Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Free Speech
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Author:  Laurie Tate [ Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Free Speech

On Feb 20 David Irving, a historian and Holocaust denier, was sentanced to three years in prison in Austria for comments made during a speech in 1989. He claimed that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that 74,000 Jews died of natural causes in the work camp and the rest were hidden, taken to Palastine and given new identities. He also claimed that Hitler had no knowledge of the "final solution". He has been banned from most European countries, Canada, and Australia, but was able to conduct a book and lecture tour in the US. Where do we draw the line at free speech? Is all speech free or should we draw a line to protect the rights of others?

Author:  Maggie Chambers [ Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:23 am ]
Post subject: 

I voted yes, he should be in jail, because he violated the laws of the country he was in. For me, it's as simple as that.

However, I don't think those laws should be on the books. I view this the same way I view civil disobedience. If you are doing something that is against the law in protest of that law, fine. Depending on the law, I may even applaud you. But be fully prepared to be arrested/fined for your actions.

As far as the U.S. is concerned, I think he should be free to spout off any foolishness that he wants to, as long as it's in accordance with our laws (i.e. slander, not shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, etc.). If he isn't getting any support, I think people should ignore him, and if he is, they should protest him. But he is protected under our free speech laws.

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