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Isn't Freedom of speech overrated?!

Someone I'm getting to know, read my blog post yesterday and we started to talk. He asked the question:

"Isn't freedom of speech overrated?"

I had no direct answer to the question because on the one end, I agreed with him but on the other, we entirely disagreed. It always amazes me when there's not one particular answer to a thing. 

One blogger this week- Daudi wrote about being respectful in our expression of such a freedom. It causes me to wonder though, is it possible for one to use their freedom of speech and yet be sensitive to how it affects the people around them? Would this need for sensitivity 'jeopardise' the effectiveness of the expression of their opinion?

I mean, like in recent days, the one lecturer who decided to strip so her voice could be heard. If she had not stripped, would she have gotten the kind of attention she though her plea deserved? But also, if she had been civil about it, would she not have been heard?

We can argue to the effect of each hypothetical response to an issue being the fastest and most effective way to resolve it and may not even find any kind of middle ground. Does this then mean that every situation warants the one response and not the other?

Which would take us back to the question, Isn't freedom of speech overrated?

Is absolute freedom necessary in as far as opinions and expression of them is concerned?

Should or shouldn't there be some kind of moderation? And where is the line drawn between moderation and the extremism of dictatorship?

Should people seek to express themselves in a civil way or does it not matter as long as the point is driven home? Is civility overrated? Has the human race been liberated way beyond those small irrelevant chains or are we taking this personal freedom things way to far?



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