Universities need to defend freedom of speech

This afternoon I discovered a newsletter at my university, possibly printed by the student union, and I red about how they are questioning the importance of freedom of speech because someone made comments on Twitter about raping someone. What’s stupid about it is that the person said he wanted to rape someone if she wore the dress that was either black and blue or white and gold because she claimed it caused him “emotional damage”.

Seriously? You’re going to question the moral value of freedom of speech because of the foolish statements of someone who is obviously a retarded nutcase? I mean really, anyone who takes that whole dress thing seriously enough to want to rape someone in that dress is beyond idiotic and the people who feel threatened by that are even more mentally weak.

Obviously if this person actually did commit to those stupid statements and went out and raped someone then he should be punished for it, but we must not let such the triteĀ ravings of an obvious nutcase undermine everyone else’s free speech, and the innate moral worth of freedom of speech as a whole. I worry that the young people in student unions may not know the exact moral worth of freedom of speech, and why freedom of speech must be total, rather than chilled or partial, if liberty is to mean anything for mankind. At least that’s what I get from the fact that the majority of universities in the UK are home to student unions who actively censor students. Saying that however, my university doesn’t seem to be doing too bad (at least judging from the censorship index, which lists my uni as green), and in all honesty I have not yet challenged my student union on censorship or engaged in political issues with them. Then again, that might be because whenever I look into them they don’t seem to be up to anything at all.

Nonetheless, I maintain that students in university really need to put more thought into liberty and freedom, and take a stronger stance against censorship if they are to maintain those values, if they actually believe in them that is.

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6 responses to “Universities need to defend freedom of speech

  1. It is not surprising – censorship is rampant in many aspects of society – regardless of who the censorship is actually aimed at. Right or wrong, left or right – everyone wants to silence the opposition to their own ideals etc – which is wrong in every sense of what Liberty truly means.

    • When humans are weak instead of strong, go with the flow instead of think for themselves, and are fiercely intolerant of any thought that may seem ugly, then you can expect censorship to become more rampant.

      I think we as a species need to master the difference between not agreeing with an idea and being intolerant towards the expression of an idea, and the difference between proudly having your own truth and beliefs versus silencing every opinion that is different.

      • Indeed – we each have the right to believe as we choose – however this applies even to those we disagree with – As you said – disagreeing with an idea should by no stretch of the imagination mean that someone is intolerant of someone having that belief.

        That is insane – and still never have understood why people find this so hard to grasp.

  2. In my experience the group most likely to protest anything are students. The day students stop protesting and act like good conformist citizens is the day when liberty and democracy dies.

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