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Millennials’ low commitment to intellectual freedom

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According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of millennials believe it would be appropriate for the government to restrict speech that offends minority groups. This mindset is manifesting itself on college campuses across the country, from the disinvitation of controversial speakers to top comedians refusing to perform at universities.

What you’ve never had, you don’t miss. Strange, it should happen in the home of the First Amendment to the Constitution. (“Congress shall make no law respecting”)

See also: Nicholas Kristof: More self-deceptive blather on academic freedom

and

Dawkins: Social justice warriors are dim, just dim … (And our future ruling class.)

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7 Replies to “Millennials’ low commitment to intellectual freedom

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Grim, sobering news.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    The De Paul incident shows, frankly, incipient fascism. Driven by obvious might and manipulation make right nihilism. KF

  3. 3
    clown fish says:

    I don’t believe in unlimited free speech. For example, I would oppose a speech from someone proposing the incarceration of all Jews. But, other than those advocating for harm to others, let them talk.

    What is interesting is not administration acting as the censor. This is not new. But, more interesting is the more recent incidents of students protesting speeches by controversial individuals. I don’t know where I stand on this. Protests are themselves an expression of free speech, so we shouldn’t be stopping them. But when they have the affect of preventing someone else’s free speech, who’s free speech takes priority?

  4. 4
    EDTA says:

    But when they have the affect of preventing someone else’s free speech, who’s free speech takes priority?

    This is the test, isn’t it? If we contain ourselves and let each party speak in turn or in their own venue, then there’s hope. If the stronger/more established side wins and shuts the other side down, then it’s over…

  5. 5
    clown fish says:

    EDTA: “This is the test, isn’t it? If we contain ourselves and let each party speak in turn or in their own venue, then there’s hope. If the stronger/more established side wins and shuts the other side down, then it’s over”

    This is an example that we can all agree on. The protesters should be allowed to protest as much as they like outside the hall, but not inside. Everybody wins.

    But what do you think about a situation, a very real one, where a valedictorian student was prevented from giving the valedictory address, which has been tradition for many decades, simply because the school and it’s lawyer were afraid that he would use the occasion to announce that he was gay? This actually occurred. Was this a violation of free speech?

  6. 6
    john_a_designer says:

    I found this comment by ClownFish to be ironic:

    “Protests are themselves an expression of free speech, so we shouldn’t be stopping them. But when they have the affect of preventing someone else’s free speech, who’s free speech takes priority?”

    From where does he get should or should not? Isn’t this the language of moral obligation? How can any kind of interpersonal moral obligation really exist from a moral subjectivist perspective? If there is nothing real about obligation (it’s just subjective) then there is no such thing. ClownFish pretending that there is doesn’t change that fact. Under moral relativism/ subjectivism “rights” are completely arbitrary are they not? Free speech, freedom of conscience, thought and belief are not inalienable rights. How could they be?

    The question “[whose]* free speech takes priority?” is somewhat problematic. How can you answer such a question without some kind of objective standard? Of course maybe that’s not what ClownFish is trying to say. Maybe he’s just pointing out that there is some kind of dilemma here. I guess that is what is going to happen, more often than not, if you have a morally subjectivist world view. However, I do think there is a way out for the moral subjectivist. Just eliminate free speech for everyone. That would be equal and fair, wouldn’t it? Isn’t that the policy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea? They do have equal rights, don’t they? They just don’t have many of them. But they are a democracy. I know some people dispute that but that’s what the people of DPRK, through there official spokesperson, claim they are, and from a subjectivist POV that’s all that’s required—isn’t it?

    Personally, as a moral objectivist, I think a free and open society requires more than just equal rights. Without freedom of conscience, thought, belief and expression, equal rights means very little. Only an absolute totalitarian regime can guarantee absolute equal rights. I for one would not want to live in such a society.

    *(who’s?)

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    Being opposed top offensive speech is part of the historic SLANDER charge in law.
    God and man always agreed with speech control. we do not have free speech in our father’s homes. Its not illegal there.

    People accepting state speech control for minority’s feelings etc means there is a chance here for a smarter idea on speech freedom.
    The old ideas failed. they were not well done or articulated.
    Once again the purpose of free speech was to bring truth and justice .
    To get it in important things or anything one needed to speak.
    So free speak was created to ensure the objectives of truth and justice. This meant speech that was bad was also accepted.
    Thats all free speech ever was when created in America.
    No state interference with free speech of important matters including all sides.
    Then slander concept came. Bad and damaging words was made illegal.
    Fine. now bad words are welcome to be illegal.
    Its a natural progression but can be handled.
    Come back to the first idea. Stand by the contract backing up the first idea. one does not need to stand by offensive comments to stand by free speech.
    Its a chance to have a greater revolution of correction on the whjole censorship movement in America.
    We need to be better statesmen and lawyers.

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