2009-04-09

Freedom of Speech

Recently, an extremely unpleasant element has surfaced in various places on the Internet, including, I am sorry to say, Twitter.

When people complain at the vileness of what these people say, the response is always a claim to 'freedom of speech'.

Whilst I believe in freedom of speech to a great extent, in that I think one should be at liberty to express religious, political and philosophical beliefs which do not imply that harming anyone is a good idea, I don't consider unlimited freedom to place cruel, hurtful or dangerous material in the public arena a good idea at all.

Apart from the danger that children will read things that forever alter their world view for the worse, those who feel compelled to write such material might do well to consider whether their writings might inspire people with mental disorders to act in a manner which could bring pain to other living beings, seeing those writings as justification of their urges.

Writers of cruel and nasty material might also ask themselves what terrible flaw is within them to bring about such an unpleasant character trait and seek help with finding a path to a life with more light and love in it and less darkness and hatred.

At the very least, people who want to publish vile material for others who also wish to wallow in foulness should be aware that they may be causing more terrible things to happen than they would do themselves - there is no question that people who hear a thing often enough tend to end up believing it to be true - and might consider using private channels to share their thoughts, rather than those where the vast majority who see them would rather not have done and a tiny minority might take them as permission to commit abominations.

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