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Should freedom of speech accept speech against liberal values such as diversity? Focusing on a particular scenario as an example: If people want to protest against the existence of say black people, should they be allowed to?...

PS: Although the above example might seem a clear-cut example of where free speech ends, both historically (e.g. protests that took place in the US during the early 20th century against black people's equality) and in our very days (e.g. protests in the UK and the USA against Jews' existence), there have existed lack of moral clarity and of ethical guidelines on the matter.

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    Possible duplicate. Does this answer your question?
    – armand
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 1:17
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    As we have seen in the last few years, anyone with the power to restrict speech for being anti-liberal (whether legally or not) is likely to use that power to restrict speech they disagree with by claiming that it's anti-liberal, even if it's not. You just can't trust people with that power. Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 2:02
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    I don't think question invites good answers. How the limits on free speech "should" be determined is either a normative, non-philosophical question, or extremely broad. The examples given, "speech against liberal values" vs "chanting for the destruction of a minority" are wildly different. IMO this is several legal and political questions which would be hard to even scratch the surface of from a philosophical perspective. Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 11:20
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    If people want to protest against the existence of say black people I would say that speech which advocates for violence should be rejected. And it's hard to imagine speech that "protest[s] against the existence of black people" as anything other than advocating violence. Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 2:38
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    You've picked an example that invites the obvious answer. But there are many other things being called (or conflated with) "liberal values" that are not as obviously correct as "don't protest the existence of black people". Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 4:42

11 Answers 11

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  1. From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948:

    Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    These and other human rights find their limitation in

    Article 29: […] 2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. 3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

  2. For an example, how these higher order rights from article 19 can be exchanged for small coin, see the code of conduct of stackexchange.

  3. The UNO proclamation denies "any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein."

    This statement does not prohibit to discuss and even change specific values. But most of the actions named in the OP's question are banned. Only the general term "other liberal values" from the question needs detailed definition.

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  • It is too bad that after 75 years, the nations are still not united. If even 2 of them can't get along, I don't see how 182 will. But we can hope.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 0:43
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    How does one determine if a particular utterance is a discussion of values? Is OP's example not a reflection of someone's values? Who gets to decide? Expanding limitations on the the content of speech is chilling...
    – Z4-tier
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 19:55
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Freedom of speech is already abridged by laws on defamation, copyright infringement, national security, contempt of court etc. So the principle is already established that freedom of speech is not absolute. The UK already has laws against hate speech as well as incitement to violence. This stance by nations in the new millennium is founded on a long tradition of liberal philosophy. Philosophy has an active effect on our lives. John Stuart Mill's Harm Principle deals with this. Karl Popper stated that "society must be intolerant of intolerance". Speech against liberal values such as promotion of subjection of citizens to theocratic rule is intolerant, and cannot be tolerated in a liberal society.

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    It’s unhelpful to phrase this in absolutes like “cannot be tolerated”. You certainly point to good arguments that speech against liberal values can be harmful, and that there should be some limits on tolerance of it. But there are also many good and well-established arguments for some tolerance of it (e.g. the point in David Gudeman’s comment, that over-strong restrictions on illiberal speech can easily themselves become illiberal). Any serious discussion must start by acknowledging there are good arguments pulling both ways on this issue; the tricky question is how to balance them. Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 12:30
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    I do not know what you mean by unhelpful. I quoted Popper and agreed with him.
    – Meanach
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 13:55
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    Noting that many societies engage in a practice does very little to answer whether the practice is ethical. Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 5:09
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    I do not normally respond to comments. I consider it a waste of time which risks abuse. I would recommend posting an answer as an alternative. I have edited my question to answer the point that you made.
    – Meanach
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 12:21
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If the term hate speech had been around in the 1930's, you can bet your last dollar that anything supportive or defensive of Jewish people would have received that label under the Nazi regime.

The fact that this stands words on their heads is immaterial; people whose primary motive is the will to power will say any lie to get their way.

Late edit to actually answer the question:

Yes, freedom of speech must accept speech against liberal values, because if you empower the government to act against it, the government will declare that an opponent's speech "goes against liberal values" even when this is objectively counter-factual.

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    I think that a lot of people think laws against hate speech are the route to not having neo-Nazis and their ilk, while people whose opinions contribute something useful to society need not fear the heavy hand of the law. But looking at European countries, which many point to as the model for that kind of ideal, do such laws really accomplish what they claim? Neo-fascists govern in Italy and are resurgent in Germany (AfD) and France (Le Pen), while neo-Franquismo is still strong in Spain (Vox, elements of the PP). A recent British PM was Johnson, an open racist in the pure Trump mold.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 7:44
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    Meanwhile, restrictions on speech that goes against the values of society have proven very useful in safeguarding the interests of the powerful at the expense of everyone else. France, of course, leads the way with its burqa bans, hijab bans (for athletes), burkini bans, abaya bans, and most recently, pro-Palestinian protest bans, but several other European countries do not want to be left out, with Sweden having its own burqa ban. Spain does its own thing, locking up musicians who sing songs deemed as insulting the royal family.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 7:51
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    In other words, legal regimes that are permissive about restricting freedom of expression for the sake of "protecting society" not just would have been used to suppress inconvenient ideas, but in fact are. Meanwhile, bigots and extremists are only inconvenienced, both because they superficially alter their rhetoric and because they really do enjoy the tacit approval of much of the power structure (look at the recent Quran burning incident, for instance).
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 7:56
  • I don't understand this answer. Can you elaborate please?
    – njzk2
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 17:29
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    @Obie2.0 you should put your reply in a separate answer. It's well reasoned and worth more than just a footnote on someone else's post.
    – Z4-tier
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 19:46
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No. The question is analogous to freedom of movement. I am entitled to move as I like, but with a very large number of conventional constraints. I cannot use my freedom of movement to break into your house, visit a foreign country without a passport, exceed the speed limit, block a public highway, walk into a theatre without a ticket, stab someone, drive when under the influence of drugs... there is a very wide range of movements that I am not allowed to perform without the threat of sanctions. Why should talking or typing be any different?

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    This is a very common sense answer.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 0:39
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Questions about law and policy are questions about compulsion by the threat of violence.

The related question about moral permissibility has an obvious answer. You should not say morally wrong things. You should encourage other people to not say morally wrong things. But questions about policy aren't about you and your self control or your ability to influence others. They're about the application of the state's capacity for compulsion by the threat of violence - either directly, via the police power, or indirectly, by using the police power to take and guard a portion of the polity's resources and then using them to benefit people who comply.

The operative question is:

Who should be authorized to employ the threat of violence to compel or curtail certain kinds of speech; under what circumstances should they be so authorized; and who should be authorized, with how much discretion, to interpret the circumstances?

It is not nearly so obvious that it is good to empower the latest batch of crooked politicians and/or members of a mostly-hereditary empowered class to decide what to call bad and use the state's capacity for violence to curtail.

Nor is it obvious that a majority of poll-respondents should be empowered to decide this.

Consider religious speech. It's trivially easy to find a polity in which a majority of people believe that disagreeing with their religion's dogma about the nature of God is deeply immoral and harmful. It can be hard to recall this in the post-Christian cultural milieu, but for many people on Earth, when a person says the wrong things about God/s, they're inviting eternal death upon themselves and incurring the very real risk of divine punishment on their society.

Maybe more salient to modern English-speakers who don't have strong feelings about religion: there are plenty of polities in which a majority believe that disagreeing with their cultural apperception of a certain topic is abusive and harmful - and this is true for both of the rival cultural apperceptions. Relevant apperceptions include those of gender or sex; abortion; and fossil fuel use.

So we have a trade-off to manage: how can laws be written so as to reduce the amount of harmful speech as much as possible while...

  • limiting the ability of scumbag politicians to abuse their authority?

  • keeping the majority from using the police power to oppress the minority?

  • avoiding balkanization into armed rival cultural groups actively trying to kill each other out of a belief on both sides that this is necessary to protect the innocent or preserve the sacred?

If you want to know about a particular set of answers to this trade-off and arguments for and against them, I think you'll need to ask a follow-up question. The current question just invites personal opinions.

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  • Shunning works too.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 0:34
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    "You should not say morally wrong things." which moral framework do we use, here? Mine or yours?
    – njzk2
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 17:30
  • @njzk2 mine, obviously. Now, to the gulag with you for questioning me.
    – g s
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 19:43
  • If you can't say morally wrong things, how will people find out you believe morally wrong things (or at least, think it would be useful if they came to believe them)? They might want to know that about you... Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 21:52
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Never consider the love speech or hate speech as permanent. Freedom of speech is impermanent. Freedom of speech arises , changes and vanishes. Freedom of speech is not absolute in time and space. Today you might be allowed to speak against Muslims or Jews but tomorrow you may not be allowed to speak against them. You may be allowed to speak against Government in America but you may not be allowed to speak against it in China. Therefore the freedom of speech laws are impermanent in nature. They constantly change in time and space.

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“Freedom of speech” should not be a goal. It should be a tool that serves to improve the world.

Having the freedom to stand up against injustice is good. Having the freedom to discuss arguments in science freely is good. Having the freedom to call for attacks on minorities, the freedom to spout nonsense that keeps people from getting properly medical treatment, the freedom to spread lies and promote hatred, is not beneficial.

So think about the underlying values, not about freedom of speech.

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When discussing freedom of speech and its limits, scholars and philosophers have offered various perspectives that can provide a framework for understanding the complexities involved. One influential perspective comes from John Stuart Mill, a prominent advocate of freedom of speech in his work On Liberty. Mill argued that even if an opinion is unpopular or offensive, it should not be silenced because allowing it to be expressed fosters critical thinking and the pursuit of truth.

However, Mill also recognized the importance of considering the potential harm caused by speech. He introduced the concept of the "harm principle," which suggests that the only justification for restricting individual liberty, including freedom of speech, is to prevent harm to others. This principle implies that speech that directly incites violence or discrimination against certain groups may warrant restriction.

Additionally, scholars like Jeremy Waldron have contributed to the discourse on hate speech and its regulation. Waldron, in his work The Harm in Hate Speech, argues that hate speech can inflict serious harm on individuals and communities by undermining their dignity and sense of belonging. He suggests that restricting hate speech is necessary to protect the dignity and equality of all individuals, particularly those from marginalized groups.

Furthermore, legal scholars such as Ronald Dworkin have explored the tension between freedom of speech and equality. Dworkin emphasizes the importance of balancing individual rights with collective interests, including the goal of creating a society that values equality and respects the rights of all its members. In his view, protecting freedom of speech should not come at the expense of perpetuating inequality or discrimination.

In light of these perspectives, allowing protests against the existence of certain groups, such as black people, would likely be seen as crossing the line into hate speech and promoting discrimination. While freedom of speech is essential for a democratic society, it must be balanced with the need to protect individuals and groups from harm and uphold principles of equality and human dignity. Therefore, there may be valid reasons to restrict or regulate speech that promotes hatred or discrimination against marginalized groups.

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As you allude to, I don't know if it's clear that the proposed scenario is a clear-cut example. In the United States, people protest against the existence of LGBT+ people all the time, and they are protected by the state to do so.

As others have referenced, it might be helpful to split this question into parts, where first, there is the question of whether hate speech has value in a liberal society, and second, there is the question of whether a governmental body should have authority over regulating hate speech.

For the former, I don't know if it's worth expanding on the answer here since I imagine you're asking more about the latter. But for context of my answer to the latter, I'll name that I personally think hate speech in everyday expression should not be uplifted in a liberal democracy.

However, I am more conflicted on the mechanism through which that should be enforced. The line between social norms and social policy is thin; there are plenty of things we generally understand are "bad" but aren't heavily regulated via policy (e.g., cheating on your girlfriend). Further, I think the definition of speech that incites violence or denies the rights of others is also thin. We can clearly name that protesting against LGBT+ people is intended to deny the rights of LGBT+ people. But what about issues like abortion, or the teaching of black history, or the myriad of other policy issues that affect a given population more than others? I think acting as if there's a simple answer potentially obfuscates the more critical question, which is how we as a society come to understand the values we choose to enforce or not.

Therefore, I think the most direct answer is going to depend on the democratic theory from which you're operating. I myself operate more from the deliberative democracy standpoint, where I am less concerned about the eventual rule than I am with the process through which we define that rule. Using a more liberal version of that theoretical perspective (more on the Guttman end of the spectrum, rather than Habermas), I'd argue the best we can do is make room for speech of all types, but simultaneously do our best to inculcate into citizens the self-determination and liberal values (which, in part, is done by infusing those values in deliberative spaces themselves) that would lead to social norms and systems of power that would resist hate speech much in the same way that explicit regulation would (and could themselves include regulation, as long as it's borne out of a liberal democracy).

Which is my very long way of saying "I don't think there's a definitive answer to this question, but if we rotate the question to focus on how we would as a society identify what speech we will allow or not, and how, we may come to a more robust solution."

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    I think it is not accurate to say that there are some people who protest against the existence of LGBTQ+ people, rather it is more accurate to say that there are conservative Americans who protest against LGBTQ+ people aggressively promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism in America's elementary school systems.
    – user57467
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 20:20
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    Have you ever been to a pride parade? Most in major cities are accompanied by a group of anti-LGBT activists who are very explicitly condemning LGBT people. Your cognitive split between protesting the existence of people and protesting the acceptance of said people aside, it is absolutely factual that there are common instances of religious fundamentalists protesting the literal existence of LGBT people. It is not hard to find pictures of them if you just look it up.
    – RickyB
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 13:33
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"Free speech" cannot accept or allow anything, it's a concept not an agent.

And similar to most these concepts like "laws", "right", "privileges", "restrictions" and so on. It cannot exist on it's own, but requires a social structure for it to make any sense.

Like if you are alone you wouldn't even have the discussion about free speech as your ability to say just about anything, actually only rests upon your physical and mental ability and your motivation to do so. There's no one going to stop you and the things that could or would stop you don't care or understand your concepts anyway.

So if you define "free speech" in absolute terms, that would actually be a moral paradigm that applies to yourself and literally no one else. Which could nonetheless make sense to you but is otherwise fairly useless with respect to interactions between people.

Because as a guiding principle for the interaction with other people you'd need at least some sort of social structure, communication culture, interaction, shared values etc. Like if no one knows about your laws, customs, ideas, colloquialisms, irony, ways to express yourself and your emotions and so on, how could they make sense of that and react appropriately? Whatever it is that "appropriate reaction" would amount to anyway.

So a "right" to free speech can NEVER be absolute and meaningful to other people at the same time, because at the very least it requires a consent of these other people to that concept. Which in some way shape or form requires a social connection or relation in which such concepts can be established communicated and be agreed upon.

Otherwise you're, again, free to say anything you can and want to say but there's no one who gives anything about you and your speech or rights, let alone comprehends them.

So at the very least your ability relies on your relationship with other people and their acceptance of tolerating your speech. Which doesn't just include what you say but how you're saying it. Like if you talk to people at 3 O'clock in the night you'd likely to be told in no uncertain and likely unfriendly ways to get out of their bedroom and leave them alone. Or if you scream at people and talk without giving them an opportunity to engage, they likely won't receive that well, likely chose to disengage, kick you out or otherwise show antipathy towards you, despite them maybe even agreeing with you on the issue.

In which case you're back to square one. You're able to talk but there's no one to talk to.

So "free speech" is, copying from gnasher729, not a goal, but a tool. It's the attempt to facilitate a free and open exchange of ideas, emotions, goals, hopes, fears, aspirations, concerns and whatnot. This has often several benefits, it may help the individual to see whether they are alone in their problems or not, whether there might already be solutions for their problems, whether their fears a reasonable, whether their goals are achievable and so on. It also might help with the cohesion of society because the more people talk, the more they engage with each other, mix and match their quirks to each other and develop a culture that makes a such a free exchange of ideas possible or easier and in turn might reduce lots of troubles from a lack of communication. Including in the milder domains redundancy and in the more extreme cases antagonism, hatred and violence as a result of that. And on top of that the exchange also increases the individual and collective understanding of society, the world or whatever people talk about, shows problems and helps with finding solutions, inspires all kind of people to do all kinds of things.

And it's a vital cornerstone of a democracy or any system that aims for self-governance. Because unless you want to live in a system where some lead and some follow, you'd need everyone to be able to get on the same page on issues, to be able to speak, to listen, to inform themselves and so on, to identify conflicts and to find compromises and resolutions for them.

But again that isn't happening in a vacuum, it's within a society. At the bare minimum you need an agreement to have at least some weak or strong social bond with other people in order to have that conversation in the first place. If you can't agree on that then the entire talk about "free speech" is meaningless.

You need some common ground and then you can have an open and honest discussion on eye level where everyone is able to receive from and contribute to it, but that's not what hate speech is.

Hate speech is antagonism. And that can be more than just disagreement. Like I might not agree with everything someone else is saying, but if the antagonism gets to the point where I see their existence as detrimental to my existence... well that's no longer about speech. That's conflict. Like people pretend as if free speech would have helped them in Nazi Germany or would be a powerful weapon against injustice.

No it won't. The thing is if "a system"/people is/are ok with COMMITTING injustices, then you're either not going to be able to tell people anything they don't already know and don't care about or they will also prohibit you from talking about it and it doesn't matter if you have a theoretical right to free speech if you're barred from all platforms, mistreated and imprisoned for whatever bogus reason they want you to be imprisoned.

Like "free speech" is not really the most fundamental freedoms to begin with. While it might have an important role in facilitating a free society. You won't even have a society in the first place unless you can agree on more fundamental stuff like safety, bodily integrity, "equality" (in all it's various forms), aso. Like if you must fear for your existence and your dear life that's not a society it's a health risk. A dead person can't speak, free or not and if you fear for your life, "speech" is the least of your concerns. Similarly if society might devalue you by default idk racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc. if you're not an equal member of society your ability to speak might be the least of your concerns and your right may rest upon the equal membership within society or the lack thereof.

So no if people are fine with murder and open violence, you'd be a fool to think they would stop at speech or that free speech would be something that you could exercise if more important and more immediate rights and vital necessities are already under attack.

Don't get me wrong, speech acts can nonetheless be a powerful tool even in dire situations. Like if you disrupt orchestrated events and pull the curtain on a magic show, if you gather numerous people, then often enough their presence alone is the message and the possibility of violent resistance rings out even when the gathering itself is completely peaceful. In general if people speak out even if it means their death, then that courage alone can be inspiring, BUT that isn't "free speech", it's people speaking. It's precisely the fact that they are NOT free to speak and that they do it anyway, that is the act of resistance and often as important or more than the actual message.

So no, it's the open society, the ideas of freedom, equality and solidarity that breed ideas of free speech and free expression as a necessity, NOT the other way around. Just because everyone is THEORETICALLY able to spout whatever hateful nonsense is on their mind doesn't mean that society is free or even that everyone is able to speak. On the contrary usually it leads to the more subtle and softer voices to be marginalized drained and excluded in favor of often the worst kinds of opinions.

Like free speech and the societies that have such values should not be taken for granted there are plenty of ideas, actually usually it's just one, but it dresses in countless of gowns, which argue to value a subgroup over all the other groups, to give up universal rights and to go towards subgroup privileges and repression of "minorities" (everyone is or could be part of a minority). And to that subgroup that idea mind sound good and as long as the supports or rather doesn't actively resists such a system, it might persists regularly throwing parts of it's followership under the bus in order to maintain stability until everyone is both oppressor and few steps away from being oppressed.

So no hate speech is not, "just the expression of a different opinion". It's usually the refusal to have a conversation, the alienation from society and of minorities from society. It's fearmongering and us vs them narratives, which favor speaking about people rather than speaking with each other. Now free speech can in some ways help to mitigate that, but again it's not the free reign of hate speech, but the ability of people to talk to each other, to have discussions and to see for themselves that the hate speech, fear mongering and demonizing lack a basis in reality.

So no there is no categorical reason to accept hate speech, it cut the branch you it's sitting on. Though it's danger somewhat depends on the scale and scope. Like it might not be the end of the world if someone expresses negative emotions and isn't able to remain positive and respectful to others doing so at every moment. That happens. Often enough giving them some time to calm down and think about it, might result in apologies and normalized relations.

However that is different from ideological hatred and institutionalized distancing. When you no longer see the other as part of the team crafting the solution, but instead see them as the problem. In that case you've got an open or smoldering conflict. That's not a normal society that is a pre-cursor to a collapse. Where either these people are excluded (criminalized, deported or worse) or where you'd have a rebellion. Again disagreement is different from conflict, disagreeing people can nonetheless have the same goal and work in different ways, compete for the best solution and accept a better one or inspire and improve each other. Disagreement does not necessitate hostility.

While if there is hostility, you're in conflict mode and speech can be a weapon of war, not a means to keep peace. Like lies, deceit, disinformation, fear mongering, hate porn and whatnot can make things way worse. Like if it gets to the level where this is spread in mass media and permeate every aspect of life it will become the reality of people informed through those sources. And it will perpetuate itself if the hostility leads cuts the connections between people and entrap them even stronger within their bubbles.

So no there is no good reason, to foster those development, on the contrary it's actively detrimental to the ability to have open conversations about any topic. Because those are most likely going to happen where you do not have to face strong criticism, but where you are allowed to fail and still be respected as a member of society. So the radical opposite of allowing hate speech.

The problem is, how you'd go about it. Like what is a genuine outburst of emotions and what is hate and rage porn. What is fear mongering and what is genuine anxiety? When is the problem that you don't listen and when is the problem that the other isn't willing to talk to you in the first place? When should you stick to principles and when should you show uncertainty and willingness to compromise? Up to which point are self-serving interests to the detriment of society at large acceptable and when are they not? The thing is everyone is an individual with individual needs so being able to express them is vital, on the other hand putting them above everyone else is usually toxic, but there are various personal ideas on when it is what.

Now in the most extreme cases and when their expression oversteps boundaries of more important rights, such as again safety, security, social standing, equality etc. you could deal with that with the criminal code, but that's not really a measure you could use on bigger groups and it's one that comes with a lot of problems on it's own.

So no insulting people, attacking their mental health, their well being, their social standing, the foundation of their existence as a member of society or their membership in society to begin with, is not just "making a joke". It's an act of aggression and hostility and it's mind boggling to me how people try to brush it off by referring to an absolute right to free speech. Legal or not if you bring people to the point where they feel personally attacked you either harm them and/or invite an emotional response potentially at the same level or worse (emotional people perceive "proportional" very different).

Now ideally you don't solve that on the legal level but on the individual. It's borderline impossible to make perfect universal laws and what is an isn't offensive usually depends on context rather than the usage of particular words. However if you have organized hate groups that make it their goal to undermine society, agitate against universal rights and violate the very fabric on which free speech is build, then it can be necessary to ban those. Like what's the point of having values if you don't care about them? And if you're already willing to accept throwing people under the bus, why would you go with the unsuspecting scapegoat minority rather than with the hate group violating your values and principles?

Like that's another thing with the acceptance of hate groups you're NOT choosing between freedom and an authoritarian overreach, you're choosing between performing an authoritarian overreach and standing by while someone else is performing one. Like both is shit and you should have dealt with that a while ago within the framework of discussions rather than using force to settle a conflict, but if it comes to it, why would the free speech rights of the Nazis trump the rights to exist of countless of law abiding minorities?

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The degree to which those with surprising authority conflate, for example, “black people are responsible for their disproportionate contribution to crime” with “all blacks should be exterminated” engenders doubt they have the wisdom required to make sound judgement on what constitutes reasonable speech… or liberalism, for that matter.

The fact this question poses an example closer to the latter rather than the former – being a far more interesting, reasonable, realistic, and common perspective – indicates this question is a sophomoric placeholder for a more mature question.

Because “liberal values” and “hate speech” are targets that move according to expediency, criteria for judgement involving them are incoherent.

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  • I wonder what this question will do when it grows up?
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Apr 27 at 13:07

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