Free Speech

11 Jan ’15 :Todays Q: Free Speech?

Regarding the “issue” at the heart of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo – is it possible to moderate and curtail free speech and at the same time uphold that right ? Who’s to say ? It’s totally subjective. “It’s easy to stand up for freedom of expression when we agree with the view point being depicted . . .”. I would tend to agree with Salman Rushdie that terrorist activities are “the deadly mutation in the heart of Islam”.
It is true that Charlie Hebdo was unapologetically the way they were.
What are your thoughts subsequent to the events in France ?
I can’t help but wonder what our beloved Mikey Dineen would have had to say about all this. . .

Freedom is such an interesting idea.

Freedom of action does not mean freedom from consequence.

Yes we are free to say or do anything, and if we say or do something that damages another there may be consequences.

For me, it seems logical that if one is interested in long term self preservation, then the greatest probability is given by adopting an attitude of universal cooperation, with a primary values hierarchy of two:

Life; &


With all other values of ecological sustainability, tolerance, etc derived from these.

So people are free to say whatever they will, and all actions in reality have consequences. If the consequences of something one says have a negative impact on the life or liberty of another, expect some sort of retaliatory response.

This does not apply to emotional states. What someone believes is their issue, if someone is offended that is their problem – it is their interpretation of events. And if someone is seriously cooperative, they will take reasonable (though not unreasonable) efforts to avoid upsetting others. And it is possible to remain calm in any circumstance – upset is a result of our internal interpretations.

In the paradigm I use, the terms right and wrong have no real meaning most of the time. Most actions have multiple consequences in multiple domains over time – and so deliver complex topologies rather than simple right/wrongs. Most objectives are reachable by multiple paths through space-time, with minimal variation in costs.

We all need to start from simple binaries, and going beyond them into infinities is advisable as soon as possible.

We all need to start from simplistic ideas of truth, and evolving to understandings built on uncertainty and probability offers a radically different and more tolerant set of paradigms than anything built directly on the distinction of “truth”.

Truth occurs to me as a childish illusion. Uncertainty is one of the few certain things in our understanding of anything.

So to me, the magazine was deliberatively provocative, and there is no excuse for killing anyone because their ideas are different from yours – though governments everywhere continue to incite their populations to do precisely that and call it patriotism. Very Strange! Mind control at its worst. Cooperative tendencies subjugated to greed.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Question of the Day and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s