“The Risks and Responsibilities of Free Speech” Part 3

Back to the topic of freedom of speech: defined as a “package deal of social goods” that must be correctly expressed to the public. This package may be closely monitored, checked and probed for any and all possible errors, mistakes that could greatly affect the credibility of the publication. In the words of David van Mill, “speech, in short, is never a value in and of itself but it is always produced within the precincts of some assumed conception of the good” (Mill 2). There is a strong need for the defense of the issue of free speech, where any belief should be granted the opportunity to be adequately voiced to the public. According to Mill, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind” (Mill 3). Freedom of speech, therefore, allows for scholars and ordinary citizens to engage in conversation and debate about worthy topics, fostering the development and growth, on an entirely new level, of those who take the time to listen to their arguments. Additionally, we can enhance the content, and appearance, of this topic by taking a look at the reversal of this scenario. Imagine a world where free speech is prohibited—citizens must abide by the set rules, never questioning the validity of a source. As you can picture, this type of world would not be conducive for learning, or even growing as an individual who is a reader of the news. Big Brother would control us, and we would be helpless.


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