here's the interesting thing to me: people who say things like "the effect of this type of speech is what worries me" don't seem to mention that they're part of the effect.well it's not so much interesting (because we know what "effect" they're talking about) as it is worth noting. are we really concerned with the effects of speech? or are we really just superstitious pussies who are afraid of some opinions possibly being more contagious than our own?
Right: and I'd rather see us enter the arena of contagious ideas, because I believe that if Freedom is sung to the rafters, it'll sound better than Sharia Law. Or as you might put it: it'll be more persuasive.And so I think with Emerson here, that sometimes Freedom takes a funny turn of expression--maybe even like burning a Koran: "The doctrine of hatred must be preached from time to time when the doctrine of love pules and whines."Oh, but wait: maybe that's what the extremist Muslims thought they were doing? Hmmm...
the time we spend drawing a line (somewhat arbitrarily) between "safe" speech and "hate" speech, would be better spent reminding ourselves that the reason we believe in free speech is because it's actually harmless.the minute we stop believing that speech is harmless, we admit we don't believe in that freedom.if this is to apply when we start talking about "kinds" of harm, then to defend free speech we have to admit that it can only do a "kind" harm that we are willing to choose not to inflict, but from which we demand that we not be protected.demand.
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