People are certainly free to criticize and think what they will. Would you agree, though, that the consequences one faces should not include acts of lawlessness? For example, should the consequences of drawing Mohammed include death threats and perhaps even violence?
Many people would have answered my question differently. That's why I asked.
Sure, you can use your free speech to be offensive. Others can use their speech to challenge it. And some will go further than merely challenging an offensive remark, they will take action to disassociate themselves from offensive characters... this too is their right.
What it does not give you the right to do is harm them with lies, assassinating their character. Inciting a riot is also outside of it's scope. Offending someone? Within the boundaries.
Yes. The obligatory example is yelling 'fire' in a theater. That ones obvious to me. The difficultly, at least for me, is defining the boundaries. Satire often ridicules people. Celebrities and politicians routinely have their characters assassinated with halve truths and falsehoods. It can be aggravating, but I believe still needs to be protected.
Any sort of character assassination should have to prove true; otherwise, it's unlawful and Unconstitutional. Freedom and liberty should always lie within the boundaries of not harming innocent others.
You might find this interesting. It's an excerpt from this page (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyc...ple-29718.html). I make no claims for its accuracy, but it seems reasonable.
Defamation law tries to balance competing interests: On the one hand, people should not ruin others' lives by telling lies about them; but on the other hand, people should be able to speak freely without fear of litigation over every insult, disagreement, or mistake. Political and social disagreement is important in a free society, and we obviously don't all share the same opinions or beliefs. For instance, political opponents often reach opposite conclusions from the same facts, and editorial cartoonists often exaggerate facts to make their point.
Certainly very interesting and logical.
Technically, yes, it does....with some exceptions it means we can say whatever we wish. But, with every right comes an equal responsibility - and these days we seem to forget that responsibility for ourselves. We are responsible to not be complete and utter jerks and say things i such a way that we KNOW we are being offensive.
I don't understand your comment. To me it sounds as if you agree with the OP.
Would you be willing to expound your position?
It seems reasonable then to conclude your position is baseless.
Technically freedom of speech gives you the right to criticize the government without fear of arrest. Our strange social norms give you the "right" to offend others.