Freedom of Speech has Limitations?

ryan

Nobody believes in total freedom of speech you say?
I do, but yeah I’m a nobody in the Singaporean political sphere, perhaps you’re right.

I do mind child pornography and there are laws against this, laws that protect children from being taken advantage and exploited.

Well I don’t know about you, if I had a 12 yr old child who shows keen interest in the fine art of demolition, maybe because their daddy (hypothetically me in this scenario) happens to be a professional buildings demolitionist, I would teach my child first and foremost the safety of demolition. Our children are not a vessel to live vicariously through, they’re their own person and it’s up to us as parents to offer support with what they’re interested in (as long as it doesn’t violate any laws or harm another person) and perhaps some day, this hypothetical child of mine will be the heir and successor of a top class demolition company because their daddy didn’t restrict their curiosity.

And yes I agree with you that “free speech with boundaries” argument is just pointless because free speech already has a definition, it’s the freedom to speak freely to share your mind and ideas, no matter how nonsensical, idiotic, crazy or offensive it is without fear of legal or violent repercussion, because all of those are subjective, it’s up to the individual who is listening to determine this for themselves,

Is pornography okay?
Yes it is, its legitimate work, in countries where pornography is legal there are unions formed to protect the rights of porn actors and actresses.
I’m assuming you’re talking about legal porn and not amateur revenge porn.
Revenge porn is a clear violation of privacy and as such is illegal.

Should we be allowed to criticize Politicians?
Yes, no person/people, institution, ideology or religion are immune from Criticisms, Mockery, Satire or Scrutiny.

Example when we prioritize the feelings of the religious to not be offended, we get movements like “We are against the pink dot” whose anti gay stances which are backed up by theology cannot be challenged for fear of wounding their religions and getting you in jail.
So they get to spread their message of hatred towards homosexuality and you can’t do anything about it because their ideology and religion is protected by law.

Can companies sue us for expressing displeasure at their products?
No, because we paid for these services we expect a standard of service.
Like with the recent FlyScoot incident where passengers were stranded over 20 hours, sure it’s a budget airline but when I see people defending the company for their incompetence saying “you pay cheap like dat lor” you know 400 dollars is still a lot of money to some people the least a company could do is display a fair bit of professionalism and own up to their mistakes and compensate when those happen.
Companies can however sue if they are being slandered or libel to protect themselves from falsehoods.

Your last paragraph is basically saying, free speech has limits, who sets these limits?
When did I relinquish my ability to think for myself to another person or a group of people to decide for me what I can and cannot hear?

Just a short excerpt from a post I made with regards to this same point being brought up

“So guess to those Singaporeans, my standard of Freedom of Speech (the one where its actually freedom of speech) this would be going too far. That more moderation needs to be done, maybe we should have a committee to decide for everyone what is and what isn’t allowed. You know, thought policing, alleviating your freedom to think for yourself so that another person or a group of people may do so for you, this is the problem with many Singaporeans that I’ve come across.”

To sum up this long winded post.
When people say “Free Speech should be limited/have boundaries”
What they’re really trying to get at is the “Right to not be offended”
Which by the way doesn’t exist because offense is taken not given.
If someone finds themselves offended its their own prerogative to stop taking offense.

Peace!

“Nothing happens when you’re offended” – Steve Hughes.

Click here for my explanation of Free Speech.

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The Fear of Freedom

Recently a new video to highlight the injustice the City State has incurred onto the 16 yr old dissident Amos Yee.

That should have been it but being a curious person that I am, I decided to look through the comment section and what I have found are a myriad of comments of citizens expressing their fear of freedom and coming to the defense of the City State in it’s inhumane treatment of a child.

Comments such as these
thefarah

My replies are as follows.

1) He criticized a religion, it’s wrong to insult a person’s faith
Why? you can make a claim why something is positive or negative but not explaining the claim, makes your claim worthless.

Religions are not immune from insults, scrutiny, criticism, mockery or satire because, stick with me here I know this is a radical idea for you, not everyone believes in religion. And when religious people make a claim about scientific or academic theory being wrong because it doesn’t match up with religious doctrines, then I suppose your position would have to be, “Well religion is right, because we cant insult them, we cant scrutinize their claim or mock them” Well then the earth is in the center of the universe.

Well thank “god” that’s not the case and thank “god” Galileo still kept his scientific papers for the rest of the world to see and thank “god” the church does not have a say in academia because now we know the earth is not the center of the universe

2) Freedom of speech is reserved for important things
If “freedom” is reserved then it’s not free is it?
Like saying, Free seating but only if you reserved or Open to Public but tickets required.
Also important things like what for whom, based on what and whose standards?

3) Conditions of your country are deplorable.
Well I’m from Singapore and I agree, they are deplorable especially with people like you espousing your willingness to give up your freedom to think for yourself but on a serious note, whose country are you talking about?
Oh nevermind, it just hit me, you’re one of those people who thinks Singapore is world class compared to other countries because those countries have a littering problem I assure you, as someone whose been around, Other countries are much cleaner than our less touristy spots.

4) You protested in your countries, did huge changes come about? Not really does it?
I can name you one protest that had recently brought about new legislation, Ireland – Legalizing same sex marriage. So protests don’t dont work huh? If you wish to suffer in silence,  do so at your own whim but don’t tell me I have to join you.

5) These laws are necessary
Which laws? The ones that tell you how to think?
Maybe for you.

6) Singapore you know that religious and racial harmony is important, peace is maintained.
 I’ve long been under the impression that the peace in this country is maintained through ignorance and fear, and your entire post is a good summary of my suspicion.

7) Country with various Religions and Races
Why do Singaporeans keep thinking we’re the only country that is a metropolis of race and religion?

thebashir

Harmful, Insulting subjective weasel words.
If someone insulted my mother or father, I would take offense.
Then I would calm down and realize that taking offense is a waste of time and stop being offended nothing happens when people are offended.

Yes there are limits to everything, limits that you set for yourself.
So stop trying to impose your limits onto other people.

religious freedom

Tell that to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who are persecuted here and have their literature and books outlawed.

mindyourownbusiness

You heard the man, Singapore, meddling with other countries.
Don’t even bother reporting or commenting on outside world.
Isolationism Now!
I’m just being sarcastic, please don’t take me out of context.

freedomofspeechmeans

Actually it does, what you’re trying to get at is the “Right to not get offended”.
The thing is, that’s impossible because offense is taken, not given.
So if you find yourself offended, then its your own prerogative to stop taking offense.
Secondly, no one has to respect anything or anyone they don’t want to, this includes your “founding father” and religion.

freedom of expression

There’s no absolute right?
So you think human rights for us to bargain for?
How very Singaporean
“Uncle this one freedom of speech how much, ah? wah so expensive leh, I take half can discount or not?” 

Human rights is not something that is to be “moderated” or compromised.
When you do that, you are denying individual autonomy, this means the standards that you’ve moderated your rights may be fitting to you but they certainly do not fit other people.

I’m glad you’re happy but just for a moment, try not to be solipsistic?

wedonotconform

A victim of propaganda, believing what the media says about Amos defaming his bailor.
If you don’t follow this saga, I wouldn’t blame you either for believing the misinformation but allow me to offer you the source, Amos’ own wordpress blog.

A short summary, Amos is called out his bailor for his actions towards him, emotionally black mailing him (Amos) if he didn’t comply with Vincent’s demands, by threatening to recuse himself as Amos’ bailor, evidence of the harassment here.

The rest of her message, yes indeed freedom of speech is the cause of hate crimes, sorry my sarcasm gets the best of me at times.

Again another Singaporean who does not understand the difference between Hate Speech and Free Speech.

Hate Speech is a speech that is a call to violence or a physical threat on a person or people or group of peoples.

Speech like this, by Jason Tan.
maiming

An actual physical threat to maim the child, by the way, he got off with a stern warning.

Singapore is not the West
Sounds like an argument for “Asian values vs Western Democracy” fallacy.

And what I understand of Asian values is that it means we’re tolerant of child abuse.
Neo Gim Huah the man who slapped Amos sentenced to 21 days in jail.
Jason Tan (above) a stern warning
Amos Yee, for speaking his mind, 40 days in remand and still counting.
If this is Asian values, I want no part of it.

If a nation’s people is so insecure about their race and religion that a single off colour remark about either is the spark to unleash racial and religious turmoil, then that’s not peace or stability, it’s a house of cards waiting to crumble under the weight of it’s own ignorance and how can we learn about race relations when there’s laws actively prohibiting such discussions for fear of offending or wounding feelings?
That we think stereotyping and racial profiling is acceptable, like the comment below.

Penal Code section 298 and 292
Laws based on feelings have no basis in legislation.

Feelings are subjective and laws are supposed to be objective.

racial profiling

A spectacular example of what I mean when I say our “racial and religious harmony” is nothing more than a facade, I was racially profiled by my name.
This was my reply:

myreplycen

Can we please stop with the racial profiling, it’s annoying.
Just a piece of advice, if you meet someone who has a “muslim sounding” name, don’t just assume they’re muslim, if it really matters to you what faith they’re of, like when it comes to knowing what food you need to cater for them or you’re just plain curious, ask them.

Because I get offended when you serve real bacon to your non muslim guests and give me not bacon because you think I’m muslim, depriving someone of bacon is torture!

But seriously, I don’t go around assuming everyone who is Indian is Hindu, do you? 


We, as a country, have bred a culture within 50 years of autocracy of people who are actually petrified of basic human freedoms.
We think that freedom of speech needs to be moderated.
We don’t know the difference between hate speech and free speech
We think that religions need to be held above human rights
And the biggest joke of all
We think the government is secular.

I call it, Singapore Syndrome, it’s Stockholm Syndrome on a national scale.

A message to my Singaporean readers, stop being afraid of freedom and your human and civil rights, it is not the place for governments to restrict them but their duty to protect and uphold your rights and freedoms from those who wish to revoke them from you.

Peace!

“Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness” – Alejandro Jodorowsky