How free should free speech be?

@Trace86 (5033)
United States
June 11, 2008 8:24pm CST
I got this in an email from a friend today. After reading it, I thought it would make a good discussion. How free should free speech be? Should a private email to a student group about your opinion cause you to get reprimanded by your job or not? Please read and give me your ideas and opinions on the whole thing, what was said, the repercussions, etc.. http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/wichman.asp
2 people like this
4 responses
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
12 Jun 08
In my opinion it all comes down to the context and the intentions of your statements. I am an advocate of free speech to a degree; but not if it incites hatred or could be deemed as derogatory or defamatory. As for being reprimanded by your employer? Well as an employee I guess you should respect the rules and guidelines set by said employer. There is a time and a place to be expressing oneself and maybe using job time or job resources to do it is not a smart move.
1 person likes this
@Trace86 (5033)
• United States
12 Jun 08
So it would be more defensible if he had sent it from his home email address while at home rather than his company email while at work? Also, he meant it to be private between him and the group. The group then made it public, not private, and is trying to make it a big deal.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
13 Jun 08
Well I am of the opinion that he most definitely would be in a stronger position if he HAD of sent it from home email rather than from work email yes! It certainly would have been a safer option with far less chance of reprisals. Within reason, what we do in our personal lives is our own business; whilst in the presence of our work environment or whilst acting on behalf of our employer (or using employer resources) is not.
@Trace86 (5033)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I have to agree that he should have sent it from home, that way it would be from him as a person rather than as a professor at a university. I still think that the group was wrong to make a personal email stating someone's opinion, that contained no threats, public. Thank you so much for your wonderful and insightful comments!
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@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
14 Jun 08
I think we should all have freedom of speech to express our views but I think there should also be some kind of limitation to it. We have to watch our vulgar language and watch our mouths not to hurt others or their feelings. We need to make sure not to slander others as well.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
13 Jun 08
There is a saying if you point to someone else, there are four fingers pointing back at you. Look at the context. All right some of you, I say most of you will say the Professor was wrong, but what about the Muslims who do not allow freedom of worship in their countries, who support terrorism, etc. and want to bring the same prejudices and hatreds to America? In my mind, if the Muslims are free to express their hatred of a cartoon, then any American or Canadian should have the same freedom to express his hatred of the tortures and persecutions endured by non-Muslims in Muslim countries, about the women who have been raped and condemned by their society while the attacker goes free, etc. You cannot allow freedom to one group and deny it to another. The professor had a perfect right to tell the student body, but they did not have the right to publish it. They no doubt felt that anything Muslims did was fine, but when it came to non-Muslims, it was not. So they were working with a double standard. And the professor should not be reprimanded and if the Muslim students want to live in America, they have to follow the American rules.
1 person likes this
• India
12 Jun 08
the freedom depends on the situation in which you are. in close friend circle there is absolute freedom. you can speak your heart out. but in formal talks, you should be reserved. in religious talks try not to hurt others' feelings. when talking to children, modulate your voice to suit them and try to keep them in joy. about the the question related to private email, i personally disagree with this sort of cruelty that has been resorted to. after all, there is something which is personal for an individual.
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