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Caricatures AGAIN Was it really free speech?

  1. Feb 10, 2006 #1
    Hi!

    Firstly, @Moonbear...hope this thread is okay. U did lock the last one but this interesting peice of news just popped up throwing a bit of a spanner in the works when it comes to free speech and what and what is not suppose to be allowed. I don't mind you closing this if it is a problem...

    http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1703500,00.html

    It appears that the Danish paper that published the 'toons first turned down cartoons depicting Jesus...

    Uh...:confused: According to the article, the Mohammed cartoons were commisionned but the Jesus cartoons weren't hence they were not published. But...they both had religious figures depicted. Hence, if you are to publish one, u should publish the other as well.

    I know sumthing just ain't rite here but...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2006 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Well, it is generally accepted that freedom of speech means that the government will not censor you. If a newspaper decided not to print something vs. deciding to print something else, it is not a freedom of speech issue because the newspaper's rights trump the publishers rights. One cannot force a newspaper to publish something especially since there are economic impacts to be considered for the newspaper.
     
  4. Feb 10, 2006 #3
    Hahahaha! Or the entire country!
     
  5. Feb 10, 2006 #4

    Pengwuino

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    haah i didn't mean it in that way but yah, gotta watch out for when what you publish might just bring down entire national economies :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  6. Feb 10, 2006 #5

    vanesch

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    There's no *obligation* of speaking, in free speech. You are free to say what you want, and don't say what you don't want to say. As such, you have the liberty of biasing what you say, in order to push your agenda.
    "Freedom of speech" is not the same as swearing that you will "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", but it means exactly what the word says: you are free to talk, or not, and to say what you want.
    On the other hand, as all free acts, free speech engages the responsability of the speaker.

    So if what you post is true (that they denied the publication of the Jesus pictures) well that's then just an indication that they are biased in their publication, and that they have a certain agenda. But that's not forbidden. For instance, a democrat newspaper in the US might publish cartoons of Bush, but refuse to publish cartoons of Clinton. It's their good right. As such, they expose themselves of course as being partisan, but that's not illegal.
     
  7. Feb 10, 2006 #6
    Jesus has been drawn ever so often, and not always in a way that Christians find humors. There is, however a general tendency for such drawings being posted at the backside of the newspapers – a page that is supposed to more lighthearted and not so serious. That is different from the Muhammad drawings.
    The newspapers cultural editor have apparently said to CNN that it would post anti-Semitic and drawings of the holocaust after Iran made a contest of such drawings. The chief editor later said there was to be no such drawings.
    I am sure if you ask Christians here in Denmark they can name many cartoons that they found offensive. I cannot :-)

    There has also been an incident where a Danish supermarket sold sandals with Jesus on (a portrait of Jesus on the part of the sandal where you put your feet), and that were pulled back because of (some) Christians criticizing them. I say some because at the time I dated a somewhat conservative Catholic woman and she would have loved to have such shoes.
     
  8. Feb 10, 2006 #7

    BobG

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    In the case of newspapers, whether they are offensive cartoons about Muslims for the sole purpose of proving they are not intimidated, cartoons debasing Jews, Christians, blacks, or some other race, publishing them categorizes the newspaper as a trash publication and the issue should probably be left there. Serious publications, such as the Washington Post, Time Magazine, or even the local newspapers, tend to avoid those types of cartoons or articles.

    Other exercises of free speech are a little more iffy.

    In the 90's, Fred Phelps' fundamentalist church used to travel around the country staging protests at the funerals of AIDS victims with protestors holding signs such as "God hates fags". Evidently, that doesn't get them quite enough publicity. Now they stage protests at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq holding signs such as "Thank God for IEDs". They also protested at a memorial for the Sago miners. Their point, apparently, is that the soldiers' and miners' deaths are God's punishment for the nation tolerating gays. Now, several states are passing bills restricting protests at funerals, in spite of the likelihood of the bills being struck down as unconstitutional.(Funeral bills are passed; Wis. legislators send funeral-protest bill to governor ) By the way, even the US isn't able to avoid some violent reactions to "free speech" - His church was bombed and now he protests funerals of the war dead

    Protests at abortion clinics have drawn the same controversies - at what point does "freedom of speech" cross the line and become harrassment?
     
  9. Feb 10, 2006 #8
    I read an article like that Triss; an Iranian paper is having a competition for cartoons depiing Jesus or the holocaust in the same vein as the Mohammud cartoon.
     
  10. Feb 10, 2006 #9
    Not if you want your message(s) to be consistent. Using this reasoning one might say: someone who shows something in favour of Islam should show something against it as well. It makes little sense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  11. Feb 10, 2006 #10

    russ_watters

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    I read that too. And the stated point was to see if we react in the same way they do, in order to show that we hold a double-standard. They are calling our bluff and they don't have a clue that we hold all the cards! :rofl:
     
  12. Feb 10, 2006 #11

    russ_watters

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    Maye this should be a topic for another thread, but I was wondering if people advocating the banning of such cartoons could explain how such a ban would legally/philosophically fit with freedom of speech.
     
  13. Feb 10, 2006 #12
    I think that is a good question. Everybody can think what they will about the drawings, but an actual ban is not possible (constitutional rights). They can however be deemed illegal by a court. The reasoning why this current case have not been accepted for such a trial is properly tradition and is accounted for at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons#Danish_journalistic_tradition -- our so called blasphemy paragraph have not been enforced since 1938 (!) and last tested in 1992. OK, this was not an answer to the question, but then again I am not the one that should answer it.
     
  14. Feb 10, 2006 #13

    Astronuc

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    Or freedom of the press, as the case may be. Freedom of the press simply means one is free to publish one's opinions, beliefs, thoughts, etc without punishment by other members of society or the government, just as with free speech, where one is free to express verbally (usually in a public forum), one's opinions, beliefs, thoughts, etc without punitive repercussions.

    Freedom of the press has been extended to allow media companies to publish just about anything, or so it seems, whether it is factual or not. :grumpy:

    Libel (written) and slander (verbal) are not protected by freedom of press or speech.
     
  15. Feb 10, 2006 #14

    russ_watters

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    Interesting - the link says that prosecutors determined the cartoons would not have violated the blasphemy clause anyway, but it is interesting that such a clause exists in Denmark. In the US, nothing is sacred (pun intended).
     
  16. Feb 10, 2006 #15

    russ_watters

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    Yes, I see freedom of speech and the press as just different manifestations of the same thing. It is practically redundant.
    I don't think that's an extension of the freedom either philosophically or practically. Tabloids have been around as long as regular newspapers.
    Yes, and it is important to define what those are: they are speech that inflicts damage to a person's reputation. I suppose one could argue that since Mohammad was a real person, the cartoons constitute libel, but when the victim has been dead for a milenia, it is tough to show real harm.
     
  17. Feb 10, 2006 #16

    Art

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    Legally you can't libel the dead. Even if a case is in progress if the complainant dies the case dies too.
     
  18. Feb 10, 2006 #17

    Art

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    Here's the latest on the newspaper that started the furore;
     
  19. Feb 10, 2006 #18

    Pengwuino

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    I think it's fairly obvious to everyone that such a ban is incompatible with freedom of speech. The thinking is pretty much along the lines of the funeral protests. It really is their right to do such things but you have that blurry line of when does it come to a point where some things just shouldn't be allowed to take place. I would like to see a few things banned such as that funeral crap... but it's most likely, in my opinion, better to just allow anything to go since if you start banning one thing, whos to say where the line is drawn? It is a real slippery slope situation. The more things you really ban/make a crime, the more people start simply accepting that such things just naturally can't be said. For example, the idea of a "hate crime" sounds completely unconstitutional to me. Tacking on extra time (i suspect this is what happens in a crime vs. a hate crime) simply because of someones opinion sounds very unconstitutional but everyoen does readily accept that it is natural.

    I disagree here. Freedom of speech does not protect you from punishment from the general public. If a store puts up a sign depicting hitler as some sort of god, that is their right and if the public decides to punish the store by refusing to shop there or staging protests (non-violent of course), the store shouldn't expect any help under the guise of protection from freedom of speech.
     
  20. Feb 10, 2006 #19

    Pengwuino

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    One of the problems is, though, at least in America, that i believe you can file a complaint on the behalf of someone else. I'm not really sure if this applies here... but i do know you can file without the actual "target" being around
     
  21. Feb 10, 2006 #20
    Peaceful choices made by the general public in response to something you say are beyond the control of the law. If your marketing approach stinks then of course you will lose customers. But this has little to do with freedom of expression.
     
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