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brainsys's Avatar Joined over 6 years ago
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Go to: Free speech under fire

brainsys's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by brainsys

It seems to me nowadays that freedom of speech is only freedom of speech within the bounds of what Mohammed says is okay.

Was that statement supposed to be helpful or just paranoid?

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 12:30:05 UTC | #926381

Go to: Free speech under fire

brainsys's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by brainsys

"Ernest Perce had a perfect right to wear the costume he did"

I'm not sure about perfect rights. For instance if I was to don a Nazi uniform plus Hitler moustache and goosesteped around the German Embassy I would expect to be 'escorted away' and if words were insufficient, be prosecuted for inciting hatred/being a public nuisance. Whereas with the same uniform and the same actions parading outside the Embassy of a country that had a terrible record of state sponsored murder, racism and threats to neighbouring countries - then it is a justifiable political statement. Or even to a fancy dress party as long as I wasn't planning a political or monarchical career ;-)

The rub is who should decide what is unjustifiable hatred making and what is justified protest. In the end the safest place is the judicial system. Albeit not perfectly particulary in the lower courts. And if this guy was acting like an idiot then a judge/magistrate should have the right to say so. As we have the right to say the judge's words/analogies were poorly chosen this time around.

If had jailed or fined Perce - that is a very different matter.

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 11:12:59 UTC | #926371

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

brainsys's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by brainsys

Comment 3 by TheChrissetti :

This comic shows a man called Jesus and a man called Mo drinking in a modern bar. Since the prophet Mohhammed lived in the 6th century they cannot ipso facto be the same person.

But they both believe in an after life so they both believe they could be in the same place in the same time. Obviously not after hours as there are no atheists to be seen ..

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 15:39:30 UTC | #906913

Go to: Could You Be A Criminal? US Supports UN Anti-Free Speech Measure

brainsys's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by brainsys

I am sorry to see this discussion being limited by a negative view on religion in general and Islam in particular. OK this is an atheist website and the initiative came from the religious but that is no excuse to damn the concept of hate speech legislation by association.

Particularly as, in many (most?) people's experience, has more damagingly directed on racial issues which does, of course, also often identified by religion.

A definition of a civilised state is a right to free speech and the protection of the citizen from harm or discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion ...

Free speech is always an aspiration. It can never be achieved this side of Utopia. An individual's right to kill doesn't exist. So should inciting someone else to kill exist? I think most people would see that may be a compromise on free speech. Anyone listening to someone baying for blood surely would have no other ethical alternative to trying to stop it by law.

So there is always a strong case for hate speech to be criminalised. I support that. The danger is the agenda that 'hate' can be turned into an attack on ideas/belief by people who find that threatening though no physical harm is intended or caused. For that a very tight hand has to be held on the interpretation of hate. Otherwise, I agree, free speech is infringed to an unacceptable degree.

In the end that depends on how much you can trust your legislators, judiciary and enforcement agencies. If 'secularity' is deep rooted then those of us without faith or members on any minority gain. Whereas if you can't trust them - then you are going to have a really hard job of stopping hate speech becoming a tool of the majority over the minority.

So I'm happier having laws on hate speech in the UK than, say Saudi Arabia - or dare I say - the US.

Wed, 04 Jan 2012 11:33:32 UTC | #905250

Go to: Richard Dawkins: "The tyranny of the discontinuous mind"

brainsys's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by brainsys

I have also given 'human' as an answer since these racist questions started appearing a decade or two ago. Obviously I do give the answer they do want when it might effect a direct benefit to me. Being anti-racist doesn't stop me being selfish!

But otherwise it is a protest at these evil constructs. Screwing the statistics is the best way to oppose it (speaking as a statistician). If only we could get more people to do this ... they would go.

Tue, 20 Dec 2011 16:13:47 UTC | #901385

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