01生命线

无分国界,我们所有人都应该有自由、有能力发表意见,并且寻求、接受和传播各种信息和思想。

为什么需要发表意见的自由?

关于这个问题的论述可谓汗牛充栋,以下是四个重要的论据:

  1. “人的自我实现”:言论和抽象思维的能力是区分人类和其他动物的标志。如果不能表达自己的想法和感受,就无法充分实现人类个体的本性。
  2. “真理”:只有了解了相关的事实、看法和论据,我们才有可能获得真理。即使是错误的信息,往往也包含着些许真理,或者能够促使我们在反驳的过程中更加辨明自己的立场(参见“原则三”)。
  3. “良好的政治”:如果我们不能了解并自由地讨论社会中的各种观点和政策选择,就无法实现良好的自我治理,更不能有效地控制政府行为(参见“原则四”)。
  4. “承认差异”:我们生活在一个人与人之间的关系更加紧密的世界中。在现实中,人们生存在同一片土地上,而在虚拟世界中,人们通过互联网和移动通信设备相互联系。因此我们需要了解周围的人与自己有怎样的差异以及这种差异之所以重要的原因。开诚布公地讨论人与人之间的这种差异,而不是互相争斗,是我们学习如何在多元化的世界中生活的最佳途径(参见“原则”)。

“第十九条”——一条(不那么)普适的标准

“原则一”以“我们”为主语,可以算是1948年《世界人权宣言》第十九条的简略版本。1966年的《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》(以下简称《公约》)第十九条对此有进一步阐释,同时列举了在某些情况下可以限制自由表达的法理依据。详细内容请参见联合国人权理事会对《公约》第十九条的权威解读

世界上大部分国家都是上述公约的缔约国,尽管有时会附加一些自己的保留细则。中国签署了《公约》,但尚未由人大批准。沙特阿拉伯和缅甸则一直未成为缔约国。读者可以阅读我们对此所做的分析。

理论上讲,《公约》在缔约国签署和批准后即对其具有法律约束力。但实际上,没有哪个国家能够时时履行这项庄严的承诺,很多国家甚至经常违反它。但我们这条“原则一”也意味着我们有权利问责政府为什么要违反它。

对于《公民权利和政治权利国际公约任择议定书》(以下简称《任择议定书》,它是上述《公约》的附加条款,《公约》缔约国可以自由选择是否签署这一议定书)114个缔约国的公民来说,“原则一”为他们提供了一条正式的问责渠道,即可以直接向联合国人权委员会申诉该国政府违反了《公约》第十九条。值得注意的是,美国和英国都不是《任择议定书》的缔约国。

《欧洲人权公约》第十条也有类似《公约》第十九条的条款。欧洲委员会47个成员国的公民如果遇到言论自由被剥夺的情况,可以向位于斯特拉斯堡的欧洲人权法院提出起诉。即便是言论自由状况比较糟糕的欧洲国家,其政府也往往会为了避免斯特拉斯堡法院判决带来的尴尬而做出让步。北美洲和南美洲也有类似的法院,但其影响力要小得多;其他大洲则没有类似的机构。

除此之外,还有四位针对不同地域的国际特别报告员。现任的官员分别是:联合国增进和保护见解和言论自由权问题特别报告员弗兰克·拉卢(Frank La Rue)、美洲国家组织言论自由问题特别报告员卡特琳娜·博特罗(Catalina Botero)、欧洲安全与合作组织新闻自由代表冬娅•米亚托维奇(Dunja Mijatović)以及非洲人权和人民权利委员会言论自由和信息公开特别报告员潘西·徐拉库拉(Pansy Tlakula)。

不仅有自由而且有能力

我们在上述这些宣言外还增加了一个重要的词语:有能力。理论上的言论自由固然好,但是如果你周围那些黩武的黑帮、秘密警察、伊斯兰武装或者贩毒团伙因此就要把你干掉,那么你的自由就仅仅是理论上的自由。没有互联网(为所有人争取网络接入是蒂姆•伯纳斯-李(Tim Berners-Lee)和他的万维网联盟的一大目标,参见“原则九”),媒体就会被少数寡头或财团把持(参见“原则四”),人们就无法获取足够信息,或者是因为缺乏教育以至与无法消化这些信息,从而无法清楚地表达自己的看法,这些都会限制言论自由的实现。

换句话说,言论自由的实现与法律和能力是息息相关的,这一点在我们的各条原则中都有体现。切实的言论自由必须是法定的而且是可实现的。困难在于要搞清楚,怎样才能使人们有能力接受并传播信息与思想,而不仅仅是只具备理论上的自由。更困难的当然是要真正地实现这种能力。

什么是“言论”或“意见”?

“言论自由大讨论”是一个统称。“言论”或“意见”指的是各种形式的表达:文字、图片、歌曲、影像、旗帜(包括焚烧旗帜)以及像头巾、徽章这样的服饰和戏剧表演、宗教仪式、宗教符号、绝食请愿、游行示威等。“言论自由”还包括有权通过拒绝发表意见来表达自己的意见。例如美国的耶和华见证人教派就拒绝向国家效忠宣誓,理由是这样做违反了他们的教义。

使用自己的语言……

自由表达也意味着能够使用自己的语言。一个国家、组织或企业可以适当地要求其公民、会员或雇员在一定情况下学习并使用一种共同语言,甚至可以像加拿大那样有两种官方语言,但是不可以强迫一个人不使用自己的母语,也不可以在没有充分理由的情况下限制使用视觉语言、对特定群体具有重要含义的符号以及服饰类型(参见关于“服饰禁忌”的案例)。这样做违背了表达自由的基本原则。如果你知道其他有意思的案例,请在这里列出。

如果我不想接受你要传播的信息呢?

这条原则里有三个关键词:自由和有能力、接受和传播、信息和思想。我们已经讨论了“自由和有能力”——二者的区别在于法定权利和实际能力。“接受和传播”也有重要的区别。无论是作为演讲者、作家、博主、画家、示威者还是表演者,人们都有传播信息的自由,也有作为读者、听众、网民、电视观众或者现场观众接受或拒绝接受信息的自由。这两者之间有时存在矛盾。比如我可能想传播给你一些你不愿意接受的东西。

这两类人都应该尽量享有选择的自由。比如说在这个网站上有一些我们认为很重要,但有些人很不乐意看到的内容,这时我们会让你选择点击或者不点击。如果想看维基百科中关于先知穆罕默德漫画的页面,请点击这里。这组漫画在丹麦的《日德兰邮报》上发表时引起了很大的争议,随后通过互联网传遍全球。但如果它冒犯了你的宗教感情,你也可以选择不点击(另见“原则六”),看不看完全取决于你。

然而这里有不少棘手的问题。维基百科本身就在开发一个图片过滤器,使成年用户(或者儿童的家长)能够屏蔽某些类型的图片。大部分媒体是不是应该不让我们看到有关战争和酷刑的图片呢?还是说我们不应该避讳,因为只有充分了解那种恐怖才能促使我们防范它再度发生?还有那些走路上班时无法避开的巨型广告牌,或者在你就读的公立学校教室里悬挂的宗教标志,我们又该如何对待呢?

信息的重要性

本条原则和“第十九条”都强调“信息和思想”。二者虽不是泾渭分明的,但也有所区别。信息包括关于自然界和人类世界的事实以及政府、企业、教会和个人常常希望保密的信息(参见“原则三”、“原则七”和“原则八”)。信息自由和言论自由并不完全等同,但二者密切相关。联合国人权理事会对“第十九条”的权威解读指出,信息自由“包含对公共机构信息的获取权”。但这具体是什么意思呢?

《德国宪法》规定,人们有“从可普遍获得的信息源”获取信息的自由。那么那些无法普遍获得的信息源呢?如果国家领导人说:“我们的情报机关获悉敌人拥有随时可以使用的大规模杀伤性武器”,但又不允许我们知道那些情报具体是什么,我们如何才能有效地质疑政府开战的宣传呢?信息的不对称也是权力的不对称。

无分国界!

最后很重要的一点是, “第十九条”阐明了言论自由是无分国界的。大多数国际人权协定都有如下条款:我国政府郑重承诺,尊重我国国民(或居民)在我国国界内的某某权力。但“第十九条”说的是:“我们允许思想和信息既能在国界内传播,又能跨越国界传播!”在1948年提出这样的说法是难能可贵的。那时,国际广播尚在萌芽中,互联网的概念更是宛如科幻。今天,如果有政府要阻止信息和思想跨越国界,就得动用极端手段了。而很多政府确实正在这样做。


评论 (11)

读者须知:自动翻译由Google翻译提供,虽然可以反映作者大意,但不一定能提供精准的译意。

  1. I’m a little confused by the website, I wanted to start a discussion – but I’ll add to this instead.
    I don’t agree with the principle. I’m a bit surprised that anyone does! here in the UK I have a wide range of legal and social bans on what I can say. These bans are quite widely accepted and the free speech debate is to some extent a tool to criticise the values held by other non-western societies. Let me give some examples:
    1) Should I be free to publish information about a defendant on trial?
    2) Should I be free to name a rape victim? comment on his or her behaviour? while the case is in court?
    3) Can I publish research results on skin colour variation between races? [yes] Can I do the same about conginitive attributes? – not if I want a job in a UK or US University?
    4) Can I question the roles of men and women in modern society? And still be allowed conduct job interviews as part of my job?
    6) Can I talk openly about my religious views and evangelise?
    I’m not talking about National security issues, but that we have other widely accepted, largely unchallenged laws and social rules which threaten the careers, livliehood and freedom of transgressors. I don’t think India or Arab states have more rules, just different ones.
    In many cases the rules are well-meant and intended to support justice or promote admirable changes to society. But make no mistake, they stop free expression and publication of some information.

  2. “Join us, wherever you are, for a global conversation. Read and criticise our 10 draft principles. Explore controversial examples. Hear the thoughts of others. Have your say…”

    An interesting initiative. Yet prior to embarking upon any endeavour, might it not prove prudent to precisely categorise the intention underlying the quest? As well as identifying what is, and what can be done to overcome, the greatest impediment to securing that desired accomplishment?
    In this case, is discussion the goal? Or is this merely a device, deployed toward attainment of an inestimably higher value outcome? Resolution of these queries, necessitates use of questions specifically designed to identify some fundamental requirement universal to us all. That effort then applied, coalesces as a single vector. Plus, exposure of an obvious but un-addressed flaw in our physiological construction. Which has, until now, frustrated major advancement for our kind.

    Q1. What is such a crusade intended to achieve?
    Potentially, there are as many responses to that conundrum as there are individuals to contrive them. Yet not one of those explanations, being wholly dependant or entirely reliant on the presence of humanity, can manifest without the existence of humanity. So, might ensuring the continuation of the species constitute the common purpose pursued?

    Q2. What prevents a realisation of the above?
    To function effectively in reality, human appreciations have to accommodate every aspect of existence they encounter. Else-wise, conflict will ensue from that plethora of disparate ‘understandings’ arrived at through selective appraisal. This inherent constructional defect is unfortunately not correctable. But what if, once registered in collective consciousness, it could be compensated for?

    Free Speech Disclaimer Prefacing All Principles Of Debate.
    I, in common with all other humans (evidence for concept available on application), am not ‘plugged’ directly into reality. But rather into an ‘interpreter’ interface, whose subjective output may be genuinely mistaken for said objective experience. Consequently, what follows is but a rendition of reality together with its associated workings. Additionally, given acknowledgement of the primary principle, debate is intended to ensure that those conditions conducive to species survival are maintained. Such that an inclination to suppress open discussion, as opposed to personally forswearing involvement in it, shall signify the presence of a closed ‘comprehension’. One that will not withstand comparative testing. Being likely to unnecessarily imperil species continuance, and by extension its own possessor’s longevity. (No humans, no debatable notional constructs, invented ideologies, pseudo philosophies, or any other homo sapien-powered activity).

    There are as many ways to explain a view as there are minds to interpret it. If any particular explanatory format cannot be assimilated, it is by no means the fault of an audience. All onus rests with the presenter. Who will and must, when requested, rework their mentation from as many differing perspectives as may prove necessary to achieve comprehension and reaffirmation. Truth alone is resilient to interminable debate. Which offers a clue as to why untruth is so desperate to avoid it.

    Example:
    “Professor states that democracy “always needs debate” and that the debate “plays its role” better if there are less limitations of free speech.”
    An opportunity once presented itself to ask a politician, if he considered it vital for someone in his position to possess a firm grasp of reality. He replied in the affirmative. The next query concerned whether he believed in democracy. His response confirmed that he did. When questioned as to what democracy was, he stated fairness. This prompted pointing out that a dictionary defines democracy as, “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Or policy selection via majority mandate. So was expressing belief in something when one didn’t know what that something was, evidence of a firm grasp of reality? Sadly he was unable to spare time to even make an excuse, before fleeing.

    Al.

  3. Adding ‘and able’ is a serious error. It opens the door to State intervention in the name of promoting freedom of expression which, as night follows day, will end up restricting it. No state willingly expends resources on promoting free speech without trying to stipulate the kinds of speech that its resources can be used for.

    Just listen to the politicians who insist that the right of free speech must be exercised responsibly. A fundamental right of free speech that protects only ‘responsible’ speech protects nothing worth having. Once those politicians are expending state funds to provide our internet connections the rest is inevitable.

    Please stick to the 1948 wording. For the internet, it cannot be bettered.

  4. ¿Cómo podemos cambiar el instinto de nuestro genoma?
    ¿Por qué la condición humana está tan lejos de la declaración de derechos humanos?

  5. I totally agree with this statement, I believe that every person should be able to express their self, I believe that every person has a purpose in life, if you look around you everything has a purpose, the trees have a purpose, the birds have a purpose, all the animals have a purpose, so human beings surely have a purpose, and the wise man is he who finds his or her life’s purpose. Human Beings have two ears, and a tongue, to hear as twice as you speak is a good thing, this helps you learn more in order to interact properly. Without communication nothing would happen, so people must communicate and be able to express their selves freely

  6. Yes, we’re all humans, we make up the basic unit of society and therefore in order for society to be free, each individual within the society must also be allowed to be free.

  7. 您的评论正在等待审核。

    The idea of freedom as a right is quite strange because the concept of a right in itself is a myth. A right is simply a metaphysical idea that doesn’t protect one against anything. Of everything that happens there is only what comes to pass. If someone is arrested for assault it is not the right of the victim that is protected but simply the will of the government to punish. Should we have freedom? It would be nice but not our right.

  8. I’ve read recently an interview given by Professor Timothy Garton Ash for Polish magazine “Polityka” – titled “Dangerous Speech” but devoted to wider spectrum of free-speech-debate matters. Among other interesting statements, with majority of which I agree, Professor states that democracy “always needs debate” and that the debate “plays its role” better if there are less limitations of free speech. But what is this role to play – that is my question. Debate is considered a key attribute of democracy, but maybe sometimes is treated as democracy’s Sacred Cow. Is it really enough if only debate exists and continues in free and civilized manner? I’m skeptical about this. If debate hasn’t any other aim than exchange of thinking, one can expect its running wild and becoming useless (another danger for participants: GBS stated that in an exchange of thinking transaction he usually was the loser). I think that the most important factor essential for democracy as a system of majority rules, making debate sound, is a debate final aim: taking a decision by ballot, just by debating body. There is an opinion that natural extension – or rather 2.0 Variant – of the first watchword of modern democracy “no taxation without representation” is the formula “no obeying a decision without to vote on it” that can be fulfilled via Internet. I agree with this opinion, and I’m convinced that in this century cybernetic assisted direct democracy, with truly fruitful debates, will become real. More arguments in my article “Cyberdemocracy as a future product of political systems engineering” http://www.sapub.org/journal/search.aspx?doi=10.5923/j.fs.20110101.02.
    Andrzej Kaczmarczyk
    Institute of Mathematical Machines, Warsaw, Poland

  9. I highly agree with this principle, and I understand how the others branch of from this one. Therefore, it is a vital one to discuss and gain a better understanding about. Personal opinions and ideas is what shapes each person as an individual and without these the world would be an extremely uniform and monotonous place. Therefore it is crucial to be able to express and communicate these ideas, even when others do not agree. Of course I admit that this is unfortunately not always the case. But as stated, we need to have the power to be able to express as well as the will. This begins by appreciating what others have to say and at the same time having the ability to accept that your own opinion is just as good as any.

  10. Thanks for this brilliant introduction to the topic. I especially appreciate to stress the signifier ‘able’ in the principle as I think that the question of power even far outweighs (!) the question of law.

  11. Hi everyone, I’m the first who comments in this section. On the one hand, I do not understand how such a site is deserted by all who have the desire to communicate and share their thoughts with anyone, freely, but soon after, I realize that everything the web has fallen upon us with a so quickly that we do not have a clear vision of what the web, or what is the chance to express themselves freely. Freedom from whom? The concept of freedom is so far away that it is difficult and self-talk. Personally, I hope for a worldwide deployment of this platform to be, regardless of whether they agree on one or more themes.
    Thanks for the idea and the opportunity.

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“言论自由大讨论”是牛津大学圣安东尼学院达伦多夫自由研究计划下属的学术项目。

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