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Switch to Forum Live View Hate Speech or Orwell's Newspeak?
5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 8:22AM #1
Adelphe
Posts: 28,699

(Trying again...)

Orwell's Newspeak - "it is described as being "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year". Orwell included an essay about it in the form of an appendix[1] in which the basic principles of the language are explained. Newspeak is closely based on English but has a greatly reduced and simplified vocabulary and grammar. This suits the totalitarian regime of the Party, whose aim is to make any alternative thinking — "thoughtcrime", or "crimethink" in the newest edition of Newspeak — impossible by removing any words or possible constructs which describe the ideas of freedom, rebellion and so on. One character says admiringly of the shrinking volume of the new dictionary: "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."

Hate speech - "...Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade[citation needed] a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, hair color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting[citation needed]. It is also sometimes called antilocution[citation needed] and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society..."

As we both read about and hear in current events the hot topics ( Tongue out Wink ) of the condemnation of "violent rhetoric" as such characterized by those observing Bill O'Reilly's comments on Dr. George Tiller ("Tiller the baby killer") as being responsible for his death, Obama's visit this past week to the Buchenwald concentration camp where he stated--not going so far as to call it hate speech but on Holocaust "revisionism--"To this day there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened, a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful" and as "Holocaust revisionism", for example, has been criminalized in many countries, doesn't it seem odd that if "hate speech" is

"a term for speech intended to degrade...a person or group of people based on their...ideology..."

and if

"Hate speech codes are rules intended to ensure an atmosphere free from harassment and intimidation, conducive to a learning environment."

then who couldn't agree with,


"Many academics have criticised these policies, arguing they are an impediment for free and uncensored discussion on controversial topics. Moreover, it is argued that the very concept of harassment is often misused and frequently cheapened, interpreting criticism (of a faith, opinion, or lifestyle) as something traumatic and harmful. Opponents of hate speech codes maintain that debate is essential to searching for the truth, and hate speech codes interfere with this mandate by silencing discussion from the very start (becoming censorship). They maintain that "harassment" should only be interpreted as a direct personal threat. They also argue that students should be confronted with perspectives they can find repulsive, as it will help strengthen their own arguments and ultimately achieve a more sturdy, well-rounded understanding of the issue." (all quoted material here from wiki)


What say you?


(ETA:  And also, by stifling it, aren't we engaging in the aforementioned (and presumably scary) "prejudice in society"?)

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 11:45AM #2
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,253

Thanks for starting this again, Adelphe.... A worthy topic, to be sure. BTW, I haven't found any satisfactory sources that provide the total # of words in the English Language, nor the total # of words in NewSpeak... Have you any to provide?


Is there a difference between the two when it comes to stifling free speech? Only in the method....


Newspeak dilutes and corrupts the meaning of words..... when a word becomes overused, or improperly used, it loses it's meaning and impact. Substitutions become common place, reducing our language.


Governments make great use of Orwell's Doublespeak without the slightest indication of their own irony... The US Department of Labor focus on unemployment, the Defense Department focus not on Defence, but on offense.... (sometimes pre-emptive but that's another thread).....


Disclaimer: I'm a very strong proponent of our First Amendment right of free speech and religious freedom... Given that, I can certainly agree with and understand why we should limit someone from shouting Fire in a crowded place.... because the words in this case have the potential to result in IMMEDIATE harm....


Hatespeech is rather insidious and very ugly because it attempts to stifle freedom of speech on the premise that future harm may result..... Are bigots like Fred Phelps guilty of hate speech when he rants about homosexuals? Yes, he most certainly is. Should he be prevented from speaking? No --- as disgusting as I find his focus to be, I would not want to live in a country that would silence him.


Too many people seem to forget the  RESPONSIBILITY that comes hand in hand  freedom. We are NOT free from being offended, we are NOT free from hearing things that may disgust us..... We are NOT free from having our feelings hurt.


With all that, I still would not stifle inhumane #$#holes like Fred Phelps and others of his ilk... As long as he doesn't call for violence against an individual... Perhaps that's where a very , very, fine line has to be drawn.....


We haven't heard the end of this battle. It amuses me that both far left liberals and far right conservatives sometimes collude to limit our freedom of speech. The far left does so using "hate speech" as their weapon, and the far right uses "defamation of religion" or  afalse sense of persecution complex ....  as a weapon to serve the same end.


 

Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 11:51AM #3
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,253

I have great concerns about the passage of so many hate speech measures in Canada, Europe..... It is my hope that the United States of America will resist these trends....


What do you make of the UN's  non-binding "defamation of religion" resolution? Absolutely appalling!  www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTR...

Of course, many in the Muslim world favored this... because it would stifle our ability to criticize Islam, create cartoons with Muhammad in the starring role... ALL nonsense. Why should Islam be any more protected from humor, critique, and ridicule than any other organized religion? Sunlight is a great disinfectant. Neither pope, president, king, imam or ANY organization should become so precious and so sacred that we can't openly discuss them without fear of reprisal.


There's a great deal of difference between claiming "all Muslims are terrorists" and "some Muslims commit acts of terrorism".... Preventing us from speaking openly about the latter will only cultivate more fear and statements such as the former.


There's still ongoing discussion on this issue by the UN Human Rights Council....which can only be a good thing,  assuming the  main  body  can  recognize  the  foolishness and  fallacy  of their  defamation of religion  resolution. 


www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/religion/d...

 


P.S. Since the US government is broke and the future of our economy is still such an unknown, shouldn't we consider reducing our $$ contributions to the UN? Ah, but that's ANOTHER thread entirely!

Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 12:04PM #4
Lonesentinel
Posts: 2,423

Great opinions you have shared, AS.  I suspect that I have less faith in the U.N. than you do though.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 12:36PM #5
Merope
Posts: 8,763

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone.


Note that while a relaxed ROC standard (the site-wide ROCs) applied to this thread on that forum, the tighter forum ROCs apply to this thread from this point forward.


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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 1:23PM #6
arielg
Posts: 9,088

Agnosticspirit says:

Too many people seem to forget the  RESPONSIBILITY that comes hand in hand  freedom. We are NOT free from being offended, we are NOT free from hearing things that may disgust us..... We are NOT free from having our feelings hurt.



I think we are free not to be offended, disgusted or having our feelings hurt.


Taking offense is in the eyes of the beholder.


Somebody may be offended by my wearing a red shirt, when I have no such intention.  And even if I had, they could  just ignore it and not offer a target.



That is what the Muslims that you refer to in the other post are doing: they are being offended and trying to prevent others from doing things that offend them.  But the offense is in their eyes.



People should deal with the way they perceive . All censorship is aimed at preventing people from experiencing the effect of their own biases.

There was a king that had tender feet.  He loved to wonder about his kingdom but the thorns and pebbles bothered him.  He asked his adviser for ideas to solve the problem. All the  advisers but one agreed that he should order  the kingdom covered with leather.


The dissident one said:  "if you cover the kingdom with leather, the flowers you love to go see won't grow, there won't be butterflies or birds either. But if you cut two pieces of leather and tie them under your feet, it will be as if the kingdom would be covered with leather and nothing will be disturbed."



"You can't cheat an honest man" is another way of saying it. 





What do you make of the UN's  non-binding "defamation of religion" resolution? Absolutely appalling!  www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTR... />
Of course, many in the Muslim world favored this... because it would stifle our ability to criticize Islam, create cartoons with Muhammad in the starring role... ALL nonsense. Why should Islam be any more protected from humor, critique, and ridicule than any other organized religion? Sunlight is a great disinfectant. Neither pope, president, king, imam or ANY organization should become so precious and so sacred that we can't openly discuss them without fear of reprisal.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 1:42PM #7
Ebon
Posts: 9,801

It's an interesting discussion. Hate speech laws were originally intended to prevent speech likely to lead to violence and/or which unfairly smeared members of particular groups (i.e. Agnostic's "All Muslims are terrorists"). It wasn't intended to stifle honest criticism. Now, granted, a certain number of people will abuse the laws to stifle any and all criticism (the Church of Scientology is notorious for it) but I thought the original intent was honourable.


Newspeak is not quite the same thing. the intent of newspeak was specifically to render it impossible to even think anti-party thoughts so while there's some superficial similarity, Hate Speech laws do not usually have such a partisan aim.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 5:43PM #8
MMarcoe
Posts: 14,634

I, too, do not see the relationship between Newspeak and hate speech, or why they are put together in the OP.


If we were reduced to using Newspeak, then we would still have the means to express "hate speech." They did it in Orwell's 1984, and they do it everywhere else ... even with a diminished vocabulary.


I also echo the concerns of those who say limiting speech in order to avoid offending certain groups will stifle discussion. In fact, I'd say those limitations are themselves a form of hate speech. All those Muslims who don't like hate speech need to let go their authoritarian mindsets and jump into some education. The same for everyone else.


At UW-Madison in the 90s, our campus newspaper, the Badger Herald, was challenged to a debate by a small group of loud white leftists who claimed that our interview with the head of the KKK would "cause" racial violence. They said that folks like the KKK should be denied free speech because such speech "causes" others to commit hate crimes.


We crushed them in the debate. Our editor, who was black, made a convincing case for free speech. But all they did was keep repeating the same old platitudes. And that's exactly what proponents of speech codes do -- they are unable to coherently and convincingly argue that hate speech would have the effects they claimed it would.


We ran the story and it stimulated discussion. I like to think that I am a little more sensitive to racial issues because of it, and that's all because we didn't buckle to hate speech codes.


 

There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.

God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 6:06PM #9
catboxer
Posts: 13,684

Hatespeek doubleplus ungood because counter-productive. Cutwordlines. No doubleplusgood ducktalker ever engages.


Hatespeekers unexist, as what they do if they did is Goldsteinism, thus unpersons.

Adepto vestri stercore simul.ttr
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 6:20PM #10
MMarcoe
Posts: 14,634

Jun 9, 2009 -- 6:06PM, catboxer wrote:


Hatespeek doubleplus ungood because counter-productive. Cutwordlines. No doubleplusgood ducktalker ever engages.


Hatespeekers unexist, as what they do if they did is Goldsteinism, thus unpersons.




Now try crafting some hatespeech with Newspeak. I would, but I'm rusty on the mechanics of it.

There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.

God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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