Sunday, February 05, 2006

Questions, questions & no answers

How can a society balance the need for free speech and freedom of the press with the desire of a faithful people that their holy one not be blasphemed? Can societies which deem hate speech illegal print cartoons that are offensive to others and claim what they do is allowable because of freedom of the press/free speech?

Does a group of faithful people have the right to demand that secular societies follow the dictates of their belief? Can one automatically assume that an entire government or society should be painted with the same brush because of the actions of a few? Why is it permissable for group A to satirize group B, yet when group C satirizes group A, this action is illegal & incites strong negative responses?

Can a society which does not have free speech or freedom of the press or democratic & free elections & which may have secret police fully comprehend these qualities in another culture which is totally different from theirs? Can societies that have free speech & press & elections & which (hopefully, most of the time) aren't spied upon in secret, honestly understand the viewpoint of societies who may believe governments everywhere control the press?

Is freedom of speech or freedom of the press only supportable when said speech or press is favorable? In other words, ought negative or provocative or hateful speech be supressed simply because one group or another deems it so? If that is the case, what is left to say?

Is the rift between cultures repairable? Will we ever be able to discuss our opposing views?

free speech


Anne E. said...

I think that you summed up much of what I have been thinking about since I first heard of these cartoons.

Bookwormom said...

There are no easy answers, only shades of grey.

Anne E. said...

As I keep reminding some on the RT Political Message board!