Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, May 3, 2010.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    I hope he is going to appeal. This is absolutely ridiculous. What the hell is "religiously aggravated harassment" anyway?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-asbo-for-leaflets-mocking-jesus-1952985.html

    (Note: ASBO= anti-social behaviour order)
     
  2. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

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    #2
    Sounds like a new kind of blasphemy law, which is pretty unnerving. I know its a common line to take, but would a religious person mocking an atheist get the same kind of treatment? I doubt it.
     
  3. H00513R macrumors 6502a

    H00513R

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    #3
    When will this country learn? I can't wait for the the old geezers to retire and let new blood into government. They don't represent what is happening all over the country. This guy should have just as much right as anyone else to promote his ideas as long as they don't interfere with or harm people.
     
  4. ScottishDuck macrumors 6502a

    ScottishDuck

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    #4
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    Yeah, I have to admit I agree with this.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6

    Your profile says you're from Indiana (sorry to hear that). The story is from England.
     
  7. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    Since it is an article of faith of each and every monotheistic religion that every other religion is absurd, false and heretical, I fail to see how an atheist applying the same criterion to any religion can be fairly penalised.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    Pardon my ignorance, but I was under the impression that free speech was limited quite a bit in Britain, as compared to the US. I may be wrong, but I figured this kind of thing might not be protected.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    I don't know... suppose a Christian preaches that Islam is heretical inside a Christian church. This is legal in my country, and, I believe, in yours. In at least some circumstances, if she preaches the same thing on the street, her behavior is still legal (again, I believe, both in the US and UK).

    On the other extreme, if she now chases after an individual muslim on the street, hovering over them and yelling at them that their religion is heresy, following them onto a train car, what have you, this is generally construed as harrassment, without really having to recourse to the religious content of her actions. If a man chased you down the street and followed you around and yelled nonsense at you, it could equally well be construed as harrassment.

    My understanding is that, in the UK, harassment is defined as action against a specific person or group of persons, which is either intended to cause alarm or distress, or which the person "ought to know" would do so (source), and a pattern of behavior on at least two occasions must have occurred. I guess that the question is whether this behavior meets that criteria.

    I think Skunk has a valid point in that it would seem to be a relevent question, for instance, what pamphlets from religious organizations in a similar prayer room say. For instance, if a Christian/Muslim/Jewish/whatever pamphlet that is generally considered acceptable is placed there, which decries one of the other religions, it seems hard to believe that a person "ought to know" that this behavior would cause distress.
     
  10. unid macrumors regular

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    #10
    If your faith can be shaken or offended by a poster, maybe you should have some deeper questions.
    Also what can be regarded as an anti-religious leaflet?
    A teapot colouring book perhaps?
     
  11. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    A recipe book for pasta?
     
  12. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #12
    I don't believe in them gods but why would you purposely leave leaflets in a prayer room mocking their religion? Just sounds like a troublemaker.
     
  13. unid macrumors regular

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    #13
    I get religious leaflets through my door from similar troublemakers, can I get them arrested?
     
  14. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #14
    They're not mocking you. I had countless religious leaflets through my door whilst at uni and not one of them insulted me or mock my beliefs, unless its different around your way.
     
  15. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    Selling preposterous fairy tales and telling me I am a sinner? That could well be construed as insulting.
     
  16. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #16
    If you're not religious then why would being called a sinner insult you?
     
  17. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    I might belong to a religion which held different views. I might believe that being called a sinner was grossly critical. Certainly
    being told that a deity other than the one of my choice is the "one true god" could be described as mocking and insulting my religion.
     
  18. unid macrumors regular

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    #18
    If I'm not offended by sin due to it being a religious construct
    Why would a religious person be offended by alternative constructs.
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #19
    As its a multi-faith space I would expect any religions involved to be tolerant of other religions within the space.
     
  20. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #20
    Isn't atheism a lack of religious construct, so it shouldn't offend or mean anything to you.
     
  21. unid macrumors regular

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    #21
    Well you're assuming I'm an atheist,
    whereas actually I'm a sceptic.
     
  22. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #22
    The whole idea of a "multi-faith space" shared by competing and mutually-exclusive mythologies is utterly nonsensical.
     
  23. ethical macrumors 68000

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    #23
    In the same way followers of different political parties, or scientists who believe different theories, work in the same offices and labs? They each believe they are right and the other is wrong. Doesn't mean they have to get in each others faces about it.
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #24
    I think the guy did cross the line.

    Freedom of speech does not mean you have the right to do harassment others beliefs. He went into a religious area "pray room" to insult others beliefs and that is where he crossed the line. He violated their right to freedom of religious freedom and safe from Religious prosecution.
     
  25. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #25
    What if I were to enter a gay bar and start handing out anti-gay pamphlets? Seeing the material would not make them any less gay, but it would be incredibly insulting.

    This level of antagonism in a public setting seems uncommon, even for religions. However, I am not in the UK, nor do I have extensive knowledge of their laws, so I'd have to take yours, and others' words, for what is common there.

    However, a person outright claiming that baseball sucks is going to be treated differently than a person who says the Yankees suck. You're going to be viewed differently if you're criticizing the beliefs of a type of people as opposed to being a member of a "type" and criticizing different factions within that type. Fair or not, that's how it works.
     

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