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Should free speech be defended at all costs?

by VerityG (follow)
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
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Charlie Hebdo free speech freedom satire shootings disaster protest
Image via Charlie Hebdo


In the wake of the shootings at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, lots of people are coming forward to defend free speech.
Do you think free speech should be defended at all costs, even the cost of someone's life?

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Top Answers
I fully believe in freedom of speech.
The written word.
It is powerful, and a right.!

What I don't embrace is Pictures that anyone can see, even if they didn't want too.
Children, Adults, Old people.

They have a freedom too, that they do not have to see things that are abhorrent.

Hebdo put in plain sight, it was not a matter of reading.
It was even for those who didn't speak the language, easy enough to see and understand to some point.
If we choose to read about something that is our choice.
If it is in the form of a picture or cartoon, and is also insulting....then! it will stir up anger.

Was that his mission?
Because he certainly upset a great deal of people.One man made fun of so many...not just Fanatics!

No one was safe from this mans warped sense of using the pen.
Why? was one person I ask allowed to upset so many people,to me that in it's self is wrong.
It causes trouble....People get very confused with freedom of speech, and inciting true anger, among those who do not value our western freedom.

Writing is different in my opinion, and YES everyone has that right, to say what they wish.
Say some of Hebdo's pic were of Pedofiles committing a crime, all hell would break loose!

Rightly so.

But this time it is different, well not in the eyes of Fanatics.He made them mad, and to tell the truth, I wonder at what level did he think about reprisal, to the others that have died.

It is waving a red flag to a bull.
Well said Jonaj !
by BK
thank you.
by jonaja
I have never thought of it the way you have put it here jonaj, and I like the way you think. Thanks for giving me another perspective on this complex issue.
:)
by jonaja
Well, yes everyone should have freedom of speech. When I first came to know that Paris shootout happened due to a couple of cartoons, I was shocked. I then googled to find out what those cartoons looked like. And I was just not happy with what I saw. I am sure a lot of kids would have looked up at these cartoons now because this happened. And I know Hebdo made cartoons not just of the Prophet but many other issues as well.
I wish a writer not just writes to express thoughts but also understands the impact of it.

Having said that, the power of freedom to speech is strong and could have been used wisely by the group of people who got offended instead of using a gun.

The war through words, art and thoughts at least doesnt hurt or kill people.
by BK
Agreed!
I agree.
by jonaja
I think this is a difficult question to answer. I strongly believe everyone is entitled to free speech however there is never an excuse for murder.
I believe in the right to free speech BUT I also believe that rights always come accompanied by responsibilities and in this case I think the right to free speech was not used responsibly. Innocent people have been killed, lives ruined and for what? Obviously the gunmen bear the responsibility for the shootings but I think the cartoonist should bear some responsibility for how he chose to exercise his right to free speech and the consequences of that.
I agree with you Verity. Its just plain sad !
by BK
Indeed..
by jonaja
I think this is a very interesting question and a complex one to answer. It is a debate I hold dear to my heart. Freedom of speech as we know it has double standards. For instance, there are certain things people are not allowed to say in Europe and they are illegal. Similarly, freedom of expression (religious expression) is also flawed. Muslim women are not allowed to wear head coverings in certain countries of Europe.
Freedom of speech must come with responsibility, and one of those responsibilities must be that the right of freedom of speech of one man must not hurt the feelings of masses or a large group of people. Disagreeing with another person's point of view is fine, but instigating a group by hurting people's feelings is just wrong.

I agree.
by jonaja
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