Skye Posted May 26, 2010 Share Posted May 26, 2010 An interesting question I heard elsewhere and want to share here: I was listening to a defense of the Rand Paul's position which was mostly boilerplate, but it had an interesting aspect to the defense that I have never considered before. The speaker first stated the old adage that you can only judge your dedication to freedom of speech when the speech in question is abhorrent to you. He then asked whether that same rule applies to freedom of assembly, and by connection to discrimination. My first thought was a resounding "No", but his argument only became more compelling. He theorized that discrimination is simply an aspect of freedom of assembly, and while we all discriminate every single day, racial, sexual and religious discrimination would qualify as those practices of assembly which most of us find abhorrent, but that we must defend if we truly wish to defend freedom of assembly. It is an interesting argument. One I am not entirely sold on, but I must admit it is the closest anyone has come to convincing me to rethink my position on the topic. I think abhorrent speech is defended in general because it causes no material damage. If speech causes material damages then it's often the case you can sue for damages through defamation. Assembly has an obvious material component so it's not an analogous situation to me. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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