Without freedom of speech there is no freedom. Your religious freedom, your right to bare arms, your pursuit of happiness… none of these mean anything without freedom of speech. None of these sentences exist if I do not have the freedom to speak them. There is no point in even bothering to attempt the formation of sentences if I am not free for them to be my own.
Yes, listening to people talk out of their ass in obnoxious. It can be almost painful to hear someone spew opinions sustained by alternate facts without any foundation in reality. And blatantly hate-filled stupidity has no place in the lives of many of us. However, under no circumstances is it acceptable to infringe upon someone’s right to speak their mind.
The world we live in and our entire existence is predicated on communication. No one can even begin to understand the world around them if they only live inside their own little world. Forming your own ideology is a wonderful thing, but discussing it with others is the best way to improve upon it. Without being able to form common narratives amongst large groups of people and spread technological advancements over vast areas of the globe, we would still be living in small tribes battling wild animals with sticks and rocks.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. What happened to our understanding of what that meant? How can what someone has to say hurt you so deeply that it infringes upon your rights? If I say that The Holy Bible is the single most boring book I have ever attempted to start reading, does that make it more difficult for you to be Christian? Sometimes politically correct just means you inherently think someone else is wrong.
I am a bit cynical and that cynicism prevents me from holding a complete belief in altruism. So let’s look at this from the standpoint of someone that generally doesn’t care what other people have to say. Preventing someone from speaking their mind is a slippery slope. When you stop a person from speaking to a group of people because you disagree with them, you begin a problematic snowball effect. How long will it be before someone decides they don’t like what you have to say and tries to shut you up? The person being silenced can quickly become you.
Yes, there are situations in which some things should not be said. You cannot say bomb on an airplane for fun or scream fire in a crowded stadium because you want to watch people scatter. Exceptions like those are not applicable when you merely do not want to hear something that you disagree with. Deciding what is right to say and what is wrong to say is the exact opposite of freedom.
Everyone please take your heads out of your asses so you can hear the opinions of others. This includes the oh so many stupid opinions out there (the world isn’t flat – your perception of reality is). If you cannot even fathom listening to others please at least do not hinder their ability to state their beliefs, or else some day it will inevitably be you forced into silence.