“What Is Freedom Of Speech And What Are The Limits Of Free Speech?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is freedom of speech and what are the limits of free speech?

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression definitely require limits. The first limit is that we should not hurt or offend anyone.

Causing no harm to others should act as an inbuilt “constitution” that first and foremost determines the limits of our free speech. It is similar to how we consider it a criminal offense to break into another person’s home and cause damage to its property.

Suppose I have a neighbor whose father passed away, and I start making fun of his father. It would be disgraceful and disrespectful to my neighbor, and I would awaken hatred by doing so. How could I let myself do that? It is completely irrational.

If we want to hurt and offend others, then it is precisely these desires that require correction. Their correction initially needs a restriction of their outward manifestation. Afterward, we need to bring ourselves to a state where we hold nothing against anyone in the world other than our own self, and we can then truly be considered free. In short, we can be free in every aspect of life on condition that we each refrain from harming each other.

In such a state, we can have criticism, disagreements and arguments, but we would need to learn how to not awaken hatred in each other while doing so. We would therefore need to regularly engage in connection-enriching learning, to elevate our sensitivity, empathy and inner intelligence so that our common goal to live harmoniously, peacefully and happily with each other would envelope all of our thoughts and aspirations.

In short, we cannot let ourselves hurt each other. On the contrary, we have to respect each other. We each feel different ideas, people and objects in differing levels of importance according to where, to whom, and how we were born and raised. One person considers something to be very important, and another person considers something else to be very important. However, above what we each consider as important, we should try to see what we all have in common.

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