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How might we (best) justify the freedom of speech - Term Paper Example

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This raises questions over the restraint of freedom of speech in protection beyond the minimal principle of liberty. In my own opinion, there exists no single justification that would be sufficient to justify freedom of speech. In this regard, therefore, I would advocate for various justifications based on consequentialist and non-consequentialist approaches. This paper seeks to illustrate various viewpoints to the justification of freedom of speech using the communicative principle (Greenawalt 3-15). Consequentialist Approach of Justification The philosophical position of a consequentialist approach contributes to desirable set of circumstances and relies on the association of facts between practice and the expected results of such practice. I agree with the suggestion that the freedom of speech promotes the discovery of truth as put forward by Stuart Mill. Individuals have the capacity to distinguish true ideas from deceitful ideas in reality in the presence of free speech. Thus, people would always demonstration careful understanding in settling for truth. In this case, any claims of value and an understanding by individuals of these claims of value constitute truth. In addition, any sensible idea and level of confidence would make individuals to identify truth and conditions that promote it. By contrast, liberal states object the justification of truth discovery based on an assumption that truth does not exist. In their view, neither truth not its conditions could be identified and if it does, freedom of speech would contradict the existence of various ideas in practicing the discovery of truth (Greenawalt 16-24). Freedom of speech significantly contributes to social stability and the accommodation of competing desires and interests. This usually occurs during the process of learning where individuals discover other people’s desires. Accommodation in free speech creates a balance between conflicting interests using truth in resolving issues of concern such as capital punishment. Social stability results from accommodation that involves accurate assessment of desires and interests as well as appropriate decision-making. This justification recognizes that there exists no society in which interests and desires cannot be assessed without distortion (Greenawalt 24-25). Freedom of speech acts as a check on the exposure and prevention of abuse of authority. In this regard, circumstances would be determined by truth discovery. In this regard, the threat of exposure makes individuals to abstain from actions considered as wrong and that could generate corrective action. In addition, freedom of speech promotes thoughtful decision and independent judgment. Autonomy enables individuals to explore opportunities of conversations with others as well as enabling them to perceive and analyze competing positions. Moreover, freedom of speech enhances personal development and a sense of dignity and tolerance as well as creating an emotional outlet. Hence, limiting what individuals may say impairs their personalities and self-expression. Government officials and citizens comprehend truths that support healthful attitudes about their relations in political participation. In this view, liberal democracy would justify the freedom of speech (Greenawalt 25-29). Non-Consequentialist Approach of Justification On the other hand, a non-consequentialist ...Show more
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The Course Date How might we (best) justify the freedom of speech? Freedom of speech, as a political principle in liberal states, acts to protect individual rights in countries with written constitutions. In the United States, freedom of speech exists as both a constitutional norm and a political principle…
How might we (best) justify the freedom of speech
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