Freedom of Expression and Harm
So after a sojourn through ‘Harm‘, we make our way back to freedom of expression. We should ask ourselves, can a simple thought or opinion, without action, ever do harm? If I were to say “rape on private property should be legal”, most people (I hope everyone) would disagree with me. But is there harm in me saying so? Should I be silenced and not allowed to say it? As we’ve covered already, all we have to gain is everything, that is, truth and conviction about yourself. If after hearing the statement you are more convinced of your original position that all rape is wrong, what’s the problem? If in having the conversation you convince someone else that it is wrong, surely this is a good thing, right?
But what if the person that speaks it is a leader of men? What if he holds power and influence? Or what if it is obviously going to be interpreted as a call to arms by men? Again, why is this not just a chance for his power and influence to diminish (or vanish altogether) once he has made a patently immoral claim? What those that fear the power of the spoken word really fear is the spoken word within a climate where the freedom to dialogue cannot be joined with dialogue. No speech should be feared when free speech abounds as anything said can be disproved through the use of reason, on the proviso that what is spoken in wrong. In the moments when I’ve seen people decry the spoken word, what I’ve really witnessed is people fear that words become commands, rather than dialogue. All it takes for this to happen is silence.
The solution to the fear of speech is just more speech until reason presents itself.
Opinions can be harmful when blindly followed but the act of following is an action, not an opinion. On this, I would say to freemen that we must create a population of freemen that can use the red pill to think scenarios through before we act. We should become familiar with thought experiments and with dialectical approaches to life’s problems. Good manners and respectful listening should be promoted but an opinion on its own does not do harm and should be spoken.