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A month or two ago my friends and I got in some trouble for making a movie about someone. Because of one of my friends stupidity, the movie got into the public and we became suspects for a terroristic threat. Now, I do admit the the movie was horrible and disgusting (although extremely funny if you know the guy), but when we wrote the script we made sure it had nothing in it that could get us in trouble. It turns out we were wrong. Even though there were no actual threats against the guy, we ended up being accused of making a terroristic threat. Although we didn't get any punishment for it, I am appauled at how the police handled it. The fact that they did not read the script closely enough to realize that there were absolutely no threats in the movie except some against ourselves (the movie was about this guy getting revenge on us for making a previous movie about him, all threats were made by him directed at us in the movie.) was what bothered me more than anything else. Because of this, I went home and began typing a rant/essay about freedom of speech. I don't write many essays, and I don't consider myself a good writer, but I would like to hear what people think about the beginning. Its still only 1 page, but I'm going to start working on it again soon. Any suggestions are appreciated.
Issues with Freedom of Expression
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ? The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
As children we are taught to speak our mind, to be heard, to make a difference. As we grow older, however, we realize that in today?s society speaking your mind is not always the best way to go. We realize that although it is the right thing to do, the freedoms that we were told we have do not actually exist in full. Not are we looked down upon when we say certain things, but we can sometimes even get in trouble for doing what we?ve been told we have the right, and duty, to do as American citizens since September 17, 1787. Sure you can say what you want to say, but you then have to deal with the consequences. Why should there be any consequence for speaking your mind? ?Most people believe in the right to free speech, but debate whether it should cover flag-burning, hard-core rap and heavy-metal lyrics, tobacco advertising, hate speech, pornography, nude dancing, solicitation and various forms of symbolic speech.1? Why is heavy metal any different than pop? Why is flag-burning bad? Are we no longer allowed to show dissatisfaction in our government? It?s all a matter of opinion. If everyone?s opinion were the same, there would be peace on earth. If everyone?s opinion were put into the law books, nothing would be legal. But why then are some people?s opinions taken into consideration over others? It is already virtually impossible to say almost anything without offending at least one person, imagine if it was illegal to offend someone. Imagine what life would be like if people?s opinions became laws. Now imagine that this is already becoming true.
Step one is censorship. Although many people may not agree with what they see on television, in movies, video games, what they read in books, etc., it is still only an opinion. Some were raised to like certain things while others were raised to dislike them. Why should the opinion of a few angry people ruin the freedoms of others, such as those who create the shows, movies, video games, and books? Why does the opinion of the angry override the opinion of the creators? An even better question to ask: is censorship even helping anyone? Are your children going to be better people because censorship prevents them from hearing profanity on television? The simple answer ? no. Although they may not learn ?bad things? from television, they will more than likely hear, see, or learn about it in school, around town, on the playground, and even in the household. Censorship is a temporary fix to a problem of opinion. As Benjamin Franklin once said to the Penn State Legislature, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." By agreeing to censorship, you are automatically giving the government consent to decide what we can hear, see, and read (ever read 1984 or Fahrenheit 451?). You are also allowing the government to put many citizens out of work (due to canceled television shows, lawsuits, etc.) because you did?t agree with their opinion. Why should you deserve to have a freedom of opinion and expression if those that you do not like are not allowed to? "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
That's all I have for now
-------------------- With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew...
-George Harrison R.I.P.
The person presenting an argument is attacked instead of the argument itself. This takes many forms. For example, the person's character, nationality or religion may be attacked. Alternatively, it may be pointed out that a person stands to gain from a favourable outcome. Or, finally, a person may be attacked by association, or by the company he keeps.
There are three major forms of Attacking the Person: (1) ad hominem (abusive): instead of attacking an assertion, the argument attacks the person who made the assertion. (2) ad hominem (circumstantial): instead of attacking an assertion the author points to the relationship between the person making the assertion and the person's circumstances. (3) ad hominem (tu quoque): this form of attack on the person notes that a person does not practise what he preaches.
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