Free Speech – A right or a liability on the society

A very interesting article that prompted me to write this. The author Matthew O’Connell asks people their understanding of free speech and I quote

1. Do you think free speech is important? Why?
2. Should free speech ever be limited? Why?
3. Is it right to punish people for the things they say? Who should punish them?
4. Does free speech allow us to offend people? Why? Why not? Are there exceptions?

The responses were overwhelmingly uniform across age groups: 80 to 90% of students in the courses I teach gave almost identical answers. Question number one received a resounding yes. Number two received an almost resounding no with just one born-again Christian saying yes. Number three received a resounding no. When it came to number four, in spite of the obvious contradictions; it received an almost resounding no too.

Do read the full article.

So is Right Speech akin to Free Speech?

Another interesting read here that argues what right speech really is and what did Buddha mean by Right Speech. Is it a right, liability or just the way it should be

What would happen if all of us started using this freedom without understanding right speech. Imagine the modern society without law where people get so angry they would kill for the smallest of altercation, forget food and survival.

As Buddhists, inculcating equanimity and tolerance should be what we strive to do when we face what upsets us. That applies to the lese majeste issue. It is understandable that when our deep reverence… 

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