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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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 10:44 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.

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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 …
...
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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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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 chownah » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:53 am

It is just rhetoric speaking in favor of freedom of speech.....it boggles my mind that many people here don't understand this.
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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 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:27 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:53 am
It is just rhetoric speaking in favor of freedom of speech.....it boggles my mind that many people here don't understand this.
Because "just rhetoric" and "freedom of speech" fit together as well as "open heart surgery" and "suregon with dirty hands".

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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 chownah » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:35 am

It is just poetic speaking in favor of freedom of speech.....it boggles my mind that many people here don't understand this.
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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 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:54 pm

Then let it boggle you some more, chownah.

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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 chownah » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:06 pm

"Give me liberty or give me death"....Patrick Henry
Seems that perhaps he actually meant it.....or at least he was willing to risk death.
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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 Pseudobabble » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:06 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:26 pm
To begin with, the thought isn't Voltaire's --
In The Friends of Voltaire, Hall wrote the phrase: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"[4] (which is often misattributed to Voltaire himself) as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs.[5][6][7] Hall's quotation is often cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall
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.
Its about understanding that the degree of ones own liberty is exactly the degree of the liberty one grants others. Whatever your reasoning for denying others their liberty, that same reasoning can be applied to denying you your liberty.

Basically, disagreement is not coercion.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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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 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:15 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:06 pm
Its about understanding that the degree of ones own liberty is exactly the degree of the liberty one grants others. Whatever your reasoning for denying others their liberty, that same reasoning can be applied to denying you your liberty.
In what kind of social system?

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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 Pseudobabble » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:15 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:06 pm
Its about understanding that the degree of ones own liberty is exactly the degree of the liberty one grants others. Whatever your reasoning for denying others their liberty, that same reasoning can be applied to denying you your liberty.
In what kind of social system?
I don't see that it has anything to do with social system. Please expand.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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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 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:43 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm
I don't see that it has anything to do with social system. Please expand.
Already earlier, I was talking about how the power hierarchy can make all the difference.

What people have said so far in favor of free speech seems to apply only in egalitarian societies, or only between equals. But in classist societies, or in unequal relationships (where one person has more power than the other, such as between the boss and his subordinate, or a parent and a child), or in competitive relationships (between people who are nominally equal but who compete for a scarce resource, such as a job or a promotion), the situation is quite different. The one with more power has freedom of speech, the one with less power has less or no freedom of speech. And granting liberty to your competitors is self-defeating.

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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 Pseudobabble » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:54 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:43 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm
I don't see that it has anything to do with social system. Please expand.
Already earlier, I was talking about how the power hierarchy can make all the difference.

What people have said so far in favor of free speech seems to apply only in egalitarian societies, or only between equals. But in classist societies, or in unequal relationships (where one person has more power than the other, such as between the boss and his subordinate, or a parent and a child), or in competitive relationships (between people who are nominally equal but who compete for a scarce resource, such as a job or a promotion), the situation is quite different. The one with more power has freedom of speech, the one with less power has less or no freedom of speech. And granting liberty to your competitors is self-defeating.
Oh right yes I see. Yes I agree - in state of nature (where the 'winner takes all'), then this idea of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is useless, or worse, a belief which will actively harm the one who holds it.

But in a social system predicated on individual rights and responsibilities (and by implication equality between these abstract individuals), then the belief functions as an axis of the system of social norms, eg: 'I'll tolerate what you say, but don't harm me, and I expect the same treatment'.

I think, insofar as we find a system of individual rights and responsibilities more pleasant than alternatives, it's a good principle which contributes to the ability of people to resolve their disagreements without coercion. But in a 'state of nature', well, having the biggest stick is the best principle.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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