Adam posed me questions on hate speech

Questions

 

Is it not possible that such a legal concept as “hate speech” is an artifact of an unsustainable way of life?

Is it possible for there to be a NON-heteronormative or racially heterogeneous polity over the long term? I do not know. I guess in a few centuries we will know.

 

Responses

 

With respect to your question about the future, I would not venture a guess, but I would have a hope. I believe that understanding ‘cultural constructs’ and deconstruction will breed tolerance. To the extent we can avoid religious directives, we can accept that such differences are unimportant though interesting.

With respect to ‘hate speech’ as a legal concept, it is itself a culturally constructed offence: as such you could label it a ‘cultural artifact’. Condemnations, calumnies, aspersions and threats were not hate speech when the cultural standard approved of aggression against competing faiths or races or lifestyles. When you mandate tolerance, you need to sanction intolerance. Intolerance can be offences against human safety, human rights or human dignity: each level has a more subtle threshold.

Certain groups seek greater government (legislative, regulatory and legal) control over forms of human expression. As often as not, new rules do not express an elevated moral understanding, but an attempted imposition of cultural values. By all means push towards tolerance, but do not shame past values.

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