Debate 2 of 2 - Free speech is impossible whilst we have religion

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Randomhero1982's picture
Debate 2 of 2 - Free speech is impossible whilst we have religion

So again, I tend to partake in a lot of conversations these days with friends, on podcasts and via local groups... and another topic that was brought up for discussion was as follows....

True free speech can never exist whilst theism exists in it's current guise where is can influence law to have certain things said, a criminal offense.

For example, simply belittling a religion publically in most countries can now be considered, inciting hatred.

I tend to find I'm usually more positive then most I discuss with and see positive sides, however, on this topic I do personally agree with the motion.

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Cognostic's picture
@ RE: Randomhero1982: Re:

@ RE: Randomhero1982: Re: "Free speech can never exist while theism exists."

I disagree. It has not existed because religion has had special privileges for 2000 years. It has been a taboo topic at dinner parties. This has been true even though the religions zealots stand on street corners and knock on our doors to insult us by calling us sinners worthy of eternal damnation. What you need to understand is that THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yes, some countries do not have freedom of speech. You can not speak out against the government, the king, the ruler, or in some cases religion. Freedom of speech is not about limiting the government or the religion. It is all about empowering the people. Everyone needs to get the same freedom.


(EDIT - "in" to 'is') typo

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Here in Australia they are

Here in Australia they are trying to introduce legislation that would allow the religious extra protections as compared to the ordinary person... In 1996 Johnny Howard reintroduce the largely ignored laws of sedition which makes it a crime to utter treason or threaten by active or passive speech, the wellbeing of the Queen, the royal Family and her government.

The enemies of free speech are the establishment, not just religion.

Cognostic's picture
RE: The enemies of free

RE: The enemies of free speech are the establishment, not just religion.

Absolutely. Stopping free speech gives those in power more power and control over the population.

David Killens's picture
Unfortunately I must reject

Unfortunately I must reject the position that "Free speech is impossible whilst we have religion"

I live in Canada where free speech is guaranteed. Notwithstanding shouting "fire" in a crowded building and hate speech, I can openly criticize anyone or anything. Yet, I live within 100 meters of a very active church.

The enemy of free speech is fascism or any group that demands silence from dissidents.

boomer47's picture
In principle, freedom of

In principle, freedom of speech has nothing to with religion. Free speech in America is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US constitution.

PLUS : Article 11 of The Treaty Of Tripoli (1796) states categorically that the US was NOT founded on the christian religion. (nor any other, by inference)

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen (Muslims); and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan (Mohammedan) nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

BUT there tends to be disagreement over the definition of free speech. My position is freedom of speech MUST include the right to offend, if it does not, that means speech is censored and not free. I make a distinction between 'freedom' and' licence. freedom of speech doe snot include the licence to yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre nor to incite others to violence.

Australia country has anti hate laws, and laws against giving offence I think these are bad laws, an do not support them.

The link below to clip with Rowan Atkinson, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry on the free speech . I think it's pretty good.

Randomhero1982's picture
Very interesting David, thank

Very interesting David, thank you very much.
I shall look more into other nations views on free speech and amend my views accordingly.

David Killens's picture
No problem Randomhero1982, I

No problem Randomhero1982, I think it was in how you worded your proposition.

I would agree that religion does not tolerate free speech.

And maybe 500 years ago I would have accepted your proposition. But the church has to live in a more aware and gentler world, and they can't just subject anyone to the Inquisition.

Randomhero1982's picture
Yeah, it wasn't my

Yeah, it wasn't my proposition as such, I attend a few meeting for free thinkers, atheists etc... locally to where I live and we discuss various topics.

One thing we do is accept anonymous propositions, the two I've shared on here are recent topics.

Personally I would argue that theism is a threat to free speech, I.e. in the UK to condemn a religion can be looked upon as hate speech, which could get you in a lot of trouble.

That's why I share them, I like to broaden my knowledge so I can form better opinions.

So thank you and everyone else too.

Cognostic's picture
@Randomhero1982: "Religion

@Randomhero1982: "Religion is a threat to free speech."

You got it backwards. "Free speech is a threat to religion." This is why the internet is so damn important to the rise of Atheism. People who never had a voice before are now talking freely on the internet. Religion can not stand against the facts, logic and reason of free speech. Sure, religions want to shut it down. They want to have special status once again. THOSE DAYS ARE OVER. Religion needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the light of day. It is no longer special, holy, or sacred. It's dogma can be examined out in the open. Atheism is alive and well because it is knocking the shit out of religion.

Randomhero1982's picture
Very much agreed!

Very much agreed!

CyberLN's picture
I think there are two types

I think there are two types of free speech. One is a freedom of speech protected in by a government’s laws. The second, and perhaps more powerfully enforced, type is what can be called “socially approved” speech.

Walk around (in a country with legally guaranteed free speech) in a T-shirt that says “I love Jesus” on it. Chances are you will get nods of approval, high fives, and a boatload of god bless yous. Wear one that says “Proud Atheist” and see what sort of reaction you get.

Humans are social animals who thrive on approval. It’s tough to be the odd man out.

Cognostic's picture
@CyberLN: I won't wear one

@CyberLN: I won't wear one that says "Proud Atheist" because all the shirts in the AR store have shit plastered all over the front of the shirt. I don't wear crapola splashed all over the front of a shirt. It's tacky. Put the crapola on the back and a small logo over the pocket and I am a happy camper. AR shirts are not designed for anyone with a sense of style. :-) LOL

I won't wear any shirt that has advertising or messages printed across the front.

CyberLN's picture
Well, let me know what you

Well, let me know what you want, Cog. I have an embroidery machine. ;)

Cognostic's picture
@CyberLN: Hmmmmm..... 90%

@CyberLN: Hmmmmm..... 90% of what I am thinking is completely inappropriate for this thread. Perhaps we could meet for coffee later? ;-)

algebe's picture
This are the days of hate

These are the days of hate crimes, trigger warnings, de-platforming, and disinvitation. People who should know better are allowing all kinds of pressure groups to dictate who should speak and who should be silenced. Islam and its Western apologists (notably Ben Affleck) are using this tactic with great effect by playing the islamophobia card to shut down any criticism of their delusional cult.

But even if we got rid of all religions, free speech would still be under threat. This isn't 2019. It's 1984.

Sheldon's picture
Interesting topic, truly free

Interesting topic, truly free speech, by it's very nature, means a person has the right to express ideas and views that are repulsive to most decent people, like racism and hate speech, and would also mean defamation and misinformation were allowed. So whilst freedom of speech is essential for any free society it must have some consequences in law, at least I think it must.

As far as religions are concerned a generic condemnation of a particular religious group is worrying, and we should all know why. However, I personally see nothing wrong with a generic attack on the religious belief itself. Too many theists love to play the victim when their beliefs are robustly challenged.

If I can put it simply, I would not consider an attack on the Jewish religion to necessarily be antisemitic, or an attack on the actions of the state of Israel, as its absurd to believe ring fencing anyone's beliefs and actions from criticism protects freedoms and human rights, quite the opposite is true in my opinion. However a generic attack on a religious group is different, and such speech is unnecessary and dangerous.

Attacking Judaism is ok, attacking all Jewish people is not. Same for all other religious groups of course.

I remember one prominent spokesperson for the Jewish community condemning Richard Dawkins as antisemitic because of opening criticisms of the old testament deity in his book, The God Delusion. The accusation was of course beyond absurd.

Randomhero1982's picture
Very nicely put Sheldon!

Very nicely put Sheldon!

Cognostic's picture
Sooner or later a Mod will

Sooner or later a Mod will log in. You are lucky I do not have moderation powers. You would have been gone 2 hours ago.,

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