I've seen so many groups get all upset over different issues ranging from the Occupy Wall Street movement to anti-war protesters to Creationist propaganda. I also see from time to time the hate spewed by the Westboro Baptist Church and I cringe each time. I've seen people accuse and believe political propaganda and spout off repeated twists of the truth to serve their own agenda knowing its a lie. I've seen people con others into scams, political ideology and all around social nonsense. But at the end of the day, freedom of speech is critical to the survival of humanity.
First Amendment of the United States Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Yes, there it is, in all it's glory and why it is so important to all of us.
The philosophy of the first amendment was stated by former supreme court justice William Douglas the best.
"The first amendment was a new and bold experiment, it stakes everything on unlimited public discussion. It shows conflicting values selecting the freedom to talk, to argue, and to advocate as a prefered right. Freedom of expression is the weapon of the minority to win over the majority or to temper the policies of those in power. There are three main areas in which this conflict is particularly significant today. The first is where speech inflects injury on individuals. The second, closely related to history is where speech endangers law and order or even the security of government itself. And the last area is that where speech is thought to undermine community morality."
I openly rally against religion, and the nonsense they perpetrate on the unsuspected masses that follow their religion. It to me is a psychological flaw in pattern seeking that allows humans to believe in nonsense like religion. I find the idea that faith is true because somebody says it is, a disgusting act. Where else do we accept somebody's work on something as truth? I'd love nothing more than to liberate every single religious person from their bonds of the supernatural, superstitious, bronze age nonsense. But it must be done while all along maintaining freedom of speech. I will not silence those who disagree with me, nor will I advocate for laws silencing anyone for any reason. Hate speech is still free speech. If you advocate for the limitation of free speech, then you are advocating for a select group of people to choose what is or isn't hate speech and vice versa. That is a dangerous path to go down and only serves to silence dissonance. Maybe one day you might be among those who are trying to voice dissonance in the public debate, would you want to be silenced? I wouldn't, so I cannot advocate the silencing of anyone else.
If you have a better argument, or can show me or any other person their position is wrong or incorrect or is better served by an alternate position, then do so within the realm of free speech. If one has to argue and uses the term "hate speech", then the argument is over and nobody wins. Anyone claiming to want to silence "hate speech" is, in my opinion seeking to silence anyone who dissents from their beliefs. It's easier to make the accusation of "hate speech" then it is to argue why the other person's position is wrong. That to me is the most intellectually laziest position I can think of. I could very easily claim the vile content of the creationists is full of hate speech, ignore any argument and rally to have them silenced. But if I can do that so easily, then who's to say I too can be silenced when somebody feels the same way about me and what I say.
I believe in total and absolute free speech. I'm a big boy, and I thing everyone needs to grow up and realize we're all adults on this planet and a bit of disagreement is how societies keep one group from taking absolute power. I believe everyone has the right to say what they want and even if I 100% disagree with it, I will defend a person's right to say it. Debates and arguments serve humanity, it's critical in problem solving and peer review, silencing such debates is like ignoring the advancements of science in favor of never hearing dissent even if it means the end of humanity.
Next time you decide to claim some group promotes hate speech and should be silenced, remember you cannot claim something is hate speech without using the word hate.