free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

That’s correct.

Good - next assertion -

The purpose of laying blame (on people or otherwise) is to propose potential solution to the offense (such as punishment, corrective education, limiting freedoms,…).


Good - more progress -

Given any one person’s actions there will be many people who have influenced that person (parents, teachers, politicians, friends,…) and if any one or perhaps more of those people had acted differently, that person’s behavior could have been different.



Generally speaking each of those people have agency (the ability to respond by choice - given corrective influence they can respond differently).

Depends on how you define “agency”. Maybe they all do, maybe some don’t.

I defined it for you -

Yes, you did, but it’s not a satisfying definition. You say “The ability to respond by choice”. I can only guess what you mean by the underlined. The rest of your definition, which is “given corrective influence they can respond differently”, seems to be saying that agency implies the capacity for one’s manner of responding to the world around them to change, so I don’t think I have a problem with it. It is the “by choice” part that is problematic.

By that I mean they make a decision - and given different information (or possibly medication) or training they have the ability to learn and make the same decision differently next time. There are some cases where people are declared mentally incapable of controlling their own behavior - those are exceptions where it is seen that no immediate remedy can help resolve misbehavior. Those few are generally treated separately - “not responsible for their own actions” or “mentally incompetent” or “diminished capacity” and held under limited freedoms.

Is that sufficient?

Alright. It seems that by “agency” you simply mean “the ability to change one’s way of responding to the world around them”. That’s understandable.

That said, my answer to the following . . .

. . . is that I agree.

Authority is formed in a society to give guidance to personal decision making that will allow people to live and work together in a more cooperative and constructive way through laws (sometimes in the form of ethics or morals) to be enforced by positive or negative reactions by that authority - what people may or may not do and what to expect from authorities accordingly.

Note that who benefits most from such laws is not the current issue and is often problematic.

You are probably speaking of institutions such as courts, police, military, etc.

You seem to be saying that these institutions were formed in order to serve others by performing one or both of the following functions: 1) the function of informing others how to make decisions of certain kind, and 2) the function of encouraging (= positively enforcing) good decisions through various incentives and discouraging (= negatively enforcing) bad decisions through various disincentives.

It’s a place you can go to and ask something like “How much does it cost for you to figure out whether or not I should wear a seat belt? Also, how much would it cost for you to make sure I do the right thing in practice? For example, if you saw me doing the opposite of what is right (e.g. driving without a seat belt in case driving with a seat belt is the right thing to do), I would want you to fine me.”

Though I agree that this is what these institutions should be – that they should serve people – throughout history, most institutions of this sort were not services but extortion rackets. They were forced upon people. You weren’t free to specify what kind of service you want. You were instead forced to pay for a service you probably did not want.

I suppose I agree.

Let me try to speed this up a bit -

  • If rules are not enforced people have less guide (if any at all) for what to expect and so have less decision making clarity concerning what they are free to do - When someone does not violate the rules they are free to choose by other means without fear of authority’s rebuke and when someone violates the rules they can predict that authority will intercede.


  • Of all of those previously mentioned people involved in an offense (directly or indirectly) – the only one’s who should expect corrective rebuke are the ones who violated the laws or rules. All others should expect freedom from corrective rebuke.


But –

The issue at hand is about what laws or rules enforced by authorities should be in place concerning speech so as to allow for cooperative and constructive social discourse – what should be expected from authorities if rules are violated.

And I have realized that the democratic process vs the authoritarian process is absolutely critical - the ultimate cause of the USA losing its Constitution.

I suppose I can agree with both (if not completely then at least largely.)

I would avoid using the word “authority” because the above is applicable to people in general. If I inform others that it is forbidden to steal from me, and that I’d punish them in case they do, that’s me making laws and enforcing them even though I am no authority in the usual sense of the word. And of course, by doing that in a honest and clear way, I automatically make it easier for others to predict my behavior and work with me.

Since the goal is to prevent harm, and not merely to punish people who violated written laws, anyone who caused harm should be potentially dealt with (and not necessarily by correcting their behavior.)

(double posted for some reason)

I might have an issue with this, depending on where you’re going with it. I realize you didn’t mention anything of the culpability of these people, but determining how much of a cause each person was is only part of the equation. No one’s blaming Trump’s grade 3 teacher after all, even though it could probably be shown that she had some influence on him and maybe could have acted towards him in such a way that his life course never lead him to give his speech. But here I think you have to add a whole lot of other things to the equation like: how directly did his teacher trigger the siege on the Capitol? Was it his/her intent to do so (I’d laugh if it was)? Could he/she have predicted it? Could he/she have behaved differently such as to change the course of events?

And on that note, it could be argued that anyone can act differently to change just about any event. When Trump’s parents were married, for example, and the priest says “If anyone here has any reason why these two should not be married…” anyone could have stood up and given any reason and tried their best to be persuasive enough to prevent the marriage, and if successful, prevented the birth of Donald Trump, thereby preventing the siege from happening. Does the entire congregation at the wedding now bear some responsibility to accept the blame?

I don’t know. Depends who’s defining the government. For my part, I’m with Hobbs. The government is a creation of the people, and therefore owned by the people–the people can decide what the government’s job is amongst themselves–and then put it into action. I’m kinda a conservative who believes the government’s function, it’s purpose, is exactly as the Constitution says it is–a few amendments notwithstanding–and the Constitution says the government’s function is a lot less than what we see Big Gov taking on today.

^ It’s gotta be curtailed.

Well, now you’re talking like a good little lefty :laughing: You and Joker both (he’s even calling us “comrades” now :slight_smile: ).

But I guess it’s where the vortex is pulling us.