What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

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Cittasanto
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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:06 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm
Cittasanto wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:46 pm
It is defending the right to hold and express views, it isn't a defence of a particular view.
In practice, how is there a difference between the two?
because defending a right need not do more about the opinion than show how it is covered by the right to express it. an atterney need not be a pedophile to defend someone who is accused of pedaphilia.

binocular wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm
Cittasanto wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:46 pm
By defending someones rights you are defending your own.
It's not clear that many people interpret this this way.
can you give an example where you are getting that impression?

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Cittasanto
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

perkele
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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by perkele » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:07 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:48 am
Would you say this about someone in the armed forces who made this statement as they were being shipped off to war?
chownah
Why would I want to badmouth someone specifically who is being shipped off to a war? Seems like he is in a bad enough situation already.
But regarding the credibility of such a statement from a person like that, it's no different to the general case. It just seems absurd and overbearing.
He might believe this to be true in some very abstract sense. But I don't see how it can apply. And I can hardly imagine anybody in any actual concrete situation defending to the death my right to say whatever shit I want to say in that moment. I might be indebted to him then in some way for his heroic act of self-sacrifice, but I can really not imagine a situation where I would not find this incredibly stupid. Why should someone sacrifice their life for my right to say something? I think nobody should do that.

Just to clarify:
Justsit wrote:Person A: "! think XX Politician is a jerk and XX's political party are all jerks. XX Party should be abolished"

Person B, who belongs to XX political party:"I do not agree with the content of what you say, but I agree that you have the right to say that."
(emphasis mine)
This is very different from saying "but I will defend to the death your right to say that". I would agree with the former. But I would not believe anyone who says the latter. And if they were actually sincere about the latter statement, then most likely I would think that to be extremely stupid.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:16 pm

Justsit wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:43 pm
....
That is a more direct example than mine. Thank-you
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Justsit » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:37 am

perkele wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:07 pm
Justsit wrote:Person A: "! think XX Politician is a jerk and XX's political party are all jerks. XX Party should be abolished"

Person B, who belongs to XX political party:"I do not agree with the content of what you say, but I agree that you have the right to say that."
(emphasis mine)
This is very different from saying "but I will defend to the death your right to say that". I would agree with the former. But I would not believe anyone who says the latter. And if they were actually sincere about the latter statement, then most likely I would think that to be extremely stupid.
There are those who would defend to the death their own right to free speech.
Maybe stupid, maybe not.

binocular
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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by binocular » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:35 am

Justsit wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:43 pm
Real-world example with regard to individuals:

Person A: "! think XX Politician is a jerk and XX's political party are all jerks. XX Party should be abolished"

Person B, who belongs to XX political party:"I do not agree with the content of what you say, but I agree that you have the
right to say that."
B does not defend the content, but does defend the right to have that view and verbalize it without fear of government retribution.
Maybe not government retribution, but certainly personal retribution. How a scenario like the above would develop would, where I come from, depend on the relative power that each person has. If A is the boss, then B better comply; if B said what your B says above, B would have to look for a new job. And if someone in a lesser position would say what your A says above, that would probably have devastating consequences.
It does not mean Person A thereby has the right to act on that view.
How does it not?
And B therefore also has the right to disagree with A.
The right, yes, but not the privilege to get away with such disagreement unscathed.
To hell with rights where acting on them makes things worse for one!
Thus, defending another's right to free speech is in effect defending one's own.
I just don't see how that follows.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by binocular » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:44 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:06 pm
because defending a right need not do more about the opinion than show how it is covered by the right to express it. an atterney need not be a pedophile to defend someone who is accused of pedaphilia.
Some people interpret it that way, though. Guilty by association.
binocular wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm
Cittasanto wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:46 pm
By defending someones rights you are defending your own.
It's not clear that many people interpret this this way.
can you give an example where you are getting that impression?[/quote]
One either defends one's own rights, or one defends other people's rights. People are competitive, so one person's rights eventually necessarily compete with the rights of another person.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:15 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:04 am

This seems to be a popular sentiment, but it doesn't seem that people in positions of power or those who aim for such positions take such things seriously.
Like most normative political theory, Mill was more concerned with what should happen rather than with what actually happens. Your unhappy experiences have little bearing on the matter.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:48 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:44 am
Cittasanto wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:06 pm
because defending a right need not do more about the opinion than show how it is covered by the right to express it. an atterney need not be a pedophile to defend someone who is accused of pedaphilia.
Some people interpret it that way, though. Guilty by association.
doesnt make the attourney guilty though.
binocular wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:44 am
One either defends one's own rights, or one defends other people's rights. People are competitive, so one person's rights eventually necessarily compete with the rights of another person.
freedom of expression is a legal right, if someone is defending the right they are defending it for everyone, regardless of the specifics of an individual case. pushing against attempts to curtail speech is pushing against all forms of censorship that are in a similare vein.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

perkele
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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by perkele » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:42 pm

Justsit wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:37 am
There are those who would defend to the death their own right to free speech.
That seems at least a bit more plausible to me, that people might do that.
SN 3.8 wrote: Though in thought we range throughout the world,
We'll nowhere find a thing more dear than self.
Justsit wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:37 am
Maybe stupid, maybe not.
Probably yes, I think.
SN 3.8 wrote: So, since others hold the self so dear,
He who loves himself should injure none.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by binocular » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:49 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:15 pm
Like most normative political theory, Mill was more concerned with what should happen rather than with what actually happens. Your unhappy experiences have little bearing on the matter.
I wouldn't call my experiences unhappy, just realistic -- but leaving those aside: If normative political theory should deal only with what should happen, rather than with what does happen (or what works), then what exactly is the use of such a theory??

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:20 am

binocular wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:49 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:15 pm
Like most normative political theory, Mill was more concerned with what should happen rather than with what actually happens. Your unhappy experiences have little bearing on the matter.
I wouldn't call my experiences unhappy, just realistic -- but leaving those aside: If normative political theory should deal only with what should happen, rather than with what does happen (or what works), then what exactly is the use of such a theory??
To answer your question requires me to address your first point. If you have never experienced people in positions of power behaving in the way that Mill prescribed, and tolerating and defending opinions which they disapproved of, then your account of your experiences may well be realistic, but the experiences themselves are indeed unhappy, in the sense of being hapless, unfortunate, and unfavourable. The same applies to any abstract political or civic virtue; one who has never experienced democracy, or kindness, would struggle to understand what people are talking about when they use these terms. Good normative political theory (such as Mill's) deals with what should happen, and also with what does happen. It is in part based on a wise understanding of how the world is. Such a theory would have no use if it merely enjoined certain actions or approved certain situations without an understanding of reality. Millian Liberalism does, however, which accounts for - in the terms of your original question - its continuing appeal for those who have experienced it, or can merely imagine it.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Leeuwenhoek2 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:12 am

But what is the appeal of saying "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?
Why would anyone say such a thing??
If anything, the saying seems more like a pious exaggeration.
I tend toward what is the US is know as free speech absolutism. But I agree with you.

I might put my life at risk to defend the rights of someone I thought worthwhile. But I do politically defend the rights of political speech -- even if it sometimes goes to people that I consider dangerous. In a civil society the freedom to speak, and vote and have an influence tends to discourage people resorting to more violent means. So it does create the causes and conditions which tends to the safety and security of us all.

----- Resources on US Constitutional Law ------------------
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... exceptions

from the US Congressional Research Service
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/95-815.pdf
Unprotected Speech ......................................................................................................................... 1
Obscenity ................................................................................................................................... 2
Child Pornography ..................................................................................................................... 3
Fighting Words and True Threats .............................................................................................. 3

Protected Speech .............................................................................................................................. 5
Content-Based Restrictions ....................................................................................................... 5
Prior Restraint ............................................................................................................................ 6
Forum Doctrine ......................................................................................................................... 7
Non-Content-Based Restrictions ............................................................................................... 9
Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions ................................................................................. 9
Incidental Restrictions ....................................................................................................... 13
Commercial Speech ................................................................................................................. 14
Compelled Speech ................................................................................................................... 18
Commercial Disclosure Requirements .............................................................................. 19
Check-off Programs .......................................................................................................... 20
Defamation .............................................................................................................................. 21
Speech Harmful to Children .................................................................................................... 21
Children’s First Amendment Rights ........................................................................................ 23
Speech on Radio and Television .............................................................................................. 25
Broadcast Radio and Television ........................................................................................ 25
Cable, Satellite, and Online Radio and Television ............................................................ 26
Freedom of Speech and Government Funding ........................................................................ 27
Free Speech Rights of Government Employees and Government Contractors ....................... 30
Government Employees .................................................................................................... 30
Government Contractors ................................................................................................... 33
Symbolic Speech ..................................................................................................................... 33

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by LG2V » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:14 pm

It intuitively feels like a very "American" idea. It's the sort of comment that would draw admiration and reverence from both sides of the American political spectrum. That was my first take on it. But, it seems to have come from Voltaire, and earlier Europeans.

I think that I've been culturally raised to deeply respect this opinion. With that being said, I don't think I would die for anyone's words. lol.
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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by binocular » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:36 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:20 am
To answer your question requires me to address your first point. If you have never experienced people in positions of power behaving in the way that Mill prescribed, and tolerating and defending opinions which they disapproved of, then your account of your experiences may well be realistic, but the experiences themselves are indeed unhappy, in the sense of being hapless, unfortunate, and unfavourable. The same applies to any abstract political or civic virtue; one who has never experienced democracy, or kindness, would struggle to understand what people are talking about when they use these terms. Good normative political theory (such as Mill's) deals with what should happen, and also with what does happen. It is in part based on a wise understanding of how the world is. Such a theory would have no use if it merely enjoined certain actions or approved certain situations without an understanding of reality. Millian Liberalism does, however, which accounts for - in the terms of your original question - its continuing appeal for those who have experienced it, or can merely imagine it.
Just letting you know I've read your reply, and that I don't know what to say.

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Re: What's the appeal of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:43 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:36 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:20 am
To answer your question requires me to address your first point. If you have never experienced people in positions of power behaving in the way that Mill prescribed, and tolerating and defending opinions which they disapproved of, then your account of your experiences may well be realistic, but the experiences themselves are indeed unhappy, in the sense of being hapless, unfortunate, and unfavourable. The same applies to any abstract political or civic virtue; one who has never experienced democracy, or kindness, would struggle to understand what people are talking about when they use these terms. Good normative political theory (such as Mill's) deals with what should happen, and also with what does happen. It is in part based on a wise understanding of how the world is. Such a theory would have no use if it merely enjoined certain actions or approved certain situations without an understanding of reality. Millian Liberalism does, however, which accounts for - in the terms of your original question - its continuing appeal for those who have experienced it, or can merely imagine it.
Just letting you know I've read your reply, and that I don't know what to say.
Thanks for keeping me in the loop anyway. Maybe a response will suggest itself to you later!

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