Freedom of Speech:

Learn when to shut up

February 18, 2015  |  By Rares Barbu, Romania

Freedom of Speech:

Photo : Photo : Wikimedia Commons / Giovanni Dall'Orto

In the light of the recent terrorist attacks that involved the killing of more than 20 people across France and the steel cold bullet that was taken by the free speech I ask myself the question: „What are the limitations of free speech?”

While Sir Winston Churchill declared “Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”, along came writer Salman Rushdie to contradict it “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” .

This time I choose to ignore the subtle voice in my head that told me to write another essay in which I state what my beliefs are when it comes to free speech. This time I will act like a Chef who lays down plates with food for you to digest.

Note that the people I have interviewed did not give me permission to make public their real names.

Lili, a young lady says: 'I think the only limit is the one represented in the statement, "Free speech does not extend to yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater." 
In other words, if the speech is solely malicious and intended to cause direct mayhem and harm, it cannot be allowed. Satire doesn't fall into that category.

Sorin, a familly man, believes in free speech, but he also believes that humans are capable of showing signs of civilization: „The concept of free speech is a good thing, however many take it to extremes. We are supposed to be civilized and realize there is a difference between being able to speak your mind and using free speech to denigrate or disrespect. Just because you can say something doesn't mean you should. The same goes for that trash movie that caused all the issues with North Korea. 

Another example of misused free speech are the atheists who attack Christianity even here in YA. I strongly resent anyone insulting or show a lack of respect for my faith.”

Finally, I asked Dan, a kid who had only 7 birthdays until now if he believes that people should tell whatever crosses their mind. He smiled brightly and answered: „My dad told me not to tell somebody if he is ugly because it is not good. The person may cry and it is not good, you are not a good person for saying that even if it’s the truth.”

Here they are: the dishes have been laid. Now it is for you do decide what suits you best. But be warned! Even the most appealing of the foods can be deadly.

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