right
    To free speech
    as long as you're not
    dumb enough to actually try it"

    Know Your Rights- The Clash

  11. profile image49
    A Lascelleposted 14 years ago

    well, can you say what you really want to without fear of offending anyone and then being chastised or imprisoned for it ?

  12. R P Chapman profile image60
    R P Chapmanposted 14 years ago

    No, not literally. I suspect that there's no country in the world where there isn't some criminal offence that can be committed just by speech. There are laws regarding slander of other people, incitement to commit criminal acts (rioting springs to mind) and probably many other categories that currently escape me. The “I’m carrying a bomb” in an airport is a classic example of not having literal free speech.

    But then if we consider free speech as an idea, we’ve got quite a high tolerance level for what we can say without being prosecuted. The lowest tolerance level that exists is what our respective societies will tolerate. It’s that social constraint that usually kicks in long before the actual limits are reached. This can give us the impression of free speech is more limited than it actually is.

  13. macbeth25 profile image60
    macbeth25posted 14 years ago

    I believe we have freedom of speech only so long as our exercising that freedom harms no one.  You can yell "FIRE!!" as loud and as often as you wish -- but don't yell it in a crowded movie theater -- especially if there is no fire.

  14. Place Kick profile image60
    Place Kickposted 14 years ago

    So this is why Obama is attacking Fox News?  Seem to me that he's against freedom of speech unless its agreeing with him on the issues... We're losing freedoms left and right in America.

  15. Bovine Currency profile image61
    Bovine Currencyposted 14 years ago

    Yes we do have freedom of speech, no matter where you live.  Freedom is not equivelant to a legal right.  Every action you take will be measured by its effect.  I have not picked up the news regarding Obama/Fox but I do not believe the media should have the right to speak freely without opposition.  The media is an apparatus of power at least as much as any political representative.  Obama does not exist without the media, not in his current manifestation.  Freedom is your right to choose the consequences. 

    Freedom as an ideal is just that an ideal and open to interpretation and manipulation.  Undoubtedly, most people know the power of speech and to use your freedom in such a way that you feel it might be threatened, to be aware of the consequences should be as easy to comprehend.

  16. T_Augustus profile image60
    T_Augustusposted 14 years ago

    A lesson I learned back in high school, when I won a debate I had no business winning.  We have  tendency to approach our rights selfishly, but it is important to respect the rights of others.  You are not the only one with rights.  To put it as simply as it was put to me, "your liberties stop when they violate the liberties of others".  You can listen to loud, profane rap music, but when you play it to my children you're crossing a line that violates my right to protect my children from it.  Macbeth received some negative feedback, but he actually hit the nail on the head with his "FIRE" anecdote.

  17. Rilenco Towing profile image60
    Rilenco Towingposted 14 years ago

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!  Much debateble my all, but only one way of answering it.

    If you want FREEDOM OF SPEECH, you must be able to handle it.  Freedom of speech, doesn't mean you can say what you like, when you like, how you like, and in the same process ruin lifes, ruin business, ruin reputations and walk away smiling.  Then you must allow serial murderers to do it - it is freedom of speech - his way of killing is his writing blog.

    Well I believe if your parents brought you up correctly, and you have a steadfast look-out on morals, what is right and what is wrong, then you will be able to write, say or publish anything, without overstepping the boundaries of FREEDOM of Speech.

    Our society, is our own downfall.  I am christian, you are jew, we believe differently, but we all pray to our GOD.  Now you have removed it from Government, Schools, so what happens, we cannot pray publicly to any GOD, because the guys who were offended is the one's that cause our daughters to become prostitutes, whores and drug users, and it is fine with everyone, why must we worry, they are to far to target my children, or it won't happen to my child!!!! We'll you are wrong because you opened all doors to them to do target your children.  And that is according to our society now MORALS, or FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

    What my parents taught me, is in direct opposite line of what your parents taught you, if they were around long enough to do it.  So .... you have to make sure that there is some-one that can decide who is right and wrong, and that is our law.

    SO Grow up - sometimes it is better if their is some-one that does have some kind of morals to tug the leash!

  18. DzyMsLizzy profile image85
    DzyMsLizzyposted 13 years ago

    In America, we supposedly have freedom of speech.  It is in our constitution.  However, it is becoming more and more only a perception of freedom, as our liberties are daily being compromised under the guise of "keeping us safe."  RISE UP AND PROTEST! read more

  19. citizenjournalist profile image56
    citizenjournalistposted 13 years ago

    This one thing I know: much of Europe cannot fly the individual flags of their homeland or teach about the holocaust because it's upsetting Muslims.  Silly me, I thought Nazi Germany was responsible for the Holocaust.  The world, it would appear, is headed down a slippery slope and all in the name of political correctness.

    Between 1860 and 1870 there were twenty-four states and fourteen territories that found slavery morally irrehensible and yet people still want to believe that all white people were the product of Southern states. Between 1860 and 1870 it is estimated that 189,000 people immigrated from Europe to the United States and most of those decided to move to Union territory.  *It is also important to remember that many sharecroppers from the South were to poor to own a slave.  Barack needs to grow up.

  20. profile image49
    Marguerite Wiganposted 13 years ago

    We are beginning to gain less and less freedom of speech in this current age; everything is becoming extremely politically correct, creating it hard to articulate ourselves without causing huge offense. It's become rediculous. Just today, I was in a classroom having a debate with the rest of the class on whether gay adoption should take place, and I am against it. I don't mind that other people have their own opinions, I was just shocked at how they made me feel like I was completely immoral, and they completely ganged up on me (including a very intimidating and influential teacher). Sure it's morally wrong for a group of nine people to gang up on one person, just because of a supposedly contraversial opinion. Basically, we apparantly have choices, but only one is (politically) correct, and the other will have very negative consequences. The lack of freedom of speech also causes a gradual lack of identity; everyone is influenced by the media, politicians, celebrities etc, who all say  things that will be pleasing to the public (extremely cowardly); people eventually have clone opinions to eachother with no individual thought of what their opinions actually mean to them, in order to avoid any negativity.

  21. profile image51
    Jeff Rogersposted 8 years ago

    I think you have to ask which context do you have freedom of speech in.  Yes, in most cases, unless you are engaging in speech that could lead directly to the bodily or psychological harm of someone else or you are extremely disruptive in the way you voice your speech, the government really is forbidden from doing anything to punish you.

    And it is true that many countries do not have such guarantees, however, there are clear limits to this guarantee and while the Government cannot legally (although being a human institution there are examples of where it sometimes violates this rule) infringe on your ability to express your opinion.

    With that said, there really are no laws forbidding the private sector from using large amounts of coercion and other techniques to keep you from engaging in free speech.  For example, there is a saying that has become popular in progressive circles that says, "You have freedom of the press as long as you own the press."  This is important as the news media is often the megaphone for ideas and your ideas mean nothing if no one can here them.  In essence, while filtering speech is not the exact same as blocking speech the impact can be the same, particularly if the methods used to filter speech are not objective.

    Another area is the workplace.  You are not entitled to free speech in the workplace.  The only thing close is that you have the right to organize without retaliation; however, this does not extend to political thought.  Also, with weak labor regulations in most states it is very easy for an employer to retaliate indirectly in response to you voicing your opinion.  The fact that most people feel that they have the right to free speech in the workplace is the most troubling but the reality is you don't.  I agree that people shouldn't have the right to be disruptive, but this is different than pointing out a problem or trying to rally everyone to demand better pay.

    Then there is the social aspect and this would be the hardest if not impossible to regulate since doing so would require violating the human rights of others.  For example, if you say something unpopular there may be huge coercive forces in society that might deter you from saying how you feel, such as being shunned by friends and family.

    I am not saying that we should make speech free in all aspects of the workplace but to say the right is absolute to everything is false.  But we do have a right that is stronger than that of most nations.

  22. tamarawilhite profile image87
    tamarawilhiteposted 8 years ago

    The push to ban hate speech means those expressing politically incorrect statements get arrested, because liberals label that with which they disagree as motivated by hate and thus illegal.
    December 2015, two  Secaucus men arrested for yelling negative statements about Islam at a Muslim woman. Their arrest was for hate speech.
    French comedian Dieudonne arrested in January, 2015 on hate speech charges
    for sympathetic jokes about Paris Muslim attackers.
    David Lenio is facing prosecution for making disparaging remarks about Jews on Twitter, where defamation charges are being used to punish hate speech. Is his speech bad? Yes. Is it illegal? No, it shouldn't be, and if it is, the blacks calling for the actual death of cops and whites should be prosecuted far more widely.
    2010 in UK and repeated cases across Europe and Canada, Christian preachers arrested for speaking about the sin of homosexuality - not killing homosexuals as ISIS does, but merely saying publicly and sometimes in church that it is sinful.
    In February 2015, Edwin Wagensveld, an anti-Islamic immigration supporter, was arrested for wearing a plush pig hat at a rally. The hat was considered offensive, and he was arrested for not taking it off. The irony is that the local government is excusing rape by Muslims, as the UK did with the Rotterham rape scandal, because admitting nearly all rapes in the area were by Muslim men and being called racist was somehow worse than the thousands of rapes Muslim men committed.

  23. terrance Smith profile image59
    terrance Smithposted 7 years ago

    i must cant rap lol atleast i dont have to restrain myreal thoughts nearby anyday No

  24. Debbie Cordwell profile image60
    Debbie Cordwellposted 6 years ago

    No and I don't think we have enough information to make informed comments half the time. We only know what 'they' want us to know.

    1. Castlepaloma profile image77
      Castlepalomaposted 5 years agoin reply to this



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