I disagree with the principles that seem to motivate your overall argument.Originally Posted by lizzie
We are dependent creatures. We depend on each other for survival. People should get over that point. For anyone who thinks otherwise, I invite them to divest themselves of all goods which they didn't make themselves, and go straight into the closest available wilderness alone, and, accepting help or trade from no other human being, see how long they last. The simple fact of the matter is that human beings in such situations rarely last more than a few weeks. One or two exemplars out of a hundred thousand might make it a year.
Allowing trade would hardly improve matters, especially when compared to the survival of a group of people who had banded together for common cause. Again, this is just a plain fact, and whoever doesn't find it to be one of the central facts of civilization has little grasp of nature or history.
Human beings evolved language in order to communicate information. It's still an effective tool for that use. It provides immense survival value that other animals lack: it allows us to share experiences. So powerful is this facility of language to bring about positive survival outcomes that it has become essential to our very selves.
So here's the problem: consider the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Most people weren't there. They heard about it on the radio. America went to war on the basis of what they heard over the radio. And that was a reasonable reaction in most people's books. When attacked, it is usually necessary to respond with force or risk a much worse attack.
But suppose Pearl Harbor had never been bombed. Suppose it was all an elaborate hoax, perpetrated specifically to get the U.S. to go to war. All the information that most people ever received about Pearl Harbor could have been fabricated, and none of those who were recipients of the fabrication would have any clue that this would be so. It would still be a reasonable reaction for them to want to wage war. And that's why it should be a crime to incite violence by lying.
Insults are another matter. I have not, up to this point, discussed the film that seems to be at the back of the question in the OP. Insults seem to come in at least two kinds. Some of them are proceeded by or accompany violence. Others are not. Where they may be a herald of violence, or a reminder of violence already done, I think they can form a reasonable motive for violence. Of course, where that is not the case, then they do not form a reasonable motive for violence.
Suppose the case were turned around: imagine a group of Islamic filmmakers producing a film that lauded the actions of Al Qaeda on 9/11, gloating about how stupid Americans were for failing to see the attacks coming or stopping them, and how puny and weak and laughable all the victims were. How long do you think it would take before someone started wondering whether this group of film-makers was associated with Al Qaeda? Even in the case that they not only had no associations with any terrorist organization, they also intended to do absolutely no violence, how reasonable would it be of us to suppose they might be up to no good? How reasonable of us would it be to suppose they merited some kind of response? I don't think one can just so clearly say that it would be unreasonable of us to go after them.