THE MOST MEANINGFUL FREEDOM
Freedom of speech is the key element of the real democracies. Freedom of speech is also concerned to the idea that people can speak freely without being stopped, or censored. Freedom of speech is briefly hallmark of democracy because democracy is based on independent thoughts of people. In a democratic society people are allowed to express their views freely and peacefully. There will be no democracy if freedom of speech isn't granted to people. Where there is freedom of speech, new ideas and thoughts are made available by the members of the society through free dialogues, discussions and debates. Thus, the right of freedom of speech is a necessary condition for creating a healthy and democratic society in which, people inhabiting a particular country. On the other hand freedom of speech cannot exist under the monopoly. Therefore freedom of speech should be equally and fairly granted to everyone without any privileges from the poor to the wealthier who are living within a society. As introduced in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ first Article (1948), “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” However people do not live the same life standards, religions or other similar reasons. Therefore they may feel antagonism and antipathy towards other different ones and their understanding of freedom might bring offensive, insulting or sometimes harming problems. I believe that offensive or insulting speeches may also cause some psychological harm but the degree or the type of these speeches might be depended on individuals and any authority should not have the right what type of speeches might be offensive or a hate speech. Furthermore the best way that I find more efficient than censorships is only to prevent other individuals from physical harms. Therefore I find J. S. Mill’s Harm Principle more logical approach in order to establish a democratic society. Although I think that we cannot decide on what is offensive or not for people, I believe that people should have respect towards other different ones as a guideline for the universal ethical procedure so I do not agree with Mr. Spencer (2006) who states “Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom to annoy, to ridicule and to offend. If it doesn’t, it is meaningless.”
Mill (1978) suggests that we need some rules of conduct to regulate the actions of members of a political community and he names his approach as “one very simple principle” that is usually referred to the “Harm Principle.” I believe that classifying the speeches due to the harms that cause, will be a logical approach in order to limit some individuals and communities. Thus a welfare atmosphere will be easily established within a society where individuals will be still free in expressing themselves. They will talk, criticize and modify the existing ideas or they will be able to contribute their societies by creating new opinions that will aid to beat the dogmatic approaches. In this case my opinion is that the governments should be in charge of limiting some freedom in order to prevent other from the physical harms. As Mill (1978) states “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” For example people should not have the freedom to rape the ones whom they like or they should not kill whom they would. Otherwise they may have some offensive or insulting speeches towards the ones whom they do not like. Although I disagree with the existence of this kind of offensive or hate speeches; it will be an empty dream in which we can isolate all of them because it depends on people who should respect towards others. I also support the fact that limits should be also limited in order to prevent the dangers of the “slippery slope” mentioning that limiting speech might be inevitable slide into censorship and tyranny. Therefore it is...
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