It is simple: cite its benefits!
Well, duh. Everyone knows that’s how we should sell anything! But, I am writing this because some people don’t seem to have a clue.
If you are truly aware of the benefits, you would have used the slippery slope argument. If one speech is banned, how can we be so sure it won’t happen to the others?
Determining the wrongness of a speech is -believe it or not- prone to subjectivity. For reasonable people, incitement and sectarianism are divisive. For unreasonable people, exposing them is divisive; they believe exposure to societal imperfection weakens unity (dumb, I know).
Yes, an authoritarian government may be filled with reasonable people. But, can we guarantee the status quo stays forever? Can we guarantee it will never be taken over by idiots?
I also argue that banning even the most objectively harmful speeches harm us in the long run. Instead of addressing the issues and investigating the roots of them all, it chooses to sweep them under the rug.
That’s literally the case with Indonesia and Islamic extremism. The New Order regime had zero tolerance towards religious hate speeches. Now, look at us now: Islamic extremism is slowly and dangerously becoming more mainstream. We ignore the cancer for years and we pretend to be surprised by its malignant growth.
If you actually get the gist, defending freedom of speech would not be a rocket science for you. In fact, I am sure many of you can concoct much more sophisticated defences.
The so-called freedom warriors, however, seem to have their own so-called thinking.
For them, the right to spew hatred and lies is what makes freedom of speech beautiful. In fact, they even believe the likes of Alex Jones and Charlie Hebdo staff must be hailed as martyrs.
Are you fucking kidding me, you brainless fucks?
How the fuck is that supposed to convince anyone? How can anyone with functioning brains think that’s the best part of freedom of speech? It is akin to enticing someone to take a drug by proudly boasting its adverse reactions!
Not only you put people off, you actually aid governments in justifying their authoritarianism; they impose restrictions because they don’t want people like Alex Jones to thrive in the first place!
Despite its admittedly unpalatable pitfalls, I support freedom of speech because it won’t prosecute anyone simply for being different. I support it because it (theoretically) benefits every member of the society.
Those so-called freedom warriors support it because they are a flock of infantile, self-serving life forms who refuse to brave any repercussions of their actions. They support it because they only think for themselves and probably will always do.
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