View Poll Results: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Muhammed a Crime?

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    7 3.20%
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Thread: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Muhammed a Crime? [W:636]

  1. #191
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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    People who say that Bacille could only have wanted to incite violence have no idea what they're talking about. Firstly, we do not even now whether the attack on the embassy was motivated by the film or if the film was merely a pretext to cover-up a pre-meditated plan to take out the ambassador. In addition, the other protests in Egypt probably had to do with other factors and grievances than just this one film. Secondly, to say that airing an offensive film about one's religion constituting incitement is to strip the word "incitement" of any practical meaning and suddenly casts a lot of expression under the pale of censorship. Bacille may or may not have wanted violence, but to assume that: A. that violence was the inevitable response and B. that this may constitutes incitement are ludicrous. These protesters were reasonably capable of nonviolently responding to the movie. They could have simply done what the millions of people who have their religions insulted do on a daily basis: ignore it or respond to it in a manner that does not involve violence. The protesters alone chose not to do this, and they alone are responsible. I have no sympathy for those who respond to sophomoric insults with violence. If we are going to outlaw certain forms of speech because they might be offensive to some troglodytes, we would have to ban a lot of things, and it would not do a whole lot. This radical fringe is going to hate America, and giving up our most basic institutions will not stop them. Many of the people complaining about how the West's fight against radical Islamists changed its culture now want us to change our laws to ban hurtful speech, and they fail to see the irony. Some even want to go as far as charging Bacille for making the film, although this does not constitute any real crime. Charging Bacille would only be a fruitless, unconstitutional gesture.
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  2. #192
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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1
    What part of free speach dont you understand? The free or the speach. The constitution is VERY clear on it.
    Actually, I find the constitution almost singularly unclear on the topic. The relevant language states:

    Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...

    "Freedom" and "Liberty" meant, and should still mean, different things. "Liberty" was, in the parlance of the Englightenment, much more broad than "Freedom." To understand why, I recommend John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." You'll find the relevant chapter in the second book.

    Consider also that it should be simple common sense that the clause cannot be interpretted to protect the notion that a person cannot be held legally liable for anything they say. For example: suppose you are on trial for murder, and the witnesses for the prosecution all testify to evidence against you that is completely false, but which persuades a jury to send you to death row. Clearly, the clause is not meant to cover that kind of speech. But if not, then we have to have a discussion about which kinds of speech are protected and which arent't, since clearly, we cannot say that it should be all kinds of speech.

  3. #193
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    re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Muhammed a Crime? [W:636]

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie
    No, it shouldn't -- unless you're addressing a bunch a nutters ready to bomb a Muslim mosque in the US at that very moment.
    Why would that matter? While my example was a little simplistic, it seems the concern with speech that calls for violence is that it might well create, out of a neutral crowd, a group who are suddenly populated by just that sort of nutter. People are inclined to believe what they hear when it's put to them in a certain way; this is a simple fact of psychology (and one which the philosophy of the Age of Reason tended not to recognize). Someone who uses this fact to incite violence should be held accountable, even under our Constitution.

    Frankly, I think freedom of speech, in an ideal world, ought not to cover blatantly false or misleading talk as well, in any context.

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    re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Muhammed a Crime? [W:636]

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    Why would that matter? While my example was a little simplistic, it seems the concern with speech that calls for violence is that it might well create, out of a neutral crowd, a group who are suddenly populated by just that sort of nutter. People are inclined to believe what they hear when it's put to them in a certain way; this is a simple fact of psychology (and one which the philosophy of the Age of Reason tended not to recognize). Someone who uses this fact to incite violence should be held accountable, even under our Constitution.
    The right to freedom of speech cannot be restricted by our government, under our constitution, except in very limited ways. One such is the "fighting words" exception, which is face-to-face provocation that a reasonable person would know is very likely to result in violence. If you consider that not even the WBC's speech is vitriolic or immediate enough to be banned as fighting words, you'll see this country sets that bar very high.

    The people injured by the events in the Middle East last week (relatives of those slain) do not have a lawsuit against the maker of the film that touched off the outrage. This is because the US does not have jurisdiction over the film maker, who I gather is an Israeli citizen residing in Israel, and because the harm was not proximately caused by the film under US law.


    Frankly, I think freedom of speech, in an ideal world, ought not to cover blatantly false or misleading talk as well, in any context.
    If there is a right to rely, deliberate or negligent untruths and harm as a result, then yes, you can sue for false or misleading language. Nobody has a constitutional right to falsely claim "made of 22 carat gold", etc.

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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    Actually, I find the constitution almost singularly unclear on the topic. The relevant language states:

    Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...

    "Freedom" and "Liberty" meant, and should still mean, different things. "Liberty" was, in the parlance of the Englightenment, much more broad than "Freedom." To understand why, I recommend John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." You'll find the relevant chapter in the second book.

    Consider also that it should be simple common sense that the clause cannot be interpretted to protect the notion that a person cannot be held legally liable for anything they say. For example: suppose you are on trial for murder, and the witnesses for the prosecution all testify to evidence against you that is completely false, but which persuades a jury to send you to death row. Clearly, the clause is not meant to cover that kind of speech. But if not, then we have to have a discussion about which kinds of speech are protected and which arent't, since clearly, we cannot say that it should be all kinds of speech.
    Of course not. Some crimes are almost completely verbal, e.g., soliciting a bribe.

  6. #196
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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie
    The right to freedom of speech cannot be restricted by our government, under our constitution, except in very limited ways. One such is the "fighting words" exception, which is face-to-face provocation that a reasonable person would know is very likely to result in violence. If you consider that not even the WBC's speech is vitriolic or immediate enough to be banned as fighting words, you'll see this country sets that bar very high.
    The OP didn't ask what was, it asked what should be, a question which I took to mean "what should be under our constitution," or "how should we interpret the constitution in this particular circumstance?" I think it should be obvious that if some restrictions are allowed (and it is obvious they should) then this should be one of those obvious restrictions. No one should be able to villify a whole group of people by lying about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie
    The people injured by the events in the Middle East last week (relatives of those slain) do not have a lawsuit against the maker of the film that touched off the outrage. This is because the US does not have jurisdiction over the film maker, who I gather is an Israeli citizen residing in Israel, and because the harm was not proximately caused by the film under US law.
    I made no such assumption. The OP simply asked whether it should be a crime to criticize Mohammed (or presumably, by extension, Islam). I said no, it should not be a crime, except where there is a blatant lie told in order to incite violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie
    If there is a right to rely, deliberate or negligent untruths and harm as a result, then yes, you can sue for false or misleading language. Nobody has a constitutional right to falsely claim "made of 22 carat gold", etc.
    If you believe this, I'm not sure about the nature of your disagreement with my position (if indeed you do disagree). Please clarify.

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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    If you believe this, I'm not sure about the nature of your disagreement with my position (if indeed you do disagree). Please clarify.
    Let's say I tell you it's raining here in Cleveland and you buy stock in a local umbrella outlet as a result.

    It's not raining; I lied and you lose money.

    So far so good -- you have me telling a deliberate untruth and you relied and you were harmed. Can you sue me?

    No, because I had no duty to tell you the truth.

    In short, it's a very, very, very small class of lies that will support a lawsuit.

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    re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Muhammed a Crime? [W:636]

    I made no such assumption. The OP simply asked whether it should be a crime to criticize Mohammed (or presumably, by extension, Islam). I said no, it should not be a crime, except where there is a blatant lie told in order to incite violence.
    No, I have every right to lie freely as long as you have no right to rely on my statements. If you are Muslim and I lie about your faith and you lose your job or suffer in some other way as a result, you might be able to sue me for harrassment or invasion of privacy, etc.

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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    Actually, I find the constitution almost singularly unclear on the topic. The relevant language states:

    Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...

    "Freedom" and "Liberty" meant, and should still mean, different things. "Liberty" was, in the parlance of the Englightenment, much more broad than "Freedom." To understand why, I recommend John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." You'll find the relevant chapter in the second book.

    Consider also that it should be simple common sense that the clause cannot be interpretted to protect the notion that a person cannot be held legally liable for anything they say. For example: suppose you are on trial for murder, and the witnesses for the prosecution all testify to evidence against you that is completely false, but which persuades a jury to send you to death row. Clearly, the clause is not meant to cover that kind of speech. But if not, then we have to have a discussion about which kinds of speech are protected and which arent't, since clearly, we cannot say that it should be all kinds of speech.
    The amendment covers the government. It shall make no law abrideging Freedom of speech. Joe Blow in your case can sue the hell out of the whoever wronged him and make an appeal on that basis if he has proof. We dont have to have ANY dicusion.
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  10. #200
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    Re: Should The US Make Speech That's Critical or Disparaging of Mohammed a Crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie View Post
    My freedom of speech allows me to tell you that your ignorance of Islam is showing, and that I dislike anyone using this topic as an excuse to parade their bigotry.
    Originally Posted by DaveFagan
    I am amazed that there are 3 votes for yes. I mean ya gotta speak nice about Muhammed and the Tooth Fairy. Especially fairies. Let's not be suggesting that Muhammed was a pedophile because Aisha was only 9 years old. Heaven forbid! I don't really know, but I think the AssCrack worshippers need to be treated as well. Keerist, where's a good fumigator when you need one? I think the key word is "treated."

    ""My freedom of speech allows me to tell you that your ignorance of Islam is showing, and that I dislike anyone using this topic as an excuse to parade their bigotry. ""

    Please identify the alleged bigotry. I have presented some plausible scenarios with simple common sense logic and humor and you see bigotry. I don't. So please enlighten me as to your perspective in detail. Perhaps the paragraph is a paradigm of which I am unaware. Thank you,

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