Should Hate Speech Be Protected?

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  1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
    EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years ago

    We know that freedom of speech often allows hate speech and we know that more reasonable and rational speech combats hate speech.

    Should freedom of religion provide protection for religious hate speech in the same way?

    1. DoubleScorpion profile image80
      DoubleScorpionposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Bigotry is Bigotry...

      1. bBerean profile image60
        bBereanposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Who defines "hate speech" and decides how and when it will be silenced or punished?  Are the examples you gave "hate speech"?

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
          EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Motown2Chitown provided a link with this definition.

          "Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits."

          Do you agree with the definition or do you have another one?

          1. PhoenixV profile image64
            PhoenixVposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Some people find the truth offensive. Abridging someone's freedom of speech is more evil than whatever someone ever said, ever.

            Here is a novel idea for those advocating the abridging of free speech: Don't listen.

            1. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              I don't recall the OP suggesting, or even implying, that there should be any abridgment of a person's free speech.  Perhaps we read it differently?

              But, truth is truth.  No one is offended by it.  It may disturb their comfort with a personal level of deceit, but it doesn't offend.  It can be spoken in a hateful manner which is intended to do so though, and that's not right.

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image56
              EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              So, you agree with and support hate speech of others who don't share anothers religious beliefs?

              And, you think hate speech towards others is the truth?

              1. PhoenixV profile image64
                PhoenixVposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                I believe there is free speech or abridged free speech. What is hateful is subjective and has no bearing on whether it is right or wrong in advocating the limiting of another human beings basic rights. It is more evil to advocate the limitation of another human beings free speech than anything they can possibly say.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  Then, you would be first in line to protect Hitler and his speeches about the Jews and anyone who attempts to silence Hitler is evil? And, that anything he said about the Jews was subjective and has no bearing on the rights of Jews?

                  1. PhoenixV profile image64
                    PhoenixVposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                    On the contrary. Censorship is the bastion of every fascist and dictator since, well, forever. Your loaded questions, strawmen and Godwin's law won't change the fact that abridging free speech is more evil than anything anyone can possibly say. Speech is not something some human beings get to dictate to other human beings.

                    1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
                      EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                      Ah, then you would support and defend Hitler. Thanks.

                      But, hatred is, according to you.

              2. PhoenixV profile image64
                PhoenixVposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                So you agree with being evil and limiting other peoples free speech?

      2. PhoenixV profile image64
        PhoenixVposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        The abridgement of free speech is always advocated by people that ironically are using "their" free speech.  Yet they cannot seem to fathom that contradiction or the hypocrisy and the latter; hypocrisy: is a synonym of bigotry.

      3. profile image0
        Rad Manposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I happen to live in a country that doesn't tolerate hate speech. A few years back the westboro guy came here and tried to set up shop in a public place and was upset when he was told not to spread hate or he'd spend some time behind bars.

        I understand why freedom of speech is needed, but feel when it targets others and attempts to sway others to hate, it should be stopped.

        I feel calling others dogs or snakes based solely on there religious beliefs qualifies as hate speech because it attempts to inspire others the think the same of their fellow humans.

        All anyone has to do is replace religion with race to get a sense of it's hate. Would any of us call people of another race dogs or snakes in a public place?

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
          EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly, but notice how many in this thread are defending that persons right to call people dogs and snakes based on their religious beliefs, some are even saying it is the truth and that we are simply offended by that truth.

      4. jlpark profile image80
        jlparkposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion provide just that - Freedom to say what you like, and freedom to believe in whomever you choose.

        What is DOES NOT do is protect you from the consequences of said religion, or said speech.  So, if you are entitled to the freedom to say hateful things about a group, even if it is the belief of your faith system - it does not protect you from the responsibilities of saying such things.

        For example - should your religion advocate for the death of homosexuals, or Jews, and you believe this, and speak freely about it - you are responsible for the outcomes of your speaking out.

        Hate speech is often cited when Freedom of Speech is used in arenas that encourage violence etc against certain groups - where heightened emotions of a LARGE gathering of people is likely to lead to violence against said groups.

        So, feel free to say it, to believe it - but it is not protected through Freedoms etc if you incite violence against another through your use of your freedoms.

        Should we take the freedoms away? No. Should we be more careful when and how we speak? Very much so

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
          EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Very good post, thank you. smile

          1. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Agreed.  Well said.

    2. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 10 years ago

      I thought this was very interesting.  The First Amendment, as I see it, defends a person's right to say pretty much anything they darn well please.  Does that make what they say right or acceptable in any way?  No. 

      Sadly, there is absolutely no way at all to protect a person from hateful, hurtful, or offensive words-except to silence the one who speaks them.  At the end of the day, you can't truly silence anyone. You can only choose what to hear and internalize.

      That's my personal take on it.  Here's a more official word. … _hate.html


      1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
        EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I looked at the First Amendment, however I was asking if Freedom of Religion can be invoked with hate speech that is religiously based?

        Thanks for the link and your explanation, btw. smile

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          There is no protection of it under freedom of religion.  That's nothing but an excuse to defend it as NOT being hate speech.  Hate speech is hate speech, sadly, no matter it's origin.  sad

          You're welcome.  I love

    3. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 10 years ago

      Is the result of that speech likely to be physical harm?  Not merely emotional hurt but actual physical harm?  (Inciting a riot is illegal, as is shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theatre as both will likely result in physical harm.)

      If so, then it should be illegal.  If not, let 'er rip.

      1. bBerean profile image60
        bBereanposted 10 years agoin reply to this


             an admirable view, but perhaps one not shared by the keepers of these hallowed halls.  Banished from our ranks, was one who unashamedly proclaimed views which, although common and widely held, found disfavor within the realm of political correctness. 

             Presumably this action was in response to a complaint of offense taken by one who themselves would be found offensive by many others, and who must see a one sided application of censorship to be for the common good, providing it support their view and silence opposition.   Sorry to be cryptic, but I have neither solicited nor acquired permission to discuss the issue from the parties involved, and for that reason shall remain so. 

              I have not spoken of it before, and merely elude to it here due to the relevance to the OP, and in the hope that I might add weight to the merit of this discussion, by illuminating that a penchant for censorship already manifests itself among us.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          HP's private web site does not offer free speech; it has always maintained rules limiting the concept.  At least in my three years here.

          As far as censorship being one-sided, never that I've seen.  While rules are seemingly ignored at times, I've always thought of that primarily as mostly a little slack being offered, similar to not punishing a child every time they mess up.  I have never seen anyone banned from here for anything BUT hate speech, defined as speech abusive to some other person and carried out repeatedly.  HP has made the decision that such speech is "illegal"; either follow the rules or leave.  That few will admit to making such speech, and blame their banning on politics, religion or some other factor doesn't hold any water; every one I've seen has been for egregious offensive speech abusive to someone else.  Or, in rare cases such as continually submitting the same substandard hub for publication, but I presume that isn't what you refer to.

          1. bBerean profile image60
            bBereanposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I wholeheartedly agree with a private entity's right to make and administer rules for participation.  I am not aware of enough instances, I suppose, to determine the equity of administration here, so I'll leave it be. 

            When rules for censorship are made and applied, it is by nature subjective.  I personally believe political correctness, which has largely been a tool for a small number of people to silence a large number, has been detrimental in the extreme.  I also know rules are often applied more when there is a complaint to appease, (squeaky wheel, and all that). 

            Perhaps the OP was only speaking of legal limitations.  They were advocating silencing evangelists at pretty much any cost in another forum, (of course, only evangelists of doctrines they disagree with, that is). 

            Whatever the venue, choose your words wisely and perhaps you can convey your message in spite of censorship.  Clever folk may take it as a challenge, and enjoy the game.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              Yes, censorship is subjective, which WILL give rise to responding to a squeaky wheel, if nothing else because the censor didn't "hear" the message until pointed out.  Or maybe viewed it as marginally offensive, could go either way.  Or got up on the wrong side of the bed - we're all human.

              Doesn't mean it is all bad, either, although 99.99% of censorship IS bad.  The two examples list are reasonable to forbid.

              And yes, choose your words wisely.  Care whether you offend or not, and try to do so ONLY when intended.  I have been banned from HP for things I would never have thought of as a banning offense, but have learned as a result.  I try to follow what I think the guidelines are here, and the intent behind the guidelines. 

              There have been a few instances of thin skinned people leaving in tears (they said) and I completely understand and accept the intent of HP to supply a forum where everyone is comfortable posting.  So, do my small part to provide that forum while also expressing myself.  Sometimes difficult, sometimes impossible, but at least make an effort.

    4. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
      Kathryn L Hillposted 10 years ago

      In general, freedom of speech is for the *goodness* of free speech. I think freedom of speech can be abused. Hate speech is one way to abuse freedom of speech, unless it is used for some good.

    5. JMcFarland profile image69
      JMcFarlandposted 10 years ago

      Free speech is not nearly as free as some people would like to believe.   Hate speech can be prosecuted.   Libel and slander can also be prosecuted. 

      The freedom to swing your arm ends at the tip of someone else's arm,  and free speech cannot infringe on the rights of others.   Its all too easy to offend someone no matter what you say or how you say it.  I appreciate personal freedoms, but freedom only gets you so far.   I've seen some of the hateful crap that comes out of some mouths here,  and hp fully had the right to get rid of users who do not follow the rules,  regardless of their religious or political beliefs.  No,  they're not bring persecuted.  They're being held to the rules,  just like everyone else.  If you don't abide by those rules, you can expect to be shown the door.  It's really that simple.

    6. profile image0
      Beth37posted 10 years ago

      The difference between the westboro ex. and my convo with ED is that I said there were ppl being tortured for their faith and he replied with basically, "that's what they get for not staying home and being quiet." If someone had asked me if Westboro was in the right, I'd say, "No way. They are motivated by hate and a sense of superiority. If they believe homosexuality is not supported biblically, I would understand that pov, but they are hate-mongering, teaching their children to do so and telling ppl it's in God's name."

      ED had the opportunity to say what was happening to those tortured Christians was wrong, but he refused to say any thing of the sort.

      1. EncephaloiDead profile image56
        EncephaloiDeadposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        It was then that I pointed out the flaw in your argument by reminding you that the organization in question has mission statements of evangelizing, which is what is getting people hurt in other countries. My solution was to stop evangelizing so those people wouldn't get hurt.

        Do you think it more important they continue evangelizing and getting people hurt?

        Again, my solution is there for all to read.

    7. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 10 years ago

      Amazing.  Less than a page to go completely off topic and turn into a bash session about an entirely different thread, which, incidentally, also almost immediately veered off topic.

    8. Zelkiiro profile image88
      Zelkiiroposted 10 years ago

      Hate speech should most certainly be protected. The First Amendment is pretty clear that no law would ever impose upon free speech.

      And of course, just because the speech is protected doesn't mean the speaker should be...


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