Is there a universal right to free speech?

Comments (2)

Automated machine translations are provided by Google Translate. They should give you a rough idea of what the contributor has said, but cannot be relied on to give an accurate, nuanced translation. Please read them with this in mind.

  1. Anybody who values true freedom should support the idea the freedom of speech should be a universal right. Hate speech laws are not only oppressive and arbitrary, but they do not achieve the sorts of things that they are intended to. Racism and bigotry of all kinds are not going to vanish simply because there are consequences for saying racist or bigoted things.

    Countries that impose hate speech laws only achieve unnecessary oppression of their citizens. If all countries had their freedom of speech protected like the United States does, there would be much less unnecessary conflict and unethical intrusion into people’s lives.

    To help keep racism and bigotry down to the lowest levels possible, we must look at how we can change culture to ensure racist and bigoted views have social consequences, such a public shame. Most people desire a sense of belonging more than they desire to express racist and bigoted viewpoints. Let’s use this form of punishment, so that we can limit the power of governments to punish people for saying things that they arbitrarily define as hate speech.

  2. This is a very pertinent question. I just wrote a short article on this subject that enriches the discussion by highlighting new angles that are crucial and usually left out and that may help to keep the discussion going. The link to the article is:

Leave a comment in any language


Swipe left to browse all of the highlights.

Free Speech Debate is a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford.

The University of Oxford