Are most people hypocritical when it comes to free speech
Most people are hypocritical when it comes to free speech. People are happy to advocate free speech until it crosses their line for when free speech is taken too far. Every person has at least something that they will find offensive.
Many people would say that free speech is permitted so long as it is complies with the law. However there are examples when this is not the case.
If a football manager states his opinion and criticises the referee at the end of a football match they will be fined for it. Even though it is not against the law to criticise the referee.
The president of the US Donald Trump and other US government officials became offended when an NBA player kneeled during the US national anthem. It is also not against the law to kneel during the national anthem.
Many people would say Charlie Hebdo drawing pictures of prophet Muhammad should be allowed as it is free speech. However they became outraged when Charlie Hebdo drew pictures of Nazis drowning due to Hurricane Harvey flooding Houston Texas, suggesting that everyone killed by the hurricane were Nazis.
Purpose of free speech
However people have seem to forgotten the purpose of free speech. Free speech is not something that should be used as an excuse to offend people.
If a 6 year old child at school drew a picture of a fat woman and they said, ‘this is your mum,’ to another child. Would the teacher tell the kid there is nothing wrong with that because the kid has the right for freedom of speech?
This is the exact analogy of Charlie Hebdo drawing pictures that Muslims find offensive. Now obviously no one should be killed or violently attacked no matter how offensive something is to them.
However it seems that the society we live in, lacks respect and it changes us as we become adults. A child knows they should not draw things that insults other peoples’ parents. When Muslims regard prophet Muhammad higher than their parents, why do grown adults not know this as well?
The whole purpose of freedom of speech is to debate, share ideas and knowledge to help humanity develop and progress. If you do not agree with something then challenge it in a respectful manner.
Some people do become offended very easily. However it is all about intention, free speech should not be used with the sole intention to offend. It brings no benefit and just divides people that leads to no progress.
Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to comment below.