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Hate Speech - Should it be a criminal offense?

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  • Hate Speech - Should it be a criminal offense?

    When you look to countries like Canada, the UK, or Germany... You will see that "hate speech" is grounds for punishment. People will be fined or even locked up depending on what things they were actually saying on or offline.

    Now here, in the United States, we are protected by the first amendment which is FREE SPEECH. The only kind of speech you can face criminal charges for is a "call to action". This means you would have to order people to hurt others or lie about a dangerous situation, like yelling "bomb" on a crowded airplane.

    What are your thoughts on all this?
    Last edited by damar; 11-27-2018, 01:37 PM.

  • #2
    This is a diffiuclt topic to address really. Speech needs to be free. There’s no doubt about that. What happens when speech crosses the line and hurts someone? It can happen. Should people be allowed to say anything they want to? I really don’t know the answer to this question. With that said, I think all freedoms have limits. No one on planet earth has ever truly been free throughout any period of human history.

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    • #3
      Everyone should be allowed to say whatever they want, even if people choose to be hurt by it. Being hurt by words is a choice. I learned that from a psychologist.

      People going around saying racist, sexist, or anything of the sort things will be shamed by society. In the workplace, they will be written up or fired. In school, they will be punished as well. The government doesn't need to be involved here. Most of us know what to say and what not to say. It isn't that hard to figure out.

      I also believe that just because it is a right, doesn't make it right. Plenty of people are running around calling anyone who disagrees with them racists or nazis. That is NOT right in my book.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TexasBorne View Post
        Everyone should be allowed to say whatever they want, even if people choose to be hurt by it. Being hurt by words is a choice. I learned that from a psychologist.

        People going around saying racist, sexist, or anything of the sort things will be shamed by society. In the workplace, they will be written up or fired. In school, they will be punished as well. The government doesn't need to be involved here. Most of us know what to say and what not to say. It isn't that hard to figure out.

        I also believe that just because it is a right, doesn't make it right. Plenty of people are running around calling anyone who disagrees with them racists or nazis. That is NOT right in my book.
        Speech is a very odd thing. We're in this new me too movement and it has made me think about things. I'm not saying I'm a sexist by any means. But, I am a man. Sometimes I can understand how a man's thoughts could appear to be sexist. It's a very strange world we live in today.

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        • #5
          Everything is under a microscope and if a person "feels" something someone said is offensive to them, they often go out of their way to silence the other person.

          There is a difference between stating something truly hateful and just disagreeing or believing something differently. Today... People can't seem to understand that.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bart View Post

            Speech is a very odd thing. We're in this new me too movement and it has made me think about things. I'm not saying I'm a sexist by any means. But, I am a man. Sometimes I can understand how a man's thoughts could appear to be sexist. It's a very strange world we live in today.
            Strange is an understatement. Everyone wants to be offended and unhappy it seems. Like I get it, people sometimes say mean or stupid things but most of the time, they are harmless.

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            • #7
              Free Speech is our right but we all have the right to live in a violent-free society. It means that if the speech or expression could damage or do something bad to the society or affect the peace of other people, then Free Speech should be limited.

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              • #8
                There is a difference between calling to action and saying mean things. I think the laws dictating speech are fine as they are. People need to better educate their children and invest in that area to prevent problems like this. Racism, sexism, homophobia, they are all learned ideas from parents.

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                • #9
                  Speech is something that can hurt feelings but only in special occasions can it fuel acts of violence. We are protected against that like mentioned so I am not sure why people are getting so upset over this issue today. Too many people care about the thoughts and opinions of others, especially people they really shouldn't even pay attention to in the first place.

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                  • #10
                    Freedom of speech is okay as long as it will not be delivered in such a way that it will provoke hatred and in a libelous way. Hate speech is very offensive and could ruin one's reputation, that it why it should be condemned.

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                    • #11
                      Freedom of speech ends where violence begins.

                      If you start calling for acts of violence, you are no longer protected under law. It is plain and simple.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spacedragon View Post
                        Freedom of speech ends where violence begins.

                        If you start calling for acts of violence, you are no longer protected under law. It is plain and simple.
                        Thank you! This is spot on.
                        Who decides what is hate speech? What if I think something else is hate speech and it isn't defined as such? Does that mean I'm not as valued as other citizens? It's a never-ending rabbit hole that we should never venture down.

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