September 16, 2012

Thought for 9.16.12

Freedom of speech should be governed by soundness of mind and charity of heart.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
Inspired by James 3:1-12

8 comments:

JCF said...

But what to do when {sigh} both are absent, as w/ an Infamous Recent YouTube Video?

Deacon Charlie Perrin said...

This is a wise saying Tobias. However, it is also important to remember that one can never control what others may say; one can only control how one reacts to what is said.

This reflects the words of our Lord when he counseled us to do good to those who hurt us.

The pendulum has swung far to the position of over-sensitivity and in a sense, co-dependence, where now we must speak and feel solely on the basis of how some will react to it.

Our Faith is one of freedom and self-control. When it has been used to control others, it has led to some atrocious behavior.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

JCF, I think YouTube has the right to moderate things that appear on its site -- freedom of speech does not guarantee a platform!

However, I agree with Deacon Charlie that a light hand is needed when it comes to "controlling" others -- that is, not really controlling them, but rather not allowing them to make use of resources that are not theirs by right, such as YouTube. Let them create their own websites to display their anger and hate.

Charlie, the issue is the end to which freedom is used: and I concur that the only really effective control must come from within -- which is why I cite the mind and heart. The desire to control others is in fact the root of all evil, at least as Augustine put it...

Elsewhere I had written a short reflection on the fact that we cannot control what others say, but we can control how we react ourselves -- that is, I think, the ultimate message.

Brother David said...

Statesonians are brainwashed with some pretty rabid ideas about their right to freedom of speech from birth. They express often their right to say what they want without any moderation on all types of fora upon which I participate. Far different from those of us with other citizenship.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Indeed so, Bro David. The notion that there is no limit to freedom of speech is plainly false, even in the States, with laws governing slander and libel on the civil side, and sedition and incitement to riot on the criminal side. It is true that Usians are protected from overt federal regulation of speech (per the Constitution) but that freedom should be balanced by enhanced sense of responsibility, rather than reveling in irresponsible license!

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

And let me add that it is particularly troubling when people think that freedom of speech means entitlement to access to platforms belonging to others!

Turnip Ghost said...

Censorship is another, and very ugly, form of paternalism.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

T.G. that would seem to be so; as I said above, people can ignore or dismiss what offends them; but people should take responsibility for their speech or writing, especially public speech or writing.