Georgia Reporter

July 25, 2011

How Valuable Freedom of Speech Is

Freedom is something that all men want to have. No one would want to be trapped into doing something that is against his will. Throughout history, man has always placed a lot of value on the freedom to choose for himself and the freedom to express what he wants either through writing, through speech, and even through art.

The value of freedom of speech has always been emphasized. In fact many of the world’s greatest leaders fought wars just to preserve the freedom to express oneself honestly and openly. As prevalent as the fight for freedom of speech are the efforts of many men to inhibit other people from exhibiting and practicing this right.

Today, freedom of speech is alternatively referred to as the freedom for experience. Majority of the governments from all over the globe have implemented laws and regulations to safeguard this basic human right. However there are certain limitations to how a person can express himself. There are even instances wherein a person is inhibited from exercising this right. Congress has established certain approved scenarios where this can be implemented. One of the things that should be remembered is that the right to self-expression does not only relate with speaking but with writing as well.

The expression of freedom of speech can also be through other means such as through singing of songs, playing of certain types of music, the promotion of ideals, and through wearing statement shirts or clothing. The last one may be very familiar since a lot of people wear shirts with largely emblazoned text on the front which may be used to convey one’s emotions for the day or one’s belief. This is the reason why politicians during election time give away shirts, caps, armbands, and other types of clothing with their names printed on such materials.

Being given the freedom to express oneself and one’s belief does not mean that he can say whatever he wants or do whatever he wants to do anytime he wants to without regard for others who may be affected. An example of this is when one keeps on shouting obscene words in a very public place such as in a mall or in a movie theatre. What one says or do should be done with respect to others. It should be hate speech towards certain races, sex, and age. Another thing which one has to control is the telling of false stories especially when this could ruin other people’s reputation. If one does this, then he might be charged with an offense which is punishable by law and this is called libel or defamation of character.

On the other hand, one has to consider that “freedom of speech” means basically nothing if we’re only talking about popular speech. Nobody would ever contest your right to profess your appreciation for ice cream, or post your own insanity Workout review online. In fact, some would argue that the most unpopular and offensive forms of expression are the ones most in need of defense, as well as the benchmarks by which we gauge how truly free we are.

The right to have freedom of speech is very important due to a number of reasons. First of all, it helps encourage the expression of beliefs and ideas which is where the concept of democracy is firmly based on. Because of this, democratic organizations and governments are preserved. It also impresses on democratic government leaders the need to be always truthful and tolerant of what others think. It also helps broaden the understanding not only of those in government positions but most important to the ordinary citizen.

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