Friday, November 3, 2017
Guest Post: "Why I am a Free-Speech Fundamentalist"
from Secular Outpost on Free Speech by Keith Parsons:
"I am a free-speech fundamentalist. That is, I hold that public forums, including public universities, should be open to the free expression of opinion. Period. Even when the opinion is offensive and obnoxious. Especially when the opinion is offensive and obnoxious. There can be no free speech if it is required that the speech not offend anyone.
There can be no free speech if only certain viewpoints or ideologies are permitted. There can be no free speech if certain topics are sacrosanct and not allowed to be touched. Does that mean that white supremacist Richard Spencer should be allowed a platform? Yes.
Does it mean that professional provocateurs such as Ann Coulter and Milos Yiannopoulos should be allowed to do their odious act? Yes.
But what about those whose feelings would be deeply hurt by the mindless effusions of such trolls?
Tough. You have no right not to be offended.
You also have no right to shout down such speakers or prevent their audience from hearing them. If you do so, you should be forcibly ejected from the premises."
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2017/10/30/free-speech-fundamentalist/#jB30jA1OoQoSeE0z.99
Why I am a Free-Speech Fundamentalist
Thank you, Keith Parsons!!
Though I never thought you would describe yourself as a 'fundamentalist;-) of any sort. (Though, of course, I get your humorous hyperbole:-)
It is so scary, so irrational, so undemocratic, so aberrational that these many humans now want to deny for others what they claim for themselves.
And the strange current view that you mention, "But what about those whose feelings would be deeply hurt by the mindless effusions of such trolls? Tough. You have no right not to be offended."
When did civilization, democracy, progress come to mean not being "offended"?!
Also, during the many years that I taught literature to high school students including basic debate (on the most controversial topics from abortion to same sexuality to war), our school never had a problem, nothing like the current upsets at some universities from New England to Berkeley. By my insisting on a few courtesy rules and that they present their views with reasoning and evidence, 9th graders and 11th graders, for years, were able to espouse ANY view they wanted to, without censure.
During all of those debates, students learned much. Never once, though they were immature teens, especially some of the 9th graders:-), did I ever have to send any one out for discipline problems. NOT once.
What is wrong that so many now demand that the free speech of others with whom they disagree, be restricted?!
In the Light of Freedom--freedom of speech, freedom of religion or non-religion, freedom of the press, freedom, freedom, freedom!