Essay, Pages 16 (3898 words)
Everybody has a right to his or her own opinion. Freedom of speech involves toleration of what may seem to you a great deal of nonsense and even of matters which are in bad taste. John Stuart Mill in his essay “On Liberty in Utilitarianism Etc.” stated his belief on the matter by saying, “There ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it might be considered.”| | |
Below are some comments from Today’s Zaman readers.
Whether you choose to post your comment on the Today’s Zaman web page or send it to the Today’s Zaman email address or write on my Today’s Zaman Facebook page, your comments are always appreciated.Here is what one of the Today’s Zaman readers wrote on my piece “What comes to your mind…” (Aug. 19, 2011):“…I’m so glad that you have found… ‘Citizens who refuse to be pigeon-holed: 13 percent…’ in your research when writing this article.
But I wish the percentage was more. Last year I traveled to Turkey (I’m dual as well) but have never lived there apart from one short holiday. I have found many Turks were surprised when they found out that I do not fit into any stereotype or category. I found in Turkey people seem to be more politically savvy perhaps than I am or ever could be.
My other half is also Scots — they never seem to care if I do not want to be pigeon-holed.
Having both Scots and Turk in me — I have found my Scottish side definitely more savvy in knowing the value of everything. So perhaps I should travel to Turkey more often — good value holidays :)” From: Olga KrakusIn my piece earlier this week, “Thinking in terms of ‘we’ and ‘they’” (Sept. 5, 2011), for fun a few readers posted a favorite work or quote by Rudyard Kipling. Here is what they wrote:Bekah Guess: “Captain’s Courageous”Angie Swonger: “If”Simon Johnson: “The simple BEAR necessities of life!”Bob Moss: “I have six honest serving men,They taught me all I knew,Their names are What, and When,And Where, and Why,And How and Who.”In the piece “Wanted in the rural areas: humans” (Aug. 5, 2011) this reader made a good point: “Charlotte is right to call for even development and to lament the ascendancy of urbanity.
What seems the quickest route to prosperity is unfortunately fraught with problems akin to those experienced by lemmings. Sustainable living goes out the window as do many of the values rural folk engineered over the millennia to survive and thrive. Yet all is not lost. I’m not sure that as many as seven in 10 Turks are urban residents. Last year, like South Africa it was said that just over half of us had adopted to live in cities. Either way the trend is one way at the moment. Ironically new technologies and thinking may reverse this, if sensible policies are followed. Rural should not be an automatic association with poverty. Simple pragmatics suggest otherwise but the voice of rural people is hardly heard and their poverty is more indicative of the poverty of contemporary life than anything else.”
From: Tehlikeli yabanci“Dear Charlotte: I enjoyed reading your articles about various superstitions in Turkey and culture. I am wondering about something I have heard, that pointing is considered very rude in Turkey. Is this so? Does it matter which finger is used for pointing? Have you ever heard of an idea that one points with their little finger? Thank you for your help.” From: Z. RonTurks tend to point by using the tilt of the chin and nose in the right direction.In my column on July 5, I received this comment about my piece “Patriotism is growing”:“Dear Charlotte: … I would like to suggest that although your Canadian friends who only observe Canada Day as a quiet weekend of camping are not uncommon, every Canadian town and city has organized festivities.
… The different ethnic associations each have booths where people can buy their traditional dishes for lunch… children and adults perform the traditional music and dances…” From: LeonardI invite you to write a comment on what the idea of freedom of speech means to you.“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” –VoltaireThe Value of FreedomFreedom in Liberal thought means freedom from oppression, not freedom from responsibilities. The only limitation on freedom is that an entity cannot perform initiatory force, threat of force or fraud against any other entity or its property. Other than that, everything is allowed. This is despite the many non-crimes propagated as “crimes” by many governments or religions.As such, freedom means the freedom to harm yourself, either by consuming harmful substances (like Alcohol, Sugar, Tobacco, or the currently illegal drugs), or by holding irrational beliefs.
Freedom also means the freedom to hold racist views, and even to practice discrimination against others, as long as they do not involve force, coercion or fraud.Freedom means freedom to bear arms and to form alternative militias to the government-sponsored ones. (and if necessarily oppose them)Freedom means being free to duplicate digital media, break the copy protection mechanisms imposed on it, and reverse engineer software.Freedom does not mean one is privileged to necessarily receive any kind of support from external entities. Thus, freedom means that the government has no right to forcibly extract money out of you for most of its whims.Freedom means the freedom to live and work everywhere you chose, as long as you find some means to support yourself.
Thus, it is unethical for a government to impose immigration control on its territory.Freedom implies the freedom of expression, which must not be violated.Freedom means freedom of business practices, a free economy, and lack of government control of it.Freedom means not being forced to serve in the military against one’s will.Freedom means being able to gamble or provide gambling services, and practice or pay for prostitution.Finally, freedom must be fully satisfied.
Partial freedom is not enough, and lack of freedom in some respects can always be abused to deprive even more freedom.| Do we value our freedom? If we do, we can’t misuse and abuse our freedom. But that’s what we exactly do. Strangely, when we are in another country, we do neither. But the moment we set foot in India, we start to misuse and abuse our freedom IT IS of great astonishment to me that even after so many years of independence and freedom, we do not really comprehend the meaning as well as value of freedom. What is freedom as far as we are concerned? Let me take you through some scenarios:
Operation Green Hunt is a crusade against indigenous people
Diwali means we pray for light to remove darkness
Mahatma Gandhi still relevant in 2011
The fittest Indian
1.Some of our fellow Indians arriving from international destinations make no bones about spitting on the tarmac of the airport, soon after disembarking. Why is it so? The person concerned does not have respect for his own nation. He would not have done this in the international city he flew in from.
2.Everyday when we hit the road, we find that some person or the other has parked his car or other vehicle in such a way that it obstructs the flow of traffic. If asked to park the vehicle properly, the person feels insulted. He / She feels that freedom means the right to do anything in a public place.
3.An Indian, whether a common man or an influential person, will not think twice before passing a comment on another’s gender, clan, caste, colour, creed, region, religion, language, etc. Every Indian feels he/she has the freedom to pass such comments.
What does behaviour and attitude of the kind highlighted above suggest? Well, it’s simple. We do not value our freedom. Misuse of rights is freedom, as far as we are concerned. We start blaming others for all the chaos but we ourselves create the said chaos in the first place. It is our mindset which needs to change .If we really need to progress in all senses of the word, then it has to start with our mindset. Yes, the mindset of our citizens, present and future and of leaders is also crucial from the point of view of our children. They emulate the present generation. The change can come about only when we learn to value our freedom and persuade others to do so.
A nation is characterised by the people who live in it. Our country is what we have made of it. The father of the nation stressed that we should bring about the change that we wish to see. So, let’s promise to ourselves that we will change and it will in turn lead to a change in our environment, viz, our locality, our city, our state and our country . – See more at: http://www.merinews.com/article/do-we-value-our-freedom/15764870.shtml#sthash.4zqV5WRS.dpuf Value Freedom of Speech? Donate to Wikipedia
Jan 21 2012 Published by rknop under Computers & Society, Culture, Free Culture, Intellectual Property, Politics, Technology and Society Just in case you haven’t been on the Internet in the last month, SOPA and PIPA are two laws that were working their way through the US legislature that would have brought sweeping powers to pretty much anybody to block sites on the Internet that they asserted were guilty of copyright infringement. These laws would have made the US into an Internet censorship regime that— even according to the backers of the law!— would be on par with Syria or China. You can read more about SOPA and PIPA here at the EFF and here at Wikipedia. They are now on hold (but, sadly, not dead), and the lion’s share of the credit for that belongs to Wikipedia.
If you care about this (and as somebody currently reading something on the Internet not produced under the aegis of a large media company, you really should!), you should consider donating to Wikipedia. Some may credit Google with part of getting this message across to Congress, and doubtless Google deserves some credit. However, it was Wikipedia that went fully dark, and it was immediately after that event on Jan. 18 that Congress stepped back. What’s more, Google is doing just fine; they have a gigantic revenue from their advertising business. Wikipedia is much more dependent on donations. After you’re done donating to Wikipedia, also consider donating to The Electronic Frontier Foundation. I just donated $100 myself. That’s not very much. Indeed, I’m sure that I have received a lot more than $100 worth of value out of Wikipedia in the last decade. But, every little bit counts.
Defenders of SOPA and PIPA say that fears of the law have been overblown. However, if misinformation about the law has been spread, it’s by the backers themselves. Their claims of “lost American jobs” have not been supported, and there is evidence that they overestimate the “lost revenue” to piracy by at least an order of magnitude. What’s more, while the backers disingenuouslystate that the laws are directed against “rogue foreign websites” and not against legitimate US users of the Internet, already we see copyright laws routinely abused to take down legitimate content on the web— if not through the full mechanism of the law, through the threat of legal action. See the repository of information at chillingeffects.org for huge numbers of stories about this. It would be absurd to believe that tools like SOPA and PIPA, which would make this kind of squelching of the expression of soembody you don’t like that much easier, would not only be abused more.
For those who argue that intellectual property needs stronger protections: right now there is indeed an imbalance between laws that allow for copyright enforcement and freedom of expression, and that imbalance does not favor freedom of expression! People like me were howling (well, tweeting, with the occasional signed petition or letter to a legislator) in rage about SOPA and PIPA at the end of last year, but Congress was by and large ignoring it. They had their Hollywood lobbyists telling them that it was all necessary… whether that was necessary for the “survival of American competitiveness”, or whether it was just necessary for the re-election of legislators is not clear. Certainly the latter; in public they said the former, but my cynicism grows every day. (Indeed, very recently the head of the MPAA more or less admitted in public that he expects lawmakers to provide him with legislation he demands in exchange for his organization’s campaign donations.)
Indeed, Congress celebrated their ignorance about the Internet and completely refused to pay any attention to Internet experts telling them about the technical and security problems that SOPA and PIPA would bring. (Never mind fundamental issues of freedom of expression… which somehow doesn’t seem to be a legitimate thing to bring up in the face of concerns about “jobs”, “the economy”, or “terrorism” any more.) I believe that the perception in Congress was that most of the public weren’t really all that aware of copyright issues, and didn’t care that much; indeed, they said that it was a “vocal minority” arguing against it. They evidently believed that just giving Big Media the laws that they wanted was a great way to secure a source of campaign funding without doing something that might torque off the general public. (“Oops!”) It was only after great public outcry, spurred on by the Wikipedia blackout(and several other sites) on January 18, that Congress woke up and changed its tune. It’s ironic that the MPAA has accused Wikipedia of “abusing its power”.
Evidently Wikipedia is supposed to purchase legislation directly, the way that the MPAA does. Informing the public of what’s going on so that they will realize that if they care at all about freedom, they need to make their voice heard, is somehow an abuse of power. If that’s not an indication that large congressional campaign donors have completely warped the standard process of how laws are made in the USA, I don’t know what is. (To read more about how bad the routine corruption in the USA is as a result of large campaign contributors having primary access to lawmakers, and the pipeline of legislators and their staffers getting cushy lobbying jobs after helping organizations get the laws they want, check out the Rootstrikers website. Also, although I have not read this yet myself, it’s probably worth reading Lawrence Lessig’s book Republic, Lost.) Donate to Wikipedia. Better, remember that SOPA and PIPA have just slowed down, not stopped.
It’s going to take vigilance to prevent them from passing later. It’s likely that next time Congress and Big Content try to get them through, they’ll do it in a more stealthy manner. It may well be attached to a routine appropriations bill, much as the reprehensible “infinite detention” clause was recently attached to a routine defense appropriations bill (passed by Congress and signed by the President). The fight is far from over, even if we came out ahead in the latest skirmish. Indeed, next time you’re about to buy a big-studio Hollywood DVD or go to a big-studio Hollywood movie, pause and think. Realize that the myopic leadership of the MPAA (the same group that decades ago fought tooth and nailagainst the VCR, fighting against their own interests as they would profit greatly from the new market that home video players would bring) is going to keep trying to push draconian laws limiting freedom of speech on the Internet in the name of “protecting intellectual property”.
Ask yourself if the value you will get out of that DVD or watching that movie really is worth more than the value you get out of Wikipedia. Ask yourself if you want to indirectly support an organization that is fighting to maintain a 20th century model where broadcast expression was practically subject to a small number of gatekeepers (only then it was practically, and now it would be legally), or if you would rather directly support an organization that has made an amazing (if imperfect) crowd-sourced knowledge repository available to the world for fully free access (in every sense of the word “free”). Then, consider not buying the DVD or going to the movie, and instead donating the money to Wikipedia.
What is freedom? Is it an absolute right? We are born to become free. Freedom is defined from different aspects ,and according to different cultures,freedom varies from culture to another.Some define freedom as a natural right,the human being is born with.Everyone wants to be free and independent from others.Freedom is the right to do what one wants,live where he wants,eat what he wants,learns what he wants,and chooses the religion in which he believes,without ignoring or harming other rights.
How can we live free? From my point of view, we can live free by respecting otherُs rights to live free too.We can not ignore the rights of people with whome we live in the society.We can not simply do what we want and ignore others.We must take other people rights into consideration.
The idea behind freedom is to be respectful and useful to our society.Freedom is important to evryone.If some one is deprived from this innate right,he will definitely feel as if he is not a respectfu human being.When freedom is guaranteed,I can think freely,go where i want,say my opinion without fear from people who would not like my opinion.Freedom of opinion is among the most important branches of freedom .In some societies where freedom of opinion is not guranteed by the authority,the creativity of mind is killed and burried.
Society is the largest and biggest loser from this lack of creativity.Someone once said,Freedom of opinion will never result in animosity among people if they respect each other.As I mentioned earlier,freedom is not an absolute right,and there are too many constraints on it.Firstly,the society rights including national security which is very important.Security is as important as freedom.Our practicing of freedom should never lead to threatening our national security.Secondly,freedom of belief, to believe in what you want and chooses your righteous religion.We also should have the right to establish our own places ,where we perform our religious actions.
Historically, there has been an evident proof that freedom is innate to human and that he will fights as long as he lives to restore his innate right to be a free man .The western civilization guaranteed freedom for its own people,and occupied poor nations and deprived their people from their rights,including freedom.So ,these poor nations fought without rest to restore freedom and autonomy from occupation.Abduction of rights , is not a respectful human action.Since God gave us freedom for free,we must do our best to maintain and keep this right.
Among the most humiliating ways to punish a human, is to deprive him from freedom.When one goes to jail,he is deprived from freedom ,and so he is suffering ,which is the point to punishment.lacking freedom teaches the human lessons ,he will make use of it.Freedom can not be felt right,unless one tastes lack of freedom,then he will really appreciate freedom from his deeps.
Freedom is not absolute.Freedom must be limited.You can not just do what you like and say “I am a free man”.You can not kill,smuggle drugs or violate the laws and rules for freedom sake.There should be respect to other people and their needs.Once, there were two men setting side by side, and some one lifted his own hand and touched the otherٌs nose,the latter complained,the former said “ I am free”, this was as a dismay to the latter who was ready with an appalling answer,and said”The freedom of your hand ends where the freedom of my nose begins”. Yes,the freedom of any one ends where the freedom of another one begins.
Parents must teach their youngsters to be free.They must plant in them the love for freedom.But their freedom must be watched,it shoud not be witout limits.If so, we can censor their behaviour without fear from friends of our children.
Freedom in the teen years is very important for building a good character and stable personality.Teens want to hang around with friends ,do whatever they like, or do not like.They want to experience every thing.If they are given freedom with no limits ,they can go down to the base and may be lost.So we must watch their behaviour,teach them to do what is right and leave what is wrong.
Such supervision is,generally not considered a limit or constraint on freedom, it is important for protection of existence.Freedom alone may lead to bad actions and cause destruction in the society.The most important thing that we must care about is enjoying our freedom without harming our security.In hard times, like terrorist attacks, constraints may be imposed on freedom for general protection of the existence of the community, but this is only a timed-condition that shall end soon after catastrophic condition ends.
In summary, freedom is an innate right,humans are born with.Nothing should threaten our freedom,deprive us from our right.Also our right of freedom must never harm any other human being ,directly or indirectly.We must respect freedom of every one in the society.This way we can enjoy our freedom through our life. ndia and freedom
FREEDOM is the right to exercise one’s choice or the condition of being free from restraints and synonyms of freedom would be ‘liberty’ and ‘license’. INDEPENDENCE is exemption from ‘reliance on’ or ‘control by’ someone. Is ‘liberty’ really ‘license’? If you watch the Television today, scenes of Mr Anna Hazare burning copies of Lokpal Bill or shouting freedom slogans and reminds us of the Common Man (like R K Laxman) of their rights and duties and talking of liberating this nation yet again and was calling for a avahan (movement). I think the word liberation is much better than freedom or independence. Have we attained freedom? Yes we have! Why? Since we have the right to exercise one’s choice. But do we have true independence? No. Because we have the license and liberty but if you refer back to top it means exemption from reliance on or control by.
So, we have not been independent at all for all these years because we are still being controlled by anamolies of society like corruption, poverty, hunger, infanticide, child labour, dowry, caste, religion, unemployment, illiteracy. So they all are the divisors and not the dividend. The only thing we can thrive most on is our unity in diversity and freedom of speech and movement. So independence has just become a holiday and a break from normal routine.
Real independence will only be achieved when a hungry family from Kalahandi manages to get two square meals a day, a freedom from hunger for a day at least, a labouring child freed of his duties. Real independence will only be achieved when a child will be exempted from death irrespective of gender and when innocents are given the assurance to live. ‘When the world will be sleeping we will awaken to the light of freedom!’ said Nehru. ‘Freedom for speech and expression. Freedom to worship God in his own way. Freedom from want. Freedom from fear.’ said Franklin Roosevelt. Cinema and cricket binds us together. I wish the whole country could have… [continues]